Gunmen have reportedly kidnapped four Australians and a New Zealander in Nigeria’s Delta region after an attack in which their driver was shot dead.
The Australian Government is working with the Nigerian Government to confirm the details of the kidnapping. The incident happened at approximately 5:30am local time near the southern city of Malabar. It is understood that the Australians involved were working for a large Perth-based mining and engineering company, Macmahon Holdings. The Delta region is far from the northern region in which the Islamic group Boko Haram operates. The kidnapping is considered unlikely to have any political motive, and to have been conducted by criminal gangs motivated primarily by the pursuit of ransom money.
Farmer Ian Turnbull to die in jail for killing environmental officer
Ian Turnbull, who shot and killed an environmental officer in north-western New South Wales, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. A non-parole period of 24 years was set, so it is likely the 81-year-old farmer from Moree will die in prison. Turnbull was last month found guilty of the 2014 murder of Glen Turner, an NSW environmental officer who had been involved in promoting land clearing prosecutions against Turnbull’s family. In sentencing at Sydney’s Supreme Court, Justice Peter Johnson said he was convinced “no lesser sentence” was appropriate.
Two men charged with the death of Lynette Daley
Adrian Attwater, 42, and Paul Maris, 46, have been charged over the 2011 death of Lynette Daley. Attwater was charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault. Maris was charged as an accessory to manslaughter and aggravated assault. Daley’s body was dumped on Ten Mile beach in northern NSW. A post-mortem examination revealed she had been sexually assaulted. The two men will appear in Grafton Local Court on August 2.
Debate in parliament to decriminalise abortion in NSW
Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi has called for NSW to decriminalise abortion. She says all women should have the right to make decisions about their body and believes the stigma around women who choose to abort should be removed. The bill would remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act and would create a 150-metre buffer zone around abortion clinics to protect the privacy of patients. Private abortion clinics operate throughout NSW but doctors and patients still face the possibility of prosecution if a court of law were to find a patient did not meet the narrow criteria authorised to terminate a pregnancy.
Australian gun laws reduce mass shootings and homicides
A landmark study has found that mass shootings and homicides have decreased in Australia since gun laws were tightened in 1996. In the 20 years before the reforms 13 mass shootings in Australia killed more than 100 people. Since the reforms there have been no mass shootings. Though homicide and suicide firearm related deaths were falling before 1996, the rate at which such were decreasing accelerated after the reforms. The latest research into gun-related deaths in Australia was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. – Madeleine Wilson
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