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New gun laws will make New Zealand safer after mosque massacre, says PM Ardern

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she would announce new gun laws within days, after 50 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.Gun City owner David Tipple said the alleged gunman bought four weapons and ammunition between December 2017 and March 2018.“The MSSA, military-style automatic, reportedly used by the alleged gunman was not purchased from Gun City.Gun City did not sell him an MSSA, only A-category firearms,” Tipple told a new conference in Christchurch.Under New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots.
Video of a gunman in one mosque showed a semi-automatic with a large magazine round.Tipple said the online purchases followed a police-verified online mail-order process and A-category firearms were bought in three or four purchases.“We detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder. He was a brand new purchaser, with a brand new license,” he said.Tightening New Zealand’s gun laws was at the top of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s agenda as she met with her cabinet on Monday for the first time since the massacre.The shock of the attacks has led to calls for an immediate tightening of laws to restrict access to some firearms, particularly semi-automatic weapons.“What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that’s the right question to ask,” Ardern told TVNZ earlier on Monday.“There are ways we can bring in affective regulation of firearms that actually target those we need to target and that is our focus.”Gun City owner Tipple said he supported Ardern’s call for gun law reforms as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns.New Zealand, a country of only 5 million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms. The minimum age for a gun license is 16, and 18 to own a semi-automatic weapon.A Radio New Zealand report, based on police data secured through an Official Information Act request, said more than 99 percent of people who applied for a firearms license in 2017 were successful.A New Zealand standard A-category firearm license is issued after a police and background check.No license is required to buy a large round magazine, which can be illegally modified for use in such a weapon.Only firearm owners are licensed, not weapons, so there is no monitoring of how many weapons a person may possess.
New Zealand’s top online marketplace Trade Me Group said it was halting the sale of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of Friday’s attack.BURIAL Frustration was the first signatory of a national condolence book for the country’s worst mass killing that she opened in the capital Wellington on Monday.
“On behalf of all New Zealanders, we grieve together.
They are us,” she wrote in the book.Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha said the first body was approved for release on Sunday night, but the family was yet to take the body because another relative was also killed and they wanted to collect them together. He said there would be no burials on Monday.
‘NZ attack grim reminder of Islamophobia sweeping the world’“We’ve been working fairly hard through the night to ensure the process of returning the deceased to their loved ones is taking place expediently,” he said.The burial process, which usually involves washing with three kinds of water, salving wounds and scrubbing skin, would be complicated, volunteers in Christchurch said.
Mo, a volunteer who had flown in from Brisbane to wash the bodies, said the people who died in the mosques were classified as martyrs. That meant there were different views as to whether they would be washed or not because he said Islamic jurisprudence said martyrs are not to be washed as their blood was witness to their martyrdom.“But some people have said because it was not a battlefield it is okay to wash the body. But it is at the discretion of the family,” said Mo.
He asked to be identified by just one name.Death toll of Pakistanis martyred in NZ mosques massacre rises to nineThe two mosques involved in the shootings have been closed since the massacre, but are expected to reopen by Friday prayers after cleansing blessings were carried out, said Haumaha.“This morning we conducted two important blessings at the Deans Avenue mosques and the Linwood mosque,” he said.“This blessing this morning gave them (the Muslim community) huge confidence.We hope to have those premises in place by the end of the week to allow our Muslim community to go back and undertake prayer.

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‘Anybody can beat anybody’: Test upsets keep Black Caps wary

HAMILTON (AFP) – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said Wednesday recent Test upsets mean “anybody can beat anybody” and the world number two ranked side can have no room for complacency against minnows Bangladesh.
The Black Caps made history this week when they were elevated to second in the ICC Test team rankings for the first time following South Africa’s shock 2-0 defeat at home to Sri Lanka, the only time an Asian team has won a series in South Africa.It came hot on the heels of the eighth-ranked West Indies also enjoying a stunning result at home by winning a Test series against England for the first time since 2009.Sri Lanka over in South Africa was a fantastic effort, said Williamson when naming his team for the opening match of a three-match Test series against Bangladesh which begins in Hamilton on Thursday.
It’s so hard to beat a side like South Africa anywhere, let alone in their backyard, but anybody can beat anybody.Ninth-ranked Bangladesh, who have enjoyed home Test wins against England and Australia in recent years, say Sri Lanka’s victory in South Africa stands as a beacon for them.What Sri Lanka did was remarkable, said Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes.When the boys look at those results it definitely will be an inspiration for them and I will use it in the team talk.
If we play anything like we can do, we will surprise the New Zealanders.New Zealand dominated Sri Lanka before Christmas, leaving Williamson to suggest it was best to shut the rankings out of the conversation.It’s all about winning the series, as in every series that is sort of the goal you take into it, he said.As we’ve seen, the rankings are sometimes in your control and sometimes outside your control so it’s a very difficult thing to focus on.We know if we are playing good cricket day in and day out then perhaps those things will lean your way.New Zealand have made one change from the side that played their last Test, a victory over Sri Lanka two months ago by 423 runs, with Todd Astle coming in for Ajaz Patel.The Seddon Park wicket is usually regarded as a good batting strip but Williamson said it looks a little different this year and he was undecided on what he would do should he win the toss.

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