5 TOP RATED NEW YORK DAY TRIPS

Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Hudson River sits 5 boroughs that make up New York City.. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s one of the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers. Its popular tourist sites  include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway Theater is staged in neon-lit Times Square. With all these beautiful features, you might still wish to see some towns and attractions outside New York City. We have arranged a list of the top 5 featured day trips from New York City.

Top Rated Day Trips from New York

Here is a list of all towns and attractions to see in a day trip from New York City.

  1. Washington DC

Washington DC is a famous city in the whole world. In Washington DC, there’s an irresistible abundance of culture, rich and powerful history and an incredible food scene behind the curtain of suited and booted political personas. You get to explore the Capitol, Senate and The White House since it is a political city after all.

 

Some amazing places to visit includes

  • Olympic National Park
  • Mount Rainier
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Space Needle
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

 

  1. Storm King

Storm King is just an hour drive away from New York City but it is one of the best spots to consider for your next day trip. You will see the Storm King Art Center, 500 acres of larger than life, majestic and bizarre sculptures that are dotted around the beautiful grounds. If you are hoping to take off to the super attractive Hudson Valley away from the hectic lifestyle in the New York city, then make sure you see the sculptures.

Some attraction spots to visit

  • Black rock forest consortium
  • West point museum
  • Hudson Beach
  • Boscobel gardens
  • Storm King art centre

 

  1. Fire Island

Another place to consider for your day trip is the Fire Island. Off the Southern shore of the Long Island in New York, the thin Atlantic Ocean barrier called Fire Island sits. It’s known for protecting beaches interspersed with seasonal resort communities. New Yorkers make their way to this great Island every summer to have a chill and relax .  You can surf, fish at the laid back Ocean Bay Park enjoy other stuffs like kayaking as well.

 

Some spots to visit are;

  • Robert Moses state park
  • Fire island National seashore
  • Fire Island Lighthouse
  • Cupsogue beach county park
  • Ocean bay park

 

  1. Coney Island

Coney Island is a residential Brooklyn neighborhood that turned into a relaxation and entertainment destination each summer. Locals and tourists crowd this beach all the time, the Wonder Wheel and Luna Park, an amusement park featuring the famed Cyclone roller coaster. Coney Island is less than an hour from Manhattan by train, Coney Island is technically part of New York City but its awesome nature makes it best for a day trip.

Some attraction spots to visit are;

  • Luna park
  • Coney Island Beach
  • Thunderbolt roller coaster
  • Riegelmann amusement park

 

  1. Hudson

The one place to get perfect views of the Hudson River from mountaintops would be by visiting the Hudson itself. You can Visit one of the many quaint, sleepy towns lining its banks, but for a better treat, head over to the town of Hudson itself. Hudson is famous for its stylish converted guesthouses – there’s no shortage of quirky places to spend the day.  You will get the best foods  of New York here without the busy lifestyle of New York City. Hudson is even a famous food haven.

Some attractions spots includes

  • Olana state historic site
  • Hudson Lighthouse
  • Hudson River
  • Thomas Cole National Historic Site

 

Final Verdict: Day Trips are fun when we know exactly where we wish to go to and not disappointed by the view. Click on day trips from New York for more information.

 

5 TOP RATED SYDNEY DAY TRIPS

Have you ever wondered what a blue mountain will look like? Well, these and many other alluring things are what you are bound to see if you step out of the city of Sydney on a day trip to the surrounding cities and towns. Fishing at port Stephens, Exploring galleries and Museums of Canberra, Visiting the Ku-ring- Gai National Park and many other interesting tours awaits you on your day trip from Sydney. This article lists the top of the peak of day trips from Sydney. It is a list you want to have handy. It is a world heritage site.

  1. THE BLUE MOUNTAIN PARK

Eucalyptus leaves have oil that spreads lovely scent in this area. The scent fills the area and the oil also makes the park look cloudy in blue smoke-like haze. It is Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand acres of untouched wilderness of a eucalyptus forest.

Attractions at the park include:

 

  • Waterfalls
  • Aboriginal rock paintings
  • Over 140 KM Hiking trail
  • The Three Sisters rock Formation
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Katoomba Railway
  • Rock Climbing
  1. HUNTER VALLEY

Do you love food and want to have a taste of Aussie food, make sure you get to Hunter Valley. Known for growing grape in all of Australia, it is also a town rich in chocolate, olives, aromatic oils, golden honey and lots of food. It is around 250 KM away from the centre of Sydney. The Hunter Valley is a wealthy town because it used to be a coal mining centre, and a prosperous one in the 19th century.

You will see attractions like:

  • Rock Climbing
  • Waverly Estate
  • Leogate Estate Wines
  • Cock fighter’s ghost
  • Hunter Valley Gardens
  • Hunter distillery
  1. KU-RING-GAI CHASE NATIONAL PARK

Do you have 45 minutes to travel out of Sydney? Then you must make this second oldest National Park in Australia your destination. The Guringai people were the aboriginals who live in this park area before and that is why it was named after them. From the park you will have a view of beautiful sceneries, Broken Bay, Lion Island Nature Reserve and even the blue waters of Pittwater.

You will see attractions like:

  • Rock Climbing
  • Topham walking track
  • Sphinx memorial to Bobbin head loop track

 

  1. CANBERRA

Pack you loads and gear up to visit a lot of Museums and galleries in the Australian Capital Territory. It is a 3 hours drive from Melbourne and Sydney because it was chosen in 1908 to compensate both cities as their rivalry was high to be the capital. The cit is a well designed city because it was planned from top to bottom and designed by a couple, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. There are lots of green land, parklands and gardens. The New Parliament House is one the places to be if you make it to this beautifully crafted city.

Other attractions in Canberra include:

  • Topham walking track
  • Australian War Memorial
  • New Parliament House
  • Museum of Australian Democracy
  • Lake Burley Griffin
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • The National Science and Technology Centre
  • National Library of Australia
  • National Portrait Gallery of Australia
  • Mount Ainslie Lookout

5.   PORT STEPHENS BAY

Port Stephens seats at about 200 KM away from Sydney’s city centre. Tourists enjoy swimming at the pristine beaches, diving the fly point, sailing and surfing all the waters of Port Stephens’s Bay. The Bay is the top fishing centre in all of Australia. Make sure you get to Gan Gan lookout to enjoy a gorgeous view of the whole area.

Site attractions include:

  • Mount Ainslie Lookout
  • Stockton Sand dunes
  • Dolphin watch cruise
  • One Mile Beach
  • Samurai Beach
  • Tomaree Head
  • Fighter World

Final Verdict: You will always enjoy your stay in Sydney, but it will be more wonderful if you tryout the day trip away from Sydney. Click on day trips from Sydney for more information.

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Beachy Head – England

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Beachy Head England

Mount Ararat eruption, Արարատ լեռը ժայթքում

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Volcano Eruption – Ararat Turkey, Sako Tchilingirian

Shifen Waterfall

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Shifen Waterfall

Somewhere in Romania

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

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Split View – Galapagos Islands

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Split View – Galapagos Islands

Hotel La Montana Magica – Huilo Chile

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Hotel La Montana Magica – Huilo Chile

Dunnottar Castle

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Dunnottar Castle

Coastal Potholes

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Coastal Potholes

Nottingham Castle

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Nottingham Castle

Beautiful Venice – Italy

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Beautiful Venice Italy

Split Pinnacle – Hunan China

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Split Pinnacle Hunan China

Valley of Ten Peaks

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Valley of Ten Peaks

Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway

Cabin in the Woods

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Cabin in the Woods

Campo Andaluz – Andalusian Countryside

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 2)

Image Source: Campo Andaluz – Andalusian Countryside

Solitude in the Olympics

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The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Aogashima Volcano, Japan

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Petra, Jordan

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Hiller lake(pink lake), Western Australia

Scientists have proven the strange pink color is due to the presence of algae which is usually the cause of strange coloration. (Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News)

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Chittorgarh Fort, India

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Cinque Terre, Rio Maggiore, Italy

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

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Palau

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Glass Beach, California, USA

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Glow worm cave, New Zealand

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Big Island, Hawaii, USA

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

©2016 Peter Lik – Pele’s Whisper

Pamukkale, Turkey

Hot springs spilling over rock terraces. A UNESCO world heritage site.

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Santorini, Greece

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

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Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

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Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

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St. Lucia

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Venice, Italy

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

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Zion National Park, Utah, USA

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Great Blue Hole is a large submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National Park

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

Hvitserkur, North Iceland

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Panjin Red Beach, China

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Sea Cliffs, Etretat, France

The 100 Most Beautiful and Breathtaking Places in the World in Pictures (part 1)

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Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Review In Progress

I don’t know why I’m in Washington DC; some lady just told me to be here. But there are civilians in distress, armed gangs roaming the streets, and me, my pals, and the second amendment are apparently the only ones who can actually do anything about it. I have no idea what, if anything, is going on with the bigwigs I met in the White House. But so long as I’m helping folks, sending relatively bad people to bed, walking the pretty streets, and picking up a new pair of gloves every so often, I’m very happy to hang around.

In the world of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, the USA has been ravaged by a virus and society has crumbled. While those who remain try to survive by banding together in groups of various dispositions, the Strategic Homeland Division activates highly specialized sleeper agents to try and restore order. It’s a setting ripe in potential, perhaps to tell a ripping techno-thriller story that scrutinizes the structures of our modern society and government, or perhaps to make a video game that leverages the chaos that occurs when multiple idealistic groups clash in a vie for power in a lawless city. The Division 2 only does one of these things.

It’s not the story. Throughout the entirety of The Division 2’s main campaign, never did the game spend a satisfactory amount of time on any semblance of an overarching plot, or the predicaments of its supposedly important figures. There are no character arcs, only abrupt setups and consequences. Narrative devices, like audio logs found in the world, add nothing of consequence. Even the game’s biggest macguffins–the President of the United States and his briefcase containing a cure for the virus–have a minimal amount of absolutely forgettable screen time. The opportunity to use The Division 2 to create meaningful fiction is wasted.

Instead, The Division 2 focuses its narrative chops into worldbuilding. The city, a ravaged Washington DC, initially feels a little homogenous in the way most Western cities do. But after some time, the personality of the different districts–the buildings, the landmarks, the natural spaces, and the ways they’ve been repurposed or affected by the cataclysm–begins to shine through. It’s this strength of environment which lays a very strong foundation for The Division 2 as a video game, creating an engrossing, believable, and contiguous open world.

Moving from your safehouse to the open world and your next mission area is almost entirely seamless. It’s something that was also true of the original Division, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the simple act of going from place to place in The Division 2 is one of the game’s more rewarding aspects. One road may lead to a skirmish with a rival patrol or an optional activity, another might simply give you another stirring scene of urban decay in the morning sun. An obscured shortcut through an apartment block might turn up some useful items in an abandoned home, which you might decide to donate to the makeshift settlements where civilians have attempted to rebuild their lives.

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Visiting those settlements–initially as hovels, before they gradually grow and become more charming, vibrant places thanks to your efforts in the world–becomes a strong motivator in the absence of a plot to chase. Outside main missions, which are dedicated to the weakening of rival factions and achieving indiscriminate objectives, the game’s “Projects” are one of the most lucrative means of earning experience to better your character. Projects ask you to donate resources you find out in the world and participate in side activities, encouraging you to spend more time in the world, see new areas, fight new battles, search for new equipment to use, and find enjoyment in that. The Division 2 is, after all, a game devoted to providing you with a continuous stream of gripping conflicts, valuable rewards, and a perpetual sense of progress and satisfaction from doing these things. It does those things very well.

You spend a lot of time hunkered behind cover, popping out to fire at any enemy dumb enough to expose themselves. With the large amount of weapon variety available, this familiar facet of combat is solid in itself. Add to that the ability to equip two special abilities from a possible eight–which include tools such as riot shields, drones, and from what I can gather, robot bees of some sort–and combat gets pretty interesting. But the vector that really keeps The Division 2’s combat lively for upwards of 30 hours is the behavior and diversity of its enemy types.

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That time you spend in cover? The Division 2 doesn’t want you to just stay there. You can go down very quickly if you’re out in the open, but the game has a dozen ways to alway keep you taking those risks and finding better firing positions–aggressive melee units, remote control cars equipped with sawblades, even the regular assault units regularly attempt to outflank you. Those special abilities? You absolutely need to use them to their full potential to survive some encounters, whether by throwing out the seeker mines or the automated turret to keep enemies at bay while you focus on a priority target, or perhaps utilizing the chemical launcher to start a fire and create a zone of denial.

The effort needed to take out an adversary is relatively reasonable for a shooter that prioritizes the RPG nature of its combat model, but some of the tougher enemies have additional, visible layers of protection which you need to focus on breaking if you want to land critical hits. On the flip side, some enemies have additional, obtuse weak points which can work to your advantage, but only if you can hit them. The fuel tank on the back of a flamethrower unit might be feasible, but when you start running into the terrifying robotic quadruped in post-campaign activities, whose tiny weak point only reveals itself seconds before it fires its devastating railgun, you have to assess whether you can afford to take on that challenge among all the other things pressuring you. The Division 2 throws a lot of hurdles at you, but also gives you the means to quickly counter and resolve them. Whether you can juggle that many balls at once is what keeps combat tense and exciting.

What’s also exciting is the treasure at the end of these gauntlets. These Washington locations, refashioned into memorable combat arenas, are often rewarding in their own right (a fight in a planetarium is an early standout). But improving your equipment is the vital, tangible part that keeps you feeling like you’re making progress. You receive new gear in generous amounts, some dropped by an enemy or looted from a container found in the world, others rewarded for completing a mission, and the next dose always feels in reach. The weapon variety forces you to consider something completely different to take advantage of a power boost, and the armor variety provides an impressive number of different cosmetic looks. The Division 2 incorporates a microtransaction and loot box system for its inconsequential clothing options, though these can be found in the world and earned of your own accord, too.

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Like combat, gear remains intriguing throughout Division 2 not just because of the abstract desire to have bigger numbers attached to your person and progress further through the game’s challenges, but also through a raft of “talents.” These add unique perks that complement particular skills or styles of play, like doing extra damage within a certain range, when enemies are burning, or your armor is depleted. The brands of armor also have a part to play, whereby equipping a number of pieces from a single manufacturer provide additional advantages. These bonuses become particularly attractive to obsess over in the endgame, when the world is retaken by a tougher, more merciless enemy faction called Black Tusk, and you need to ensure your ability to fight them is the best it can be.

For the hundreds of pieces you will inevitably want to discard, the ability to sell or dismantle them for parts to either purchase or craft pieces you want gives value to everything you pick up. Or you might retain them in order to move their talents to better gear of the same type, And, as a wonderful convenience, The Division 2 implements numerous features to inspect, mark, dismantle, or equip things you find so quickly and elegantly–sometimes without ever having to enter a menu–that it improves the whole experience of being in its world.

The same can be said of the game’s multiplayer integration, which allows you to easily group up and progress with friends (the game will scale any underpowered players to match the most powerful). Alternatively, you can join a clan, which opens up a variety of weekly challenges, granting valuable rewards, and which features integrated game-wide group communication options. Even if you’re only interested in playing alone (which is more challenging, but entirely feasible), the ability to matchmake with other players at any time, whether that be in the open world, before you start a mission, or when you’re at a final boss, is a very welcome feature.

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And when you beat that final boss of the game’s final mission (though, such is the Division 2’s lack of plot framing, I honestly couldn’t tell you his name to save my life) and you think you’ve finally run out of treasure to keep luring you through more fights, the metaphorical table gets flipped. Flipped hard. The Washington DC you spent so long liberating from rival factions becomes completely retaken by the aforementioned Black Tusk. You unlock three unique class specializations, each with their own skill trees to work at unlocking. Your focus on growing two-digit numbers on your character (your level) moves to three-digit numbers (the quality of your gear). Even after finishing the campaign, the game still feels enormous.

More challenging, remixed versions of campaign missions and open-world challenges featuring Black Tusk become available. The idea might sound trite, but in practice, these “Invaded” missions often leverage the new enemy types to create terrifying new combat scenarios that maintain the steady ramp-up of challenges, and they give you a fantastic reason to revisit the more memorable combat arenas with a purpose. However, there’s still a lot I haven’t seen. I’ve yet to dabble in the three Dark Zones, reward-rich areas where players can potentially find themselves up against other, malicious agents as well as the usual enemies. I’m also yet to participate in Conflict, The Division 2’s take on traditional team-based competitive multiplayer modes.

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But after spending 30 hours completing the campaign and beginning to dabble in the endgame, I’m still enamored with The Division 2. The range of enemy types continues to keep combat encounters challenging, the equipment I earn and pick up continues to feel different and valuable. The ravaged environments continue to intrigue, and sometimes they’re so stunning I find myself needing to take a screenshot before I move on. There is still so much to see in The Division 2, but I want to take the time to see it. I have absolutely no clue why I’m here or what anyone’s motivations are, and I wish I had a narrative purpose to my endless hunger for progression. But I’m glad to be here right now.

NEW ZEALAND GUNMAN INSPIRED BY MASS-MURDERER ANDERS BREIVIK

renton Tarrant, the 28-year old Australian charged with murder after he shot 49 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, put up a manifesto in the hours before his attacks in which he revealed the motives for his plans, as well as his inspiration: Anders Breivik.

In 2011 Breivik massacred 77 people, shooting to death 69 participants in a summer camp on a Norwegian island, and killed eight others by detonating a van bomb in the middle of Oslo.
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Tarrant referred to him as a “knight,” and in that context referred to Norwegian support for the Knights of the Templar (a Christian order of expert warriors) in the twelfth century.

Tarrant wrote of Muslims as “invaders,” and defined the purpose of his attack as “to show the invaders that our land will never be their land,” and that “our homeland” will remain as long as white people survive. The invaders, he said, would never be able to “replace our people.”

In the “manifesto,” Tarrant wrote that when he was young, he was “a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian before coming to be an eco-fascist,” the Guardian reported.

Residents of Christchurch, New Zealand were instructed by police to remain indoors as news of the shooting attack directed at local mosques broke out Friday.

“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

Forty-nine people were killed and more than twenty were seriously wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level. She said four people in police custody held extremist views, but had not been on any police watchlists.

Radio New Zealand quoted a witness inside the Al Noor mosque saying he heard shots fired and at least four people were lying on the ground and “there was blood everywhere”.

“Horrified to hear of Christchurch mosque shootings. There is never a justification for that sort of hatred,” said Amy Adams, a member of parliament from Christchurch.
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The Bangladesh cricket team was going to Friday prayers at the mosque, the Masjid Al Noor, when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

Shootings were reported at the Al Noor Mosque, the Linwood Masjid mosque and Christchurch Hospital.

Mohan Ibrahim described events to the Herald, saying he ran for his life when he heard the shots.

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque. Allegedly, the man broadcasted the killing via social media networks and is an Australian citizen by the name of Brenton Trent.

“A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter,” Police Commissioner Mike Bush was quoted as telling reporters. “Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation,but the risk environment remains extremely high.”

“Many of those who would have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand,” Ardern said.

“They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home … they are us. The persons who has perpetuated this violence against us … have no place in New Zealand.”

New Zealand police detained four people on Friday after the mass shootings at two mosques in the city.

“Four are in custody. Three are men and one is a woman,” New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters in Wellington.

“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles which we were able to secure,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices.

He said it was not possible to assume that the attack was isolated to Christchurch, saying: “At this point in time we should never make assumptions.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

WOMEN OF THE WALL CONDEMNS POLICE ‘ABANDONMENT’ IN LETTER

Women of the Wall clashing with Orthodox worshipers

Women of the Wall clashing with Orthodox worshipers. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The legal department of the Women of the Wall sent a  letter to the police commissioner on Sunday, condemning the police’s actions as part of the events that took place on Friday.

“During the month preceding the prayer, we contacted the police and announced that an unusual number of worshipers are expected to arrive and take part in the prayer to mark the movement’s 30th anniversary, which was supposed to be held on the women’s side of the Western Wall,” wrote Chair of the Women of the Wall Anat Hoffman.

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“We even warned that rabbis have been calling on their students to arrive at the Western Wall plaza in order to protest against the Women of the Wall and to interfere with the prayer,” the letter continued. “Despite our petition, the events which took place last Friday were once again a horrifying demonstration of abuse, severely damaging women’s worship rights.”

The letter condemned the police, saying that “the police abandoned the Women of the Wall, and left them at the mercy of the brute behavior of the angry mob that surrounded them.”

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Hoffman claimed that “The police had to act with all the means at its disposal in order to protect the Women of the Wall and their right to pray, but this was not done, and therefore this is a very serious failure in the conduct of the police.”

Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman spoke at the entrance to the cabinet meeting on Friday about the events that took place at the Western Wall plaza, refusing to condemn the Orthodox demonstrators who attacked the Women of the Wall.

“The police announced that there was a provocation by the Women of the Wall. They should have been thrown out,” he said. Litzman was asked whether this justified violence and replied that “violence by the Women of the Wall? Absolutely not.”

ABBAS APPOINTS NEW PRIME MINISTER, ‘GOV’T SHOULD ENHANCE CULTURE OF PEACE

Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh receives a designation letter from Palestinian President

Senior Fatah official Mohammad Shtayyeh receives a designation letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new Palestinian government, in Ramallah. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday asked senior Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh to form a new government that would “enhance the culture of peace and support the families of prisoners and martyrs.”

Shtayyeh will replace PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who resigned last January.

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Hamas immediately rejected Abbas’s decision to form a new “separatist” government and said the move would solidify the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hamas said that it will not recognize the new government.

Shtayyeh, 61, is a politician and economic expert from a village near Nablus. He previously served as PA Minister of Housing and head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR).

Shtayyeh, who is also a member of the Fatah Central Committee, holds a doctorate in economic development from the University of Sussex in the UK.

In the letter of appointment, Abbas wrote to Shtayyeh that the new government’s top priority should be “to support the decisions of the Palestinian leadership, which include restoring national unity and bringing Gaza back to the bosom of national legitimacy.”

Abbas asked Shtayyeh to take all necessary measures to hold parliamentary elections in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem as soon as possible.

Abbas said that the new government’s top priority should also be to provide “material and moral support to the victims of the occupation and their families, including martyrs, prisoners and the wounded.”

The new PA government, Abbas said in his letter, should “continue to defend Jerusalem, with its Islamic and Christian holy sites, in the face of the policies of the occupation that are aimed at changing the city’s national identity and religious and historic status.”

In addition, the new government should “continue building state institutions, boost the economy, empower women and youths, enhance the culture of peace and protect public freedoms, first and foremost the freedom of expression,” Abbas wrote.

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Abbas had come under pressure from Fatah to replace Hamdallah with a representative of the faction. Hamdallah, who was first appointed prime minister in 2013, handed his resignation over to Abbas on January 29.

A year later, Abbas asked Hamdallah to form a new government that was called the Palestinian National Consensus Government because it was formed following the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement that was signed in April 2014. The government consisted mostly of independent technocrats who were loyal to Abbas and Fatah.

However, the failure of Fatah and Hamas to implement the reconciliation agreement prompted Abbas to reshuffle the cabinet and appoint new ministers a year later.

Shtayyeh responded to Abbas’s decision to appoint him as prime minister by saying that he would work to “embody an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.” Shtayyeh also pledged to pursue the “struggle for the right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes in Israel.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the new government will not serve the interests of the Palestinians. “This government will contribute to the separation of the West Bank from the homeland,” he said.

Another Hamas spokesman, Abdel Latif al-Qanou, said that the appointment of a new PA government contradicted the talk about holding new presidential and parliamentary elections. He said that Hamas leaders last week informed the chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, Hanna Nasser, that they were in favor of holding new elections.

“The appointment of the new government shows that the Palestinian Authority is not serious about the elections,” the Hamas spokesman added. “Any Palestinian institution that is formed without national consensus is an indication of the tyranny and dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority.”

Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa denounced the appointment of Shtayyeh as a “disgrace for the people and Palestinian history.”