A man shot in the neck when up to 14 bullets were fired at his Audi is in a serious condition in hospital.
Police said this is the second time in as many months Asaad Alahmad has been targeted after his home in Guildford in Sydney’s west was shot at in March.
It is not known where the 27-year-old was when he was shot, but he is believed to have driven himself home before a neighbour raced him to Westmead Hospital.
“The incident’s callous. It’s cold, it’s serious,” Acting Inspector David Sommerville from NSW Police said today.
Last night NSW Police found Alahmad’s Audi parked in the driveway riddled with bullet holes.
In nearby Granville, a Porsche Cayenne was discovered, burnt out after being dumped.
Police are investigating if this was the getaway car.
Police are also looking at whether the shooting is linked to a feud between rival crime families the Allamedines and the Hamzys.
“We believe this is a targeted shooting and it relates to ongoing matters,” Acting Inspector Sommerville said.
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Craig Bellamy has vowed he and the Storm will do “whatever we can” to keep off-contract forward Dale Finucane, while Cooper Cronk has revealed just how highly Bellamy thinks of the workhorse forward.
It’s understood several clubs are chasing Finucane’s signature, with the 29-year-old previously conceding that salary cap pressure could force him to take up a deal with a rival.
Bellamy was asked after Melbourne’s win on Saturday whether there was any update on Finucane’s future and he revealed that the club was working towards an offer for the representative forward.
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“Dale wants to know as well and we’re just trying to put an offer to him that he will hopefully accept,” he said.
“I know our recruitment guys are working really hard on that and trying to find some dollars here and dollars there just to fit into our cap.”
The Storm recently lost the signature of rising star Nicho Hynes who inked a three-year deal with the Sharks, starting in 2022. Bellamy is hopeful that the club can at least use that as an opportunity to throw more money at Finucane.
“It probably does,” he said when asked if Hynes’ exit will help.
“I’m not sure how much we’ve saved there or can get to Dale, but you’d like to think that’s made it a better chance. As far as I’m concerned, we’ll do whatever we can to keep him because he’s such an important part of this club.”
Not much earlier in the night Finucane stood in front of the Fox League cameras donning a swollen eye and busted lip — but a smile too. It summed up the never-say-die attitude that Finucane embodies.
It’s that work ethic, along with his professionalism that Bellamy most admires.
“He’s one player I’d hate to lose,” he said.
“I just love the way he plays, he just turns up every week and puts full effort in for however long he plays. He puts his head where a lot of people wouldn’t put their foot.
“The other thing around that, what he does off the field as well. The standards that he sets in training and preparation… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone that prepares better than Dale Finucane.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time but I’ve never seen anyone that sets a better standard on and off the field than Dale.”
Cronk spent 13 seasons under Bellamy at the Storm and in three of those he played with Finucane so has a pretty good grasp on just how fond of Finucane the club is.
He believes Finucane’s future seems like it’s very much still up in the air but also revealed an insight into what Bellamy thinks of this season’s co-captain.
“Reading through that press conference it looks like it’s on a dicey edge whether he stays or go,” he said.
“He would never say this, Craig Bellamy, but Dale Finucane is one of his top three favourite players of all time. Him, Ryan Hinchcliffe and Dallas Johnson. They’re the type of players… Brandon Smith… he loves that type of warhorse character that will do everything.
“Very reliable, might not be able to play x-factor type of football but you know what you’re going to get every week.
“It would be a sad day for Craig Bellamy, personally, if Dale Finucane has to leave that football club.”
Michael Ennis also had the pleasure of playing with Finucane at the Bulldogs. And it seems Finucane has always been in demand with Ennis revealing the Sharks have tried to make a play for him in the past.
“I love Dale. I was lucky enough to have him come through when I was at Canterbury. I’ll never forget when I heard there was a chance that Dale would leave Canterbury. I just couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t fight tooth and nail to keep him there,” he said.
“As Craig said, not just what he brought on the field, it’s what Dale brought off the field.
“I remember being at a training session at Cronulla and Shane Flanagan called me over midway through the session. He just said to me ‘what do you think about Finucane?’ and I said ‘mate, let’s get him’ so he said ‘righto.’
“Then within 20 minutes he came back over and said ‘no, Craig the bastard, he’s already got him.’
“To me he just epitomises everything that Craig Bellamy looks for in a footy player.”
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Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice has found that the shooting down of Flight PS752 by Iran was intentional and an act of terrorism under the Criminal Code.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight with two surface-to-air missiles shortly after takeoff in Tehran on Jan. 8, 2020, killing all 176 passengers onboard — including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.
“I find on a balance of probabilities that the missile attacks on Flight 752 were intentional and directly caused the deaths of all onboard,” Justice Edward Belobaba wrote in his decision issued Thursday.
“I further find on a balance of probabilities that, at the time in question, there was no armed conflict in the region.”
Belobaba said the plaintiffs established the shooting down of the plane constitutes “terrorist activity” under the State Immunity Act, the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and the Criminal Code. The justice said the plaintiffs are entitled to default judgment on liability.
Another court hearing will take place to determine compensation, the lawyer behind the lawsuit said in a news release.
‘I am very happy’
Litigation lawyer Mark Arnold has maintained the best way to get compensation for victims’ families for the loss of their loved ones is to charge the Iranian government for “perpetrating a terrorist act.”
Arnold is representing plaintiffs who lost children, nieces, spouses and nephews. Iran was served the claim in the fall of 2020, but failed to defend itself and was noted in default last December.
“The decision of the Superior Court of Justice is unprecedented in Canadian law,” Mark Arnold and fellow lawyer Jonah Arnold said in a statement. “It is significant for the impact it will have on immediate surviving family members seeking justice.”
Habib Haghjoo — who lost his daughter Saharnaz Haghjoo and his eight-year-old granddaughter Elsa Jadidi when PS752 was shot down — said this is a success for families who are part of the lawsuit.
“I am very happy and believe this is a very big step,” said Haghjoo.
Canada entering into negotiations with Iran soon
Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau told MPs last week Canada will soon enter into negotiations with Iran on reparations for the victims’ families. The association representing those families has said repeatedly it wants answers and justice before any talks about compensation begin.
Garneau said that Canada will be seeking “full accountability” during the talks and said the behaviour from the Iranian government over the past 15 months has been “frankly unconscionable.”
Victims’ families have long pressed for the government to list the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
Garneau said Canada has identified the Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC, as a terrorist entity; however, victims’ families say that’s not enough because the Quds Force is not the Aerospace Force, the branch responsible for shooting down the plane. The Quds Force is in charge of operations outside Iran.
In June 2018, the House of Commons passed a motion overwhelmingly calling on the federal government to make the change. The IRGC has not been listed as a terrorist entity since that vote.
The lawyers involved in the private lawsuit were to hold a news conference Friday.
Canada will be releasing its own forensic examination of the plane’s destruction in the coming weeks, Garneau said last week.
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A 25-year-old man has been charged with gun and drug-related offences after a mother of four mother was allegedly shot dead in her home near Geelong, Victoria.
When they arrived on the scene, they found 31-year-old Emily Miller allegedly suffering from a gunshot wound to her torso.
Ambulance Victoria rushed Ms Miller to hospital, but she died in the ambulance.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the home, and was questioned by police yesterday afternoon.
He has been remanded in custody to appear before Geelong Magistrates’ Court today.
The grandmother and uncle of two of the woman’s children told 9News of their devastation.
A 25-year-old man was arrested at the home, and was questioned by police yesterday afternoon. Today investigators charged the man with prohibited person possession firearm, trafficking heroin and possession of heroin. He has been remanded in custody to appear before Geelong Magistrates’ Court today. Homicide Squad detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged shooting. Yesterday friends told 9News the mum’s 18-month-old daughter was home sleeping at the time of the incident but was unhurt.
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League great Gorden Tallis has backed the decision to send Titans forward Herman Ese’ese off for a high shot on Brian To’o, saying “that probably was a send off even when I was playing.”
Ese’ese became the third player to be sent off during Magic Round when a “lazy” arm collected To’o.
Ese’ese shot out of the line in the 37th minute to make a tackle that went very wrong.
To’o was flung to the ground like a ragdoll and instantly his Penrith teammates rushed in.
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The NRL had warned clubs about a serious crackdown coming this round on foul play and as Fox League commentator Warren Smith said about Ese’ese: “he must have missed the memo.”
“He realises the extreme nature of the mistake… and this is a sin bin at a minimum,” Smith added.
“When you come out of the line like that, the margin for error is so small.”
After the pushing and shoving simmered down, referee Adam Gee gave Ese’ese his marching orders for a “direct” and “forceful” play.
“Direct, forceful, you charged off the line and you’re off-side as well. You’re off,” he said.
And Smith found it hard to disagree
“Given what we’ve seen prior to this one, you had no option but to send him straight from the field,” he said.
Fox League analyst Cooper Cronk couldn’t understand how Ese’ese could make such a huge error after watching the seven games before his team’s clash with the Panthers.
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Raiders star Josh Papalii was sent off on Saturday and even in the game right before Ese’ese’s, Tyrell Fuimaono was sent off too. That’s on top of the 13 sin bins that had happened in previous games as well.
“Considering this has been in since Friday night, Herman Ese’ese has seen seven games go before (his), seen the reports, seen the sin bins and send offs we’ve had this weekend, you need to steady your feet,” Cronk said.
“He was off-side to started with, flies out of the line — I like the intention — but had to steady his feet.
“To leave his arm out there lazy and makes contact with To’o’s head, what else does a referee have to do but to send him from the field?”
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The crackdown hasn’t been welcomed with open arms from the rugby league world. In fact, it was straight up slammed following Friday’s games.
Tallis is sceptical about the crackdown at this stage and said the timing of it over the competition’s big Magic Round weekend was “poor.”
“I love rugby league, I just want it to be the game I played as a kid,” he told Sunday Night with Matty Johns.
“But we know that the kids that play at eight, nine, 10, it’s a different game to the NRL and I don’t want to ruin the spectacle, I don’t want the oxygen to leave the stadium, I don’t want to spoil what we’ve got as a game.
“But I’m happy for them to clamp down because they took the shoulder charge, they’ve taken the punch and our game’s still as great as ever.
“But today with Magic Round with 120,000 people coming through the gates, I think the timing was poor.”
However, Tallis and most fans were in agreeance that Ese’ese’s “brain fade” was definitely worthy of a send off.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook admitted he was disappointed with Ese’ese’s decision after what had preceded the final game of Magic Round over the weekend.
“I was disappointed with what he tried yeah,” Holbrook said.
“We were the last game. We had all the time in the world to get our own house in order and it was just a completely reckless decision on his behalf and we paid the price for it.
“He definitely didn’t mean it, but we had all weekend to look at it and we spoke about it and so I don’t think he would have an answer for it either, but it definitely hurt us.”
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In the north, Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife and four children were killed after an Israeli warplane reduced the building to rubble, residents said.
Sadallah Tanani, a relative, said the family was “wiped out from the population register” without warning. “It was a massacre. My feelings are indescribable,” he said.
Palestinian officials said a woman and her three children were among the 13 victims of the night-time Israeli bombardment on Gaza, and that their bodies were retrieved from the rubble of their home.
Among three families killed in the town of Beit Lahia were Lamya Al-Attar and her three children Islam, 8, Amira, 6, and Mohammed, 10 months, according to Ali Hawas, media director for Gaza civil defence.
A video showed Lamya’s father arriving at a morgue to identify the bodies, which were stacked two abreast on metal trolleys in a refrigerator.
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On Monday, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said it had shot down a military helicopter near the town of Moemauk in Kachin province after days of military air raids.
“The military council launched air strikes in that area since around 8 or 9 this morning … using jet fighters and also fired shots using a helicopter so we shot back at them,” said spokesman Naw Bu by telephone.
He declined to say what weapons were used.
A resident in the area, who declined to be named, said by telephone that four people had died in hospital after artillery shells hit a monastery in the village.
Meanwhile, blasts from at least one parcel bomb in southern central Myanmar killed five people, including an ousted lawmaker and three police officers who had joined a civil disobedience movement opposing military rule, media reported on Tuesday.
Myanmar has seen an increasing number of small blasts in residential areas, sometimes targeting government offices or military facilities, since the elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown on February 1.
The latest blasts were in a village in Western Bago and occurred at around 5 p.m. local time on Monday, the Myanmar Now news portal reported, citing a resident.
Three blasts were triggered when at least one parcel bomb exploded at a house in the village, killing a regional lawmaker from Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy (NLD) party, as well as the three police officers and a resident, the report said.
Another police officer involved in the civil disobedience movement was also severely wounded after his arms were blown off by the explosion, the resident was cited as saying. He had been hospitalized and was receiving treatment, it said.
Khit Thit media also reported the blasts, citing an unnamed NLD official in the area.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports of the downed helicopter or the parcel bombs, and a military spokesman did not answer a phone call seeking comment.
In another sign of the growing insecurity, the junta-appointed head of the ward administration office in Yangon’s Tharketa district was stabbed at his office and later died of his wounds, Khit Thit Media said. Two residents of the district confirmed the report. Police did not respond to a request for comment.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group says security forces have killed at least 766 civilians since the coup.
The junta disputes the figure and says at least 24 members of security forces have been killed during the protests. Reuters is unable to verify casualties because of the curbs placed on media by the junta. Many journalists are among the thousands of people who have been detained.
The junta said it had to seize power because its complaints of fraud in a November election won by Suu Kyi’s party were not addressed by an election commission that deemed the vote fair.
Suu Kyi, 75, has been detained since the coup along with many other members of her party. The AAPP says more than 3,600 people are currently in detention for opposing the military.
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You wouldn’t know it, catching many trams, that wearing a mask is still mandatory on public transport in Victoria. On trains, it seems most people are still making the effort when they’re not carrying a coffee or chatting on the phone. As for the requirement on the COVIDSafe website that we carry a mask at all times outside the home, we can perhaps assume that is mostly honoured in the breach these days.
The current COVID restrictions, which were “further relaxed” on April 9, are designed to “balance getting Victorians back to doing the things they love while keeping in place measures to protect all that Victorians have worked so hard for”. For the state, this is a balancing act between education in the form of public messaging and enforcement. Get it right and we should ensure a reasonable level of long-term compliance; get it wrong and we risk resistance and revolt.
Over the course of the pandemic, the government has sometimes got it wrong. Some of the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations last year, such as police arresting and handcuffing pregnant Ballarat mother Zoe Buhler in her pyjamas for posting anti-lockdown sentiments on Facebook, seemed absurdly heavy-handed and added fuel to the conspiracy theorists’ protests.
By and large, though, Premier Daniel Andrews’ stubborn insistence on fronting a daily COVID press conference (his record was 120 days straight), helped reinforce the importance of restrictions, and the Victorian community accepted them and made the effort to comply.
But towards the end of 2020 as restrictions were gradually eased, they also became more complicated. How many square metres per person? How many visitors to my home? What’s the rule this week? Do I really need to sign in? How? As the fear of catching the coronavirus ebbed, so did interest in this fine detail. Mr Andrews’ disappearance from the public stage following his accident in March has also probably been a contributing factor in restriction fatigue setting in.
Now, anybody who’s eaten out in recent weeks knows how “voluntary” it has become to sign in. A survey released by the state government recently found only 41 per cent of visitors to hospitality venues checked in every time. At shopping centres it’s sometimes hard to even see the check-in, and the coverage of the Services Vic app is patchy at best.
But as Melbourne slacks off, Professor James McCaw, an epidemiologist whose team has advised the national cabinet since the start of the pandemic, said on Saturday that the risk of a disastrous outbreak in Australia was now at its highest level since the pandemic began and it was “just a matter of time” before a case or cluster defeated contact tracers. We should expect “incursions” about once a month, he said.
Then another live case appeared. Once again our contact tracers are busy joining the dots. The relaxed restrictions and our increasingly unconcerned attitude towards them is making this task more difficult. The restaurant where the man dined, for example, did not appear to be effectively enforcing QR code check-ins, according to Jeroen Weimar, Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander. The man also caught a train full of football fans. Were they all wearing masks?
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So far, more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Australia — well short of the 40 million doses needed to fully inoculate adults across the country.
As more people become eligible, many of you have questions about when you should get vaccinated and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
ABC Radio Melbourne put some of these queries to infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist Professor Ben Cowie, who is advising the state government on the vaccine rollout in Victoria.
No. While Professor Cowie recommends getting specific advice from your GP or haematologist, as a general rule a history of blood clots does not put you at greater risk of developing the rare clotting condition associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The type of clotting that occurs with AstraZeneca vaccine is a specific reaction to the vaccine which is mediated by the immune system we think — that is part of the reason why it occurs most commonly amongst younger people,” Professor Cowie said.
“There really is no evidence that any form of underlying clotting disorder (apart from a very rare allergy to an anti-coagulant called heparin) is associated with an increased risk of clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
Yes – but you might be waiting for a while.
In April the Commonwealth government announced it had secured an additional 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The bad news? They won’t arrive until the end of the year.
“That is clearly after winter and we want to have as many people vaccinated as we can before winter,” Professor Cowie said.
He is encouraging people who are eligible for the AstraZeneca to get vaccinated sooner rather than later to better protect themselves and the broader community.
“The best vaccine is the one that is available right now.”
After more than a year of closed borders, social distancing and a long lockdown in Victoria, Australia is in the fortunate position of having next to no community COVID-19 transmission.
But Professor Cowie says there is no guarantee that will continue.
“By having as many people vaccinated now as we possibly can … that helps prevent the risk of COVID re-entering our population and spreading,” he said.
“It also means that if we do have transmission that reoccurs in our community we will have fewer people to try and vaccinate as quickly as we possibly can to prevent that from becoming out of control.”
Professor Cowie said health authorities were being “extremely careful” to ensure they had adequate supply of the vaccines and could get their second dose at the optimal time.
For the AstraZeneca vaccine, the product information says the second dose can be administered between four and 12 weeks after the first dose.
However clinical trials have shown that people who received their second dose on or just beyond the 12-week mark were better protected against COVID-19.
So, if you happen to get your second dose on week 13 or 14, you are still just as protected.
If you are under 50 and eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine because of your work or an underlying medical condition, you can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Professor Cowie said if you want to be vaccinated through your GP it would be a good idea to call ahead and explain your situation. In Victoria you can also book into a state-run, high-volume vaccination centre.
This one is easy – yes, you should wait 14 days between a dose of flu vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
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