Hours after a tornado struck eastern New Orleans, hatchet-wielding firefighters walked up and down the debris-strewn Chef Menteur Highway, looking for anyone missing or trapped. "I'm homeless now," said Malcolm Ballard, 65, outside the heavily damaged Royal Palms Motel. Inside, his room was ransacked; the furniture and carpet soaked by rain that poured in after the storm blew open the door and broke the windows. At least two other confirmed tornadoes touched down in southern Louisiana, wiping houses from their foundations, downing power lines and leaving 10,000 homes without electricity before moving across the Deep South. Dozens of injuries were reported, but no fatalities.

Nearly 4500 Turkish civil servants have been dismissed by the latest emergency decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the latest in a series of purges that started after an attempted coup in July. The Education Ministry was the hardest hit, losing 2585 workers because of alleged ties to terrorist groups or accusations of endangering national security. Most of the affected are teachers. Another 330 are university employees. Additionally, 1310 police officers and other law enforcement workers were dismissed. Ever since members of the Turkish military attempted a coup in July, more than 40,000 people have been detained and almost 100,000 government workers dismissed.

A man arrested by police for attacking soldiers with a machete outside the Louvre museum in Paris last week wanted to damage paintings and "avenge" the Syrian people, a judicial source says. The suspect, 29-year-old Abdullah Reda al-Hamahmy confirmed his name, age and Egyptian nationality to investigators after initially refusing to speak, the source said. He was carrying spray paints in his backpack and said he wanted to damage the paintings at the world-famous museum, the source said, adding that the suspect's statements should be taken with caution. Hamahmy was shot several times after attacking soldiers. He has been in hospital since the attack.

Sydneysiders are mopping-up after half a month's worth of rain pelted the city in one day, with the SES responding to 250 calls. More rain is expected in the city today with showers easing through the day. But Wollongong could be hit by thunderstorms. Overnight the Illawarra region copped the heaviest rainfalls, with the SES carrying out two flood rescues in the area with people trapped in cars. More 120mm of rain fell in the past 24 hours.


A sinkhole has opened up in a street near Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Sydney harbourside mansion. Emergency services are at the scene on Wentworth Street, Point Piper where a gas line has ruptured caused by a collapsed footpath, Fire & Rescue NSW said. "Ruptured gas line caused by street collapse has been shut off by f/fighter lowered into pit. Site handed to council," it tweeted.

Bird-welfare volunteers are trying to locate a bald eagle that's been photographed in Pennsylvania with a leg-hold trap clamped to a talon. Wildlife rehabilitator Wendy Ebersole Looker told the York Dispatch she will care for the injured raptor if it can be caught. The bird was photographed in Bonneauville. The photographer, Susan Boardman, says she watched the eagle on the ground for about 10 minutes before seeing the leg trap, attached a long chain, when it started to fly away. Boardman says the eagle appeared to struggle to fly. Looker says eagles need their talons to hunt, eat, perch and defend themselves. She tells the newspaper infection could be a problem.