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Mass shootings in New Zealand: What we know so far | World News

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A number of people have died in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers in New Zealand.

Here is what we know so far:

:: Two mosques in Christchurch were targeted, with the deadliest shooting unfolding at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in the city centre.

:: The number of those killed and injured is currently unclear.

Ambulances rush to the scene of mass shootings in Christchurch
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The shooting happened on Friday afternoon

:: Witnesses said the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque lasted for 20 minutes, with the gunman going from room to room.

:: Three men and one woman are in custody, and police say there may be other attackers at large.

Police direct traffic at a road junction following the shootings
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Police direct traffic at a road junction following the shootings

:: Schools are in lockdown across Christchurch and mosques nationally have been told to shut their doors. Armed police have been deployed across the city centre.

:: A number of improvised explosive devices strapped to vehicles have been made safe.









PM: ‘One of New Zealand’s darkest days’

:: Footage on social media appears to show the gunman live-streaming as he entered the mosque with his weapon drawn.

:: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said it is “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

The Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch. Pic: Google Street View
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The Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch. Pic: Google Street View

:: Bangladesh’s cricket team was approaching the mosque for Friday prayers at the time of the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

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Sir David Attenborough: Pandemic could make nations realise climate issue depends on co-operation | UK News

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Sir David Attenborough has said the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the climate change problem into “the distant future” – but hopes people will now see our survival depends on co-operation.

The broadcaster and naturalist, 94, told the first episode of the So Hot Right Now podcast: “The trouble is that right now the climate issue is also seen as being rather in the distant future because we’ve got the virus to think about.

“And so what are the papers full of? The virus. Quite right, that’s what I want to know about, too.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough attends the launch of the UK-hosted COP26 UN Climate Summit, which is being held this autumn in Glasgow, at the Science Museum on February 4, 2020 in London, England. Johnson will reiterate the government's commitment to net zero by 2050 target and call for international action to achieve global net zero emissions. The PM is also expected to announce plans to bring forward the current target date for ending new petrol and diesel vehicle sales in the UK from 2040 to 2035, including hybrid vehicles for the first time. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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Sir David said he was disappointed COP26 in Glasgow could not happen

“But we have to make sure that this issue, which was coming to the boil with the next COP meeting in Glasgow, has suddenly been swept off the front pages.

“And we’ve got to get it back there.”

The COP26 international climate talks were due to take place in Glasgow this November but have been postponed due to the pandemic.

Asked whether he saw a solution to the lack of focus on climate change awareness, Sir David said: “No, if I knew that I would be a dictator but I’m not.

More from David Attenborough

“I don’t know – we, you and me and lots of others like us have got to keep on going on about it but the clock is ticking.

“The danger of the Arctic and the Antarctic warming is becoming greater day by day.”



Sir David Attenborough says young people need to show politicians that they mean what they say.







Sir David Attenborough: Young people have to show they mean it

Sir David said he hopes the pandemic makes nations realise they have to work together, but suggested it would be a first.

“What the result of coronavirus is going to be I don’t know,” he told journalist Lucy Siegle and film-maker Tom Mustill, who host the podcast.

“But I’m beginning to get a feeling that for the first time the nations of the world are beginning to see that survival depends on co-operation.

“If that happens, that’s going to be a first in human history.”

:: Listen to Coronavirus: In This Together on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Spreaker

Sir David, a great supporter of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, said she was “remarkable” for energising young people and for following the science.

He said: “I think she’s very remarkable. And what is more she is, with all that power, she is nonetheless extremely modest.

“She is extremely well informed. But she’s also very modest. And she keeps saying: Look, the only guide has to be the science, we must follow what the science says.”

Sir David Attenborough has issued a warning on climate change
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Sir David said he hopes the pandemic will show people nations need to work together

The naturalist said Ms Thunberg’s critics were not “particularly well informed” which is why they act “outraged”.

“Yes, well that’s the way it is. That’s the way life is, that’s the way society is,” he said.

“And in fact if you aren’t particularly well informed about the natural world, and the minute you find that you can’t get to your work to do what you want to do, or what you need to do to earn a living, because somebody has stopped you because they are talking about an issue you don’t know about, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there will be some people as a consequence of that who will act in an outraged way.”

The So Hot Right Now podcast will be available on all podcast platforms from Tuesday.

Singer Ellie Goulding, UN climate negotiator Christiana Figueres and former president of Ireland Mary Robinson will also feature in the series.

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New Zealand: Prime minister Jacinda Ardern unrattled as earthquake hits during live TV interview | World News

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An earthquake that struck near New Zealand’s capital had people diving for cover – but not prime minister Jacinda Ardern who continued with a live TV interview.

The 5.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday morning was 23 miles (37km) deep and the epicentre was 18.6m (30km) northwest of Levin, a city in the country’s North Island close to the capital Wellington, according to GeoNet.

It lasted for more than 30 seconds and no damage was reported but it caused panic in Wellington as people in offices and homes rushed for cover under tables.

Jacinda Ardern experiences quake during live interview
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Ms Ardern said it was a ‘decent’ tremor

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern was being interviewed live on TV from the parliament building, called the beehive, when the tremors started.

The camera could be seen shaking as the PM looked to the ceiling and said: “We’re just having an earthquake here, Ryan.

“Quite a decent shake here if you see things moving behind me.

“The beehive moves a little more than most.”

When asked whether she was safe and if she was alright to carry on, Ms Ardern said: “Yes, no, it’s just stopped.

“No, we’re fine, I’m not under any hanging lights and I look like I’m in a structurally sound place.”

Jacinda Ardern experiences quake during live interview
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Ms Ardern said she was safe although she could feel the room moving

After finding out the strength of the earthquake, she later said it was “not an unreasonable shake”.

More than 36,800 people reported feeling the tremor to GeoNet, New Zealand’s geological hazard information unit.

The unit said there were 40 aftershocks to Monday’s quake, ranging from 1.7 to 4 magnitude.

Wellington’s emergency services said there were no immediate reports of damage, while all trains in the city were suspended as engineers assessed the impact.

:: Listen to Coronavirus: In This Together on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Spreaker

New Zealanders are fairly used to tremors as the country’s islands lie on the “Ring of Fire”, a 24,855m (40,000km) series of volcanoes and ocean trenches in the Pacific Ocean.

The city of Christchurch is still recovering from a 6.3 magnitude quake in 2011 that killed 185 people.

In 2016, the South Island town of Kaikoura was hit by a 7.8 magnitude tremor, killing two and causing billions of dollars worth of damage, including in Wellington.

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Benjamin Netanyahu: Israeli PM in court accused of fraud, breach of trust and bribery | World News

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A defiant Israeli prime minister has appeared in court for the first day of his corruption trial claiming that he is the victim of a conspiracy by media, police, prosecutors and judges to oust him.

In a televised statement made just before he entered the courtroom, Benjamin Netanyahu accused police and prosecutors of conspiring to “depose” him.

“The objective is to depose a strong, right-wing prime minister, and thus remove the nationalist camp from the leadership of the country for many years,” he said.

Benjamin Netanyahu
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He denies all the charges which include fraud, breach of trust and bribery

It was the opening day of a trial which could last years and marks a historic moment for Israel.

Mr Netanyahu is the first sitting Israeli leader ever to go on trial. He is accused of fraud and breach of trust in two cases and bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a third case. He denies all the charges.

The three cases against him – Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000 – centre around his relationships with businessmen, media tycoons and a leading Israeli telecoms firm.

Since the charges were first brought against him by police investigators in December 2018, he has sought to avoid prosecution and the spectacle of appearing in the dock, calling the whole process an “attempted coup”.

More from Benjamin Netanyahu

“They are not after the truth. They are after me,” he said. “[It is a] terror attack against Israeli democracy.”

When the charges were formally announced last year, Israel’s Attorney General said he brought them “with a heavy heart – but wholeheartedly”.

Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wave Israeli flags and hold placards as they rally just before Netanyahu's corruption trial opens, outside the District Court in Jerusalem May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
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Supporters of the PM wave Israeli flags and hold placards

“It is not an issue of left wing or right. Enforcing the law isn’t a matter of choice,” Avichai Mandelblit said.

An attempt by Mr Netanyahu to secure parliamentary immunity from prosecution last year failed. The trial was then delayed by two months in March because of coronavirus restrictions.

Last week he argued, unsuccessfully, that attending today was unnecessary, costly and would violate social distancing rules.

The trial has hung over him through three election campaigns, none of which he managed to win outright.

This month the country’s political deadlock was finally broken with the formation of a coalition government deal in which his political rival, Benny Gantz, will take over as Prime Minister in 18 months’ time.

Netanyahu gazes at his lawyer while waiting for proceedings to begin
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Netanyahu gazes at his lawyer while waiting for proceedings to begin at the Jerusalem District Court

By law, a sitting Prime Minister does not have to resign until a final conviction and all appeals have been exhausted and this trial could go on for years. There are 333 prosecution witnesses.

A clause in the coalition agreement means even after Mr Netanyahu hands over power to Mr Gantz in 18 months, he is still not required to resign while on trial because of his position as the “alternate” Prime Minister.

In the courtroom on the first day, Mr Netanyahu and his co-defendants listened to charges against them. Defendants can enter plea bargain at any point before verdict.

Speaking outside court, Anshel Pfeffer, author of Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, told Sky News: “This is certainly a pivotal moment in his life.

“For four years, the investigation has been going on very slowly and finally we have reached the moment when he actually has to sit down in court,” Mr Pfeffer said.

“We saw a very telling moment as he went in. For 50 minutes it was the judges and the prosecutors who were in charge of the proceedings. This was a very different Netanyahu sitting on his own on the defendants’ bench doing what he was told. It was a metamorphosis for Netanyahu.”

As a renowned and extraordinary political survivor, many expect Mr Netanyahu, “the magician”, to conjure up some surprises.

He gave a statement - flanked by people wearing face masks - before entering court
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He gave a statement – flanked by people wearing face masks – before entering court

His lawyers complained to the judges that the investigation documents were not presented to them in time. The same complaint was made by the lawyers of the other defendants.

The three cases against Mr Netanyahu are:

Case 1000 – The Gifts Affair: Fraud & breach of trust. It is alleged that Mr Netanyahu received luxury goods including champagne and cigars totalling the equivalent of £162,000 from two businessmen over a continuous period amounting to a “supply channel”. It is alleged that the prime minister “acted for the benefit” of businessmen. He insists gifts were “tokens of friendship” and that he did not act inappropriately.

Case 2000 – The Media Affair: Fraud & breach of trust. It is alleged that Mr Netanyahu held several meetings with Arnon Mozes, controlling shareholder of the Yedioth Ahronoth media group. It is claimed that they discussed promoting their common interests: favourable coverage in return for restrictions of rival paper. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Case 4000 – The Bezeq Affair: Bribary, fraud & breach of trust. It is alleged that there was a “reciprocal arrangement” between Mr Netanyahu and Shaul Elovitch, controlling shareholder in Bezeq, a leading Israeli telecoms firm. It is alleged that the prime minister was involved in the promotion of regulatory decisions that favoured Bezeq.

Proceedings will continue on 19 July in a trial which could last several years.



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