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Mosque in Perth firebombed, sprayed with anti-Islam graffiti

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Western Australia police were investigating a racist firebomb attack at a mosque in state capital Perth while hundreds were praying on Tuesday evening, officials said on Wednesday.

No one was injured in the attack, during which a parked car burst into flames outside the mosque, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was believed petrol or a fire accelerant was used in the blaze.

Anti-Islamic graffiti was also spotted on a wall near the Australian Islamic College, close to the mosque.

Perth Now daily reported Australian Islamic College Yahya Adel Ibrahim wrote on Facebook that worshippers finished their prayers despite the chaos outside the mosque.

Ibrahim said the Perth community had been “visited by hate” but “wouldn’t start playing blame games and singling out groups of people in our society.”

“Despite what just transpired, everyone stayed to finish their prayers, refusing to give in to the terror that had just occurred,” he added.

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Australia

Austria’s Supreme Court allows same-sex marriage from 2019

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Same-sex couples will be allowed to get married in Austria from 2019, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. It said the current law violates the principle of non-discrimination.

The move brings Austria into line with many other European nations, including Germany, France, Britain, and Spain. Austria’s constitutional court examined a 2009 law which allows registered partnerships for same-sex couples, but prevents them from getting married, at the request of two women who were rejected by two lower authorities, Reuters said.

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Malaysia Airlines plane forced to return to Melbourne

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Melbourne, June 1, 2017: A Malaysia Airlines plane was forced to return to the Melbourne airport after a man who claiming to have a bomb tried to enter the cockpit of the aircraft, police said on Thursday.

Flight MH128 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was forced to return after take-off at 11.11 p.m. on Wednesday night when a 25-year-old student from Sri Lanka tried to enter the cockpit, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The man, who has been living in Dandenong in Melbourne’s south-east, was tackled by crew members and several passengers, who overpowered him and tied him up with belts.

Heavily-armed police wearing helmets and body armour and carrying rifles boarded the aircraft after it landed, and placed the man under arrest.

Victoria State Police later said the incident was not being treated as terrorism.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the man was carrying a “speaker-type device”, ABC reported.

“It looked to me like a slightly larger version of an iPhone…As one of these bluetooth-type speakers. It has cords that allow you to plug it into some sort of phone device to play music on,” he said.

Commissioner Ashton said the man was released from psychiatric care earlier on Wednesday.

Ashton said the man was likely to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.

IANS

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Australians warned against seafood after deadly algal bloom

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Authorities in Australia’a Tasmania state are urging people to stop consuming seafood due to the risk of potentially-fatal paralytic poisoning.

Mark Veitch, Tasmania’s acting director of public health, released a statement late Sunday night warning Tasmanians and tourists to heed the “very real” threat to health, which has come due to an algal bloom in the water, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Shellfish feed on the algae and (therefore) concentrate the toxin — this makes them dangerous to eat and may cause serious and even fatal illness,” the statement said.

“The large scale of this algal bloom and the high levels of toxin in tested shellfish mean the risk of shellfish poisoning from eating shellfish collected from the wild is very real.”

Tasmanian seafood is considered by many as the best in the world, with many Australians choosing to make the trip to the southernmost state for sport fishing, mussel and abalone diving, as well as oyster sampling.

The authorities have said it was unsafe to eat wild oysters, mussels, scallops and pipis from anywhere along the island’s east coast, while Tasmanians have also been warned that cooking the fish will not kill the deadly toxins.

Two types of toxin have been identified by the authorities, one of which causes mild diarrhea while the other causes paralysis which could lead to death.

The latest algal bloom follows a similar one which occurred in 2015 when two people were hospitalised after consuming toxic mussels in October.

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