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The Latest: 48 people hospitalized after NZ shootings

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — The Latest on shootings at mosques in New Zealand (all times local):
12:15 a.m.
New Zealand health authorities say 48 people with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital after mass shootings at two mosques …

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  • CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — The Latest on shootings at mosques in New Zealand (all times local):

    12:15 a.m.

    New Zealand health authorities say 48 people with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital after mass shootings at two mosques killed 49 people.

    The chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, David Meates, says the patients range from young children to adults and the injuries range from minor to critical.

    Meates says 12 operating theatres are being used and some patients will need multiple surgeries.

    He says about 200 family members are at the hospital early Saturday awaiting news about their loved ones.

    ___

    11:50 p.m.

    New Zealand police say their investigation into mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch has extended 360 kilometres (240 miles) to the south where homes have been evacuated around a “location of interest” in Dunedin.

    A police statement gave no further detail of how the location might be linked to the attacks in Christchurch that claimed at least 49 lives.

    Police say homes around the location in Dunedin have been evacuated as a precaution.

    Three people are being held in Christchurch, including one who has been charged with murder, and police say two improvised explosive devises were found in a car.

    ___

    11:20 p.m.

    National carrier Air New Zealand has cancelled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn’t screen customers and their baggage following deadly shootings at two mosques.

    The airline said some smaller planes travelling on regional routes were cancelled while larger jet planes would continue landing and taking off due to security screening processes already in place.

    Typically, passengers on smaller turboprop aircraft travelling to or from Christchurch don’t go through security screening and are able to walk right onto the plane.

    Air New Zealand said the safety of its customers and employees was paramount and apologized for the inconvenience.

    Police say at least 49 people were killed in the shootings during Friday prayers at the mosques.

    ___

    9:10 p.m.

    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the death toll has increased to 49 in shootings at two mosques.

    Bush told a news conference that a man has been charged with murder and will appear in court tomorrow. He would not say whether the same shooter was responsible for both attacks.

    A man who earlier claimed responsibility said he was a 28-year-old Australian and described anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.

    Police earlier said four people had been taken into custody, and one had been identified as Australian. However, Bush didn’t mention the other people.

    Bush clarified that police had found two improvised explosive devices in one car. He said they had disabled one and were in the process of disabling the second.

    ___

    8 p.m.

    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the national security threat level has been lifted from low to high after deadly shootings at two mosques.

    Forty people were killed in Friday’s attack and four people were taken into custody, including one Australian. Ardern said none had been on any terror watch list.

    The security threat level is now at the second-highest level. She said authorities had no reason to believe there were more suspects, but “we are not assuming that at this stage.”

    A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings described anti-immigrant views in a manifesto.

    Ardern said, “These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand.”

    ___

    7:40 p.m.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand appear to have been a well-planned “terrorist attack.”

    Ardern said 40 people were killed at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and more than 20 seriously injured.

    She said earlier Friday that migrants and refugees appeared to be most affected by the shootings.

    A man who claimed responsibility for the attack said he was a 28-year-old Australian and described anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.

    Police earlier said four people were taken into custody, and one has been identified as Australian.

    Ardern said in a news conference, “It is clearthat this can now only be describedas a terrorist attack. From what weknow, it does appear to have beenwell planned.”

    ___

    7:30 p.m.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says 40 people have been killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

    Four people have been detained, and one is Australian.

    Ardern said more than 20 people were seriously injured during the shootings at two mosques during Friday prayers.

    Thirty fatalities occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Seven of the dead were inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque and three died outside the same mosque.

    A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

    ___

    7 p.m.

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the four people taken into custody in New Zealand’s mosque shootings is an Australian.

    A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

    New Zealand police said they had arrested four people. Morrison on Friday confirmed one of those who were arrested was an Australian-born citizen. He said Australian authorities were assisting with the investigation.

    Morrison said Australians were shocked, appalled and outraged by the attack. He described the gunman as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.”

    ___

    6:20 p.m.

    Indonesia’s foreign minister says six Indonesians were at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand when a shooting occurred and three of them escaped.

    Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, “We are looking for three other Indonesian citizens.”

    Police have described multiple fatalities in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and say four people are in custody.

    The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington sent a team to Christchurch that is co-ordinating with New Zealand officials.

    The foreign ministry says there are 330 Indonesian citizens in Christchurch, 130 of them students.

    It said it strongly condemns the attack. “The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families.”

    ___

    6 p.m.

    New Zealand police say they’re not aware of other suspects beyond the four who have been arrested after two mosque shootings but they can’t be certain.

    Police Commissioner Mike Bush did not elaborate on the suspects who are in custody.

    The shootings occurred at two mosques in the Christchurch area during Friday afternoon prayers.

    A witness described multiple deaths at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. A witness who heard about five gunshots at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque said two wounded people were carried out on stretchers.

    ___

    5:30 p.m.

    New Zealand police say they have taken into custody three men and one woman over the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the events Friday afternoon “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

    The shootings involved multiple fatalities but authorities have not said how many.

    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the mosque shootings.

    A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.

    ___

    4:30 p.m.

    Police have warned people to avoid mosques anywhere in New Zealand following two shootings with multiple fatalities at two mosques in Christchurch.

    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said anyone thinking of going to a mosque should stay put and close their doors.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a Friday afternoon news conference that one suspect was in custody but “there could be others involved.”

    A man who lives near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch said many people were dead there. A witness to a second shooting told New Zealand media he saw two wounded people being transported by rescuers afterward.

    ___

    4:10 p.m.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says following fatal shootings at two mosques in Christchurch it is “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

    Police said there were multiple fatalities and one person was in custody, but no details were immediately available.

    Ardern said at a Friday afternoon news conference, “what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

    She said while many people affected may be migrants or refugees “they have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”

    ___

    3:45 p.m.

    New Zealand media say a shooting has occurred in a second mosque in the city of Christchurch.

    No details were immediately available.

    Earlier Friday afternoon, police had urged people to stay indoors as authorities responded to a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

    A neighbour described mass casualties inside the mosque and said he saw the gunman flee.

    ___

    3 p.m.

    A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

    Police have not described the scale of the Friday shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.

    Witness Len Peneha says he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

    He says he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived

    Peneha says he went into the mosque to try and help: “I saw dead people everywhere.”

    The Associated Press


















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    National

    Parties shop for housing ideas for platforms with issue high on voters’ lists

    OTTAWA — Federal parties are preparing to chase voters with ideas for dealing with what a new survey suggests is a major concern across the country: Housing affordability.
    The ideas being shopped around to stakeholders in the housing sector i…

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  • OTTAWA — Federal parties are preparing to chase voters with ideas for dealing with what a new survey suggests is a major concern across the country: Housing affordability.

    The ideas being shopped around to stakeholders in the housing sector include targeted spending towards certain groups, such as veterans, and more spending to increase the supply of lower-cost housing units to further cool housing prices.

    Last week, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he would ease the mortgage stress-test the Liberals brought in and make it easier for homebuyers to borrow money, while eliminating red tape to help provinces and municipalities build more low-cost housing.

    Sources who have heard the detailed pitch, and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations, said they are still waiting on the details of Conservative plan.

    Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has repeatedly pushed the Liberals to immediately help build some 500,000 affordable housing units, but sources said the New Democrats are still working on how to pay for such a thing if they get elected and have to do it themselves.

    The struggle with affordability and the price of housing in some markets is shaping up to be a key campaign issue.

    A survey being released today, conducted for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, suggests the cost of housing is seen as having the largest effect on quality of life in Canadian cities.

    The polling from Abacus Data suggests that making housing more affordable is second only to improving roads and sewers as a priority voters have for all levels of government.

    Abacus chief executive David Coletto said worries about housing costs extend beyond big-city markets to rural communities as well.

    “There’s a sense that housing has become unaffordable and therefore that’s having an impact on the quality of life people have come to expect and seek,” he said.

    The survey of 5,106 Canadians aged 18 and over was conducted between March 14 and 28 using a random sample of members of online panels invited to complete the survey. Polling industry experts say online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not generate a random sample of the population.

    The municipal federation is hoping the results of the survey boost its bid in this election to secure a promise to revamp the financial relationship between Parliament and Canadian cities.

    Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2019 budget, the last before the fall vote, had a one-time doubling of federal transfers to municipalities from gas-tax revenues, to do an end-run around provincial governments that have been slow to apply for other infrastructure money. Municipalities have lobbied for that type of spending — cash transfers with few strings attached — to become the only way they receive funding, rather than requiring application-based programs.

    The survey results suggest that giving cities more direct money, rather than submitting specific projects for provincial and federal approval, has equal support from Liberal, Conservative and New Democrat voters and from respondents in urban, suburban and rural communities.

    “That doesn’t happen all that often. There are a handful of issues that I’ve been tracking over the last few years that show that kind of cross-party, cross-community-type consistency. It is really rare these days to find it,” Coletto said.

    “What this reflects is the quality of your roads, the quality of infrastructure, the quality of parks and communities you live in is not a Liberal, Conservative or New Democrat idea.”

    Jordan Press, The Canadian Press


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    National

    Ottawa will implement Senate proposals to strengthen accessibility law: minister

    Canada’s accessibility minister says the government will be acting on the Senate’s proposed recommendations to strengthen the country’s first piece of accessibility legislation for people with disabilities.
    Carla Qualtrough sent a letter to disabl…

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  • Canada’s accessibility minister says the government will be acting on the Senate’s proposed recommendations to strengthen the country’s first piece of accessibility legislation for people with disabilities.

    Carla Qualtrough sent a letter to disabled advocates saying the government planned to accept all the amendments senators had proposed for Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act.

    Earlier this month, the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology adopted several amendments that nearly a hundred disability organizations said were necessary to make the law effective.

    Chief among them was a call to set a timeline requiring the act to be fully implemented in all areas under federal jurisdiction by 2040, as well as recognition of sign language as an official language among deaf Canadians.

    The federal government had resisted some of those measures as the bill worked its way through the House of Commons, but Qualtrough says all proposed Senate amendments will now be included.

    The amended bill is expected to come back before Parliament for final consideration next week.

     

       

     

    The Canadian Press

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