Amid Taliban onslaught, US sends troops to Afghanistan for evacuation

With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States is sending additional troops into the country to help evacuate some personnel from the embassy in Kabul, a US official says.
The troops would provide ground and air support for the processing and security of Americans being sent to the Kabul airport, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a plan not yet made public, said on Thursday (early Friday AEST).
The move suggests a lack of confidence by the Biden administration in the Afghan government's ability to provide sufficient diplomatic security in the capital as the Taliban mounts an offensive that has rapidly conquered key cities in recent days.
READ MORE: Afghan woman who fled Taliban for Australia warns on growing violence
The Pentagon had kept about 650 troops in Afghanistan to support US diplomatic security, including at the airport.
The official said an unspecified additional number of troops, as well as aircraft, were to be ..

Cargo ship splits in two after running aground in Japan port

A cargo ship has broken into two pieces after running aground in a northern Japanese port and is spilling oil into the sea, the country's coast guard said Thursday.
All 21 Chinese and Filipino crew members were safely rescued by the coast guard, said the ship's Japanese operator, NYK Line.
READ MORE: India to deploy naval task force into South China Sea
The 36,200-tonne wood-chip carrier Crimson Polaris went aground Wednesday while sailing inside Hachinohe Port.
It managed to free itself from the seabed, but suffered a crack which widened and eventually caused the vessel to split into two early Thursday, the coast guard said.
READ MORE: Whale watchers spot two rare albino orcas in Japan
Officials were trying to contain the oil spill.
The amount of oil leaked is under investigation, NYK Line said in a statement.
READ MORE: North Korea issue warning to US, South Korea over 'hostile acts'
The broken hull of the Panamanian-registered ship has drifted about 4km off the ..

Award winning game ‘Hades’ gets next-gen release

One of the biggest video games of 2020 has been given a huge upgrade and is being released on PlayStation and Xbox today.
The new console and physical releases of Hades boast upgraded visuals and new experiences for players.
9News went hands-on with the new version of Hades before its release to see what's new and how it stacks up on the new-gen consoles.
RELATED: Indie game developed by just two people topping the charts
For those new to Hades, you play as the Prince of the Underworld, Zagerus, on a mission to escape your father's clutches and retreat to the land of the gods, Mount Olympus.
The gods assist you along the way, offering special power-ups to aid your fight. But when you die, you must return to the realm of Hades and start over again — hence the roguelike genre.
Each escape attempt you gather various materials that can be used to upgrade Zagerus, making it that little bit easier the next time you step foot in the dungeon.
An indie game at heart, Hades was crowned..

Eighteen cases in ‘devastating’ Sydney special education school outbreak

Eighteen positive cases have been confirmed in a coronavirus outbreak that has closed a Sydney school for children and young adults with autism and been described as “absolutely devastating”.
New South Wales Health on Thursday revealed three staff members, seven students and eight family members associated with Gladesville's Giant Steps school were infected, less than a week after the first cases were notified on August 5.
“NSW Health is working with the school, which is closed, to support students, their families and staff in isolation,” the department said, in a statement.
READ MORE: Queensland childcare worker caught up in low-dose vaccine mix-up Awareness Australia said the figures were “absolutely devastating news”.
“Our thoughts are with the children, staff and families during such a difficult time,” the organisation tweeted.
“The Federal Government needs to step up their game, now. These are our most vulnerab..

Alleged fake Melbourne quarantine officer charged with demanding sex acts

A man accused of attempting to trick victims into performing lewd acts by posing as an officer performing home quarantine checks in Melbourne has been charged.
Abdulfatah Awow, 25, handed himself in on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The Carlton man was the subject of a manhunt for almost a month, following allegations he was posing as an authorised officer in order to threaten women into agreeing to his sexual advances.
It is alleged that the man called a woman on her mobile, then arrived on her doorstep half an hour later to conduct a “random check”.
He allegedly showed her a document with her personal details on it and asked to inspect the property before repeatedly asking for her to perform lewd acts.
The woman reported the alleged incident to police and the Department of Health.
Victoria's Department of Health is investigating a potential information leak that led to the man allegedly gaining the personal details of the woman.
On Thursday night, Victoria Police said Mr Awow ..

Family dog saves young woman during home invasion

A young woman has detailed the terrifying moment she was confronted by two masked bandits while she was home alone in Perth's south-east.
Ally Holdcroft was inside her Byford home 10 days ago when she heard her dog Harley barking outside.
When she went to check what had upset the dog, the 20-year-old was confronted by a masked man and woman who threatened her with weapons.
READ MORE: Men doused in petrol in Melbourne home invasion
“They had their hammers up in the air, stood still and attempted to get me to keep quiet,” Ms Holdcroft told 9News.
She said the woman then lunged at her with the hammer, forcing her to run for her life.
“As soon as she did that I just turned and sprinted.”
Police commended Ms Holdcroft's decision to make a run for it, with discarded cable ties found in her yard suggesting the situation could have been much worse.
“Because no one else was around me, if I had screamed inside – I would have been at home in my bed and they would have come in and I woul..

Single ticket wins $80 million Powerball jackpot

A single entry has won the entire $80 million Powerball jackpot in tonight's draw.
Lottery officials The Lott said only one ticket had the correct combination to claim the top prize.
The winning numbers of Draw No.1317 on Thursday, August 12 were 17, 10, 4, 26, 19, 23, 21, and the Powerball was 7.'s not yet known which part of the country the winning entry was bought.
There were 13 second division winners, who each will claim $109,858.60 from the total division pool of 1,428,161.80.
More to come.

Nazi memorabilia to be included in upcoming Gold Coast auction

A Gold Coast auctioneer criticised for including pieces of Nazi memorabilia in an upcoming sale insists the items have historical value.
Dozens of pieces of World War II memorabilia including pins and propaganda will be among other antiquities and relics going under the hammer in Miami on Saturday.
The Anti-Defamation Commission has run a long campaign demanding Queensland ban the sale of such items.
READ MORE: Perth auction house under fire for sale of items belonging to Hitler
“If Hitler was alive today he would be thanking Danielle Elizabeth Auctions for glorifying his horrible crimes,” commission Chairman and Jewish studies academic Dr Dvir Abramovich said.
“It made it easier for the Nazis to send them to deathcamps like Auchwitz.
“It is beyond sickening that anyone would turn a profit from these devil's tools.”
The items are being sold on behalf of an 85-year-old who began his collection while living in Germany during the war.
“It's not illegal so we don't discrimin..

Pregnant woman, child injured in WA head-on crash

A pregnant woman and child are among five people injured in a head-on crash east of Perth.
Emergency crews were called to the Great Southern Highway, Balladong just after 4pm AWST after reports of the serious collision between two cars.
Two rescue choppers and four ambulance crews were called to the scene with five people, including a pregnant woman and a toddler.
The condition of each person is not yet known however drivers are warned to expect delays if travelling in that area.
More to come….

North Korea issue warning to US, South Korea over ‘hostile acts’

A senior North Korean official has denounced South Korea over its joint military exercises with the United States, which are due to begin this week, warning that such actions risked provoking “a serious security crisis.”
“They must be made to clearly understand how dearly they have to pay for answering our good faith with hostile acts after letting go the opportunity for improved inter-Korean relations,” Kim Yong Chol said in the statement, released on state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Kim, who was Pyongyang's former spymaster and who served as former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's counterpart during talks with Washington, said authorities in Seoul were “defying the opportunity” to improve relations on the Korean Peninsula by conducting “frantic military exercises regarding our state as the enemy.”
READ MORE: Kim Jong-un's sister rips South Korea for military exercises with US
His comments come as Pyongyang stopped responding to a hotline set up between..