Four people have been killed in out of control bushfires on the West Australian south coast in Esperance.
Emergency crews are still attempting to fight the bushfires, but have been unable to contain them. Four fires are still blazing in surrounding areas, the most serious being at Grass Patch and Salmon Gums, 100 kilometres north of Esperance. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have advised people in the area to leave immediately for safer ground, and have also said that “leaving at the last minute is deadly”.
Grand Mufti “let down Australian Muslims”
Federal government officials have slammed the Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad’s response to last weekend’s terrorist attacks in Paris. The Grand Mufti, along with the Australian National Imam’s Council, issued a statement on Sunday evening that appeared to be an attempt to shift the blame away from the perpetrators and onto Western nations. The statement said: “Recent incidents highlight the fact that current strategies to deal with the threat of terrorism are not working. It is therefore imperative that all causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed.” Treasurer Scott Morrison felt disappointed, and claimed Australian Muslims were “…let down by the Mufti…”.
Inquest to reveal what ASIO knew about Martin Place gunman
The third session of an inquest into the Lindt Cafe siege will take place today, with the focus on what Australian security agencies knew about gunman Man Haron Monis. The hearing will occur behind closed doors, out of the media spotlight with only the opening address made public. Jeremy Gormly, the legal counsel assisting the enquiry, said that some of the evidence may never be revealed in the interest of national security. “That doesn’t mean that the relevant evidence can’t be reviewed and referred, if necessary, to appropriate oversight agencies and the Commonwealth Attorney-General,” he said. Previously, the inquest discovered officers from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) were present during Monis’ numerous court appearances for various criminal charges. According to a joint NSW State and Commonwealth review of the siege in February, intelligence agencies had no indication Monis was planning a terrorist act.
Turnbull addresses counter-terrorism with Obama in Manila
US President Barack Obama and Malcolm Turnbull have met for the first time at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Manila on Tuesday. Leaders from more than 20 countries met at the APEC conference, during which Turnbull affirmed his allegiance with the United States in their counter-terrorist strategy. “We will continue shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States and our allies in the fight against this type of extremist violence — this type of terrorism,” he said. Foreign Minister Julia Bishop confirmed earlier in the week that counter-terrorism would be the top priority. Mr Turnbull had a brief meeting with Mr Obama at the G20 talks earlier in the week, but today was the first official meeting between the two leaders. The world leaders were said to have got along well, and Barack Obama extended an invitation to the Whitehouse.
Charlie Sheen confirms he is HIV positive
Former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen has admitted he is HIV positive in an interview on The Today Show in the US. Sheen claimed he was diagnosed with the virus four years ago, but said it was impossible that he could of transmitted the virus to someone else despite confirming he had unprotected sex with two people following his diagnosis. Sheen said they were aware of his diagnosis at the time. He also said that he told close friends that he had contracted the virus, but had paid millions of dollars to various people to keep it a secret. – Compiled from online news sources by Benjamin Potter and Sergio Magliarachi
Top photo from bertknot’s Flickr photo stream.