Three dead as woman beheaded in knife attack at French church

Police officers secure the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France, October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

October 29, 2020

By Eric Gaillard

NICE, France (Reuters) – A knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist attack at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday, police and officials said.

Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near the city’s Notre Dame church and that police had detained the attacker.

Estrosi said the attacker had shouted the phrase “Allahu Akbar”, or God is greatest.

One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said.

The attacker kept shouting “Allahu Akbar” even after he had been detained, Estrosi said.

“The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive,” Estrosi told reporters.

“Enough is enough,” Estrosi said. “It’s time now for France to exonerate itself from the laws of peace in order to definitively wipe out Islamo-fascism from our territory.”

Police said three people were confirmed to have died in the attack and several were injured.

A police source said a woman was decapitated. French politician Marine Le Pen also spoke of a decapitation having occurred in the attack.

Estrosi said the victims had been killed in a “horrible way”.

“The methods match, without doubt, those used against the brave teacher in Conflans Sainte Honorine, Samuel Paty,” he said, referring to a French teacher beheaded earlier this month in an attack in a suburb of Paris.

Estrosi said a woman had tried to escape from inside the church and had fled into a bar opposite the building.

The French anti-terrorist prosecutor’s department said it had been asked to investigate the attack.

Reuters journalists at the scene said police armed with automatic weapons had put up a security cordon around the church, which is on Nice’s Jean Medecin avenue, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. Ambulances and fire service vehicles were also at the scene.

The attack comes while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of French middle school teacher Paty by a man of Chechen origin.

The attacker had said he wanted to punish Paty for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson.

It was not immediately clear if Thursday’s attack was connected to the cartoons, which Muslims consider to be blasphemous.

Since Paty’s killing, French officials – backed by many ordinary citizens – have re-asserted the right to display the cartoons, and the images have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the killed teacher.

That has prompted an outpouring of anger in parts of the Muslim world, with some governments accusing French leader Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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Coroner urges caution with heating wheat bags after elderly Hobart woman dies in house fire

A Hobart coroner has recommended people who own wheat packs without instructions immediately stop using them after an elderly woman died in an accidental house fire.

Phyllis Mabel Pears died in her West Moonah home in May last year after wheat bags that she had heated in the microwave caught fire.

Mrs Pears, who was married at the time of her death, lived alone with the assistance from Glenview support and was visited by multiple family members most days.

Her husband was in a nursing home.

She was last seen by her granddaughter-in-law on the May 29, 2019, at 1:45pm.

At 2:20pm her neighbour heard the sound of breaking glass and went outside to see the kitchen window of Mrs Pears’ home had shattered.

He saw black smoke coming from the window and flames in the kitchen and immediately contacted triple-0.

After the fire was extinguished, Mrs Pears was found dead inside her kitchen.

A fire investigation suggested the 90-year-old had heated a number wheat bags in her microwave and then placed them in a pile on a chair.

“Due to being piled, the wheat bag has been unable to give off heat and has self-heated to the point of igniting the combustible material bag and a small amount of wheat,” wrote Fire Investigation Officer Mark McCarthy.

“This has caused a small, isolated fire.”

He wrote that it was his belief that during the process of placing the bags on the chair, a wheat bag ignited and Mrs Pears either attempted to extinguish it or was “leaning over the pile of wheat bags at ignition”.

“The close proximity of [Mrs] Pears to the fire and her limited mobility has resulted in igniting [Mrs] Pears’ clothing,” he wrote.

A forensic investigation determined her cause of death was incineration.

Coroner Andrew McKee noted that the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) website said wheat packs had been responsible for causing a number of house fires and the TFS had created a fact sheet in response.

In his findings, he recommended that individuals who own wheat packs without instructions as to how to use them immediately cease using them and members of the public familiarise themselves with the TFS’s fact sheet prior to using them.

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Woman thrown from show ride remains in hospital, police seek footage

She said police were in contact with the woman’s family as the joint investigation with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland continued.

“They’re probably in a bit of shock but considering what’s happened they’re coping pretty well,” she said.

The woman’s condition had improved and she was in a stable condition on Tuesday. Police have not yet been able to speak with her.

Senior Constable Stallard said she was appealing for anyone, including children, who witnessed the incident or had footage of the ride to come forward.

“Our role at this stage is gathering statements with people present on the day, anybody who may have had any [safety] concerns they may have on the Hangover ride,” she said.

“We have had a number of people come forward but there are still yet a number of people we wish to speak to.

“We are looking for images of the incident occurring itself and images of people entering the ride.”

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Uighur Woman Tursunay Ziyawudun, Who Was Detained In Xinjiang Camps, Arrives In US

A Uighur woman who was detained at internment camps in China’s Xinjiang region has arrived safely in the United States, a Uighur human rights group said on Saturday, ending a period of monthslong uncertainty over whether she would be forcibly repatriated back to China from her home in Kazakhstan.

Tursunay Ziyawudun had initially settled in Kazakhstan with her husband, who is a Kazakh citizen, after spending a grueling 10 months locked up without ever being charged with a crime. But last year, the Kazakh government told her she would have to return to China to apply for a new visa as a procedural matter. Returning to the country would have likely meant she would be detained again.

BuzzFeed News reported on her case in February.

“We are tremendously relieved that Tursunay is now safe in the United States,” said Omer Kanat, the executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, in a statement, saying that she had already arrived safely, and that his organization is helping her resettle and access medical treatment for a serious health condition.

China has detained more than a million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in mass internment camps since late 2016, according to independent estimates. The government has said the detentions were for “vocational training,” but former detainees, including Ziyawudun, have made clear they were brought to camps by force and said they endured humiliation, hunger, beatings, and regular interrogations, among other abuses.

The Chinese government claimed in December that those who went through the “vocational training” program had “graduated,” but a recent BuzzFeed News investigation found instead that construction of large, purpose-built internment camps and prisons is ongoing.

Ziyawudun’s lawyer said she believed the press coverage helped her case.

“Her situation required that her story be made public,” Aina Shormanbayeva, Ziyawudun’s lawyer in Kazakhstan, told BuzzFeed News.

Ziyawudun is among a small number of former detainees who have left China and spoken publicly about their experiences. The Washington, DC–based Uyghur Human Rights Project said her house had been set on fire “in suspicious circumstances” in February, after she started speaking out about her story. (Ziyawudun’s lawyer confirmed her house had burned down at the time.)

She later traveled to Istanbul for medical treatment, Shormanbayeva said, before receiving permission to travel to the US. She is still in the process of seeking refugee status in Kazakhstan, but Shormanbayeva said there are doubts that Kazakh government will grant her that status.

But, she added, the risk of Ziyawudun being forcibly sent back to China is gone.

“I hope that in the US she will be safe,” her lawyer said.

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What it’s like to be a Black woman working in parliament – Channel 4 News

It is known as The Mother of  Parliaments’.

But the vast majority of MPs and peers who make up the Palace of Westminster are still predominantly white and male, with the more diverse members of the House of Commons and Lords regarded as pioneers.

To mark Black History Month we’ve been speaking to Baroness Lola Young, who was given a life peerage in 2004, and Abena Oppong-Asare, who is one of two British-Ghanaian women MPs, about what it’s like to work in parliament.

And a warning, this report contains language some viewers may find offensive.

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Frantic search fails to find WA woman swept off rocks at Injidup Beach near Yallingup

A frantic air, ground and sea search has failed to find and save a young woman who was swept off rocks into treacherous ocean conditions south of Perth.

The woman, aged in her 20s, was engulfed by a wave and thrown into the ocean at Injidup Beach near Yallingup at around 1pm today.

Two swimmers, including a friend of the young woman, quickly entered the water in an attempt to save her but found themselves in trouble and were forced back to shore.

A frantic air, ground and sea search has failed to find a woman missing in waters off WA’s Injidup Beach near Yallingup after she was swept off rocks. (9News)
The woman was engulfed by a large wave and has been missing for hours after the sun set. (9News)

A rapid search was then launched from the ground and air for the woman, and water police took to the ocean, with rescue crews on jet skis on standby.

More than six hours after her disappearance, the woman has still not been located by authorities. As darkness fell, the search was temporarily halted but will resume tomorrow.

The beach is a popular tourist spot on the Western Australian coastline and is also where 23-year-old Singaporean student Heng Yi Goh was swept into the ocean. His body was found three weeks later.

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Emergency search for woman swept off rocks at Injidup Beach in Western Australia

An emergency search is underway for a woman who was swept off rocks at a beach in Western Australia’s South West on Sunday afternoon.

Police received a triple-0 phone call at 1:20pm to report a person had been washed into the ocean at Injidup Beach, south of Yallingup.

Two people who went into the water to help the woman also ended up in distress however they were able to get out of the water safely.

A marine search and rescue operation is underway, with jet skis, two helicopters and a larger boat looking for the woman.

It is the same area where a wave washed 23-year-old Singaporean student Heng Yi Goh off the rocks in June.

His body was found almost three weeks later.

The Injidup and Yallingup beaches are known for dangerous surf conditions and their rugged shorelines with large rocks.

In 2016, a 25-year-old South West man died after jumping from rocks in the same area.

More to come.

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Woman discovers ex-husband’s affair in New York Times wedding announcement

Nikyta Moreno learned why her ex-husband left her when she read the Vows column of the New York Times.

It’s bad enough to find out your partner is cheating on you, but imagine finding out your husband is cheating on you and getting married to them while still in a relationship with you?

That’s what Nikyta Moreno has claimed happened to her, after she discovered her now ex-husband’s wedding announcement published in The New York Times.

On August 7 2020, the publication ran the announcement for the wedding of Robert Palmer, 30, and Lauren Maillian, 35, who met at a New York Sports Club gym back in January 2017. The two then tied the knot in front of a small ceremony of 25 guests.

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However, according to Moreno, she was still married to Palmer in January 2017 when the article stated his relationship with his new wife began.

Sharing her story with the New York Post, Moreno explained she received numerous messages from friends and family when the announcement ran, urging her not to read it.

“It was a New York Times wedding announcement detailing the love story of a fitness entrepreneur and his new wife. According to the article, the couple, Rob and Lauren, started their relationship in January 2017. It also said that he had never been married.

“That was news to me – because I was his wife in January 2017.”

Moreno said she officially divorced Palmer in January 2018, but she “never exactly understood why” – that was until she “read about it in The Times”.

Moreno and Palmer had also met at a gym in the summer of 2013, moved in together a few months later and got married in December 2015.

However, Palmer quickly became distant while their wedding preparations were underway.

“Three months later, things abruptly changed. We went to Texas for his friend’s wedding and to finalise our own wedding details,” Moreno recalled. “I could sense something was wrong. When we returned, he said he needed space. Worried that he was stressed about wedding planning or work, I said I would leave for a week to stay with a friend.

“When I came back, he said he wanted a divorce. It was like a light switch turned off. He stopped communicating with me and refused to go to therapy. I wondered if he had a medical ­issue that had changed his personality.”

According to Moreno, her friends have since contacted The New York Times, which issued a correction on August 11 stating Palmer had previously been married,

“An earlier version of this article misstated the previous marital status of the groom, Robert Palmer. Mr Palmer had previously been married,” the correction read.

However, Moreno still felt “completely erased”.

“[Palmer] was publicly admitting that he dated this woman while we were married – the details of his infidelity laid out on the page,” she told The Post. “When I put their presentation next to the truth, it was like one of those ­reality-versus-Instagram memes come to life.”

But in a statement to The Post, Palmer said: “Nikyta and I were separated and both consented to a mutual and amicable divorce. This is all very surprising to me and I was unaware that there was ever an issue. I’m happy with my family and I wish Nikyta the best.”

While Moreno does wish Palmer and his new wife are happy together, she said she “simply wishes” he had told the truth.


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Winnipeg woman maps out decorated homes for Halloween – Winnipeg

For the past six years, Carol Cassell’s Halloween display has grown to haunt her entire front yard.

The Transcona resident has added more decorations each year to her display and this year because of COVID-19 she wants more families to share in the spooky spirit.

“I started mid-September setting it up because we have fences all the way around the yard and they need to be nailed into the ground so I don’t want to be crawling in the snow doing that,” she said.

Read more:
Winnipeg hotel turns conference room to haunted house amid pandemic

More than just encouraging people to view her yard, this year she decided to track down and create a map all of the houses in Winnipeg that have Halloween displays.

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“I’ve been mapping Transcona for six years now and it wasn’t a big leap to do the whole city. I figured because of COVID-19 this year people might like a little extra joy and driving around looking at Halloween houses might be fun for some people so that’s why I started it,” she said.

So far more than 100 houses are on the list.

“Some people have told me that they are using the map instead of trick-or-treating and it’s an extra fun thing for their family to do. We even had people come by last Friday night I think we had 40 people go through the yard just to look at the house. It’s just a little extra fun.”

Read more:
52% of Canadian parents won’t let kids trick-or-treat amid coronavirus: poll

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“Even if you’re someplace that doesn’t do trick-or-treaters, do it for yourself. If you like Halloween – put up some decorations for your own enjoyment and if you do want to get out use the map to look at houses, plan a party and watch your favourite scary movie – there’s still lots to be enjoyed.”

People in her neighbourhood are also in on the fun.

Bailey Bowering has blow-up decorations lined up outside his home.

“My family loves Halloween. We celebrate it every single year, we make sure the kids love it, families love it, to come and take pictures of everything and also get some candy along the way,” he said.

Read more:
Costumes to make your blood run cold this Halloween

“We always have families stop by our house even before Halloween, just to take pictures and just to see the house. It would be good for these kids to see something that they usually see and they don’t have to think about everything that’s been happening.”

Jonathan Glass, co-owner of Party Stuff has noticed the trend of decorating homes and has seen an increased demand for decorations.

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Click to play video 'Halloween rules'

Halloween rules

Halloween rules

“A lot of people are choosing to decorate their houses inside and out and they will still celebrate the seasons. They need to know the world is still spinning and that things are normal to a certain extent because the calendar pages keep turning and celebrations happen. Birthdays haven’t been cancelled, anniversaries haven’t been cancelled and Halloween certainly isn’t cancelled. People are buying plenty of decorations,” he said.

Glass says COVID-19 has hit them hard, with events discouraged due to the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

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“It’s challenging operating a party store in an environment where gatherings are really not recommended. We rely on people getting together with family and friends and celebrating all life’s milestones, all the holidays and all the seasons, and it’s been challenging this year all the way through,” he said.

Read more:
Winnipeg haunted house to open — with COVID-19 protocols

“For Halloween, we heard all the predictions for a second wave coming and we decided we wanted to take all the merchandise we had in the building and put it at the best possible price so people who still want to celebrate can get the best deal possible and we can turn that inventory into dollars to keep the business operating.”

Glass says he’s been selling items 80 per cent off — sometimes at or below cost just to keep the business running.

“There’s costumes I’m selling for as low as $5, $10. I would just like to get them in people’s hands and out of my building and keep operating and hope for a better 2021.”

To add have your scary Halloween house added to the map send an email to

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Woman loses $13,000 after buying excavator through online business she believes is a scam

Bogus companies are using remote towns like Mount Isa in north-west Queensland to help facilitate their scams because they are not easily traced, the local chamber of commerce has warned.

A Tasmanian woman lost more than $13,000 after she purchased a used excavator online from a company called AC-Equipment Supplies that claimed to have an address in the mining town.

Debra Crosswell, who lives in Glenorchy near Hobart, said she now believed it was an “elaborate scam” as the machinery never arrived and the website had disappeared.

“They had a registered ABN, everything looked legit,” Ms Crosswell said.

“I have from them a sales contract, I have a return policy, I have an invoice, everything stamped, dated.”

Ms Crosswell said she deposited the money into the company’s account earlier this month, but became concerned after being told delivery of the machinery was delayed.

“I worried about it all night. I couldn’t sleep,” she said.

The company that Ms Crosswell dealt with is not to be confused with the business AC Equipment registered in South Australia or ACE Equipment in New South Wales.

AC Equipment said, over the past four months, they have received a dozen phone calls from the public about scam concerns.

An AC Equipment spokesman said the South Australian company was a legitimate business that had been operating for 20 years.

A sales contract sent to Ms Crosswell from AC-Equipment Supplies displaying an address in Mount Isa, which is the physical address of another business.(Supplied: Debra Crosswell)

Concerns raised with business group

Ms Crosswell said she contacted the chamber of commerce in Mount Isa, which informed her the company — AC-Equipment Supplies — did not exist and another business was operating at that location.

“Being Mount Isa, being the recession that we’re in, we thought obviously they’re going to have heaps of earthmoving equipment in Mount Isa because they’re a mining town, so we just thought we were getting a good deal,” she said.

Commerce North West’s Emma Harman said she had received several phone calls from residents interstate enquiring about the legitimacy of businesses purporting to have stores in Mount Isa, including five queries about a caravan website.

The caravan website said the company’s showroom was at an address in Mount Isa, which happened to be in the same suburb of Ryan — the address on the excavator sales contract received by Ms Crosswell.

“It’s only when you start looking at the addresses that they’re giving on that website that the addresses don’t match up with what they say they are.”

Ms Harman said she believed scammers were using Mount Isa addresses because of the town’s remote location.

There was no answer when the ABC called the companies’ phone numbers — the calls went to an automated voicemail.

Tasmania Police said it was aware of Ms Crosswell’s case, which was being investigated by authorities in Queensland.

Queensland Police said it was investigating where the $13,000 Ms Crosswell claimed to have lost had gone.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it had received 214 reports about scams relating to caravans since the start of the year, which had resulted in more than $129,000 in losses.

It also received 15 reports of scams regarding excavators, totalling more than $73,000 in losses.

Be wary of cheap online deals

An ACCC spokesperson said people should arrange physical inspections before purchasing big-ticket items and be wary of deals that sounded “too good to be true”.

The spokesperson said online tools, such as Google Maps, could assist in verifying a company’s physical address.

Ms Crosswell urged consumers to use bank cheques when making online purchases and to check company credentials with business groups.

“My bank said they can’t do anything because it wasn’t an online transfer,” she said.

She is also calling for more information and support for scam victims.

“When something like this happens you need someone to talk to,” Ms Crosswell said.

Queensland Police said they referred victims to non-government organisations if they required support.

A charity group, Life After Scams, offers an emotional support service for scam victims.

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