Australia mourns with US over ‘shocking’ Las Vegas attack: Turnbull

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Deadliest mass shooting in US history: Vegas death toll hits 59, more than 500 injuredGiffords calls for stricter gun laws in wake of Las Vegas mass shootingWho is the Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock? Las Vegas gunman’s brother ‘dumbfounded’

The prime minister offered his prayers to the families of the more than 50 victims and wished the 500-plus injured a swift recovery.

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“We stand with you and we mourn with you in this difficult time,” Mr Turnbull told a maritime defence conference in Sydney on Tuesday.

“This was a cruel and callous attack on innocent people at a concert.”

It was the worst mass shooting in America’s history at the hands of 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.”

This is a reminder that we must constantly work to stay ahead of the threat – whether the motives of those who seek to do us harm,” Mr Turnbull said.

He noted the government released in August its new strategy to protect crowded places so that Australians could go to events like concerts without fear of being harmed.

With the Las Vegas massacre reigniting debate about gun laws in the US, Mr Turnbull acknowledged that thanks to the strong leadership of John Howard more than 20 years ago after the Port Arthur massacre, Australia has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.

“And we remain ever vigilant to maintain them,” he said.

Australia just completed another national gun amnesty, with more than 25,000 weapons surrendered.

State and territory leaders will also meet on Thursday for a special national security summit.

“We must constantly improve our laws and our techniques to stay ahead of those who seek to do us harm.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the scenes out of Las Vegas as horrifying.

“Australians holding our American friends in our hearts tonight,” he tweeted.

Horrifying scenes in Las Vegas. Australians holding our American friends in our hearts tonight.

— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) October 2, 2017

It’s not know whether any Australians were hurt in the attack.

“If you have any concerns for the welfare of family and friends in the Las Vegas area, you should attempt to contact them directly,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman told AAP.

No Australians have been identified at this stage as victims of the Las Vegas shooting massacre, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

“We know that a number of Australians were in the vicinity or are in the vicinity, but at this stage and the situation is evolving, no Australians have been identified amongst the victims or those injured,” she told Nine.

0:00 No Austrlaians identified amongst victims: Bishop on Las Vegas shooting Share No Austrlaians identified amongst victims: Bishop on Las Vegas shooting

People unable to make contact with loved ones should phone the DFAT emergency hotline: 1300 555 135, or +61 2 6261 3305.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas police said they had cleared Marilou Danley, 62, reportedly an Australian and the gunman’s girlfriend, of any involvement.

0:00 Vegas Shooting: People flee as gunman opens fire Share Vegas Shooting: People flee as gunman opens fire

‘Vegas is strong’: Hundreds line up to donate blood after Las Vegas massacre

Sixty-four-year-old Nevada resident Stephen Paddock opened fire on an open-air country music festival on the Las Vegas strip on Sunday, killing at least 59 people, and injuring more than 500.

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The shooting began at around (0500 GMT).

Las Vegas authorities called for blood donations over social media, urging people to attend designated blood banks rather than local hospitals, which remain overloaded after admitting more than more than 400 victims of the attack.

If you would like to donate blood for the injured victims of the Strip shooting visit the Labor Health & Welfare Clinic, 7135 W. Sahara.

— LVMPD (@LVMPD) October 2, 2017

The residents of Las Vegas instantly responded to the calls. In the early hours of the morning after the shooting, hundreds of people lined up at blood banks, with many reporting on social media that their local bank was completely full. 

Reporter David Schuman posted a video to Twitter, saying that at 3:48am, the blood bank on West Charleston Boulevard was completely full with people wanting to donate and help:

LOOK: parking lot of blood donation center on Charleston is full. At 3:48am. #Vegas is strong and compasionate. @BethFisherTV @ktnv pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/ltcQ3P6a9K

— David Schuman (@david_schuman) October 2, 2017Another pic of blood center. My friend there says line is out the door. Again, this was at 4:15. People care. @KTNV pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/Was1prG8Ml

— David Schuman (@david_schuman) October 2, 2017

Erik Hill, the regional director of United Blood Services, said that he noticed people lining up in the carpark of the Charleston donation centre from around 2am, and has been drawing blood since 4am:

A large crowd at United Blood Services on W Charleston, regional director Erik Hill speaks a about donations. pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/kRFCDjVG23

— Bridget Bennett (@bridgetkbennett) October 2, 2017

Other residents also tweeted their amazement and appreciation about the amount of people who showed up to donate blood:

I am so proud of this city. Look at the line for blood donations! BATTLE BORN #Pray4Vegas @X1075 @985KLUC @Mix941 @Q100Vegas pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/pd1otshPpN

— Aj Sanchez (@A_blah_J_blah) October 2, 2017This is Vegas!!!! Line wrapped around United Blood Services, waiting to donate blood this morning #vegasstrong pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/3061LtwaiY

— kathleen Sweeney (@3morethanfiddy) October 2, 2017This is the scene at one of the local blood banks (United Blood on W Charleston). Vegas is an amazing community. Our city is coming together pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/Xk7zTZWOR6

— Dave Farra (@DaveFarra) October 2, 2017The line at the united blood service on Whitney Ranch location. So happy to see so many people coming out to help. #LasVegas #mandalaybay pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/Xo8X3Qu661

— Jourdan Lasko (@Heilos) October 2, 2017It’s 6:40 am, and there is a line out the door and around the block. People waiting to donate blood at United Blood Services. #RJ pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/sGRMpUOHXc

— Bridget Bennett (@bridgetkbennett) October 2, 2017

The line to donate blood is now wrapped around United Blood Services. Hundreds of people coming out to help in any way they can pic苏州美甲美睫培训,/GA6O2R37LS

— Yasmeen Hassan (@YasmeenTV) October 2, 2017

United Blood Services posted a message of gratitude on their Facebook page, reminding people to continue to donate over the next few weeks so blood is readily available to those who are injured:

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Country stars express horror over shooting

American country music stars have expressed their horror after Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas turned an open-air festival into a scene of carnage, and one says it forced him to change his opposition to gun control.

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The Route 91 Harvest festival, promoted as a “three-day neon sleepover”, attracted fans from across the United States to hear country’s biggest stars, including Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Sam Hunt.

At least 59 people were killed by a 64-year-old gunman who released a hailstorm of bullets into the festival site.

Caleb Keeter, a guitarist with the Josh Abbott Band, which played the festival earlier on Sunday, said he had been a lifelong supporter of the right to bear arms “until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”

“We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it,” Keeter said on Twitter.

Aldean, the Sunday night headliner, had just taken the stage when bursts of gunfire rang out, sending thousands of people diving for cover.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” Aldean, 40, who was unharmed, said on Instagram.

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Country singer Tyler Reeve says he was backstage when a volley of shots rang out.

He and other singers took cover in a trailer while bullets struck tour buses, equipment cases and the stage.

Reeve and others lay down on the floor and turned the lights off.

“As we were lying in this trailer, I was thinking, ‘This can’t really be happening’, and it just went on and on. I can’t even describe the feeling, just absolute terror,” Reeve said.

After about 45 minutes, Reeve and his friends left the trailer and ran through the streets to the MGM Grand Casino.

“It was just shoes and clothing and blood and bodies,” Reeve said.

“It was a war zone.”

Singer Jake Owen, who performed minutes before Aldean, tweeted: “Shots were ringing off the stage rigging and road cases. No one knew where to go.”

Owen told Fox News in an interview early on Monday: “This isn’t what America is supposed to look like.”

Taylor Swift, who started her career as a country singer, said on Twitter there were “no words to express the helplessness and sorrow my broken heart feels for the victims”.

Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Shania Twain tweeted they were heartbroken, while veteran singer Brad Paisley said “there are no words right now that suffice,” and Australian Keith Urban said he was “stilled and speechless”.

Wildcats not thinking about NBL three-peat

Star Perth Wildcats import Bryce Cotton says his team can’t afford to get caught up in the growing hype about their chances of landing a rare Championship three-peat.

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The Wildcats will start the NBL season as one of the title favourites following the surprise retention of Cotton, who turned down more lucrative opportunities in Europe in order to return to Perth.

Melbourne United loom as Perth’s biggest title threat, with the star-stacked outfit boosted by the signing of former Wildcat Casey Prather.

Cotton averaged 23 points per game last season and he shapes as Perth’s most critical player as the club attempts to win three straight titles for the first time in their history.

The 25-year-old, who scored 45 points in game three of last season’s grand final series, said he and his teammates weren’t focusing on the three-peat potential.

Only the Sydney Kings (2003-05) and NZ Breakers (2011-13) have won three titles in a row.

“Honestly I don’t think any of us think about it,” Cotton said.

“It was the same thing last year when I got here.

“There was a lot of people talking about, ‘Oh, can we repeat?’

“We just blocked that out. I don’t think that’s something you should play in your mind, because it can become distracting.”

The loss of Prather leaves a huge void in the Wildcats line-up.

Coach Trevor Gleeson is confident new imports Jean-Pierre Tokoto and Derek Cooke Jr will be able to fill the gap.

Cooke Jr hasn’t been able to play a single pre-season game because of visa issues.

But Cotton said that could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Wildcats, who open their season at home against Brisbane on Saturday night.

“We have the upper hand because we know a little bit more of what he can do than they do,” Cotton said.

“Hopefully we’ll catch some of the other teams by surprise.”

Gleeson predicts Tokoto will become the best athlete in the NBL this season.

Cotton said Cooke Jr was also an athletic freak.

In pictures: The panic, chaos and aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting

At least 59 people have been killed and more than 500 injured after Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a crowd at a Las Vegas country music festival.

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Police said Paddock, a retired accountant, killed himself before a SWAT team entered his room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel overlooking the festival venue.

Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo law enforcement were working four separate crime scenes: Paddock’s room at the Mandalay Bay hotel, the concert venue, the gunman’s house in Mesquite, and another house he owns in northern Nevada which a SWAT team was poised to raid.

Here are some of the photos of the chaos and the aftermath:

Warning graphic images

People run for cover after gun fire was heard at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.Getty Images North America

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Getty Images North America

A man lays on top of a woman as others flee. A photographer later witnessed the man and woman get up and walk away.Getty Images

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Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers run down Tropicana Ave near Las Vegas Boulevard after the shooting.Getty Images North America

A woman cries while hiding inside the Sands Corporation plane hangar after a mass shooting in which dozens were killed at the Route 91 Harvest country festival.AAP

Police officers advise people to take cover near the scene of a shooting near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.AAP

Debris is strewn through the scene of a mass shooting at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Monday, Oct 2, 2017.AAP

People light candles at the Ascend Amphitheater for a vigil honouring the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.Getty Images

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(L-R)US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, wife Karen Pence and White House staff take part in a moment of silence.AFP

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo updates the death toll to 59 killed and 527 injured during a press conference at the Metropolitan Police Department.Los Angeles Times