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January 8, 2006

Woman killed in shark attack at Amity Point, Australia

Woman killed in shark attack at Amity Point, Australia

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Sunday, January 8, 2006Original Reporting

Location of the attack

A woman in Australia has been killed in a shark attack. The attack occurred at 5pm (Local Time) just off Amity Point, North Stradbroke Island, south-east of Brisbane.

The woman, described as 21, had lost both arms up to the elbow and sustained severe wounds to her torso and legs. She was carried to shore by friends and was then flown by rescue helicopter to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Surgeons were unable to save her.

The woman was holidaying from Brisbane with a church camp and attempts to contact her family have been made.

Emergency Services Rescue Helicopter crew officer Rod Morgan said the woman had suffered massive blood loss.

“She was very pale” he said, “We were diverted right away and were able to be on the scene within minutes and were able to have the patient at hospital within an hour of the attack.”

“She had life threatening injuries she had lost significant amounts of blood and the patient had what we would call an altered level of consciousness where it wasn’t able to communicate directly with the patient” said Queensland Ambulance paramedic Lachlan Parker.

There were many witnesses at the scene and they are now being interviewed by Police at Amity Point. They are described as being distraught.

One witness, who asks to not be identified, described that the victim was swimming in the sea with her Border Collie. When the attack happened, the dog ran home to raise the alarm.

“I was across the road from where she was staying and I saw the dog come flying up the road all wet and shivering and whimpering,” she said, “Then a little boy came running up and said the girl had lost her leg and her arm and everyone ran out of the house towards the beach. It was just a little black-and-white dog but he was crazy so I locked him under the house.”

Other reports claim that the woman had been scuba diving in murky shallow water approximately 15 metres from the shore.

The woman is believed to be from McDowall in Brisbane, but her name has not yet been released.

A resident of Amity Point for 20 years, Brad Ross, said tourists visiting the area have been warned of potential attacks; “The shore just falls away into 30m of water and there are plenty of bull sharks out there. People know when they enter the water there they’re stepping into a shark habitat.”

Other beaches on the island are protected by drum lines.

Queensland state police inspector Peter Harding believes from the severity of the woman’s injuries that she was attacked by a group of bull sharks, a species known for aggressive behavior this time of year. Water police will search for the sharks today and as a result, beaches on the east and west of Amity Point have been closed.

This is the first attack in the area since August 1972.

Local wisdom cautions against allowing dogs in the water at swimming beaches, because of a fear that they attract sharks, perhaps because of residue accumulated from fleas which live on the dog’s blood.

Sources

External links

  • Australian Museum. “Sharks” — Australian Museum, 2003
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White House, Kerry criticizes comments made by televangelist Pat Robertson

White House, Kerry criticizes comments made by televangelist Pat Robertson

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Sunday, January 8, 2006

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and outspoken televangelist, has once again created political waves after saying that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke because he tried to “divide God’s land.”

The comment was made during Robertson’s 700 Club program last week. Robertson said that Sharon’s stroke was a punishment from God.

The White House quickly blasted the comment, and distanced itself from Robertson.

“I think [Robertson’s] comments were wholly inappropriate and offensive, and really don’t have a place in this or any other debate,” said Deputy Press Secretary Trent Duffy during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One on Friday.

Duffy also said that President Bush continues to pray for the Israeli leader, who many say is the region’s best chance for peace.

“The President spoke about him yesterday and what a historic figure he is, as far as bringing peace to the Middle Eastern region. And our thoughts and prayers continue to be with him,” said Duffy.

Numerous religious figures around the world spoke out against Robertson’s comments, saying that the comments are not consistent with Christian beliefs.

Former US Presidential Candidate John Kerry also criticized Robertson, saying that the commentator ignored the risks Sharon took to bring peace to Israel.

“It is beyond shocking to think that as Prime Minister Sharon fights for his life, Pat Robertson would attack his character,” said Kerry. “Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to hear such venom from someone who claimed Hurricane Katrina was punishment for the people of New Orleans.”

Sources

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Truckies could foot the bill for NSW Pacific Highway upgrade

Truckies could foot the bill for NSW Pacific Highway upgrade

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Sunday, January 8, 2006

A section of the Pacific Highway South of Buladelah
(Image missing locally: image; log)

Just two weeks after a join statement by Australian federal roads minister Jim Lloyd and his New South Wales counterpart Joe Tripoldi that tolls may be used to fast track upgrades of the Pacific Highway, acting Prime Minister Mark Vaile suggested that truck operators could pay up to a $70 toll.

Mr Vaile claims that industry sources claim that it is $400 less for a B-double semi trailer to drive from Sydney to Brisbane via the Pacific Highway than the New England Highway (which is the national highway) because of the upgrades carried out over the past 10 years.

Mr Valie claims the transport industry would accept a $70 toll. “Anything we do is going to enhance their efficiency”. “Therefore the transport industry would be prepared to pay a toll – not just a $5 or $7 or $10 toll. For Sydney to Brisbane, who knows, (they could pay) a $50 to $70 toll, because these efficiencies are so significant now in running that sector.”

The federal and state governments have committed to converting the highway to dual carriageway between Sydney and Port Macquarie and Brisbane and Byron Bay within three years. The remainder of the highway (with the exception of the section replaced by the Sydney – Newcastle Freeway was scheduled to be completed by 2016.

Mr Vaile said that the New South Wales government should look at using public-private partnerships to fund upgrades between Port Macquarie and Byron Bay. He further hinted that regular motorists would still pay tolls, although they would be variable depending on the length of highway used.

Kathy and Greg Campbell who lost Greg’s mother and their daughters Becky, 9, and Jessy, 8, when a truck slammed into their car head on south of Buladelah said the number of trucks which use the single carriageway section is an outrage. Ms Campbell said that the federal government received AU$14 billion a year in fuel excise from motorists and the estimated cost to complete the highway upgrade was AU$8 billion.

Related Wikinews

Sources

  • Truckie Toll” — Skynews Australia, January 8, 2006
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Representative Tom DeLay not seeking future Majority Leader position

Representative Tom DeLay not seeking future Majority Leader position

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Sunday, January 8, 2006

File:Tom Delay old pix.jpg
Tom DeLay

Republican Tom DeLay, representative from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, announced on Saturday that he will not attempt to reclaim his majority leader position in the United States House of Representatives. Fellow Republicans, spear-headed by Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Melissa Hart (R-PA), began circulating a petition last week urging to elect a new majority speaker, thus setting the stage for House leadership elections.

In a letter written and addressed to fellow House Republicans on Saturday, DeLay said, “During my time in Congress, I have always acted in an ethical manner within the rules of our body and the laws of our land.”

He asked Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to convene a body to elect a new majority leader. “I cannot allow our adversaries to divide and distract our attention,” wrote DeLay.

The 58-year-old DeLay held the leadership post for 3 years, until he was forced to relinquish it in late 2005 after he became involved in an ethics scandal. He stepped down after a Texas jury indicted him for money laundering and conspiracy, but initially planned to re-seek the majority speaker post if he was acquitted.

Previous related news

  • Arrest warrant issued for Tom DeLay” — Wikinews, October 20, 2005
  • “U.S. house majority leader DeLay indicted, steps down temporarily” — Wikinews, September 28, 2005
  • “Tom Delay raises Republican hackles as ethics charges dominate news” — Wikinews, April 12, 2005

Sources

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Earthquake shakes Athens

Earthquake shakes Athens – Wikinews, the free news source

Earthquake shakes Athens

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Sunday, January 8, 2006

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On Sunday, an earthquake rocked the country of Greece early in the afternoon.

Seismographs have recorded the earthquake as a 6.7 (estimated) on the Richter Scale. There are only reports of minor damage at the island of Kythira, including 3 injuries.

Location-map of the Earthquake Source:USGS

The earthquake took place at 1:34 pm local time (1134 UTC) and was felt, according to locals, throughout Greece and as far away as Cairo, Egypt, and the coasts of Jordan. This is unusual, as previous major quakes in the highly-seismic Mediterranean country have been limited to a relatively small region.

The quake’s epicenter was located about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Athens near Kythira, the US Geological Survey institute said. Amending its previous report of a magnitude of 6.4, the USGS, based in Colorado, and the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.7, However, the Thessaloniki Aristotelion University’s Seismology Laboratory and the Patras seismic monitoring station have recorded the quake at a magnitude 6.9.

Aftershocks have been recorded near the epicentre, however were not as powerful as the original earthquake.

A witness in Athens at the time of the quake described the general mood as calm.

More than 100 people died following an earthquake in Athens, Greece, in 1999.

Sources

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Birmingham Central Mosque is set on fire

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Europe,Fires,Islam,Religion,United Kingdom — admin @ 5:00 am

Birmingham Central Mosque is set on fire

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Sunday, January 8, 2006

Birmingham Central Mosque in the Highgate area of Birmingham, UK was burgled and set on fire early Saturday morning.

Emergency services arrived within a matter of minutes after smoke was reported billowing from the building. The mosque was empty at the time, resulting in no injuries.

Damage is said to be confined to an office. West Midlands Police say an investigation is now being coordinated.

Sources

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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