Drugs no solution for Sciatica pain: study

People suffering from sciatica nerve pain spreading down their legs aren’t necessarily any better off if they take a commonly prescribed painkiller, a study has found.

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Researchers from the Sydney-based George Institute for Global Health gave 209 people with moderate-to-severe sciatica either the painkiller pregabalin or a placebo and found little difference between the relief they delivered.

Associate professor Christine Lin, who led the study, said the study was sparked by concerns that people with sciatica were being over-prescribed painkillers.

Sciatica is characterised by leg pain, including tingling, numbness or weakness, that radiates from the lower back and down the sciatic nerve that runs along the back of each leg.

People with lower back problems such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis can often have symptoms of sciatica.

Assoc prof Lin said the use of neuropathic pain medicines such as pregabalin had increased six fold in the past decade, while an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 Australians are thought to be affected by sciatica each year.

“But, until now there has been no high quality evidence to help patients and doctors know whether pregabalin works for treating sciatica,” she said on Thursday.

“Our results have shown pregabalin treatment did not relieve the pain, but did cause side effects such as dizziness.”

For the study, 108 people were given up to 600mg of pregabalin a day while the remaining 101 received a matching placebo.

After eight weeks, both sets of people reported similar levels of pain in their legs.

The results were also similar after 52 weeks.

However the people who took the pregabalin reported nearly twice as many adverse side effects, the most common being dizziness.

Despite the findings, almost two thirds of the patients in each group reported being extremely satisfied or satisfied with their treatment.

Assoc Prof Lin said two years after pregabalin was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2013, prescriptions soared to higher-than-expected 2.4 million.

She said the most important thing people with sciatica could do is avoid bed rest and keep active.

“Unfortunately there are no drugs proven to work for people with sciatica and even epidural injections only provide a small benefit in the short term,” Assoc prof Lin said.

“What we do know is that most people with sciatica do eventually recover with time.”

No Australians caught in London attack: Julie Bishop

It’s believed no Australians have been involved in a terror attack near London’s Houses of Parliament that has left at least four people dead.

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says that has been confirmed by Australia’s High Commissioner in London, who she has been in contact with from Washington.

“I can assure Australians that to this point no Australians have been identified as being involved,” she told reporters on Thursday.

Ms Bishop extended the Australian government’s deepest sympathy to the people of the UK after speaking to her counterpart Boris Johnson.

The minister insisted the government is doing all it can to ensure Australia is safe from such an attack.

“But as we have seen in the United Kingdom today, these events can occur,” she said.

Ms Bishop said that although nothing had been confirmed, the attack had the hallmarks of recent attacks by so-called Islamic State. 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has pledged support to Britain after the attack.

“This shocking crime, designed to weaken the U.K., will only make her stronger. All Australians stand with Britain today,” he tweeted early on Thursday.

The attacker, who was shot dead, mowed down several pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing it then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster and fatally stabbing a police officer.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia’s heartfelt sympathies were with the victims of the attack.

“Australia stands in resolute solidarity with the people of Britain in war against terrorism,” he tweeted.

Anti-IS coalition must hold gains: Bishop

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has urged the coalition battling the Islamic State terror group to ensure security gains in Syria and Iraq are lasting.

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She also called on countries in the region to de-escalate tensions and stop pursuing proxy conflicts, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and representatives from 66 other nations in the coalition against IS met in Washington DC on Wednesday.

The summit was underway when news broke of a terror attack in London.

Ms Bishop said there will be no peace in Iraq without political reconciliation or in Syria without a political solution and “regional countries must de-escalate tensions and stop pursuing proxy conflicts, particularly in Syria, to further their geo-political objectives”.

“We need to help the Iraqi government provide emergency assistance to displaced populations, get them home and restore services,” Ms Bishop said in a statement to the summit.

“There must be national and local level reconciliation to overcome past divisions and deliver inclusive governance.

“The law must be applied equally and justly to all citizens.

“In Syria the coalition must stay focused on ISIS.

“However, a solution needs to be found for the wider conflict otherwise it will continue to act as an incubator of terrorism and extremism.”

Mr Tillerson said the US would set up “interim zones of stability” to help refugees who fled IS and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria to return home.

Mr Tillerson also called on other countries to contribute more to the anti-IS effort.

“The United States will do its part, but the circumstances on the ground requires more from all of you,” Mr Tillerson said.

#WeAreNotAfraid: Londoners unite in wake of Westminster attack

Londoners are in mourning after five people were killed and 40 injured in an attack outside the British parliament on Wednesday when a man mowed down pedestrians, then stabbed a police officer before being shot dead.

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The car struck pedestrians on Westminster Bridge – a spot popular with tourists because of its views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – before crashing into the railings outside the heavily guarded parliament building. 

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The police officer and the attacker are among those killed.

Londoners have started a twitter trend #WeAreNotAfraid, in a show of defiance against the attacker – who police suspect was motivated by Islamist terrorism.

Attack us, you make us stronger. 🇬🇧

Try to divide us, we become closer. 🇬🇧

Try to make us fear you, we laugh. 🇬🇧#WeAreNotAfraid 🇬🇧 pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/ME2RWFz8sy

— WILDFIRE (@FingerInYourPie) March 22, 2017Love. Always. #London#LondonAttack#WeAreNotAfraid#Westminsterpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/wDfjIYnDqt

— Julia Larsen (@jubileejulia) March 22, 2017Sending thoughts and love to everyone affected by the #londonattack today. 🇬🇧 #WeAreNotAfraid

— Robbie Kay (@RobbieKay_) March 22, 2017British Sikh police officer instructs people in UK Parliament. He addressed MPs from the pulpit of #Westminster ! #WeAreNotAfraid#Londonpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/CmbdKwgTi2

— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) March 22, 2017Thinking of killed/injured. “Don’t mourn, organise” against far-Right of all stripes & in defence of our common humanity. #WeAreNotAfraid

— Maryam Namazie (@MaryamNamazie) March 22, 2017My thoughts are with the victims of the Westminster attack and their families. #Westminster#WeAreNotAfraid 🇬🇧

— Karima Delli (@KarimaDelli) March 22, 2017You will not break us, we will not be divided, we will stand stronger and closer. Hope is stronger than fear #WeAreNotAfraid#LondonIsOpenpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/ZY6T6jWdbY

— Peter Beer (@Peter_Beer) March 22, 2017Rush hour in London in all its crammed, busy glory. The best response to any terror attack is a city just being how it normally is.

— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) March 22, 2017

#WeAreNotAfraid#WeAreLondonpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/rs2fD4lz3M

— Andrea Ferrard (@AndreaFerrard) March 22, 2017To the policeman’s family who sacrificed his life for others today he was a true hero.#wearenotafraid

— Rich Estervez (@REstervez) March 22, 2017Important to remember this was just one deranged idiot. British culture is as broad as it is diverse. #Westminster#WeAreNotAfraid

— Hannah (@jaivomi) March 22, 2017Dear Americans & Trump fans. #PrayForLondon if you want but don’t use us to justify racism & religious hatred. #WeAreNotAfraid#Westminsterpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/QGfBYV5HH5

— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) March 22, 2017As a Londoner by birth I’m really feeling it this evening, time for total solidarity #wearenotafraidpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/anqd0j3DII

— Tony Bates (@babblingbates) March 22, 2017You will not break us, we will not be divided, we will stand stronger and closer. Hope is stronger than fear #WeAreNotAfraid#LondonIsOpenpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/ZY6T6jWdbY

— Peter Beer (@Peter_Beer) March 22, 2017A year ago today it was Brussels, today it’s London #Wearenotafraid#London#Westminster#BrusselsAttacks#Remember#Neverbedefeatedpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/ep4YCttN1y

— Ian Mitchell (@IanIm52) March 22, 2017We will NOT be divided. We are #StrongerTogether and #WeAreNotAfraid

Let us not judge; terrorism is to blame, not religion#PrayForLondonpic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/rURfU8QNXL

— Evie the Cat (@HMCabinetCat) March 22, 2017

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Catch Group buys Pumpkin Patch brand

Pumpkin Patch will be revived as a mostly online business after the owner of Australian e-commerce store CatchOfTheDay bought the collapsed children clothing retailer’s brand and intellectual assets.

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Catch Group, which also owns online businesses Scoopon, GroceryRun and Mumgo, plans to relaunch Pumpkin Patch’s online business in Australia and New Zealand by July and to gradually open a small number of brick and mortar stores.

Pumpkin Patch collapsed into receivership in October and all its 124 Australian stores were closed by March after receiver KordaMentah was unable to find a buyer.

Now, Catch Group has announced it has bought the intellectual rights, local and international trademarks, database of customers and product designs for an undisclosed sum.

Catch Group chief executive Nati Harpaz said the company was working on new apparel designs for infants to eight year olds; Pumpkin Patch’s traditional market before it expanded to include teenagers.

“One of their mistakes was to increase the range, from zero to eight, to zero to 14 when it wasn’t necessarily a place 13- and 14-year-olds wanted to walk into,” Mr Harpaz told AAP.

“Pumpkin Patch is a great brand loved by many Australians and New Zealanders and it had a great following but at some point it lost its way.”

Mr Harpaz said big stores, a large corporate structure, massive overheads, expensively priced apparel and stiffer competition, including from the likes of international retailers H&M and Zara, all played a part in its financial collapse.

Even so, he said, the brand had not been tarnished.

Similar to Zara, Catch Group would outsource some of its design work to agencies that specialise in fashion, rather than doing it just in-house, to ensure its clothing was in sync with the latest trends, Mr Harpaz said.

The group also plans to eventually have 15 to 20 small-format brick and mortar stores, including possible concession outlets inside large department stores.

Aussies to rock India with pace: Johnson

Former Test paceman Mitchell Johnson is backing Australia to trump a “nervous” India in the Test series decider that starts on Saturday, also tipping it will be a pace shootout.

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Dharamsala has a reputation of being among the most pace-friendly pitches in India, offering good bounce and carry.

Curator Sunil Chauhan indicated on Wednesday his green strip “will behave as it has done naturally here …it will stay fast and bouncy”.

It’s doubtful that will be the case after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) inspects facilities.

Pune curator Pandurang Salgaoncar promised “the ball will fly” off his deck for the first Test, only for the BCCI to demand a raging turner be prepared instead. That ploy backfired spectacularly as Steve O’Keefe spun Australia to a comfortable victory.

Johnson suggested Dharamsala would offer Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood plenty of assistance.

“Dharamsala is an amazing ground and the only times I have seen it are with grass on (the pitch),” Johnson told Fox Sports.

“That’s why the Australians will probably be confident and India will be a little bit nervous. They’ve been overconfident in this series and I think the scoreline shows that.”

Cummins was sent for routine scans because of his history of injuries but has been given the all clear to play the fourth Test. Hazlewood is also set to back up despite the tight turnaround.

India have summoned paceman Mohammed Shami to the scenic mountain town. Shami, who recently returned from a knee injury, is a faster bowler than veteran Ishant Sharma.

If Shami is added to the XI it is likely to be at the expense of Sharma, although the top-ranked Test side may be tempted to drop batsman Karun Nair.

Johnson opined Jackson Bird, who has been restricted to drinks duty throughout the tour, should earn a shock call-up to Australia’s XI at the expense of O’Keefe.

“Lyon will get a lot more bounce and he has been turning the ball quite nicely … it’s more of an Australian kind of wicket, I think you’ll see Nathan Lyon bowl and Bird come in as the third quick,” the left-armer said.

“It’s a tough one because they’ve both had their moments in this series, but I think you’ve got to go with experience (and play Lyon ahead of O’Keefe).”

‘Not a hypothetical’: Shorten slams PM over changes to race hate laws

Bill Shorten used a key dinner with ethnic community groups in Canberra to slam Malcolm Turnbull’s rewording of race hate speech laws.

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In his speech to the Australian Migration and Settlement Awards the opposition leader condemned the “powerful, vocal, middle-aged men” who think the change is “all just a thoroughly interesting philosophical discussion”.

“I’ve never been a victim of discrimination based on the colour of my skin, what I wear, or what I believe in,” Mr Shorten said to the room, which included the Prime Minister.

“I’ve never come face to face with prejudice and, by an overwhelming majority, neither have the people who are arguing that the Racial Discrimination Act needs to change.”

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In a message clearly intended for the prime minister, Mr Shorten said it was easy to “denigrate” a protection you never need, and “dismiss” a hurt you’ll never feel.  

“Racism isn’t a theory for the Asian student, being heckled and abused on her train home,” he said.  

“It’s not a hypothetical for the man in a turban driving a cab, or working the night shift at a service station, being mocked by drunks.

“It’s not a debating question for the Jewish family who see anti-Semitism on the rise and swastikas being splashed around as graffiti. 

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“It’s not an academic consideration for the child who comes home from school in tears because of what some bully said about the colour of her skin, or her ‘funny’ name, or the favourite lunch her parents packed.”

The government on Tuesday announced it would amend Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and planned to replace the words “offend”, “insult” and “humiliate” with “harass and intimidate”, which would set the bar higher for complaints.

Prime Minister Turnbull said it would protect free speech however the reforms look likely to be defeated in the Senate, with Labor, the Greens and necessary crossbenchers opposed to the change.

“People who make sacrifices, who work hard … are wondering why their parliament is arguing whether it should be easier to insult, offend and humiliate them on the basis of race,” Mr Shorten said.  

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The bold reform would also see the Australian Human Rights Commission given the power to head off vexatious complaints at an early stage.

Mr Shorten used his speech to defend the Migration Act from “political extremists” who he said seek to profit from an anti-migration message.

“They tell us that cutting migration will clear up traffic and make housing cheaper. [That] it will make our internet faster, our schools better and our weather sunnier,” he said.

“Citizens who feel like they’re not getting a fair go are told to blame minorities, to demonise difference.

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“You are the counterargument to that dishonesty. You are living proof of the benefits of migration,” he told the audience.

The prime minister earlier in the evening also sang the praises of those migrants who laid the foundations for contemporary Australia.

“No matter their circumstances, everyone who comes to this country knows, like the millions who came before, that Australia is a nation that has been built by the hands, the wits and the ambitions of its immigrants,” Malcolm Turnbull said.

“We welcome newcomers with open arms and mutual respect because we are confident in our culture, our institutions and our laws.”

‘A betrayal of Australia’s multicultural communities’

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Laptop ban sparks ire among Middle East travellers

From Saturday, passengers on flights to the United States and Britain from major hubs in Turkey and the Arab world will have to check in any device larger than a smartphone, including laptops and tablets.

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The United States and Britain have cited intelligence indicating passenger jets could be targeted via explosives planted in electronic devices.

Caught in the middle of the ban are thousands of travellers growing increasingly frustrated with what they see as an absurd measure.

“Is there anything else I should know before flying back home? Navy blue boxers not allowed? Should I shave?” asked an American expat living in Abu Dhabi with a direct flight to the United States next week.

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As the March 25 enforcement deadline looms, passengers are growing increasingly wary of restrictions on living in and travelling from the Middle East.

“They took my laptop and my camera,” said Mustafa, who did not give his second name, as he boarded a plane out of Dubai to the United States.

The US ban affects nine airlines from eight countries: Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The British ban, meanwhile, targets flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Canada and France have also said they are looking into similar regulations.

Watch: Counterterrorism expert discusses new gadet ban at US and UK airports

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‘Why?’

At the Tunis airport, a passenger flying to Canada via London said he was confused by the new measure.

“I mind because I need my laptop or my iPad. It’s a personal thing. Why do I have to put them in hold?” said Riadh, 33, adding he now feared they would be damaged or stolen.

In Lebanon, another traveller named Riad, an IT worker in his 50s, said he would copy his laptop hard drive before flying to London next week in case it disappeared or was damaged in transit.

“It’s a hassle. Why don’t they just turn the laptop on – or the tablet – as usual and put it through the machine?”

Many were quick to flag a lack of logic behind justifications of the ban.

“Every criminal in the Middle East: ‘Oh no! We can’t take the direct flight to the US! I hate connecting flights! *Cancels criminal plans*,” Egyptian analyst Mohamed El Dahshan wrote on Twitter.

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Ankara has said it plans on requesting that the US repeal the measure.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticised the ban as a unilateral, temporary move better replaced by “permanent” measures.

The British ban has sparked concern in tourism-dependant Tunisia, which is trying to recover from 2015 jihadist attacks that killed holidaymakers.

“It will have a negative impact on tourism,” said Mohamed Ali Toumi, the head of a Tunisian travel agents federation.

American officials have publicly cited security concerns.

“From what we know, the ban is linked to intelligence on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula gathered by the US military,” said Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.

Watch: Mixed reactions at Australian airports over US and UK gadget ban

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‘Time is money’

The US has conducted intense air raids on AQAP targets across Yemen since January. The Pentagon has confirmed 40 strikes this month.

The US Department of Homeland Security has also cited an explosion on a flight out of Somalia in February last year, in which the suspected bomber was killed.

The attack was claimed by the Shabaab insurgent group.

But experts do not rule out other motives behind the ban, including business lost to increasingly popular Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

US airlines do not have direct flights from the airports affected by its new restrictions.

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“American airlines are going to benefit simply because airlines make their business from the business travellers, so on these long flights that are in excess of eight or 12 hours, time is money – but there are definitely more pressing considerations linked to security,” said aviation analyst Kyle Bailey, president of the US-based consultancy KL Bailey Associates.

The UK ban will affect British Airways and easyJet, as well as airlines from targeted countries.

Critics have also raised lithium batteries – which are covered by strict regulations on domestic flights in the United States – as a point of concern.

“There is some concern around the lithium batteries in the cargo compartment, which could be highly explosive if they overheat,” Bailey said.

But “from what we hear, the terrorism risk outweighs the risk of fire at this point.”

Watch: US electronics ban on planes from the Middle East

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World leaders respond to London attack

At least three people were killed and more than 20 injured in the attack outside parliament when a man mowed down pedestrians with a car then leapt out and stabbed a police officer.

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In an address outside her Downing Street office, Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as “sick and depraved” saying the assailant chose the site as an assault on Britain’s democratic values.

Leaders from around the world have issued condemnation of the attack and messages of support for the UK.

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Prime Minister Theresa May described the attack as “sick and depraved” and said that “the terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city” in an attack on Britain’s democratic values.

Standing outside her Downing Street residence after an emergency cabinet meeting, May voiced defiance and said parliament would meet as normal on Thursday, while Britain’s alert level would be kept unchanged.

“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart,” said May, who was dressed in black.

Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany stood “firmly and resolutely alongside Britons in the struggle against all forms of terrorism” while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier added: “In these grave moments, we Germans feel very close to the British people.”

France

President Francois Hollande sent a message of “solidarity” and “support to the British people” saying France could identify with their pain after the attack, in which three French high school students were also wounded.

“France, which has been hit so hard in recent times, knows what the British people are suffering today,” he said. 

And Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: “Solidarity with our British friends, horribly attacked, full support for the injured French students, their families and their friends.”

United States

The White House condemned the attack and pledged  “the full support of the US government in responding to the attack and bringing those to justice who are responsible,” spokesman Sean Spicer said at a briefing.

I spoke with PM Theresa May of the United Kingdom to offer my condolences on today’s terror attack in London….长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/j1Cr3WMuU7 pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/2Jy51T7Kvi

— President Trump (@POTUS) March 22, 2017Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s attack in London and their families. Canadians remain united with the people of the UK. “

European Union

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the attack left him “highly emotional”.

In Brussels to commemorate the one-year anniversary of attacks on the main airport and a metro station, Juncker said “the fact that exactly on the same day something similar happened in London, and to London, is really putting me in the situation of someone who does not have… enough words to express how I am deeply feeling.”

European Council President Donald Tusk also tweeted about the attack.

My thoughts are with the victims of the Westminster attack. Europe stands firm with the UK against terror and ready to help.

— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 22, 2017Russia

Speaking on Russian television, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sent Moscow’s “condolences” and said Russia felt Britain’s pain.

“We consider it an evil to which it is necessary to fight collectively. In this moment, as always, our hearts are with Britons and we share their pain”.  

The Netherlands

Prime Minister Mark Rutte told Dutch television he was shocked by the “horrific” news and said: “The city is in our hearts. We are following the situation closely, and are in contact with the British authorities.”

Italy

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who observed a moment of silence at the start of a meeting with Social Democratic lawmakers, expressed his “condolences” and said: “Italy and the United Kingdom remain side-by-side in our condemnation and firm response to all forms of terrorism”.

Belgium

“Our condolences are with those who mourn and all who are affected in London,” Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted. “Belgium stands with U.K. in fight against terror.”

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised that “Turkey feels and shares deeply in the United Kingdom’s pain” and that it stood in “solidarity” with Britain “in the fight against terrorism”.

Erdogan had earlier warned Europeans in a speech on Wednesday that “no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” as a crisis between Ankara and the EU showed no signs of abating.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called terrorism “a global catastrophe” on Turkish television, adding: “All countries should come together on the terror issue and fight together against” it.

Greece

“We express our solidarity with the British people on today’s indiscriminate attack,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted.  

Spain

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted: “Spain stands with the British people. I condemn the attack in the vicinity of Westminster, London. Solidarity with the victims.”

Australia

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the assault was an attack on “freedom and democracy everywhere”.

“But we will never, ever let the terrorists win. We will defeat and destroy them on the battlefield, we will defeat and defy them at home,” he said.

“We will never change the way we live. We will never let them divide us.”

Qatar

Qatar stressed its rejection of violence “in all its forms” and its support for the UK government “in all the measures it takes to maintain the country’s security.”

Venezuela

Venezuela’s socialist President Nicola Maduro expressed “full support for the people of London and our absolute rejection of all forms of terrorism.” 

“Enough terrorism, enough war, enough violence. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and support the victims and their families,” he said in televised comments.

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Security ramped up at Australian parliament in wake of London attack

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has extended his condolences to victims of the terror attack in London.

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“The attack on the British parliament is an attack on parliaments, freedom and democracy everywhere,” he told reporters on Thursday morning.

“We will never, ever let the terrorists win. We will defeat and destroy them on the battlefield, we will defeat and defy them at home.

“We will never change the way we live. We will never let them divide us.”

WATCH: PM Turnbull condemns London attack

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Mr Turnbull said he is yet to speak to the British Prime Minister Theresa May as she continues to deal with the fallout from the deadly attack.

But he did confirm Australia’s terror threat level remains at ‘probable’.

“The Australian Federal Police commissioner has confirmed there will be an increase in police present in Parliament House here in Canberra today,” he said.

“We are very alert to the vulnerabilities of places of mass gathering and the risk of lone attackers, like the perpetrators, the terrorist in London.”

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The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong arrived in Canberra last night for a five day visit to Australia.

The Premier will be ceremonially welcomed to Parliament House this morning, followed by meetings with the Mr Turnbull, the governor-general and the opposition leader.

Watch: Julie Bishop responds to the London attack

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