Monthly Archives: July 2019

Houston shooting: Nine people injured and gunman shot dead

Houston: A Houston lawyer whose business was struggling opened fire on morning commuters on Monday, injuring at least nine people before being shot dead by police, authorities said.
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Six people were taken to hospitals and three were treated at the scene after being shot at while inside their vehicles in the affluent neighbourhood of West University Place, acting Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters.

One victim was in critical condition and another was in serious condition but both were expected to survive, officials said. The FBI said there was no indication that the shootings were linked to a radical group.

Police declined to identify the suspect, but local media reported that he shot at vehicles from a black Porsche registered to Nathan DeSai.

Public records showed that DeSai lived in a condominium near the shooting scene and that he had no criminal record.

DeSai, who received his law degree from the University of Tulsa in 1998, started a small law firm but his former law partner, Ken McDaniel, said they closed it about six months ago.

McDaniel told local television the shooting was “out of character” for DeSai.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, in Cuba to develop trade relations, told reporters, “The motivation appears to be a lawyer whose relationship with his law firm went bad”.

Prakash DeSai told ABC television’s Houston affiliate that his son drove a black Porsche, and that he was “upset about his law practice not going well” and money woes.

Police said the suspect was dressed in a military-style uniform and that military paraphernalia that included Nazi items was found in his possession.

The police bomb squad secured the shooter’s car, which contained more than 2600 rounds of ammunition. Police said a handgun was found on the suspect’s body and a rifle was found in this car.

An agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the firearms had been legally purchased.

Christopher Miller, who lives near the site of the shootings, said he watched much of it from his apartment. “The only way I can explain it is like a firework show; you hear a shot, a shot, then more shots, then a finale of a bunch of shots. Then you know it’s over.”

Police said more than 75 shell casings had been recovered.  

Reuters, Washington Post*/]]>

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Q&A: Simon Birmingham says some private schools ‘over-funded’

Education minister Simon Birmingham. Photo: Q&A Calling for more money: SA premier Jay Weatherill. Photo: Q&A
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The panel on Monday night also included Amanda Vanstone and Penny Wong. Photo: Q&A

Education minister Simon Birmingham has conceded some private schools are “over-funded” amid fiery negotiations with states on a new four-year model for school funding.

However, he says he won’t produce a “hit-list” to name them.

On the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Mr Birmingham was grilled by host Tony Jones after an audience question about allocating “generous” amounts of money to wealthy schools.

An analysis obtained by Fairfax Media last week revealed NSW would lose $100 million if funding plans by the Federal government go ahead, with the bulk of this money coming from public schools.

NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli has predicted the states will be “fighting regularly” over the issue.

Under questioning, Mr Birmingham said he was “very cautious” about saying no school will lose money under the government’s plans.

He agreed some schools are over-funded, and said it is “possible” some of them could be worse off, sparking a rapid exchange with Jones.

“Can I just confirm this – the ones that are over-funded, you must have a list of them,” Jones asked.

“If you want me to create a hit list or something tonight, Tony, that’s not about to happen,” Mr Birmingham responded with a laugh.

Jones continued to probe, asking how many schools were over-funded.

“Well that depends actually on how you measure what a funding benchmark is,” Birmingham said. “I mean, we’re not talking vast numbers, but there are some.”

“Are the wealthy private schools over-funded?” Jones asked.

“There are some that fit that bill, yes, there are,” Birmingham said.

“So some private schools could expect under your governorship to lose money?” Jones asked.

Birmingham said that situation would depend on whether the Federal government could reach accord with states and territories.

South Australian premier Jay Weatherill, who was also on the panel, made clear that any such agreement will not be easily obtained.

He said $335 million has been “ripped out” of his state’s education budget over two years, and called for Malcolm Turnbull to allocate more money.

“At the last federal election, there was a commitment in relation to Gonski funding,” Mr Weatherill said. “Remember, a unity ticket with Labor in relation to school funding. Now $80 billion was cut from health and education.

“What the Prime Minister can do is to put back in the funding that was cut.”

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Letters to the Editor

Best foot foward: There was an amazing display of artistic volley’s at Tootsie on Sunday for the ‘Best Foot Forward’ Fundraiser. Photo: Camilla Duffy. Response to Sheri NortonResponding toletterpublished onSeptember 12, 2016.
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Sheri Norton is free to express her dislike of us ‘clones’ who ran in groups in the recent Council election – but the fact is 3138 people voted above the line for groups – almost one-third of voters. People still have freedom to vote below the line if they choose, and most did, including myself, as is our democratic right. I am yet to see any benefit from having ‘clones’, although it would be nice to be in two or more places at once sometimes. Hilarious and efficient!

Sheri sees groups as a burden, but grouping of candidates goes back to 1919 and pre-dates the printing of party names on ballot papers. It made it easier for associated candidates to be found by voters, and for parties to publicise their candidates. Groupsare not new, and they give voters a clearer sense of where like-minded people could align on issues when on Council. Wagga had ninegroups in this election, Goulburn had none. Different strokes.

Sheri alleges that 25 per cent of people voting for the former Mayor is a mandate to continue in that role. What does that mean for the 75 per cent of people who didn’t? They may be concerned that a former senior Council employee is now so publicly supporting a former Mayor. Sheri should know that we do not popularly elect a Mayor. It is up to the nine new Councillor’s to now decide. The General Manager will no doubt be pleased to work with whomever is elected, for the good of the whole Yass Valley for the future.

Bec Duncan, Yass

National Stroke Week successOn behalf of the Stroke Foundation I would like to thank the thousands of Australians who helped us educate the community about the importance of knowing the signs of stroke this National Stroke Week.

National Stroke Week is our annual campaign to shine the spotlight on stroke, raising awareness of the devastating impact of this insidious disease.

Stroke Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about stroke and how they can reduce their own risk. I am confident there are thousands of people in the community who now know about the FAST message thanks to the more than 2,500 activities that were held across the country.

With Stroke Week now wrapped up for 2016, it is vital we remember strokes don’t just happen one week of the year. Every ten minutes an Australian has a stroke. Every ten minutes someone’s life changes forever.

Stroke is shockingly common in Australia. Yet despite the devastation it causes, this disease is largely unrecognised by the broader community – until it happens to a loved one, a friend or a colleague. Stroke is largely preventable, but we know that almost 50,000 new and recurring strokes will happen this year. Stroke is treatable but again we know that many stroke patients will miss out on lifesaving treatment because they don’t get to hospital on time.

Stroke strikes suddenly and often without any warning. When it does happens, every minute counts. Time is brain. For every minute that parts of the brain are left without oxygen, brain cells are dying. A speedy reaction to stroke can mean the difference between life and death or permanent disability. Stroke doesn’t have to be a death sentence, it is treatable but people need to know the signs of stroke and get to hospital fast. Every stroke is a medical emergency.

Thanks to our incredible supporters we were able to spread this message far and wide this Stroke Week, reaching a record number of Australians. But our work doesn’t stop here – it is our mission to stop stroke, save lives and end the suffering caused by this devastating disease.It will take the combined efforts of the community, health professionals and governments to achieve this mission. I know together we can prevent, treat and beat stroke.

Sharon McGowan -Chief Executive Officer,Stroke Foundation

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Webs, weeds & wisdomSeasonal Waffle by Kate WalkerIt’s Spring and mud luscious this year, sparking my memories of bumper rain in the ‘50s and ‘60s. My sister was born at the end of the 50s during a huge dump of rain and to get to the hospital to see her my father carried me on his shoulders and waded through the swollen billabongs that separated the hospital from the rest of our town. To get home we managed to catch the returning school bus as it passed the hospital. A new sister and my first ride in a school bus, so much excitement!
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What a season this rain promises! Bumper crops, plenty of hay, and a wealth of flowers. Wattle in full blaze trumpets nature’s bounty. Drive slowly towards Cooma Cottage along the old Barton Highway section of the Dog Trap road and look to your left, you’ll be blown away by the myriad multi hued daffodils that fill thepaddocks.This part of the worldis so very beautiful at this moment with its rolling hills, that change from Spring’s emerald greens to slate blues. Sitting at my window I love to watch the storms rolling in and out.

Two weekends past, the Turning Wave festival was such a buzz! It was fun to sit in the Yazzbar or the Royal, perhaps, the Memorial Hall for sure and the Lovat Chapel by chance and join friends both old and new, tapping feet and appreciatively clapping each talented piper or fiddler. And on the Sunday afternoon, a Yass Showcase Concert, with local talent galore, brought the festival to a rousing finale.

This season has only begun. We’ve had a circus in town, at the showground. A show not to be missed. My sources advised that the circus acts were most entertaining andathletic – a great family outing.Do come along to Sculpture in the Paddock at CoomaCottage this month towalk off Winter weight and enjoy the sculptures. Take a friend so you’ve someone to discuss the many works. Some will delight and others will confound; regardless, you’ll have an opinion.

Then with your Best Foot Forward, were you at Tootsie Fine Art and Design last Sunday? Dunlop Volley art works were auctioned as a fundraiser bringing in somewhere close to $10,000 to build Kim Nelson’s legacy.Hibernate no more!

Here’s to seeing you springing round town!

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