Woman dead, another injured as knife-wielding man goes on Sydney frenzy

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2019   •   525

A man with “some ideologies in relation to terrorism” went on a stabbing attack in downtown Sydney on Tuesday (August 13), killing one woman and wounding another before he was restrained by members of the public, police said.

The incident brought mid-afternoon traffic in Australia’s biggest city to a standstill and sparked a police investigation into how the accused man, aged 21, went from living with his parents to what police said was a terrible crime.

A woman, 21, was found dead at an apartment building and a second woman, 41, was taken to hospital in a stable condition with a stab wound on her back.

Police did not say how the first woman died but said the man was responsible for both attacks, adding that the attack cannot be classed as a ‘terrorist incident’, a claim that could be re-assessed as the investigation pursues.

The man, who police did not name, was carrying a knife and a computer thumb drive containing information about deadly attacks in North America and New Zealand when he went on the frenzy as a “lone actor” about 2 pm Sydney time (0400 GMT), police said. (REUTERS)

(Production: Jill Gralow)

Women win landmark class action against Johnson & Johnson in Australia

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019

Sydney, Australia – More than 1,350 women who have suffered debilitating side effects of pelvic mesh implants won a landmark class action suit against multinational giant Johnson & Johnson on Thursday in Sydney, Australia.

The case, which began in 2012, has been described by the prosecution as the biggest class action concerning women’s health in Australia’s history.

The Federal Court of Australia held the behavior of the American multinational and its subsidiary Ethicon as “negligent” underlining that “the risks were known, not insignificant, and on the respondents’ own admission, could cause significant and serious harm if they eventuated.”

Women have said that the pelvic implants – mesh or tape surgically placed to resolve pelvic floor damage such as that commonly caused during childbirth – have caused debilitating problems such as urinary incontinence, chronic pain, including during sex, infections and a significant psychological toll.

The court heard that three women who brought the class action — Kathryn Gill, Diane Dawson and Ann Sanders — described their symptoms ranging from “pain… so bad she struggles to breathe,” “excruciating pain across her buttocks, pain deep inside her vagina, and pain that radiated down her leg,” and “chronic pain and multiple other symptoms. Her enjoyment of life has been substantially diminished” to “frightened about what the future holds.”

The court judgment said one or more surgical procedures may be required to remove mesh that had eroded, and that “removal carried the risk of new complications or of aggravating existing complications.”

“I found that the respondents were liable to compensate any applicant and/or group member who suffered an injury because of the defect for the amount of the loss and damage she sustained as a result of that injury,” Judge Anna Katzmann said.

She granted the parties time to read the judgment and reach an agreement, and “each of the applicants will need to make an election as to whether she wishes to receive damages under the Trade Practices Act or at common law” before her final decision in February next year.

The compensation is expected to reach millions of dollars given that some 8,000 women are estimated to have been affected, according to Shine Lawyers, a legal firm representing the women in the case.

“It has been a long journey to get here through this legal process. We have fought hard to have these women’s voices heard, as they’ve struggled with the chronic pain and complications from their mesh and tape implants,” Shine Lawyers’ Special Counsel for Class Actions Rebecca Jancauskas said in a statement.

Thousands of women in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and Canada, among others, have sued Johnson & Johnson over side effects of pelvic implants. EFE-EPA

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More than 150 bushfires rage in eastern Australia amid weather caution

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

A bushfire burns close to homes on Railway Parade in Woodford, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, 08 November 2019. Hot, windy conditions have seen bushfires burn out of control across parts of New South Wales, with 15 emergency warnings currently in effect in the state. EPA-EFE/DAN HIMBRECHTS

Sydney, Australia – More than 150 bushfires were still active in eastern Australia a day after “catastrophic” conditions were recorded and that threaten to be repeated Wednesday.

New South Wales’ Rural Fire Service said on Wednesday morning that 73 fires remained active in the state, out of which around half were uncontrolled.

“Yesterday was a day of exceptional fire danger. Sadly, it appears based on early reports, at least 50 homes have been damaged or destroyed in yesterday’s fires,” it said.

Authorities in the northeastern state of Queensland warned of the danger of fires escalating on Wednesday due to strong wind.

“It will make conditions really challenging for our firefighters on the ground,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s Victoria Dodds, underlining the possibility of thunderstorms, dry ground and the absence of rain.

The state’s emergency department told EFE that around 80 fires burn in this region, without specifying the number of uncontrolled fires.

Queensland firefighters have ordered residents of towns such as Noosa North Shore, Woodgate, and Kinkuna, north of Brisbane, to leave the area because of the proximity of the fires.

Meanwhile, a helicopter fighting the blazes suffered a heavy landing on Wednesday afternoon in the town of Pechey, about 150 kilometers west of the city of Brisbane.

One patient was transported to a hospital in a stable condition, Queensland Ambulance service said on Twitter.

Three people have died and more than 100 have been injured by the fires, which have devoured some 300 buildings in eastern Australia, according to data provided by New South Wales’ Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.

Authorities are investigating whether some of the fires, including those that burned yesterday on the periphery of Sydney, were deliberately lit.

In Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, emergency services on Tuesday sprayed fire retardant from aircraft, which has resulted in houses, roads, and cars being dyed red.

Actor Russell Crowe took to social media to share images of the partial damage to his house from the fire in the town of Nana Glen, some 600 kilometers (373 miles) north of Sydney.

According to the fire services, the surface area affected by the wildfires since mid-2019 has increased to 11,000 square kilometers — about the size of Jamaica.

The fire season in Australia varies by area and weather conditions although they are generally recorded in the southern summer (between the months of December to March).

In recent years, bushfires in Australia – this year battling a severe drought – have increased in intensity, with many experts linking it to the effects of climate change.

The worst fires in the Oceanic country in recent decades occurred in early February 2009 in the state of Victoria, leaving 173 people dead and 414 injured, as well as burning an area of 4,500 sq km. EFE-EPA

wat/sc/tw

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UNTV Cup: PNP faces Malacañang in must- win game on Sunday

UNTV News   •   October 19, 2019

Facing elimination in the League of Public Servants, PO3 Anton Tolentino must-take charge to win the remaining 3 games of PNP Responders. 

Former UNTV Cup Season 5 champion PNP Responders must win against the multi-season finalist Malacañang-PSC Kamao on Sunday (October 20) at Pasig City Sports Center to keep their bid for the next round in the league of public servants.

As a winless team in Group B, the Responders share the bottom two spot with the GSIS Furies.

After the first-round elimination, only the top four from each group will advance to the next round. The lowest two teams in each bracket will go on vacation early.

Tough as it may seem, they cannot afford to lose their three remaining games. But what they will be facing are the unbeaten Malacañang-PSC which flashes solid offense and defense prowess in all of its 3 games, the GSIS Furies and the reinforced two-time champion Judiciary Magis.

The Responders will basically still rely on Ollan Omiping, Anton Tolentino with the support from Richard Villanueva and rookie Mariano Flormata Jr.

While the Raffy Gonzales-coached Malacañang-PSC Kamao will be led by Eric dela Cuesta, the Javier brothers, Visnu and Narayan, Myk Jimenez, Ian Garrido with solid supporting cast: Joseph Besa, Michael Ignario and rookies Joseph Roque, Jeff Punzalan.

The PNP- Malacañang-PSC bout will take place at 5:00 pm, Sunday.

An explosive 2nd game is also expected as the multi-season champion AFP Cavaliers will take on the revitalized Department of Agriculture Food Masters.

At the helm of the Food Masters team is PBA Legend Rodney Santos who takes pride of hard-fought victories in their first two encounters against PITC Global Traders and Ombudsman Graft Busters.

In the other games, rookie team SSS Kabalikat will take on sophomore UNTV Cup team PITC Global Traders at 2pm.

SSS Kabalikat, being win-less also, need to win all their remaining games to prevent early eviction.

UNTV Cup can be seen live at Pasig City Sports Center for free or via Facebook and YouTube accounts and of course via UNTV channel and UNTV website.

Team Standings

GROUP A
AFP Cavaliers 3-0
Agriculture Food Masters 2-0
Ombudsman Graftbusters 1-2
PITC Global Traders 1-2
PhilHealth Plus 1-2
SSS Kabalikat 0-2

GROUP B
Malacañan PSC Kamao 3-0
DENR Warriors 2-0
NHA Builders 2-1
Judiciary Magis 1-2
GSIS Furies 0-3
PNP Responders 0-2  

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