Australian news live: Alleged church attacker charged months ago with knife offence, Americans warned to be 'vigilant' after stabbing

Sydney has been rocked by another stabbing attack, days after six people were killed in a Bondi Junction shopping centre.

Yahoo's live blog for Tuesday, April 16 has now concluded.

The day's main story has been another stabbing incident in Sydney, just days after a knifeman killed six people in a Bondi Junction shopping centre. A teenager has been detained by police after allegedly stabbing a bishop and another leader inside a church, with the service broadcast online to viewers at home.

Below are related updates, as well as the other main talking points of the day.

  • Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel criticised non-Christian religions

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, the 53-year-old who was stabbed during a church service livestreamed online, remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

    The charismatic figure is no stranger to controversy and in 2014, he was ex-communicated from the main Assyrian Church of The East over theological differences, the ABC reported.

    The Assyrian church preaches a conservative version of Christianity distinct from many of the major denominations active in Australia.

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. Source: YouTube
    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel. Source: YouTube

    His breakaway church, the Assyrian orthodox Christ the Good Shepherd Church, has generated a large following online, driven in part by his popularity.

    Bishop Emmanuel has previously attracted attention for his outspoken views on a range of topics, including his description of the COVID-19 outbreak as a "plandemic". He also publicly criticised Islamic teachings and those of other non-Christian religions.

    According to translations by The Guardian, his alleged attacker was filmed after the attack blaming Bishop Emmanuel for 16-year-old blamed the bishop for "getting involved in my religion".

    - With AAP

  • US embassy warns Americans to 'remain vigilant' after attack

    The US embassy in Canberra has warned US nationals to "remain vigilant" following the Bondi Junction stabbing attack that killed six people.

    "As this incident showed, dangerous events can occur in the most unexpected of areas," it said in an update on Monday. "Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should pay particular attention to their surroundings and always follow the instructions of police and emergency response officials."

    A group of people react after placing flowers as a tribute near a crime scene at Bondi Junction in Sydney, Monday, April 15, 2024, after several people were stabbed to death at a shopping on April 13. Australian police are examining why a lone assailant who stabbed several people to death in a busy Sydney shopping mall and injured more than a dozen others targeted women while avoiding men. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
    Mourners at a floral tribute to the victims of Saturday's attack. Source: AP
  • Alleged church attacker charged three months ago with knife possession

    The 16-year-old alleged attacker in the Sydney church stabbing on Monday night was placed on a good behaviour bond after facing court for a knife offence just three months ago, the ABC has reported.

    He was reportedly hit with several charges including stalking and being armed with a weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence after an incident at a Sydney train station involving other teens. He was given a good behaviour bond at his last court appearance in January.

    Police had earlier said the teen was known to them but not "well-known".

  • Beijing half marathon under investigation after 'race leaders allow Chinese runner to win'

    An investigation is underway in Beijing after three African runners appeared to allow a Chinese runner pass them to claim victory at the end of the city's half marathon event.

    One of the runners, Kenyan Willy Mnangat, told the BBC the trio were in fact there as pacemakers.

    World Athletics has confirmed local authorities are investigating while stressing integrity is its "highest priority".

    Chinese social media users have called the win "embarrassing". See the moment for yourself below.

  • Calls for popular TV star to be sacked after remarks about Bondi Junction stabbing

    After describing social media as a 'cesspit' in the past, a popular TV personality has found herself in hot water after sharing online inaccuracies about the Sydney stabbing over the weekend.

    Rachel Riley, who stars on long-running gameshow Countdown and its comedy spin off 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, is facing calls to be sacked by the shows' network after falsely suggesting the fatal incident was linked to a rise in support for Palestine.

    She has since responded to clarify her remarks on X, formerly known as Twitter.

    Read more here.

    Countdown star Rachel Riley.
    Countdown star Rachel Riley.
  • Attack on police after stabbing 'un-Australian'

    Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw blasted those of a 2,000-strong group who launched an attack on police in the wake of the Wakeley church stabbing.

    "One of the things I do want to say is it's a disgraceful act from the community who attacked police at that scene... who were there to protect the community," he said.

    "It was really un-Australian to see that happen."

    NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said offending members in the "riot" can "expect a knock at the door".

    "It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow. But we'll find you and we'll come and arrest you."

    Police in a tense stand-off with community members on Monday night. Source: AAP
    Police in a tense stand-off with community members on Monday night. Source: AAP
  • Mystery object that ripped up man's home finally identified

    We take you to a story in the US now, which is the definition of a close call.

    NASA has confirmed a mystery object that crashed through the roof of a Florida man's home was in fact from one of its space stations. They say they'd expected it to burn up by the time it entered Earth's atmosphere.

    Homeowner Alejandro Otero said the item almost struck his son. "I was completely in disbelief. What are the chances of something landing on my house with such force to cause so much damage,” he told local media in 2021, sharing photos of holes in his roof, ceiling and floor.

    Read more here.

  • Why was the church stabbing attack identified as a terrorist attack and what does that mean?

    ASIO chief Mike Burgess has clarified why Monday night's church attack has been deemed a terrorist attack, while Saturday's stabbing spree was not.

    "The simple answer there is to call it a terrorist attack you need information or evidence that suggests it was religiously motivated or ideologically motivated," he said.

    "In the case of Saturday, that was not the case, and in this case, the information we and the police have before us would indicate that is strongly the case."

    Sydney has been rocked by two knife attacks in recent days, however only one was deemed an act of terror.
    Sydney has been rocked by two knife attacks in recent days, however only one was deemed an act of terror.

    Monash University's Dr Ran Porat, an expert on extremism in the Australian Arab and Muslim community, told Yahoo there are "many different" definitions for terror, with one study outlining at least 200.

    He pointed to internationally renowned terrorism expert Professor Boaz Ganor who suggests that Terrorism is "a type of violent struggle in which violence is deliberately used against civilians, in order to achieve political goals". Reasons for such an attack can include national, socio-economic, ideological or religious ideas.

    "In other words, terror is different from other types of violence as it is directed at civilians – not soldiers, to spread fear in the public, and is politically motivated, for example achieving a change in the government and/or its policies. Absent a political aim, this violence could be understood as a crime," Dr Porat explained.

    Police Commissioner Karen Webb pointed to the public aspect by stating authorities were confident criteria for a terrorist act were met in part due to "the intimidation of the public through that person's acts", not only those present at the church but those watching via livestream.

    "Terrorism achieves maximum effect when it provokes an angry response – think of 9/11 and October 7 2023 – and that appears to have been the deliberate intent of last night’s attack," Deakin University's Research Professor in Global Islamic Politics Greg Barton told Yahoo.

    By deeming the attack as a terrorist act immediately, police allowed themselves to activate an array of wider powers, Police Commissioner Webb said. NSW Premier Chris Minns added the time an individual was in custody could be longer if needed.

  • Woolworths CEO told to cut out 'bulls***', threatened with jail during Senate grilling

    Outgoing Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has been told to cut out the "bulls***" as he faces questions in a Senate inquiry into supermarket power.

    Greens senator Nick McKim was upset on Tuesday with Banducci's responses to questioning surrounding Woolworths' profits and at one point asked if the CEO struggled to understand the English language.

    “We’re not interested in PR spin. We’re not interested in you bullsh**ing your way through this committee,” Senator McKim said.

    He later threatened Banducci with jail time, reminding him refusal to answer questions appropriately could result in a hefty fine and up to six months behind bars.

    Banducci, who earned more than $8 million last year, famously revealed his resignation in the wake of a disastrous ABC interview where he walked away from reporter Angus Grigg after disagreeing over one of his responses.

    Read more about the inquiry here.

    Brad Banducci has had a frosty start to the Senate inquiry. Source: NCA Newswire
    Brad Banducci has had a frosty start to the Senate inquiry. Source: NCA Newswire
  • Teen filmed smirking moments after alleged church attack

    Chilling footage taken moments after a teenager allegedly stabbed a prominent Sydney bishop shows the 16-year-old smiling and taunting a group of men attempting to pin him to the ground.

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was attacked — alongside three other men — while delivering a sermon at a church in Wakeley, in Sydney's southwest, on Monday evening in what authorities have deemed an act of "terrorism," NSW Premier Chris Minns confirmed on Tuesday morning.

    Read the full story here.

    The teen who allegedly stabbed a Sydney bishop, and was being held by three men, was seen smirking while being questioned about his motives. Source: Twitter
    The teen who allegedly stabbed a Sydney bishop, and was being held by three men, was seen smirking while being questioned about his motives. Source: Twitter
  • French 'hero' who confronted killer with bollard offered route to Australian citizenship

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the brave French "hero" who confronted Bondi Junction knifeman Joel Cauchi with a bollard is welcome to stay in Australia as long as he likes.

    Currently on a temporary visa, Damien Guerot has been dubbed "bollard man" after he tried to stop Cauchi during his killing spree on Saturday.

    Albanese said on Tuesday morning he would now be granted a route to citizenship.

    "I say this to Damien, who is dealing with his visa applications, you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like," Albanese told reporters. "This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France."

    "We thank him for his extraordinary bravery."

    Video shows a man trying to stall a man holding a knife on an escalator. Source: X
    Damien was filmed approaching Joel Cauchi on Saturday. Source: X
  • Teen's fingers severed amid alleged church stabbing

    The teenager who allegedly stabbed two church leaders during a livestreamed service is believed to have lost parts of his fingers on Monday night, with surgeons operating on the 16-year-old.

    An image circulating online, believed to be of the hand of the 16-year-old boy, shows the tips of four fingers removed.

    Police Commissioner Karen Webb said it was unclear how the injury had happened.

    "It's not clear yet whether it's self-inflicted or through the melee that occurred or some other way," she said, adding investigators were seeking information from witnesses and victims about the fingers.

    Police Commissioner Webb addresses reporters on Tuesday. Source: AAP
    Police Commissioner Webb addresses reporters on Tuesday. Source: AAP
  • Police fear 'tit-for-tat violence' after church stabbing

    NSW Premier Chris Minns has urged the public not to engage in "tit-for-tat violence" following the stabbing of a bishop during a church service on Monday night.

    "I want to make something very, very clear. There is no such thing in Australia in taking the law into your own hands. It doesn't exist," he told reporters.

    He warned those who do will "be met with the full force of the law". "Every religious leader across Sydney has expressly said don't do it."

    His comments come after hundreds of people descended on the church in Wakeley after the attack, who according to Police Commissioner Karen Webb "turned on police", with officers injured and police vehicles damaged. Paramedics were also forced to retreat into the church, police said.

    Premier Chris Minns issued an urgent warning to the public on Tuesday morning. Source: ABC
    Premier Chris Minns issued an urgent warning to the public on Tuesday morning. Source: ABC
  • Police treating Sydney church stabbing as terror incident, believe it was premeditated

    We begin today's coverage with the news a 16-year-old boy has been arrested after a prominent bishop and three other men were allegedly stabbed during a service at an Assyrian orthodox church on Monday evening in Sydney’s south west.

    The alleged stabbing was broadcast online via a livestream of the service. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the stabbing is being treated as a terror incident and said on Tuesday morning police believe the alleged attack was premeditated.

    Read the full story here.

    The alleged stabbing was broadcast online. Source: NCA Newswire
    The alleged stabbing was broadcast online. Source: NCA Newswire

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