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Police say three dead in University of Nevada shooting



Police at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 (pic Dallas Morning News)

Police say three people have been killed in a shooting at the Las Vegas campus of the University of Nevada (UNLV) on Wednesday morning.

Officers struck and killed the suspect, who remains unnamed, in a shootout.

One other victim remains in a critical condition at a local hospital, police said in a statement.

UNLV and all other southern Nevada System of Higher Education institutions across the state were closed for the rest of Wednesday.

The university first tweeted at around 11:53 local time (19:53 GMT) that police were responding to reports of shots fired on campus. About 20 minutes later, the university said campus police were responding to an additional report of shots near the Student Union building.

It warned students at Beam Hall to “evacuate to a safe area” and to “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT”, which is a common active shooter protocol in the US.

Adam Garcia, university police chief, said two campus officers engaged the suspect in a shootout before the assailant was struck and killed.

Kevin McMahill, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sheriff, said earlier at a press conference that they have “no idea on the motive” as of now.

One additional victim is in stable condition at a local hospital, the sheriff said at a Wednesday evening press conference. Four other people were also taken to hospital for panic attacks and two police officers were treated for minor injuries.

One student who was on campus told a local ABC station that it seemed like police were on campus right away. Describing the scene to the reporter he said: “You don’t know what to do. You’re calling your family, texting your friends like ‘I love you guys’ because the shooter could burst through the door at any minute.”

A ground stop was issued earlier at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport – which is near the school – with authorities citing security reasons.

The airport is urging travellers to check their flight status and notes roadways around the airport are closed due to police activity.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that UNLV is the “latest college campus to be terrorized by a horrific act of gun violence” and that he and First Lady Jill Biden are “praying for the families of our fallen”.

Carolyn Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas, called it “tragic and heart-breaking news” and said she was “praying for everyone on campus”.

Shortly before 13:00 local time, the university said police were “evacuating buildings one at a time”.

Nevada’s Governor Joe Lombardo said his office was in “constant communication” with Las Vegas police, the university and emergency responders.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are assisting local police with the investigation.

The Clark County Fire Department has established a family reunification centre at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The UNLV campus will also be closed on Thursday and Friday.


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Haiti establishes council to choose new leaders as gang violence rages




[File pic] People take cover from gunfire near the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Aljazeera)

Haiti has formally established a transitional council to fill a leadership vacuum by choosing a new prime minister, and to restore order in the Caribbean country ravaged by gang violence.

A decree published in the official gazette announced the formation of the Presidential Transitional Council on Friday, a month after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he would step down amid a wave of attacks by armed gangs in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

There was no immediate comment from Henry following the publication of the decree and questions remain about the nine-member council’s viability with no details on a time frame to install the body and select a new prime minister and cabinet.

The decree also did not name the members of the council, the Reuters news agency reported.  It said Henry and the council will govern the country until the new body names his replacement.

The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), a regional bloc, said in a statement that the council’s mission “is to put Haiti back on the road to dignity, democratic legitimacy, stability and sovereignty and to ensure the proper functioning of the State’s institutions”.

The decree also said the council would help speed the deployment of international troops that Henry requested in 2022 to aid police in their battles with armed and increasingly powerful gangs.

It stipulates that the council be based in the National Palace in central Port-au-Prince, which has come under fire several times in the past weeks.


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Man shot in Westfield Bondi Junction mall after ‘stabbings’: Sydney police




Hundreds of people were evacuated from a Sydney shopping centre after suspected stabbings, media reports say (Aljazeera)

Police in Sydney say a man has been shot at a shopping centre in the Australian city after reports of multiple people being stabbed.

New South Wales Police said in a statement that emergency services were called to the Westfield Bondi Junction mall complex just before 4pm (06:00 GMT) on Saturday following the reports.

“People are urged to avoid the area,” the statement said. “Inquiries are continuing in relation to the incident and there are no further details.”

The sprawling shopping centre was packed with shoppers when the incidents occurred.


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Nigeria first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine




WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Friday.  

The Men5CV vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W, Y and X – which cause the disease.

Known by the brand name MenFive, it provides broader protection than the vaccine currently used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.

The rollout in Nigeria represents one step closer towards the goal of total elimination by 2030, he added.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal. Symptoms often include headache, fever and stiff neck.

There are multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens. The most serious – bacterial meningitis – can also result in blood poisoning and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours after being contracted.

Vaccination campaign

Nigeria is among the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, an area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

WHO said 153 people died in an outbreak in Nigeria between 1 October 2023 and 11 March of this year. A vaccination campaign was launched in late March to reach more than a million people aged 29 and under.

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” said Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

WHO said the new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating the disease, which is especially important for countries like Nigeria where multiple serogroups are prevalent.

(UN News)

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