Serbia: An Australian saleyards director and steel importer is among three men arrested at gun-point in Serbia over a A$500 million international cocaine-smuggling ring. Canberra businessman Rohan Arnold is one of three Australian men locked up in a Serbian jail following a dramatic arrest at a five-star hotel over a syndicate that tried to bring more than a tonne of cocaine into Sydney last year. Arnold is one of nine shareholders in the South Eastern Livestock Exchange in NSW, which also runs the Western Victorian Livestock Exchange. Two men aged in their 40s and another in his 30s were arrested by Serbian police, alongside a Lebanese man, also aged in his 40s. Dramatic footage shows officers with guns drawn swooping on the lobby of the luxury Metropol Palace hotel in Belgrade. The video shows the four men handcuffed and lying on the floor next to a table where moments before they were enjoying drinks. A bag filled with foreign currency banknotes is shown in the video, with local police saying the arrests were made during a "money handover". Serbian police allege the men are linked to 1280kg of cocaine — worth A$500 million — seized in April 2017 from a Chinese container boat docked in Sydney.
Australia: A toddler has been rescued from a locked car in an affluent Sydney suburb with police smashing a window to save him. The boy, believed to be just 2 or 3 years old, was found dehydrated and visibly distressed inside the car parked outside a unit block on leafy Powell Street in Neutral Bay about 11.15am local time. Officers broke the window of the car to rescue the toddler who is believed to have been inside the vehicle alone for close to 40 minutes, police say. The boy was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital where he was treated for mild dehydration, NSW ambulance spokesman said. His parents have been located and are being questioned, police said. The incident prompted police and paramedics to again warn parents of the potentially deadly consequences of leaving children in cars, especially in summer.
United States: President Donald Trump's views on immigration and building a wall along the Mexico border have evolved since his presidential campaign, the White House chief of staff John Kelly said. Those changes are giving some people hope that a compromise with Congress on the thorny issue is possible. But they are perplexing others — even as the clock ticks down to a showdown. Kelly's comments came amid a shaky effort to craft an accord protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation — a push the White House and Republicans say they would back if it's coupled with tough border security measures and other restrictions.
Papua New Guinea: Seismic activity beneath a Papua New Guinea volcano could mean that a major eruption was imminent, a volcanologist said. Thousands of people have been evacuated from islands surrounding Kadovar Island off the north coast since a volcano there began erupting on January 5, spouting ash. Flights nearby have been cancelled due to the risk posed by ash plumes and ships were warned to stay away from the island. Steve Saunders, principal geodetic surveyor at the Rabaul Volcano Observatory in Papua New Guinea, said seismic activity had recently increased beneath the volcano. "The reason we're getting activity is probably because new magma is moving up from deeper down," Saunders told the ABC.
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Australia: An alleged high-level underworld figure, infamous for once driving himself to hospital after being shot in the head, has briefly appeared in a Melbourne court. Nabil Moughnieh, 42, faces two firearms charges, including allegations his DNA was found on a rifle with a silencer following a series of police raids in May last year. The married father of five was arrested earlier this month as he reported for bail. Moughnieh appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court again after he was granted bail last week. Police say they seized A$7000, a Lamborghini and small amounts of cannabis and methamphetamine during a raid of Moughnieh's Bundoora home in May 2017. Police claim Moughnieh is feuding with several crime identities, including ex- Bandido enforcer Toby Mitchell and former friend Samon Bazi, alleged to be the Comanchero gang's state sergeant-at-arms. Moughnieh infamously drove himself to hospital after being shot in the head in 2016, and was the victim of another non-fatal shooting at Broadmeadows in 2011.
Mexico: Archaeologists and divers on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula have announced that they have found a passage connecting two underwater caves, creating what they say is the world's longest continuous flooded cave. Divers from the Great Maya Aquifer Project say the discovery has revealed a combined cave about 347km long. Mammoth Cave in Kentucky remains the world's longest cave of any kind, with more than 650km of passages explored. The Sac Actun and Dos Ojos caves were both previously known and are near the Caribbean coast town of Tulum. The combined cave will be known as the Sac Actun system, taking on the name of the longer section.
Australia: A pilot and his passenger have suffered serious spinal injuries after a helicopter carrying four people on a sunset tour crashed near Uluru in the Northern Territory. The Professional Helicopter Services aircraft came down hard in scrubland shortly after take off at a remote site 1.5km west of Yulara. The pilot was flown to Royal Adelaide Hospital and remains in a serious condition with spinal and internal injuries. His three passengers were all Australian. A 32-year-old male passenger, who remains in a critical condition, has also been transferred to Adelaide with spinal injuries. The other passengers a 46-year-old woman and 35-year-old man remain in Alice Springs hospital. "There's a lady with a broken ankle and there's another man with minor injuries," a Central Australian Health Service spokeswoman said. Another commercial helicopter was able to land and provide immediate help before the Royal Flying Doctor Service arrived.