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Outrage over racist sign in IGA

<p dir="ltr">A Melbourne IGA store has gone viral after a photo was circulated online of a sign it had on display, instructing employees to ensure there were “minimum 2 staffs in front while we serve Africans.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The sign, taped to a monitor at checkout, reads, “If an African customer comes to the bottle shop presses [sic] the button for assistant immediately! Minimum 2 staffs in front while we serve Africans.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The sign had reportedly been on display at the Sunshine West store for three years, but has since been taken down. The manager of the store told the ABC he was sorry for his actions, claiming he put the sign there to remind staff to press the button for help if the store got busy, and shouldn’t have singled out African customers. He said, "I've done the wrong thing for the public, we should not do like this.”</p> <div class="embed"><iframe class="embedly-embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2F7035246807781313793&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40aliya7_%2Fvideo%2F7035246807781313793&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" scrolling="no" title="tiktok embed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">A spokesperson for Metcash, which operates IGA supermarkets in Australia, said the sign was “completely unacceptable”. Their statement read, "When we saw the video, we promptly took corrective action with the store in question, including immediate removal of the sign.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Training for store staff is also underway while we assess the matter to determine what further action is appropriate."</p> <p dir="ltr">Chairman of the IGA National Retailer Council, Joseph Romeo, said this type of behaviour was “unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any IGA store across the country”. "As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting local communities across Australia, we are committed to ensuring ALL IGA stores and their employees continue to create a shopping environment where all are welcome and equal.</p> <p dir="ltr">"IGA retailers across the country are shocked by this event, please be assured that this is a one off case that will be dealt with appropriately."</p> <p dir="ltr">The image was originally shared on Snapchat, but went viral after Tiktok user @aliya7_ shared a video of her reacting to the sign, accompanied by the caption, “I mean no one goes there anyways”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Tiktok</em></p>

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Theo Hayez’s last moments before disappearing uncovered

<p dir="ltr">Theo Hayez’s Google account has provided a “digital data trail” tracking what are suspected to be his last moments before his disappearance, an inquest has been told.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unfortunately, data that may assist investigators in their search cannot be accessed due to a legal technicality with Belgian authorities, a situation described by counsel assisting the coroner as “unacceptable”. Hayez’s family has flown into Australia to attend the inquest, which is expected to run for two weeks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hayez was reported missing from Byron Bay in May 2019 after leaving a popular bar late at night. He was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkeys bar just after 11 pm on May 31, 2019, and the last reliable data point placed Hayez and his phone at Cozy Corner near the Cape Byron cliffs.</p> <p dir="ltr">The court heard that a working theory from police was that Hayez fell while trying to climb the cliffs and was swept out to sea. “If the working theory is correct … his phone did not go with him because it was still working and transmitting data until about the afternoon of Saturday June 1, 2019,” Ms Edwards, counsel assisting the coroner, said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite extensive searches by SES teams and the police, his body was never found. His fat was recovered in bushland on the route he last took weeks after he disappeared.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Edwards said that location tracking data suggested he walked in the opposite direction of his hostel, but took ‘strange’ routes despite having a map open on his phone.</p> <p dir="ltr">She also said that investigators were attempting to get a statement and witness from the overseas investigators, but were hindered due to a multinational legal process not occurring. She told the court, “We tried to access that process... but it is not a process available for a missing persons coronial investigation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are stymied, legally, because we cannot access that treaty. Clearly, it’s an unacceptable situation where we cannot get access to what could be critical information about what’s happening that night.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The inquest, taking place in Byron Bay before State Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan, continues.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

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Prince Charles “calls in lawyers”

<p dir="ltr">Prince Charles has reportedly “called in lawyers” over allegations that he questioned what colour skin baby Archie would have.</p> <p dir="ltr">The claim comes from the newly released book,<span> </span><em>Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate and Meghan</em><span> </span>by US author Christopher Anderson, and is one of several reported on by<span> </span><em>Page Six<span> </span></em>over the weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr">The book<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/entertainment/royal-family/prince-charles-calls-in-lawyers-as-hes-named-as-royal-who-made-skin-colour-comment-in-book-brothers-and-wives-inside-the-private-lives-of-william-kate-and-meghan-c-4738910" target="_blank">alleges</a><span> </span>that Prince Charles asked his wife Camilla, “I wonder what the children will look like?” in reference to his son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s then-unborn child.</p> <p dir="ltr">Anderson goes on to claim that a “somewhat taken aback” Camilla replied: “Well, absolutely gorgeous, I’m certain.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Prince Charles is alleged to have then said, in a “lowered voice”, “I mean, what do you think their children’s complexion might be?”</p> <p dir="ltr">Clarence House has slammed the allegations, telling British tabloid<span> </span><em>The Sun</em><span> </span>that Anderson’s account “is fiction and not worth further comment”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/16879170/prince-charles-racist-claims-fiction/" target="_blank">publication reported</a><span> </span>that the book’s claims had only been seen by Clarence House several days before the book's publication, and that royal lawyers had been alerted.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The claims are utterly ridiculous,” an insider told the newspaper.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is more of a concern that commenting on it will simply sell more books than actually damage Charles’ reputation.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The allegations come months after Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, where Meghan claimed there were “several conversations” with Harry about “how dark Archie’s skin might be when he was born”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Though she declined to say who Harry had the conversations with, it was later revealed that he told Oprah it didn’t involve the Queen or her late husband, Prince Philip.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Cafe plastered with hand-written death threats

<p>A popular cafe in Melbourne has been targeted with death threats on Sunday night, as vandals destroyed the property in a statement against Covid restrictions. </p> <p>Briki Cafe, in Melbourne's inner north, had its front window smashed with a brick as threatening letters were stuck over Covid safety signs on the door. </p> <p>The terrifying hand-written letter to the owner read, "<span>Do what Daniel Andrews says and we will burn your shop down and kill you motherf****r.”</span></p> <p>The owner of the cafe, Simos Kandias, was very distressed by the vandals' message, and said his business has already gone through tough times during the pandemic. </p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">“We’ve had it pretty tough,” Mr Kandias told <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/coronavirus-vic/vandals-attack-melbourne-caf-and-leave-death-threats-over-covid-regulations-c-4746132" target="_blank">7NEWS</a>.</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">“At times it’s been hard to find the funds to pay our rent.”</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Locals and frequent customers at Briki Cafe has shared their support for the cafe after the brutal attack. </p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">MP Ged Kearny shared a post on Facebook condemning the senseless act of violence, as she supported "one of her favourite cafes".</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">She wrote, "This is not okay. Whatever your opinions may be on mandatory vaccinations, everyone should feel safe at work."</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">"I look forward to returning to Briki Cafe. With the community's help and support, I know they'll bounce back in no time."</p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020">Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Delta variant, Melbourne has seen countless protests against lockdown restrictions and mandatory vaccines, with many of these protests ending in violent acts. </p> <p class="css-1316j2p-StyledParagraph e4e0a020"><em>Image credits: 7News / Instagram @BundjalungBud</em></p>

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Teen charged with stabbing murder of 12-year-old girl

<p><em>Image: Merseyside Police</em></p> <p>A teenager in Liverpool in the North of England has been charged with the murder of a 12-year-old girl.</p> <p>Ava White was in the city with friends on Thursday evening for the local Christmas lights switch-on ceremony when she suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an assault, Merseyside Police say.</p> <p>A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.</p> <p>He has been remanded in custody to appear in court. Three other boys aged between 13 and 15, who were also arrested, have been conditionally bailed as inquiries continue.</p> <p>Ava, who was described as “popular” and “bright”, was involved in a “verbal argument” which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife”, police say.</p> <p>The offenders fled and Ava was taken to hospital after paramedics arrived but died a short time later.</p> <p>On Friday, flowers were laid along a local street in tribute to the Notre Dame Catholic College pupil, as forensics officers and police searched the scene.</p> <p>A balloon was left by 17-year-old Lacey, who did not want to give her surname, who said her younger sister had been close friends with Ava.</p> <p>She said: “She was just a bubbly character, so loving and caring.</p> <p>“She came out with her friends to enjoy herself and I think it’s just wrong that this has happened.”</p> <p>Head teacher Peter Duffy said: “She was an incredibly popular girl with a fantastic group of friends.”</p> <p>Assistant Chief Constable Ngaire Waine said the incident was “sad for the city” but “even sadder” for Ava’s family.</p> <p>On Saturday, police issued an image of a van that may have been occupied by key witnesses to the killing.</p>

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Doctored images depict Kate Middleton as victim of abuse

<p dir="ltr">Artist AleXsandro Palombo has made waves for his latest work, a series of doctored images that depict powerful women like Kate Middleton and US Vice President Kamala Harris with bruises on their faces, implying they are the victims of physical abuse.</p> <p dir="ltr">The images have appeared as posters on buildings and bus stops in Italy and Spain, and other women included in the series include Queen Letizia of Spain and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.</p> <p dir="ltr">The text on the images reads, “She reported him. But nobody believed her – but she was left alone. But she was not protected – but he was not stopped. But she was killed anyway.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWskBjvsP-A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWskBjvsP-A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by aleXsandro Palombo (@alexsandropalombo)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Palombo said his intention was to “draw attention to the poor responses from politics regarding the problem of gender-based violence and highlights the ineffectiveness of the support and protection system to the victims."</p> <p dir="ltr">He wrote on Instagram, “Why should a woman report the violence if after the report she is not protected by the institutions and ends up being killed anyway? How can a woman victim of abuse and violence still have faith in the institutions?</p> <p dir="ltr">“I only see the Politics inviting women to report but without taking the responsibility of giving protection and support to the victims. A State that does not protect but leaves women alone in the hands of their tormentor becomes a silent accomplice.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There are many associations of volunteers who, with very little means, try to support the victims, but it is to the politics, institutions and the State to assume this responsibility.”</p> <p dir="ltr">According to<span> </span><em>The Sun,<span> </span></em>Kensington Palace did not authorise the usage of Kate Middleton’s image.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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Donations POUR in for man wrongly convicted for murder

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After US man Kevin Strickland </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/no-compensation-after-43-years-of-wrongful-imprisonment" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">was released</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> from jail 43 years after his wrongful conviction in a triple murder, a flood of donations have swept in to help him rebuild his life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-strickland-after-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">fundraiser</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> set up for him in June had received over $USD 400,000 ($AUD 560,000) at the time of his release, and donations keep coming.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many supporters were outraged that the 62-year-old wouldn’t receive any compensation for his time in prison from the state of Missouri.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Today, Kevin Strickland is finally home, 43 years after being ripped away from his life and family. It took not just a village, but a movement--all of you-- to bring him home.</p> — Tricia Rojo Bushnell (@tcita) <a href="https://twitter.com/tcita/status/1463362164920623104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because he wasn’t exonerated through the use of DNA evidence, Mr Strickland doesn’t qualify for wrongful imprisonment payments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Within three days of his release, donors had contributed another $600,000 to his fundraiser, totalling $USD 1.016 million ($AUD 1.42 million) .</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The organisers thanked donors on Tuesday, confirming that all the money raised would be received by Mr Strickland.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Thank you all for your support! All funds go directly to Mr Strickland, who the state of Missouri won’t provide a dime to for the 43 years they stole from him,” they wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Strickland has maintained his innocence since he was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 1979. He has said that he was at home watching television at the time of the three deaths, which happened when he was 18 years old.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The fundraiser, set up by the Midwest Innocence Project, has been collecting donations for Mr Strickland since June, when the organisation began campaigning for his release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They have said he would need help paying for basic living costs once he was free.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I can’t begin to say all the things I am thankful for,” Mr Strickland </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/travel/americas/almost-us1-million-raised-for-man-wrongly-convicted-of-1979-triple-homicide-c-4711022" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as he left prison.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: GoFundMe</span></em></p>

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No compensation after 43 years of wrongful imprisonment

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">US man has been freed after being imprisoned for more than four decades over crimes he didn’t commit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kevin Strickland was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second degree murder in relation to a triple homicide in 1978.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The then 18-year-old was accused of killing Larry Ingram, 21, John Walker, 20, and Sherrie Black 22, at a home in Kansas City. He maintains that he was at home watching television at the time of the murders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He received a 50-year life sentence with no parole as an eighteen-year-old, and has always maintained that he wasn’t involved.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m still in disbelief,” the 62-year-old </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/man-walks-free-after-spending-four-decades-behind-bars-for-crime-he-didnt-commit-c-4692536" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> moments after his release on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Thank you (to the judge) for reviewing all the no evidence against me to begin with. I really appreciate him taking his time to listen and understand what really happened in 1978 and how I was an easy mark and the police took advantage of me.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845887/kevin-strickland1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/273081ddd4ee44d68dcb6e42f689fdbc" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kevin Strickland was the first witness to testify at the hearing that secured his freedom. Image: KCTV5</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Strickland learned of the court’s decision to free him from prison while watching a soap opera, when the news scrolled across the television screen. He said fellow inmates began screaming.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not necessarily angry. It’s a lot. I think I’ve created emotions that you all don’t know about just yet,” he told reporters while leaving the Western Missouri prison.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Joy, sorrow, fear. I am trying to figure out how to put them together.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All of Mr Strickland’s charges were dismissed after his legal team presented evidence to exonerate him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the proceedings, family members of the sole surviving witness, Cynthia Douglas, said she was pressured by police to name Strickland as one of the men she saw on the night of the murders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cynthia passed away in 2015, but her mother and daughter appeared before the court to testify.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We were talking, she said, ‘Mother, I picked the wrong guy. The officer told me that was the guy,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kctv5.com/news/local_news/kevin-strickland-first-to-testify-at-long-awaited-hearing/article_5ecc3214-40f1-11ec-b53b-1f9e37137c18.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Senoria Douglas, Cyntha’s mother.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845888/kevin-strickland2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/46cf4c1eccd248cab801dbdad9f03e58" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cyntha Douglas’ mother, Seroria, spoke about how her daughter told her she ‘picked the wrong guy’. Image: KCTV5</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sherrie Jordan, Cynthia’s daughter, said: “She started saying (that) Kevin Strickland was the wrong guy. And she was trying to get him out, by going through the right procedures.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judge James Welsh, a retired court of appeals judge, made the ruling to free Mr Strickland after a Jackson county prosecutor requested an evidentiary hearing, saying evidence used to convict him had since been recanted or disproven.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Under these unique circumstances, the Court’s confidence in Strickland’s convictions is so undermined that it cannot stand, and the judgement of conviction must be set aside,” Welsh </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/24/kevin-strickland-freed-42-years-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">wrote</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> when ordering Mr Strickland’s immediate release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since securing his freedom, one of the first things Mr Strickland did was visit his mother’s grave.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That was the first step. I didn’t have a chance to visit her in the last years … I revisited those tears that I did when they told me I was guilty of a crime I didn’t commit,” he told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/11/24/kevin-strickland-prison-release-newday-vpx.cnn" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">CNN</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Mr Strickland will not receive any compensation from the State of Missouri for his time spent in prison, and a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-strickland-after-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">GoFundMe</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> set up to help him restart his life has received more than $400,000 in donations.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Midwest Innocence Project</span></em></p>

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Local council accidentally crushes woman's car and belongings

<p dir="ltr">A NSW grandmother is still awaiting compensation three months after the local council admitted to accidentally seizing and crushing her car.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wendy Tucker said she is upset at how heartless the council has been when it came to offering help, fixing its mistake, and being clear about what happened to her 1997 Toyota Camry and personal belongings, while critics described the incident as embarrassing and evidence of incompetence on the Central Coast Council’s behalf.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker told<span> </span><em>A Current Affair,<span> </span></em>"I just thought the council would have been more forthcoming.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It was my only car, and it had things in it - personal belongings, emotional things - you get attached to your vehicles regardless of how good or bad they are."</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker said that three months ago, she rang the police and council rangers, fearing her car, which was parked near her daughter’s home, had been stolen. The 61-year-old high school science lab assistant claims she was told by the council that the car had been towed, and to expect a letter in the mail that would outline the next steps she should take.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unfortunately, the next day she received a call from the council informing her that the car had been accidentally crushed. The warning letter from the council arrived a few days later.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker said, "I thought they were exaggerating but apparently it had been crushed completely.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Former Central Coast councilor Greg Best said “heads should roll” after the incident. "Surely they should have just sat down with Mrs Tucker over a cup of tea and said 'sorry, here's what we're going to do'.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This council wracked up the largest financial debt and financial loss of any council in Australia and it has now gone to an all time high in its incompetence and embarrassment."</p> <p dir="ltr">The Council confirmed the car was left in a street at Point Clare for roughly eight weeks during NSW’s COVID-19 lockdown, and that it towed the vehicle following complaints from nearby homeowners. While this is within the council’s power, it is required to contact the registered owner and give warning that the car had been impounded.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Central Coast Council<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/aussie-grandmothers-car-crushed-by-nsw-council-without-warning/b04415f6-ce57-42aa-a2ca-c263a61073f8" target="_blank">provided two statements</a><span> </span>to<span> </span><em>A Current Affair,<span> </span></em>and later offerred an apology to Mrs Tucker. Their most recent statement says, amongst other things, that the “Council apologies to the car owner that adequate notice wasn't provided by letter to the registered address, and despite Council undertaking the process lawfully within the legislation, compensation is assured to the car's owner.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Channel 9</em></p>

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One Nation under fire for leaking Jacqui Lambie’s mobile number

<p dir="ltr">Jacquie Lambie is calling for One Nation to apologise after a Tasmanian One Nation candidate reportedly published her private mobile number on his Facebook page, leading to her receiving a torrent of abuse from his supporters.</p> <p dir="ltr">Senate President Slade Brockman said on Tuesday that he would look into Senator Lambie’s call for a review of MPs’ safety. Meanwhile, Senator Malcolm Roberts has thus far refused to apologise for publicising Lambie’s number, claiming a constituent of his found Senator Lambie’s number on her Facebook page.</p> <p dir="ltr">On Monday, Lambie criticised One Nation for using the Commonwealth government to end state vaccine mandates, which led to a One Nation candidate in Tasmania, Steve Mav, posting a screenshot of a text from Senator Lambie to a constituent, saying she opposed vaccine mandates. The constituent claimed to have found the number on Lambie’s own page. Roberts then shared Mav’s post to his own Facebook page, which has a much wider audience. On Tuesday, Senator Lambie told the Senate that Senator Roberts had leaked her personal phone number.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to the Senate, Lambie said, “Since then I’ve received any number of nasty, abusive and threatening phone calls and messages. I give my phone number to veterans whose mental health is not so good and are on their last legs.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These veterans know they can call me at any time of the day or night if they need someone to listen to them. If you’ve got someone’s number it’s not hard to find out personal details that are linked to it. I’m going to have to change my number because I need to make sure my family and friends are safe.”</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/one-nation-under-fire-for-sharing-lambie-s-phone-number-triggering-wave-of-abuse-20211123-p59bfj.html" target="_blank"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a><em>,<span> </span></em>Lambie has previously posted her number to Facebook, but not in the past two years, and never in the context of the debate around vaccine mandates.</p> <p dir="ltr">Examples of the abuse she received via text can be found on other social media platforms, and include slurs and other offensive language, personal insults, and cruel references to Lambie’s son’s battle with methamphetamine use.</p> <p dir="ltr">Labor’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, and Finance Minister Simon Birmingham have both supported Lambie’s call for an apology, with Wong stating that civility in politics is essential, and Birmingham saying that the government was willing to let Senator Roberts speak on the matter in order to provide an apology. Roberts declined the offer, instead claiming that Lambie was misrepresenting One Nation because the party is gaining momentum in Tasmania.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Sam Mooy/Getty Images</em></p>

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Woman's $940k theft from vet hospital to play pokies app

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A woman has pleaded guilty to stealing $940,000 from her employer, after using the funds to fuel her addiction to an online gambling game that doesn’t pay out real money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tasmanian woman Rachel Naomi Perri appeared before Hobart’s Supreme Court on Monday facing 25 charges of computer-related fraud and one count of fraud.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Perri, 49, stole the money over the three years she worked at the Tasmanian Veterinary Hospital as an account manager.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The “anomalies” in bank transactions were only discovered after Ms Perri was made redundant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The full extent of her theft was uncovered after a full investigation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crown prosecutor Simone Wilson told the court that Ms Perri made 475 fraudulent transactions over the course of three years and four months, with the final amount totalling $940,221.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Wilson told the court that Ms Perri was the only person managing the hospital’s bank accounts and transferred money from the accounts to a variety of credit cards, personal loans, and other bank accounts in her name.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police also discovered that Ms Perri had fraudulently taken out a $30,000 credit card in her husband’s name in 2015, racking up $24,000 in debt without her husband’s knowledge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When she was interviewed by police in 2019, Ms Perri “immediately said, ‘I’m guilty’.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The court heard that Ms Perri told police she had been playing a game called Heart of Vegas for the past four years, which is where all of the money had gone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is similar to playing pokies and you shop to purchase coins or credits,” Ms Wilson told the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[But the] credit purchased never turned into actual money. She couldn’t explain why she was playing that game when there was no return.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Heart of Vegas claims to feature “real Vegas slot machines just like the ones you know and love”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Its terms and conditions also state that players “may be required to pay a fee to obtain virtual items”, but that “virtual items may never be redeemed for ‘real world money’”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Wilson read out Ms Perri’s interview with police to the court and said she was in her “own little world” while playing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I got myself into so much trouble but decided I’d keep going until [I] got caught,” she </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-23/woman-pleads-guilty-to-stealing-940k-from-her-workplace/100639450" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the record of the interview.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I knew I couldn’t get away with it. I was waiting for a knock on the door from police.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greg Barns, Ms Perri’s lawyer, told the court that the accused had a “lengthy history of gambling” that started when she turned 18 in Launceston.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She began to use poker machines and she won $26 from placing a dollar into a machine and, as she described it, it went from there,” he told the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Grant said his client had moved from Launceston to Hobart for a fresh start, but began gambling 2008-09.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She described spending consecutive hours on poker machines,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One session she spent 16 hours continuously playing on the machine.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Ms Perri discovered Heart of Vegas, Mr Barns said she became so addicted that she would keep spending money just to “keep playing the game”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She got so addicted that she’d play it first thing in the morning,” he told the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She would set it up at night so it played in auto.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Perri was diagnosed as having a severe gambling disorder by forensic psychiatrist Dr Michael Jordan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He considered that Perri’s gambling disorder was the most significant factor in her fraud activity,” Mr Barns told the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[Her gambling was mindless, with no hope of any financial gain.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Barns told the court that Ms Perri voluntarily entered therapy and would need to continue once she was in prison.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said it was unlikely that his client would be able to pay back the veterinary services, after they instituted civil proceedings to recover the money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Wilson said the accused’s behaviour was “planned” and “calculated”, and that she only stopped because she was made redundant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The prospects of her recovering are slim to non-existent,” she told the court.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Perri has been remanded in custody until she is sentenced next month.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Woman’s angry post sparks debate about bin diving

<p dir="ltr">A Sydney resident’s Facebook post about a bin diver has made headlines, as residents of her south-Sydney suburb debated whether bin diving is ethical or not.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the introduction of container refund schemes in Australia, which have served as a way to encourage recycling and money saving in kids, “bin diving” has seen a sharp increase, with people rummaging through others’ bins in an effort to find cans and bottles they can turn in to NSW’s Return and Earn program. The program gives residents 10 cents for every can and bottle they hand in, and there are reports that some are earning as much as $2000 a week through the scheme.</p> <p dir="ltr">A Mortdale resident learned about the lengths people will go to in order to collect recyclables this weekend, after finding an elderly man on her property on Sunday morning, going through her son’s collection of cans.</p> <p dir="ltr">Submitting her complaint to a Mortdale community group on Facebook, she wrote, “Was awoken this morning 21/11/21 to our dog barking, only to find this elderly man had entered our property (via the front gate) and was caught red handed helping himself to my son's recycle can collection, located up the side of our house.” She included a photo of the man, hoping the community would be able to identify him.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman went on to explain that her “very large” husband came outside after hearing the commotion, and tried to take the bag of recycling from the man. The man refused to let go, and subsequently slipped. The woman made various claims about the man’s English abilities, namely that he was pretending he couldn’t speak English, and said he was “of sound mind and knew exactly what he was doing”. She finished, “If you know of this man, please let him know that trespassing on other people's properties is not only illegal, but may end up terribly for him, should a man of a different disposition to my hubby (or an aggressive dog) decide to take matters into their own hand!!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Many were quick to agree with her that his behaviour was inappropriate, with people calling him a thief and calling for him to be locked up. One commenter wrote that she should have “turn[ed] the hose on him”, while another wrote that there was “no excuse to steal”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Others weren’t as harsh, with several saying that there was no need to post about the ordeal. One commenter urged the woman to “try compassion”, while another said that she was not being “very nice”. One person said, “I do not condone theft but if someone is stealing veggies out of my garden, my first response is to find out why,” while another wrote that they would have given him the cans along with $10. “I am so blessed and feel for the old and elderly that may be having a hard time getting money for food.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Maskot</em></p>

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Police sued in $1million William Tyrrell twist

<p><em>Image: NSW Police </em></p> <p>The William Tyrrell case has taken another turn with reports emerging that NSW police have been sued by a man wrongly accused over the toddler’s disappearance.</p> <p>Sky news Political Editor Andrew Clennell on Sunday said the “wrongly accused” man received a payout of about half-a-million dollars from NSW Police, and that together with added legal costs the total sum paid out by police reportedly reached $1 million.</p> <p>“There are fears another wrongly accused suspect, who was the subject of accusations when [former lead detective] Gary Jubelin was in charge of the case, might also sue NSW Police,” he said.</p> <p>William remains missing with NSW Police now well into a renewed search. Investigators are expecting to find the toddler’s body in Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast where he disappeared in 2014.</p> <p>Police on over the weekend took a hessian bag from the scene with at least two additional pieces of fabric placed in evidence bags and sent off for forensic testing.</p> <p>Elements of the search are expected to be subterranean, and it could be a matter of weeks or months before it comes to a conclusion, with police having so far scoured just 10-20% of the area.</p> <p>A $1 million reward also remains in place for anyone with information leading to a conviction.</p> <p>Last week, William Tyrrell’s foster parents were charged with an unrelated assault as part of the task force’s ongoing investigations and are due to face Hornsby Local Court on Tuesday.</p>

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Huge twist in Ben Roberts-Smith case

<p dir="ltr">A former SAS soldier has said he will testify that Ben Roberts-Smith is a war criminal in Mr Roberts-Smith’s defamation case against<span> </span><em>Nine</em><span> </span>newspapers, a court has heard.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, lawyers representing the war hero claim the new testimony has come about due to a closed-door deal with the media.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Roberts-Smith is suing the newspapers over claims they defamed him by publishing false claims that he killed six prisoners during his deployment in Afghanistan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Nine<span> </span></em>has said the claims are true.</p> <p dir="ltr">The court has heard that several of Mr Roberts-Smith’s former SAS squadmates will give evidence that both supports and undermines the media giant’s allegations.</p> <p dir="ltr">At least one soldier is expected to implicate himself in one of the alleged murders when he gives evidence in support of<span> </span><em>Nine</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the most recent development, the Federal Court heard that another soldier was now willing to give evidence in relation to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/that-s-not-a-cliff-ben-roberts-smith-downplays-fresh-allegations-in-court" target="_blank">alleged murder</a> that has become the main focus of<span> </span><em>Nine</em>’s claims.</p> <p dir="ltr">The media company alleges that Mr Roberts-Smith kicked a handcuffed shepherd off a cliff in a remote Afghan village of Darwan in 2012.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Nine</em><span> </span>claims the shepherd, named Ali Jan, fell into a dry creek bed below and was then executed by an Afghan soldier assisting the Australian SAS.</p> <p dir="ltr">One SAS soldier, referred to as Person 56, was in the village at the time and has now agreed to give evidence that corroborates<span> </span><em>Nine</em>’s account.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Arthur Moses SC, Mr Roberts-Smith’s barrister, argued that<span> </span><em>Nine</em><span> </span>already accused the soldier of being involved in the war crime. Mr Moses also claimed that they had promised they wouldn’t ask about any other events during his time in Afghanistan if he testified against Mr Roberts-Smith.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is a flip, a flop and a flip again from Nine regarding a very serious murder allegation,” Mr Moses <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/courts-law/troubled-sas-accused-killer-squadmate-turns-against-ben-robertssmith/news-story/d39286092daa8f130eb3e75097e0fda4" target="_blank">told</a> the court.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are very troubled about this. They have reached agreement with Person 56. He will come to court and give evidence about one particular issue.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He added that<span> </span><em>Nine</em><span> </span>was clearly troubled about the progression of the trial so far, and said he wanted to see communications between them and Person 56.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nicholas Owens SC,<span> </span><em>Nine</em>’s barrister, denied that there was any “deal” between the two parties.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We have been able to establish contact with Person 56 and he agreed to speak to us - there is no side deal,” Mr Owens said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He told the court that Person 56 would give evidence about Darwan, but would object if asked about anything else. Mr Owens added that<span> </span><em>Nine</em><span> </span>agreed they wouldn’t pressure him to speak about it.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said Person 56 would be asked about the events in Darwan to support the claims made by Ali Jan’s relatives.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We say Person 56’s account corroborates that of the Afghan witnesses and contradicts that of (Mr Roberts-Smith),” Mr Owens said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The court also heard that Person 56 was involved in another incident where Mr Roberts-Smith was allegedly involved in executing an Afghan teenager.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Nine<span> </span></em>claimed that Mr Roberts-Smith and his squad planted evidence on the adolescent’s body, such as radios and weapons, in order to cover up the killing.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the court will decide whether Person 56 will be allowed to give evidence at a later date.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Climate change activists dump a huge pile of poo in front of minister's office in protest

<p>Climate change activities have dumped a huge pile of horse manure in front of Simon Birmingham’s Adelaide office because they say Australia’s contribution to the COP26 climate summit “stunk most of all”.</p> <p>Extinction Rebellion protesters dressed in hazmat suits dumped numerous bags of the animal dung outside the federal Finance Minister’s office along Sir Donald Bradman Dr at Hilton on Friday morning.</p> <p>A video broadcasted live on Facebook shows activists at the premises where a sign was propped into the top of the manure heap that read “climate pariah”. A sign reading “Glasglow was a sh*t show and “Your gas stinks”.</p> <p>“We are currently in a climate code red and all we’ve witnessed lately is Glasgow’s sh*t show.”</p> <p>“We have left a nice message of some very organic horse manure which hopefully senator Birmingham will feel quite at home with, with all the sh*t that’s been going around.”</p> <p>One passer-by, who did not wish to be identified, said the stunt was “the best I’ve seen in all my 84 years”.</p> <p>Extinction Rebellion took to social media to say Prime Minister Scott Morrison took a “weak, non-binding ‘plan’ with no new policies or mandates” to the summit.</p> <p>“(Australia) also refused to sign global pledges aimed at limiting methane emissions and phasing out fossil fuel production,” the post read.</p> <p>“Instead, the government continued to shamelessly spruik coal and gas.</p> <p>“Birmingham assures us that Australia is ‘over-achieving’ on climate. That’s what ScoMo was going to tell the world at COP26.</p> <p>“There’s political spin and then there’s BS. Clearly Birmingham is full of it.</p> <p>“The #COP26 climate summit was bullsh*t and Australia’s contribution stunk most of all.”</p> <p>he South Australian senator responded to the act with a witty tweet saying he’d “hate to see unnecessary waste”.</p> <p>“Any eager western suburbs gardeners are most welcome to help themselves to some spring fertiliser,” he posted.</p> <p>Senator Birmingham, who is in Adelaide, told ABC Radio that he hadn’t yet been into his office but his staff were faced with the “unpleasant welcoming”.</p> <p>“Whatever point Extinction Rebellion ever make, if they’re going to harass somebody I’m more grateful they’re disrupting me and my office than gluing themselves to the roads around Victoria Square and disrupting tens of thousands of South Australians like they did a couple weeks ago,” he said.</p> <p>“These are extremists who wouldn't ever be satisfied by anything.”</p> <p>“Let’s appreciate Australia’s made the commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 … We’re investing billions of dollars doing so.”</p> <p>“We’re one of the few countries in the world who can say we’ve met and exceeded all the commitments we've made to date and yet these guys, of course, still cry out in juvenile ways for more.”</p> <p> </p>

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Man assisting elderly neighbour recounts terrifying stabbing

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Gold Coast man was stabbed in the chest while investigating an attempted break-in at his elderly neighbour’s home and had to keep himself alive, only to find out all of his vital organs were untouched.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">James Fletcher, 40, was in his Palm Beach home on Monday night when he heard a noise from the house next door.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After realising he could see his 92-year-old neighbour “rummaging around” outside with a torch, Mr Fletcher and his housemate went to check on him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He’s an old boy and I know him, and I thought he might have had a fall or something,” he told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-17/gold-coast-man-stabbed-helping-his-elderly-neighbour/100628806" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC News</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When they got there, they found the couple walking around on broken glass and quickly took action.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We just took control and tried to look after them to get the glass out of their feet, get some shoes on and start cleaning up,” Mr Fletcher said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We were there for about 10 minutes and it wasn’t until I started cleaning the glass that I noticed that there was a paver that had been thrown through the window or through the door.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So I was like OK, someone’s trying to break in here, you know, they [his neighbours] were a bit shocked and didn’t know exactly what happened either.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 396px; height: 223px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845716/fletcher.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b05bf807f6064d3b940bc1d7c9ccdea8" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">James Fletcher (right) was stabbed by an unknown assailant when he came to check on his neighbour, Des Oatridge (left). Image: Channel Nine</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once he saw the disturbed paver, the 40-year-old said he went outside to check on his own house, which was left open, and to pick up a first aid kit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As he did so, a man called out asking whether he had heard the loud noise and if everyone was alright.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And he walked towards me and as soon as he sort of walked past me, spun around and rammed a knife in my chest,” Mr Fletcher said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said the 15-centimetre blade went through his rib cartilage before becoming lodged in his sternum.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ll never forget that. Like, the ferocity and the anger and the intent that that was delivered with,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Initially he said he thought he had been punched, until his attacker attempted to pull the knife out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This knife was embedded in my sternum, and he pulled the knife out but I came with it,” he continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And then his hand slipped off and then I sort of reached for my chest, and then I had the knife in my hand, and then he saw that and ran.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Fletcher said he immediately realised he was in trouble, but knew what to do as a physiotherapist trained in trauma.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While his housemate and neighbours called an ambulance, Mr Fletcher laid down on the ground and compressed the wound.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I asked for a pillow and some towels to apply pressure to my wound and my job became hanging on,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But I still didn’t know what was actually going on… I knew I had a big hole… and then the knife actually fell out of my chest when I went to sit up to get into the ambulance.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After arriving at the Gold Coast hospital, the surgeons waiting to treat Mr Fletcher discovered that the knife had missed all his vital organs in a “one in a million” moment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It missed my lungs. It nicked my pericardium, which is the sac that contains my heart, but it didn’t touch my heart, missed my spleen and missed all the large vessels,” he said.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 396px; height: 415px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845715/fletcher1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/06558ccce0124625b2aae4033fd472ae" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Channel Nine</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Fletcher has since provided his statement to police officers, but there have been no arrests yet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite his serious injury, Mr Fletcher said he hoped his attacker could access the help he needed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This guy, I’m sure has a mental health condition. And I’m sure it’s unmanaged or he’s been unable to access resources. And he’s out there in the community. You know, he almost ruined two people’s lives,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After being discharged from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Fletcher returned to work on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said he had received plenty of support, but was unsure about how he will continue to feel about how “someone tried to kill me, and he was nearly successful”.</span></p>

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Māori tribe tells anti-vax protestors to stop using the Ka Mate haka

<p dir="ltr">Anti-vaccine protestors in New Zealand have adopted the Ka Mate haka and begun performing it at their rallies, and one Māori tribe has now told them in no uncertain terms to stop.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Ka Mate is a Māori haka composed around 1820 by Te Rauparaha, war leader of the Ngāti Toa tribe, and is the haka performed by the All Blacks at international rugby test matches. In response to it being co-opted by anti-vax protestors, the Ngāti Toa tribe has released a statement telling them they do not have the tribe’s support or permission to perform the dance.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna [ancestors] or our iwi [tribe] associated with their messages. Our message to protesters who wish to use Ka Mate is to use a different haka. We do not endorse the use of Ka Mate for this purpose."</p> <p dir="ltr">New Zealand has one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the world, but has struggled to fight off the highly infectious Delta variant this year, forcing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to move from her previous strategy of elimination through lockdowns to living with the virus with higher vaccination rates. She has set a goal of vaccinating 90 per cent of those eligible before ending lockdowns entirely, and so far, about 81 per cent of the eligible population has received two doses of the vaccine.</p> <p dir="ltr">Anti-vaxxers and the far-right have responded negatively to newly introduced vaccine mandates, and took to the streets in several cities around New Zealand last week in protest. Protestors were seen marching through Christchurch and Wellington bearing pro-Trump flags, New Zealand flags, English flags, and signs featuring Nazi swastikas. Some protestors bore signs making reference to QAnon, while some scrawled threats onto tennis balls and lobbed them at members of the press.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Lots of balls thrown into the forecourt with messages. Mood of the protest has changed a bit too - lot of people up in our face saying we will get what’s coming to us etc <a href="https://t.co/gPD4oRAMu5">pic.twitter.com/gPD4oRAMu5</a></p> — henry cooke (@henrycooke) <a href="https://twitter.com/henrycooke/status/1457861367810064387?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 9, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Following the introduction of vaccine mandates, Monday was the deadline for all education, disability, and health sector workers in New Zealand to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Sanka Vidanagama/AFP via Getty Images</em></p>

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