news

Friday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Terror Raids

Yesterday's terror raids. (Photo: NSW Police)
Yesterday’s terror raids. (Photo: NSW Police)

Yesterday’s raids – the biggest anti-terrorism operation in Australia’s history saw 15 people detained, two charged and nine released after a plot was uncovered to “shock, horrify, and terrify” the community.

Omarjan Azari, 22 was charged yesterday with preparation/planning for terrorist attack.

Police allege he had a plan to randomly seize a member of the public and behead them before uploading a video of the act to social media.

The Australian reports that according to court documents Mr Azari had been preparing for the attack for several months.

It is alleged that he was working with Mohammad Ali Baryalei, an Australian thought to be in Syria – who previously worked as Kings Cross bouncer and appeared on the show Underbelly: The Golden Mile.

Azari could face a life sentence if convicted.

The second man who was charged was a 24-year old from the Sydney suburb of Merrylands man was charged with possessing ammunition without a license, and unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon.

Fairfax Media reports that he was released on bail, and is due back in court on September 24.

In other developments

  • The Daily Telegraph has reported that the AFP have “picked up “chatter” involving a potential random attack on Parliament House – especially that the Prime Minister and other senior government officials were prime targets. The report goes on to say that the AFP will dramatically increase their presence at Parliament House over the next few days.
  • The Daily Mail reports that over 300 people gathered last night outside Lakemba train station in Sydney to protest the raids. The protest, organised by Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir, saw hundreds of Muslim Australians saying the government is terrorising them.
  • The Age reports that ASIO has seized the passports of several relatives of jailed Melbourne terror cell leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika.
  • The Opposition leader, Bill Shorten has called for the PM to haul backbencher Cory Bernardi into line after he linked burqas to the terrorism raids.  Senator Bernardi tweeted yesterday: “Note burqa wearers in some of the houses raided this morning? This shroud of oppression and flag of fundamentalism is not right in Aust.” Bill Shorten has labeled the comments “stupid and ignorant”.

2. British hostage in video

Meanwhile another British hostage has been shown in an IS propaganda video.

The video is in stark difference to the others with the man, a former journalist who worked for many major British newspapers, sitting behind a desk talking about the Islamic State and how he will expose the “truth behind Islamic State”.

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The video has not been independently verified.

Media organisations are handling this video differently from the last, with some naming him and quoting from the propaganda video – others saying they chose not to name him nor to reveal what he is talking about.

 3. Search for William

The search for William Tyrell is ongoing.

The search for missing three-year old William Tyrell has shifted from bushland near his grandmother’s house where he went missing to a nearby state forest after police expressed the view that the little boy may have been picked up by a car.

Today marks a week since William went missing from the front garden of his grandmother’s home in Kendall.

The ABC reports that Police and SES will conduct a “more evidence-based search” in the Middle Brother State Forest looking for items that may have been dropped or discarded from a vehicle.

They say they have found no evidence to suggest William wandered off into local bushland.

Inspector Paul Fehon said it was baffling what had happened. “The report of a young three year old playing in the backyard and then in the space of five minutes being found to be missing, of course the natural reaction was to search in the heavily dense bushland.

“We can only appeal for people out there, if human intervention took place, someone knows something,” he said.

4. Scotland will remain in the UK: reports

Scotland’s fate to be learnt today.

The Scottish have voted “No” in their referendum for independence.

With 31 out of 32 regions declared, 55.42 per cent had voted against going it alone compared to 44.58 per cent who wanted Scotland to go independent, The Strait Times reports.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond conceded defeat on Friday.

“It’s important to say that our referendum was an agreed and consented process and Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country,” he said.

A total of 4,285,323 people turned out to have their say in the Scottish referendum, in which voters answered “Yes” or “No” to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

5. New Catholic Archbishop

The new Catholic Archbishop has vowed to do better in the church’s response to victims of sexual abuse. The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, has been appointed the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, replacing Cardinal George Pell.

Bishop Anthony said “Victims of abuse and all young people must come first – no excuses, no cover-ups. The Church must do better in this area and I am committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members.”

6. Iphone 6 release

Camping out in Melbourne for the Iphone 6.

Hundreds are queued across the country as the IPhone 6 is released at 8am this morning.

Macrumours reports that hundreds of keen Apple Fans have camped out at the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane stores.

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7. “Whipping is about love”

The mother of US footballer Adrian Peterson who has been indicted on child abuse charges after hitting his four-year old son with a stick has defended her son saying “When you whip those you love, it’s not about abuse, but love.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that Bonita Jackson said her and Peterson’s father, Nelson Peterson, were “big disciplinarians” who used hands, switches and belts to occasionally spank all six of her children.

8. Happy meal con

Happy Meals are a “con.”

An obesity conference has heard that Happy Meals are a con – whereby placing fruit in the boxes only encourages children to desire more junk food.

A study by Liverpool University found that the meals which often contain apple slices don’t lead to children making healthier food choices.

Researchers said the “finding shows the power of McDonald’s branding.”

9. Thailand: the country where you need to be ugly to survive if you wear a bikini

The Thai PM has been forced to apologise after saying that female visitors who wear bikinis may not be safe unless they are ugly.

He was speaking in response to the murder of two British tourists who were found on a Thai island.

“There are always problems with tourist safety,” Prime Minister Prayut told government officials in a televised speech.

“They think our country is beautiful and is safe so they can do whatever they want, they can wear bikinis and walk everywhere. But can they be safe in bikinis… unless they are not beautiful?”

He has now told reporters he is sorry for the comments. “I am sorry with what I said and if it has caused any ill-feelings. I just wanted to warn tourists that we have different traditions and they have to stay on their toes.”

10. Warmest month on record

Just days out from the UN Climate Summit – the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place on climate change the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that the month of August was the warmest month on record since 1880.

It also featured the warmest ocean temperatures ever recorded for any month.

11. PM’s daughter’s scholarship leaker in court

Frances Abbott with her Prime Minister father.

The student who hacked the files of a design school and leaked to the media details of the Prime Minister’s daughter Frances Abbott’s scholarship has pleaded guilty in court.

21-year old Freya Newman admitted to using her position as a part-time librarian at Sydney’s Whitehouse Design Institute to obtain details of a $60,000 scholarship given to Frances Abbott in 2011.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports she faces up to two years in jail and will be sentenced on October 23.

12. Mother sues after daughter killed by luggage conveyor belt at airport

The mother of a five-month-old girl who was fatally crushed by a luggage conveyor belt at an airport is suing the manufacturer.

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The five-month-old baby was strapped to her car seat after a flight to the Spanish airport of Alicante.

Her mother, Nathania Terry, from Maryland in the United States, placed her down on a stationary luggage carousel while she went to grab her stroller.

Her mother then watched as the baby was dragged into the gap between two luggage carousels.

For more read this post here.

13. Golf Club to allow female members

Woman  will be admitted to St Andrews Golf Club.

One of the world’s oldest gold club the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews – and one of the most prestigious in the world, has voted to allow women members.

The 260-year-old club has a membership of approximately 2,500 people – but no females.

For the first time ever, the “home of golf” allowed its members to vote by proxy. 85 % of the members who cast a vote said that women should be allowed as members.

14. Duchess of Cambridge morning sickness

The Duchess is too sick for official duties.

The Duchess of Cambridge has withdrawn from an official trip to Malta due to her severe morning sickness.

Prince William will take her place instead reports The Guardian.

An official statement said “The Duchess of Cambridge will no longer visit Malta this weekend. The Duke of Cambridge will undertake the visit instead”

“Her Royal Highness continues to suffer from the effects of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The decision not to travel was taken by the Duke and Duchess on the advice of the Duchess’s doctor.”

15. Six children dead after US shooting

Six children are dead in Florida after a man shot his grandchildren and daughter before turning the gun on himself.

The incident occurred near Gainesville, The Guardian reports.

“At 4 pm today, Gilchrist County deputies responded to an incident at a residence in Bell… At this time we are asking for prayers as we continue to investigate this incident,” the local sheriff’s office said.

16. Mandatory one-punch law sentences introduced in Victoria

A mandatory 10-year sentence will be imposed under tough new laws introduced to tackle single-blow “coward punches” in Victoria.

Premier Denis Naptine announced the new laws on Wednesday, saying: “There is no place for violence in our community, on our streets, in our pubs and nightclubs. There is no place for violence on our sporting fields or in our homes”.

“This is about sending a clear message that one punch can kill. People should step back and think before they throw a punch,” Dr Napthine said, according to The Australian.

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