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Breaking news | February 26

Crystal methamphetamines, aka “ice”. Photo: Queensland Police

 
 
Ice-related crimes soar in NSW

BY MATTHEW TRIPLEY

The increasing use of the illicit drug “ice” has seen a rise in crime take place – particularly break and enters – on the mid North Coast.

In the past five years the number of arrests has almost tripled, from 59 in 2009 to 148 in 2014. The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) claimed that a similar pattern is occurring across NSW.

Mid North Coast Local Area Commander Paul Fehon said: “There is too much of a correlation between the current ice epidemic we are seeing around the state, and our break and enters which have increased in recent times.”

Because of the drug’s growing presence in the region, efforts by police to decrease crimes are an ongoing challenge. Extra police officers are expected to arrive in the LAC later on in the year.
 
Mystery drones spotted over Parisian landmarks

BY JASMINE SUTHERLAND
 
Drones have been spotted overnight hovering some of Paris’s best-known landmarks, leading to increased security and surveillance.

Between 11pm on Tuesday and 2am on Wednesday there were up to five sightings of the unknown aircraft. The drones were spotted circling the Eiffel Tower and the United States Embassy and above Place de la Concorde and the nearby Invalides military museum.

Flying drones is prohibited unless authorisation has been obtained. On Tuesday French police said they were investigating “overflights by aircraft in a forbidden area”. It is unknown who or what is controlling these devices and what their intention is. The sighting come a month after deadly terrorist attacks in the city, which included the assault on newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which left 20 people dead.

Although police have described the unidentified aircraft as small and civilian rather than the military type, the matter is being taken very seriously and they are doing everything they can to catch those involved.
 
Mystery surrounds kidnapping of American missionary in Nigeria

BY AMJAD IBRAHIM

An American missionary has been abducted from her office by masked men who are now demanding a US$300,000 ransom.

Reverend Phyllis Sortor has been missing since Monday night when five unidentified masked men raided the compound of the Christian mission Hope Academy.

Kogi state police spokesman Sola Collins Adebayo told The Washington Post: “They went for her …  they shot into the air to scare people away from her and they took her.” Local Authorities originally suspected the abduction is related to several in Northern Nigeria by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.  The group has been targeting villages and kidnapping children and women in particular.

It is more likely, a Nigerian authority said, that the kidnapping is the work of a local criminal gang. Expatriates are often targeted by gangs, who make millions of dollars a year in ransom money.
 
Transgender Aussie model Andreja Pejic makes her runway debut as a woman

Andreja Pejic on the runway for British designer Giles. Photo: Facebook

BY LINDA VASQUEZ

After a year of undergoing reassignment surgery transgender model Andreja Pejic formerly known as Andrej, made a runway debut as a woman at London Fashion Week.

The 23 year-old transgender model Andreja was a picture of cool confidence as she walked for designer Giles Deacon at London Fashion week, walking alongside fashion veterans Lily Donaldson, Jessica Stam and model of the moment Kendall Jenner.

The androgynous model underwent a gender reassignment surgery early in 2014. in an interview with Style.com Andreja revealed that the surgery was something she had wanted since she was 13 years old, and that she had struggled with identity and gender issues from an early age.

“I figured out who I was very early on—actually, at the age of 13, with the help of the Internet—so I knew that a transition, becoming a woman, was always something I needed to do,” she said.
 
Dev’s dozen-a-day energy drink habit

Actor Dev Patel on the set of The Graham Norton Show. photo: Facebook

BY MATTHEW TRIPLEY

Dev Patel, the lead actor of director John Madden’s feature The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, has admitted to consuming an average of 12 energy drinks a day.

Patel, 24, told the Deccan Herald that he felt pressured to “keep it up” and “not to be put to shame by the others in the movie”.

He claims to have done so to prevent his energy levels from dropping on the sets. Co-star Maggie Smith was reportedly said to be “scared” of Patel as a result of his intoxication by the drinks.

Patel has said that his excessive consumption of the drinks came out of the worry of being judged as a “crap actor” by fellow cast members Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson. Patel has also mentioned that his “energy had to be off the scale always”, admitting that he found it hard to keep with the pace and heat as filming took place in Rajasthan.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is currently screening in cinemas.
 

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