World News

Man dies in shark attack at popular tourist beach in Australia

A 55-year-old man has died after being attacked by a shark in Western Australia, the eighth fatality in the country this year.

Police were called to Cable Beach, a popular tourist spot on Australia’s Indian Ocean coast, at about 8.40am on Sunday.

The man was pulled from the water with serious injuries and treated by police before paramedics arrived. He died at the scene, police said.

Local media reports said the man was bitten on the upper thigh and hand.

The species of shark involved in the attack is not known.

Park rangers immediately closed the beach and a fishing vessel was assigned to patrol the area.

The man was the eighth victim to die in a shark attack in Australia this year, the highest toll since 1929 when nine died.

The most recent previous attack in Esperance, Western Australia, occurred on 9 October when a surfer was dragged from his board by a shark, according to his companions.

His body wasn’t found despite a three-day search but his surfboard and parts of his wetsuit were located.

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Austria proposes indefinite detention for those posing terrorist threat

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria plans to make it possible for courts to imprison those convicted of terrorism-related offences for as long as they are deemed a threat, the government said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz holds a news conference after exchanges of gunfire in Vienna, Austria November 3, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/File Photo

The move follows a shooting rampage in Vienna last week in which a convicted jihadist who had been released early from prison killed four people and was shot dead by police.

The 20-year-old gunman had been sentenced to 22 months for trying to join Islamic State in Syria. Austria has admitted to an intelligence failure in the run-up to the attack.

“If a mentally abnormal criminal can be locked up for life because he is a threat, then a terrorist who poses a threat can be locked up for life,” conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a news conference on a package of planned anti-terrorism measures.

Kurz said that could become an option for courts when sentencing those convicted of jihadist crimes. For those who have already served their sentence, Austria would plan more systematic monitoring through electronic tagging.

Last week’s attack was the first such deadly militant assault in a generation in the small, neutral country.

Proportionally, Austria has a relatively large number of people who have joined Islamic State in Syria or Iraq or sought to. Kurz put the number of “foreign terrorist fighters” in Austria at more than 150, some of whom are in prison.

In addition, more than 100 have yet to return to Austria, he added.

It was not clear how such indefinite custody would be made compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. When asked if similar measures exist elsewhere, Kurz said some countries had reinforced their measures but did not name any.

Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, who leads the junior coalition party, the Greens, said the new measures would apply to “all forms of terror”, including “terror by neo-Nazis”.

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‘Vicious’ attack on 14-year-old Christchurch girl

A Christchurch father is urging the public to help catch those who attacked his daughter and her friend in Linwood.

Keith Williams told Newstalk ZB’s Chris Lynch at 3.35pm on Saturday his 14-year-old daughter and her friend were assaulted on Linwood Ave opposite the Z Service Station.

He said his daughter was punched to the ground then kicked in the head and was also strangled with her own hoodie.

“Her friend got punched once, but they laid into my daughter.”

A Canterbury police spokeswoman said police responded to a report of an assault involving four people outside a Linwood address.

She said one person sustained moderate injuries and was taken to hospital for assessment.

The spokeswoman said enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances.

“Police would like to speak to anyone who was around the area during the time indicated.”

Williams said his daughter was seen by hospital staff.

“Nothing is broken, just swelling and bruising and cuts inside her mouth.”

He said she was left bleeding and was having dizzy spells.

“There was a mark on her neck where they strangled her with her own hoodie.”

Williams said if anyone knows something about the attack to contact police.

He said he believed the offenders were two teenage girls who had been riding scooters.

Williams said the offenders were about 15-16 years of age, and Māori or Polynesian. One had her hair in a bun.

• Anyone with information is asked to call police on 105 quoting file number 201108/1357

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Two men arrested in Switzerland visited Vienna attacker in July: paper

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ZURICH (Reuters) – The two men arrested in the Swiss town of Winterthur near Zurich last week over possible links to a jihadist shooting attack in Vienna on Nov. 2 visited the attacker in July and he may have visited the Zurich region, Swiss media reported on Sunday.

The reports shed a further spotlight on the once prominent industrial centre near Zurich, where officials say a now-shuttered mosque attracted preachers who espoused “hate speech”. A man dubbed the “Emir of Winterthur was sentenced to 50 months in jail in September for recruiting for Islamic State.

Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said the two men, aged 18 and 24, travelled to Vienna between July 16 and July 20 to meet the future attacker in an unknown location, citing “two well-informed people”.

The paper also said the gunman, who was shot dead by police after killing four people in the centre of the Austrian capital, may have travelled to the canton of Zurich at some point between July 21 and Nov. 2, citing the same two unnamed sources, which it did not specify further.

The SonntagsZeitung newspaper said the two men had visited the Vienna attacker this summer in his flat, without citing sources. “It is still completely unclear whether the two men simply visited the Vienna terrorist or whether they can be linked to the attack,” the paper said.

Swiss authorities have said the two men were “obviously friends” of the attacker and had met in person, but did not say when.

The Zurich cantonal police declined to comment on the reports and Zurich prosecutors could not be reached.

Austria on Friday admitted “intolerable mistakes” in the handling of intelligence on the attacker.

Vienna police said people from Germany who were being monitored by German intelligence stayed in Austria in the summer and also met the attacker there. By Friday, Austria had arrested 15 people in connection with the attack.

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