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Today Show entertainment reporter's cause of death revealed

<p>Beloved <em>Today</em> show and KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin's cause of death has been revealed, two months after his sudden <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/legendary-today-show-reporter-dies-unexpectedly" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passing</a>. </p> <p>The 64-year-old died in May with a new report from medical officials finding he died from a heart attack after he suffered a massive blockage to his coronary artery. </p> <p>Just hours after hosting his Hollywood news segment in the morning of May 10th, Rubin was rushed to home after collapsing in his Los Angeles home. </p> <p>The multi-Emmy Award winner was a renowned figure in the news industry on the West Coast, and had covered entertainment, movies and TV for KTLA since 1991.</p> <p>He was also well-known in Australia as a contributor to Channel Nine's <em>Today</em> show and <em>Today Extra</em>, and in the UK where he appeared on <em>This Morning</em>.</p> <p>Following his death, Karl Stefanovic paid tribute to his colleague on Instagram, saying he "adored every second with Sam on air and off over the past two decades".</p> <p>"His spirit. His laugh. His warm caring nature. He was a beautiful man. What a loss. All love to his family, and to his TV family at KTLA5 News."</p> <p><em>Today Extra</em> host David Campbell also paid tribute to Rubin, calling him a "Hollywood great".</p> <p>"He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry," Campbell posted on social media.</p> <p>"For years we would cross to him and gossip and laugh," he said.</p> <p>"He would visit us Down Under, and whenever you were in LA you had to catch up. His loss is profound. My love and condolences to his family whom he adored."</p> <p style="font-size: 16px; box-sizing: border-box; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1rem; caret-color: #212529; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji';">"Also his KTLA team who have lost a brother. We will cross back to you some other time Sam."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

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Sacked Seven reporter launches legal action

<p>Veteran journalist Robert Ovadia has launched legal action against Channel Seven and its news boss Anthony De Ceglie after claiming he was unlawfully <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/veteran-seven-reporter-sacked-over-misconduct-allegations" target="_blank" rel="noopener">sacked</a>. </p> <p>The well-known news reporter was let go from the network on June 21st, following allegations of "inappropriate behaviour", with the alleged conduct reportedly including the exchange of messages with a female colleague four years ago.</p> <p>Seven management only became aware of the allegedly inappropriate exchange when it was reportedly brought to their attention by the ABC’s <em>Four Corners</em> program, which was working on an investigation into allegations of a toxic culture at Seven.</p> <p>Now, reports from <em>The Australian</em> claim the journalist lodged paperwork with the Fair Work Commission last month just days after being axed.</p> <p>Ovadia's lawyer John Laxon has confirmed to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/veteran-journalist-robert-ovadia-takes-legal-action-against-seven/news-story/4ef1a259b51f72e35381eb1571c56d09" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a></em> that a general protections application has been lodged seeking orders of compensation for his dismissal, reinstatement to his job and pecuniary penalties.</p> <p>The reporter, who worked at Seven for 23 years, has previously said any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour was “false, malicious and will be defended”.</p> <p>A Seven spokesperson told <em>The Australian</em> it took “very seriously any allegations in relation to sexual harassment, bullying and other behaviours deemed to be inappropriate within the workplace”.</p> <p>“We take complaints seriously, manage them confidentially and deal with any breaches decisively.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Seven</em></p>

Legal

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Veteran Seven reporter sacked over misconduct allegations

<p>A veteran reporter for Channel Seven has been sacked amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour. </p> <p>Robert Ovadia, a Sydney-based reporter who has been with the network for 23 years, announced that he has been fired in a statement to <em>The Australian</em>. </p> <p>“Yes I’ve been sacked and there will be more to say about that in the appropriate forum at the appropriate time,” Ovadia told the publication on Friday. </p> <p>Earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Seven Network told NCA Newswire that Ovadia was "on leave".</p> <p>“Seven is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Robert Ovadia,” the spokeswoman confirmed.</p> <p>In his own statement at the time, Mr Ovadia said he would defend the “malicious” allegations.</p> <p>“Seven has told me no current or former colleague has made any complaint against me,” he said in a statement to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-06-07/robert-ovadia-investigation-alleged-inappropiate-behaviour/103952758">the <em>ABC</em></a>.</p> <p>“As far as I am aware, I have not been stood down by the company. Any suggestion I have behaved inappropriately at any time is false, malicious and will be defended.”</p> <p>Just days after being placed on leave, <em>The Australian</em> revealed that the allegations stem from emails exchanged four years ago between Ovadia and a former Seven female employee.</p> <div> <div>Ovadia’s sacking comes amid an exit of numerous senior males at Seven in the past month and following the appointment of Anthony De Ceglie as Seven West Media’s new director of news and current affairs and editor-in-chief.</div> </div> <p><em>Image credits: Seven </em></p> <div style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration: none; display: block; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px;"> </div>

Legal

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Legendary Today show reporter dies unexpectedly

<p>Legendary entertainment reporter Sam Rubin has died unexpectedly after reportedly suffering a heart attack at the age of 64. </p> <p>According to TMZ, the incident occurred at his Los Angeles home, shortly after Rubin presented his regular segment on US TV network KTLA’s <em>7-9 a.m. Morning News</em> program. </p> <p>The reporter worked for LA TV station KTLA as their entertainment reporter, and also regularly worked with Aussie programs <em>Today</em> and <em>Today Extra</em>.</p> <p>KTLA confirmed Rubin's death in a statement, saying, “KTLA 5 is profoundly saddened to report the death of Sam Rubin."</p> <p>"Sam was a giant in the local news industry and the entertainment world, and a fixture of Los Angeles morning television for decades,” the statement read. </p> <p>“His laugh, charm and caring personality touched all who knew him. Sam was a loving husband and father: the roles he cherished the most."</p> <p>"Our thoughts are with Sam’s family during this difficult time.”</p> <p>Karl Stefanovic paid tribute to his colleague on Instagram, saying he "adored every second with Sam on air and off over the past two decades".</p> <p>"His spirit. His laugh. His warm caring nature. He was a beautiful man. What a loss. All love to his family, and to his TV family at KTLA5 News."</p> <p><em>Today Extra</em> host David Campbell also paid tribute to Rubin, calling him a "Hollywood great".</p> <p>"He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the industry," Campbell posted on social media.</p> <p>"For years we would cross to him and gossip and laugh," he said.</p> <p>"He would visit us Down Under, and whenever you were in LA you had to catch up. His loss is profound. My love and condolences to his family whom he adored."</p> <p>"Also his KTLA team who have lost a brother. We will cross back to you some other time Sam."</p> <p>On <em>Weekend Today</em>, Richard Wilkins expressed his sadness at Rubin's passing, while also remembering fond memories of working together. </p> <p>“The entertainment world has really lost one of its greatest colleagues and dear friends today,” Wilkins said.</p> <p>“For the last 20-odd years he’s been a member of our family, mainly through the Today show and Today Extra … but whenever the big stories broke, Sam was our go-to guy."</p> <p>“And those beautiful people that he works with, they will be absolutely gutted today, obviously he brought this immense knowledge of the entertainment industry, but he brought this immense warmth as well.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Sunrise reporter found dead at age 44

<p><em>Sunrise</em> reporter Nathan Templeton has tragically died at the age of 44. </p> <p>The father of two was found near Barwon Rover in Geelong on Monday evening after he suffered a medical episode while walking his dog. </p> <p>Templeton was a regular reporter on the Channel 7 morning show, making a name for himself as poolside reporter at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and again in Tokyo in 2020. </p> <p>In recent years, Templeton dialled back his on screen reporting and stepped away from the camera to deal with personal issues. </p> <p>Seven Network issued a statement early Wednesday expressing their sorrow at the sudden passing of the much-loved reporter.</p> <p>“The tragic news of Nathan’s passing has left us all at Seven profoundly saddened,” Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Network Head of Sport Lewis Martin said.</p> <p>“Nathan was a respected journalist whose passion for storytelling was evident in all his years reporting for <em>Sunrise</em>, 7News and multiple Olympic Games." </p> <p>“Our deepest condolences go out to his family, especially his two young sons, during this difficult time.”</p> <p>The <em>Sunrise</em> Instagram page posted a tribute to Templeton, writing, "The tragic news of Nathan’s passing has left us all at Sunrise and Seven profoundly saddened." </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5j-NKnvPBz/?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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C5j-NKnvPBz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Sunrise (@sunriseon7)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Nathan was a respected journalist whose passion for storytelling was evident in all his years reporting for <em>Sunrise</em>."</p> <p>"Love you Tempo ❤️" </p> <p><em>Sky News Australia</em> host Laura Jayes remembered Templeton as “one of the nicest people you could ever hope to work with.”</p> <p>Perth broadcaster Tim Gossage recalled the time he worked with Templeton, writing, “So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of former colleague Nathan Templeton. Hard working, humorous, respectful and much loved.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / Sunrise </em></p>

Caring

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Shocking amount Australia's richest people earn per hour

<p>Three of Australia's richest people — Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and Harry Triguboff — have more than doubled their wealth since 2020, according to the charity Oxfam. </p> <p>A report from the charity published on Monday, found that the fortune of Australia's richest people doubled at a staggering rate of $1.5 million per hour. </p> <p>The report also found that the total wealth of the country’s billionaires increased by $120 billion in that same period, which is over 70 per cent. </p> <p>Tech tycoons Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, are among the top five richest men worldwide, with the report finding that it would take them 476 years to spend all of their wealth if they spent $1.5 million daily. </p> <p>The global wealth of billionaires grew three times faster than the inflation rate, and they are $4.9 trillion richer today than they were in 2020, despite nearly five billion people worldwide growing poorer. </p> <p>According to the Australian Council of Social Services, one in eight adults are living in poverty, earning half of the median household income which ranges from $489 a week for a single adult to $1,027 for a couple with two kids. </p> <p>The report was released to raise concern over the growing global inequality, as they urge the federal government to reduce the wealth gap by scrapping the stage three tax cuts coming into effect on July 1. </p> <p>The tax cuts will lower marginal tax rates for high-earning Australians. </p> <p>Oxfam Australia chief executive Lyn Morgain has urged governments to step up. </p> <p>“We cannot accept a society that promotes the gross accumulation of wealth alongside widespread global poverty,” she said. </p> <p>“One of the best mechanisms we have to address this is progressive taxation.</p> <p>“The shame of our woeful global response to catastrophic disasters, displacement, famine and the climate crisis cannot be attributed to a scarcity of resources, it is distribution — and that’s a problem all governments, including the Australian government, need to tackle urgently.”</p> <p>Oxfam have also called for a wealth tax on the world's millionaires and billionaires that it claims could bring in $2.7 trillion each year.</p> <p>The report also called to cap CEO pay and break up private monopolies, which have gained significant power thanks to surging stock prices. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Today Show reporter welcomes her first baby

<p><em>Today</em> show star Gabrielle Boyle has shared the exciting news of the birth of her first child. </p> <p>The Channel Nine reporter announced the arrival of her son, who she welcomed with her husband Ian Hardy, to her Instagram followers on Tuesday, </p> <p>Boyle shared an adorable snap of her cuddling with her son, as she announced his very traditional name: William Theodore Hardy. </p> <p>In the happy snaps, Gabby and Ian looked every inch the proud new parents as they showed off their bundle of joy.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CyvNySkPj-1/?utm_source=ig_embed&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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CyvNySkPj-1/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gabrielle Boyle (@gabrielleboyle)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"William Theodore Hardy. Our Billy boy. 20-10-23. 3.1kg," the new mum captioned her first post of the smiling bub.</p> <p>She then shared several more photos just moments later, which showed her cuddling up with William in the hospital bed before Ian gave him his first bottle feed. </p> <p>On Tuesday morning, just hours after Gabby and Ian's happy announcement, the <em>Today</em> show shared its own post to Instagram congratulating the pair. </p> <p>"Congratulations to our reporter Gabby Boyle and her husband Ian who have welcomed to the world a beautiful baby boy," the caption read. </p> <p>Gabby's famous friends and colleagues flocked to the comments to share their congratulations for the new parents. </p> <p><em>A Current Affair</em> host Allison Langdon wrote, "He is perfection, babe. Well done guys. Hope you're feeling ok. That smile xx."</p> <p><em>Studio 10</em> host Angela Bishop said, "Congratulations and welcome Billy! What a smile!", while Nine News Perth reporter Tracy Vo added, "Beautiful! Hello, Billy. Congratulations, gorgeous."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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“Our absolute worst nightmare”: Nine reporter reveals devastating family diagnosis

<p dir="ltr">Channel Nine reporter Hayley Webb has shared how she and her brother Lachlan have been struck down with a terrifying terminal illness. </p> <p dir="ltr">The siblings have spent their entire lives living with Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) lying dormant in their bodies. </p> <p dir="ltr">The devastating illness, which has already claimed the lives of three aunts and uncles as well as their mother, will eventually leave the siblings unable to ever fall asleep again. </p> <p dir="ltr">From there, symptoms progress to, but are not limited to, the inability to walk, loss of sight and speech and an eventual total shutdown of the body's ability to keep itself alive.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hayley and Lachie first discovered they had the gene in 2016, and decided to take part in a study of the disease in California to end the generational curse of the genetic disorder. </p> <p dir="ltr">But tragically, earlier this year, Lachlan began having symptoms at just 35 years old, and discovered his condition had rapidly worsened.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CycA3kxBDGi/?utm_source=ig_embed&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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CycA3kxBDGi/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by thetodayshow (@thetodayshow)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">"The months leading up to it, I thought something was wrong - my memory was getting worse and I just knew something was different," Lachie told Karl Stefanovic on <em>Today</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I put it off for a month or two just in case it was something else, but once I got tested I realised my fears were confirmed."</p> <p dir="ltr">Lachlan was diagnosed in April, just one day after his son's first birthday, which Hayley described as “just our absolute worst nightmare”. </p> <p dir="ltr">The diagnosis triggered the disease's rapid shutdown of the mind and body, now Lachie struggles to sleep, requires a wheelchair to get around and his speech is starting to go as well.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Lach and I have always been so close - best mates our whole life," Hayley said. "The thought of not having him around is just too much to bear."</p> <p dir="ltr">Sitting in front of the pair, Hayley's heartbreaking admission brought Karl to tears.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I don't think I've ever done a story like this, and certainly never met anybody like you two in my life," the Today host said.</p> <p dir="ltr">With Lachie being officially diagnosed with the disease so young, Hayley has started to wonder about her own mortality. </p> <p dir="ltr">The disease has an average duration of 18 months, ultimately leading to death, making the siblings worry about their families and their futures. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It's just, like, been such a stark reality check that it's not a guarantee that we're gonna get to 60, it's not a guarantee we'll make it to 50,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I've got a three-and-a-half year-old and a baby on the way who I desperately want to see grow up.”</p> <p dir="ltr">While no doctor or test can predict how long Lachie has - his wife Claire and Hayley, who is expecting, have done something extraordinary, taking their family's fate into their own hands.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We both underwent IVF and through that process we were able to conceive children who won't have the gene, so the family curse stops here," Hayley said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Today</em></p>

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"Ignore, delete and report": Cruel Medicare scam on the rise

<p>The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch has warned Aussies against a suspicious Medicare email going around claiming that their services have been suspended. </p> <p>The email states that Medicare services have been suspended because of incomplete customer medical records and contains a link for them to update their medical records to access the service. </p> <p>“Fake emails impersonating Medicare are doing the rounds claiming Medicare services have been suspended," a spokesperson for the consumer watchdog wrote in a tweet.</p> <p>“Ignore the email and the instruction to reactivate your Medicare services — it’s a scam.”</p> <p>"Ignore, delete, and report to Scamwatch." </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/scamalert?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#scamalert</a>: Fake emails impersonating Medicare are doing the rounds claiming Medicare services have been suspended. <br />Ignore the email and the instruction to reactivate your Medicare services - it's a scam. <br />Ignore, delete, and report to Scamwatch <a href="https://t.co/qPicjZTOSW">https://t.co/qPicjZTOSW</a> <a href="https://t.co/8UhY7JnlFk">pic.twitter.com/8UhY7JnlFk</a></p> <p>— NASC Scamwatch (@Scamwatch_gov) <a href="https://twitter.com/Scamwatch_gov/status/1689849418793566208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 11, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p>Services Australia also advised customers to beware of emails and texts that sound urgent, make promises of financial benefit, and threaten with fines, debts or jail. </p> <p>“If you’ve clicked on a suspicious link or given your personal information to a scammer, call our <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/phone-us?context=64107" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk</a>,” the website states. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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"People took their own lives": Nat Barr fires up over Robodebt report

<p>Sunrise host Natalie Barr has strongly condemned the Robodebt scheme as "unlawful" and accused it of victimising "500,000 people" in a passionate interview with Coalition frontbencher Bridget McKenzie.</p> <p>During the heated exchange, Barr vehemently refuted any suggestion that the situation had simply gone awry.</p> <p>“This was mathematically flawed," Barr said. "It was ruled unlawful. There were half a million victims. People took their own lives over this. Bridget, you must have some kind of view on what should happen?" </p> <p>“It’s pretty obvious that people did the wrong thing here.”</p> <p>Senator McKenzie acknowledged that politicians expected honest advice from public servants and admitted that something had clearly gone "wrong."</p> <p>“This was a comprehensive royal commission, we had from former prime ministers, senior public servants, and indeed, the broader public on this particular issue, and I think the findings are going to be very fulsome and give us, I hope, ways to ensure that this cannot happen again,’’ McKenzie said.</p> <p>Labor frontbencher Jason Clare add that he was thinking of the victims.</p> <p>“Nat, there is a report in the papers today about a mother named Jennifer Miller and her son Reese committed suicide a few years ago,’’ said Mr Clare. “He was being chased for an $18,000 debt that he did not owe. I’m thinking about her and I’m thinking about families like that today.</p> <p>“There were a number of people who committed suicide, others who try to take their own life, end up in hospital, they are still on medication today. They are the real-life human consequences of what happened here.”</p> <p>Earlier on Friday, Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten warned that the "wave of misery" caused by the Robodebt royal commission might result in referrals to the national anti-corruption commission.</p> <p>Senior ministers have already prepared to contest the report's findings, with the government approving taxpayer-funded legal assistance.</p> <p>The bombshell report on the Robodebt scandal is anticipated to include scathing criticisms of key figures in the Morrison Government and senior public servants. Additionally, a secret "sealed section" will cover potential "criminal and civil prosecutions."</p> <p>Royal commission officials have begun briefing departmental heads on adverse findings related to employees prior to the report's public release.</p> <p>Robodebts were debts incurred between July 2015 and November 2019 under the Income Compliance Program. These debts were calculated using averaged income information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and were later deemed unlawful.</p> <p>In recent months, the Commonwealth has been informed of up to 16 "Notices of Potential Adverse Findings."</p> <p>These findings encompass the conduct of individuals involved in the program's development and implementation. They also pertain to data matching between the Department of Human Services and the Australian Tax Office during the Robodebt process, as well as the circumstances surrounding the Ombudsman's reports on the scheme in 2017 and 2019.</p> <p>The report will examine the prosecution briefs referred to the Commonwealth DPP by the Department of Human Services (DHS), as well as the arrangements of the in-house legal teams in DHS and the Department of Social Services (DSS).</p> <p>Furthermore, it will scrutinise the data and flaws underlying the budget assumptions that formed the basis of the Robodebt Scheme, as well as the debt recovery methods employed by the Department of Human Services.</p> <p><em>Image: Sunrise</em></p>

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"Serious corrupt conduct": Gladys report handed down

<p>After an almost three-year saga, a corruption probe has found Gladys Berejiklian and her former boyfriend engaged in "serious corrupt conduct". </p> <p>The former NSW premier and her former lover disgraced MP Daryl Maguire were slammed in the damning report, released by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Thursday, for keeping their relationship secret. </p> <p>ICAC found Ms Berejiklian breached public trust between 2016 to 2017 by failing to disclose her five-year relationship with Mr Maguire, which the watchdog found could have had the “potential to influence the performance of her public duty”.</p> <p>The inquiry was tasked with determining whether Ms Berejiklian breached public trust through her decision-making during her secret relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire, and in handing down the report, it was announced the 600-page document makes “serious corrupt findings” against both Ms Berejiklian and her former lover.</p> <p>One of the main points of the probe found that Ms Berejiklian breached public trust by awarding a $5.5 million grant to the Australian Clay Target Association (ACTA), and a $10m grant for the renovation of the Riverina Conservatorium of Music (RCM), while she was in a “close personal relationship” with Daryl Maguire.</p> <p>ICAC found the funding was “influenced” by her relationship with Mr Maguire, and Ms Berejiklian’s “desire ... to maintain or advance that relationship”</p> <p>The corruption watchdog also found Ms Berejiklian failed to notify ICAC of her suspicion that Mr Maguire “had engaged in activities which concerned, or might have concerned, corrupt conduct”.</p> <p>Ms Berejiklian has released a short statement about the findings, saying "Serving the people of NSW was an honour and privilege. At all times I have worked my hardest in the public interest. Nothing in this report demonstrates otherwise."</p> <p>"Thank you to members of the public for their incredible support. This will sustain me always."</p> <p>"The report is currently being examined by my legal team."</p> <p>ICAC did not refer Ms Berejiklian’s actions to the DPP for potential prosecution, however the report said “consideration should be given to obtaining the advice of the DPP about the prosecution of Mr Maguire”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Astonishing report identifies Covid’s alleged “patient zero”

<p>A bombshell report has claimed the infamous Covid-19 "patient zero” was a Wuhan scientist carrying out experiments on souped-up coronaviruses.</p> <p>The scientist in question, Ben Hu, was conducting risky tests at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with two colleagues, Ping You and Yan Zhu, the report states.</p> <p>It is understood that all three suffered Covid-like symptoms and required hospital care weeks before China broke the news of the virus outbreak to the rest of the world.</p> <p><em>The Sun</em> reported that the name of “patient zero" has never been disclosed until now.</p> <p>Many US government officials have now identified the three scientists in a shocking report by journalists Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi.</p> <p>Writing in the Substack newsletter <em>Public</em>, the pair alleged the scientists were experimenting with coronaviruses when they fell ill in 2019.</p> <p>Several experts and intelligence officials have long suspected scientists at the lab accidentally spread the virus during so-called “gain of function” experiments on bat coronaviruses.</p> <p>The naming of “patient zero” could prove to be the smoking gun, only adding to mounting circumstantial evidence of a lab leak.</p> <p>It is unclear who in the US government had the intelligence about the sick lab workers, how long they had it, and why it was not shared with the public.</p> <p><em>The Australian</em> journalist and <em>Sky News</em> host Sharri Markson spoke to <em>The Sun</em> about the lab leak theory in 2021 and dubbed it an “explosive development”.</p> <p>Jamie Metzl, a former member of the World Health Organisation advisory committee on human genome editing, described it as a possible “game changer”.</p> <p>“It’s a game changer if it can be proven that Hu got sick with Covid before anyone else,” he said.</p> <p>“That would be the ‘smoking gun’. Hu was the lead hands-on researcher in (virologist Shi Zhengli’s) lab.”</p> <p>DRASTIC, an international team of scientists and sleuths attempting to piece together Covid-19’s origins, researched the three scientists in 2021.</p> <p>The Wuhan Institute of Virology’s website lists Hu’s biography showing he was working as an assistant researcher.</p> <p>He was said to be the “star pupil” of virologist Shi Zhengli — the virologist at the lab who became known as “batwoman” for her research on bat coronaviruses.</p> <p>Markson, the author of <em>What Really Happened in Wuhan</em>, said that Hu was running a state-funded project in 2019 to test if new coronaviruses could infect humans.</p> <p>The study involved souping up the viruses and experimenting with them on humanised mice.</p> <p>However, the results were never published and the study’s existence was erased from the internet as Covid-19 was spreading around the globe, which raised suspicion of a possible lab leak.</p> <p>A source told <em>The Sun</em> that footage from 2017 that was aired by Chinese state-run TV showed Hu working in the lab without protective gear.</p> <p>The same video shows scientists from the Wuhan lab searching for bat viruses with inadequate protective gear.</p> <p>Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at MIT and Harvard, told <em>Public</em>, “Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli.</p> <p>“He was her star pupil. He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanised mice.</p> <p>“If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him.”</p> <p>She noted, “If this info had been made public in May of 2020, I doubt that many in the scientific community and the media would have spent the last three years raving about a raccoon dog or pangolin in a wet market.”</p> <p>US scientist Dr Steven Quay, “He was always my first choice for one of the infected Wuhan Institute of Virology workers but it seemed too simple.”</p> <p>A bill signed by US President Joe Biden in 2023 called for the release of the names of the sick scientists, their symptoms, and whether they had been involved with or exposed to coronavirus research.</p> <p>The US is currently preparing to release previously classified material, which could include the names of the three Wuhan scientists.</p> <p>Earlier in 2023, FBI director Christopher Wray said, “the FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan”.</p> <p>China has long been accused of attempting to cover up or distort its involvement with Covid-19, but they continue to deny claims.</p> <p>In March 2023, China’s former government scientist confessed the Wuhan lab leak theory shouldn’t be ruled out, sparking uproar in Beijing.</p> <p>Professor George Gao, the former chief of China’s Centre for Disease Control, played a key role in the efforts to trace the origins of Covid-19, insisting scientists should “suspect anything”.</p> <p>Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 podcast <em>Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origin</em>, Professor Gao said, “You can always suspect anything. That’s science.</p> <p>“Don’t rule out anything.”</p> <p>Professor Gao retired from the CDC in 2022 after playing a key role in the pandemic response and efforts to find the mysterious origin of the virus.</p> <p>He would have had access to highly classified government information on the outbreak of Covid-19.</p> <p>According to Professor Gao, a formal investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology was carried out by a government department.</p> <p>The government scientist claimed the “lab was double-checked by the experts in the field”.</p> <p>Investigators believe scientists were working with the Chinese military to develop a mutant virus and pursue bioweapons just as the pandemic began.</p> <p>The findings followed a team of US investigators who combed through top-secret intercepted communications and research.</p> <p>In 2016, researchers discovered a new fatal type of coronavirus in a mineshaft in Mojiang, Yunnan province.</p> <p>However, they kept it under wraps, with the sample then transported to the Wuhan lab and dubbed as classified work.</p> <p>The virus is the only known immediate relative of Covid-19 known to exist prior to the pandemic.</p> <p>Speaking to<em> The Times</em>, one US investigator said, “The trail of papers starts to go dark.</p> <p>“That’s exactly when the classified program kicked off.</p> <p>“My view is that the reason it was covered up was due to military secrecy related to the army’s pursuit of dual-use capabilities in virological biological weapons and vaccines.”</p> <p>The findings came after a scientist who worked closely with the Wuhan lab claimed the virus was genetically engineered and leaked from the facility.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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Australia's top earners revealed – and it might be you

<p>A new report has found Australians are the third most wealthy citizens in the world, with a surprising way to make the cut as one of the richest.</p> <p>A six figure salary will qualify an Aussie to be among the top 10 per cent richest in the world, while homeowners in Sydney are included among the global elite.</p> <p>The top 10 per cent of earners in Australia make $122,664 or more, with some of the highest paid incomes in the country including miners who earn $124,550 on average, school principals who rake in $130,142 and dentists that receive $131,773.</p> <p>Prestige property company Frank Knight’s report revealed anyone with $1.5 million in assets was classified as a “high-net-worth individual”, which would qualify plenty of Sydney homeowners.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the net worth required to be in the top one per cent of Australia’s rich was the third highest figure globally, behind Monaco and Switzerland.</p> <p>However, to be considered in Australia’s highest percentage of wealth, you must have a total net worth of an eye-watering US%5.5 million ($A8.26 million).</p> <p>Its annual Wealth Populations report as part of its Wealth Report Series found that wealth levels across every country analysed had seen an increase since 2021, despite experiencing a “dip” the following year.</p> <p>Australia has almost doubled its 2021 wealth figure, revealing that the rich got richer during the pandemic.</p> <p>In 2021, Australia was number seven, with $US2.8 million as the baseline.</p> <p>Monaco reportedly has the world’s “densest population of super-rich individuals” which saw it at the top of the list out of 25 countries analysed.</p> <p>To be considered one of the top earners in Monaco, people must have income and assets that equate to US$12.4 million in overall net worth.</p> <p>Switzerland calls for just half of Monacos, coming in at $US6.6 million.</p> <p>New Zealand earned a spot right behind their neighbour at number four, with a $US5.2 million net worth qualifying an individual to be in the country’s top percentile.</p> <p>The US rounded out the top five, at US$5.1 million.</p> <p>Ireland, Singapore, France, Hong Kong and the UK made it into the top 10 on the “One per cent club” respectively.</p> <p>China was number 15 on the list, with US$960,000 marking out the number its top one per cent exceeds.</p> <p>In a staggering comparison, having a net worth of more than US$20,000 in Kenya would make you one of the richest in the African nation, which saw itself last on the list.</p> <p>Despite the remarkable wealth of the people detailed in the report, the authors pointed out that every country still fell “well short” of an “ultra high net individual”.</p> <p>The elite must have a net worth that exceeds US$30 million to earn the title.</p> <p>After a tumultuous financial year, the filthy rich remained unaffected with their number increasing by 2 per cent to almost 70 million nationwide.</p> <p>The report’s authors said the Middle East was “the standout region” regarding adding mega rich individuals to their list, with a 16.9 per cent growth.</p> <p>However, during that time, the number of billionaires dropped by five per cent to 2,629.</p> <p>It is expected over the next five years that another 750,000 people will join the exclusive club of remarkably high net worth individuals.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Ambulance report contradicts Daniel Andrews’ car crash statement

<p>A newly discovered ambulance report has contradicted Daniel Andrews’ statement about a 2013 car accident on the Mornington Peninsula that almost killed a teenager.</p> <p>The Victorian premier was being driven by his wife Catherine in their family Ford Territory when it collided with a bike being ridden by 15-year-old Ryan Meuleman.</p> <p>The incident occurred near the Melbourne Rd and Ridley St intersection in Blairgowrie around 1:30pm on January 7, 2013.</p> <p>Meuleman suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs, internal bleeding and was left with just 10 per cent of his spleen. He was in The Royal Children’s Hospital for 11 days.</p> <p>Mrs Andrews wasn’t breathalysed following the accident, and the teen wasn’t given a chance to give a statement to police.</p> <p>Mr Andrews and his wife have held up their claims that Mueleman was at fault as the premier told reporters in 2017 that the teen was “moving at speed” when he “absolutely T-boned the car”.</p> <p>However, a document obtained by the <em>Herald Sun</em>, put together by Ambulance Victoria paramedics who were present at the scene, challenges the couple’s claims that they came to a “complete stop” and “turned right from a stationary position” moments before the collision.</p> <p>The “Patient Care Report” reads, 15YO on bike. Struck on L side by car travelling 40 to 60kmh … PT onto bonnet, then onto windscreen which cracked on impact … thrown onto roadway.”</p> <p>The document has only now been uncovered as Mr Mueleman, now 25, has escalated legal action.</p> <p>Speaking to the<em> Herald Sun</em>, barrister Daryl Dealehr said, “The serious injuries to the left side of Ryan’s body and the observations made by the ambulance officers who attended the crash are completely inconsistent with the claims to police made by Mr Andrews and his wife that their vehicle was travelling at a low speed,”</p> <p>“The evidence appears completely at odds with what Daniel and Catherine Andrews have been claiming since the collision.”</p> <p>The outlet reported in late 2022, before the November state election, that Meuleman had contacted lawyers to re-examine the accident and the circumstances surrounding the investigation and legal settlement that followed.</p> <p>The ambulance report was not in the files that were originally handed over by law firm Slater &amp; Gordon.</p> <p>According to the<em> Herald Sun</em>, The Meuelemans are seeking pre-trial discovery against the law firm and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in an attempt to uncover any further “missing” documents.</p> <p>After the accident, Mueleman was paid $80,000 by the TAC, though his family have raised “concerns” over the proceedings.</p> <p>The teen’s parents insist they never engaged Slater &amp; Gordon, a Labor-aligned law firm, to represent their son while the firm refuses to reveal what led to its involvement.</p> <p>“I hadn’t seen this report until a week ago,” Mueleman told the Herald Sun.</p> <p>“The lawyers never showed it to me. They just told me to agree to the deal and kind of, you know, shut up. I was 15 years old, mate. I was a kid. Seriously, I was 15. I am pretty blown away to be honest. I just wish I had it to show everyone 10 years ago. It would have changed everything. People would have known that they hit me, not the other way around.”</p> <p>In 2017, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission examined the police response to the crash, including failing to use a breathalyser after the crash.</p> <p>Mr Andrews and his wife were not formally interviewed until nearly a month after the incident.</p> <p>In November 2017, uncovered police photographs obtained by the</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> saw the extent of damage to the vehicle.</p> <p>In his signed statement on February 2013, the Premier said, “We had turned right from a stationary position into Ridley St. Moments after we turned, a cyclist collided heavily with the side of our vehicle … the cyclist was travelling at speed and hit our car at a perfect right angle very heavily. I want to make it clear — the cyclist hit our vehicle.”</p> <p>In the statement, Mrs Andrews said, “I turned from Melbourne Rd after coming to a complete stop … just after we turned into Ridley St our car was struck heavily on the front driver’s side by a cyclist who it seems was attempting to cross Ridley St at speed from the bike path.”</p> <p>In a press conference in November, shortly after Mr Mueleman's new claims were revealed, Mr Andrew rejected several questions from reporters.</p> <p>“I’ve got nothing further to say,” he said.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the Premier said that the matter had been "dealt with" by Tourism Minister Steve Dimopoulos at a press conference that morning.</p> <p>“This is over a decade old,” Mr Dimopoulos told reporters.</p> <p>“The most appropriate authorities have investigated this thoroughly and have made no adverse findings. Beyond that, the Premier himself has answered questions on this almost as many times as he’s answered questions on Covid. This has been thoroughly examined and I really don’t have any more to say.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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“Can we show some respect?”: Outrage over Shane Warne’s state funeral cost

<p>A report detailing the cost of cricket legend Shane Warne’s state funeral has sparked outrage online, with one sports commentator labelling the move as “poor taste”. </p> <p>In the report, published by <em>The Age</em>, it came to light that the Victorian government had spent $2.8 million on state funerals in 2022, with $1.6 million from taxpayers going to Shane Warne’s public memorial.</p> <p>The event - which Eddie McGuire’s production company JAM TV received $1 million to produce - saw more than 50,000 people flock to the MCG to witness two hours of panel talks, speeches from those closest to Shane, and performances from fellow international superstars. </p> <p><em>The Age </em>went on to outline the disparities between Shane’s funeral price tag and that of others in the same year, and that’s where the late cricketer’s supporters drew the line, declaring that it had been worth each and every cent to celebrate his life and career in that way. </p> <p>“What's the point of this story, really? What does it achieve? Poor taste IMO,” journalist and AFL commentator tweeted in the wake of the news breaking. </p> <p>“Agree,” said fellow journalist Jim Wilson, “I was there and more than happy for my taxpayers money going towards this, can we show some respect[?]”</p> <p>Support continued to roll in from there, with one fan stating that the event “lit up the MCG for a night, [and] gave all Australians a chance to say goodbye to an Aussie legend.” </p> <p>“And how much did Warne’s presence in the Australian cricket team bring into the state’s coffers over the years[?]” another asked. “There are certain non-negotiables in Australian life &amp; one of them is that beloved Australian legends who touch so many peoples’ lives are honoured with state funerals.”</p> <p>“Seems very fair considering what this legend gave to our sport and our country,” someone else pointed out. </p> <p>The argument that Shane had brought in far more than $1.6 million to the Australian economy was rampant throughout every comment section relating to the report, with many believing the guest list to be proof alone of the sporting superstar’s international draw. </p> <p>The likes of Elton John, Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, and Chris Martin offered their talents in honour of the late Shane’s life. While fellow cricket greats - including but not limited to Allan Border, Michael Clarke, Brian Lara, and Mark Taylor - attended to share in Australia’s night of grief and celebration. </p> <p>"It didn't need to have these things done,” Eddie McGuire explained of the cost and decision to hold the event at the MCG - where a stand was being named in Shane’s honour. “But we did because it went around the world … we put our heart and soul into this because we loved Shane and we love this city."</p> <p>“In a lot of ways, we saw this as being Victoria's funeral," he also said to <em>3AW</em>. "I had to bury my mother with 10 people in the room at the funeral and I got great succour out of the fact that we all came together for a collective funeral in the name of our great mate Shane Warne."</p> <p>And last but certainly not least, as a spokesperson for the Victorian Government explained, “state memorials and funerals honour individuals’ outstanding service to Victoria – they afford Victorians an opportunity to mourn, celebrate, and to recognise extraordinary contributions to our great state.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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New classified report makes bold Covid-19 origin claim

<p>The US Department of Energy has reached the conclusion that the Covid pandemic is most likely to have arisen from a laboratory leak, as suggested in a classified intelligence report delivered to both the White house and key members of Congress. </p> <p>The conclusion, drawn with “low confidence”, comes more than a year after the FBI declared their belief that a laboratory incident in China was the source of the Covid-19 pandemic. In contrast to the Energy Department, the FBI made their assessment with “moderate confidence”. </p> <p>Reportedly, intelligence agencies make their assessments on a scale of low to high confidence, with a low confidence grading meaning that the information is not reliable enough, is not substantial, or is not cohesive enough to make a complete and informed judgement. </p> <p>The new report demonstrates the differing opinions of the US intelligence community about the origins of the pandemic, though the Energy Department is now in line with the FBI in believing that the virus likely spread due to an accident in a Chinese laboratory. However, while two agencies remain undecided, there are still four - as well as The National Intelligence Council - that are firm on their stance that the pandemic was the result of natural transmission from an infected animal.</p> <p>The Energy Department’s findings are allegedly drawn from new intelligence, and are considered to be significant due to their expertise and network of US laboratories. Though the Energy Department oversees the US’ nuclear weapons program, some of their laboratories are said to participate in biological research.</p> <p>Officials in the US did not provide details into the new intelligence that caused the Energy Department to shift its standpoint, but according to the Wall Street Journal, added that “while the Energy Department and the FBI each say an unintended lab leak is most likely, they arrived at those conclusions for different reasons.”</p> <p>Although intelligence agencies aren’t all in agreement, the update reaffirmed existing ideas that Covid-19 was not the result of a Chinese biological weapons program. </p> <p>“There are a variety of views in the intelligence community,” Jake Sullivan - the White House’s national security adviser - said to <em>CNN’s State of the Union </em>of the ongoing investigation into the origins of Covid-19, and US President Joe Biden’s request for national labs to be brought into the assessment. </p> <p>“Here’s what I can tell you: President Biden has directed, repeatedly, every element of our intelligence community to put effort and resources behind getting to the bottom of this question.</p> <p>“And if we gain any further insight or information, we will share it with Congress, and we will share it with the American people. But right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Caring

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Australia’s worst performing hospitals exposed

<p>The Australian Medical Association (AMA) shared a report on Tuesday that shed light on problems for the country’s public hospitals, revealing that only three out of 201 public hospitals in Australia are delivering care to patients within the recommended timeframes. One year ago, the count was at 15. </p> <p>The three “green lit” hospitals were Young Hospital in NSW, as well as South Coast District and Riverland General hospitals in South Australia. </p> <p>As AMA President Professor Steve Robson explained, “the logjam in Australia’s public hospitals has worsened, with continued workforce shortages, increased ambulance ramping, emergency departments beyond capacity and hospital beds unavailable when they’re needed.”</p> <p>Professor Robson went on to stress that the report “paints a worsening picture of emergency department and essential surgery performance”. </p> <p>He called the findings shocking, and urged Australians to stand up and review their local hospitals, stating that they were “asking people to tell us their stories and email their MPs so state and federal governments can hear their voices.”</p> <p>Australians can check out how their local hospitals are performing by inputting their postcode to the <a href="https://www.ama.com.au/clear-the-hospital-logjam" target="_blank" rel="noopener">AMA’s logjam finder</a>.</p> <p>The logjam finder utilises hospital data sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to rank hospital performances in the areas of their emergency departments and elective surgeries. </p> <p>The AMA stated that “Australia urgently needs a recovery plan to address the backlog of elective surgeries, build enough capacity to meet the growing needs of the community, and clear the hospital logjam.”</p> <p>“When National Cabinet sits down on Friday,” Professor Robson said, “we want ministers to tackle the backlog of surgeries that we estimate will top half a million at the end of June, because it’s devastating for every person waiting and dealing with months and months of pain.”</p> <p>“It’s unlikely hospitals will be able to expand their capacity to address this backlog if there is no intervention,” he added, “we are calling for a new national plan funded by all governments but with an up-front advance payment provided by the Commonwealth to support state and territory governments to expand their hospital capacity, including the workforce, to address the elective surgery backlog.” </p> <p>He went on to say that the AMA has called on the federal government to “increase its share of hospital funding from 45 to 50 per cent, and to remove the annual cap on activity.”</p> <p>“For their part, the states and territories need to commit to improve hospital performance by re-investing that extra five per cent,” Professor Robson concluded, “and both need to fund additional ongoing performance improvement, capacity expansion, and ways to reduce avoidable admissions.” </p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Caring

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20 years of tracking sexual harassment at work shows little improvement. But that could be about to change

<p>The fifth national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces shows little has changed since the last survey in 2018 – or indeed since the first survey in 2003.</p> <p>It points to the importance of the legislative changes being pursued by the Albanese government, including reforms that passed parliament on Monday.</p> <p>The <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/time-for-respect-2022" target="_blank" rel="noopener">survey of 10,000 Australians</a> was commissioned by the Australian Human Rights Commission and conducted by Roy Morgan Research in August and September. It shows 33% of workers were sexually harassed at work in the previous five years – 41% of women and 26% of men.</p> <p>This compares with 39% of women and 26% of men <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/AHRC_WORKPLACE_SH_2018.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in 2018</a>, and with 15% of women and 6% of men <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sexual-harassment-workplace-key-findings-overview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in 2003</a> (though these results cannot be easily compared with the latest figures due to changes in survey methodology).</p> <p>The most common form of sexually harassment were:</p> <ul> <li>comments or jokes (40% of women, 14% of men)</li> <li>intrusive questions about one’s private life or appearance (32% of women, 14% of men)</li> <li>inappropriate staring (30% of women, 8% of men)</li> <li>unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing (28% of women, 10% of men)</li> <li>inappropriate physical contact (26% of women, 11% of men).</li> </ul> <p>Men were responsible for 91% of harassment of women, and 55% of harassment of men.</p> <p>Most of those harassed said their harasser also sexually harassed another employee. Just 18% formally reported the harassment. Of those, only 28% said the harassment stopped as a result, while 24% said their harasser faced no consequences.</p> <h2>Slow work on reforms</h2> <p>These results highlight the importance of the reforms now being made by the Albanese government, implementing the recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2020 <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sex-discrimination/publications/respectwork-sexual-harassment-national-inquiry-report-2020" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Respect@Work</a> report.</p> <p>That report made 55 recommendations. The Morrison government acted on just a handful.</p> <p>It amended <a href="https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us-legislation-fair-work-system/respect-work-reforms" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the Fair Work Act</a> to enable individuals to apply to the Fair Work Commission for a “stop sexual harassment” order, and to make it clear sexual harassment is grounds for dismissal.</p> <p>But it ignored the key recommendation: placing a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, requiring them to treat harassment like other work health and safety issues.</p> <p>This was needed, the report argued, because treating sexual harassment as being about aberrant individuals led to a workplace focus on individual complaints. It did little to change structural drivers of such behaviour.</p> <h2>Albanese government commitments</h2> <p>On Monday, the Albanese government finally made this pivotal reform, when parliament <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/about/news/media-releases/passage-respectwork-bill-major-step-preventing-harassment" target="_blank" rel="noopener">passed its Respect@Work bill</a>.</p> <p>It is now no longer enough for employers to have a policy and act on complaints. They must also take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.</p> <p>The government has committed to implementing all 55 recommendations. The Respect@Work bill implements seven.</p> <p>Others should be achieved with the omnibus industrial relations bill now before the Senate. Improving the conditions and bargaining power of those in insecure and low-paid work, and reducing gender inequalities, should lessen the vulnerabilities that enable harassment to flourish.</p> <h2>Ratifying the ILO convention</h2> <p>Last week Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also <a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/address-international-trade-union-confederation" target="_blank" rel="noopener">committed</a> to ratifying the International Labor Organisation’s convention on <a href="https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/violence-harassment/lang--en/index.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work</a>.</p> <p>So far, <a href="https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:11300:0::NO:11300:P11300_INSTRUMENT_ID:3999810" target="_blank" rel="noopener">22 nations</a> have ratified the treaty. Ratification will oblige Australia to align its laws and regulations with the treaty’s provisions.</p> <p>This is significant not just because the convention is the first international treaty to enshrine the right to work free from violence and harassment as its focus. It also breaks with the historical framing of sexual harassment as an individual interpersonal conflict.</p> <p>The convention calls for an integrated approach to eliminating workplace violence and harassment. In Australia’s case, this will require developing approaches that break down the policy and regulatory fences between anti-discrimination measures, and those covering workplace rights and work health and safety.</p> <p>This could prove challenging – with sexual harassment being only one form of gender-based violence. But implementing all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report is a good start.</p> <p>Hopefully the sixth national workplace survey will have a better story to tell.</p> <p><strong>This story originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/20-years-of-tracking-sexual-harassment-at-work-shows-little-improvement-but-that-could-be-about-to-change-195554" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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Brittany Higgins’ comments reported to police after trial thrown out

<p dir="ltr">The comments Brittany Higgins made outside of court after the case was thrown out have been referred to the police by Bruce Lehmann’s lawyers. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Lehmann has pleaded not guilty of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in Parliament House after a night out drinking in March 2019. </p> <p dir="ltr">On October 27, the case was thrown out of court after it was found that a juror accessed evidence that was not presented in court. </p> <p dir="ltr">An emotional Ms Higgins spoke to the media for three minutes after Chief Justice Lucy McCallum’s decision</p> <p dir="ltr">“I told the truth, no matter how uncomfortable or unflattering to the court,” she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I was required to tell the truth under oath for over a week in the witness stand, I was cross-examined at length.”</p> <p dir="ltr">This was enough for Mr Lehmann’s lawyers to report Ms Higgins’ comments to the police stating "the complainant proceeded to give what appears to have been a pre-prepared speech to the media outside the court".</p> <p dir="ltr">"We have brought these comments to the attention of the Court and the Australian Federal Police, and it is not appropriate for Mr Lehrmann or his lawyers to make any comments as to whether the complainant's statements might amount to a contempt or offences against the ACT Criminal Code," a statement from lawyer Steven Whybrow read.</p> <p dir="ltr">Chief Justice Lucy McCallum notified the court as soon as she found out that a juror had accessed evidence that was not presented in court.</p> <p dir="ltr">All 12 jurors were called into the ACT Supreme Court and questioned after an academic paper that reported on how often false rape accusations were made was found.</p> <p dir="ltr">"During routine tidying of the jury room by three sheriff's officers after the conclusion of proceedings yesterday, one of the officers accidentally bumped one of the juror's document holders onto the floor," she said. </p> <p dir="ltr">She said she had no other choice but to dismiss the jurors despite warning them “at least 17 times” to only discuss the points said in court.</p> <p dir="ltr">"You must not try to undertake your own research," she said she told them.</p> <p dir="ltr">"You must rely exclusively on the evidence you hear in this courtroom.</p> <p dir="ltr">"If you are learning something about this trial, and I'm not there, then you should not be doing it."</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite dismissing the jurors, Justice McCallum thanked them and told them that their time was not wasted.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This may come as a frustration to you after the hard work you all put in, and I want to convey my extreme gratitude," she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The juror who accessed the academic papers will not face repercussions for their misconduct.</p> <p dir="ltr">A retrial will be held on February 20, 2023 with Mr Lehmann released on bail. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Legal

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Expectation vs reality: Reporters share inside look at what cruises are like now

<p dir="ltr">Four reporters have shared their experiences on some of the most popular cruising lines - revealing that their expectations weren’t quite met by the reality of their trip.</p> <p dir="ltr">For Joey Hadden, who booked her first ever cruise on the Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, her sessions of relaxing in the sun came with unexpected crowds and difficulties in finding a chair.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I spent more time waiting in lines than I had anticipated. And I saw much of the world from behind other people's heads,” she wrote of her experience in <em><a href="https://www.insider.com/what-its-like-to-go-on-a-cruise-now-photos-2022-10#and-as-she-explored-more-of-the-ship-during-her-weeklong-stay-she-was-surprised-to-find-that-even-the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-felt-overcrowded-at-times-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Insider</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">She shared that when she first boarded the ship and excitedly went to watch the ocean as they sailed away from the port, that tall, thick glass and not being able to find a spot to stand stopped her from doing so.</p> <p dir="ltr">Fellow <em>Insider </em>reporter Monica Humphries said her experience with crowds aboard Carnival Vista, which was at partial capacity during her trip in July 2021, saw her waiting in long lines to disembark at each port and for help from the service desk.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-34a72885-7fff-8bfa-d8da-1752b0965c73"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Buffets were another source of contention and crowds for the two reporters, with Humphries also finding that issues with how food was labelled meant she accidentally ate meat twice despite asking what was in her food due to being pescatarian.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci2sCi_OmYu/?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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci2sCi_OmYu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Amanda Krause (@amandalynn_14)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Mikhaila Friel, who sailed on the Queen Elizabeth, made the common mistake of sitting by herself on her first night in the dining room - not realising that wherever you sit becomes your table for the rest of the cruise.</p> <p dir="ltr">Surprising temperatures were another common experience, with Friel, Hadden, and Amanda Krause, who travelled on Disney Cruise Line’s Wish, finding that they hadn’t packed enough warm clothes.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Europe in the fall can be pretty chilly, so I wore a coat during my excursions in Amsterdam. However, I wish I'd brought a larger selection of warmer clothes and accessories to wear on outdoor areas of the ship that were affected by the wind, something I hadn't considered,” Friel wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“A woolly hat and a pair of gloves certainly wouldn't have gone amiss.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Krause, who had never travelled by ship before, hadn’t expected the chill that came from the cold air-conditioning inside the ship and wished she had brought warmer clothes to avoid shivering at restaurants and bars, as well as in the Walt Disney theatre.</p> <p dir="ltr">While they reported having an enjoyable time during their cruise experiences, each of the travellers encountered hiccoughs and disappointments that made them all the wiser.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f0becb41-7fff-b1b7-92ae-503f52e12a06"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Cruising

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