Update: Police offer A$1m reward amid fears Cleo Smith was abducted

Australian authorities are offering a A$1m ($750,000; £540,000) reward for information on the whereabouts of a four-year-old girl they fear may have been abducted from a remote campsite. Cleo Smith was last seen sleeping in her family’s tent at the Quobba Blowholes coastal camp in Western Australia early on Saturday morning. Her mother said she discovered the tent open later that morning and the girl missing, along with her sleeping bag. Teams are searching by air and sea. “Someone in our community knows what happened to Cleo,” Western Australia Police commissioner Col Blanch told a news conference on Thursday. “Someone … Continue reading Update: Police offer A$1m reward amid fears Cleo Smith was abducted

Australian boy, 3, rescued after four days lost in bush

A three-year-old boy who went missing in the Australian bush four days ago has been found safe after a search. Anthony “AJ” Elfalak was spotted by police helicopters on Monday, drinking water from a creek on his family’s property in rural New South Wales. The little boy, who has autism and doesn’t speak, had been last seen at the house on Friday, his family had feared that he had been abducted. But rescuers found AJ on a riverbank about 500m from his house on the vast property in Putty, in the state’s north. In footage shared by New South Wales … Continue reading Australian boy, 3, rescued after four days lost in bush

New Zealand police shoot man dead after supermarket stabbing incident

Police in New Zealand have shot dead a man after he entered an Auckland supermarket and stabbed multiple people. Local reports say four people were injured, with witnesses describing a scene of hysteria. One witness told news outlet Stuff NZ that he saw an elderly man lying on the ground with a stab wound. Videos online show panicked shoppers running out of the Countdown supermarket at LynnMall in New Lynn. “Police can confirm that a man has entered a New Lynn supermarket and injured multiple people,” local police said in a statement. “Police have located the man and he has … Continue reading New Zealand police shoot man dead after supermarket stabbing incident

Tonga coach and ex-Wallaby Kefu recovering well after stabbing

Tonga coach and former Wallabies star Toutai Kefu has undergone surgery and was “recovering well” Tuesday after being stabbed during an attempted burglary at his Brisbane home, his family said.Tonga coach Toutai Kefu is ‘recovering well’ after surgery The 47-year-old was rushed to hospital in the early hours of Monday with his wife, a son and a daughter after three youths allegedly broke into their house. Another of Kefu’s daughters, Olivia, posted an update on social media after a 15-year-old boy was charged with attempted murder. “Both Josh and Dad had their surgeries yesterday and are recovering well,” she wrote, … Continue reading Tonga coach and ex-Wallaby Kefu recovering well after stabbing

Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament

Australia and New Zealand have pulled out of the Rugby League World Cup because of “player welfare and safety concerns” related to Covid-19. The men’s, women’s and wheelchair events are scheduled to take place in England this autumn. New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) chief Greg Peters said it was “simply too unsafe” to take part. Rugby Football League (RFL) chairman Simon Johnson called it a “selfish, parochial and cowardly decision”. “We are very unhappy with this decision and we are not prepared to take it lying down.” NZRL chief Peters said the decision to withdraw was made because the safety … Continue reading Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament

Quade Cooper denied Australian citizenship despite playing for national rugby team

New Zealand-born rugby union star Quade Cooper has been refused Australian citizenship – despite playing for the national team on 70 occasions. The former Wallabies fly-half, who has lived in Australia since the age of 13, described the moment his application was rejected on Tuesday as “awkward”. The 33-year-old played for the Wallabies between 2008 and 2017, including two rugby union World Cups. Cooper was permitted to play for the national team because of his residency. However, he was denied the opportunity to play for Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because he did not have … Continue reading Quade Cooper denied Australian citizenship despite playing for national rugby team

NZ farmer convicted for animal neglect after 226 sheep are euthanised

A New Zealand farmer has been convicted of mistreating his sheep after 226 of them had to be euthanised. The animals were found to be severely malnourished and ill and were put down. Famer Bevan Scott Tait had pleaded guilty although his defence said he had been suffering from depression and had not received enough support. On Monday, he was sentenced to nine months home detention and 150 hours community work under the Animal Welfare Act. He will also be barred from managing or owning farm animals for four years. Mr Tait’s farm in Russock Creek at the southern end … Continue reading NZ farmer convicted for animal neglect after 226 sheep are euthanised

Australia’s Sydney Airport gets $16.7bn takeover offer

The owner of Australia’s busiest airport has received a A$22.26bn ($16.7bn; £12.1bn) takeover offer. Sydney Airport said the proposal, which is below its pre-pandemic stock market valuation, was being reviewed. Its shares jumped by more than 30% after the buyout approach was announced – a move seen as a sign of confidence in air travel recovering post-pandemic. If the planned purchase is successful it would be the biggest such deal in the country this year. A consortium made up of IFM Investors, pension fund QSuper and Global Infrastructure Management tabled the offer of A$8.25 a share, which is a more … Continue reading Australia’s Sydney Airport gets $16.7bn takeover offer

Update: Australia moves refugee family after criticism

Australia has released a refugee family from Christmas Island, after their youngest child was flown to the mainland for medical care. The family will now be allowed to live together in Perth while they pursue legal action related to their immigration status. Four-year-old Tharnicaa Murugappan was evacuated to a Perth hospital last week after contracting a blood infection. Her medical condition reignited public concern for the family’s welfare. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the father, Nades, and eldest child, Kopika, 6, would be flown to Perth on Monday where they can join Tharnicaa and mother, Priya. The family has been … Continue reading Update: Australia moves refugee family after criticism

Just Insensitive: Producer resigns from New Zealand movie after backlash

The producer of a movie about the Christchurch terror attacks in New Zealand has pulled out of the project after mounting criticism over the film. Philippa Campbell apologised for her involvement and said she had not realised the hurt the film would cause. The proposed movie, They Are Us, is supposed to focus on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s role during the 2019 shooting at two Christchurch mosques. The shooting was New Zealand’s worst terrorist attack and killed 51 people. “I have listened to the concerns raised over recent days and I have heard the strength of people’s views,” Ms Campbell … Continue reading Just Insensitive: Producer resigns from New Zealand movie after backlash

Developing Story: Australia power station explosion leaves thousands without electricity

Hundreds of thousands of people across the Australian state of Queensland were left without electricity after an explosion at a power station. Energy companies are now scrambling to restore power while local officials have warned of traffic “chaos”. CS Energy said the fire broke out in the station near the town of Biloela around 13:45 local time (03:45 GMT). About 250,000 customers have had their electricity restored, but many are still without power, said the ABC. Continue reading Developing Story: Australia power station explosion leaves thousands without electricity

At least four injured in supermarket stabbing

At least four people have been injured, three of whom are now in critical condition, after a stabbing attack at a New Zealand supermarket. The stabbing took place at a Countdown supermarket in central Dunedin on South Island in the afternoon. One person has been taken into custody, authorities said. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the motivation behind the attack was not clear but that there was no indication it was a domestic terror event. Incidents of mass violence are rare in New Zealand but the country saw the 2019 Christchurch shooting when a white supremacist killed more than 50 … Continue reading At least four injured in supermarket stabbing