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  • Rain to make weekend return as cold front slams into south-east
  • A cold front has caused temperatures to plummet in the nation's south-east this morning, bringing the chance of snow in the Alps, while strong gusty winds batter Victoria.

    New South Wales and Queensland residents are bracing for more rain this weekend, as Sydney and Melbourne face minimum temperatures of 9C and 10C respectively today.

    Lows of 4C are forecast in Canberra today and Hobart will shiver through an 8C morning.

    READ MORE: Russia claims a victory as Ukrainian fighters leave Mariupol plant

    Cold weather stock Melbourne

    The front rolling over the country this morning, is one in "a series of cold fronts" expected this week.

    "A cold front will brush Victoria early Wednesday morning, with scattered showers mostly on and south of the ranges and about the northeast," the Bureau of Meterology (BoM) said.

    "Snow lowering to 1200 metres".

    READ MORE: Drone captures shark feeding frenzy off Western Australian coast

    https://twitter.com/BOM_au/status/1526427705494872065

    A south-west swell of five to six metres will also batter the west coast of Victoria today.

    This will "decay to near three metres during Thursday".

    And damaging winds are possible in the NSW alps above 1200 metres this morning.

    READ MORE: How TikTok changed the campaign game of Australian politics

    Rain returning to NSW and Queensland

    The weather bureau's five day forecast has shown showers will return to NSW and Queensland on Friday.

    The rain will strengthen over the weekend with 6 to 15 mm forecast to fall over Sydney on Saturday and 10 to 20 mm on Sunday.

    Rain modelling shows showers will be at their heaviest in Sydney and Brisbane on Saturday.

    However the bureau said "flooding rain is not currently expected".

    Showers will also increase in Brisbane over this period. The heaviest falls are predicted on Saturday, with 10 to 20 mm of rain forecast.

    'Unseasonable low' to cause flooding in WA

    Flood warnings have been issued for Western Australia's Pillbara region as an "unseasonable" low pressure trough fed with a stream of tropical moisture, soaks the state's interior.

     Forecast accumulated rain between Monday and Wednesday this week, according to the ECMWF model.

    The warning area includes Port Hedland to Onslow and adjacent inland areas.

    "Falls of 20mm to 40mm could amass over the Interior by Wednesday night," Weatherzone writes.

    "This may include six-hourly rain rates of around 60mm to 120 mm in parts of the Pilbara, enough to cause flash flooding."

    Let's take a look at what the weather is doing across the nation's capitals this morning.

    Brisbane

    The mercury will climb to a maximum temperature of 26C in Brisbane, which will be partly cloudy today.

    Sydney

    A maximum of 20C will be felt in the Harbour City after a morning low of 9C.

    It will be a mostly sunny day.

    Melbourne

    A shower or two is forecast to soak Melbourne, which will experience a low of 10C and a high of 15C.

    Canberra

    At 4C, Canberra will record the country's lowest morning temperature today. The mercury will reach a maximum of 13C.

    It will be partly cloudy.

    Hobart

    Showers are easing in Hobart today, with the capital expected to experience temperatures between 8C - 12C.

    Adelaide

    A shower is possible in Adelaide this morning. A low of 11C will be felt, before temperatures climb to 18C.

    Darwin

    It will be a sunny one in Darwin today, with a maximum temperature of 34C.

    Perth

    Showers and a storm are likely in Perth today, most likely in the morning and afternoon.

    A low of 13C and a high of 22C is forecast.



  • Gang violence fears after shots fired at Sydney house
  • There are fears of further gang violence in Sydney after shots were fired at a home in the city's south-east overnight.

    The gunfire rang out just before 10pm, with bullets hitting a house and parked car in Leppington.

    A white van was seen driving away.

    READ MORE: How TikTok is changing the campaign game of Australian politics

    Two men inside the house were unharmed.

    Police believe the attack was targeted. The same property was sprayed by bullets last year.

    Task Force Erebus, set up by NSW Police to tackle gang violence in Sydney, will investigate the scene following a busy day yesterday.

    READ MORE: Drone captures shark feeding frenzy off Western Australian coast

    Officers with the task force carried out seven arrests and seized drugs and guns as well.



  • Charges expected after Brisbane bomb scare locks down two suburbs
  • A man suspected of sparking two bomb scares in Brisbane remains in hospital, with investigators set to question him today.

    The 42-year-old Capalaba man was arrested after the bomb squad was called and an emergency alert was declared in the Brisbane suburbs of Coorparoo and Wooloowin yesterday afternoon.

    Police issued a Public Safety Preservation Act warning In Coorparoo around 3.30pm, sending residents in Stanley Street East, Tiber Street, Halifax Street, Milsom Street, Adina Street, Norman Avenue, Rome Street and Thackery Street into lockdown.

    READ MORE: Scientists predict three COVID-19 scenarios over next five years

    A declaration was also made around 4pm in Wooloowin where police confirmed a number of suspicious items had been found.

    The emergency declaration affected people in the 100m vicinity of Hamley Street, including Adamson Street and Kedron Street.

    Both orders have since been revoked, with police confirming there was no ongoing risk to the public.

    A suspicious device at Woolowin was detonated and the man's car taken for further examination.

    READ MORE: Ukrainian forces reach Russian border near Kharkiv

    "He is currently in a Brisbane hospital undergoing some examination before we and the investigators can question him further about a number of offences we're investigating as a result of the incidents," a police spokesperson said.

    No charges have been laid, but are expected later today.



  • Suspect charged in deadly California church shooting 'lay in wait'
  • Prosecutors have charged the suspect in the California church shooting with one count of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

    Orange County District lawyerTodd Spitzer also announced Tuesday that David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas faces an enhancement for “lying in wait,” as well as four counts of possessing destructive devices with intent to kill or harm. Arraignment is expected later Tuesday.

    “We typically think of the person who hides in the bushes,” Spitzer said. “This case is about the person concealing themselves in plain view.”

    READ MORE: Russia claims a victory as Ukrainian fighters leave Mariupol plant

    Police are investigating a deadly shooting at the church following Sunday services, in which they said parishioners hog-tied and detained a man in his 60s who opened fire. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Orange Sheriff deputies and investigators gather on Calle Sonora after one person died and four people were critically injured in a shooting at a Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Authorities have said Chou — a US. citizen whom authorities say grew up in Taiwan — was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people. A federal hate crimes investigation is also ongoing.

    If convicted as charged and a jury finds the enhancements to be true, Chou would face a sentence of either life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty, Spitzer said.

    “While there’s very strong evidence right now that this was motivated by hate, we want to make sure we have put together all the evidence that confirms that theory in the case,” Spitzer said, when asked whether he would be filing charge of a hate crime.

    Chou is accused of opening fire during a Sunday luncheon for members of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which worships at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods.

    READ MORE: Drone captures shark feeding frenzy off Western Australian coast

    Chou drove to Orange County on Saturday and the next day attended the lunch. Though he knew no one there, he spent about an hour mingling with about 40 attendees and then executed his plot, authorities said at a news conference.

    He chained the doors and put super glue in the keyholes, authorities said. He had two nine mm handguns — legally purchased years ago in Las Vegas — and three bags, containing among other things four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and extra ammunition.

    He opened fire and in the ensuing chaos Dr. John Cheng, 52, tackled him, allowing other parishioners to subdue him and tie him up with extension cords, authorities said.

    Cheng died and five people were wounded, including an 86-year-old woman as well as four men, ages 66, 75, 82 and 92, the sheriff’s department said. Authorities on Monday said two of the wounded were in good condition, two were in stable condition and the status of the fifth patient was undetermined.

    Sheriff Don Barnes called Cheng’s heroism “a meeting of good versus evil” that probably saved the lives “of upwards of dozens of people.”

    Investigators are trying to determine if the church in Laguna Woods, a scenic coastal area whose population mainly consists of retirees and is near a large gated community, was a random target, Spitzer said.

    “That population in general created a vulnerable environment for him to carry out what I think was his ultimate goal, which was to execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible,” he said.

    READ MORE: How TikTok changed the campaign game of Australian politics

    Barnes referred to Chou as an immigrant from China but Taiwan’s Central News Agency says it interviewed Louis M. Huang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, and he confirmed that Chou was born in Taiwan in 1953.

    Barnes said Chou’s hatred toward Taiwan that was documented in handwritten notes that authorities found. Chou’s family apparently was among many forcibly removed from mainland China to Taiwan sometime after 1948, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said.

    Tensions between China and Taiwan are at the highest in decades, with Beijing stepping up its military harassment by flying fighter jets toward the self-governing island. China has not ruled out force to reunify with Taiwan, which split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.

    Chou had ties to an organisation opposed to Taiwan’s independence from China, according to Taiwanese media.

    Relations between mainlanders forced to flee a Communist takeover and native Taiwanese were frequently tense as the new arrivals crowded into slums and military communities. Separated by language and lifestyle, bullying and confrontation were frequent as President Chiang Kai-shek tightly restricted civil liberties under nearly four decades of martial law.

    The Presbyterian Church is the most prominent of the Christian denominations in Taiwan and was closely identified with the pro-democracy movement during the martial law era and later with the Taiwan independence cause.

    Barnes said Chou acted alone and was “not believed to be associated with any specific church or any religion, and there’s no direct connection to the church or any member of the church that we’re aware of.”

    Taiwan’s chief representative in the US, Bi-khim Hsiao, offered condolences on Twitter.

    “I join the families of the victims and Taiwanese American communities in grief and pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded survivors,” Hsiao wrote on Sunday.

    Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told the AP via email that the Chinese government has “consistently condemned incidents of violence. We express our condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the bereaved families and the injured.”

    Jerry Chen, a longtime member of the church, said a group of about 40 congregants had gathered in the fellowship hall for a luncheon after a morning service to welcome their former Pastor Billy Chang, a beloved and respected community member who had served the church for 20 years. Chang moved back to Taiwan two years ago. This was his first time back stateside, Chen said.

    Everyone had just finished lunch and were taking photos with Chang when Chen went into the kitchen. That’s when he heard the gunshots.

    Barnes said Cheng, a sports medicine doctor who is survived by a wife and two children, charged at the shooter and attempted to disarm him, allowing others to intervene. Chang hit the gunman on the head with a chair before other parishioners subdued him.

    Balmore Orellana, a former neighbor, said Chou’s life unraveled after his wife left him last year. Spitzer said the suspect’s wife is terminally ill and in Taiwan. He could not say whether she was alive or had passed.

    Before, Chou had been a pleasant man who used to own the Las Vegas apartment building where he lived until being evicted in February, Orellana told The Associated Press.

    Records showed the four-unit property was sold last October for a little more than $500,000 (A$713002). Orellana said Chou’s wife used the money from the sale to move to Taiwan.

    Before Orellana moved in about five years ago, Chou received a head injury and other serious injuries in an attack by a tenant, the neighbor said. More recently his mental health declined and last summer a gun was fired inside Chou’s apartment and the bullet entered Orellana’s apartment, although nobody was hurt, Orellana said.

    The shooting came a day after an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, in a racist rampage where the white gunman allegedly targeted a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood.



  • Drone captures shark feeding frenzy off Western Australian coast
  • Drone vision has captured a shark feeding frenzy off the coast of Western Australia.

    Australian travellers John Cloke and Indy Crimmins were fishing off Norman's Bay two weeks ago when splashing caught their curiosity.

    They sent up a drone and what they discovered blew them away.

    They captured dozens of hungry whale sharks feasting on a dead whale.

    FULL COVERAGE: Federal Election 2022

    Dozens of sharks spotted munching on a whale off the WA coast.A dead whale has provided a breakfast buffet for sharks in WA.

    Fisherman and writer Mike Roennfeldt said the feast was like nothing he'd ever seen before.

    "It seems to me you get two, three, four, five sharks — occasionally you get more — but that's an awful lot on this one," he said, describing the meal as like "you and I having a vanilla slice".

    "You know, it's pretty good," he said.

    Roennfeldt, who believed some of the larger sharks might have been great whites, said it was nature "in the raw".

    "If you haven't been up close like that sort of thing, yeah it's pretty confronting and exciting at the same time," he said.



  • US Congress holds first hearing on UFOs in decades
  • The US Congress held its first hearing in half a century overnight on unidentified flying objects - and no, there is still no government confirmation of extraterrestrial life.

    Testifying before a House Intelligence subcommittee, Pentagon officials did not disclose additional information from their ongoing investigation of hundreds of unexplained sightings in the sky.

    But they said they had picked a director for a new task force to coordinate data collection efforts on what the government has officially labeled "unidentified aerial phenomena."

    READ MORE: Russia claims a victory as Ukrainian fighters leave Mariupol plant

    Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defence for intelligence, said the Pentagon was also trying to destigmatise the issue and encourage pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see.

    "We want to know what's out there as much as you want to know what's out there," Moultrie told lawmakers, adding that he was a fan of science fiction himself.

    "We get the questions not just from you. We get it from family and we get them night and day."

    Politicians from both parties say UFOs are a national security concern. Sightings of what appear to be aircraft flying without discernible means of propulsion have been reported near military bases and coastlines, raising the prospect that witnesses have spotted undiscovered or secret Chinese or Russian technology.

    READ MORE: Hate against Taiwanese led to California church shooting

    But the sightings are usually fleeting. Some appear for no more than an instant on camera — and then sometimes end up distorted by the camera lens.

    The US government is believed to hold additional technical information on the sightings that it has not disclosed publicly.

    An interim report released by intelligence officials last year counted 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or trajectories. In all but one of the sightings investigated, there was too little information for investigators to even broadly characterize the nature of the incident.

    A top Pentagon official on Tuesday briefly demonstrated the challenge. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, stood next to a television to show a short video taken from an F-18 military plane.

    READ MORE: How TikTok is changing the campaign game of Australian politics

    The video shows a blue sky with passing clouds. In a single frame — which it took several minutes for staff in the room to queue up — there is an image of one balloon-like shape.

    "As you can see, finding UAP is harder than you may think," Bray said, using the acronym for "unidentified aerial phenomena."

    Representative André Carson, an Indiana Democrat who chaired the hearing, called on investigators to show they "are willing to follow the facts where they lead."

    Representative Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, noted that the investigations were not "about finding alien spacecraft but about delivering dominant intelligence."

    "The inability to understand objects in our sensitive operating areas is tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid," he said.



  • How TikTok is changing the campaign game of Australian politics
  • As the 2022 federal election heats up and May 21 edges closer, politicians are exhausting all avenues to claim every last vote that counts with debates, photo opportunities and endless posters hung on neighbourhood fences.

    Amidst all the strange campaign moments, however, there's one avenue changing the way young voters are viewing Australian politics: the video sharing app TikTok

    With more than 1 billion monthly active users, the social media platform has evolved from a viral video factory into a campaigning playground for Australian politics.

    FULL COVERAGE: Federal Election 2022

    Featuring comedy groups such as Mates Rates and content creators such as Left Right Out, federal election content on the social media app is endless, from satirical campaign spoofs to bite-size explainers on how the election and parties work.

    Dr Francesco Bailo, lecturer in digital media and political studies at the University of Technology Sydney, believes TikTok will play a key role in shaping the voting attitude of young voters and ignite their interest in politics.

    "The content shared on social media probably won't affect people who are already highly invested in politics," Bailo told 9news.com.au.

    "But for those who are not politically active or interested, consuming such content will have a positive effect, especially since TikTok's main demographic is young adults aged 18 to 25 who have to start getting involved in politics."

    READ MORE: Sweden ends 200 years of neutrality with move to infuriate Putin

    Elfy Scott, co-creator of political podcast series Left Right Out, agrees TikTok's many politically related videos are necessary and helpful in engaging young voters.

    "Some people may think that using comedy for raising political awareness is reductive," Scott told 9news.com.au.

    "But at least the message is getting out there even if it's just funny spoofs and memes."

    With the average TikTok user in Australia spending about 17 hours a month on the app and 44 per cent of them in the 18-24 age bracket, it comes as no surprise many major politicians and parties have also jumped onto the social media bandwagon.

    Not all politicians, however, have found success on the video sharing app.

    Unlike other social media sites, TikTok doesn't allow paid political advertising on its platform, leaving all parties to their own devices to produce their own original content to find their niche audience.

    READ MORE: Scientists predict three COVID-19 scenarios over next five years

    "The app has many fascinating uses and to reach a wider audience," Scott said.

    "But the two major parties aren't doing a fantastic job at communicating to the younger audience, which doesn't help their popularity at all."

    Politicians such as Jacqui Lambie and Bob Katter, however, have become favourites for their outlandish videos partaking in viral TikTok trends.

    Such videos include Lambie lip syncing to Kath and Kim while decked out in her own merchandise and Greens leaders Adam Bandt placing a filter of "sexy Shrek in the sky" gyrating on Parliament House as the "newest Greens candidate".

    In Victoria, Wannon's independent candidate Alex Dyson went viral when he teamed up with TikTok star Millie Perry to encourage young voters to cast their own vote and not copy their parents.

    Although TikTok has exposed young viewers to the Australian political scene, the app's effectiveness in boosting approval ratings of the politicians who use the app is still to be determined.

    "It's a bit early to find some robust results whether TikTok is an effective campaign platform," Bailo said.

    "But what we have observed so far is that not every party has the same footing on the app.

    "When you're moving onto a different campaigning background anything can backfire so with apps like TikTok you really have to give it your all or know who your target audience is."

    READ MORE: Ukrainian forces reach Russian border near Kharkiv

    While the popular videos on Tiktok by politicians and content creators are engaging and informative, Bailo notes the app shouldn't be used as a primary source to be informed about politics.

    "A lot of important issues can't be mediated through social media in general as they're very complicated," Bailo explained.

    "[TikTok] users should keep in mind that social media has the power to also distort information or neglect certain political issues which seem 'boring' in order to get more views or likes."



  • Mount Saint Helens volcano erupts, killing dozens with floods and fire


  • Sri Lanka only has 'petrol stocks for a single day' amid brutal crisis
  • Sri Lanka's governing party has defeated a move in Parliament to urgently debate a motion that would censure President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for the nation's worst economic crisis, which the prime minister said has left only enough gasoline for one day.

    It was unclear when the motion will be taken up again.

    It would not legally require Rajapaksa to quit, but his refusal to do so has already roiled Sri Lanka, which is on the brink of bankruptcy as it negotiates an economic lifeline with other countries and institutions to be able to import basic supplies, medicines and fuel.

    READ MORE: Ukrainian says he was tortured by Russian soldiers, shot in the face and buried alive — but survived

    MA Sumanthiran, a lawmaker from the opposition Tamil National Alliance, proposed that Parliament bypass the usual procedure to take up the motion against Rajapaksa urgently. But the governing party defeated the motion with a 119-68 vote.

    Protesters have occupied the entrance to the president's office for more than a month calling for Rajapaksa's resignation.

    Months of anti-government rallies have led to the near-dismantling of the once-powerful ruling family, with one of the president's brothers resigning as prime minister, and other siblings and a nephew leaving their cabinet posts.

    Protesters accuse the Rajapaksas of triggering the crisis through corruption and misrule.

    On Monday evening, the new Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, offered a somber assessment of the country's dire situation.

    He said about US$75 billion ($106.9 billion) is needed urgently to help provide the nation with essential items, but the country's treasury is struggling to find even US$1 billion ($1.4 billion).

    "At the moment, we only have petrol stocks for a single day," he said in a televised speech.

    READ MORE: Police investigate 'shocking' supermarket attack on Jewish men

    "The next couple of months will be the most difficult ones of our lives," he said.

    "I have no desire to hide the truth and to lie to the public. Although these facts are unpleasant and terrifying, this is the true situation. For a short period, our future will be even more difficult than the tough times that we have passed."

    Attacks on peaceful protesters last week sparked countrywide violence that left nine people, including a lawmaker, dead and more than 200 wounded. Many homes of lawmakers and their supporters were burned down.

    The motion accuses Rajapaksa, whose nickname is Gota, of being responsible for the economic crisis by introducing untimely tax cuts and prohibiting the use of chemical fertilisers, which resulted in crop failures.

    It also says the president used the COVID-19 pandemic for militarisation and mismanaged it by promoting non-scientific solutions and making unfavourable deals for vaccines.

    "For almost 40 days people have camped on the road saying 'Gota Go Home' but those who call themselves people's representatives, who come and sit here, are deaf," Sumanthiran said after the vote.

    READ MORE: The 'neutral' countries that could join NATO next

    "They can't even agree to take up for discussion for debate a matter that people have been shouting from the streets."

    Opposition lawmaker Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, who is not related to the president, said the motion can be taken up anytime after Thursday according to Parliament's rules.

    Sri Lanka has suspended repayment of about US$7 billion ($10 billion) in foreign loans due this year out of US$25 billion ($35.6 billion) to be repaid by 2026. The country's total foreign debt is US$51 billion ($72.6 billion). The finance ministry says the country currently has only US$25 million ($35.6 billion) in usable foreign reserves.

    The foreign currency shortage has sharply limited imports, resulting in long lines for milk, fuel, cooking gas and medicines.

    Wickremesinghe said Monday that the lack of diesel fuel will be resolved to some extent with shipments from India.

    "For over 40 days, three ships with crude oil and furnace oil have been anchored within the maritime zone of Sri Lanka. We are working to obtain dollars in the open market to pay for these shipments," he said.



  • Ukrainian man says he was tortured by Russian soldiers and buried alive
  • Mykola Kulichenko struggles to recount a tale he shouldn't be alive to tell. But this Ukrainian man believes he was allowed to cheat death so he might speak for all those who cannot.

    By the side of a remote road in the northern Chernihiv region of Ukraine, Mykola shows the unmarked grave in which he and his two brothers were buried three-and-a-half weeks after the war began, in land seized by Russian forces. All three had been shot; he was the only one to survive.

    "It's like being resurrected," Mykola, 33, told CNN.

    READ MORE: The 'neutral' countries that could join NATO next

    Until March 18, life for the Kulichenko family had changed little despite the Russians occupying their village of Dovzhyk since the start of the war.

    Then, when a Russian column was bombed, Russian soldiers fanned out looking for those responsible.

    They arrived at the wood-plank house where Mykola lived with his two brothers, Yevhen and Dmytro, and their sister, Iryna, who still hasn't forgiven herself for not being home that day.

    Three soldiers told the brothers to kneel in the front yard while they searched the home looking for anything that would link them to the bombed convoy, Mykola said.

    According to Mykola, once they found the military medals their grandfather owned and a military bag belonging to 30-year-old Yevhen, who had been a paratrooper, the soldiers were convinced they had something to hide.

    Mykola, Yevhen and Dmytro were driven to a basement where they were interrogated for three days, he said. Mykola kept hoping the Russians would release them, but on the fourth day, he said, their mood changed.

    "They beat my whole body with a metal rod, and they put the barrel of a gun inside my mouth," he said.

    Along with his brothers, Mykola was tortured until he lost consciousness. He says they were blindfolded, had their hands and legs bound with tape and were driven in a military vehicle by five Russian soldiers to a desolate plot of land. They were made to kneel, blindfolded, while a pit was dug, Mykola said.

    First, he said, he heard a shot behind him, and 36-year-old Dmytro, the eldest of the three, fell to the ground. Next, he felt Yevhen, the youngest, drop by his side.

    "I was thinking that I was next," he said. But the bullet entered Mykola's cheek and exited next to his right ear. He knew his only hope of survival was to play dead.

    The soldiers kicked the brothers' bodies into the pit, covered them with earth and left, according to Mykola. He can't say how long he lay buried alive, only that with his hands and legs still bound he somehow managed to manoeuvre his way out from under his older brother's corpse and back to the land of the living.

    "It was hard for me to breathe, since Dima (Dmytro) was lying on top of me, but using my arms and knees, I was able to push my older brother off to the side of the pit, and then I climbed out," he said.

    In the dark, he staggered through fields to the nearest house, where a woman took him in and cared for him overnight before he was able to get back to his sister, who'd been anxiously waiting for days at their father's home.

    "I came home and there was Mykola. I looked at his eyes and asked where are the others? He said there are no others," Iryna recalls, sobbing.

    Mykola says it's a miracle he survived. Scars on his cheek and behind his ear are still visible today.

    "I was lucky ... and now I have to just go on living," he said.

    "This story needs to be heard by everyone, not just in Ukraine, but around the world because these kind of things are happening and this is just one in a billion."

    A war crimes investigation has now been opened by the Chernihiv region prosecutor's office. Investigators confirmed to CNN that the brothers' hands and legs had been tied and they had been blindfolded.

    Across Ukraine, more than 11,600 alleged war crimes have been recorded so far, according to local authorities. CNN also reached out to Russia's Ministry of Defence but got no response.

    As with so many of the other alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces, the story of Mykola and his brothers could only be told once the Russian retreat from Chernihiv region began in early April.

    It was also only then that Mykola could start looking for the pit from which he had, against all odds, escaped with his life. He knew he had to find his brothers in order to give them the decent burial they deserved.

    On April 21, one month to the day after Mykola says his brothers were executed, Dmytro and Yevhen were finally laid to rest beneath elaborate tombstones in a well-tended grave, in land that was in Ukrainian hands once more.



  • Woman attacked by kangaroo on popular Gold Coast golf club
  • A woman has been hospitalised after being targeted by a kangaroo at a popular Gold Coast golf club, where other golfers have reported ongoing attacks.

    Mary Kohler, 64, was playing golf with a group of friends when a kangaroo attacked her at the Arundel Hills Country Club two weeks ago, leaving her with bleeding gashes along her neck and back.

    "I could feel the pounding and the scratching," Kohler said.

    READ MORE: Mask mandates back on the cards as COVID-19, flu surges

    Mary Kohler, 64, was playing golf with a group of friends when a kangaroo attacked her.Members say nothing has been done about the kangaroos.

    "I was screaming for help... my playing partners heard my cries and rushed to help.

    "One of my girlfriends jumped out of the cart with a golf club and pounded the kangaroo off my back.

    "It was quite terrifying. At this stage I didn't realise the extent of my injuries."

    Staff at the golf club confirmed the kangaroos were getting out of hand, with more golfers forced to fend the animals off with their clubs.

    EXPLAINER: Everything you need to know about voting early in the Federal Election

    Staff at the golf club confirmed the kangaroos were getting out of hand.

    In a video posted to Facebook, a club member is heard telling staff about the ongoing attacks.

    "A roo has attacked 15 people now," he is heard saying.

    "It's still out there.

    "What are you going to do, let a roo keep attacking people? What if it attacks a kid and kills it?"

    Members said despite ongoing complaints to the club over the last few years, nothing has been done about the kangaroos.

     other golfers have reported ongoing attacks.

    While the club has signs warnings golfers not to approach the kangaroos, they appear in large numbers throughout the course.

    9News reached out to the Arundel Hills Country Club for comment but they did not respond.

    Queensland Parks and Wildlife say the club is private property, however they've notified the club they must call animal specialists to relocate any dangerous kangaroos.



  • Teen becomes the youngest Australian in history to climb Mt Everest
  • Gabby Kanizay, 19, has become the youngest Australian woman to climb the summit of Mount Everest.

    Venturing from Melbourne's eastern suburbs, the Brighton teen has conquered the highest mountain in the world.

    Kanizay said it was the most amazing feeling.

    READ MORE: 'Very high chance' grandfather missing in Victoria's freezing alpine region could be alive

    "Just to know that you're literally on top of the world and there is nobody higher than you at this point," she said.

    The 19-year-old tacked the peak with her mum Jane by her side.

    Along with their Sherpas, they were able to spend an hour at the summit and watch the sun rise from the top, something Kanizay said she would never forget.

    "We definitely helped each other stay strong and helped each other get to the summit," she said.

    "Now it's this experience, we will be able to share together for the rest of our lives which is awesome."

    Kanizay said she set herself the goal to climb to the top of Everest when she was just 14.

    Back home in Brighton, her father, Jarrod, said he was incredibly proud and overjoyed.

    He said he never doubted his daughter's determination.

    "She's very courageous and she's very sporty," he said.

    "She has an energy about her that does allow her to stick to her guns and follow through."

    READ MORE: Ryanair CEO unleashes scathing attack on Boeing management

    Jarrod said the pair have been training for the climb for years.

    "It's very special because Gabby and Jane have done it together over four years now," he said.

    "To have had these incremental efforts over the four years come to fruition now is just mind blowing.

    "Gabby brings a spirit of happiness and complete joy to any room that she enters so for her to achieve this, it is amazing."

    While Gabby has now conquered Mount Everest along with her mum, the teen says she won't stop now.

    She has her sights now set on completing all 14 peaks across the world.



  • Jury sees photos of Amber Heard's swollen face after fight with Depp
  • Jurors in Johnny Depp’s libel trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, saw photos on Monday of her with alleged red marks and swelling on her face after their final fight before their divorce, and heard testimony about her expertise in covering up bruises with makeup.

    Heard concluded her direct testimony in a Virginia courtroom with a third day that was centred on the final months of her marriage to Depp.

    His lawyers began their cross-examination later in the afternoon.

    READ MORE: Federal Court overturns decision that a refugee advocate pay Peter Dutton damages over defamation case

    Actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on Monday, May 16, 2022.

    The trial is now in its fifth week, and jurors have seen multiple photos of Heard throughout the trial that purport to document the abuse she said she received during her relationship with Depp.

    Several of the photos shown on Monday, though, had not previously been seen by the jury and showed redness and swelling much more clearly than earlier photos.

    Heard said the marks came when Depp threw a phone at her face.

    The confrontation in May 2016 prompted Heard to file for divorce two days later. A few days after that, she obtained a temporary restraining order after a courthouse hearing, and was widely photographed leaving the courthouse with a clear red mark on her right cheek.

    The final fight has been a key point in the couple’s ongoing dispute.

    Depp is suing Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court for libel over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse".

    His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

    READ MORE: NSW plastic bag ban coming next month

    Amber Heard displayed a makeup kit in the courtroom, saying she used makeup to cover up bruises.

    Depp says he never struck Heard and that she’s concocting claims she was abused.

    Earlier in the trial, jurors heard from police officers who responded to emergency calls during that final fight who said Heard’s face looked red from crying but that they saw no visible bruises. Witnesses also testified that they didn’t see bruises on Heard’s face in the immediate days after the fight.

    Heard, in her testimony on Monday, said she didn’t cooperate with officers who responded to the couple’s penthouse, and said her face-to-face interactions with officers were very limited.

    She also discussed her makeup routine, using a colour correction wheel that she called her “bruise kit” to cover up marks on her face. She said she learned over the years to use green shades in the first day of a bruise to cover up redness, and switch more to orange shades as the bruise turned blue and purple.

    “I’m not going to walk around LA with bruises on my face,” she said.

    On cross-examination, Depp's lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Heard about multiple photos of her that appeared not to show bruises even though they were taken within days of alleged abuse incidents. Heard said she used makeup to cover bruises and ice to reduce swelling.

    Federal election 2022: How do I vote if I have COVID-19?

    Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse."

    “You should see what it looked like under the makeup,” she said.

    Vasquez also questioned Heard about her $US7 million divorce settlement from Depp.

    Heard pledged to donate the full amount to charity but has so far only donated a portion of it. She testified she’s been unable to fulfil her pledge yet because Depp sued her for $50 million. But on cross-examination she acknowledged that she had received the full $US7 million from Depp months before he filed the lawsuit.

    In her direct testimony, Heard testified she did not want to publicly expose Depp as an abuser in her court proceedings, but had to go to the courthouse to provide testimony to obtain the restraining order, and she was taken aback when she left the courthouse surrounded by paparazzi.

    “I just wanted to change my locks,” she said about why she went to court to get the restraining order.

    “I just wanted to get a good night’s sleep.”

    During Monday’s testimony, Heard also strongly denied an accusation from Depp that she left human fecal matter in the couple’s bed after a fight. Heard said it was the couple’s teacup Yorkshire terrier that messed the bed and that it had a history of bowel problems ever since it had accidentally ingested Depp’s marijuana.

    “Absolutely not,” she said about the alleged poop prank.

    “I don’t think that’s funny. I don’t know what grown woman does. I was not in a pranking mood.”

    Heard said, though, that Depp became obsessed with the idea that someone had pooped in his bed. She said it was all he wanted to talk about during that final fight on May 21, 2016, even though Depp’s mother had just died and the couple hadn’t spoken in a month.

    READ MORE: These toxic mushrooms are no fairytale, expert warns

    Amber Heard said in her testimony that accusations she receives on a daily basis from Depp supporters that she's lying about the abuse are "torture."

    The poop allegation is one of several that Depp’s online fans have particularly latched onto in their social media critiques of Heard.

    Heard also talked about the op-ed piece itself, saying staffers with the American Civil Liberties Union — for whom she had started work as an ambassador — wrote the first draft. She said she was happy to lend her voice to the debate over domestic violence, and wasn’t intending to reference Depp.

    “It’s not about Johnny,” she said.

    “The only one who thought it was about Johnny was Johnny. It was about me, and my life after Johnny.”

    Heard concluded her testimony by saying that accusations she receives on a daily basis from Depp supporters that she’s lying about the abuse are “torture.”

    “I want to move on with my life,” she said.

    “I want Johnny to move on. I want him to leave me alone.”



  • WATCH: Full interview with Labor Leader Anthony Albanese
  • Exclusive: Days out from election day opposition leader Anthony Albanese has admitted being Prime Minister "is a daunting prospect".

    Campaigning in Perth, the Labor Leader said he was "comfortable we've left nothing on the field".

    "I'm satisfied I've done everything I can to make us competitive at worst, and hopefully have a good outcome on Saturday," Albanese said.

    FULL COVERAGE: Federal Election 2022

    In an exclusive pre-election interview with Nine News the alternative prime minister also spoke about his biggest worry, post-covid recovery and his more assertive media appearances.

    Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and 9News reporter Jonathon Kearsley

    "I am who I am, I'll always be Anthony Albanese who grew up in council housing," he said.

    As Australians face challenges over the cost of living and the economy, and a more assertive Beijing in the region, Albanese said his single biggest worry was vulnerabilities in supply chains.

    "We have to make sure we can stand on our own two feet, it's those vulnerabilities that have been exposed in the last couple of years that we really need to address," Albanese said.

    Reflecting on a disastrous first week where he didn't know the unemployment rate or the reserve bank cash rate on day one of the campaign, Albanese added: "Look in life, you've got to accept your human, own it and move on."

    In just days Australians will know who the next prime minister is.

    When asked if he had dreamt of sleeping in The Lodge, Albanese replied: "I dream about getting eight hours sleep, it's a tough campaign, but I'm fit, I'm healthier than I've ever been."

    Albanese also opened up on the support of partner Jodie Haydon, who has been a regular on the campaign trail.

    "People have warmed to her and it's been very positive for me, having my son too," he added.

    Watch the full interview above.



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  • The strangest moments of the 2022 federal election campaign


  • NSW needs puppy raisers for Australia's cutest volunteer role
  • Guide Dogs New South Wales is looking for people to help raise their next generation of puppies into world-class companions.

    The 'labradorable' volunteer role aims to provide basic training and a loving home for dogs who eventually play a life-changing role in the independence of those who are vision impaired.

    Sydney-based Sian Stallworthy has been a puppy raiser for nearly four years and has raised three perfect puppies for the organisation.

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    Guide Dogs Australia welcomes new litter of pups

    Currently she is raising Quinlee, who is 14-months-old and will soon undertake his final months of training.

    Stallworthy said she gets enjoyment from the puppy itself, and the ultimate cause.

    "The puppy raising process has been amazing," she said.

    "Not only do I get the joy of looking after a new puppy which the whole family loves, but I also get to contribute to the work of Guide Dogs, which is doing a fantastic job at supporting people with low vision and blindness."

    READ MORE: Scientists predict three COVID-19 scenarios over next five years

    Guide Dogs Australia welcomes new litter of pups

    Puppy raisers foster the animal from eight weeks of age and help them become well socialised, confident, and focused before they start their formal Guide Dog training twelve months later.

    Raisers aim to establish good toileting, feeding, sleeping, and walking routines.

    They will also be required to attend weekly training sessions so the puppy can learn basic skills such as sitting nicely when being groomed, walking nicely on a lead and developing good house manners - all of which sets them up to develop the skills they'll need to change a life.

    Guide Dogs NSW Puppy Development Manager Karen Hayter says Guide Dogs "wouldn't be sustainable without the assistance of our volunteers".

    FULL COVERAGE: Federal Election 2022

    Guide Dogs Australia welcomes new litter of pups

    "Puppy raisers are a tremendous support to the community and ultimately help Australians living with blindness or low vision lead independent lives."

    Guide Dogs NSW require puppy raisers to have a fully fenced yard, be away from home no more than four hours at a time, have access to a car and be able to attend training days in their local area.

    Volunteers must be available for information sessions, vet checks and Puppy Pre-School.

    "What you get in return is a life-changing experience and knowing that you've positively contributed to your community," Hayter said.

    The organisation covers the cost of food, veterinary bills as well as flea and tick prevention.

    Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has been raising the world class puppies for over 60 years, costing the organisation $50,000 per pup to breed, raise and train.



  • Man Ray's 'Le Violon d'Ingres' photograph sells for record price


  • Cute mushrooms are popping up everywhere - but they're no fairytale
  • They look like something out of a fairytale, or a Super Mario video game.

    The vivid red mushroom - amanita muscaria - is thriving in wet conditions and currently popping up in gardens all across southern Australia in greater numbers than usual.

    Delighted to come across such a charming sight, social media users have taken to sharing photos of their finds online.

    READ MORE: Scientists predict three COVID-19 scenarios over next five years

    Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The photo on the left shows some found by Kirsten Joy in Wentworth Falls, NSW.

    But the pretty mushroom is not as innocent as it looks. 

    The fungi belongs to the same genus as the notorious death cap mushroom and is toxic to humans and animals, mycologist Dr Brett Summerell, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, warns.

    "They are poisonous, so if people eat them, or god forbid a kid eats them, they can get quite sick from them," Summerell said.

    So toxic are the mushrooms that they were historically used as an insecticide, crushed up and sprinkled over milk to kill off flies, he added.

    It's where the mushroom got its common name - fly agaric.

    "Despite the fact that you see them in nursery stories as where the fairies live they can be pretty nasty," Summerell said.

    https://twitter.com/GingerGorman/status/1525680232992079872?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Autumn was peak mushroom season in southern Australia and this year's abundant rainfall meant a bumper crop of the fungi, he said.

    "They're coming up bigger, better, more numerous, just because the conditions have been so perfect for them. 

    "They tend to come out in larger numbers as the weather cools so I expect we'll see a lot more.

    "I've seen some good photos (of amanita muscaria) from around Melbourne and there are quite a lot in Canberra at the moment."

    The amanita muscaria is commonly found along the east coast of Australia, including Tasmania, in South Australia, particularly in the Adelaide Hills and in the south western corner of Western Australia.

    https://twitter.com/c_s_wallace/status/1525704553681027072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Not native to Australia, the fungi is thought to have been brought in on the roots of pine trees from the northern hemisphere, much like a weed, during early settlement.

    The mushrooms love to grow on the roots of pine trees, in a kind of symbiotic relationship where the fungi also helped the trees survive, Summerell said.

    "You don't tend to see them in national parks and the like because of the trees that they live on," he said.

    "You'll see them where there's pine plantations, in a lot of those older gardens that you might find in the NSW Blue Mountains or Highlands."

    While now was the classic time for foragers to go collecting wild mushrooms, it could be a dangerous pastime, Summerell warned.

    Amanita muscaria, found in Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden in Victoria.

    Different types of mushrooms could often look similar and were easily mistaken for each other, he said.

    "If you're looking for oyster mushrooms, and you accidentally pick ghost mushrooms, you can get very sick.

    "The best thing to do if you're really, really, super keen is to go out with an organised group or company that does these sorts of tours and experiences.

    "They will go to well defined places where they know what's growing, and what is safe to eat. 

    "Or go with somebody who really, really does know the mushrooms of that particular area. 

    "Otherwise, the safest thing to do is to go to the supermarket."

    Contact reporter Emily McPherson at emcpherson@nine.com.au.



  • How to find your closest early voting booth
  • On Saturday, all Australian citizens over the age of 18 will need to head down to their local polling booth to cast their vote for the 2022 federal election.

    For those who can't make it to their polling booth for whatever reason, whether it be work commitments, travel, serious illness or impending childbirth, early voting stations are now open and readily available all across Australia.

    According to the Australian Electoral Commission, there are more than 500 early voting centres in operation across Australia, which you can find here.

    READ MORE: Everything you need to know about early voting

    You also don't have to cast your early vote at a centre in your electorate.

    We gathered a list of some of the many early polling stations that opened on May 9th.

    NSW

    • Kiora Mall at 29 Kiora Road, Miranda NSW 2228
    • Nelson Heather Centre at 4 Jackson Road, Warriewood NSW 2102
    • The Meridian at 658 Pacific Highway, Chatswood NSW 2067
    • 416 Oxford St at Bondi Junction NSW 2022
    • 33-35 Dixon Street at Parramatta NSW 2150

    Victoria

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten seems quietly confident in a win today.
    • Ballarat Show Grounds at Cnr Howitt St and Creswick Rd, Wendouree VIC 3355
    • Bendigo Anglican Cathedral Hall (St Pauls) at 8 Myers Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
    • Geelong West Town Hall - Supper Room at 153 Pakington Street, Geelong West VIC 3218
    • Masonic Lodge Seymour at 25 Anzac Ave, Seymour VIC 3660
    • Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006

    Queensland

    • Fradgley Hall at Park Ave, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
    • Precinct 21 at 21 Stokes St, Townsville City QLD 4810
    • Mount Sheridan Plaza at 106-132 Barnard Dr, Mount Sheridan QLD 4868
    • Noosa Baptist Church Hall at 1 Lake Weyba Dr, Noosaville QLD 4566
    • Southport Community Centre at 6 Lawson St, Southport QLD 4215

    Australian Capital Territory

    The Australian Parliament House.
    • Belconnen Community Centre at Swanson Place, Belconnen ACT 2617
    • Old Parliament House at 18 King George Tce, Parkes ACT 2600
    • Lakeview House at Unit 13, 236-242 Cowlishaw St, Greenway ACT 2900

    EXPLAINED: What is a hung parliament?

    Northern Territory

    • Mbantua Building at 7/64 Todd St, Alice Springs NT 0870
    • 1 Briggs Street, Darwin City NT 0800

    Tasmania

    • Hobart City Hall at 57-63 Macquarie St, Hobart TAS 7000
    • 59 Bathurst St at Launceston TAS 7250
    • Paranaple Centre on Level 3 137 Rooke St, Devonport TAS 7310
    On top or underneath, the iconic democracy sausage will have grilled onions regardless.

    Western Australia

    • 6 Adelaide St at Fremantle WA 6160
    • Claremont Showground at 1 Graylands Rd, Claremont WA 6010
    • Northam Town Hall at 83 Wellington Street East, Northam WA 6401
    • The Village Australind at Shop 15, 299 Old Coast Rd, Australind WA 6233
    • Woodlake Village at Shop 3/20 Sunray Cir, Ellenbrook WA 6069

    South Australia

    • Rundle Place at 77-91 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000
    • Roxby Downs Christian Community Church at corner of Burgoyne Street & Tutop Street, Roxby Downs SA 5725
    • 68 Commercial Rd at Port Augusta SA 5700
    • Reusch Community Centre at 24A Murray St, Nuriootpa SA 5355
    • Victor Harbor Town Hall at 10-12 Coral St, Victor Harbor SA 5211

    Postal votes are also available to order from the Australian Electoral Commission website or from your local electorate office.

    EXPLAINED: What are 'preference deals' and how do they influence my vote?



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