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. 


North Korea faces lowest crop harvest in 5 years, widespread food shortages -UN

Updated 9 min 23 sec ago

North Korea faces lowest crop harvest in 5 years, widespread food shortages -UN

  • South Korea has pledged to provide 50,000 tons of rice aid to its northern neighbor through the UN World Food Programme
  • Sporadic famines are common in North Korea, although a severe nationwide famine in the 1990s killed as many as a million people

SEOUL: North Korea’s crop production this year is expected to drop to its lowest level in five years, bringing serious shortages for 40 percent of the population, as a dry spell and poor irrigation hit an economy already reeling from sanctions over its weapons programs, the United Nations said on Thursday.
In its latest quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the poor harvest of the country’s main crops, rice and maize, means 10.1 million people are in urgent need of assistance.
“Below-average rains and low irrigation availability between mid-April and mid-July, a critical period for crop development, mainly affected the main season rice and maize crops,” the FAO said. The report, which covers cereal supply and demand around the world and identifies countries that need external food aid, didn’t disclose detailed estimates of production by volume.
North Korea has long struggled with food shortages and a dysfunctional state rationing system, and state media has in recent months warned of drought and other “persisting abnormal phenomena.”
The crops shortfall comes as the country bids to contain the spread of African swine fever in its pig herd, following confirmation of a first case in May.
The disease, fatal to pigs though not harmful to humans, has spread into Asia — including South Korea — since first being detected in China last year, resulting in large-scale culls and reduced production of pork, a staple meat across the region including in North Korea.
The FAO report followed earlier UN assessments this year that the isolated country’s food production last year fell to its lowest level in more than a decade amid a prolonged heatwave, typhoon and floods.
South Korea has pledged to provide 50,000 tons of rice aid to its northern neighbor through the UN World Food Programme (WFP). But its delivery has been delayed by Pyongyang’s lukewarm response amid stalled inter-Korean dialogue and denuclearization talks with the United States, Seoul officials said.
In July, the North’s official KCNA news agency said a campaign to mitigate the effects of drought was under way by digging canals and wells, installing pumps, and using people and vehicles to transport water.
But North Korea has told the United Nations to cut the number of its staff it deploys in the country for aid programs. citing the “politicization of UN assistance by hostile forces.”
Sporadic famines are common in North Korea, but observers said a severe nationwide famine in the 1990s killed as many as a million people.