'Nothing criminal' about two men accused of Novichok poisoning in England, says Vladimir Putin

Russia’s President says the a pair accused of poisoning a spy who defected to the UK are civilians. Source: BBC



Student pilot charged after allegedly trying to steal passenger plane in the US

A 22-year-old student pilot suspected of boarding a vacant passenger plane at a central Florida airport yesterday has been charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane, officials said.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating and trying to determine a motive in the case, according to Orlando-Melbourne International Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker.

She told news outlets the student pilot, identified as Florida Institute of Technology student Nishal Sankat, also faces a visa violation and criminal trespassing charges.

Early yesterday, a man drove to the curb outside the airport, left his car running, hopped a fence and boarded an Airbus 321 American Airlines aircraft sitting in a maintenance facility, Booker said.

An avionics technician was in the plane's galley when he saw a shadow, Booker said.

"He turned around and said, 'Who are you? Show me your badge," Booker told news outlets. She said the technician was among airport workers she dubbed heroes.

He grabbed the man and, with help from another technician, they got him off the plane. Booker said that while one technician held the man down, the other called Melbourne airport police.

The man broke free and ran along the airfield before police took him into custody about two minutes later.

After the man was arrested, officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before re-opening the airport.

All employees and passengers were removed from the terminal during the incident, which caused two flight delays and interrupted airport operations for about five hours.

Police searched the student pilot's car with a robotic arm to make sure no explosives were inside, Booker said. The car was then towed from the airport.

The airport returned to normal operations after five hours.

Booker said the student pilot is from Trinidad and entered the United States through Canada. The spokeswoman said he has a Florida driver's licence.

The man had jumped the fence and made it to the Airbus' flight deck. Source: US ABC

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Queensland shark bite victims remain in hospital

A woman and a little girl bitten by a shark at the same location but in separate attacks in Queensland remain in hospital.

Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her Kiwi parents, was holidaying with her father and sister when she received a life-threatening wound to her right leg on Thursday while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour.

Her attack came after Tasmanian mother of two, Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area less than 24 hours earlier.

Both have now been transferred to hospitals in Brisbane where the 12-year-old is in a critical but stable condition and Ms Barwick was last known to be stable.

"We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for Hannah, including the police, emergency services and the hospital teams," her family said in a statement on Friday.

“We ask that everyone, including the media, please respect our family's privacy during this very difficult time so we can focus our energies on Hannah's recovery.”

Three baited hooks set by the Fisheries Department in the harbour on Friday will remain in place for at least a week as authorities try to catch a shark or sharks responsible.

It is the first-time baited hooks have been used in the popular Whitsundays holiday destination, where the tourism industry is still recovering following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

The girl is Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents. Source: 1 NEWS


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Obama in Pennsylvania, hoping to boost Democrats

Former US President Barack Obama turned his political attention to Pennsylvania today, a state Donald Trump won in 2016.

Obama campaigned in Philadelphia with two leading Democrats running for re-election, Governor Tom Wolf and US Senator Bob Casey.

At a campaign rally at the Dell Music Centre in Philadelphia, Obama implored Pennsylvanians to vote in November because the election was more consequential than any he could remember.

During the speech, Obama made no mention of his successor in the White House by name, but urged voters of all parties - not just Democrats - to vote to restore honesty, decency and lawfulness to government.

In the November 6 contests, Democrats are trying to oust Republicans in four U.S. House districts and more than a dozen state legislative seats in the Philadelphia area alone.

Obama twice carried Pennsylvania in his presidential races, and Democrats hope the state can help them retake control of Congress from the GOP.

Democrats in other states where Obama has campaigned recently say his stops have drawn big crowds, giving the party a chance to organise, update voter contact lists, motivate new donors and boost volunteerism.

Obama planned a fundraiser after the Philadelphia rally.

Donald Trump won the state in the 2016 election. Source: Associated Press


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US man who impregnated 10-year-old girl given 160 years behind bars

An Indiana man has been sentenced to more than 100 years in jail for molesting a 10-year-old girl multiple times leading to her becoming pregnant.

Fox News reports that Nicholas Deon Thrash, 34, of Marion, Indiana was given 160 years in jail with a minimum service of 132 years yesterday.

Last month during his trial Thrash was found guilty of 10 counts of child molestation.

In a testimony his 10-year-old victim testified that she had been molested by Thrash at least 15 times.

The mother of the girl is facing charges of neglect, aiding in child molesting and assisting a criminal over the case.

She reportedly discovered her daughter's pregnancy when the 10-year-old was trying on dresses for a school dance and instructed the girl to say a schoolmate impregnated her.

Prosecutors told Fox News that the girl gave birth to a boy in September 2017 when she was 11-years-old.

Thrash remains in the Grant County Jail.

Nicholas Deon Thrash