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Lilie James: Murder At Elite School Horrifies Australia

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As Australia awoke on Thursday to the news that a body had been discovered inside the restroom of an upscale Sydney private school, shock swept the country.

After receiving a terrifying triple-zero emergency call, police arrived at St Andrew’s Cathedral School just before midnight.

They came to a “confronting scene”—21”-year-old water polo coach Lilie James, who was found dead with serious head injuries.

According to local media citing unknown sources, detectives suspect she was murdered—reportedly with a hammer—hours earlier.

According to reports, her colleague, 24-year-old hockey coach Paul Thijssen, entered the toilet after her. Thijssen, who had also called authorities, later emerged alone.

Though authorities have not commented publicly on a possible motivation, local media have claimed that Ms. James had recently concluded a relationship with Thijssen. They had barely known each other for five weeks.

Thijssen had gone after reporting the tip from Vaucluse, prompting police to begin a massive manhunt focused on the cliffside suburb.

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Lilie James: Murder At Elite School Horrifies Australia

They discovered things “associated with the homicide”—the murder weapon—in a bin, as well as Thijssen’s body on Friday morning.

Ms James was recalled as a lovely friend and an ardent sportswoman as friends and relatives mourned her loss.

Along with water polo, she enjoyed dancing and swimming, and she competed in both as a teenager. She had been studying sports business at university while working at the institution.

“She was vibrant, outgoing, and very much loved by her family and friends,” said Ms. James’ family.

“We are devastated and heartbroken.”

Ms. James was “stolen from us,” according to family friend Daniel Makovec, who launched a fundraising campaign for the family.

“We will be grieving this loss forever,” he said.

The head of St. Andrew’s Cathedral School expressed her sincere worry for those involved in a statement to parents.

“The horrors of evil do not, and will not, define our community; that is my oath,” Julie McGonigle declared.

Mr. Thijssen, a Dutch national, was a previous sports captain at the school before joining the faculty.

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Lilie James: Murder At Elite School Horrifies Australia

Ms. James’s death was described as a “horrible, horrible crime” by New South Wales Premier Chris Minns, who also expressed his sympathies to her family.

“[It is] one of the worst that I’ve seen in my public life, and I can only imagine what [the] family is going through right now,” he added in a statement.

The case has sparked debate about how Australia has long struggled to address what is commonly referred to as the country’s “epidemic” of domestic violence.

According to the Counting Dead Women initiative, Ms. James is the 41st Australian woman to die this year as a result of gendered violence.

In the last ten days, men have reportedly murdered three women they knew: South Australian Krystal Marshall, an anonymous Canberra lady, and Ms. James. They were all inside their own houses or offices.

Tarang Chawla, a gender violence reform activist whose sister was murdered by her partner in 2015, said Ms James’ death is a “tragic reminder of the dark, insidious reality of men’s violence against women.”

“I look at the photos of Lilie and I remember my own 23-year-old sister Niki and how I felt after she was murdered,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

“Lilie, I’m sorry we failed you.”

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While the country mourns, crucial questions about how to keep women safe are being raised once more.

Since 2010, Australia has had a national plan to End violence against Women and Children, yet statistics reveal that violence rates remain persistently high.

Last year, a new 10-year plan was unveiled with measurable goals. It emphasises early intervention, improved police and court responses, greater emergency housing, and increased trauma assistance for victim-survivors.

However, Karen Bevan, CEO of Full Stop Australia, believes that “cultural attitudes towards gender equality and violence against women” are at the root of Australia’s domestic abuse epidemic.

According to a recent survey, while more than 90% of Australians acknowledge that violence against women is a national problem, only under half believe it is a problem in their local suburb or town.

According to the same poll, around four out of ten Australians believe men and women are equally likely to conduct domestic abuse.

Ms Bevan believes that addressing “myths and misconceptions” about how and why violence against women happens, as well as increasing “community understanding,” is critical.

Jodie Harrison, the NSW Minister for Domestic Violence Prevention, has also urged the community to be more vigilant in reporting “inappropriate behavior” in the aftermath of Ms. James’ death.

“That’s really the start of a lack of safety for women and children,” she told the Guardian Australia.

“It is up to each and every one of us. The government can support programmes, but those funds will be wasted until individuals take responsibility for themselves.”

However, proponents argue that more financing and tools to track success are also required.

“For all the violence elsewhere that we condemn, Australia has a problem that we urgently need to fix,” Mr Chawla told reporters.

SOURCE – (BBC)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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After Reshaping Las Vegas, The Mirage To Be Reinvented As Part Of A Massive Hard Rock Makeover

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The Mirage | AP News Image

LAS VEGAS — The Mirage will disappear from the Las Vegas Strip.

The famed tropical island-themed hotel-casino opened in 1989 with a fire-spewing volcano outside and Siegfried & Roy’s lions and dolphins within, will close its doors on Wednesday.

Frenzied final days have seen standing-room crowds wagering to win $1.6 million in slot machine progressive jackpot winnings that state regulations need to be distributed before the lights go off and the site is transformed completely.

The guest rooms are already unoccupied. The Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show “Love” ended its 18-year run earlier this month. When the gamblers go, only memories of former casino mogul Steve Wynn’s hotel, which revolutionized the casino resort sector, will remain.

After Reshaping Las Vegas, The Mirage To Be Reinvented As Part Of A Massive Hard Rock Makeover

“Las Vegas always reinvents itself,” said Michael Green, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, whose father dealt blackjack for decades at casinos such as the now-demolished Stardust and Showboat. “The Mirage is no longer state-of-the-art.”

New Operators Hard Rock International and Florida-based Seminole Gaming intend to add 600 rooms to 3,044 in a bright new guitar-shaped hotel where the sidewalk volcano rumbles and gushes nightly. Renderings show guitar string-like beams rising from a purple 660-foot (201-meter) tower into the night sky.

“The Mirage was a transcendent property, changing the landscape of Las Vegas,” said Joe Lupo, The Mirage’s president, who will remain at the new resort. “We are confident that Hard Rock Las Vegas will do the same in 2027.”

There won’t be a demolition show like the now-demolished Tropicana casino hotel several blocks down the Strip. That 22-story building will be demolished later this year and replaced before 2028 by a baseball stadium that will serve as the home field for the relocated MLB Oakland A’s.

Some of the 127 employees who have worked at The Mirage since its inception planned to mark its end with Lupo; Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming; and Alan Feldman, a longtime MGM Resorts casino executive who is now a fellow at the gambling institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Feldman was Wynn’s initial spokesperson for the new resort.

“The doors opened to a crush of humanity, and it stayed like that for days,” Feldman recalled in an interview. “It’s difficult to describe how The Mirage transformed. One of the things was that Las Vegas expanded beyond Elvis, showgirls, round beds, and gambling.

It was more than just a gambling hall; it cost $630 million. It was the world’s biggest hotel at the time. Guests were greeted with a piña colada smell and two bronze mermaid statues on their way to the check-in desk, which featured a large shark and reef fish tank.

It boasted glamorous boutiques, celebrity-chef restaurants, and theater-sized showrooms featuring performers such as Johnny Mathis, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton.

“Instead of neon, a garden of dozens of rich Canary Island palm trees and a cool refreshing waterfall,” Wynn said in a statement posted on Monday by his Las Vegas attorney, Donald Campbell. Wynn entitled it “An Homage to Lady Mirage.”

Despite competition from casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the expansion of tribal gaming in California, Wynn stated that The Mirage was the first new hotel built in Las Vegas in years. Its completion resulted in a virtual doubling of resort capacity over the next decade, with more than 30,000 hotel rooms, making Las Vegas one of the fastest-expanding towns in America.

“To call The Mirage a catalyst would be an understatement,” Wynn said.

New resorts 2000 included Excalibur, Luxor, Treasure Island, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Venetian, and Paris Las Vegas. Many were funded using Wall Street bonds. Wynn purchased and demolished the 50-year-old Desert Inn to construct and operate his eponymous Wynn Resort in 2005.

Wynn, now 82 and residing in Florida, paid a $10 million punishment to Nevada casino authorities last year and severed connections with the business he helped define to resolve a years-long legal battle sparked by newspaper revelations in 2018 that he sexually harassed or abused several women at his hotels. He has consistently refuted the claims against him.

After Reshaping Las Vegas, The Mirage To Be Reinvented As Part Of A Massive Hard Rock Makeover

Feldman described The Mirage’s architecture as “an unusual and unexpected place, where people wondered, ‘How do you have all this in the middle of the desert?'”

Bo Bernhard, head of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute, investigates the emergence of the “fun economy” worldwide. He claimed that the Mirage provided Las Vegas with an exportable commodity, similar to Detroit automobiles, and established a precedent for resort building in Singapore and Sydney.

The Seminole Tribe purchased the Hard Rock brand in 2007, becoming the first Native American operator in the lucrative and competitive Las Vegas Boulevard sector. The tribe also runs seven casinos in Florida and controls the Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos chain, which has locations in 76 countries. 2016, it obtained the naming rights for Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

An off-strip former Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas was owned independently. In 2018, a company led by billionaire Richard Branson, creator of the Virgin Company, paid approximately $500 million to buy the hotel-casino from a Toronto investment behemoth. It underwent renovations and reopened in 2021 as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

SOURCE – (AP)

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China Tries To Go For 8-For-8 Sweep In Diving Gold At The Paris Olympics

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China | AP news Image

Chinese divers won seven of eight gold medals at the previous Olympics in Tokyo, making it one of the best performances in Olympic history.

More is predicted this time in Paris.

China Tries To Go For 8-For-8 Sweep In Diving Gold At The Paris Olympics

China has dominated diving for decades. However, it has never completed the elusive gold medal sweep at the Games. In a recent article, the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official publication, called this lapse “regrettable”.

How is that for pressure?

“I hope that all of us can stand on the top of the podium,” Tokyo gold medalist Quan Hongchan said in an interview with state media.

They might, and the evidence is already startling.

China has won 47 out of 64 gold medals, dating back to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when it earned its first diving gold. Add to that 23 silver and 10 bronze. If you start counting from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China has won 27 of 32 gold medals.

That’s almost perfect, but someone always spoils the party, such as American David Boudia, Australian Matthew Mitcham, British Tom Daley, or Russian Ilya Zakharov.

The People’s Daily called the team to “launch an all-out bid this time for gold medals in all diving events.”

Three years ago, at 14, Quan won gold on the 10-meter platform. Teammate Chen Yuxi, who won gold in synchro on the platform, was only 15. Both have returned and are most likely in separate classes.

Wang Zongyuan, the silver medalist on the 3-meter springboard in Tokyo behind teammate Xie Siyi, is expected to be the favorite in Paris.

The American Challenge
Drew Johansen will coach the United States diving team for the fourth consecutive Olympics. Wenbo Chen, the University of Minnesota’s Chinese-born coach, assists the head coach at Indiana University. Purdue coach David Boudia, who won an Olympic gold medal on the platform in 2012, is also on the staff.

Three Tokyo silver medalists are back: Andrew Capobianco, Jessica Parratto, and Delaney Schnell. They all reached the podium in synchronized events, which may provide the best opportunities for Americans and others.

Parratto will dive again with Schnell on the 10-meter synchronized platform while Capobianco is on the 3-meter springboard. He did not qualify for synchronized. Schnell and Daryn Wright will compete on the platform.

“The world has been catching up to the Chinese in all the events except for women’s platform,” Johansen told reporters. “Chinese women on the tower are still way ahead of the world.”

Sarah Bacon and Kassidy Cook have a chance in the 3-meter synchronized springboard, while Bacon and Alison Gibson should compete as soloists.

Carson Tyler is the new name to watch in both the 10-meter platform and the 3-meter springboard, a rare in both disciplines and reminiscent of Greg Louganis’ double-double gold medals in 1984 and 1988.

“Carson has shown up as a great mental performer,” Johansen added.

“We’ve managed to beat China in certain events over the years and I feel like some parity has come to the sport,” he said afterward. “We have been hovering around those gold medals and points away from getting them.”

According to Johansen, part of the objective is to create pressure on the Chinese by attempting more difficult dives that, if completed successfully, will earn them more points.

“It’s a risk-reward game,” he explained.

The Mental Game
Johansen praises Xu Yiming, who taught Chinese Olympic divers from the mid-1980s to the 2000s, for sharing his technical expertise with the rest of the globe. Johansen considers Xu a mentor from their time together while Johansen was coaching at Duke University.

China Tries To Go For 8-For-8 Sweep In Diving Gold At The Paris Olympics

“He taught me a lot of their physical techniques right after he retired,” she said.

After incorporating this knowledge, the next plateau is mental conditioning.

“I physically couldn’t train them any better,” he told me. “I didn’t know anyone who was doing it better. The only way I could help my athletes succeed was to mentally prepare them, which I didn’t know how to do.

Johansen says he’s lately started creating a “performance think tank” to educate mental focus and sports psychology. Without naming names, he stated that the team comprises a Navy SEAL, a book author, and others who practice executing under pressure.

The program was launched only a few months ago and includes Paris, but the primary focus is on the 2028 Los Angeles Games.

“We acquired China’s physical skills, but if we want to beat them, we must also overcome them intellectually. “I’m convinced of that,” Johansen stated. “We have an advantage over the Chinese if we can be mentally stronger and better performers.”

SOURCE | AP

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Former President Trump Survives Being Shot at Pennsylvania Rally

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former President Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents

The United States Secret Service has announced that former President Trump is safe after being shot at a rally in Pennsylvania. A video shows Trump grimacing and placing his right hand to his head before the Secret Service intervenes.

“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a Secret Service spokesperson said on X after what the agency called an incident. “This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

Multiple shots were heard at the outdoor rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, shortly after President Trump began his speech.

The Secret Service then surrounded President Trump pushing him beneath the platform, while armed officers took up positions at the front of the stage. President Trump repeatedly raised his fist to the audience and shouted as he was led to a vehicle by the Secret Service.

There is no information on whom the attempted assassin may have been or if any arrests have been made.

former President Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents

President Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents – AP Image

In a statement, Trump’s communication director, Steven Cheung, said that the former president “is fine” and being checked over at an unnamed medical facility. He said President Trump thanks law enforcement and first responders for their quick action during this heinous act.

Reuters reports the venue where Trump was speaking was abandoned with chairs knocked over and yellow police tape around the stage. A helicopter flew above and law enforcement officers walked through the area, the video feed showed.

Armed law enforcement officers were also seen on a roof near the stage where President Trump was standing.

In 2020 a New York man upset with what he perceived as Donald Trump’s threat to democracy was criminally charged on Monday with threatening to kill the former president, who he once referred to as Hitler, the Guardian reported.

According to an unsealed complaint, Thomas Welnicki, 72, of Rockaway Beach, showed an interest in assassinating the then-president in an interview with US Capitol police in July 2020, as well as repeated calls to the Secret Service the following year.

Welnicki was charged with threatening to kill, kidnap, and do bodily damage to Trump. He allegedly told Capitol police that if Trump lost the 2020 election and refused to resign, he would “acquire weapons” and “take him down”. In one voicemail left with the Secret Service, he stated that he would “do anything I can to take out” Trump.

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