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Confusing road rules question strikes again

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A confusing question posted by Queensland's Department of Transport has had drivers fighting with each other in the Facebook comments.</p> <p>The Department of Transport posted a graphic of a car entering a roundabout and challenged social media users to "prove they know their road rules".</p> <p>"The driver of the blue car is turning right at the roundabout. Which of the following is the correct way to indicate so that the other drivers know what they intend to do?" the Department asked.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTMRQld%2Fphotos%2Fa.295748123801411%2F3465883320121193%2F&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=659&amp;appId" width="552" height="659" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <p>The quiz had four options, with option A saying no indicating was needed, option B saying that you don't indicate when entering the roundabout but you indicate left before exiting, option C was indicating right while approaching and entering the roundabout and indicate left before indicating and finally, option D was indicating right while approaching, entering and exiting the roundabout.</p> <p>The answer to the question is option C, but he quiz quickly turned into drivers harassing other drivers for their refusal to follow basic road rules. </p> <p>“C, although cars in Bundaberg don’t come fitted with indicators,” one quipped.</p> <p>“We all know C is the correct answer, but A and B is how most people drive these days,” another weighed in.</p> <p>Others mused how “amazing” it was how few people knew their road rules.</p> <p>“Interesting statistics here, all comments 100 per cent correct, only one per cent will do the right thing …” another said.</p> <p>"All the ones that say C, do you actually do it?" one questioned.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Teen driver who lied after killing boy in car crash sentenced

<p>A boy who caused the death of another teenager by crashing a car while driving dangerously north of Brisbane has been handed a detention sentence.</p> <p>Jacob Hopkins, 14, was injured during the crash in Rothwell in the Moreton Bay region in May 2019.</p> <p>The underage driver who cannot be named due to being 14-years-old, will be released after serving half of his four-year detention service.</p> <p>He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm in Queensland Children’s Court.</p> <p>The teenager recklessly drove along Anzac Avenue, nearly hitting a young girl by a metre as she crossed the road.</p> <p>The car, which contained six teens, then collided with another car driven by a mother with her four children inside in Rothwell.</p> <p>The family luckily managed to escape with minor injuries, but some of the teenagers suffered from serious injuries including Jacob.</p> <p>Jacob’s family, who were sitting on the front seat during the crash, told the court about the impact of his death.</p> <p>“Every time I hear sirens I have flashbacks to the crash scene,” his sister said in a victim impact statement.</p> <p>“My children will grow up not knowing their uncle Jacob.”</p> <p>After the crash occurred, the driver lied and told police Jacob was the one driving the vehicle.</p> <p>The court heard he had a troubled upbringing and started using drugs from the age of 10.</p> <p>The judge said he had been showing signs of rehabilitation since the incident.</p> <p>“[There is] some hope you can move forward in your life and become a contributing member of the community,” the judge said in sentencing.</p> <p>Convictions weren’t recorded against the boy.</p> <p>In a statement to 7NEWS, Jacob’s sister reflected on the sentence.</p> <p>“While the four-year sentence is significant, no amount of time served would ever be enough,” she said.</p> <p>“It is our hope that [the driver] takes these four years to genuinely reflect on the impact of his decisions and that he exits the system better than he entered it.”</p>

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"Justice for Chloe": Unbearable choice for grandfather accused of cruise ship fatal fall

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A grandfather accused in the fatal fall of his granddaughter Chloe from an 11th storey window of a cruise ship pleaded guilty on Thursday to negligent homicide.</p> <p>Salvatore "Sam" Anello said that he wanted to help end "this nightmare" for his family.</p> <p>His 18-month-old granddaughter Chloe slipped from his grip and fell 46 metres from an open window on a Royal Caribbean Cruises' Freedom of the Seas ship in July 2019 as the ship docked in Puerto Rico.</p> <p>Puerto Rico prosecutor Laura Hernandez said Anello would be sentenced on December 10th.</p> <p>“We have found justice for Chloe,” she said.</p> <p>A representative for Anello’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said in a statement to America’s NBC TODAY that Anello will not serve any jail time and will serve his probation in Indiana.</p> <p>“This decision was an incredibly difficult one for Sam and the family, but because the plea agreement includes no jail time and no admission of facts, it was decided the plea deal is in the best interests of the family so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe and fighting for cruise passenger safety by raising awareness about the need for all common carriers to adhere to window fall prevention laws designed to protect children from falling from windows,” Winkleman said in a statement.</p> <p>Winkleman also added that the family would continue its civil suit against Royal Caribbean with the goal of discovering why the window was allowed to be open.</p> <p>Anello, 51, said that he did not know that the window in the children's play area was open.</p> <p>“I wasn’t drinking and I wasn’t dangling her out of a window,” he said in a previous statement. He said he is colourblind and might not have realized the tinted window was open.</p> <p>“We will continue the fight for justice for Chloe and to hold Royal Caribbean accountable for its brazen failure to follow the standards designed precisely to prevent children from falling out of windows,” Winkleman said in his statement.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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8-year-old dies after being forced to “jump on trampoline”

<p>A young girl who allegedly was forced to jump on a trampoline as punishment in sweltering heat has died of dehydration.<span> </span><br /><br />Daniel and Ashley Schwarz - aged 44 and 34 - have been charged over the death of eight-year-old Jaylin in Odessa, Texas, CBS7 has reported.<br /><br />Jaylin was pronounced dead at a home on August 29, after police were called.<br /><br />Investigators found the young girl had allegedly been punished by the couple. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838276/parents-abuse.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f3f3238b2e544b8eaaea978f0049b4fc" /></p> <p>“[The] investigation revealed that the 8-year-old child had been punished and was not allowed to eat breakfast and was required to jump on the trampoline without stopping for an extended period of time,” the Odessa Police Department said in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.odessapd.com/Home/Components/News/News/10518/820" target="_blank">a statement</a>. <span></span></p> <p><span>“Further investigation revealed that the 8-year-old child was not allowed to drink any water because she was not jumping.”</span></p> <p>They reportedly forced her to jump on a trampoline nonstop.<br /><br />Police said the eight-year-old was also not allowed to drink any water.<br /><br />The temperature of the trampoline reached about 43 degrees, while the ground was 65 degrees.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838275/parents-abuse-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/80956067076045b5b09a67769c925cbd" /><br /><br />An autopsy ruled Jaylin’s death a murder and said the cause of death was dehydration.<br /><br />The Schwarzs have been arrested and charged following the autopsy results.<br /><br />Family members said the pair were not her parents, but her “guardians”.</p>

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Mum who took on road tolls in court loses “faith in the justice system”

<p>Heidi Jackel says she has lost “faith in the justice system” after being hit with a massive bill for unpaid road tolls that could force her to sell her home.</p> <p>The mother of two has taken on the might of toll road giant Transurban and lost.</p> <p>"I've always believed there is some justice in the justice system," she says.</p> <p>Ms Jackel maintains she honestly thought she paid $14,500 in administration fees that were sprung on her after she did not pay tolls.</p> <p>"I would not wish this on my worst enemy," she said back in August to<span> </span><em>A Current Affair</em>.</p> <p>"No one should have to go through this... no one."</p> <p>Ms Jackel had been hit with a $22,000 bill for unpaid tolls which includes over $14,700 in administration fees.</p> <p>Ms Jackel was unaware her etag had stopped working but accepted that it had and paid the $7000 in unpaid tolls.</p> <p>But she thought the $10 and $20 administration fees were exorbitant, so she took it to court.</p> <p>"It was so hard," Ms Jackel said.</p> <p>"I'm really sorry."</p> <p>Westlink M7 told Ms Jackel the administration fees were charged by Roads and Maritime Services, which she disputed.</p> <p>"They (Westlink M7) know as well as I do that... that charge is, is… it's a rort… it's ripping people off," she said.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a court has backed the road toll company and ordered Ms Jackel to pay the admin fees.   </p> <p>"It's very disappointing," she admitted outside of court.</p> <p>"Because it means that anyone can charge an admin fee and not prove that that's the actual, real admin cost.</p> <p>“The rich people and the big companies, they just get away with doing whatever they like.</p> <p>Ms Jackel has revealed she is scared for what her future holds.</p> <p>"I don't know... will I lose my house? I don't know, I have no idea," she said.</p> <p>"I don't have $15,000. I don't even have $5000... all I have is the house."</p> <p>She says she has found “the silver lining in this dark, dark cloud,” which is that she will not have to pay Westlink M7's legal costs.</p> <p> </p>

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Inside the hostile brawl between Erin Molan and the Daily Mail

<p>The Daily Mail has not taken Erin Molan’s defamation lawsuit lying down, revealing they have been raking through several years of rugby league podcasts in an attempt to prove that the Channel nine presenter is objectively racist.</p> <p>DM has reportedly collected a number of quotes from <em>2GB’s Continuous Call Team</em> archive and have on record saying “You like raw feesh?”, “Pick up your chopsticks” and “I wuv you wery long time”.</p> <p>The 61-page defence alleges the <em>Continuous Call Team</em> frequently spewed out “racist content” on the show by mocking Pacific Islander and Maori names along with emulating Chinese, Indian and other accents.</p> <p>Molan’s lawyer told NCA <em>NewsWire</em> in a statement: “Ms Molan has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia for defamatory allegations made about her by the Daily Mail.</p> <p>“Those allegations, now repeated by the Daily Mail in its defence, are denied. It would be inappropriate to comment further as the matter is before the court.”</p> <p>Molan claimed that the Daily Mail painted her as a racist and an “arrogant white woman of privilege” in a story about her saying “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” on air back in June.</p> <p>She has repeatedly defended herself by saying she was not mocking Polynesian names and was actually referencing to a past <em>Continuous Call Team</em> story about Chris and Ray Warren.</p> <p>The Daily Mail’s defence was filed on Monday and contains transcripts of 24 conversations on<em> Continuous Call Team</em> dating back to March 2017.</p> <p>It involves Molan and past and present co-hosts Ray Hadley, Bob Fulton, Darryl Brohman and others.</p> <p>One excerpt dating back to April 1, 2017, hears Hadley saying, “And now, why don’t we have a conversation with Darryl doing his Chinese and Erin doing her Chinese?”</p> <p>“Herro, I wery goo lookin,” Molan said, according to the defence.</p> <p>“Just do one for me, ‘I love you long time’, just do that for me,” Hadley said.</p> <p>“I wuv you wery long tiyme, wery handsome man, ohhh, you like to walk with me in a cercle,” Ms Molan said.</p> <p>In another clip given by the defence on March 17, 2018, Hadley tells a story about women in Japan giving birth.</p> <p>“You like raw feesh,” Molan said. “Sorry, was that racist?”</p> <p>“Yeah … it wasn’t good,” Fulton said.</p> <p>“Was it really? No it wasn’t, ’cause they do,” Molan said.</p> <p>According to the defence, Molan sometimes participated in the conversations.</p> <p>The defence also said that at times she laughed along, stayed silent, or asked “in a humorous fashion” whether what had been said was racist.</p> <p>In another excerpt from August 24, 2019, Brohman states he is going to release a Chinese cookbook.</p> <p>“Gonna put a big nappy on so I look like a sumo and say, ‘Come and get it! Big Marn’s Chinese Cookbook!’,” he allegedly said.</p> <p>“Herro! That’s gonna be the name of the book,” Brohman said later.</p> <p>“I just don’t know if this is OK now in this day and age,” Molan said.</p> <p>“Oh, who cares,” Fulton responded.</p> <p>Later in the conversation, the defence claims Molan said “Now we’re all talking like ohhh … you no … bad boy … you naughty … dwop your pen … pick up your chopstick” in an accent.</p> <p>“Can I just throw something in here? Do we like working here? I don’t think we’re gonna have a big chance of being here next year,” Fulton said.</p> <p>“I know we like to toe the line but this might be like a whole heel over the line,” Molan said.</p> <p>“No, no, we’re right,” Mark Levy said.</p> <p>The defence also included another transcript from March 18, 2017, in which Brohman put on several accents, including Irish, American, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian.</p> <p>Molan said: “Someone will write in now and say we’re being racist. I think it’s hilarious.”</p> <p>The defence also includes transcripts of Brohman who recounted the story about Chris and Ray Warren.</p> <p>It is the story that Molan said she was referencing with her original comment.</p> <p>“It was last year at a Manly game and they had a reserve that I hadn’t seen before, but he had a name with about 30 letters in it, and I had trouble pronouncing it, and I said to Chris, ‘Mate, how do you pronounce this bloke’s name?’” Brohman said on April 5, 2020.</p> <p>“He said, ‘Well, Dad thought his name was Chooka-lucka-loo-loo, but I said no, no, no, Dad, I think it’s Chooka-lucka-loo-loo-loo-loo.’”</p> <p>Audio of the conversations remain publicly available online.</p> <p>In the defence, the Daily Mail claims these conversations prove Molan is racist.</p> <p>Molan also accused the Daily Mail of falsely stating she refused to apologise when she says she had in fact apologised on air.</p> <p>In the defence, the media outlet said it was not “a true apology” and she had “simply stated that if people ‘in the current climate’ had been offended or hurt by her that she was sorry”.</p>

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“Can you call my mum?” Teen's terrified phone calls after fatal stabbing finally revealed

<p>A teenage boy’s desperate Triple Zero call has been revealed after a coronial inquest into the fatal stabbing of two men who raided a 19-year-old’s Queensland home.</p> <p>As part of a Cairns inquest, the calls were played as evidence.</p> <p>They reveal the horrific details surrounding after a then-19-year-old Dean Webber opened his door to help 29-year-old Candice Locke, who had told him she was trying to escape a group of men.</p> <p>It was the night of the 2018 NRL Grand Final that Sydney Roosters just beaten the Melbourne Storm when a small part in Alva Beach in North Queensland went devastatingly wrong.</p> <p>The two men who died outside Mr Webber's home were Tom Davy and Corey Christensen.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838253/police-call-teen-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/13974151e5e84602a1ee734284ab05e2" /></p> <p>Mr Christensen and Mr Davy had been drinking with Ms Locke at a party down the road before the incident occurred.</p> <p>Mr Webber has never been charged by police over their deaths.</p> <p>He told authorities he fought the men off in self-defence with a kitchen knife.</p> <p>He did so in a bid to protect Ms Locke who had fallen from a beach buggy and injured her shoulder before she knocked on the teenager’s door.</p> <p>Mr Webber took her in and locked the door but says that Ms Locke's boyfriend Mr Davy, 27, and Mr Christensen, 37, ripped the sliding door off its tracks to get in.</p> <p>Mr Webber can be heard crying in the devastating phone call, asking for his mum while he told the operator: "I need police right now. I've just stabbed a bloke that broke into my house".</p> <p>"Broke into my house… there's blood everywhere. I think I've killed him," he said.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838252/police-call-teen-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fe2dfaa2c3894bc4bb28fe16f6f39516" /></p> <p>"Were gonna kill me, I didn't want to do it.</p> <p>"They ripped the door off."</p> <p>Mr Webber told the operator he was thrown to the ground which is when he started stabbing.</p> <p>"I've got an injured lady with me they tried, they physically assaulted her and (indistinct) assaulted me," Mr Webber told the operator.</p> <p>"I just, he, he grabbed me arm and it was in me left, I had it in me left arm and I tried anything I could to protect myself because he was gonna kill me.</p> <p>"I don't know how I'm still alive to be honest."</p> <p>After the struggle with Mr Webber, both Mr Christensen and Mr Davy staggered outside onto the street.</p> <p>20 minutes went by before police arrived on the scene.</p> <p>"Can you call my mum? I know it's stupid," Mr Webber could be heard saying.</p> <p>"You can get some extra police like a police person physically talking to me? Then I'll feel safe, I'll feel safe to hang up."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838254/police-call-teen.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f874d38ded994f48adce3e425396d629" /></p> <p>On the call Ms Locke can be heard explaining the pain in her shoulder while defending Mr Webber's actions.</p> <p>"He needs help Dean as well he's a mess, and Dean didn't do anything wrong," Ms Locke said.</p> <p>Dean protected me."</p> <p>The operator went on to ask the pair to turn on the lights after sitting in complete darkness the entirety of the ordeal.</p> <p>Mr Webber and Ms Locke can be heard becoming hysterical after seeing the distressing scene before them.</p> <p>"Oh my god that was such a bad decision," Mr Webber said.</p> <p>It is noted police did not immediately enter the property but instead dealt with the bloody situation outside.</p> <p>Mr Webber and Ms Locke can be heard on the call comforting one another.</p> <p>"Candice if you don't see me again after this, I'm just glad I could help," Mr Webber said.</p> <p>"No, you're not going anywhere you helped me and that will f----- stand," Ms Locke said.</p> <p>When the police finally got to the door, the operator told Mr Webber not to move and to do what the police said.</p> <p>"Yep, I'm in handcuffs it's all good," he said.</p>

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Novak Djokovic accused of cheating at French Open

<p>Novak Djokovic had to come from behind to make the French Open semi-finals and the Serbian star has been accused of using dodgy tactics to get there.</p> <p>Djokovic earned his spot in the final four after beating Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4, but he asked for a medial timeout while losing his only set of the tournament.</p> <p>The world No.1 had his arm and neck treated but Busta suspected foul play and questioned whether he was really injured after the match concluded.</p> <p>“Every time the match gets complicated, he asks for medical assistance,” Busta said.</p> <p>“It’s something that he has been doing for years. When he is down, he asks for the trainer.</p> <p>“The last (few) years, he’s always doing this when he has problems on court.</p> <p>“Maybe it’s the pressure or something that he needs to do it.</p> <p>“But, he continues playing normal. I don’t know if he’s in pain really. Ask him.”</p> <p>Djokovic refuted the accusation and emphasised he needed treatment.</p> <p>“No, it wasn’t that at all,” he said.</p> <p>“I had to deal with that. I told you guys many times I’m over it. I’m not thinking about it at all. I mean, zero percent.”</p> <p>“As the match went on, I felt better, didn’t feel as much pain.</p> <p>“I had some neck issues and some shoulder issues. I’ll just say that. I don’t want to get really too much into it.”</p> <p>Djokovic next faces Greek young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas, while Rafael Nadal takes on Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the other semi-final.</p>

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Killer dad reveals sick details of how he murdered his family

<p><span>Chris Watts’ has bared all the horrific details in new letters written from his prison cell.</span><br /><br /><span>They have resurfaced as a Netflix documentary reveals more details about the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters.</span><br /><br /><span>Watts, 35, from the US state of Colorado, was jailed for murdering his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, back in August 2018.</span><br /><br /><span>After killing his wife, Watts drove her body and his daughters to an oil worksite owned by a previous employer over 65 kilometres from the family home and smothered the girls with a blanket.</span><br /><br /><span>His letters have resurfaced after they were published last year in Letters From Christopher.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838194/prince-harry-chris-watts-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8611ac6ab50e41e08d5048b7c55113cd" /><br /><br /><span>The book was written by Cheryln Cradle after she struck up correspondence with him while he began his life sentence.</span><br /><br /><span>In one of the letters shown to Daily Mail TV, Watts revealed the moments leading up to his family’s death.</span><br /><br /><span>“August 13th, morning of, I went to the girls’ room first, before Shanann and I had our argument,” he wrote.</span><br /><br /><span>“I went to Bella’s room, then Cece’s room and used a pillow from their bed (to kill them). That’s why the cause of death was smothering. After I left Cece’s room, then I climbed back in bed with Shanann and our argument ensued.</span><br /><br /><span>“After Shanann had passed, Bella and Cece woke back up. I’m not sure how they woke back up, but they did. Bella’s eyes were bruised and both girls looked like they had been through trauma.”</span><br /><br /><span>Following the deaths of his wife and children, Watts claimed he murdered his wife as revenge after she killed their two girls.</span><br /><br /><span>However, he later debunked his own story in the letters to Cradle and confessed he had been planning the murders.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838193/prince-harry-chris-watts-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b5d7e7bf918f418eaaebc2f4f8d7301b" /><br /><span>It is believed he plotted the killings in order to be with his mistress Nichol Kessinger.</span><br /><br /><span>“August 12th when I finished putting the girls to bed, I walked away and said, ‘That’s the last time I’m going to be tucking my babies in’. I knew what was going to happen the day before and I did nothing to stop it,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>According to Daily Mail TV, the convicted killer also admitted to giving Shanann Oxycodone.</span><br /><br /><span>He did it in an attempt to cause her to miscarriage.</span><br /><br /><span>In the moments before Watts killed his wife, he told her he did not love her anymore.</span><br /><br /><span>“Isn’t it weird how I look back and what I remember so much is her face getting all black with streaks of mascara?” he wrote in the letters.</span><br /><br /><span>“All the weeks of me thinking about killing her, and now I was faced with it. When she started to get drowsy, I somehow knew how to squeeze the jugular veins until it cut off the blood flow to her brain, and she passed out.</span><br /><br /><span>“I knew if I took my hands off of her, she would still keep me from Nikki. They asked me why she couldn't fight back, it's because she couldn't fight back. Her eyes filled with blood; as she looked at me and she died. I knew she was gone when she relieved herself.”</span><br /><br /><span>The new Netflix documentary, American Murder: The Family Next Door, revealed new CCTV footage.</span><br /><br /><span>It follows the tense moment Watts, his neighbour Nate Trinastich and a police officer look over CCTV to try and determine what happened on the night Shanann and her daughters disappeared.</span><br /><br /><span>Watts appears fidgety and nervous as the three men watch the footage together.</span><br /><br /><span>The CCTV which was recorded from Mr Trinastich’s driveway, shows Watts parking in a different spot to where he usually parked.</span><br /><br /><span>The footage also showed Watts backing into the driveway at 5.17 am and he then appears to load items into his car.</span><br /><br /><span>Watts explained in the moment that he normally parks outside on the street because it makes it easier “to lug everything with all the tools [he] had to bring in”.</span><br /><br /><span>He then went on to say that the reason he parked in a different spot is because he had issues with people trying to break in and steal stuff from his home.</span><br /><br /><span>Police now can confirm the footage shown in the documentary was actually the horrifying moment Watts loafed his family into the car.</span></p>

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Jim's Mowing joins Class Action against VIC Government

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Around 700 Jim's Mowing franchisees who were prevented from working under stage four restrictions in Victoria are joining a multimillion lawsuit against the Victorian Government.</p> <p>Carbone Lawyers managing partner Tony Carbone told NCA NewsWire that his firm would be pushing for around $20 million on compensation.</p> <p>“The bottom line is these gardeners should have been working, how is it possible that a gardener working on their own outside can infect anyone,” he said.</p> <p>“The government’s whole decision making on who can and can’t work was so arbitrary these gardeners have been left so destitute they are suffering from mental illness.”</p> <p>Swinburne Law School Dean Mirko Bagaric said that this would "dwarf" any class-action lawsuit that had occurred previously and could be the biggest in Australia's history. </p> <p>“Nearly every Victorian has been adversely affected by this,” he said.</p> <p>Jim's Mowing founder Jim Penman said to NCA NewsWire that around 700 of his franchisees and self-employed tradesmen had been impacted by the lockdown, losing around $3,000 a week.</p> <p>“We hold the Premier, the Health Minister and other senior ministers personally responsible for the failures of quarantine that unleashed this disaster upon our state,” Mr Penman said.</p> <p>“Further, the Premier’s arbitrary action in ignoring the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services and barring sole operators from working, brought needless loss and misery upon many.</p> <p>“The senseless waste of this measure is shown by the fact that council gardeners continued working in groups through the lockdown, thus raising the risk of infection.</p> <p>“This senseless policy still continues, with dog grooming salons allowed to operate with multiple staff, while sole operators cannot. A rational policy would have insisted that all gardening and dog grooming work be done by individuals, thus reducing the risk of infection with far less mental and financial injury.”</p> <p>He also said that Carbone Lawyers were "so confident' of the win that they've agreed to a "no win no fee" arrangement.</p> <p>“Yes I’ve lost a bit of money during this but I’m not interested in getting that money back I just want every one of my franchisees to get every cent back because they’re the ones who are doing it tough and going through a lot of financial pressure,” the mowing magnate said.</p> <p>This is the latest development after Penman revealed to seek compensation for individual franchises through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).</p> <p>He said that both legal pathways would still be going ahead with Mr Penman saying “both options will be pursued”.</p> <p>“I don’t care how it’s done I just want the money to go back into the hands of these hard workers who should have never been prevented from working and earning an honest living.”</p> <p>Jim's Mowing franchises were ordered to stop work on August 5 after the Premier's strict decision to not allow lawn mowing and garden maintenance during the new COVID-19 guidelines.</p> <p>The Premier’s office was contacted for comment, with a spokesperson saying: “It would be inappropriate to comment on a matter before the courts”.</p> <p><em>Hero image credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jimsmowing.com.au/" target="_blank">jimsmowing.com.au</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Explosive claims emerge claiming George Pell trial was rigged

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A senior Italian Cardinal has been accused of using $1.14 million of Vatican funds to pay witnesses in Cardinal George Pell's sexual abuse trial to secure a conviction against his rival.</p> <p>Italian media are reporting that allegedly Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu is suspected of wiring money to witnesses testifying in Cardinal Pell's trial to ensure an aggressive testimony.</p> <p>This allegedly occurred during the 2019 trial after Pell was accused of molesting choir boys in the 1990s. Pell was convicted, sentenced, imprisoned and later cleared of the charges.</p> <p>It's alleged that this was a ploy to derail Cardinal Pell's exposure of Cardinal Becciu, where a "huge enmity" is reported between the pair.</p> <p>The 72-year-old is also allegedly suspected of pushing Vatican funds to charities and businesses run by his three brothers.</p> <p><em>La Repubblica</em> and <em>Corriere della Sera</em> have quoted leaked documents that Vatican investigators suspect Cardinal Becciu of funnelling the money to Melbourne Supreme Court witnesses.</p> <p>Investigators allege that Cardinal Becciu hoped the money would ruin Pell's transparency program which would have exposed Becciu's management of Vatican funds.</p> <p>Cardinal Becciu has strongly denied the allegations, saying, “I categorically deny interfering in any way in the trial of Cardinal Pell.”</p> <p>The "huge enmity" between the pair initially started as Pell had been assigned by Pope Francis to clean up Vatican accounting practices, but his attempts were stopped by Cardinal Becciu, as he held an influential role investing millions of euros of Catholic donations.</p> <p>Cardinal Becciu was deputy secretariat of state between 2011 and 2018 before Pope Francis stripped him of the role and put him in charge of running the Hole See's department for making saints.</p> <p>Last month, the Pope removed him from that role and took away his right to elect popes as Vatican investigators have begun to sort through Becciu's secretariat of state spending record. </p> <p>Cardinal Pell also made a comment that Cardinal Becciu felt implied he was being dishonest in front of the Pope.</p> <p>Following Cardinal Becciu’s sacking as secretariat, Pell had said: “The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances.</p> <p>“He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments.”</p> <p>Cardinal Becciu protested, saying, “I couldn’t allow him to say something like that.</p> <p>“From the time I was a child, I had always been taught by my parents to be honest.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="right-box-container"> <div class="post-editor-container"></div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Eastern Freeway crash truck driver accused of trafficking drugs to a child

<p>A truck driver who has been accused of killing four police officers on a Melbourne freeway has been charged with allegedly supplying drugs to a child.</p> <p>Court documents have revealed that police claim Mohinder Singh supplied cannabis and meth to a child between April 20 and 16.  </p> <p>The truckie is facing 37 charges over the fatal crash on the Eastern Freeway at Kew on April 22 this year.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836038/porsche.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/97c4406ed6f744f2a3023bd77fedd136" /></p> <p>Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Senior Constable Kevin King and constables Glen Humphris and Josh Prestney all lost their lives that day after they flagged down Porsche driver Richard Pusey who was allegedly speeding.</p> <p>Mr Singh was initially charged with four counts of culpable driving causing death over the fatal crash.</p> <p>However, since then, an additional 33 charges have been added.</p> <p>The truck driver from Cranbourne, appeared to the court through video link in a green prison jumper at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.</p> <p>It was revealed Mr Singh required to see an expert witness in a “face-to-face consultation” before he could proceed with the matter, his lawyer Steven Pica said.</p> <p>Mr Pusey, a mortgage broker, has also been charged in relation to the crash.</p> <p>Police have alleged that the Porsche driver recorded the crash scene on his mobile phone instead of helping Senior Constable Lynette Taylor as she lay dying on the road.</p>

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Mother who killed her children by driving in lake has sentenced reduced

<p>A mother who killed three of her children by deliberately driving into a lake at Wyndham Vale has had her original jail sentence reduced after a complicated legal saga.</p> <p>Akon Goude killed her four-year-old twins, her 16-month-old son and almost killed her fourth child when she drove an SUV into a Wyndham Vale lake in 2015.</p> <p>Guode won an appeal after she disagreed with her 26-year prison sentence.</p> <p>"The Court of Appeal accepted that objectively Ms Guode's offending was 'about as heinous a crime as one could reasonably contemplate,'" the Summary of Judgment read.</p> <p>"At the time Ms Guode committed the offences, she had a major depressive disorder consequent upon her giving birth to her youngest child and her life was in turmoil.</p> <p>"Moreover, as the sentencing judge observed, Ms Guode had had an extraordinarily difficult life, having watched her husband being murdered in South Sudan before she herself was raped until she was unconscious.</p> <p>"Ms Guode's mental functioning was impaired by her major depressive disorder to a point where her capacity to exercise appropriate judgment, and her capacity to think clearly and make calm and rational choices, and to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct at the time, was impaired.</p> <p>"In all the circumstances, she was entitled to some mercy in the sentence imposed."</p> <p>Goude is now set to serve 18 years in prison.</p> <p>She can apply for parole in 14 years and will most likely be deported after her release.</p>

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Double demerits: The one move that could cost you your licence this weekend

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The October long weekend quickly approaches, which means double demerits are enforced from Friday until the end of Monday in NSW.</p> <p>Thousands of people are expected to travel with eased COVID-19 restrictions to drive interstate.</p> <p>However, Police and Emergency Services David Elliot said that police will be out in force across the state for Operation Slowdown, with a focus on mobile phone usage.</p> <p>Mobile Phone Detection Cameras will be out, with drivers hit with a $457 fine and 10 demerit points if caught using their phone behind the wheel.</p> <p>“One or two mistakes on the road could cost you your licence,” Mr Elliott said on Wednesday.</p> <p>"One road fatality is one too many. Stick to the speed limit, put your phone down, and observe the road rules. We want people to arrive at their destination safely," Mr Elliott said.</p> <p>On the last long weekend in October, six people were killed on NSW roads.</p> <p>“That is six people too many,” Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said.</p> <p>"We are asking everyone to plan your trip in advance, allow plenty of extra travel and be patient on the roads," he said.</p> <p>Police in NSW are also targeting speeding, seat belt and motorcycle helmet offences, with the penalty for driving without a seatbelt during a double demerit period being six points off your licence.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Erin Molan sues Daily Mail for painting her as a“racist”

<p>Nine sports presenter Erin Molan is suing the <em>Daily Mail</em> Australia after they published a story earlier this year that she says paints her as a blatant “racist” after she said “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” on radio.</p> <p>The TV star also alleges the outlet is responsible for contributing to online bullying, including an Instagram post in which former NRL star John Hopoate called her a “racist b***h”.</p> <p>Ms Molan copped criticism in June for uttering the strange phrase on 2GB’s NRL program Continuous Call after a reference to pronouncing player names.</p> <p>Ms Molan can be heard saying “Dad!” twice and then “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” in an accent before her co-host replies “What? I’m not sure what you said then”.</p> <p>Ms Molan apologised for the “clumsy” comments but vehemently denies that she was mocking Polynesian names and said she was referencing a story previously told on the show.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/xK1wd6GGY2">pic.twitter.com/xK1wd6GGY2</a></p> — Erin Molan (@Erin_Molan) <a href="https://twitter.com/Erin_Molan/status/1270580896874156034?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 10, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>In court documents filed September 12 and seen by NCA NewsWire, Ms Molan alleges that the media outlet targeted her in a defamatory campaign that incorrectly quoted her as saying that the comment was an “in-joke”.</p> <p><em>Daily Mail</em> also reportedly stated she refused to apologise.</p> <p>The Wide World of Sports presenter is suing over a story published on June 5 entitled “Erin Molan refuses to apologise for her ‘hooka looka mooka’ jibe on live radio — as Pacific Islander women slam her for being ‘complicit in racism’ by mocking their names”.</p> <p>She is also suing over two tweets that shared the story.</p> <p>Ms Molan says that the story suggests she mocked Pacific Islander names and refused to apologise.</p> <p>She says this is suggested by her inability to pronounce Pacific Islander names which painted her as racist and incompetent and unfit to be an NRL commentator.</p> <p>Ms Molan has gone on to claim that the story spawned further criticism including a Change.org petition calling for her to be fired.</p> <p>A tweet from Victorian MP Dustin Halse and an Instagram post was made where Mr Hopoate wrote: “It was an inside joke between colleagues so it’s OK. Just like when I accidentally trip this RACIST BITCH over and she falls and scrapes her RACIST mouth on the ground.”</p> <p>These were all a “natural and probable consequence” of the <em>Daily Mail</em> story and increase her claim to damages, Ms Molan claims.</p> <p>The lawsuit states that the story and two tweets “gravely injured” her reputation and caused her hurt and embarrassment.</p> <p><em>Daily Mail Australia</em> told NCA NewsWire it is “strenuously defending the proceedings” and will file a defence shortly in accordance with court rules.</p>

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Testing remains a vital component of Australia’s success in managing COVID-19.

<p>We need to diagnose people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as early as possible so they can be isolated from others and their contacts quarantined. Testing also helps us understand to what degree the virus is present in the population, so we can tailor public health measures accordingly.</p> <p>If you’ve had a COVID-19 test, in all likelihood you received a PCR test. That’s the one with the throat and nose swabs, and is regarded as the “gold standard” in COVID-19 testing.</p> <p>But now the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/24/australias-drug-regulator-tga-approves-covid-tests-that-deliver-results-in-15-minutes">a new kind of COVID-19 test</a>, which can produce results in as little as 15 minutes, as opposed to a day or more for standard tests.</p> <p>So is this new rapid test set to revolutionise COVID-19 testing in Australia? Not quite yet.</p> <p><strong>The traditional tests</strong></p> <p>Nucleic acid tests, or PCR tests, can detect ribonucleic acid (RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 from a day or two before symptoms start, and for a week or more afterwards, as symptoms resolve. Of course, some people will test positive without ever having symptoms.</p> <p>PCR tests have been the backbone of SARS-CoV-2 testing worldwide. Because of the vast global experience with PCR tests and their high performance, they’re considered <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/phln-guidance-on-laboratory-testing-for-sars-cov-2-the-virus-that-causes-covid-19">the most reliable</a> COVID-19 test.</p> <p>PCR tests require specialised laboratory equipment and trained scientists and technicians to test the specimens; processing and testing take several hours.</p> <p>Since January, we’ve performed an astonishing <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/09/coronavirus-covid-19-at-a-glance-23-september-2020.pdf">7.4 million</a> SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests in Australia, which has needed a massive upscaling of capacity in laboratories nationally.</p> <p>At times, demand for PCR testing has exceeded capacity, occasionally resulting in delays of <a href="https://theconversation.com/got-a-covid-19-test-in-victoria-and-still-havent-got-your-results-heres-what-may-be-happening-and-what-to-do-142821">up to several days</a> in getting results back to patients. Meanwhile, laboratories swamped with COVID-19 tests may be limited in their capacity to perform their routine business, including diagnostic testing for other infectious diseases.</p> <p>As people are required to isolate until they <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19#testing">receive a negative test result</a> and their symptoms resolve, these delays may come at a cost to the person waiting, their family, and the economy.</p> <p>Recognising these costs may lead some people to choose not to be tested, Victoria has offered <a href="https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/covid-19-worker-support-payment">financial compensation</a> for people without leave entitlements awaiting test results.</p> <p>But delayed case confirmation also increases the time to identification and quarantine of contacts, undermining public health efforts.</p> <p><strong>What can we expect from the antigen test?</strong></p> <p>Rapid antigen tests can diagnose COVID-19 <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/15-minutes-to-diagnosis-the-quick-covid-test-that-could-change-the-game-20200923-p55yk1.html">in 15 minutes</a>. They’re relatively inexpensive and require a swab from the nose.</p> <p>These tests detect viral antigens, proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2. The immune system recognises these proteins as foreign, and responds by making antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (“<a href="https://theconversation.com/antigen-tests-for-covid-19-are-fast-and-easy-and-could-solve-the-coronavirus-testing-problem-despite-being-somewhat-inaccurate-137977">anti-gen</a>” means antibody generator).</p> <p>Antigen tests perform best early in the infection when the amount of virus in a person’s system is highest. For a person with symptomatic COVID-19, this would be in the first week of symptoms. So they only pick up current infections – <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-testing-australia-information-health-professionals">unlike antibody tests</a>, which can detect if a person was previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.</p> <p>Four SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests have been <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-test-kits-included-artg-legal-supply-australia">licensed for use</a> in Australia in the past two months.</p> <p>Unfortunately, rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 appear to be less sensitive than PCR tests, meaning they may give a negative result in someone who does actually have COVID-19. One of the recently licensed rapid antigen tests may give a false negative result in <a href="https://www.finddx.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Bionote_Ag-INTERIM-Public-Report_20200918.pdf">up to 18.3%</a> of people with COVID-19 diagnosed by PCR.</p> <p>While a positive rapid antigen test result is more reliable, widespread use of these tests in asymptomatic people will result in some <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-positives-and-negatives-of-mass-testing-for-coronavirus-137792">false positive</a> results — that is, a positive test result in someone who doesn’t have COVID-19.</p> <p>At this stage, <a href="https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-novel-coronavirus.htm">national COVID-19 guidelines</a> don’t include information on antigen tests. So a person with a positive antigen test would need to undergo a PCR test to be counted in Australia’s official COVID-19 case numbers.</p> <p><strong>Considering the pros and cons</strong></p> <p>We’re faced with a trade-off between the potential benefits of the rapid antigen tests — the ability to test larger numbers of people, consuming fewer laboratory resources, and quicker results — and the potential to miss a few cases because of the lower test sensitivity.</p> <p>Despite the lower sensitivity, increasing testing rates might result in an overall net increase in the proportion of COVID-19 cases diagnosed, and therefore a <a href="https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.22.20136309v3">public health benefit</a> by preventing onward transmission from these cases.</p> <p>One possible strategic use of these tests may be in screening people without symptoms to detect asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infection that might otherwise go undetected. This <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antigen-tests-guidelines.html">could include</a> people in workplaces where ongoing exposure to colleagues and the public is unavoidable, including sectors of the food supply chain or other essential services.</p> <p>Because of the lower test sensitivity for the rapid antigen test, a PCR test remains most appropriate for people with symptoms, those at greater risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19, and people working in high-risk settings like aged care and health care.</p> <p>While rapid antigen tests show promise, we’ll need to evaluate their efficacy in Australia before we can determine their role in our fight against COVID-19.</p> <p><em>Written by Katherine Gibney, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; Deborah Williamson, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and Jodie McVernon, University of Melbourne. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-new-15-minute-test-has-potential-but-standard-tests-are-still-the-best-way-to-track-covid-19-146844">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Cyclist cops unexpected fine after dobbing in dangerous driver

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A cyclist has been slapped with a fine after claiming he has footage of a car illegally overtaking him.</p> <p>Dashcam footage from the incident on August 9th was posted to the Facebook page Cycliq, which is a company that sells light and camera safety systems to cyclists.</p> <p>The video appears to show the car drive close to the cyclist as the car tries to overtake the cyclist as they were both travelling down a hill.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCycliq%2Fvideos%2F3547100758647644%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p>Under NSW road rules, drivers must leave at least a metre of space when the speed limit is 60kmph or 1.5m when the speed limit is more than 60kmph.</p> <p>However, the cyclist took the video to NSW Police only to be hit with a fine for travelling too far from the left-hand side of the road. </p> <p>“Took this to NSW Police and I ended up getting booked for not riding as near to left of the road as possible,” he wrote.</p> <p>“Descending down an unguttered road with blind driveways at 50kph, and I was as close to the left of the road that was safe in the circumstances.</p> <p>“It seems NSW Police intent on keeping road as perilous as possible for cyclists.”</p> <p>The fine was $116.</p> <p>Cycliq commented on the incident, saying that the decision was a "very sad indictment on the attitude of the NSW Police Force".</p> <p>“Change is happening whether they like it or not, and they are going to have to catch up with the times because the videos won’t stop coming and the pressure will only build,” it said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Secret lover of Claremont killer’s first wife breaks silence

<p>The flatmate who is blamed for destroying Bradley Robert Edwards' marriage has spoken out and admitted he feels sickened that his actions could have been for the trigger for the Claremont killings.</p> <p>The secret lover, who has kept his identity a secret due to legal reasons, has broken his silence on his affair with Edward’s first wide.</p> <p>While appearing on the<span> </span>Nine News Perth special, the man revealed a paternity bombshell.</p> <p>He had a daughter with Edwards' ex-wife 24 years ago and now wonders if the child could be his.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838057/sscott-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d2121c5f86f4428f80b8f45e5f992adf" /></p> <p>Edwards' ex-wife always said the man was the girl's father, but then came revelations from his former partner on the stand.</p> <p>She told the court that while she was with the new man she had also been sleeping with Edwards.</p> <p>The secret lover admitted "I can't help but think, in the back of my mind, is this child mine?”</p> <p>The 60-year-old met Edwards' first wife towards the end of 1993.</p> <p>He had been going through a divorce and she was unhappy.</p> <p>"So I moved in. And it was awkward at first. I was trying to be more friendly towards him, hoping that the attraction with her would fade," he said.</p> <p>"I miss those times, playing softball, being friends with him."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838055/sscott-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a07f3eda7ac1474cbd7e649879312c52" /></p> <p class="first"><em>Sarah Spiers, Ciara Glennon and Jane Rimmer all disappeared from Claremont in the 1990s.</em></p> <p class="first">A man already accused of killing Jane Rimmer</p> <p>He said the Telstra technician was unaware that his wife would sneak into his room on Sunday mornings.</p> <p>"When we got caught kissing, I thought nup, I'm not hanging around here.</p> <p>"It's the fear of what he had under the bed.”</p> <p>The rival lover revealed it was a rifle and a baseball bat.</p> <p>He said: "I just didn't want to not wake up in the morning. You just can't sleep with that kind of fear."</p> <p>Edwards told him to stay, but he moved out within weeks.</p> <p>She soon followed.</p> <p>The same night, the usually mild-mannered Edwards made an explosive phone call and it would be the last time they spoke.</p> <p>"He said, "You're having an affair with her." I said, "You're stupid. You know I am".</p> <p>“He said, I know where you live, and I'll come and kill you, he said."</p> <p>Not long after, Edward’s wife fell pregnant to her new lover.</p> <p>Prosecutors claimed Bradley Edwards attacked women he didn't know when his life was in turmoil.</p> <p>His marriage broke down around the time Sarah Spiers vanished.</p> <p>Around the time of Jane Rimmer’s murder, Edward’s ex-wife dropped her pregnancy bombshell.</p> <p>But despite that, and despite the decades old threat to kill, the 60-year-old believes Edwards is no killer.</p> <p>"I don't think so. I really, deep inside, really don't think it was him," he said.</p>

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Final message from heroic firefighters lost to tragedy

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>One of the final messages from the three American firefighters who died on a water-bombing aircraft while fighting the Australian bushfires has been revealed.</p> <p>An interim report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau revealed the final moments before the aircraft crashed, which killed all on board instantly.</p> <p>First Officer Paul Hudson, flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr and Captain Ian McBeth died on January 23rd after completing a waterbombing mission on an out-of-control bushfire near the Snowy Mountains.</p> <p>“Don’t send anybody and we’re not going back,” their final message said.</p> <p>After the crew completed the retardant drop, they sent a text message to a spotter pilot saying that conditions were "horrible down there".</p> <p>“They also reported to the Cooma Fire Control Command that the conditions were unsuitable for firebombing operations,” the report read, according to APN.</p> <p>The report revealed there was “no appreciable change in the centre of gravity following a retardant drop” and that the voice recorder in the plane was not working.</p> <p>There was no distress call before the crash and as the plane began to descend, it hit the ground at around 280km/h and created another bushfire.</p> <p>The trio worked for the US charter company Coulson Aviation which had been contracted by the NSW Rural Fire Service to fight the bushfires.</p> <p>NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the men were dedicated to the "art" of aerial firefighting.</p> <p>"It's a body blow for everyone in the firefighting fraternity, in the community of NSW and further afield," he told reporters in Sydney at the time.</p> <p>"It's a confronting and sobering reminder of the enormity of the risk and challenge associated with this fire season."</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/coulsonaviation" target="_blank">Coulson Aviation</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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