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"Love harder": Perth brothers farewelled at emotional memorial service

<p>Six weeks after they were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/tragic-new-details-emerge-over-aussie-brothers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shot dead</a> while on a surfing trip to Mexico, Perth brothers Jake and Callum Robinson have been farewelled in a heart-wrenching private memorial on Saturday. </p> <p>The memorial took place in Perth’s Sacred Heart College, where the brothers attended high school, and hundreds gathered at the college to remember the brothers. </p> <p>It was also live-streamed for those who could not fit into the theatre at the college, with Callum's friends also watching on from America, where he spent the last 14 years of his life. </p> <p>In an emotional tribute, their parents, Debra and Martin Robinson,  thanked loved ones abroad and in Australia for their endless support, and talked about how special their sons were. </p> <p>"We're not here to dwell on the where or the how or try to understand the why of their passing but instead to say goodbye to two young men and hopefully start the healing process for everyone," Mr Robinson said. </p> <p>“It’s hard to describe the feeling of when your adult children come and visit you, until it’s gone,” Mrs Robinson added.</p> <p>“They loved life and they followed their dreams.</p> <p>“They were intelligent, respectful men with so much more to offer the world.”</p> <p>The cover of a memorial brochure had the phrase: “LIVE BIGGER, SHINE BRIGHTER, LOVE HARDER”. </p> <p>With shaky voices, the grieving parents described how their two sons exuded “pure love”. </p> <p>"We loved that Jake was curious, kind and happy and never judgemental. Callum always made a conscious decision to wake up and be positive every day. He saw so much fun in life," Mrs Robinson said. </p> <p>"We look around the room today at everyone and it gives us strength, so thank you.</p> <p>"We have cried many tears and we will cry many more … We miss you beyond description, Callum and Jakie boy, please shine on us."</p> <p>Childhood friends Adam Moore and Simon Moore also shared anecdotes about their friendships with the brothers. </p> <p>Adam recalled how the two brothers always excelled "at any sport imaginable" and always had so much energy, and Simon spoke of their surfing adventures through the years. </p> <p>The brothers and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad were last seen alive on April 27. They were allegedly robbed for their car tyres and murdered while they were camping in the Baja California coastline. </p> <p>Three people have been <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/arrests-made-over-aussie-surfers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrested</a> over their suspected involvement in the robbery. </p> <p><em>Image: 7News</em></p>

Caring

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Touching tribute for surfer brothers killed in Mexico

<p>A touching tribute has been held in San Diego, USA for the two Australian brothers killed in Mexico. </p> <p>Jake and Callum Robinson were honoured in a paddle-out into the surf, with their parents Debra and Martin Robinson also flying into San Diego where Callum had been living. </p> <p>Dozens of locals and friends gathered in the surf at one of Callum's favourite beaches to honour the boys' lives, and their father was among those who paddled out and paid tribute to his sons.  </p> <p>Callum's lacrosse team paid tribute to a "beautiful and bright human".</p> <p>"That guy was a ball of sunshine, so grateful my path crossed with his," one surfer said.</p> <p>"He just brought so much passion and joy to everything he was apart of."</p> <p>Friends have also said that the brothers had a passion for sport and being outdoors. </p> <p>"In the middle of our ceremony a large wave rolled in and it felt like Callum was there with us and everyone said that's Callum," another surfer said. </p> <p>Two men and one woman have been <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/arrests-made-over-aussie-surfers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">arrested</a> over their suspected involvement in the "robbery gone wrong", after the bodies of the two Aussie brothers and their American friend Jack Carter Rhoad were discovered 10 metres <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/tragic-new-details-emerge-over-aussie-brothers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">down a well</a> near their campsite.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p> <p> </p>

Caring

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New claim from Mexican criminal cartel over murdered Aussie brothers

<p>A member of the Sinaloa Cartel has claimed that they were the ones who handed the robbers accused of <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/i-killed-them-major-twist-in-slain-aussie-brothers-case" target="_blank" rel="noopener">murdering two Aussie brothers</a> and their American friend over to police. </p> <p>The city of Ensenada, near where the murders occurred, is under the control of a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, and now they have debunked <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/doesn-t-add-up-new-theory-emerges-in-perth-brothers-deaths" target="_blank" rel="noopener">previous theories </a>that believed the cartel were involved somehow. </p> <p>“They were low-level robbers acting alone,” a member of the group, who chose to remain anonymous, told <em>The Daily Beast</em>. </p> <p>“But we handed them over. We learned that the cops were looking for the gringos and also began looking for those who were responsible. We called the authorities to let them know where to find them.”</p> <p>The cartel member added that the group was afraid of "unwanted attention" from Mexican authorities. </p> <p>Callum Robinson, 33, Jake Robinson, 30, and their friend Jack Carter Rhoad, 30, were all killed in what police have characterised as a bungled robbery while they were camping in the Baja California region during a surfing trip. </p> <p>The trio were reported missing on April 27 after they failed to check-in at their next accommodation. Their bodies were discovered in a well over the weekend with <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/tragic-new-details-emerge-over-aussie-brothers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gunshots </a>to the head, around seven kilometres from where they were killed. </p> <p>Three people have been arrested, with the alleged ringleader charged with “forced disappearance”. He has not yet entered a plea and charges are expected to be upgraded to murder in the coming days. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram/ 7NEWS</em></p>

Legal

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"I killed them": Major twist in slain Aussie brothers case

<p>The girlfriend of the man who allegedly killed Perth brothers Callum and Jake Robinson has reportedly "flipped" on her partner, becoming the star witness in the case. </p> <p>Ari Gisel García Cota was arrested earlier this week, along with her partner Jesús Gerardo Garcia Cota and his brother Cristian Alejandro Garcia, after the bodies of the Robinson brothers and their friend were found on Saturday in a desolate section of Santo Tomas in the Baja California region.</p> <p>According to Mexico police, the three men were killed as a result of a failed robbery, after locals attempted to steal the tyres from their pick-up truck.</p> <p>The bodies of the three men were recovered from a 15-metre deep well, with each man having fatal gun shot wounds to the head. </p> <p>In a major twist to the case, prosecutors revealed to court on Wednesday that Ari Gisel García Cota had become a key witness in the case after turning on the "ringleader" of the crime. </p> <p>“She has flipped on the ringleader and the evidence she’s provided to the prosecution will lead this case going forward,” Nine News correspondent Alison Piotrowski, who was in the courtroom, told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Thursday.</p> <p>“What’s alleged is that Jesús Gerardo was driving her car that night when he went out to that remote campsite. The prosecution is saying what we’ve been talking about for the last couple of days has potentially happened, that the two Aussies and their American friend were ambushed.”</p> <p>Prosecutors allege Jesús Gerardo “killed them, took their tyres, put the tyres on her car and drove back”.</p> <p>When he went back to their house, the court heard he allegedly told Ari Gisel, “I f**ked up three gringos (English-speaking foreigner).”</p> <p>“She said to him, ‘What do you mean by that?’ And he told her, ‘I killed them’, and then showed her the vehicle with Jake, Callum and Jack’s tyres on her car,” Piotrowski said.</p> <p>“Ari was arrested later that day, she had fled to her mother’s house to get away from him. When the officers arrested her they said, ‘You have the right to remain silent’, and she said, ‘I don’t want to be silent, I want to tell you what I know. I’m a victim of domestic violence, I want to protect my four-year-old so let me help you with this case.’ So she has spectacularly turned on him and will now be crucial in this case moving forward.”</p> <p>Piotrowski added that the stunning revelation explained why Mexican officials “have been able to put him behind bars so quickly and also how they found the bodies”.</p> <p>“This conversation that he had with his girlfriend is pretty damning,” she said.</p> <p>So far only Jesús Gerardo Garcia Cota has been charged in connection with the deaths of the three men, and only with forced kidnapping, while Ari Gisel García Cota and Cristian Alejandro Garcia have only been charged with drug possession.</p> <p>Piotrowski said the kidnapping charges may not be upgraded to murder until the next court hearing, although the judge has more questions about how the three men were killed. </p> <p>“The judge did say that he can’t understand how one sole person could have done this, essentially kidnap and kill three men and take their tyres, it seems like too much,” she said.</p> <p>“He suggested that the prosecution needed to look into more suspects, that they needed to broaden their investigation because it couldn’t have been done by one man alone.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / State Commission of the Penitentiary System of Baja California</em></p>

Legal

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Tragic new details emerge over Aussie brothers missing in Mexico

<p>Authorities have recovered three bodies <span style="background-color: #ffffff; color: #202223; font-family: Montserrat, Helvetica, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">in the Baja California region of Mexico, </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">believed to be those of brothers Callum and Jake Robinson and their American friend who went missing while on a surfing trip. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The Perth siblings and their American friend </span>Jack Carter Rhoad went missing last week after they failed to show up at their planned accommodations. </p> <p>Mexican Authorities believe that the brothers were attacked in a robbery gone wrong, and fought back, prompting gunfire from the alleged thieves. </p> <p>The three bodies had gunshots to the head, execution-style, and were found 10 metres down a well outside Santo Tomás about 2km away from what is believed to be the men's campsite.</p> <p>While officials are waiting for DNA results, they believe that there is a "very high probability that it is them". </p> <p>"They were in a state of decomposition. That is why we have to run the genetic tests," Baja California Attorney General Maria Elena Andrade Ramírez told <em>9News</em>.</p> <p>Police have also said that shell casings were found at the scene. </p> <p><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/arrests-made-over-aussie-surfers-missing-in-mexico" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Two men and one woman</a> have been arrested in connection with the attempted robbery, after they were found in possession of methamphetamines and one of the missing men's phones.</p> <p>Ramírez also said evidence found along with the abandoned tents was linked to the three people being questioned about the missing foreigners.</p> <p> Local TV network Milenio reported that the suspects appeared to have stolen the surfers’ truck and some of its parts were found in another truck belonging to one of the suspects.</p> <p>"A working team (of investigators) is at the site where they were last seen, where tents and other evidence was found that could be linked to these three people we have under investigation," Ramírez said on Thursday.</p> <p>"There is a lot of important information that we can't make public."</p> <p>A fourth body was also found deeper down the well, but Ramirez confirmed that it had no connection to the investigation. </p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p>

Caring

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"I don't understand": Heartbroken bride mourns husband's passing mere hours after wedding

<p dir="ltr">A bride has been left heartbroken as she mourns the death of her new husband just hours after they tied the knot. </p> <p dir="ltr">Oklahoma singer-songwriter Jake Flint and his fiancée Brenda Wilson said their vows in a beautiful ceremony on November 26.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pair then went home and Flint just never woke up again after dying in his sleep. However the cause of death has still not been confirmed. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We should be going through wedding photos but instead I have to pick out clothes to bury my husband in. People aren't meant to feel this much pain,” a devastated Brenda wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">“My heart is gone and I just really need him to come back. I can't take much more. I need him here.”</p> <p><iframe style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=476&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbrenda.wilson.14224094%2Fvideos%2F4989810367788613%2F&show_text=false&width=267&t=0" width="267" height="476" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">Flint’s longtime publicist Clif Doyal confirmed the horrific news and said that he was “loved by everybody”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He was not only a client, he was a dear friend and just a super nice guy,” he wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As you can see from the outpouring on social media, he was loved by everybody. I think a lot of it was just that he was a people person, and he had an amazing sense of humor. </p> <p dir="ltr">“He made everybody laugh, and he made everybody feel welcome.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Flint's manager, Brenda Cline, also confirmed his death in a sad social media post. </p> <p dir="ltr">“With a broken heart and in deep grief I must announce that Jake Flint has tragically passed away,” she wrote.</p> <p>“I've tried several times today to make a post, but you can't comment on what you can't process.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Family & Pets

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More happy news for Cleo Smith's parents

<p>After a trying few months, the parents of Cleo Smith are reportedly engaged. </p><p>Ellie Smith and Jake Gliddon shared their happy news on social media on Sunday, with Ellie posting a photo of a bed covered in rose petals spelling out the words "MARRY ME", while showing off her pear-shaped diamond ring. </p><p>The pair then posted a selfie of them holding hands with beaming smiles, as Ellie posed again with her new sparkly accessory. </p><p>The couple's heart-warming news comes just one week after they shared the terrifying recount of when their four-year-old daughter Cleo went missing in October last year. </p><p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/02/Ellie-Jake.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p><p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p><p>In an exclusive TV interview with <em>60 Minutes</em>, that the pair reportedly pocketed $2 million for, Ellie and Jake shared the details of when Cleo was reportedly abducted from their family's Western Australian campsite. </p><p>Cleo disappeared from Quobba Blowholes site on October 16th last year, and was found alive and well 18 days later. </p><p>She was found in the house of Carnarvon man Terence Darrell Kelly, who has recently pleaded guilty on the charge of child stealing and awaits sentencing.</p><p> In the interview, Ellie and Jake said they were planning to move from Carnarvon so their little girl can have an "amazing life". </p><p>“Hopefully we find somewhere that is pretty similar to what we love and what we do because we don’t want to let go of everything that we are and who we are,” Ellie said.</p><p>“We want to build our girls’ childhoods the way we wanted with fishing and camping, we’re just going to do it on the road for a little bit.”</p><p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Relationships

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Kiwi millionaire found dead in Kenya

<p dir="ltr">Kiwi entrepreneur and teen millionaire Jake Millar has died in Kenya, eight months after moving there from New Zealand.</p> <p dir="ltr">The cause of the 26-year-old’s death has not been confirmed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Millar, a former Forbes under 30 lister, sold the second of his businesses in February before moving to Kenya.</p> <p dir="ltr">Founded in 2015, Mr Millar's motivational video platform Unfiltered was worth $11.47 million at its peak, but was reportedly sold to consultancy group Crimson Education for about $84,000.</p> <p dir="ltr">The move upset investors - who accused him of poor management and a lack of transparency around the sale - and drew criticism from New Zealand media, with some comparing it to failed ventures such as WeWork and Fyre Festival.</p> <p dir="ltr">In an interview with<span> </span><em>The Spinoff</em><span> </span>in March, Mr Millar said moving halfway across the world would be the “massive shake up” he needed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Life over the next 30 years is probably going to be very similar and very predictable,” Mr Millar explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So the question I asked myself is ‘what can I do to massively shake up the trajectory in an otherwise relatively predictable life?’ And the idea of moving to sub-Saharan Africa felt like shaking up that trajectory.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My business has commercially failed and I have no obligations anymore to a set of investors. I haven’t raised a fresh set of capital and I don’t owe my time to any venture. I really am able to go in any direction I want and try something new.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7846020/jake-millar1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ccc71b276c7d4ccf8cbaefea9e54bf2c" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Mr Millar posing with Sir Richard Branson, who he interviewed through Unfiltered. Image: news.com.au</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Since the news of his death broke, tributes have flowed in for the young entrepreneur from noteworthy businesspeople, including Sir John Kelly, the former New Zealand Prime Minister.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From the first time I met him, I knew he was someone special. He had a mixture of courage, warmness, intellect, and a maturity and strength to deal with adversity, which is never easy for a young person. I respected him and I will miss him,” he told the<span> </span><em>New Zealand Herald</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">New Zealand actor and comedian Rhys Darby shared a tribute to Mr Millar on Twitter, writing, “Rest in Peace Jake Millar. I met him when he was 17 and he was inspiring then! He had such discipline and drive and a great sense of humour.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Like many, I was immediately struck by Jake Millar’s poise/energy &amp; love the focused intensity he brought to interviews. Many places to watch his storytelling w/ voices more famous, but forever grateful to have shared the <a href="https://twitter.com/TechweekNZ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TechweekNZ</a> stage in 2019 <br /><br />RIP 😔<a href="https://t.co/SHVZXbN5Zo">https://t.co/SHVZXbN5Zo</a> <a href="https://t.co/osAPbdmMQ6">pic.twitter.com/osAPbdmMQ6</a></p> — Savannah ✨Savvy✨ Peterson (@SavIsSavvy) <a href="https://twitter.com/SavIsSavvy/status/1465396763339083778?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Some have also criticised Mr Millar’s treatment after he sold Unfiltered, with Crimson Education CEO Jamie Beaton saying it was reflective of broader issues.</p> <p dir="ltr">“New Zealand often suffocates ambition in its young people,” Mr Beaton said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I had never met anyone in New Zealand like Jake Millar. Jake had an ability to connect with people that was mesmerising.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He understood what drove people and could inspire them, drive them and unite them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another user blamed Mr Millar’s criticism and death on “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We don’t know Jake Millar’s cause of death; but we can be certain Tall Poppy Syndrome was a contributing factor,” entrepreneur Yoav Lurie wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The way NZ cuts down those who strive to do big things always disgusts me.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Gutted for the loss; I was looking forward to his next thing.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Can't help but feel uneasy that the same media now reporting <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JakeMillar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JakeMillar</a>'s passing is a tragedy, are the same media that tore him to shreds when he succeeded, and when he tried and failed. NZ Tall Poppy syndrome is the worst! RIP Jake, you were an inspiration.</p> — Brady Dyer (@BR4DY) <a href="https://twitter.com/BR4DY/status/1465175981325307909?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 29, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Mr Millar first saw success after founding Oopher with his friend, Yuuki Ogino, while they were still in high school.</p> <p dir="ltr">The motivation app was later sold to Careers New Zealand, and the duo went on to create Unfiltered.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2010, Mr Millar lost his father, Rod Millar, in a plane crash on New Zealand’s South Island. He explained the impact of the widely-publicised tragedy to<span> </span><em>The Spinoff</em>, pointing to it as one of the reasons he became “more controversial than (he) ever set out to be”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As a young entrepreneur, some people would probably accuse me of having quite strong defence mechanisms,” he wrote in an email shared with the publication.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I have always stood up for what I have believed in and also against people I have felt wronged by, often even if they have been much wiser and more successful than me. When I reflect over my journey, I think this is one of the reasons I became, inadvertently, more controversial than I ever set out to be.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Italy’s Robinson Crusoe starts a new life

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After being the sole inhabitant of the Mediterranean island of Budelli for over 30 years, Mauro Morandi has moved away and started a new life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Known as </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/italy-s-robinson-crusoe-asked-to-leave-island?fbclid=IwAR1KUnOTb2pRGUyFn9SavR4zqBOUHmdFky9n9Ah91K_f8e-6l1r7vxP8_Wo" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Italy’s Robinson Crusoe</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Mr Morandi was the caretaker of the island, which lies in a stretch of water between Sardinia and Corsica, since he washed up there in 1989.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 82-year-old has protected the island for decades, but years of pressure from marine park authorities who wanted to evict him has seen his time on the island come to end.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The authorities told </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">CNN</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> they were upholding the law by “restoring the illegal structure” Mr Morandi lived in - a former second world war radio station.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:375px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844454/176562232_504251944321186_6029451781535021283_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f41cb48a6cf439380e579309443ffe0" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 19th century structure on Budelli. Image: @maurodabudelli / Instagram</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They said the caretaker “had no title” to remain on the island, after La Maddalena’s National Park took over ownership of the island in 2015.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Morandi gained a devoted following after sharing moments from his island life on Instagram, with many supporters petitioning for him to be allowed to remain on Budelli.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After sharing an image of the shore and distant horizon with the caption, “last evening”, he left.</span></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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/COQF6ynpaES/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <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/COQF6ynpaES/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mauro Da Budelli (@maurodabudelli)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the sudden change in his life, Mr Morandi says it’s more than possible to move on and readjust.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s never really over,” he </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/what-italys-famous-hermit-did-next/93dc7240-0a9f-4439-8ad2-9eda6e4a023f" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">told </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">CNN</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m the living proof that a second, new life is possible. You can always start all over again, even if you’re over 80, because there are other things you can experience, a totally different world.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since leaving Budelli, Mr Morandi has moved back to civilisation on the nearby, inhabited island of La Maddalena.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m happy and I have rediscovered the pleasure of living the good life and enjoying everyday comforts,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After using his pension from his prior career as a teacher, Mr Morandi bought an apartment that came with all the luxuries he lacked on Budelli.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He has also been working on his skills as a communicator and is eager to talk to people, exchange views and share photos on social media.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For a long time I have lived alone, and for too many years after I first landed on Budelli I didn’t feel like talking to anyone,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“True, I cannot enjoy the island’s solitude anymore but my life has taken a new turn, focused on communicating with others and being near other people.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite regaining luxuries such as a fully-equipped kitchen, a bedroom with a king size bed, shelves of books, and a shower, Mr Morandi says he still lives a simple life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Savouring dishes he hasn’t had in decades, Mr Morandi is indulging in a simple dish which was impossible to have on Budelli: fish.</span></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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CTIZb-htLHG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <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/CTIZb-htLHG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mauro Da Budelli (@maurodabudelli)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I still keep leading a simple life, in the morning I go down to Cala Gavetta to buy fresh fish from the net. Finally after so many years of abstinence, I can enjoy fish again. This might sound incredible, but I can’t have enough platefuls of fresh and crispy fried fish,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“On the island I had no boat so I couldn’t fish, and the food was scarce and limited. I always had to wait for people to bring me groceries from the mainland, and when they wouldn’t come, I had to make do with what I had.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Here, if I need to buy anything I just walk into town.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He has since rekindled an old flame, and now lives in his new home with a sweetheart from his youth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Morandi has also been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, is happy to wear a mask in public, and enjoys mingling with locals.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 400px; height:500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844453/240655263_598357078002846_2962138352093797634_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/22efc83f43b64589a09966c8597eb5d9" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @maurodabudelli / Instagram</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was amazed at how many are friendly, and I’m usually invited for coffee, lunch or dinner,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was worried locals would not give me a warm welcome. I’m happy that not everyone hates me, just those who were jealous of the life I led on Budelli.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many are fond of me. They come up to me and congratulate me on my fight, they want to take pictures with me.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though he has settled into his new home, Mr Morandi worries about the future of Budelli.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t long for it,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“However I might be willing to return as caretaker only if this time round I get paid to do my job. I won’t work for free again.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @maurodabudelli / Instagram</span></em></p>

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Italy’s Robinson Crusoe asked to leave island

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though being alone on an island might be a nightmarish situation for some, Mauro Morandi has been doing that exact thing by choice for 31 years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Morandi’s catamaran washed up on the shore of Budelli Island, found in a stretch of water between Sardinia and Corsica, in 1989. When he learned the island’s caretaker was looking to retire from his post, Morandi sold his boat and took on the job.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After decades protecting one of Italy’s most beautiful islands, Morandi, known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe, has surrendered his post in response to years of pressure from authorities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Budelli Island is one of the seven islands that make up Maddalena Archipelago National Park and is considered the most beautiful of them all because of its Pink Beach. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the early 1990’s, the Italian government claimed Pink Beach was a place of “high natural value” and closed off to protect its fragile ecosystem. With only some areas accessible to visitors, the island quickly went from hosting thousands of people a day to only one inhabitant calling it home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fast forward to 2016, when Maddalena National Park challenged Morandi’s right to live on the island after a three-year legal battle ruled the park owned the island.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A petition with over 18,000 signatures opposing his eviction pressured local politicians to delay the move indefinitely. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Morandi announced in a Facebook post that he had decided to leave the island at the end of April 2021 after several eviction threats from authorities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I hope[d] to die here and be cremated and have my ashes scattered in the wind,” the 81-year-old told </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">National Geographic</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because he believes all life will reunite with the Earth, he has stayed on the island without compensation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Morandi has guarded the island’s environment with fervour and educated summer visitors about the ecosystem and how to protect it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not a botanist or a biologist,” Morandi said. “Yes, I know names of plants and animals, but my work is much different than this. To be able to care for a plant is a technical task - I try to make people understand [why] the plant needs to live.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the winter is a much lonelier time. Morandi would go for periods of more than 20 days without any human contact. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m sort of in prison here,” he said. “But it’s a prison that I chose for myself.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Wi-Fi eventually came to the island, Morandi took it in his stride and shared his lifestyle with the world through social media to expose people to its beauty.</span></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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CN20W0VpNzj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <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/CN20W0VpNzj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mauro Da Budelli (@maurodabudelli)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Love is an absolute consequence of beauty, and vice versa,” Morandi said. “When you love a person deeply you see him or her as beautiful, but not because you see them as physically beautiful … you empathise with them, you’ve become a part of her and she’s become a part of you. It’s the same thing with nature.”</span></p>

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Colleen McCullough's will update: "On its face it's a lie"

<p>The battle for the estate of best-selling author Colleen McCullough has taken a fresh new twist with a court hearing her husband ‘took a mistress’ just before her death.</p> <p><a href="https://www.9news.com.au/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>9news.com.au reports</strong></em></span></a> the legal fight between Selwa Anthony, one of Ms McCullough’s best friends and the executor of her will, and the author’s husband, Ric Robinson, is proving to have drama that is worthy of a page turner itself.</p> <p>The author has two disputed wills – one that puts half her $2 million estate to an American University and another that gives everything to Mr Robinson.</p> <p>The solicitor working on the case, Piria Coleman, also added the belief that Dr McCullough was unwell during the essential care meetings and after noting bruising on her arm believed Mr Robinson was controlling the best-selling author.</p> <p>Ms Coleman had reportedly visited the author just weeks before her passing in January 2015, where Dr McCullough reportedly yelled at her to “give him what he wants”.</p> <p>On a later visit to execute the will that would have left everything to Mr Robinson, Ms Coleman noted Dr McCullough seemed “very unwell” and appeared to have heavy bruising.</p> <p>She also said the marks made on the document did not resemble each other.</p> <p>"I took it as evidence she didn't want to sign her name," she said.</p> <p>"I certainly didn't leave understanding that was a fresh will."</p> <p>But defence barrister David Murr SC said she had written a letter the next day referring to, “the updated will”.</p> <p>He asked the solicitor if that letter was a lie.</p> <p>"On its face it's a lie...one needs to read between the lines," Ms Coleman said.</p> <p>When asked why she did not ask Mr Robinson to leave the room, Ms Coleman said "there was an approach at that stage to placate Ric...to try to keep the peace...to keep Col from harm...Those were foremost in my mind on the 24th of October."</p> <p>Ms Coleman's cross-examination is set to resume on Thursday.</p> <p>What are your thoughts?</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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