Man dies after Melbourne car attack

Above, a videograb from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. shows emergency medical workers aiding victims struck by a vehicle in Melbourne. One of the victims, 83-year-old Antonios Crocaris, an Australian national, died from his injuries late Friday. (Australian Broadcast Corp. via AP)
Updated 30 December 2017
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Man dies after Melbourne car attack

MELBOURNE: An elderly man has died after being mowed down during a car rampage in Melbourne last week, police said Saturday, with one of 18 attempted murder charges expected to be upgraded to murder.
Afghan-Australian Saeed Noori, who has a history of drug abuse and mental problems, is accused of plowing his car through a busy intersection earlier this month, careering into tourists and shoppers.
He has been charged with 18 counts of attempted murder, but now faces at least one murder charge after 83-year-old Antonios Crocaris, an Australian national, died from his injuries late Friday.
Six others remain in hospital.
“A man has died following an incident on Flinders Street on December 21 where a number of pedestrians were struck by a vehicle,” Victoria state police said.
“Homicide squad detectives are expected to upgrade one of those charges to murder.”
Nine foreigners were among those hurt, including from South Korea, China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Police have alleged Noori made “utterances” to them about voices, dreams and the “poor treatment of Muslims” after his arrest, but no link to any terrorist group has been found.
The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday that he may be suffering psychiatric issues or have an undiagnosed illness. He is due back in court on May 30.
The incident came less than a year after a car rammed into pedestrians in Melbourne’s busiest mall, killing six people. That driver, whose case is still before the courts, also had a history of drug issues.
Like other countries, Australia has been taking steps to prevent vehicle attacks in crowded public places since the Nice truck incident in southern France last year that killed 86 people.
They include deterrent options like fencing and closed circuit cameras, and using delaying tactics such as trees and bollards to slow down vehicles.


Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

In this file photo taken on August 5, 2016, Andy Chan (R), leader of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), gives a press conference at the start of a rally near the government's headquarters in Hong Kong. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2018
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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party

  • The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover

HONG KONG: Authorities in Hong Kong on Monday took an unprecedented step against separatist voices by banning a political party that advocates independence for the southern Chinese territory on national security grounds.
John Lee, the territory’s secretary for security, announced that the Hong Kong National Party will be prohibited from operation from Monday.
Lee’s announcement did not provide further details. But Hong Kong’s security bureau had previously said in a letter to the National Party’s leader, 27-year-old Andy Chan, that the party should be dissolved “in the interests of national security or public safety, public order or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” Chan had no immediate comment.
That letter had cited a national security law that has not been invoked since 1997. The ban is likely to raise further questions about Beijing’s growing influence in the former British colony, which was promised semi-autonomy as part of the 1997 handover. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials have warned separatist activity would not be tolerated.
Chan, the National Party leader, had previously told The Associated Press that police approached him with documents detailing his speeches and activities since the party’s formation in 2016.
The party was founded in response to frustration about Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong. Despite a promise of autonomy, activists complain mainland influence over its democratic elections is increasing.
Chan and other pro-independence candidates were disqualified from 2016 elections to the Hong Kong legislature after they refused to sign a pledge saying Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. The Hong Kong National Party has never held any seats on the council.