Kiwi in Hawaii tells of panic when incoming ballistic missile alert was mistakenly sent

A New Zealander on holiday in Hawaii has described the intense moment beach-goers rushed to pick up their belongings after a cellphone alert was mistakenly sent out warning of an incoming ballistic missile.  

Krysia Lanigan was at Hanauma Bay on the island of O'ahu with her 10-year-old when she noticed hundreds of people "rushing around" and "packing things up quickly" which prompted her to check her phone. 

"There was an emergency alert, like New Zealand were send during a civil emergency except we were given a warning of an incoming ballistic missile," Ms Lanigan told 1 NEWS.

The alert read 'Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.'

Ms Lanigan said "people were very concerned and the Park Rangers announced that everyone had to clear the beach and head to higher ground."

Forty minutes later Ms Lanigan said another alert was sent out stating the message was sent by mistake. 

"That is a very long time and of course there is no where to take shelter."

"We got a taxi back to the hotel and it was on the ride back that the recall warning was sent."

The taxi driver spoke to Ms Lanigan about the alert who stated, "an emergency beacon usually sounds before they would get a warning like this but it had never happened before."

"It was a big mistake. There was a long period of 40 minutes to contemplate and plan and in some people's cases panic.

"Persoanlly, I was just keen to be anywhere else and safe."

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency took to Facebook to state, "NO missile threat to Hawaii. False alarm. We're currently investigating."

Kiwi Krysia Lanigan said she received the emergency alert. Source: 1 NEWS

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US voter registrations see massive 65,000 spike, a day after Taylor Swift's mid-term elections social media plea

Musician Taylor Swift's social media influence has proved effective almost instantly in the US with a serious spike in voter registrations after she encouraged fans to enroll for next month's US midterm elections.

After Swift expressed her support for two Democratic candidates and encouraged her 112 million Instagram followers to register to vote in time for next month's US midterm elections, the The US voter registration service saw over 60,000 enrollments.

Kamari Guthrie, the director of communications for vote.org, told Buzzfeed News there were 65,000 registrations in the 24-hour period after the singer posted her statement to Instagram on Sunday.

Ms Guthrie said vote.org had its second-busiest day of the year after Swift's post with nearly 156,000 unique visitors to their website - the only busier day was National Voter Registration Day on September 25.

She added the daily average for unique visitors was 14,078.

"Thank God for Taylor Swift," she said.

Republicans now have some bad blood with the star after a surprise endorsement on Instagram for Tennessee Democratic US Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and an argument against Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn.

Republicans and President Donald Trump have already rebuked her for the endorsement, but the Swifties closed ranks in support of her and many others have applauded her for speaking out.

"She weighs every word carefully, but she has to because few artists receive more scrutiny than she does," said Beverly Keel, chair of the department of recording industry at Middle Tennessee State University.

"People will analyze every single word."

Blackburn's voting record, Swift wrote, "appalls and terrifies me," noting Blackburn's votes against equal pay for women and the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Trump, who has campaigned for Blackburn, dismissed Swift's opinion of the candidate, saying Swift "doesn't know anything about her. And let's say that I like Taylor's music about 25 percent less now, OK?"

Swift also got support from Ellen DeGeneres and actor Mark Hamill, while Republican politician Mike Huckabee dismissed Swift's impact on the election by underestimating her fan based by saying that "13 yr old girls" can't vote.

Diane Pecknold, professor of women's and gender studies at the University of Louisville, said Swift's transition from country to pop has broadened her fan base.

"She doesn't have to concern herself with potentially alienating what is perceived as a conservative country base," Pecknold said.

Still the common refrain of "shut up and sing" gets lobbed at many artists, but in the age of social media, everyone has an opinion, even on Swift's opinion, Keel said.

"On Facebook, I have seen my friends say, 'I am never buying another Taylor Swift album' to 'I just went online and bought her entire catalog,'" Keel said.

The president was responding to news that the superstar musician endorsed two Democrat candidates in Tennessee. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: 'If you believe in equality for women' - Taylor Swift goes political again after big AMA win

Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and at the American Music Awards she continued the conversation by encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Swift won artist of the year at the fan-voted show this afternoon in Los Angeles, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize.

"This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people," she said, "the midterm elections on November 6."

Swift announced on Monday that she was voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics.

Voting was a hot topic at the AMAs. Host and Golden Globe-winning "black-ish" actress Tracee Ellis Ross wore a shirt that said, "I am a voter," and comedian-actor Billy Eichner told the audience, "The biggest election of our lifetime is happening."

"Please grab your friends and tell them to vote. Now is the time. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it," he said onstage before presenting an award.

"And you can go to Vote.org like Taylor Swift told you to," he added.

Swift kicked off the AMAs with a performance of "I Did Something Bad," while Cardi B picked up the night's first award, favorite hip-hop/rap artist, which she dedicated to her daughter.

"I really want to thank my daughter," said Cardi B, who gave birth to Kulture Kiari Cephus in July. "I gotta prove people wrong. They said I wasn't going to make it after I had a baby."

The rapper hit the stage to give a festive and colorful performance of her No. 1 hit, "I Like It," where she was joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny, who was wheeled onstage inside a shopping cart. Cardi B's husband, Offset of the rap trio Migos, danced along in the audience with group member Quavo as Cardi B worked the stage with vibrant dance moves, including the salsa.

Cardi B returned the favor, screaming happily when Migos was named favorite pop/rock duo or group, beating out Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons, later in the show.

"We did not know we was winning this at all," said Quavo, also giving a shout-out to group member Takeoff, who didn't attend the AMAs.

"I want to thank you sexy lady," Offset said, pointing to Cardi B.

Like Cardi B's performance, rising newcomer Ella Mai also won over the crowd when she sang the year's biggest R&B hit, "Boo'd Up," starting the performance as she walked down the aisle of the Microsoft Theater. Khalid, Quavo and Offset were some of the audience members dancing along, while others sang and some even filmed her with their phones.

Others who shined onstage included R&B singer Ciara, who showed off her skilled dance moves and was joined by a fierce Missy Elliott. Carrie Underwood was in perfect form vocally, and Camila Cabello — who won new artist of the year — gave a heartful, touching and vocally impressive performance of the ballad "Consequences," earning her a standing ovation.

The three-hour show closed with a rousing tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died in August. Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans were among the musicians who paid tribute to the Queen of Soul's gospel roots and her iconic album, "Amazing Grace."

Rapper-singer XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in June, was also honored: He won favorite soul/R&B album for his 2017 debut, "17." It was days after he was named best new artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

His mother, Cleopatra Bernard, said she was honored to accept the award on behalf of her son. "I'm so nervous," Bernard said as the audience cheered her on.

Post Malone, who wore a baby blue suit and performed, won favorite pop/rock male artist, Underwood was named favorite country female artist, Khalid picked up favorite soul/R&B male artist, and Kane Brown won favorite country male artist.

Other performers included Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Shawn Mendes and twenty one pilots.

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Art buff shreds $80k Banksy piece with stanley knife in copycat bid to double value - now it's worthless

An owner of a piece of Banksy artwork has been told his $81,000 print is effectively worthless now after he tried to shred it in a copycat attempt to double its value.

The owner contacted art experts with the hopes of selling their Girl With a Balloon print - the same print that was shredded in a stunt by the artist earlier this week at an art auction - after mimicking the artist.

The piece Girl With Balloon was shredded moments after being sold for NZ$2.1 million at Sotheby’s in London. Source: Associated Press

The hopeful seller reportedly took to their artwork with a stanley knife, slicing strips into it before requesting the print be listed at $162,000.

But experts denied the owner, refusing to sell the massacred piece which is believed to be only one of 600 mint condition prints in the world.

Instead, they blasted the decision as "opportunistic vandalism" and valued the defiled piece at $2.

The owner isn't the first to come up with the idea with art expert Ian Syer claiming his company My Art Broker has had to warn people on social media about trying the same stunt after receiving multiple enquiries about shredding Banksy prints.

"We've had a number of Banksy print owners contact us today asking if they shred their artwork will it be worth more. Please, Please DON'T. The events of the last 24hrs are a very unique piece of art history."

Mr Syer said only Banksy could pull off the action as art.

"When Banksy does something crazy like shredding his own artwork, it will naturally have a dramatic affect on values.

"What this person today seems to have done is needlessly ruin a print worth around £40,000 and reduce its value to almost nothing.

"We strongly recommend nobody else takes valuable art and tries to cash in on what history will judge a simply brilliant stunt.

"There are limited numbers of Girl With Balloon prints in the world, today, we lost one and it's a crying shame."

The "Girl With a Balloon" Banksy print now considered worthless after it was shredded.
The "Girl With a Balloon" Banksy print now considered worthless after it was shredded. Source: Supplied


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Missing Saudi Arabia journalist alive and captive in homeland after being spirited out of Turkey - report

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who went missing after visiting his country's consulate in Istanbul was spirited on a private jet to Saudi Arabia, held captive and may still be alive there, a source close to the kingdom's royal family has claimed to Britain's DailyMail.com. 

Turkey said today it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as it investigates why journalist Mr Khashoggi vanished there a week ago, as Turkish officials fear the writer was killed inside the building.

That Saudi Arabia would allow foreigners to enter a consulate and search it shows the growing international pressure the kingdom faces over the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia and contributor to the Washington Post.

But now the Daily Mail reports it's been told by a source close to the Saudi royal family Mr Khashoggi was taken from the consulate in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport.

He was was flown to Dubai and then Riyadh, where he is now being held. 

Flight records reportedly show that a Gulf Stream IV private jet, tail number HZ-SK2, landed in Istanbul at 3am on October 2, the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.

The source said they were told Mr Khashoggi is still alive, contradicting the claims he was murdered in the Istanbul consulate. 

DailyMail.com said this different version of events could not be independently verified. 

Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to collect divorce papers relating to his previous marriage, leaving his fiancee with his Saudi phone on the street outside.

He had walked in to the building with his T-Mobile US cellphone, which he had used to contact his confidential sources. 

DailyMail.com said a friend of the journalist revealed that Mr Khashoggi’s encrypted messages had been read after he vanished. 

The news outlet published a CCTV photo said to show him walking in, but never walked back out.  

The Saudis have called allegations of any involvement in his disappearance "baseless," but had no immediate comment on Turkey's announcement that it will search the consulate. It remains unclear when the search will take place.

US President Donald Trump and European leaders all have called on Riyadh to explain what happened to the 59-year-old journalist. 

So far, the kingdom has offered no evidence in the past seven days to show that Mr Khashoggi ever left the building, as the new surveillance photo surfaced showed him walking in its main entrance.

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday, October 2. Source: Associated Press