Thousands of Australian homes without power after cyclone hits

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A house is surrounded by flood waters in the town of Ingham, located in North Queensland, Australia, in this March 11, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
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Houses can be seen surrounded by flood waters in the town of Ingham, located in North Queensland, Australia, in this March 11, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
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Fallen trees roll down a street during a storm brought by Cyclone Marcus in Darwin, Australia, on March 17, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. (REUTERS)
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A tree that was uprooted due to winds from Tropical Cyclone Marcus lies on a building in the Northen Territory capital city of Darwin in Australia, on March 17, 2018. (REUTERS)
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Trees fall during a storm brought by Cyclone Marcus in Darwin, Australia, March 17, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. Brodie McGee/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Updated 18 March 2018
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Thousands of Australian homes without power after cyclone hits

SYDNEY: About 25,000 homes were without power on Sunday in Australia’s northern city of Darwin after a tropical cyclone felled trees, canceled flights, closed schools and delayed shipping.
No deaths were reported.
Residents of the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory have been warned to boil their water as a precaution after Tropical Cyclone Marcus lashed the city with 130 kph (80 mph) winds on Saturday.
The Northern Territory Government said that schools would remain closed on Monday and asked non-essential businesses also to stay shut.
Flights resumed on Sunday. Commercial shipping was back to normal with live cattle export ships and chemical-laden tankers able to return to port after being forced to ride out the storm at sea.
The cyclone churned out to sea on Saturday evening where it gathered strength before hitting the northern coast on Sunday morning, this time in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Pieter Claassen told Reuters that Marcus was expected to move into the Indian Ocean on Monday where it is forecast to grow into a severe Category 3 storm with wind speeds ranging from 165 kph (102 mph) to 224 kph (139 mph).
No threat is expected to the iron ore exporting hub of Port Hedland.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.