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Yesterday in the US, there were two mass shootings in less than 24 hours, & more in news in 5.

1. Yesterday in the US, there were two mass shootings in less than 24 hours.

Thirty people have died and dozens have been wounded in two mass shootings within just 13 hours of each other in the US, prompting calls for tighter gun control.

The first massacre occurred on Saturday morning in the heavily Hispanic border city of El Paso, where a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store before surrendering to police.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the rampage appeared to be a hate crime.

Police cited a “manifesto” they attributed to the suspect, a 21-year-old white man, as evidence that the bloodshed was racially motivated.

Across the country, a gunman opened fire in a downtown district of Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday, killing nine people and wounding at least 26 others, police and the city mayor said.

The assailant was shot dead by police, less than a minute after he started shooting.

Several Democratic candidates for next year’s US presidential election denounced the rise of gun violence and repeated calls for tighter gun control measures.


At least two candidates, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, drew connections to a resurgence in white nationalism and xenophobic politics in the US.

“America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism,” Buttigieg said at an event in Las Vegas.

US President Donald Trump branded the shooting “an act of cowardice”.

“I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people,” he said on Twitter.

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Pope Francis condemned the spate of attacks on “defenceless people” in the US, including a rampage last Sunday in which a gunman killed three people and wounded about a dozen at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California.

Multiple news media outlets, citing law enforcement officials, named the El Paso shooter as Patrick Crusius from Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb some 1000km east of El Paso.

Police said the suspect opened fire with a rifle on shoppers then surrendered to officers who confronted him outside the store.

A four-page statement posted on 8chan, an online message board often used by extremists, and believed to have been written by the suspect, called the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.

It also expressed support for the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.

CNN reported the FBI had opened a domestic terrorism investigation.

In Dayton, a riverfront city of about 140,000 people in southwest Ohio, a gunman dressed in body armour opened fire in a downtown district.

The carnage could have been much worse if not for the rapid intervention of nearby patrolling police, who were on the scene in less than a minute and shot the attacker dead..

Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper said the shooting began at 1am local time in Dayton’s Oregon District, a downtown historic neighbourhood popular for its nightclubs, restaurants, art galleries and shops.

The motive was not immediately clear, and investigators believe the individual acted alone, Carper said.

2. Divers continue their search for Canadian fugitives.

Police divers are searching the frigid waters of a Canadian river for the bodies of two teenage fugitives suspected of shooting dead Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his US girlfriend Chynna Deese.

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It is the latest move by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to find Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, and Kam McLeod, 19, after the duo disappeared two weeks ago near Gillam, in northern Manitoba.

RCMP officers searching from a helicopter on Friday located a damaged aluminum rowboat on the shore of the Nelson River.

The boat may have been damaged travelling through rapids on the river, raising the prospect Schmegelsky and McLeod were tossed out attempting a getaway.

The RCMP released a photo of the boat on Twitter.

“It had gone through some rapids and had been significantly damaged,” RCMP Inspector Leon Fiedler told The Globe and Mail.

“We’re going to search in the area around where we found this boat just to make sure that there is nobody attached to it, whether that is our subjects or anyone else for that matter.”

The boat was found about 70km north of Gillam and about 13km from where police believe the teens set light to the grey Toyota RAV4 they were driving two weeks ago.

Inspector Fiedler said police had not yet located the rowboat’s owner.

There was no forensic evidence to gather from the boat.

Despite unconfirmed sightings of the duo as far away as the neighbouring province of Ontario, the RCMP continues to search around Gillam.

Survival experts predict the teenagers would struggle to stay alive if they attempted to hide in the swampy, bug-infested wilderness around Gillam without shelter and equipment.

The dive team is the latest attempt by the RCMP to bring closure to a manhunt that began more than 3000km away on July 14 in Canada’s western province of British Columbia.

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The bodies of Mr Fowler, 23, from Sydney, and his North Carolina girlfriend Chynna Deese, 24, were found shot dead and left in a ditch on the side of a BC highway.

Four days later on another BC highway the teenagers allegedly murdered botanist Leonard Dyck and then drove 3000km east across Canada’s north to Gillam.

Royal Canadian Air Force planes with infrared and other search technology failed to find the fugitives around Gillam.

Canada has been gripped by the nationwide manhunt.

The Ontario Provincial Police announced on Friday it had set up an investigative team to follow up on potential sightings of Schmegelsky and McLeod in their province.

The OPP received more than 30 tips in less than eight hours on Thursday.

3. “Nothing changes.” Mack Horton stands by his podium protest despite Shayna Jack’s positive test.


Australian swimmer Mack Horton says he still would have staged his anti-doping protest at the world titles in South Korea if he had of known about teammate Shayna Jack’s positive test.

Horton refused to share the podium with Chinese rival Sun Yang, who served a 2014 doping ban, after the triple Olympic champion was allowed to compete ahead of a hearing in September that may end his career.

Unbeknown to Horton, Jack had been sent home from the world titles team training camp after testing positive for Ligandrol, a non-steroid anabolic agent popular with bodybuilders.

“Nothing changes,” Horton told Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program when asked if he would have gone ahead with his protest if he had known.

“We are not hypocrites as long as we are enforcing what we are standing for and I think Australia is definitely standing for clean sport.”

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“As soon as she returns a positive sample, she’s returned to Australia, she’s not competing at a world championships.

“That gives me faith in the Australian system and that Australians demand clean sport and we won’t let our own athletes get away with it. We can question and demand more from the world.”

Horton revealed he had been thinking about staging a protest in the days before the event but had some second thoughts after coming second in the 400m final.

As he walked to the podium for the presentation, he asked Italian swimmer Gabrielle Detti, who placed third, to join him in protest.

“He said ‘no, no, I don’t want to do that,’ which is fair enough, I respect that,” Horton said.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it but I did it at the last minute because I didn’t want to live with the regret thinking back maybe I should have done that at that moment.

“Standing there, it was tense, it was awkward. No one really knew what to do and then all of a sudden the crowd realised what was going on and started applauding and I guess filled me with emotion and I was like ‘OK, this was the right thing to do’.”

He said he had received support from teammates, sponsors and fellow athletes for his stance and was relieved when Scotland’s Duncan Scott staged a second protest against Yang two nights later.

“It was kind of like ‘hey, other people are thinking the same way that you’re thinking, other people believe in what you’re doing’. It was just a kind of pat on the back of support,” Horton said.

“I’d rather just get in the pool and swim my race and not have to worry about all this stuff but when nobody’s doing anything, the athletes have to take over.”

4. A new kids cancer treatment is available for free in Victoria.

A radical cancer therapy helped save Melbourne schoolgirl Violet Uhi but she had to go overseas to get it.

Now other children and their families will be able to access the revolutionary chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in Melbourne for free, with two hospitals to offer the treatment.

The immunotherapy will be available at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Peter McCallum Cancer centre, the state and federal governments announced on Sunday.

The Uhi family travelled to the United States last year after they found out eight-year-old Violet’s acute lymphoblastic leukaemia had come back for the second time.

“It’s frightening not to know what is going to happen to your child and knowing that there’s no available treatment options in Australia, that were affective enough for Violet was really harrowing experience,” mother Tess Uhi told reporters on Sunday.

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The young girl was just four when she was first diagnosed with the blood cancer, and despite rounds of chemotherapy the cancer returned.

But after moving to Seattle for four months last year to get the treatment her cancer is now in remission and Violet is back at school.

“She’s thriving,” Ms Uhi said of her daughter.

The family would have had to sell their house and borrow money if they didn’t receive a grant to pay for the expensive treatment, which can cost around $500,000 per patient.

The program is jointly funded through the Victorian and federal governments and around 30 patients a year will get treatment.

“These brave young people battling cancer will now be able to get the life-saving therapy they need, without going overseas,” Victorian health minister Jenny Mikakos said on Sunday.

Children and other young people from interstate with blood cancer will also be able to access the immunotherapy in Victoria, she said.

Treatments centres for the therapy, known as Kymriah, in other parts of the country are also being planned.

So far the treatment has already been used to treat seven young people in Victoria, the federal health minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday.

He said a process looking to expand the treatment for adults was currently underway.

“I won’t put a timeframe on it but I’m quietly hopefully we can do this at the earliest possible time,” he told reporters.

In 2017, there were 105 new diagnoses for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in Australia and of those 60 were children or young adults.

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5. The Wallaroos could finally beat New Zealand this Sunday.

women's rugby
Image: Getty.

If you thought the Wallabies do it tough against New Zealand, spare a thought for the Australian women's rugby side.

The Wallaroos have never beaten NZ and will take a 0-16 record into Saturday's clash against their arch rival at Optus Stadium.

The match will be played before the Wallabies do battle with the All Blacks at the same venue and the Wallaroos are desperate to break their duck.

Despite the horror record, there is hope.

With more funds being put into women's rugby in Australia and a bigger focus on giving them more Tests, the Wallaroos are on the improve.

The current world No.7s know they will start as rank underdogs against NZ, who have won five of the past six women's World Cups.

But the Wallaroos gained vital confidence from their recent 2-0 series win over Japan, with the cohesion built there giving them belief they are better placed to finally topple the powerful Black Ferns.

"They have always been dominant. It's kind of in their blood," Wallaroos skipper Grace Hamilton said.

"They spend a lot of time together. We've now had that opportunity to spend time together (during that recent series against Japan). This is the best preparation we've ever had.

"I think we've built that belief now. You put yourself in fearful situations to build that belief, that challenging environment.

"We're excited for the challenge. I believe in these girls."

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