I don't know if anyone has heard this, but I live in Sydney and today there is news of a big chunk of the city centre being shut down and people being held hostage in a Lindt cafe, with an Islamic flag, in this case it is a black flag that is being reported by Australian news as saying "There is no God but Allah" and "Mohammed is the messenger of God" in Arabic, but I have been told that the correct translation is "There is no god but God", being displayed in the window. This seems to have happened within the last hour or so. Australia has very limited access to guns, and generally events like this are very rare. Attacks that target the public are so rare here, it's a very different environment than America where I swear there are more mass shootings than one could count. Australia is a quite racist country as well and I think this will particularly exacerbate racist tension and animosity towards Australians who are Muslim or from the Middle East.

Edited to clarify what the flag is like. Also it seems to not be letting me reply to comments, I have replied to about three that don't appear to be showing up, sorry about that. If there is any news to the end of this situation I will post links.

ETA: So the seige is over, with three casualties, including the lone gunman. This is so far beyond normal Australian life and is very upsetting news, with a lot of the people I spoke to, who live close to this area, quite casual in their belief that there would be no loss of life.