Australia police arrest man accused of plotting NYE attack in Melbourne

Australian Federal Police, Acting Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney, right, and Victoria State Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton address the media at the Victorian Police Center in Melbourne Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Australian police have arrested a man accused of planning a mass shooting for New Year’s Eve in a crowded Melbourne square, officials said on Tuesday. (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)
Updated 28 November 2017
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Australia police arrest man accused of plotting NYE attack in Melbourne

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE: Police have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of planning to use an automatic rifle for a mass shooting on New Year’s Eve in downtown Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.
Victoria state police said on Tuesday that the man was acting alone and had not been able to acquire a firearm before his arrest late on Monday.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the man, an Australian citizen with Somalian parents, had been monitored by authorities since the beginning of the year.
“He’s accessed documents produced by Al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsula which is a guide book in respect to how to commit a terrorist act and also how to use firearms, guns and handguns and rifles,” Patton said at a press conference in Melbourne.
“We are alleging that ... he is a sympathizer of ISIS,” he said using a different acronym for Daesh.
The man had planned to shoot as many people as possible at Melbourne’s Federation Square, which swells with crowds on New Year’s Eve as the focus of the city’s celebrations, Patton said.
Australia, a staunch US ally that sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East or their supporters.
A gunman in a deadly 2014 Sydney cafe siege boasted about links with Daesh militants, although no direct ties with the group were established. The shooting murder of a police accountant by a 15-year old boy in 2016 was claimed by Daesh.
Around a dozen significant plots have been foiled since the alert was issued, according to officials, including a plot to attack prominent sites in Melbourne last Christmas Eve and a plan to blow up an Etihad Airways flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi using a bomb disguised as a meat mincer.

Police said the man arrested on Monday will be charged after his police interview and will then appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court, likely later on Tuesday or early on Wednesday.


Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, right, accompanied by Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California will probably sue President Donald Trump over his emergency declaration to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 34 sec ago
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Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

  • The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico

SAN FRANCISCO: Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump’s administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president’s order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds.
The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and other purposes.
Several Republican senators have decried the emergency declaration, saying it establishes a dangerous precedent and amounts to executive overreach.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Virginia are party to the complaint seeking an injunction.
“Use of those additional federal funds for the construction of a border wall is contrary to Congress’s intent in violation of the US Constitution, including the Presentment Clause and Appropriations Clause,” the complaint said.
It added that Trump had “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”
“Congress has repeatedly rebuffed the president’s insistence to fund a border wall, recently resulting in a record 35-day partial government shutdown over the border wall dispute,” the document read.
“After the government reopened, Congress approved, and the president signed into law, a $1.375 billion appropriation for fencing along the southern border, but Congress made clear that funding could not be used to build President Trump’s proposed border wall.”
The complaint added that the Department of Homeland Security had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to evaluate the environmental impact of the wall in California and New Mexico.
Friday’s declaration enables the president to divert funds from the Pentagon’s military construction budget and other sources.