8 children killed in home in Northern Australia

Eight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said.



Queensland state police said they were called to the home in the Cairns suburb of Manoora on Friday morning after receiving a report of a woman with serious injuries.



When police got to the house, they found the bodies of the children inside. The victims range in age from 18 months to 15 years.



A 34-year-old woman found inside the home was suffering from stab wounds to the chest, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said.



The woman was receiving treatment for her wounds and was in stable condition at a hospital, Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said. He said he had no further information, including how the children were killed.



“As it stands at the moment, there’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than the fact that it’s a tragic, tragic event,” Asnicar said. “The situation is well controlled.”



Detectives were speaking with neighbors and police had not determined the relationship between all of the children and the hospitalized woman.



But Lisa Thaiday, who said she was the woman’s cousin, said the children were all siblings and that the woman was their mother. Thaiday said another sibling, a 20-year-old man, came home and found his brothers and sisters dead inside the house.



“I’m going to see him now, he needs comforting,” Thaiday said. “We’re a big family … I just can’t believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies.”



The street has been cordoned off and a crime scene will remain in place for at least the next day, Asnicar said.



Dozens of police have swarmed the home.



“These events are extremely distressing for everyone of course and police officers aren’t immune from that – we’re human beings as well,” Ascinar said.



The tragedy comes as Australia is still reeling from the shock of a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe earlier this week. On Monday, a gunman stormed into a cafe in the heart of the city and took 18 people inside hostage.



Two hostages were killed along with the gunman after police stormed into the cafe 16 hours later in a bid to end the siege.


Source : AP


UN sends team to clean up Sunderbans oil spill

The United Nations has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world’s largest mangrove forest on Thursday, more than a week after it was hit by a huge oil spill.

On December 9, a tanker carrying 350,000 litres of furnace oil sank in the Sundarbans Sela river that was salvaged after 55 hours. The oil spread along at least 80km of the river, seriously threatening the delicate ecology of the mangrove forest.

A team from the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) has reached Dhaka to support the “cleanup efforts of the oil spill in the Sundarbans”, a statement from the UN said.

Experts have slammed authorities for failing to organise a proper clean-up effort of the oil spill, which has now spread 350 sq km (135 sq m) inside the delicate mangrove forest area, it added.

While a major government-led clean-up operation is being delayed by indecision, local people in the area are manually sopping up the floating furnace oil with sponges, encouraged by a Padma Oil offer to purchase the furnace oil for Tk30 per litre.

The clean-up so far has covered an insignificant portion of the volume of the oil spill.

Green activists alleged that the government had not taken any scientific steps in managing the oil spread in the Sundarbans and the effects of that would remain on the forest’s biodiversity for more than 50 years.

They also said the Forest Department had used local people to remove the spilled oil without considering their health hazards.

The UN team, sent in response to a request from Bangladesh, will help in the ground work in coordination with the government and will also conduct an assessment and advise on recovery and risk reduction measures.

The European Union and United States, Britain and France are supporting the UN effort.

The UN expressed concern over the disaster, urging Dhaka to impose a “complete ban” on the movement of commercial vessels through the 10,000 sq km (3,850 sq m) forest that straddles the border between Bangladesh and India.

The Sundarbans delta contains the world’s largest unbroken mangrove forest, covering about 10,000sq-km across India and Bangladesh.

The Unesco-listed World Heritage Site is the home to globally endangered species.

The National Geography Traveller, India has listed 10 species at risk from this terrible disaster. They are the rare Irrawady dolphins, the Bengal Tigers, leopard cats, great egrets, rhesus macaques, endemic river terrapin, black-capped kingfishers, chitals, saltwater crocodiles, and the horseshoe crabs – known as a living fossil as it has been dated to 400m years ago.

The massive oil spill in the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, has put many of the region’s fauna at severe risk.

Source : #OnlineKhobor