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The Latest on the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister said one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka Easter attacks had been in Australia years earlier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the person had been in Australia on a student and a graduate skilled visa with a spouse and child visa as well. The individual left in early 2013.

Morrison told reporters Thursday the person’s Australian link was part of an ongoing investigation and wouldn’t comment further.

Separately, a British security official has confirmed one of the bombers was believed to have studied in the U.K. between 2006 and 2007. The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said British intelligence was not watching Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed during his stay in the country. His name was first reported by Sky News.

— Associated Press journalist Greg Katz in London contributed to this report.

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10 a.m.

Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.

Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

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6 a.m.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed one Japanese national was killed and four others injured in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.

The body of the person who died was returned to Japan early Thursday.

Officials at Narita airport near Tokyo lowered their heads as the coffin, covered with blue tarp and a bouquet of white flowers on top, came out of the plane.

Japanese media have identified the victim as 39-year-old Kaori Takahashi. The reports say she was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri-La hotel when she was killed and that her husband and a daughter were injured in the attack.

The Foreign Ministry has not released the identities of the dead and injured.

Sri Lankan police have said at least 359 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in Sunday’s bombings, which mainly targeted churches and hotels. Most of the victims were Sri Lankan but more than 30 of the dead were foreigners.

Source: Fox News World

Australia’s prime minister on Thursday played down any potential link between the arrest of a suspected Islamic State group member in Turkey and a World War I battle commemoration attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders at the Gallipoli peninsula.

A Syrian national was detained in Tekirdag province before the annual gathering for a dawn service at ANZAC Cove to mark the April 25, 1915, landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops in an ill-fated campaign to take the Dardanelles Straits, according to media reports.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the arrest took place three driving hours from of the Gallipoli service and no changes to security had been made as a result.

“The reports that we are receiving are inconclusive about any link between that arrest and any possible planned event at Gallipoli itself,” Morrison told reporters. “In fact, to make that assumption would be, I think, making a very big assumption.”

Morrison said Australian Defense Force Chief Gen. Angus Campbell was representing Australia at the service and had nothing but praise for the work of Turkish police and military to provide security.

“I’d simply say this: It’s fairly routine for Turkish authorities to arrest people with suspected terrorist links,” Morrison said.

Concerns about Australians and New Zealanders’ safety at Gallipoli escalated last month when a diplomatic row flared between Turkey and Australia after an Australian was arrested in the killings of 50 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Australians and New Zealanders going to Turkey with anti-Muslim views would return home in coffins, like their ancestors who fought at Gallipoli.

Morrison slammed the comments as “highly offensive,” but later said tensions had eased after Erdogan’s office explained the president’s words were “taken out of context.”

ANZAC Day services were held throughout Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, with Britain’s Prince William laying a wreath in the New Zealand city of Auckland.

The Duke of Cambridge will on Friday visit the mosques in Christchurch where 50 Muslims were killed and another 50 wounded.

Source: Fox News World

A 25-year-old man pleaded guilty in an Australian court on Wednesday to murdering his three children, wife and mother-in-law in the west coast city of Perth last year.

Anthony Robert Harvey made the plea in an appearance in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court via video link from prison.

He is to appear at a sentencing hearing in the Western Australia state Supreme Court on June 21. He faces a possible life sentence for each conviction.

The professional gardener killed his wife, Mara Lee Harvey, 41, her 3-year-old daughter Charlotte, and 2-year-old twin sisters Alice and Beatrix in their suburban home on Sept. 3. He then killed 73-year-old Beverley Ann Quinn when she came to visit the next morning.

Harvey stayed in the house for days after the murders before driving 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) north to the mining town of Pannawonica, where he told police on Sept. 9 what he had done.

Police found the bodies of the wife and her mother in the kitchen. The children were found in other rooms.

No explanation for the murders has been submitted to court.

Police said a blunt instrument and knives were used to slay the family.

Source: Fox News World

Two Australian doctors who were instrumental in the dramatic rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from a cave last year received a royal honor from King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Friday.

Richard Harris and Craig Challen were presented the award at a ceremony in Bangkok. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was also in attendance.

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Harris and Challen said before the presentation that they were looking forward to going to Chiang Rai province on Monday and see how the boys on the Wild Board soccer team they helped save were doing.

In this photo released by Government Spokesman Office, Richard Harris, left, an Australian member of the Thai cave rescue team, shakes hands with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha after receiving the Member of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn during the royal decoration ceremony at the Royal Thai Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 19, 2019. 

In this photo released by Government Spokesman Office, Richard Harris, left, an Australian member of the Thai cave rescue team, shakes hands with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha after receiving the Member of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn during the royal decoration ceremony at the Royal Thai Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 19, 2019.  (Government Spokesman Office via AP)

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“It’s really exciting for us to go and see them and make sure they’re well and see how they’re doing after the rescue,” Harris said. “Hopefully we will find them in good shape.”

Last July, a mixed team of Thais and expert divers from several countries around the world joined forces for the dramatic search and rescue mission for the team and their coach who went missing when heavy rain flooded the Tham Luang cave complex.

The drama and eventual rescue unfolded over 18 days and grabbed global headlines.

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Harris and Challen, who were jointly named Australians of the Year in January, and said should another cave rescue be needed, they are ready and willing to help.

“We have a little bit more experience now,” Challen said. “We seem to be the world record holders in cave-diving rescues now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News World

An Australian father rescued his 14-month-old son from a dingo’s jaws while vacationing on a remote tourist island, authorities said Friday.

The animal dragged the infant from his family’s camper on Fraser Island, located off the coast of Queensland. The parents were alerted to the attack when they awoke to their son’s cries late Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported.

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“The parents awoke with the toddler crying and heard the crying getting further away from the campervan,” Fraser Island paramedic Ben Du-Toit said. “The dad got out of the campervan to investigate and found the dingo dragging the toddler away from the campervan. He also spotted several other dingoes in the… immediate vicinity.”

The father grabbed his son and chased away the dingos in the area, he said. The boy was treated for two deep cuts to his neck and the back of his head and small cuts to his scalp. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital for further treatment, the news agency reported.

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The attack was the third on Fraser Island this year. Two dingos were put down in March after attacking a French mother and her son. A six-year-old boy was also mauled by one in January.

Source: Fox News World

Paramedics say a father saved his 14-month-old son from dingoes that dragged the boy from a campsite on an Australian island.

Paramedic Ben Du Toit says the boy had deep cuts on his head from the attack on Fraser Island in Queensland state.

The family was sleeping when a dingo entered their campervan. Du Toit says the parents awoke to their son’s cries, the sound fading as he was dragged away.

The father ran outside and fought off several dingoes to rescue his son.

Frank Bertoli, a pilot for RACQ Life Flight, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the parents’ “quick thinking” probably saved the boy from more severe injuries.

The boy was airlifted to a hospital early Friday.

Bertoli says it’s the third dingo attack on Fraser Island this year.

Source: Fox News World

Police in Australia are celebrating after they managed to reunite a homeless man with his pet rat, Lucy.

According to the New South Wales Police Force, the homeless man left the rat on a milk crate in Sydney while he went to use a nearby restroom on the afternoon of April 6.

While he was gone, a woman passing by saw Lucy and thought the animal had been abandoned — so she took the rat with her.

NSW police said that it was thanks to Facebook that authorities were able to track down Lucy and reunited the rat with its rightful owner.

In a video posted to Facebook, the unnamed man was presented with the rat to see if it was his missing Lucy. “Let’s have a look at you,” he said, picking up the animal. “Yup, that’s her!”

Police posed with the rat after it was reunited with its owner.

Police posed with the rat after it was reunited with its owner. (NSW Police Force)

He proceeded to ask for a kiss, and Lucy obliged.

He thanked the officers and said it felt “wonderful” to have his pet back.

The man leaned in for a kiss with his rat.

The man leaned in for a kiss with his rat. (NSW Police Force)

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“Rats all folks! Have a wonderful Easter long weekend,” police wrote on Facebook.

Source: Fox News World

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is on the campaign trail ahead of the May 18 federal election which will determine whether the country’s conservative government will get a third term.

Morrison was greeting voters in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield on Saturday. Morrison shook hands with people in the community and was mingling with the residents.

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Sky News Australia captured the moment Morrison shook a woman’s hand and greeted her with, “Hello, how are you, ni hao” which is Mandarin for, “hello.”

However, the women quickly corrected the prime minister.

“No, no, no, I’m Korean,” she replied.

Morrison recovered to tell the crowd that he was “no Asian languages expert, so I’m gonna say g’day to everybody”, The Guardian reported.

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A recent Ipsos poll, published by the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, gave Bill Shorten’s Labor party a lead over Morrison’s Coalition 53-47 ahead of the election on May 18.

“[The election] will determine the economy that Australians live in, not just for the next three years, but for the next decade,” Morrison said at a press conference earlier this month.

Source: Fox News World

Police say a man has been killed and his wife critically injured when they were attacked by their pet deer on a rural Australian property.

Police Sergeant Paul Pursell says the 46-year-old man entered the stag’s enclosure on Wednesday morning at Moyhu in Victoria state.

Pursell says the wife also entered the enclosure after hearing a commotion and was also attacked.

Police shot the deer before a paramedic treated the couple.

The husband died at the scene and his wife was flown by helicopter to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne where she condition was described as critical.

Pursell says the stag was a cross between a red deer and an elk.

Source: Fox News World

The High Court of Australia has begun hearing arguments over whether a sperm donor can have custody over the child he helped create.

Robert Masson, as he is known to the court, has taken a lesbian couple to the country’s High Court, claiming he is legally the father to their young daughter, according to the Australian Associated Press.

He claims one of the females, a friend of over 25 years, approached him in 2006 about donating sperm on the understanding that he would play an important role emotionally and financially in the child’s life.

Masson is listed as the father on the girl’s birth certificate, according to the Australian, and his legal team has argued the significant presence in the daughter’s life and that he is referred to as “Daddy” by both his biological daughter as well as the couple’s other child.

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When the couple attempted to leave the country with Masson’s daughter, he decided to take legal action to keep her in Australia.

The case has become a constitutional issue after both parties argued a discrepancy between the state and Commonwealth laws. State law argues that a sperm donor is not a parent, while Commonwealth law states that the biological parent is responsible for the child.

The result will become a landmark decision in the argument over what the legal requirements are to be a parent.

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A judge presiding over the case asked Tuesday: “Is there not a difference between the university student who is a donor to a sperm bank for a few bob and the sperm donor who plays a role in the life of the child?”

The case was originally argued in Family court where the women were barred from crossing the border with Masson’s biological child. The ruling judge found that the father must be consulted on long-term decisions affecting the child.

“Being a biological parent is not the whole answer to the question ‘who is a parent?’,” ruling Justice Margaret Cleary said in an official statement.

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According to the Court’s calendar, they will continue hearing arguments this week.

Source: Fox News World


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