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"Hero" teens steer bus to safety after driver has a heart attack

<p>Two teenagers have worked together to steer a school bus to safety after the driver had a heart attack. </p> <p>The pair were among 20 other students from Aquinas College, who were on board the bus yesterday afternoon when the 70-year-old driver had the medical episode. </p> <p>A 15-year-old girl, not yet old enough to drive, and Daniel Knight, a year 12 student sprung to action to stop the bus. </p> <p>"We were only going like five [kilometres an hour], 10 k's, so I was like I better just stop the bus before it gets any worse," Knight said. </p> <p>"She opened the door up, she was calming everyone down."</p> <p>Bennet Rogers, a student on the bus  recalled the moment the incident happened. </p> <p>"Us students on the bus, we didn't know what was happening and everyone was screaming," Rogers said. </p> <p>"She had to steer the bus so we didn't crash into a building," he added. </p> <p>Knight and the 15-year-old girl's actions have been commended by the school in a letter to their parents. </p> <p>The bus driver remains in hospital and is recovering from surgery, and the principal has said that there would be an investigation into what happened. </p> <p>Many are calling for the teen girl to be recognised with a bravery award, with Queensland Premier Steven Miles telling <em>Nine News</em> he would personally nominate her. </p> <p>"She's a hero for that, definitely," another fellow student, Brodie Wilkinson, said.</p> <p>"I really hope she gets an award or something."</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News</em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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Former Home and Away star admits brutal attack on woman

<p>A former <em>Home and Away</em> star has admitted to bashing a woman during a suspected mental health crisis.</p> <p>Orpheus Pledger, 31, faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday via a video link from custody at Ravenhall Correctional Centre. </p> <p>Police prosecutor Fionnuala Kennedy said Pledger attacked the victim repeatedly over a three-month period at a home in Northcote, Melbourne, with one of the attacks captured on a motion-capture camera on March 25. </p> <p>Footage from the camera showed Pledger grabbing the woman's hair, pulling her to the ground and stomping on her head. </p> <p>The court was told that the woman called triple zero at 1.35am to raise concerns Pledger was suffering a “mental health episode", before the line disconnected right after she said “he’s coming.” </p> <p>Officers arrived 15 minutes later and found the woman lying on the floor of her home unable to get up, with Pledger nowhere to be seen.</p> <p>The woman was taken to hospital, where doctors noted that she had bruising on her forehead, a laceration to her cheek, bruising to her right hand and marks on her face and ear.</p> <p>The court was told that he was arrested the following day, but he was unable to be interviewed because of his "erratic behaviour". </p> <p>He was released in April for a court-ordered medical assessment due to concerns for his mental health, but he fled from the hospital on April 23 after a six hour wait. </p> <p>He then returned to the woman's home to collect his things and when asked to leave, he told her: “why, I haven’t done anything”. </p> <p>Police issued a public appeal before he was arrested two days later. </p> <p>Defence lawyer Jasper MacCuspie noted that during that time, his client was unable to get the mental health assessment he required, due to limited resources, saying that it was a widespread issue within the health system.</p> <p>The court heard that there is currently a shortage of ambulance and police resources, which Magistrate Justin Foster labelled as “outrageous”.</p> <p>““The only reason I bailed him at the time was because there was nothing available for him to be  … assessed in a prison setting. And there is no money in the hospital to have these important things assessed,” he said. </p> <p>“There’s a shortage of everything at the moment, it’s outrageous.”</p> <p>MacCuspie also said that his client had begun acting at the age of eight or nine but fell into the wrong crowd, and his drug use escalated in his late 20s when he was declined a role on US TV series <em>The 100</em>. </p> <p>“At the very last minute that fell through. It was a destabilising event,” MacCuspie said.</p> <p>“He aspires towards acting in future, but accepts by virtue of matter that’s a somewhat challenging prospect,” he added. </p> <p>Pledger will be assessed for a community corrections order, but has pleaded guilty to four assault-related charges, and will be sentenced on Wednesday. </p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au/ Channel Seven</em></p>

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Pirates of the Caribbean actor and former pro surfer killed in shark attack

<p>Tamayo Perry, renowned surfer and actor known for his role in <em>Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides</em>, tragically lost his life in a shark attack off Oahu's North Shore on Sunday.</p> <p>The 49-year-old was surfing near Goat Island when the incident occurred, as confirmed by Shayne Enright of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.</p> <p>Perry, who played a buccaneer in the popular movie franchise, had a distinguished career with appearances in films such as <em>Blue Crush</em> and the television series <em>Hawaii Five-O</em>. Beyond his acting career, Perry was celebrated as a former professional surfer and a beloved lifeguard.</p> <p>Responding to an emergency call just before 1pm local time, personnel from Honolulu Ocean Safety, alongside the city's fire, police and emergency medical services departments, rushed to Malaekahana Beach. The caller reported seeing a man who appeared to have suffered shark bites. Lifeguards promptly brought Perry to shore, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival. In response to the attack, Ocean Safety personnel posted shark warnings in the area.</p> <p>"Tamayo's personality was infectious, and as much as people loved him, he loved everyone else more," said Honolulu Ocean Safety acting chief Kurt Lager at a news conference. "Tamayo was a legendary waterman and highly respected," added Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, describing Perry's death as "a tragic loss".</p> <p>Perry, alongside his wife Emilia, ran the Oahu Surfing Experience, a business offering surfing lessons. According to his biography on the company's website, Perry surfed professionally for over 15 years, notably winning the Pipeline Master trials in 1999. He began his career as a lifeguard on the North Shore for the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety in July 2016. That same year, he appeared in <em>Pirates of the Caribbean</em> and an episode of <em>Hawaii Five-0</em>.</p> <p>Perry's wife Emilia shared a heartfelt tribute to her lost husband on Instagram, writing: "We all want to be the hero of our own story, one of the redeeming characteristics of humanity is our desire to follow our convictions always and without fear. Few of us are able to truly be that hero, Tamayo Perry was is and will be forever.</p> <p>"He was everyone’s big brother, stern and uncompromising with an infectious and kolohe smile. He was your rescuer in time of need, your safety when all things fell apart. He was a knight forged in the fires of the North Shore in the 90’s, his faith in Christ the rock upon which he stood. Few are those who truly follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Tamayo never took his eyes off the path.</p> <p>"Tragic though his passing may be, he left this world doing what he loved where he loved to do it. We find strength in knowing he is in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ, trading barrels at Pipeline with his friends that have gone before him."</p> <p>The World Surf League also expressed their condolences in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to share that the surf community lost a beloved icon yesterday. A well-known surfer and lifeguard, Tamayo Perry, passed away after injuries from a shark attack that occurred on the East Side of Oahu. Tamayo was a Pipeline/Teahupo’o specialist, freesurfer, former competitor, and member of the WSL for many years. He became a lifeguard for the city and was a big part of the North Shore community. Our hearts go out to Tamayo’s family and friends."</p> <p>Perry's passing has left a profound void in both the surfing and local communities, where he was deeply admired for his skills, charisma and generous spirit.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C8nL-QeS5C2/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C8nL-QeS5C2/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Tamayo Perry (@oahusurfingexperience)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em>Image: Walt Disney Studios | Instagram</em></p>

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Heartwarming update for baby stabbed during Bondi attack

<p>Six weeks on from the devastating Bondi Junction Westfield stabbing that claimed the lives of six people, the nine-month-old baby who was attacked is continuing her recovery. </p> <p>Baby Harriet was at the shopping centre with her mother, Dr Ashlee Good, when Joel Cauchi began his crazed attack on shoppers. </p> <p>One of Dr Good's final acts was to thrust Harriet into the arms of strangers begging them to "please help, help". </p> <p>Dr Good, an osteopath, tragically died from her injuries but Harriet miraculously survived and was released from hospital on April 21st.</p> <p>Since the attack, kind-hearted Australians have since donated $830,040 on a dedicated <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/Ash-Good" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> page to give Dr Good's partner, Dan, and little Harriet "the freedom to go forward into the future without financial burden or worry".</p> <p>"Ash was a ray of sunshine and positivity in every aspect of her life and died a hero saving her little girl from the most unspeakable evil," GoFundMe organiser Steven Foxwell wrote. </p> <p>The donations are still pouring in from friends and strangers alike, often accompanied by heartbreaking messages. </p> <p>"Although I did not know Ashlee, I was deeply touched by her bravery and great maternal love, and my heart goes out to all of you at this difficult time," one person wrote. </p> <p>"I'm so sorry for your horrific loss. I hope the money raised here gives you the freedom to go forward and continue living your lives in a way that would make Ash proud," a second added.</p> <p>"As a mother of two, this really truly caused my heart to ache in a way I haven't felt for a long time," a third said.</p> <p>"I wish for this little girl so much happiness and light in her future. I can't even imagine all the different ways the family are feeling right now."</p> <p>Nicola Britton, the Regional Director for GoFundMe Australia, said that the fundraiser is currently the second-largest in Australia for 2024, trailing only behind another fundraiser focused on humanitarian relief for Gaza. </p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe</em></p>

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Miss World Australia attacked outside shopping centre

<p>Miss World Australia has taken aim at the lack of police response after she called Triple Zero for urgent assistance when she was attacked. </p> <p>Jasmine Stringer was running a workshop with a group of aspiring young pageant contestants at a Gold Coast shopping centre on Friday night, when a woman lunged towards the group in a random attack.</p> <p>"This person was hurling abuse at the young girls and then charged at me from across the road and punched me straight in the face," Jasmine told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/miss-world-australia-and-children-attacked-during-gold-coast-shopping-centre-event/cf15799c-99e7-45ee-b143-519bcff1114f" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today</em></a>.</p> <p>"I fended her off and then she turned her sights to a 14-year-old girl."</p> <p>While doing her best to protect herself and the young girls, Jasmine called Triple Zero for assistance.</p> <p>As the young girls fled from the scene, Jasmine waited for police - or members of the public - to help, and was met with no response.</p> <p>"I guess the most concerning part of this whole story for me is that I called Triple Zero, we are in the Southport CBD of the Gold Coast, less than three kilometres from the police station and in a 15-minute time frame when women and children are being assaulted, there was no one turning up to help," the 27-year-old said.</p> <p>"I stayed there for 20 minutes on the call with the dispatcher and I was starting to get stressed, this woman was still physically attacking these children as they're trying to get into cars and taxis and it was escalating and I asked 'is someone coming?' and they were quite dismissive to me."</p> <p>As part of her Miss World Australia advocacy work, Jasmine has devoted a lot of time and effort into preventing violence against women, and says this attack is the second time within a month that she's called for help from police after witnessing a violent incident and there's been nobody there to help.</p> <p>'I'm going to go to the police station today just make sure that the report is made and hopefully have the person who attacked us charged," she said.</p> <p>"But at this point in time, I've received no follow up from the police and it's been a really distressing situation."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today </em></p>

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Hollywood legend targeted on the street in unprovoked attack

<p>During an increase in unprovoked attacks in New York City, a Hollywood A-lister has been targeted in broad daylight. </p> <p>Actor Steve Buscemi was strolling through Kips Bay in mid-town Manhattan last Wednesday when a man walked up and struck the actor in an attack just before midday.</p> <p>The attack on the 66-year-old star is one of the latest unprovoked assaults in the five boroughs, law enforcement sources told <a href="https://nypost.com/2024/05/12/us-news/boardwalk-empire-star-steve-buscemi-attacked-by-rock-wielding-maniac-in-nyc/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The New York Post</em></a>.</p> <p>The actor, who starred in <em>Fargo</em> and <em>Boardwalk Empire</em>, suffered swelling to his face and left eye and was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.</p> <p>His attacker fled the scene and is still at large, according to police. </p> <p>“Steve Buscemi was assaulted in Mid-Town Manhattan, another victim of a random act of violence in the city,” Buscemi’s publicist said in a statement to <em>The Post</em>.</p> <p>“He is OK and appreciates everyone’s well wishes, though incredibly sad for everyone that this has happened to while also walking the streets of New York.”</p> <p>A worker in the area who witnessed part of the assault told the publication, “I saw he was with a woman, and then through the corner of the window I saw him trip and fall backwards.”</p> <p>“He right away got up and ran in the opposite direction. I didn’t see who hit him."</p> <p>“It worries me for when we close because we close at 11 and it can get scary around that time,” said the woman.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock / NYCPD</em></p>

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Bishop's extraordinary message after stabbing attack

<p>The bishop who was stabbed multiple times while delivering a church service has spoken out while he recovers in hospital, issuing a message to his attacker. </p> <p>Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was one of <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/teenage-boy-in-custody-after-stabbing-at-sydney-church" target="_blank" rel="noopener">four people stabbed</a> by a teenager at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, in Sydney's west on Monday, with the shocking incident being captured by a livestream camera. </p> <p>The 55-year-old preacher is still recovering in hospital, but has shared a message to the young man who attacked him. </p> <p>“I say to him, you’re my son, I love you. And I will always pray for you,” he said in an audio message shared to the church’s social media.</p> <p>“And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well. In Jesus mighty name. I have nothing in my heart but love for everyone."</p> <p>“Whether that person is a Christian or not, it’s totally beside the point. The Lord Jesus always taught us to love one another…"</p> <p>“And for this young man, I say to you, you’re my son, and you will always be, my praise my the Lord Jesus.”</p> <p>A 16-year-old has been under police guard since the attack on Monday night, although no charges have yet be laid. </p> <p>Counter-terrorism police have been stationed at the hospital ready to interview the teen once he is released by medical staff, with the lengthy process expected to lead to charges being laid.</p> <p>The boy has undergone surgery in relation to the severed finger and could require further operations. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

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"What has to happen?" Kyle Sandilands' controversial take after knife attacks

<p>Kyle Sandilands has shared his controversial opinion on arming security guards in the wake of two violent stabbing attacks in Sydney. </p> <p>On Saturday, six people were killed at the hands of Joel Cauchi who went on a stabbing rampage through Bondi Junction Westfield, while on Monday night, a teenage boy stabbed a bishop and a priest during a church service in western Sydney. </p> <p>One of Joel Cauchi's victims was Faraz Tahir, a security guard at the shopping centre, while another guard was injured during the rampage. </p> <p>In the days after the eastern suburbs tragedy, Kyle, who has a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/kyle-sandilands-family-member-among-first-victims-stabbed-in-bondi" target="_blank" rel="noopener">connection</a> to one of the people injured during Cauchi's attack, launched into a tirade live on-air, calling for security guards to be given firearms. </p> <p>"I saw the [NSW] premier [Chris Minns] last night on TV saying firearms for security guards are not on the agenda. And I was like, 'Well, what has to happen before a security guard can actually secure the place for us?'" Sandilands raged. </p> <p>"Every shopping centre and every school should have armed security guards, trained specialists, not just some guy getting a little firearms licence. I mean, proper trained."</p> <p>Most retail security staff in NSW are unarmed, with batons classified as prohibited weapons that require special licensing and training. </p> <p>"There's people that work at Westfield, for example, women that work in shops that have told their husbands, 'I ain't never going back to Westfield. I'm never going back to work again'," Sandilands continued, adding that those retail workers are "traumatised forever" following Saturday's stabbings. </p> <p>Sandilands' opinions have been echoed by fellow controversial broadcaster Ray Hadley, who on Monday demanded on his 2GB Sydney radio show that security guards be armed across the state.</p> <p>"For years I've been arguing that all security guards in the state in hospitals and shopping centres should be better equipped," he said. </p> <p>"And these poor security guards, unarmed, unable to do what they should do - protecting the people that they are there to protect."</p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em></p>

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Royals issue heartfelt statement after Bondi attack

<p>The Prince and Princess of Wales have shared a heartfelt message to the victims and survivors of the deadly <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-of-bondi-killer-break-silence" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stabbing attack</a> at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday. </p> <p>William and Kate took to Instagram to share the statement, after six people were killed and 12 others injured following the violent attack. </p> <p>"We are shocked and saddened by the terrible events in Sydney earlier today," the royals wrote on Saturday. </p> <p>"Our thoughts are with all those affected, including the loved ones of those lost and the heroic emergency responders who risked their own lives to save others."</p> <p>Tributes have also poured in for the other victims, who were tragically killed in the attack. </p> <p>Dawn Singleton, 25, was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/i-am-so-heartbroken-tributes-flow-for-bride-to-be-stabbing-victim" target="_blank" rel="noopener">planning her wedding </a>at the time of the stabbing, and was shopping for make-up before she was tragically killed by Joel Cauchi. </p> <p>“Dawn, I should be writing your wedding speech, but instead I sit here sobbing,” her friend Jade O’Connor wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>“This year you were meant to get married to the love of your life — I’m so heartbroken and (I) can’t believe this reality.”</p> <p>Ashlee Good, 38, died protecting her baby girl from Cauchi, after passing her injured 9-month-old to bystanders. </p> <p>Her family have said that they were "reeling from the terrible loss of Ashlee, a beautiful mother, daughter, sister, partner, friend, all-round outstanding human and so much more".</p> <p>Faraz Tahir, 30, a security guard working at the shopping centre, reportedly started his first day shift at the centre on the day that he was murdered. </p> <p>“It’s very tragic news — this is something which you don’t expect at all,”  his friend Adnan Qadir told <em>Sunrise</em>. </p> <p>“It is hard for me to fathom he was with me 72 hours before the tragedy and then we lost him in such circumstances.”</p> <p>“He was a great guy — he keeps other people’s interests ahead of his own.</p> <p>“Had a lot of ambition for his future ... Just settling into his new country.</p> <p>“He was looking forward to a stable career, to make a family up here. It is just sad how it all ended up," Qadir said. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty/ Instagram</em></p>

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Christchurch attack victims' families reflect on tragedy five years on

<p>It's been five years since 51 men, women and children, were murdered in a terror attack when a white supremacist opened fire at Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.</p> <p>Now, the victims' families have reflected on the tragic day, and commemorated their loved ones on the five-year anniversary of the attacks.</p> <p>Dr Maysoon Salama, who lost her son Atta Elayyan, 33, relives the grief of losing her son every day.</p> <p>“The pain is still fresh,” she told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>Five years on, the good memories she shared with her son still play back in her mind.</p> <p>“Atta was an amazing son,” she said. “He’s touched the lives of so many people.”</p> <p>Despite the tragedy, Dr Salama remains strong and finds herself healing through her granddaughter Aya.</p> <p>“I feel like I see her father when I see her,” she said.</p> <p>“It’s a really hard journey ... but she has always been my focus.”</p> <p>Aya was two when she lost her father, and Dr Salama was faced with the heartbreaking task of helping her granddaughter adjust to a life without her father.</p> <p>“When I look her in the eyes and she will ask, ‘Where is my dad?’, what am I going to tell her?” she recalled thinking.</p> <p>“How are we going to tell her when she’s so attached to her daddy? She loved him so much.”</p> <p>Dr Salama's husband, Mohammad Alayan, was among the dozens of people hospitalised following the attack, with doctors at the time saying he was “lucky to survive”.</p> <p>“He had been shot twice. One in his head and it affected his vision and one in his shoulder and she said it was just a few millimetres away from his heart,” Maysoon said.</p> <p>The couple run a Muslim childcare centre An-Nur, and have worked together to help children navigate New Zealand's darkest days.</p> <p>She recalled the sinking feeling when she first heard of the attacks while at work, and how her husband's first instinct was to tell her to protect herself and everyone at the childcare centre.</p> <p>“I got a call from my husband and he told me he was in hospital and that I have a big responsibility to protect the children and the teachers and lock down, close the doors because he was afraid the shooter would also come to our place because we are a Muslim childcare centre,” she said.</p> <p>“More families who were distressed started coming to pick up their children, and some of them even had blood on their shirts, some of them witnessed the thing.</p> <p>“It was really an awful situation.”</p> <p>Not long after, she learned that her own son had also been injured, but at the time had no idea of the reality of it all.</p> <p>Aya Al-Umari lost her brother, Hussein, on the fateful day.</p> <p>“It happened so suddenly, I had no time to grieve,” she said.</p> <p>Hussein spent the last moments of his life protecting other people, and even though Aya misses his hugs more than anything, she takes comfort in knowing that her brother's legacy will live on.</p> <p>“He had the opportunity to escape, but he didn’t,” she said.</p> <p>“He was running towards the terrorist.</p> <p>“It really goes to show, especially in his last moments, he was always a giver.”</p> <p>Both Aya and Dr Salama both take comfort in the belief that their loved ones died as as a Shahid – a true martyr who died in the name of their faith in Islam.</p> <p>Dr Salama hopes that the findings from last year’s coronial inquest, expected to be handed down this year, will provide a sense of closure to the victims' families.</p> <p>She also hopes that people will use the fifth anniversary of the shootings to reflect on the work that is yet to be done and call for more action in fighting Islamophobia and extremism.</p> <p>“We can fight Islamophobia by challenging the biases and educating ourselves also and intervening against discrimination.</p> <p>“See something, say something.”</p> <p>Canterbury's Muslim community will also gather today to honour the victims with a commemoration service at Masjid Annur in the evening, according to<em> <a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/511744/muslims-mark-5th-anniversary-of-christchurch-mosque-terror-attacks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">RNZ</a></em>.</p> <p>Brenton Tarrant, who was behind the terror attacks, was sentenced to life in jail without parole – the first person in New Zealand's history to receive the sentence because his actions were deemed "so wicked".</p> <p><em>Images: 7News</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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"Cringe worthy": Viewers left speechless after star attacks Elmo

<p>Viewers were left shocked after comedian Larry David unexpectedly attacked Elmo during their appearance on the latest episode of the <em>US Today show</em>.</p> <p>The 76-year-old was there to promote the final season of <em>Curb Your Enthusiasm</em>, while Elmo was in the studio alongside his dad Louie to talk about the importance of mental health resources. </p> <p>As the show was transitioning from segment to segment, David walked over to Elmo and smushed his face in before taking a swing at Elmo's dad. </p> <p>The attack caught the show's hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin, off-guard and they began shouting at his ill-timed act. </p> <p>“Oh, my gosh, you love Elmo, don’t you?” Guthrie said to David as an equally shocked Melvin exclaimed, “Oh, my God!”</p> <p>While Elmo didn't seem too bothered by the encounter, the 76-year-old was lectured by muppet dad Louie for his strange act. </p> <p>“Ask permission before you touch people, Larry,” Louie said.</p> <p>“Get back on the couch and let’s talk about how you feel,” Elmo added.</p> <p>Guthrie also called out David's inappropriate act and said: “Larry, you’ve gone too far this time." </p> <p>Although the <em>Seinfeld </em>star was later on forced to apologise to the plush duo and Elmo accepted his apology, the situation left many viewers disgruntled, given the topic matter that Elmo was there to discuss. </p> <p>“Larry David ruined a beautiful story,” one person commented on a video of the segment shared to Instagram. </p> <p>“I felt like I was watching Will Smith all over again. Very sad.”</p> <p>“I must say, I was shocked – it was cringe worthy,” another person wrote. </p> <p>“I love Larry David, but he should have stayed seated until his own segment.”</p> <p>“Although you tried to play it off, Larry David totally messed it up … guess no one told him the theme of the segment” a third shocked viewer added.</p> <p><em>Image: US Today Show/ Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

TV

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Leaker of gruesome shark attack photo revealed

<p>The New South Wales Ambulance Service is facing criticism and backlash after a staff member <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/leaked-photo-of-sydney-shark-victim-sparks-urgent-probe" target="_blank" rel="noopener">leaked a graphic image</a> of the wounded leg of Sydney shark attack victim Lauren O'Neill.</p> <p>The incident occurred after O'Neill fell victim to a bull shark attack in Sydney Harbour, just metres away from her residence. This breach of privacy has not only added to the distress of O'Neill and her loved ones but has raised serious concerns about the protection of patient confidentiality.</p> <p>The graphic image, taken inside the emergency room as medical professionals worked to stabilise O'Neill, was shared online by a member of the NSW Ambulance staff. This action not only violates the fundamental principle of patient privacy but also calls into question the ethical conduct expected from healthcare professionals in such sensitive situations.</p> <p>NSW Ambulance issued a public apology, acknowledging the breach of privacy and expressing sincere regret for the additional distress caused to O'Neill and her family.</p> <p>The statement also revealed that discussions with O'Neill's family led them to believe that a NSW Ambulance staff member was responsible for the privacy breach.</p> <p>“NSW Ambulance sincerely apologises to Ms O’Neill for the breach of her privacy and the additional distress it has caused her and her loved ones at this most difficult time,” a spokesperson said. “We spoke with Ms O’Neill’s family this afternoon and informed them that we believe a NSW Ambulance staff member was responsible for the breach of her privacy.</p> <p>“NSW Ambulance takes its patient privacy obligations very seriously and is continuing to investigate this breach to determine the full details of the incident.”</p> <p>St Vincent's Hospital, where Ms. O'Neill was taken for urgent medical attention, has launched its own investigation into the matter, along with the involvement of NSW Police. The gravity of the situation is underscored by the fact that O'Neill's right leg was in jeopardy, and the medical teams worked tirelessly to save it.</p> <p>O'Neill, a microbiologist, has expressed her gratitude to the heroic neighbours, to NSW Ambulance paramedics, Kings Cross Police and the surgical teams at St Vincent's Hospital for their swift and caring actions. However, the unfortunate leak of the graphic image has marred what should have been a focus on her recovery and gratitude towards those who aided her in the aftermath of the terrifying attack.</p> <p>As O'Neill transitions from the Intensive Care Unit to a recovery ward, it is crucial for the public to reflect on the importance of patient privacy and the trust placed in healthcare professionals during moments of vulnerability. The breach has sparked outrage among the public, with many demanding accountability and stricter measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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9/11 victim’s remains identified nearly 23 years after terror attack

<p dir="ltr">Almost 23 years on from the deadly attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York, a victim’s remains have been identified. </p> <p dir="ltr">John Ballantine Niven, 44, was an executive at Aon Risk Services, an insurance firm on the 105th floor of Tower Two of the Trade Centre complex in September 2001. </p> <p dir="ltr">Niven is the 1,650th victim identified from the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil, when hijackers crashed planes into the Twin Towers, killing 2,753 people on September 11th. </p> <p dir="ltr">At the time of his death, he left behind a wife and an 18-month-old son, with his body remaining unidentified until now. </p> <p dir="ltr">“While the pain from the enormous losses on September 11th never leaves us, the possibility of new identifications can offer solace to the families of victims,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m grateful for the ongoing work from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner that honours the memory of John Ballantine Niven and all those we lost.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In recent years, the medical examiner’s office has been utilising modern advanced DNA technology to identify victims through their remains. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We will forever remember our heroes who perished on 9/11 and we appreciate the continuous efforts of forensic experts to help identify victims,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said in a separate statement. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re hopeful that this amazing advance in technology helps bring peace to Niven’s family and allows him to eternally rest in peace.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Roughly 40 percent of victims of the World Trade Centre attack have yet to have their remains identified, as few full bodies were recovered when the towers collapsed.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 13pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;"><em>Image credits: Getty Images / legacy.com </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d265186e-7fff-17e5-ac35-9495d9fb314a"></span></p>

Caring

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Devastating update after doctor attacked at home

<p>Prominent Adelaide doctor and former head of the intensive care unit at Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Dr Michael Yung, who fell victim to a brutal assault during a home invasion, has tragically succumbing to life-threatening injuries at the age of 61.</span></p> <p>The news of Dr Yung's death sent shockwaves through the medical community, with the state's Health Minister, Chris Picton, expressing profound sorrow. In a statement, he spoke of Dr Yung's unwavering dedication to healing others, particularly the most vulnerable children in South Australia. The abrupt loss has left the entire SA Health family grappling with grief, as they remember a man who dedicated his life to serving those in their darkest times.</p> <p>As the investigation into the incident unfolds, Detective Superintendent Des Bray revealed a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/prominent-aussie-doctor-fighting-for-life-after-violent-home-invasion" target="_blank" rel="noopener">chilling sequence of events</a> leading up to the fatal assault. In the days preceding Dr Yung's attack, a wave of home break-ins and car thefts plagued the affluent suburbs. The community of Medindie, adjacent to Dr Yung's residence, witnessed a series of intrusions, with surveillance capturing the haunting image of five youths attempting to break into a home.</p> <p><strong>IMPORTANT EDITOR'S UPDATE:</strong></p> <p>South Australian Police have swiftly taken action, announcing the arrest of a 22-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman from Thebarton in connection with the crime. The arrests took place in Torrensville, where the suspects were apprehended on Tuesday evenin. The charges laid against the pair include not only murder but also aggravated serious criminal trespass and committing theft using force.</p> <p>Police have indicated that the investigation is progressing, with detectives diligently working on the case. Authorities have reassured the public that no additional suspects are being sought in connection with Dr Yung's alleged murder. Furthermore, there appears to be no discernible link between the arrested individuals and those sought in connection with a recent crime spree across Adelaide, providing a measure of relief to residents.</p> <p>While the Adelaide Major Crime Unit continues to work on the case, authorities are urging anyone with further information or dashcam footage from the vicinity to come forward.</p> <p><em>Images: SA Police / Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital</em></p>

Caring

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Supernatural star has six heart attacks and dies four times

<p><em>Supernatural </em>star Mark Sheppard recently shared a harrowing experience that left fans and well-wishers in disbelief.</p> <p>The 59-year-old actor disclosed that he had faced six massive heart attacks over the weekend, defying the odds by surviving – despite dying and being revived four times during the ordeal.</p> <p>Sheppard recounted the dramatic incident in an Instagram post from his hospital bed, detailing how he collapsed in his kitchen at home. Urgently rushed to the hospital, medical professionals discovered a "100 per cent blockage" in his left anterior descending artery (LAD), a vital blood vessel supplying the front of the left side of the heart, according to John Hopkins Medicine.</p> <p>The actor expressed profound gratitude to his wife, the Los Angeles Fire Department at Mulholland, and the dedicated staff at Providence California St Joseph's, saying that without their prompt intervention, his chances of survival would have been "virtually nil".</p> <p>Despite the severity of the situation, Sheppard's resilience shone through. In his Instagram post, he shared the astonishing news of being resuscitated four times after experiencing the six massive cardiac events. The actor, best known for his role as the demon and King of Hell Crowley in <em>Supernatural</em>, acknowledged the miracle of his survival and thanked the medical professionals who played a crucial role in his recovery.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C0XZqCtSYeO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C0XZqCtSYeO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Mark Sheppard (@realmarksheppard)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the midst of his health crisis, Sheppard took a moment to express his gratitude for the support and care he received. His fans, too, flooded the comment section with well-wishes and messages of relief. One fan, acknowledging the actor's miraculous survival, commented, "All the best to you and your family!" Another, an experienced emergency room nurse, exclaimed, "As a 20-year ER nurse, you are a miracle!"</p> <p>Sheppard wrapped up his post on a positive note, announcing that he is on the mend, soon to be heading home, and "feeling great".</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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New fines of over $100k for owners of dogs that attack a person

<p>Queensland is taking a strong stance on dog attacks with the introduction of new legislation aimed at holding owners accountable for the actions of their pets.</p> <p>The proposed laws, set to be introduced into the state parliament, come as a response to the increasing incidents of serious harm caused by dangerous dogs. If passed, the legislation will not only significantly increase fines for irresponsible dog owners but will also enforce a ban on five specific breeds deemed as posing a higher risk.</p> <p>The breeds targeted by the legislation include Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario. These breeds have been singled out due to their perceived potential for aggression and the severity of harm they can inflict. The legislation aims to mitigate the risks associated with these breeds by implementing strict measures.</p> <p>Under the proposed legislation, owners whose dogs cause death or grievous bodily harm and have not taken "reasonable steps" to prevent such incidents could face fines of up to $108,000. This marks a significant increase from the current fines outlined in the Animal Management Act. Additionally, the legislation introduces the possibility of a maximum three-year jail term for owners found guilty of negligence in preventing their dogs from causing harm.</p> <p>The laws assure that dogs of the prohibited breeds won't be euthanised. Instead, they will be "grandfathered out", meaning they will not be allowed to have puppies. Furthermore, the legislation puts a halt to the importation of these breeds into Queensland, aiming to curb the growth of the population of potentially dangerous dogs.</p> <p>Mark Furner, Queensland's agriculture minister, emphasised that these laws are designed to put dog owners on notice to be responsible. He pointed out that over the last decade, there has been a 64% increase in emergency department presentations due to attacks by dangerous dogs. Furner stated, "On average each year, councils in Queensland declare 500 dogs as dangerous," highlighting the need for a legislative framework that addresses irresponsible ownership.</p> <p>The new legislation is geared towards making the community safer by placing a heightened focus on the owners of dogs deemed irresponsible. Furner shared a harrowing incident involving a toddler girl who suffered severe wounds from a dog attack, underlining the urgency of such laws to prevent similar tragedies. Notably, 81% of dog attacks in Queensland on average are reported to involve children.</p> <p>In addition to the penalties for serious incidents, the legislation grants local council officers the authority to issue fines to owners who exhibit a "lack of control" over their dogs at off-leash parks. This provision aims to ensure that owners maintain control over their pets, even in public spaces where they may interact with other dogs and people.</p> <p>Queensland's proposed legislation marks a significant step towards promoting responsible dog ownership and safeguarding the community from the risks associated with dangerous breeds. If successfully passed, these laws could serve as a model for other regions grappling with similar issues related to dog attacks and irresponsible ownership.</p> <p><em>Image: Britannica</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"That's cheap": Tim Minchin attacked by former senator over emotional moment

<p>In the wake of tragedy, renowned Australian musician and comedian Tim Minchin faced an unexpected wave of criticism from former government minister Amanda Vanstone.</p> <p>Minchin, who recently <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/tim-minchin-s-tragic-mid-show-announcement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shared the heartbreaking news</a> of his mother's death during a concert in Sydney, was accused by Vanstone of "cheapening" the experience by making it public. The public response to Vanstone's comments was swift and overwhelmingly negative.</p> <p>During last Friday night's concert, Minchin bared his soul to the audience, disclosing that his beloved mother, Ros, had been battling terminal blood cancer for three years. The emotionally charged performance included anecdotes about his mother's life, interspersed with songs he had composed in her honour. The devastating climax came when Minchin revealed that his mother had passed away just a day before, at the age of 74.</p> <p>In a late-night tweet following the performance, former Senator Amanda Vanstone criticised Minchin for sharing such a personal and private moment with the public. </p> <p>"Losing a parent is hard," Vanstone wrote. "Whatever age and however expected. But to me it’s a private grief. Making it public seems to cheapen it, make it marketable."</p> <p>The comments struck a nerve with many, igniting a firestorm of backlash on social media.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Losing a parent is hard. Whatever age and however expected. But to me it’s a private grief. Making it public seems to cheapen it, make it marketable : Tim Minchin stuns audience with sad announcement <a href="https://t.co/tSK3LhhvlX">https://t.co/tSK3LhhvlX</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/newscomauHQ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@newscomauHQ</a></p> <p>— Amanda Vanstone (@amandavanstone) <a href="https://twitter.com/amandavanstone/status/1724032047511916677?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 13, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Readers expressed their indignation at Vanstone's perceived lack of empathy, with many arguing that everyone processes grief differently and that Minchin's decision to share his pain was a personal choice. Some accused Vanstone of disrespecting Minchin's right to grieve in his own way, and others called for her to retract her statement.</span></p> <p>"Shut down your account you heartless crone - but then you've always been that. However, you've never been cheap - with our money," read one angry post. </p> <p>"It brings those who have lost their parent together to share their grief. As someone who lost their mum to cancer at a young age, this sharing is what gets me and many others through. You’re entitled to privacy. He’s entitled to share and not be labeled as opportunistic," read a second comment.</p> <p>"Imagine disrespecting someone’s right to grieve in a way of their choosing. That’s cheap," another said.</p> <p>Among the many voices condemning Vanstone's comments, an overwhelming outpouring of support for Tim Minchin also emerged. Fans commended the artist for his courage in continuing with the show despite the family tragedy. Many emphasised that sharing grief in a public space can be a source of solace and connection for those who have experienced similar losses. The consensus among Minchin's supporters was that his decision to proceed with the concert demonstrated strength and resilience.</p> <p>Minchin, undeterred by the controversy, has continued his nationwide tour, receiving rave reviews for his performances. On Instagram, he shared a glowing tribute from a concertgoer, underscoring the beauty of his show and its impact on the audience. The positive response to his performances served as a powerful rebuttal to those who criticised him for sharing his grief publicly.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram / X</em></p>

Caring

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Australian grandmother confirmed dead in Hamas attacks

<p>The first Australian victim in the devastating Hamas attacks in Israel has been confirmed as a Sydney-born grandmother. </p> <p>Galit Carbone, 66, was found outside her home in a small Israel community, 5km from the Gaza Strip, after being killed in a "senseless act of violence". </p> <p>The Carbone's, along with the Australian Jewish community, are "heartbroken" over her untimely death. </p> <p>Galit's cousin Julian Cappe and his wife Lisa, who live in Rose Bay, told the <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/ginette-carbone-named-as-first-australian-victim-in-brutal-israel-conflict/news-story/e0a24a32eb90c744f77d43afcb715d36" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Herald Sun</em></a> that the family in Israel were in “a state of numb shock” as they tried to put the pieces together of her horrifying final moments. </p> <p>“Over the last few days they’ve just gone through all the ranges of emotion, from hearing what happened to thinking that she’s been a prisoner to hearing confirmation that she was killed,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Cappe said the family’s grief had been magnified by the brutal nature her death.</p> <p>“The idea that terrorists could walk into such a peaceful place and find an elderly, a 66 year old lady, and other elderly people and gun them down in cold blood. It’s just devastating to feel that such a thing could happen,” he said.</p> <p>Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said she was “devastated” by the news. </p> <p>“This is heartbreaking news this morning for the family of (Ms Carbone), her community here in Australia … our hearts absolutely go out to her,” she told <a href="https://7news.com.au/video/news/terrorism/an-australian-victim-in-one-of-the-attacks-by-hamas-has-been-identified-bc-6338799487112?utm_campaign=share-icons&amp;utm_source=clipboard&amp;utm_medium=clipboard&amp;tid=1696965898991" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>“I’m devastated for the people who knew her, but also the broader Jewish Australian community."</p> <p>“We’ve got brothers and sisters of the Jewish religion around our country who are suffering greatly from what is a brutal, violent, abhorrent and completely unjustified act of terrorism against their country and their citizens.</p> <p>“What’s happened here is a senseless act of violence, that will get more violent, and the Australian government condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”</p> <p>After being born and raised in Sydney, Galit Carbone decided to relocate to raise her children, as she moved to Israel where she was working as a librarian. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Courtesy of the Carbone family</em></p>

Caring

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Why did Hamas attack, and why now? What does it hope to gain?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-parmeter-932739">Ian Parmeter</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>In hindsight, the drivers of Hamas’s startlingly well-planned, land-sea-air attack on Israel on Saturday were in plain sight.</p> <p>The operation reflects a pattern of four wars and regular outbreaks of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza since 2005, when Israel withdrew its military posts and <a href="https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/middle-east-gaza-withdrawal">forcibly removed</a> 9,000 Israeli settlers from the territory.</p> <p>Each time Hamas has launched rockets at Israel or engaged in similar provocations, it has drawn heavy retaliation from Israel in the form of major bombings on the Gaza Strip. Hamas, however, seems to regard this as a cost of doing business.</p> <p>An important factor motivating Hamas towards violence is that it has to watch its flanks. Other smaller, but increasingly extremist groups, are contesting its authority in Gaza, notably Palestinian Islamic Jihad.</p> <p>These groups have, at times, independently launched rocket attacks on Israel, which bring retribution on the whole territory.</p> <p>On top of this, the Israeli government formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last December is the most right wing in Israeli history. This government has made no secret of its desire to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/28/benjamin-netanyahu-government-makes-west-bank-settlement-expansion-its-priority">annex</a> the West Bank and has permitted significant expansion of Jewish settlements in the territory, which are illegal under <a href="https://press.un.org/en/2016/sc12657.doc.htm">international law</a>.</p> <p>That has led to conflict between settlers and young West Bank Palestinians, who in the past year have formed a loose grouping known as the “<a href="https://www.economist.com/1843/2023/07/07/inside-the-lions-den-the-west-banks-gen-z-fighters">Lions’ Den</a>”.</p> <p>This grouping, comprising independent militants with apparently no central control, has scant regard for the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank and is led by the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian Authority has little real administrative, security or moral authority in the territory.</p> <p>The “Lions’ Den” also vies with Gaza militant groups for influence among Palestinian youth – both in Gaza and the West Bank.</p> <p>Added to this, a minister in Netanyahu’s coalition, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/27/europe/ben-gvir-visit-israel-jerusalem-intl/index.html">Itamar Ben-Gvir</a>, has visited the Temple Mount, the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest shrines in Islam. This was considered a provocation by all Palestinians – both in the West Bank and Gaza. Further angering Palestinians, Israeli tourists also <a href="https://apnews.com/article/christians-jerusalem-old-city-spitting-524b3b8e92beb4c947b3b8b49e80cc45">travelled</a> to the site over the recent Sukkot holiday.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/september-28-2000-ariel-sharon-visits-the-temple-mount-sparking-the-second-intifada/">visit</a> to the Temple Mount by Ariel Sharon in 2000, then the leader of the opposition in Israel’s government, is generally regarded as the spark that ignited the Second Intifada from 2000-2005.</p> <p>Under an agreement predating Israel’s foundation, Jordan has <a href="https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20231004-jordan-sends-memo-of-protest-to-israel-over-al-aqsa-settler-incursions/">custodianship</a> of the Al-Aqsa religious complex. Israel aimed to respect Jordan’s role when it signed the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1994. But Palestinians see the visits by Israeli ministers and non-Muslim tourists as disrespectful of the sanctity of the site and counter to this undertaking.</p> <p>Hamas has also claimed these visits have led to the desecration of the Al-Aqsa site, an argument obviously aimed at winning support from Muslims throughout the Arab and wider Islamic world.</p> <h2>Why attack now?</h2> <p>Significantly, Hamas has named its action “<a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2023/10/8/there-is-nothing-surprising-about-hamass-operation">Operation Al-Aqsa Flood</a>”. This provides some clues to the primary reason for striking at this time, which emphasises what Hamas sees as Israeli acts of desecration of a holy Islamic site.</p> <p>However, an additional motivating factor was likely the increasing tendency of Arab states to make peace agreements with Israel, as evidenced by the <a href="https://www.state.gov/the-abraham-accords/">2020 Abraham Accords</a>, involving the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.</p> <p>There has recently been strong speculation that Saudi Arabia is about to make its own agreement with Israel.</p> <p>This is of great concern to all Palestinians, not just those in the West Bank, as it further reduces pressure on Israel to reach a settlement with them. Netanyahu has made clear in his public statements that he prioritises peace with Arab states over eventual peace with the Palestinians.</p> <p>Hamas does not recognise Israel, but has said it would <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna24235665">observe a truce</a> if Israel withdrew to its 1967 borders. Israel would be unlikely to take Hamas’s word on this and withdraw as demanded. But there would be even less chance of that condition ever being realised if Saudi Arabia were to conclude its own deal with Israel.</p> <p>Another aspect of the timing is that it coincides almost precisely with the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur or Ramadan War in October 1973, when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel together. The significance of a Palestinian entity being able to surprise Israel in the same way would not be lost on Hamas.</p> <p>So there were several objectives for Hamas to launch an attack at this time – and possibly a combination of them.</p> <p>Hamas is likely to gain much sympathy from the wider Arab world, but little in the way of material assistance. Hamas’s military operation will likely cause Saudi Arabia to hold back from normalising relations with Israel for now. That said, it’s unlikely any of the Arab states that have signed the Abraham Accords will withdraw from them now in protest over Israeli retaliation against Gaza.</p> <h2>Where the conflict is headed?</h2> <p>Where the conflict is headed is unclear. The Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon has already fired on positions in Israel’s north. But the extent to which it will become seriously involved will depend on its sponsor, Iran.</p> <p>Tehran has generally been seen to want to keep Hezbollah’s considerable rocket and missile strength in reserve in case of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.</p> <p>There is also the question of whether “Lions’ Den” militants in the West Bank will launch their own attacks, effectively creating a third front against Israel. And a possible fourth front could come from attacks on Jewish Israelis by Arab Israelis living in Israel.</p> <p>US President Joe Biden has <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-67049196">already promised</a> support for Israel, so there can be little doubt Israel will eventually get on top of these challenges. Netanyahu has warned of a long war, but it may prove reasonably short if Israel goes all out in its retaliation.</p> <p>The main constraint on Israeli action against Gaza will be the fact that an unknown number of Israeli citizens have been kidnapped by Hamas militants and taken to the strip. Indiscriminate Israeli bombing would certainly put those lives at risk.</p> <p>Israel will also be reluctant to put its defence forces in Gaza because of the risk of heavy casualties. However, it may send special forces if it gains intelligence on the whereabouts of its kidnapped citizens.</p> <p>A further risk for Israel in its retaliation is that too brutal an assault on Gaza could turn Western opinion against it. So far, however, Western governments are strongly supportive of Israel and unsympathetic towards Hamas.</p> <p>The overall lesson for Israel is that it has to develop a policy for managing the Palestinians living in the areas it controls.</p> <p>The current situation, in which hardline militants are contained in Gaza, while Israeli forces curtail the actions of Palestinians living in Israel and the West Bank, has suited the Israeli government for many years. It has been able to ignore Arab and international pressure to negotiate a two-state solution or to acquiesce in a <a href="https://theconversation.com/israels-new-government-doesnt-give-palestinians-much-hope-it-could-be-time-for-a-radical-approach-162077">one-state solution</a>.</p> <p>The real significance of Hamas’s operation is that such a non-policy can no longer continue.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. 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More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-parmeter-932739">Ian Parmeter</a>, Research Scholar, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: CNN / X (Twitter)</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-did-hamas-attack-and-why-now-what-does-it-hope-to-gain-215248">original article</a>.</em></p>

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"Safe for now": Hugh Sheridan caught up in horrific Israel attacks

<p>Hugh Sheridan has assured his followers he is "safe for now" after being stuck in Israel at the time Hamas launched a horror attack on the country. </p> <p>The Aussie actor was holidaying in Israel with friends in celebration of the Jewish public holiday Simchat Torah when the attacks broke out, in which Palestinian militant group Hamas launched thousands of rockets from Gaza. </p> <p>Hundreds of people have been killed and a "significant" number of people have been taken captive. </p> <p>Sheridan took to Instagram to share the details of his terrifying ordeal, while reassuring his followers he is safe in the Middle Eastern country. </p> <p>“A few hours ago everyone was living life completely normal in Israel,” Sheridan wrote.</p> <p>“It was a big Jewish holiday yesterday, one week after new year. I met a family who had 150 fly in for their wedding tomorrow. We were at a bbq yesterday with young people who at this very minute are on their way to Gaza to fight."</p> <p>“A few hours later, this country is at war. Their lives have completely changed in an instant. It’s unbelievable how quickly and brutal the attack has been. With no warning. My heart breaks. I’m in the stairwell so safe for now. X love you all.”</p> <p>Sheridan later revealed he was struggling to find a cab to get to the airport to escape the dangerous fighting. </p> <p>“Desperately looking for a cab to the airport to try and get out. The missiles were way too close,” he wrote alongside a video of the “eerily quiet” street.</p> <p>Sheridan again updated his followers to let them know he and his friends had successfully fled the country, and were on a plane to Athens in Greece. </p> <p>Once arriving safely in Greece, Sheridan spoke to Karl Stefanovic and Sarah About on <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/israel-palestine-conflict-australian-actor-hugh-sheridan-narrowly-escapes/59543d35-9e2e-4b29-8861-b18dccfec0ff" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today</em></a>, admitting he feels guilty leaving after meeting lots of wonderful people on his trip. </p> <p>"I feel sad I'm not there, I feel guilty for getting out but I knew what we had to do but it's really hard thinking about all the wonderful people that we met and how dramatically their lives have changed in one day," he said.</p> <p>"These are such wonderful people - every single person I have met so far has been called or voluntarily going to fight for their lives and it is just incredible to be in a country that feels very much like Australia and see it change within hours."</p> <p>Since the attacks began on Saturday, at least 600 Israelis have been killed and more than 2000 are injured, according to the country’s media, while the Israeli military confirmed a "significant" number of civilians are being held hostage in Gaza.</p> <p>Israel’s Major General Ghasan Alyan said, “Hamas opened the gates of hell on the Gaza Strip, Hamas made the decision and Hamas will bear the responsibility and pay the price.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p> <div class="media image" style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 24px; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 705.202209px; max-width: 100%;"> </div>

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