Australian news live: Emotional scenes as Bondi Junction Westfield reopens, two dead in suspected sheep attack

Yahoo takes you through the day's news, with Bondi Junction Westfield reopening following Saturday's devastating attack.

Yahoo's daily news blog for Thursday, April 18 has wrapped up.

Focus again has been on the two main stories this week; the Sydney stabbing attacks that rocked the country on Saturday and Monday evening.

Today, Bondi Junction Westfield reopened after six people were fatally attacked inside. Stores were closed but the community had been invited to pay their respects at the shopping centre. Stores reopen on Friday.

  • Seven West Media CEO James Warburton leaves network

    CEO James Warburton's immediate departure from Seven West Media has been confirmed and he will leave the network today.

    It comes after a difficult few weeks for the network after a former Spotlight producer claimed Seven paid for drugs and sex workers in a bid to land an interview with Bruce Lehrmann.

    Seven had previously said he would leave by the end of the financial year. Current chief financial officer Jeff Howard takes over.

  • Erupting volcano triggers tsunami warning for Australian neighbour

    Indonesian authorities issued a tsunami alert Wednesday after eruptions at Ruang mountain sent ash thousands of metres high. Officials ordered more than 11,000 people to leave the area.

    The volcano on the northern side of Sulawesi island had at least five large eruptions in the past 24 hours, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation said. Authorities raised their volcano alert to its highest level.

    Ruang is roughly 1,700km north of Darwin.

    Read more here.

    Mount Ruang releasing hot lava. Source :AP
    Mount Ruang releasing hot lava. Source :AP
  • Breakthrough as blocks of cocaine wash up on Aussie beaches

    There is finally an update regarding the alleged source of a series of cocaine parcels that have been washing up along Australia's east coast for months.

    Daniel Wayne Roberts, 36, is accused of being the ringleader behind an attempt to import 900kg of cocaine in Australia.

    He was arrested on Thursday in Brisbane's northern suburbs and had his case mentioned before Brisbane Magistrates Court on seven charges relating to the alleged importation of commercial quantities of drugs.

    Australian Federal Police allege Roberts played a significant role in importing almost two tonnes of cocaine in three ventures in the past year, which have an estimated total street value of $683 million.

    The Aspley man has been charged over a botched cocaine importation off Queensland's Moreton Island in November 2023 that led to bricks of the drug washing up on NSW beaches.

    So far about 256kg of the alleged 900kg has been seized by NSW Police Force.

    - AAP

    Blocks of cocaine have been washing up on NSW beaches for months. Source: NSW Police/ Getty
  • Bishop forgives 'whoever' stabbed him during livestreamed service

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, who was attacked in Monday night's church stabbing, says he forgives "whoever has done this act".

    "I will always pray for you. And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well is Jesus's mighty name," he told his followers on Thursday morning.

    Emmanuel featured in an audio update shared by The Assyrian Orthodox Christ The Good Shepherd Church and he revealed he was recovering quickly from the attack.

    The attack has been treated as a terrorist incident. A 16-year-old boy has been arrested over the attack but no charges have been laid so far as the teen receives medical treatment in hospital.

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. Source: YouTube
    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. Source: YouTube
  • Sydney Sweeney hits back after producer says she's 'not pretty'

    She's certainly hot property at the moment, but not everyone's a fan of Hollywood star Sydney Sweeney.

    The actress, 26, was ripped to shreds by renowned producer Carol Baum who couldn't work out why "everybody loves her".

    "She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?" the Father of the Bride producer said in a scathing assessment.

    Sweeney has now hit back, calling Baum's comments "shameful".

    “How sad that a woman in the position to share her expertise and experience chooses instead to attack another woman," she told Variety.

    “If that’s what she’s learned in her decades in the industry and feels is appropriate to teach to her students, that’s shameful."

    Sydney Sweeney was unimpressed with the criticism. Source: Getty
    Sydney Sweeney was unimpressed with the criticism. Source: Getty
  • Two dead in suspected sheep attack inside paddock

    In some concerning news from across the Tasman Sea, two people are dead after authorities believe they were attacked by a ram inside its paddock.

    The elderly couple were found by their son at the West Auckland property early Thursday morning, the New Zealand Herald reported.

    The wife's nephew said the local community were in shock over the "tragic accident".

    "I feel like I was dreaming it actually, it was a bit of shock, being told what had happened and I just didn’t believe it," he said.

    The ram was reportedly shot by police.

  • Emotional scenes as Bondi Junction Westfield reopens

    Yahoo journalist Michael Dahlstrom is at Bondi Junction Westfield today, revealing emotions are high inside the quiet shopping centre.

    "A shopping centre that saw such terror is now a place of gentle acts of kindness between strangers," he said.

    "There are people from all faiths here, Jews, Muslims and Christians, many silently carrying flowers."

    Those in attendance have been given black ribbons to wear. There is a strong presence of security around the shopping centre as people queue on level four to sign the condolences book.

    Many visitors to the shopping centre were reduced to tears, with groups of friends hugging one another.

    "It's quiet with hushed muttering and the odd phone ringing," he said. Some visitors were seen praying, a number of whom chose to do so outside specific stores, which will only reopen on Friday.

    Source: Michael Dahlstrom
    Source: Michael Dahlstrom
    Source: Getty
    Source: Getty
    Source: Getty
    Source: Getty
  • Full extent of riot after church stabbing revealed

    NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb says 51 police officers were injured in the riot that followed the church stabbing in Sydney's southwest

    She said the riot, with roughly 2,000 people flocking to the Wakeley church after the livestreamed attack, was "disgraceful and disgusting". She said multiple police vehicles also remain inoperable.

    Police Commissioner Webb addresses reporters on Tuesday. Source: AAP
    Police Commissioner Webb has slammed the scenes that unfolded on Monday night following the church stabbing. Source: AAP
  • Toddler hit by truck in critical condition

    A toddler is fighting for life after they were hit by a truck while reportedly crossing a busy road in Brisbane.

    The child suffered serious head injuries in the Brown Plains incident during peak-hour traffic this morning. It's understood they were crossing the road with their mother when hit.

    Read more here.

  • Ted Lasso star receives apology after photographer's red carpet leg request

    Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham has received an apology from a photographer who asked her to "show some leg" on the red carpet.

    In video of the moment, she can be heard hitting back saying: "Oh my god, you'd never say that to a man."

    Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, she said it was "absolutely necessary to call out" the request.

    "I've received a written apology and now I'm so ready to move on," she said.

  • Baltimore bridge collapse: Ship owner calls for financial help

    We now take you to a story that seems an age ago after the dramatic developments in Australia in the past week.

    The owner of the ship that crashed into a major bridge in Baltimore, causing it to collapse, has asked those with cargo onboard to chip in for the costs of the salvage operation.

    The owner has made what’s known in maritime law as a “general average” declaration, meaning if approved, costs would be shared across interested parties to cover refloating the ship, which remains stuck with sections of the fallen bridge draped across its damaged bow.

    Read more here.

    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 17: Workers remove shipment containers from the Dali cargo ship during the clean up at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland on April 17, 2024. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch /IPX
    The ship remains stuck under the bridge. Source: AP
  • PM responds to stabbed security guard's visa plea

    Anthony Albanese has confirmed a Pakistani security guard seriously injured in the Bondi Junction attack will be offered a permanent stay in Australia with his current graduate visa set to expire in weeks.

    Muhammad Taha spoke out after the news French "hero" Damien Guerot, who confronted knifeman Joel Cauchi with a bollard, was offered Australian citizenship.

    Taha also confronted Cauchi alongside colleague Faraz Tahir who was tragically killed in the attack.

    “As a direct victim of the incident, I believe I deserve recognition and consideration for citizenship,” Taha told The Australian.

    Albanese told FiveAA radio Taha had shown "extraordinary courage".

    Taha pictured in hospital. Source: The Australian
    Taha pictured in hospital. Source: The Australian
  • China's furious message to Australia: 'Stop it'

    China has hit out at Australia as Canberra pushes on with its nuclear sub plans alongside the US and UK.

    The Albanese government unveiled its inaugural national defence strategy on Wednesday, upsetting Beijing in the process.

    “We hope Australia will correctly view China’s development and strategic intentions, abandon the Cold War mentality, do more things to keep the region peaceful and stable, and stop buzzing about China," foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian told reporters.

    He warned against "exclusive groupings", a message undoubtedly aimed at AUKUS. The military pact continues to closely watch China's actions in the Indo-Pacific amid a strategic struggle in the region, while the US recently suggested Australia's nuclear subs down the track could be involved in military conflict if China was to forcibly attempt to reunify Taiwan with the mainland.

    Anthony Albanese (left) and Xi Jinping (right) wearing suits.
    Anthony Albanese (left) and Xi Jinping (right). Source: Getty
  • Bondi Junction Westfield's touching tribute to victims as it reopens

    Bondi Junction Westfield has put black ribbons at the shopping centre's entrances to pay respect to the victims of Saturday's stabbing attack that killed six people.

    The centre will reopen on Thursday after being closed for five days, allowing police to investigate the attack.

    The black ribbon symbol has also been beamed onto the Sydney Opera House in the wake of the attack.

    Black ribbons pictured at entrances to the Westfield shopping centre. Source: TikTok/ alejandra.mmj
    Black ribbons pictured at entrances to the Westfield shopping centre. Source: TikTok/ alejandra.mmj
  • 'Told you we were coming': Aussie cops' message to alleged rioter

    NSW Police have made their first arrest following the riots that erupted in western Sydney on Monday night after a bishop was stabbed in an alleged act of religious extremism.

    Footage of the arrest shows specialist tactical officers storm the suburban home of a teenager yesterday afternoon.

    “At this stage, you are under arrest for affray,” an officer can be heard telling a 19-year-old male taken into custody.

    “You are under arrest for malicious damage of police vehicles … The commissioner of police told you we were coming. We are here.”

    On Tuesday, Police Commissioner Karen Webb said some 20 police vehicles were maliciously damaged in the riot with 10 rendered unusable. In the same press conference, NSW Premier Chris Minns warned people not to take the law into their own hands.

    Read more here.

    The police take a 19-year-old man into custody. Picture: Supplied
    The police take a 19-year-old man into custody. Picture: Supplied

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