New Caledonia earthquake – South Pacific islands smashed by 'strong' 6.2 magnitude tremor days after quake caused tsunami warning

Loyalty Islands near New Caledonia was hit with the 6.2 tremor on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It struck at a depth of 16 miles (26 km) and about 117 miles (189 km) southeast of Tadine.

There were no immediate warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

It follows a powerful 7.6 quake that hit near New Caledonia on Wednesday.

The rumble sparked "immediate" mass evacuations as huge waves were spotted off the South Pacific island coast.

More to follow…

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Lock your car to help have a happy holiday: Regina Police

Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 the Regina Police Service received 80 reports of theft from vehicles. With holiday shopping season in full swing, this has police encouraging residents to lock their vehicles and remove valuables in an attempt to discourage thieves.

Police are concerned that a number of these reports include the theft of garage door openers. The police statement goes on to say that if a thief enters a garage with a stolen garage door opener the thief may also have access to your home. This also upgrades the situation to a break and enter. Police are also encouraging drivers to take garage door openers with them when they leave their vehicle.

Other items reported stolen from vehicles include laptops, wallets, gym bags, tools and other miscellaneous valuables.

Residents are encouraged to call police at 306-777-6500 if they see suspicious activity in their neighbourhood or 9-1-1 if they see a crime in progress or emergency.

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Mr Bates arrested after ‘solo sex act in New Jersey doctor’s bathroom’

A VERY unfortunate name! Serial public masturbator named Mr Bates is arrested and hospitalized after trying to penetrate himself with a toilet brush in a doctor’s bathroom

  • Brian Bates, from New York, is accused of pleasuring himself in front of women
  • Police say the 47-year-old was also ‘caught attempting to penetrate his anus with the handle of the toilet bowl scrubber’
  • He was taken to hospital to be assessed following the alleged incident and charged with criminal open lewdness
  • Mr Bates has a history of exposing himself and a string of arrests going back to 1997 for similar incidents in a Barnes & Noble store 

Brian Bates, 47, was arrested after an alleged incident with a brush in a doctor’s bathroom

A serial public masturbator named Mr Bates has been hospitalized after an alleged incident with a brush in a New Jersey doctor’s bathroom.

Awkwardly named Brian Bates, from New York, is accused of pleasuring himself in front of women at a Paramus doctor’s office.

Police say the 47-year-old was caught also ‘attempting to penetrate his anus with the handle of the toilet bowl scrubber’.

Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg told nj.com: ‘Upon police arrival, officers found Bates in the bathroom with the door open while masturbating and simultaneously attempting to penetrate his anus with the handle of the toilet bowl scrubber.

‘This act was witnessed by several adult females who were in the office.’

Bates, who has been charged with criminal open lewdness, was taken to New Bridge Medical Center for evaluation.

Police say he has a history of exposing himself and a string of arrests going back to 1997 for similar incidents.

In February 1998 cops said he was seen exposing himself by eight, nine, and 11-year-old children at a Barnes & Noble.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred at a Paramus doctor’s office in New Jersey


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They say a few months earlier, in December 1997, he was seen masturbating at the bookstore by two women.

And in October 1997 cops say he exposed himself to a little girl, four, at the same store.

He pleaded guilty to a lewdness charge in 1998 and served a year of probation, court records show.

 

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Who is Justin Barber, did he kill his wife and what's the truth behind the murder case?

His trial heard how the high flying executive was heavily in debt and philanderer who stood to gain from an insurance policy if his wife died. Here’s what you need to know about the gripping case.

Who is Justin Barber?

Barber was a business analyst living in Florida who was convicted of murdering his wife April.

Justin, then 34, and April Barber, 27, had been married for three years, and both had high-paying jobs.

He was raised a Pentecostal Christian in Oklahoma and grew up on a farm.

Reports at the time described him as an A grade student at high school who gave the speech at his graduation ceremony.

Barber went on to Oklahoma University, tried his hand as a financial analyst and then went back to university to pursue a business degree, NBC news reported.

In August 1999, 10 months after meeting, April and Justin married in a small ceremony in the Bahamas.

Did he kill his wife?

Barber was accused of killing April during a stroll on a beach in Guana River State Park, north Florida, on August 17, 2002.

A passer-by found him slumped, dazed and bleeding behind the wheel of his SUV on a coastal highway near the shore.

Barber said him and his wife had been attacked by an unknown assailant and after the passer-by called 911, paramedics found April on the beach but were unable to revive her.

He told police the attack could have been a robbery and he was treated for a day in hospital for four gunshot wounds and then released.

Barber took detectives back to the scene of the crime and told them how he struggled with an assailant.

But he passed out and when he woke up, tried to drag April up the beach then realised he had himself been shot, he said.

The vague details he gave about the assailant and the lack of any clues in the scrub by the beach made them suspicious.

After digging into the couple’s life, they found Barber had moved away from home for work and she feared he was having an affair.

He cooperated with the police inquiry but eventually forensic evidence linked him to the murder.

A tenacious specialist also uncovered searches on Barber’s computer showing he had researched how to survive gunshots.

On the day of the killing, he downloaded a Guns N' Roses song with the lyrics: "I used to love her, but I had to kill her."

He was then charged with first degree murder and prosecutors said they would be seeking the death penalty.

What's the truth behind the murder case?

The case came to court in 2006 in St John’s County, Florida and the key to the prosecution’s case was that Barber murdered April for an insurance payout.

He was heavily in debt having lost $58,000 trading on the stock market and stood to gain $2 million proceeds from an insurance policy.

During the complex trial, prosecutors relied on forensic evidence for their case.

They maintained that after 11 months of plotting, Barber first tried to drown his wife and then dragged to the boardwalk by the beach and shot her in the face.

They also presented evidence of five affairs in the three years he was married to April.

Defence lawyers said evidence that a car had been seen on the beach where April was killed was buried by police keen to pin the murder on Barber.

They said his $105,000 a year salary was enough to repay his debts and the internet searches were merely innocent queries.

Barber was himself lucky not to have died after being shot four times, they said, and that the bullet holes in his shirt were consistent with someone else firing them.

At the end of the trial, the jury were initially split but after four days of deliberations found him guilty.

During the sentencing phase of the case, the jury deliberated for 51 minutes and was split 8 to 4 in favour of the death penalty.

He was eventually he sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Barber was back in court in 2013 to seek a retrial on the basis that he hadn’t been properly represented at the original hearing, but the appeal was dismissed.



 

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Act on climate change to cut 'outrageous' pollution deaths: World Health Organisation

KATOWICE, POLAND (REUTERS) – Fighting climate change is one of the best ways to improve health around the world, and the benefits of fewer deaths and hospitalisations would far outweigh the costs of not acting, the World Health Organisation said.

Keeping global warming “well below” 2 deg C, as governments have pledged to do under the 2015 Paris Agreement, could save about a million lives a year by 2050 through reducing air pollution alone, the United Nations agency said.

Burning fossil fuels – which emit carbon dioxide, the main culprit for climate change – is a major driver of air pollution, the WHO said in a report issued at UN climate talks in Poland on Wednesday (Dec 5).

Dr Maria Neira, the WHO’s director for public health, said exposure to air pollution causes seven million deaths worldwide every year.

“This is one of the most outrageous things happening today,” she said. “We want to tell countries: the more you delay this (clean energy) transition, the more you will be responsible for the… millions of deaths that are recorded every year.”

Health gains resulting from action to curb climate change – from adopting renewable energy to getting people out of cars and onto bicycles – would add up to about twice the cost of rolling out those policies globally, and even more in China and India, the WHO said, citing a recent study.

WHO scientist and report author Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum said health had often been disconnected from discussions on climate change, but there was now an urgent need to break down the barriers and talk about the benefits for society.

“This is the same fight, and we have the same answers,” he added.

In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gases, the cost of air pollution for public health is estimated at more than 4 per cent of gross domestic product, the WHO report said.

In comparison, keeping warming to the Paris deal temperature limits would require investing about 1 per cent of global GDP.

Professor Kristie Ebi, a professor of global health at the University of Washington, said the world now had scientific evidence that “people today are suffering and dying from climate change”.

The consequences range from chronic diseases linked to air pollution, such as asthma and lung cancer, to under-nutrition as crop yields fall and rising carbon dioxide levels in the air slash nutrients in staple foods, she added.

Mr Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s minister of agriculture and disaster management, said his Pacific island nation was already experiencing the effects of climate change on health, such as an increase in water-borne diseases after storms and floods.

It is working to build solar-powered health clinics that can also withstand strong winds and other extreme weather, he noted.

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Despite such efforts, the WHO report said financial support – particularly for small island nations and the poorest countries – remains “woefully inadequate”.

Only about 0.5 per cent of funds provided by international institutions for measures to adapt to climate change have been allocated to health projects, it added.

Money is also lacking for scientific research into the different options for tackling the problem, Prof Ebi said.

If countries do not ramp up efforts to protect their people’s health on a warming planet, the battle is likely to end up in the courts, warned WHO’s Dr Neira.

That is already happening, lawyers and plaintiffs in climate change legal cases told reporters on the sidelines of the Dec 2-14 talks in the Polish coal-mining city of Katowice.

In Switzerland, for example, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of about 1,000 elderly women who are challenging the government’s emissions reduction policy on the grounds that they are vulnerable to heatwaves exacerbated by climate change.

And in an ongoing court case filed against the US government, health experts have diagnosed plaintiffs with asthma linked to air pollution and emotional trauma caused by climate stresses, group member Vic Barrett, 19, said in Poland.

“It is not just about saving the planet and the glaciers in the future – it is about protecting the health of the people right now,” said Dr Neira.

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READ MORE STORIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE

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Michigan is the first Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana

DETROIT — Michigan is officially becoming the first state in the Midwest to allow marijuana for more than medical purposes.

Thursday marks the first day for recreational partaking of pot, following voters’ strong endorsement in the Nov. 6 election. Michigan is among 11 states along with the District of Columbia to have legalized adult use.

Michigan residents 21 and older can possess or transport up to 2.5 ounces (70.8 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants out of public view. It can be consumed only at homes or other private property, though landlords and employers can prohibit it.

The move comes 10 years after Michigan voters approved medical marijuana.

Retail shops are still months away and must involve state regulators.

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Heroic boy who saved his mum from being raped dies

A teenage schoolboy who heroically saved his mother from a brutal knifeman rapist has died 19 months after his skull was destroyed fighting off the monster.

Vanya Krapivin, 16, came home from school to find neighbour Roman Pronin straddling his screaming, blood-soaked mum.

The previously convicted murderer repeatedly attacked Natalia Krapivina, 43, with a knife seeking to force her to have sex with him.

Vanya – then 15 – entered the flat in Severodvinsk, northwest Russia and saw the appalling scene.

He picked up a 3kg dumbbell and struck the beast.

Pronin, 37, later jailed for 14 years and now facing an additional murder charge after the boy’s death, deflected the blow and turned his fury on Vanya.

He wrestled the dumbbell from him, and pounded it over his head.

Neighbours hearing the commotion called the police while the vicious attacker fled believing both were dead.

Vanya and his mother were both found unconscious on the floor in the blood soaked flat.

The boy fell into a coma for nine months while his mother had suffered 27 stab wounds – but her life was saved by her son’s bravery.

Deeply traumatised from her own experience and her son’s savage skull injuries, Natalia was released from hospital a few months later, but only visited her son twice after the horror of the ordeal, according to reports.

Her brave son suffered serious brain damage and lost almost all the frontal bone of his skull.

Surgeons were forced to remove some of his brain, and a massive fund raising campaign was launched by prominent Russian TV presenter Andrey Malakhov for titanium plates he needed in his skull and other medical expenses.

One year later, Vanya showed “light signs of being conscious” after treatment from top Russian surgeon Leonid Roshal.

In June this year he started to recognise his nurse, and ate porridge and mashed food.

In July, he went to a rehabilitation centre in Moscow amid renewed hope of improvement.

Funds were being raised to send the hero boy to Spain for further recovery.

But in October he contracted flu and despite intensive care treatment his condition worsened and he died on Tuesday this week.

Tragically, his distraught mother could not cope with her son’s condition, blaming herself – even though she was Pronin’s victim too.

It was revealed that she had pleaded with the authorities before the attack not to allow a released murderer to live in her block close to children.

She faced criticism in Russia for not being at Vanya’s bedside.

Natalia sought funds to treat her son and told a TV audience: “ I beg to be pardoned…(for not visiting him more frequently).

“And I want to ask you, please, help my son.

“I don’t remember what happened that day.”

Admitting she had turned to drink after the horrific ordeal she said: “Everybody now tells me that I am to blame for everything …

“I am ready to be treated.

“And I want to be with my son.”

She has not spoken since Vanya’s death.

Pronin was jailed for two attempted murders and he will now face a murder charge.

A criminal investigation is also underway into why the convicted murderer was allowed to live near children.

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House passes bill to avoid government shutdown

The House on Thursday passed a two-week spending bill to keep the government operating and avoid a partial shutdown — putting the debate over funding for President Trump’s border wall on hold for the next two weeks.

The Senate was expected to pass the measure later in the day, just ahead of Friday’s deadline, The Hill reported.

Trump wants Congress to fork over at least $5 billion in funding for the border wall — which he used to say would be paid for by Mexico — in legislation to fund the entire government through the next fiscal year.

But Democrats have only agreed to $1.6 billion in funding for security improvements at the border — and can filibuster legislation in the Senate, making it highly unlikely that the upper chamber would agree to boost wall funding.

The continuing resolution passed Thursday extended funding at present levels for government agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, State, Interior, Justice, Transportation and Commerce, among others, until Dec. 21.

According to estimates, Trump’s long-promised wall would cost at least $25 billion.

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‘This might be my last message’: Thailand set to deport Australian refugee

Thailand is set to send Australian resident and refugee Melbourne footballer Hakeem AlAraibi back to Bahrain, where he faces imprisonment and possible torture, a human rights group claims.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said on Friday morning AlAraibi would face a Thai court today and could be sent home within hours.

Hakeem AlAraibi (right) with AFC president Shiekh Salman, a member of the royal family who AlAraibi has been critical of in the past.Credit:Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy

"This might be my last message," the Pascoe Vale FC defender was quoted as saying. "I still don’t know whether I will be deported to Bahrain tomorrow. I appeal to the United Nations, individual states, FIFA, footballers, and all people, as my fate is now in danger and my future will soon be over. If I am deported to Bahrain, don’t forget me, and if once I’m there you hear me saying things, don’t believe me. I know what will happen to me and I know I will be tortured to confess things that I have never done. Please continue your fight to save me.”

AlAraibi has been in detention in Thailand since November 27, when he was arrested on landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Hakeem AlAraibi in immigration detention at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.Credit:Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy

The 25-year-old, who was granted asylum status in 2014, has had permanent residency in Australia since 2017 and was entering Thailand on holiday with his wife.

AlAraibi has been publicly outspoken against the torture he suffered in Bahraini detention during the Arab Spring uprising in 2012.

In 2014, he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison for vandalising a police station. He says he was overseas playing a televised match when the alleged offence occurred.

He was the subject of an Interpol red notice, which human rights observers say was issued in breach of its own rules as AlAraibi has refugee status. Once the red notice was lifted, it had been thought AlAraibi would be free to return to Australia, but on December 3 a court ordered he be detained for a further 12 days while evidence was gathered.

The BIRD statement on Friday morning said the Thai chief of immigration has stated that, since Bahrain has issued an arrest warrant, it is now up to the Thai court to decide on the case because there is no bilateral extradition treaty.

The statement said AlAraibi was prevented from seeing his lawyer at Suan Phlu (Bangkok) Immigration Detention Centre, despite the lawyer making verbal and written requests.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at BIRD said: “If Hakeem is extradited to Bahrain the Thai government will breach international law and cross a red line which will prompt the international community to act. During Thailand’s National Day we all witnessed how Bahrain’s Prime Minister hailed the strong ties between the two countries.

"This is a toxic relationship that could destroy the life of a 25-year-old, whose only crime has been to tell the truth about his government’s ruthless torture.

"After the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the world should not underestimate how far the Gulf States will go to repress dissent."

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American priest accused of sexually assaulting altar boys arrested in the Philippines

American Roman Catholic priest Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks was accused of sexually assaulting altar boys in a church in the Philippines, in a case one official described as "shocking and appalling." (Bureau of Immigration PIO via AP)

An American Catholic priest who's lived in a remote Philippines town for nearly four decades was reportedly arrested Thursday after being accused of sexually assaulting several altar boys.

Philippines immigration officials said Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, who has been indicted in Ohio for alleged illicit sexual conduct in the Philippines, was arrested in a church in Naval town on the island province of Biliran. Hendricks had previously lived in Ohio but was not ordained a priest until he left the U.S.

An Ohio court issued a warrant for the 77-year-old stemming from complaints made by Filipino minors who said they were victimized by Hendricks.

The priest was flown to Manila and detained in an immigration cell.

Hendricks stands accused of abusing seven minors, most of whom served as altar boys in the Naval church, and faces 50 counts of molestation, according to Philippines Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval.

Sandoval called the case “both shocking and appalling.”

“The victims were in his house and the abuses were committed while he was taking a bath with each of them,” she told the Associated Press.

U.S. authorities provided information about the alleged sexual assaults to Philippines officials, Sandoval added.

The U.S. Embassy, which did not immediately react to the news of the arrest, may revoke Hendricks’ passport in a bid to help Philippine authorities deport him.

“[He is] a fugitive from justice that poses a risk to public safety and security,” Sandoval said. “We will not allow sexual predators to prey on our children. People like him must be kicked out and banned from the Philippines.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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