One dead in shooting outside Australia nightclub, three injured

1 / 2
A Victoria Police personnel works at the scene of a multiple shooting outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia April 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
2 / 2
A Victoria Police personnel works at the scene of a multiple shooting outside Love Machine nightclub in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia April 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 April 2019
0

One dead in shooting outside Australia nightclub, three injured

  • Gun violence is rare in Australia, which strengthened its gun laws following the murders of 35 people by a lone gunman in 1996 in Tasmania

SYDNEY: A drive-by shooting outside a nightclub in the Australian city of Melbourne inflicted “horrific injuries” that killed a security guard and wounded three men, police said on Sunday, but there was no suggestion yet that the attack was terror-related.
Australia has some of the world’s toughest gun control laws, adopted after its worst mass murder, when a gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur in the island state of Tasmania in 1996.
Sunday’s shooting took place around 3.20 a.m. in the lively entertainment district of Melbourne’s southeastern suburb of Prahran, police said.
Three security guards and a man queueing to enter were taken to hospital with gunshot injuries, police said in a televised news conference in Melbourne.
“It would appear that shots have been discharged from a car in this area into a crowd standing outside the nightclub,” homicide inspector Andrew Stamper said.
The victims suffered “horrific injuries” from a weapon fired in close proximity, he added.
One guard died in hospital, another man was in critical condition and two escaped life-threatening injuries. One guard was shot in the face, the Age newspaper said.
However, there was no suggestion yet that the attack was terror-related, a police spokeswoman said by telephone.
Bloodstained clothing and bullet casings littered the street outside the entrance to the second-story Love Machine nightclub early on Sunday.
Police urged witnesses who saw any vehicle moving at speed around 3 a.m. to come forward, and mentioned a black Porsche SUV that was later found burnt-out in the north Melbourne suburb of Wollert.
No arrests have yet been made, and investigation continues.
A murder-suicide last year in Western Australia that killed seven members of a family was the country’s worst mass shooting since the Port Arthur case.
Neighbouring New Zealand has adopted legislation to ban semi-automatic firearms and assault rifles after its worst peacetime shooting in March, which killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in the city of Christchurch. 


US judge expected to put Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ behind bars for life

Updated 2 min 4 sec ago
0

US judge expected to put Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ behind bars for life

  • Joaquin Guzman was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana
  • US prosecutors have claimed that ‘El Chapo’ sold more than $12 billion worth of drugs
NEW YORK, July 17 : Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise that smuggled tons of drugs into the United States, is scheduled to be sentenced by a US judge on Wednesday in what is likely one of the last chapters in a decades-long career.
The sentencing hearing in a federal court in Brooklyn is expected to feature a statement from someone who survived a murder plot led by Guzman, prosecutors have said. The person’s name has not been made public.
Guzman, 62, was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, long known as one of Mexico’s largest and most violent drug trafficking organizations.
Prosecutors have asked US District Judge Brian Cogan to sentence him to life in prison, plus 30 years for use of firearms. Guzman’s lawyers have not disputed that a life sentence is mandatory.
Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” developed a reputation as a Robin Hood-like figure that made him a folk hero to many in his home state of Sinaloa, where he was born in a poor mountain village.
He is being held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan. Cogan last month rejected his request for more time to exercise on the jail’s roof, after prosecutors said that would risk an escape.
Before he was finally captured in 2016, Guzman twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico. He was extradited to the United States to face trial in January 2017.
Guzman made a name for himself as a trafficker in the 1980s by digging tunnels under the US-Mexico border that allowed him to smuggle drugs more quickly than any of his rivals. He amassed power during the 1990s and 2000s through often bloody wars with rivals, eventually becoming the best-known leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
His 11-week trial, which featured testimony from more than a dozen former associates of Guzman who had made deals to cooperate with prosecutors, offered the public an unprecedented look at the cartel’s inner workings.
The witnesses, who included some of Guzman’s top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organization reminiscent of a multinational corporation.
He sent drugs northward with fleets of planes and boats, and had detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted electronic communication system run through secret computer servers in Canada, witnesses said.
US prosecutors have claimed that Guzman sold more than $12 billion worth of drugs, and Forbes magazine once listed him as among the world’s richest men.
Though other top cartel figures had been extradited to the United States before, Guzman was the first to go to trial rather than pleading guilty.
Guzman often lived on the run. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001 hidden in a laundry cart and spent the following years moving from one hideout to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army.
He was seized again in 2014, but pulled off his best-known escape the following year when he disappeared into a ventilated, mile-long tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum-security prison.
He was finally recaptured in January 2016. The Mexican government says he blew his cover through a series of slipups, including an attempt to make a movie about his life.
Guzman’s lawyers have said they intend to appeal his guilty verdict. They have already asked Cogan to overturn it, citing a report that jurors disobeyed court rules by reading news reports about the case during the trial, but the judge rejected that request.
Despite Guzman’s downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel had the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels as of last year, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.