AM briefing: Russian consul found dead in Athens

A hearse with the body of the Russian consul Andrey Malanin drives away from his house in Athens. Photo / AP
A hearse with the body of the Russian consul Andrey Malanin drives away from his house in Athens. Photo / AP

Greek police say the head of the consular section at the Russian Embassy in Athens has been found dead in his apartment in the Greek capital, but there are no immediate indications of foul play. The body of 54-year-old Consul Andrey Malanin was found by a consular employee. Police say a coroner will examine the body, while the police homicide department also is investigating the death due to Malanin's diplomatic status. Police say the body bore no visible injuries. Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by a riot police officer while speaking at a photo exhibit in Ankara last month.

A US Navy destroyer fired three warning shots at armed Iranian patrol boats as they sped towards the American warship at the entrance to the Gulf. Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said a group of four fast-attack boats of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps navy had ignored multiple attempts by the crew of the USS Mahan to warn them away. The Mahan used a siren, flashing lights and a ship's whistle, and managed to establish radio communication.

The initial warnings were not heeded, prompting the decision to fire three warning shots with a .50-calibre machine gun, Davis said. The Iranian boats then turned away. The incident happened yesterday inside the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway at the entrance to the Gulf.

A large bushfire that has burnt more than 120ha in Perth's outer northeast is still out of control with hot weather and winds forecast for today and tomorrow. The alert level for the Australian fire was downgraded from 'emergency', the highest rating, to 'watch and act' as conditions improved. But there was still a possible threat to lives and homes around Upper Swan and Brigadoon, says the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

A jury has been selected for the London trial of Rolf Harris on charges of indecently assaulting women and girls between 1971 and 2004. The 86-year-old entertainer appeared in the Southwark Crown Court in Britain by video link to watch the selection of seven women and five men for the trial, which is expected to last six weeks. The Crown is set to open its case on Thursday. Harris has pleaded not guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and one alternative charge of sexual assault. The offences were allegedly committed between 1971 and 2004 and relate to seven female complainants who were aged between 12 and 27 at the time.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee and terror suspect David Hicks is expected to face court in Adelaide, Australia, charged with assaulting his partner. Hicks, who spent five years in the US prison camp on terrorism charges, is due to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court today. The 41-year-old is accused of assaulting his partner at Craigmore in September 2016 and he is yet to plead to the charge.

A US man wanted for killing his former girlfriend fatally shot an Orlando police officer, authorities said, prompting a manhunt and a reward of up to US$60,000. The suspect was identified as Markieth Loyd, 41, who was considered armed and dangerous. An Orange County sheriff's deputy in the manhunt for Loyd was also killed in a collision between his motorcycle and a vehicle. "We are bringing this dirt bag to justice," Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. Authorities said the slain officer, Master Sergeant Debra Clayton, was shot while responding to a sighting of the suspect. The deputy's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Pakistan fired a cruise missile from a submerged platform,. The launch of the nuclear-capable Babur-3 missile, which has a range of 450km and was fired from an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, is likely to heighten long-running tension between India and Pakistan. Both nations have been developing missiles of varying ranges since they conducted nuclear tests in May 1998.

An obscure Palestinian group claimed responsibility for a truck ramming in Jerusalem that killed four Israeli soldiers, an attack that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier was likely inspired by Isis (Islamic State). A female army officer and three officer cadets who were killed in the incident were buried today. Seventeen other people were injured when the truck barrelled into a group of Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian driver was shot dead in the attack. The attack was claimed by the "Groups of Martyr Baha Eleyan" in a post on Arabic social media.

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