George Floyd ‘didn’t have a pulse when paramedic checked several times in ambulance’ and ‘showed no signs of life’ – The Sun

GEORGE Floyd "didn't have a pulse when the paramedic checked several times in the ambulance," a Minneapolis fire department report shows.

According to the document, the crew were "told by several people that the police 'had killed the man'."


On Monday, George Floyd died after Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis as the black man shouted "I can't breathe."

The arrest was carried out after Floyd allegedly trying to use forged documents at a local deli.

An ambulance was called and the man was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center where he later died.

The incident report described Floyd as an "unresponsive, pulseless male," and explained that despite medics performing numerous checks on several occasions, they did not find a pulse.

Despite his state, first responders and emergency room staff continued to work on Floyd for almost one hour.

"He still had an outside chance," Hennepin Healthcare EMS Chief Marty Scheerer told the Star Tribune.

"Even if it’s a super long shot, you’ve got to try your best."

But just 90 minutes after his initial interaction with the cops, Floyd was pronounced dead at 9.25pm.

Speaking about Chauvin's knee restraint, Scheerer told the outlet: "I don’t think the paramedics knew what was going on.

"They just saw a split second of what was happening."

Riots and looting have broken out in wake of Floyd's death.

On Thursday morning, the Minneapolis mayor described the incident as "murder."

When asked if he believes that the incident was murder during an interview with CBS, Jacob Frey replied "I do."

"I'm not a prosecutor, but let me be clear, the arresting officer killed someone. As to the precise charge, I'm not going to get into that."

The mayor then went on to say "he'd be alive today if he were white."

"The facts that I've seen, which are minimal, certainly lead me down the path that race was involved.

"I don't know whether or not there's explicit or implicit racism involved, but racism is involved – let's be very clear."

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Mum uses tongs instead of a knife to cut cake for the perfect slice

No one is watched more closely than a person cutting a cake: how big will they make the slices? Will they be equal? Who gets the biggest one?

Family feuds may begin if one person gets a smaller piece than everyone else.

But there is a way to ensure everyone gets an equal piece of cake.

A mum who’s clearly living in 2030 showed off how she uses tongs instead of a knife to cut into the dessert – and it’s the perfect way to get uniform slices.

TikTok user Mimi To filmed her mum cutting a birthday cake with the kitchen utensil, which doubles as a server.

The savvy mum was seen slicing the cake and serving it with the bottom end of the metal tongs.

And it’s not just cakes you can use this trick on, the tongs can be used to cut pies and homemade pizzas if you don’t have a cutter.

It’s so simple, why didn’t we think of this before?

The TikTok video has been shared widely on the video-sharing app where it amassed more than 5.5 million views.

Users couldn’t get enough of the life hack, saying: ‘Oh my God this is amazing.’

Another viewer wrote: ‘Your mum is so fancy and I feel like she’s one of those people who do the best stuff and act like it’s nothing.’

And a third joked: ‘Your mum is living in 3020’.

Of course, this hack only works with circular foods so if you have a square or rectangle cake, you won’t be able to use the tongs (unless you enjoy chaos).

If you want to create uniform slices on a rectangular cake, might we suggest using a cheese grater?

Big slices each time.

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Mum buys £2 boxes from Asda & fills them with treats to last a week to stop her kids endlessly snacking in lockdown

A MUM has shared the nifty way she stops her kids snacking all time using some £2 boxes from Asda.

With the kids now home everyday in the lockdown, the mum-of-three wanted to limit the amount of junk food they were eating. 

So she bought some boxes from the supermarket, which cost just £2 each, and filled them with their snacks for the whole week. 

Healthy food, such as fruit, is readily available for the 12, 10 and six-year-old, but if they want a sweet treat they have to do chores – and once the box is empty that’s it. 

She shared her genius idea to Facebook group Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK, showing three boxes filled with an assortment of goodies including Milkybar pots and Dairylea Dunkers. 

She said: “Decided to do snack boxes for the kids as during the lockdown the haven't stopped eating empty the fridge every couple days…

During the lockdown the haven't stopped eating

“This is week of treats 12yr 10yr 6yrs been doing this for a few weeks it going well they can snack on fruit as much as they like but chores for the treats…

“Picked up the boxes from asda £2.00 each.

“Thought I would add this my eldest has autism so he eats corned beef, not sweets it his taste. [sic]”

More than 3,000 people have liked her idea, as mums said they might copy it while adults admitted they wanted their own snack box.

Commenting online one person said: “Aw man I could sit and eat a box a night. Sod the kids! Lol.”

Another wrote: “Fantastic idea mine eat so much in snacks especially in the hot weather with light meals.”

A third thought: “I might have to start this for my 3 year old he is forever sneaking into the fridge lately stealing snacks and drinks.”

While someone else added: “I need one of these for myself. I'm 32.”

And another person raved: "Great idea well done."

Meanwhile a mum creates a simple ‘treat plate’ to get her ‘fussy eater’ son to try new food – and you can grab one from B&M for £6.

Plus this mum buys a vending machine, fills it with snacks & says it’s the best way to get kids doing their pocket money chores.

And this woman shared the ‘right’ way to close a crisp packet and it’s blowing people’s minds.

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Solar Opposites Is What Rick And Morty Fans Want: More Rick And Morty, Basically

Even more than not getting to try any of that Szechuan sauce, Rick and Morty fans have long had one frustration in common: the fact that it takes ages for new Rick and Morty episodes to come out. Series co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have gone on record about their disagreements and lengthy iteration process many times, and even said last year that the long delays between Rick and Morty seasons are a thing of the past. And yet, they weren’t even able to get Season 4 done in time last year; only half a season aired in 2019, with the back five episodes currently arriving weekly, six months later.

It’s a relatable problem: Rick and Morty fans want more Rick and Morty! Rick and Morty is so good that no amount of it will ever be enough. There’s no easy solution to that problem–until now. Look no further than Solar Opposites, the new show by Roiland and Rick and Morty writer and producer Mike McMahan.

The simplest way to describe Solar Opposites is an interdimensional cable gag that accidentally stretched into eight full episodes–like the rest of the Rick and Morty crew went home and forgot to turn off the recording booth, and Roiland, drunk, just kept riffing until he’d improvised a whole new world. The show follows an alien family that crash-landed on Earth after an asteroid hit their home planet, Shlorp. Roiland voices Korvo, the default patriarch obsessed with repairing their spaceship and getting off this “already overpopulated” rock; Thomas Middleditch is Terry, his dumb, fun-loving partner; the kids (in this case, “replicants”) are Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) and Jesse (Mary Mack); lastly, there’s The Pupa, a mischievous bug-eyed slug that will one day mature and devour everything on Earth, terraforming it in the image of Shlorp.

Korvo isn’t exactly like Rick, but the two characters have a lot in common. They’re both curmudgeonly, adoring of science, disdainful of humanity, and detached from many Earthly concerns. Roiland voices both, and his signature tipsy cadence–stumbling deliberately through dialogue like he’s forgotten the words halfway through–will feel warmly familiar to existing fans. Like Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites is full of high-concept sci-fi nonsense, from the stressed out, raisin-like creatures that leap from the aliens’ pores instead of sweat, to sneakers that let you go back in time, but you’re effectively a ghost and can’t touch anything, unless you bring the Retouch-Your-Stuff-Alyzer, an advanced gadget that coincidentally resembles a spork strapped to a stick. Solar Opposites is clearly less improvised than Rick and Morty, but many of its gags retain that hacked-together feel; as if when hunting for sci-fi terms and gadgets, the writers simply throw random syllables and concepts together and run with whatever sounds funniest.

Structurally, Solar Opposites is a much more traditional sitcom. Each episode sees an A-plot involving Korvo and Terry, such as Korvo’s repeated, pointless attempts to get Terry interested in repairing their ship, or the one where Korvo gets really into performance magic and winds up jumping into a black hole, or the time Korvo finds out that TV shows aren’t real and Terry convinces him to recreate their favorite ALF-like sitcom alien as a Frankenstein-esque monster that eventually Cronenbergs out (naturally) and destroys half the town. Meanwhile, the kids get up to their own hijinks, like trying to fit in with the cool kids at school by entrancing them using spores emitted from strange flowers growing on their heads, or constantly shrink-raying anyone and everyone who even slightly annoys them and depositing them into a wall-sized habitat in their room.

That environment–The Wall–provides one of the season’s throughlines, as the tiny people trapped inside, including characters voiced by Andy Daly, Christina Hendricks, and Alfred Molina, go through their own Mad Max-esque journey in a functioning but dictatorial society with an economy built mainly on the candy and chunks of Slim Jims that Yumyulack and Jesse bestow on them. Meanwhile, The Pupa has its own crazy adventures, usually after it wanders off and, say, gets sold into an elite cabal’s menagerie of rare Disney animals, or entrances an elderly neighbor into opening the child-proof kitchen cabinet it can’t reach itself.

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A Brand New e.l.f. x JKissa Collaboration Just Dropped, & It’s More Colorful Than Ever

e.l.f. just finished dropping a collab with Chipotle and launching a range of CBD skincare products, but the beauty brand isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s returning with another popular pairing: A second e.l.f. x JKissa collection is on the way, and it’s bold and colorful as usual.

The new collection features an 18-pan eyeshadow palette in rainbow shades, a glitter topper duo, and six custom brushes. The new e.l.f. x JKissa collaboration launches May 27 on e.l.f.’s website, and items will retail between $12 and $25.

The vibrant products are inspired by the looks JKissa posts to her YouTube channel, which has nearly 350,000 subscribers. The beauty guru has been open about her love of color as a way to express herself after being bullied when she was younger.

"I hope this collection helps those who are looking for somewhere to belong to — that was me — and colorful eyeshadow is my home," she tells Bustle. "Losing myself in color has always been a way for me to express myself and get through hardships. I hope that this collection does that for someone else, and they too fall in love with color and all of the doors it can open into self-expression, as I have."

Although the YouTuber says she hopes the collection can help people express themselves, the collab also has a charitable aspect. For every photo of fans and their furry friends posted with the hashtag #eyeslipsfacepaws, e.l.f. will donate $1 to Angel City Pit Bulls, an animal rescue organization from which JKissa adopted her dog, Zuma.

"They lead with love and work diligently to find each dog the perfect home," she tells Bustle of the organization. "They show all of the dogs in their true beautiful light with their giant smiles and needs for belly rubs!"

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

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Don’t believe for a second that the Dominic Cummings scandal is not politically-motivated – The Sun

LET me be clear, I am not here to discuss whether Dominic Cummings drove too far to test his eyesight or was wrong to allow his four-year-old son to have a toilet stop.

Those matters have been pored over in the most invasive and over the top manner by a baying mob that epitomises everything wrong with our depressing cancel culture.

In a free country it’s up to every individual to interpret the draconian lockdown regulations responsibly and in a way that doesn’t threaten public health or break the law.

I despise that we’ve become a nation of politically motivated snitches, but I do accept that Cummings helped make the rules so is answerable for his actions.

However, to say that the hysteria over the past three days is about hypocrisy rather than Brexit ideology is completely naive.

Make no mistake, the establishment is out to get Dominic Cummings.

It has been out to get him since the moment he succeeded in doing what they all believed was impossible: Taking the UK out of the EU.

The tweet from the official UK Civil Service account that read, “Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?” is just one representation of what this man is up against.

And just like when they unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the biggest democratic vote in our history, the opposition believe this is a political opportunity.

Despite insisting they would not attempt to politicise a once in a lifetime pandemic, last night it emerged Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, DUP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Greens and the Alliance Party are planning to band together to “discuss the next steps in holding Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to account”.

That approach didn’t work over Brexit. It won’t work now.

The idea that the entire country is talking about this assistant to the Prime Minister is one perpetuated by the media and I do not believe it for one second.

Most folk are rightly concerned about their heath, concerned about when they’ll next see their relatives, concerned about their jobs, concerned about their savings and concerned about their futures.

The Guardian and Daily Mirror did some brilliant reporting on day one of this scandal, but they have let themselves down since.

Their false reporting that Cummings had returned to Durham after going back to work at No10 Downing Street was based on one witness who wouldn’t even go on the record. It was wrong.

Fundamentally, it undermines their claim that this isn’t a politically motivated witch hunt.

Labour’s Emily Thornberry congratulated her constituents throwing a volley of abuse at Cummings as he walked to his house and no doubt supported the cretins who chucked eggs at his car too.

That’s not the country I believe we should be. We need to stand for tolerance and respectful debate, no matter your political views.

The days of pitchfork-style protests driving good people out of their positions for so called outrages driven by social media and the liberal media has to end.

That’s why Boris Johnson needs to ignore the ongoing noise and focus on the most important moment of his career: Pulling us out of this devastating health emergency and unprecedented economic crisis.

He will do that more successfully with Dominic Cummings by his side.

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A Look Into the Tanners' 'Full House' House, Which Actually Is in San Francisco

Their door is always open. DJ Tanner, Stephanie Tanner, and Kimmy Gibbler return to their iconic childhood home for the Netflix spinoff series, Fuller House. Since then, however, some things have changed with the show’s set and the actual house it was based on. Learn more about the Tanner-Fuller house and its actual location in San Francisco, here.

DJ Tanner took over her dad’s house on the Netflix spinoff series, ‘Fuller House’

There’s always room for more in the Tanner-Fuller house. In the Netflix original series featuring characters like DJ and Stephanie Tanner, the girls return to their childhood home for more adventures together with their new families. Most recently, that means making room for Stephanie’s baby girl, Danielle Jo Tanner. With a few of the members getting engaged, Steve Hale and Jimmy Gibbler might be moving in, too. 

Is the Full House house real, though? Technically, yes. The front of the house, seen during the opening of both Fuller House and Full House, actually exists. The inside, however, is not as real as some fans hope.

The ‘Full House’ house is a real house

Although this home is a huge part of Fuller House and Full House, the physical house is actually a private residence in San Francisco. Tourists can stop by the street and have a picnic, like the Tanners, in the park across the street, although the house isn’t available for tours or for visitors to catch a glimpse of the inside.

In fact, this house has since been updated from its feature on the 1990s sitcom. When it was on the market in 2019, the house had a new, black door and a totally modern interior, according to pictures from the Today Show. This is different from the “inside of the house,” seen on the show, which was actually a set built for the series. 

What makes the Tanner-Fuller House different?

Fans first caught a glimpse inside the Tanner home when the sitcom, Full House, premiered in 1987. There was a garage, which they transformed into Joey’s room. DJ and Stephanie roomed together, although later DJ got her own room, and Michelle moved in with Stephanie. Uncle Jesse had his own room, too. Once Uncle Jesse married Rebecca, they moved into the attic together with their twin boys.

This “house,” was, of course, just a set. The actual house in San Francisco has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It was listed at almost $6 million dollars. The same set and house exterior then appeared in the series, titled Fuller House.

Then, the house became a home for DJ’s three boys, as well as Kimmy Gibbler and her family. With Netflix’s spinoff series, the cast returned to the Tanner home, where DJ made new memories and even got engaged. It’s only a matter of time before the character is finally married to Steve, thanks to the second half of season 5, coming June 2020 to the streaming platform.

RELATED: DJ Tanner Is Finally Getting Married on ‘Fuller House’ – Here’s Our Look at Some of Her Less-Than-Worthy Boyfriends

RELATED: No, ‘American Horror Story’ Season 10 Cast Member, Macaulay Culkin, Was Not Michelle Tanner’s Best Friend on ‘Full House’

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Jennifer Aniston Had a Career in Telemarketing Before Making It Big in Hollywood

Today, Jennifer Aniston is one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Known for her roles in Friends, The Morning Show, Horrible Bosses, and The Break-Up, she has won an Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award, and multiple Screen Actors Guild Awards. Before making it big as an actress, Aniston worked as a telemarketer.

Jennifer Aniston worked as a telemarketer

In a 2019 interview with InStyle, Aniston discussed the jobs she had before becoming successful in Hollywood.

“I had moved away from home. I had been on six failed television shows. I waitressed for years in New York before I got anything. And I was a telemarketer selling time-shares in the Poconos. I didn’t make one sale. I was terrible at it. I was like, ‘Why do we have to call people at dinnertime?’” She said.

When she was younger, Aniston also gave people haircuts to make money.

“I cut hair for 10 bucks a head in junior high… I cut my dad’s hair, and he was on a soap opera. But then he admitted to me 15 years ago that he would go in and have the hairdresser on set clean it up,” Aniston said.

RELATED: Would Jennifer Aniston Join ‘Big Little Lies’ if Season 3 Happens? Reese Witherspoon Hopes So

How ‘The Morning Show’ came to be

The Morning Show is a drama series on Apple TV+. The show premiered in November 2019 and stars Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Billy Crudup, and Mark Duplass.

In the show, Aniston plays Alex Levy, an anchor on a fictional news program called The Morning Show. Carell plays her on-air partner Mitch Kessler who is fired for sexual misconduct, and Witherspoon’s character Bradley Jackson is brought on as Mitch’s replacement.

“The show gives you a behind-the-curtain peek at a lot of things — what it takes to pull off a morning show, the unique lifestyle of these anchors, the obsession with celebrity culture, and humanity in the midst of corruption. Plus we’re addressing the ugly truths of how men have treated women in our society, particularly in the workplace, for all these years,” Aniston told InStyle.

She continued, “We’re looking at the ways in which we’ve all normalized this behavior and how we’re all by-products of our environment, having grown up with sexism encoded in our messaging, however extreme or subtle. This show looks at how a culture of silence can slowly evolve and how we sometimes participate without even realizing it.”

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon pitched the show before the #MeToo movement

While one might assume The Morning Show was created as a response to the #MeToo movement, the show was actually pitched before it. After the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer, Aniston feels the show is even more timely.

“The show was always about the abuse of power, and women and sexism. We sold it in the summer, and then Harvey [Weinstein] happened in the fall,” Aniston said. “Reese and I were like…’The show is writing itself.’ It was as if the universe were begging for this patriarchal society to be exposed. It’s crazy.”

The actress also hopes the show will start a conversation and lead to real change in the workplace.

“There’s a new playbook that’s being written in real time, and this show looks at how we’re finally taking steps to acknowledge and dismantle the old, dysfunctional ways of doing business so we can level the playing field,” she told InStyle.

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How a Japanese cult tested nerve gas on sheep at Australian property

Untold story of how a deadly Japanese doomsday cult bought 400,000 hectares in the Australian Outback to test a Nazi nerve agent on sheep – before they poisoned 5,500 commuters in Tokyo’s subway

  • The Aum Supreme Truth cult was founded by Shoko Asahara in Japan in 1984
  • The sect purchased the remote Banjawarn Station in Western Australian in 1993
  • Cult members used the property to test the deadly nerve agent sarin on sheep
  • In 1995 they released sarin into the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters 
  • The story is featured in the Australian Federal Police’s latest Platypus magazine  

Banjawarn Station takes up a million acres of shrub and grassland on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert in the middle of Western Australia. 

It is marginal land to graze livestock but about as isolated as any habitable place that exists on the planet and the perfect location to do things without being watched. 

In April 1993 two senior members of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Supreme Truth flew from Tokyo to Perth on a fact-finding mission looking for just such a spot.

The group’s second-in-charge and its ‘intelligence minister’ chartered a plane with a local real estate agent and inspected properties for sale across the Outback.

The sect planned to stage terrorist attacks its leader believed would start a nuclear war between superpowers, and remote Australia seemed a safe place to seek refuge in the fallout. 

More immediately, they were in search of a hideout to plan and prepare for what has been described as the first use of a weapon of mass destruction by terrorists.  

Banjawarn Station was bought by the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Supreme Truth in 1993 and used to manufacture and test the nerve agent sarin. Two years later the cult used sarin in a fatal attack on Tokyo’s subway system. The Banjawarn homestead is pictured

Aum Supreme Truth cult members tested sarin on sheep and their carcasses were found by its next owners. Australian Federal Police visited the station after the 1995 Tokyo terrorist attack and tested the skeletons of the animals (pictured)

On the morning of March 20, 1995, members of the Aum Supreme Truth sect released the nerve agent sarin on five train stations in Tokyo, then the busiest subway network in the world. The attack (pictured) killed 12 commuters and poisoned 5,500, seriously injuring more than 50

Forward scouts Kiyohide Hayakawa and Yoshihiro Inoue eventually settled on Banjawarn Station, 4,047 square kilometres of mulga and saltbush, about 14 hours’ drive north-east of Perth.

The sect paid less than $500,000 for the land, avoiding foreign ownership rules by starting up two companies through an Australian citizen of Japanese decent. 

Over the next 18 months the sect – also known as Aum Shinrikyo – would use this property to conduct experiments with the nerve agent sarin, a chemical weapon developed in Nazi Germany.

What the group learnt about sarin on the station would culminate in an attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995 which would kill 12 innocent people and poison 5,500 other commuters.

Events at Banjawarn Station would become a focus of the Australian Federal Police’s Operation Sea King and inform the crime-fighting body’s future response to international terrorist threats. 

On September 9, 1993, a party of 25 sect members including their charismatic blind guru Shoko Asahara arrived in Perth on tourist visas issued in Tokyo, immediately attracting the attention of Customs. 

On September 9, 1993, a party of 25 sect members including their blind leader Shoko Asahara (pictured) arrived in Perth on tourist visas issued in Tokyo, immediately attracting the attention of Customs. The group later travelled to Banjawarn Station

Aum Supreme Truth members carried mining equipment and chemicals including hydrochloric acid to Perth in sake bottles and glass jars marked ‘hand soap’. Pictured are chemicals left behind by members of the Aum Supreme Truth sect at Banjawarn Station

Banjawarn Station is 4,047 square kilometres of mulga and saltbush 14 hours’ drive from Perth

The group had brought with them mining equipment and chemicals including hydrochloric acid contained in sake bottles and glass jars marked ‘hand soap’.

Their arrival and what they would later do at Banjawarn Station is covered in a feature article in the latest issue of the Australian Federal Police magazine Platypus. 

Detective Leading Senior Constable Mark Creighton told the magazine an AFP officer noted the amount of excess baggage the group was carrying and the jars of acid they claimed were soap.

‘Customs invited them to put their hands underneath the bottles and pour it out and they said, “Oh, no, no, we don’t want to do that”,’ Leading Senior Constable Mark Creighton said.

‘Then, apparently one of the Customs officers accidentally brushed against leader Shoko Asahara and were set upon by other sect members because they’d touched their “god”. 

‘They could not have done anything more to draw attention to themselves. Customs basically said, “Right, we’re going to go through you like a dose of salts.”

The AFP removed the Aum Supreme Truth sect’s ‘Laboratory Door’ from Banjawarn Station as evidence (pictured). ‘Toyo Laboratory’ was written in Japanese – a reference to sect member and Tokyo University physics graduate Toru Toyoda

Following the Tokyo terrorist attack police flew to Banjawarn station. They are pictured digging for evidence in 1996. Some of the evidence they gathered was sent to London for testing

Customs officers found ammonium chloride, sodium sulphate, perchloric acid and ammonium water, all of which was seized along with some laboratory equipment. 

The group claimed to be ignorant of local laws and said they were simply planning to do some gold mining. 

They paid $30,000 in excess baggage fees to cover equipment including a mechanical ditch digger, picks, petrol generators, gas masks, respirators and shovels. 

Leading Senior Constable Mark Creighton said the group attracted the attention of the AFP for another even more sinister reason. 

‘Accompanying the group were six or seven Japanese girls who were under the age of 18,’ he said. 

‘Their parents weren’t with them and the thing that struck us at the time was that this might have been child abuse because Banjawarn Station is miles from anywhere.’

Customs charged two members of the group, including ‘head scientist’ Seiichi Endo, with carrying dangerous goods on an aircraft and fined them $2,400 each but did not stop them proceeding. 

‘When the new station owners moved in they saw a particular site where a lot of sheep had perished,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton told Platypus. ‘They thought, “Well, that’s a bit unusual” because the sheep hadn’t been shorn’. Sheep skeletons on the station are pictured

Shinrikyo Aum was founded by Shoko Asahara (pictured) in Tokyo 1984 as a belief system drawing upon elements of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Hinduism, Christianity, yoga, and the writings of Nostradamus

That same day the sect members travelled by air and road to Banjawarn Station, where they would set up a laboratory in the homestead’s kitchen.

The lab would eventually be fitted with evaporators, bunsen burners, beakers, a rock crushing machine and its own generator but eight days after the sect’s arrival in Australia most of the group had flown home. 

SARIN IN THE SUBWAY 

On the morning of March 20, 1995, members of the Aum Supreme Truth sect released the nerve agent sarin on five train stations in Tokyo, then the busiest subway network in the world.

The terrorists used the tips of their umbrellas to pierce plastic bags of sarin before disembarking and escaping in getaway vehicles. 

The coordinated attacks killed 12 commuters and poisoned 5,500, seriously injuring more than 50.

Japanese prosecutors suggested cult leader Shoko Asahara knew about planned police raids on Aum Supreme Truth facilities and ordered the attacks to divert police attention away from the group.

At the cult’s headquarters in Kamikuishiki police found explosives, a Russian military helicopter and a stockpile of chemicals that could be used for producing enough sarin to kill four million people.

They also located cells containing prisoners and a safe holding millions of US dollars in cash and gold.

Over the next six weeks more than 150 cult members were arrested. Asahara was eventually found hiding within a wall of a cult building on May 16.

A subsequent trial found Asahara guilty of masterminding the Tokyo subway attack and he was sentenced to death.

Asahara and 12 other cult members were executed in Tokyo in July 2018.

A month later Asahara and several other sect members unsuccessfully applied for visas to return to Australia. 

In coming weeks and months those who had remained at Banjawarn would source local chemicals to replace what was confiscated in Perth and buy earth moving equipment from Kalgoorlie, 350km south of the station. 

The group bought eight mineral exploration leases from the Western Australian Government, believing that would prevent outsiders coming onto the station without their approval.

‘They had the mining leases and they thought they could do what they liked,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton told Platypus.

Phyliss Thomas, an elder in the nearest Aboriginal community, would later report having seen about five people wearing ‘space suits’ at the property in August. 

The group was standing by a twin-engine airplane while others were in the aircraft.

Bill Leaver, who delivered mail and groceries to sheep stations in the region, told the ABC he found the new occupants of Banjawarn stand-offish.

Mr Leaver, who once delivered barrels of hydrochloric acid to the station, said he witnessed a man cutting the lawn with scissors and heard strange repetitive tapes playing in the background.

Even more bizarrely, he spoke to a woman who said she was purging demons from her body by drinking mustard and salt water. 

Mr Leaver told the ABC he saw no evidence the new owners had any knowledge of grazing or interest in running a sheep station. 

Sect members may have thought their presence had gone largely unnoticed but by October the AFP had contacted the National Police Agency of Japan and received information including Shoko Asahara’s criminal record.

‘There was an officer based in Sydney we had a very good relationship with,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton said. ‘And they replied very, very quickly to the effect that essentially, “these people are no good”.’

Australian Federal Police travelled to Banjawarn Station in troop carriers from Kalgoorlie. Detective Superintendent Blaise O’Shaughnessy is pictured right putting on a protective mask before undertaking a search at the property

Aum Supreme Truth bought eight mineral exploration leases from the Western Australian Government, believing that would prevent outsiders coming onto the station without their approval. Police are pictured searching the property after the Tokyo subway attacks

The sect was suspected in Japan of conducting illegal activities but was classified as a religious organisation and police were wary of conducting overt investigations.

Shinrikyo Aum, founded by Asahara in Tokyo 1984, was a belief system drawing upon elements of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Hinduism, Christianity, yoga and the writings of Nostradamus.

At its height the sect claimed tens of thousands of members. 

In 1992 Asahara declared himself to be Christ and Japan’s only fully enlightened master, identifying himself as the ‘Lamb of God’.

Aum Supreme Truth sect members held unwavering beliefs in Asahara who encouraged them to drink 30ml bottles of his bathwater, which they bought for $300.  

Headsets were rented to members with the promise of mimicking Asahara’s brain waves and he offered his blood to drink as a way of achieving enlightenment.

Asahara’s stated mission was to take the sins of the world upon himself, claiming he could transfer spiritual power to his followers. He prophesied a third world war instigated by the United States which only Aum members would survive. 

Members of the Australian Federal Police and Western Australian Police are pictured around a campfire at Banjawarn Station as they searched the property in 1995 

The Tokyo subway deaths brought international attention to Banjawarn Station in 1995. Japanese reporters are pictured at the property after news of the sarin attack broke 

‘A lot of the members of the sect were outcasts and excluded from society,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton told Platypus. ‘They were either so intelligent that they couldn’t relate to other people or they were in their own fantasy world.’ 

Among the information Japanese police had received about the sect was its possible link to the 1989 murder of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who had been preparing a class action lawsuit against them. 

WHAT IS SARIN GAS? 

Sarin is a colourless, odorless liquid used as a chemical weapon due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent.

Exposure is lethal even at very low concentrations and death can occur within one to ten minutes after direct inhalation.

It causes suffocation from lung muscle paralysis unless antidotes are quickly administered.

Sarin is discovered in 1938 and developed in Nazi Germany. Its production is internationally outlawed.  

‘We had a pretty good handle on the membership of the group  and we worked closely with the Department of Immigration and Customs,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton said. 

‘The special police liaison officer in Tokyo made sure that their further applications for visas would be “politely refused”.

‘The fact that two of the group had been convicted of a really, really dangerous offence of carrying these dangerous goods on aircraft helped – in addition to all the other intelligence that we and other agencies collected.’

While authorities rejected further visa applications of known sect members, in November two adherents were granted travel documents from the Australian consulate in Osaka and went to Banjawarn where they stayed for six months. 

In June the sect staged a sarin attack on the Japanese city Matsumoto, releasing gas it had tested at Banajwarn from a refrigeration truck, killing eight people and injuring more than 500. 

In August it sold Banjawarn Station at a loss of $200,000 and in October the last of the group flew out of Perth and returned to Japan. 

Soldiers are pictured cleaning out Kasumigaseki subway station in Tokyo after the Aum Supreme Truth attack in March 1995. The rush-hour poisoning killed 12 commuters 

The little-known sect gained international attention when on March 20, 1995 it released sarin in five Tokyo train stations on what was then the busiest subway system in the world.  

The new owners of Banjawarn contacted local police several days after the attacks when news broke of Aum Supreme Truth’s involvement. 

‘When the new station owners moved in they saw a particular site where a lot of sheep had perished,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton told Platypus. 

‘They thought, “Well, that’s a bit unusual” because the sheep hadn’t been shorn – it looked like they’d been bludgeoned to death rather than shot.’ 

The new owners had also found laboratory equipment and containers of chemicals in the homestead. 

An AFP team flew to  Perth and joined local Western Australian police, then along with a government chemist drove from Kalgoorlie to Banjawarn in troop carriers laden with camping equipment. 

Rescue workers are pictured carrying survivors of the Tokyo subway attacks to emergency tents on March 20, 1995. The five attacks were timed to take place simultaneously

Tokyo Fire Department officers are pictured leaving Kasumigaseki station on March 20, 1995 in Tokyo after decontaminating the subway

Investigators carried out extensive searches and testing at the site, uncovering evidence of sarin experiments that had been conducted on sheep at the property. 

Forensic Officer Steve Olinder took samples from the dead animals back to Kalgoorlie where he spent a night in a motel with sheep skulls around him. 

The laboratory door taken by police from Banjawarn Station is at the AFP Museum

There was also evidence the sect had plans to build nuclear weapons and had dug up uranium with an excavator. 

‘The teams took samples, they took statements and they brought the samples back,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton said. 

‘The government chemist ran the checks… and they came back positive for sarin.

‘My understanding is that the chemist fell off his chair – like he’d done something wrong. But he checked it again and come back with exactly the same result.’

The samples were sent to a scientist in London who had previously found that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein killed thousands of Kurds in 1988 using mustard gas and nerve agents.

Information obtained by the AFP was also exchanged with the FBI and the NYPD Joint Terrorist Taskforce, which were investigating a New York chapter of Aum Supreme Truth. 

Leading Senior Constable Creighton said the Tokyo sarin attacks and events at Banjawarn marked a new era of crime fighting for the AFP and sparked one of its first investigations into international terrorism.

‘It was the basis of the counter terrorism legislation we take for granted today,’ he told Platypus. ‘It’s one of the more significant investigations that I have ever taken part in. 

DID AUM SUPREME TRUTH TEST A NUCLEAR BOMB AT BANJAWARN? 

On the night of 28 May 1993 a seismic disturbance was detected south of Banjawarn Station. It was a month after the property had been bought by the Aum Supreme Truth cult.

The event sent shock waves through hundreds of kilometres of desert but was witnessed only by a few long-distance truck drivers and gold prospectors.

They reported seeing a fireball in the sky and hearing a protracted low-frequency sound. No large asteroid impact was found and a mining explosion was discounted.

The Urban Geoscience Division of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation determined the event ‘showed similar characteristics consistent with typical seismic activity for Western Australia,’ and was most likely an earthquake.

Following the revelation that Banjawarn had been owned by the sect there was speculation the disturbance might have been the result of a test explosion of a nuclear device.

An Australian Federal Police investigation found no evidence to support the suggestion and cult members were not believed to in Australia at the time of the event.

‘Certainly, from a world-wide perspective, probably the highest one. It’s been 27 years since this and we’re still talking about it.

‘Not only were we speaking with the Japanese authorities, we were speaking with the FBI and preparing our submissions which eventually went to the US Senate as part of their Permanent Committee on Investigations.

‘When the AFP investigations team came to their conclusions they didn’t have any of the legislative tools that we take for granted now. 

‘There was no counter terrorism legislation. The [sect’s] idea was that their actions would kick off a nuclear war between the Americans and the Russians – and that Australia would be a safe haven after this.’

Police work done before the Tokyo attack had stopped Aum Supreme Truth from establishing anything more than a small, short-lived base in Australia. 

The graziers who bought Banjawarn Station alerted police to suspicious finds they had made when they learnt of the Tokyo attacks. Troop carriers are pictured taking police and supplies to the property

‘At the time the Aum sect were prevented from establishing a foothold in Australia by some very determined and proactive work by Federal and Western Australian agencies,’ Leading Senior Constable Creighton said.

‘The AFP, Australian Customs and Department of Immigration worked together to prevent senior Aum members from returning.’

Asahara was executed with Kiyohide Hayakawa and Yoshihiro Inoue, the pair who had scouted Banjawarn, as well as Seiichi Endo, the so-called head scientist, and nine other sect members in July 2018.

Aum Shinrikyo was classified as a terrorist organisation and still exists under the name Aleph.

Cattle have replaced sheep at their one-time Australian base and there is little trace left of the cult at Banjawarn Station. 

A brick barbecue built by police who searched the property remains on the site and writing on the wall of a machinery shed provides instructions in Japanese on how to start up the generator. 

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Mermaid Tail Succulents Are a Thing and They’re Absolutely Magical

Gather round, plant fanatics: Succulents that look like mermaid tails exist. Whether your whole house is ocean inspired or you just want a hint of fantasy, one of these plants will bring major underwater sea vibes into your home.

The magical plant—officially known as a crested Senecio vitalis—resembles a succulent and cactus mix and grows outward instead of toward a light source like most plants do, according to Gardenia. It usually grows 1 to 2 feet high and can reach a width of 3 to 5 feet, making it look like a mermaid or whale tail. The bluish-green color of the plant makes it a great addition to any neutral-colored or ocean-themed room.

The crested Senecio vitalis is native to the cape of South Africa. That means it grows in the winter and is dormant in the summer, which most succulents don’t do. The plant is super easy to take care of with low water and maintenance needs. It grows in sun or light shade and prefers sand or well-drained soil. Plus, it’s highly resistant to drought. It can survive long dry periods, which makes it the ideal match for the forgetful caretaker.

If you simply can’t wait to get one of these plants in your home, call up your local plant store to see if they have it. The plant seems to be in high demand because it’s hard to find online. If you’re determined to locate it, try your luck on Etsy.

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