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“Miracle”: 1-year-old baby survives two days beside highway during hurricane

<p>A one-year-old baby has been found alive on the side of a highway after surviving two days of dangerous hurricane conditions between the Texas and Louisiana border in the US. </p> <p>A truck driver spotted the one-year-old on a major highway, just a few kilometres where the boy's four-year-old brother was tragically found dead in a lake. </p> <p>The one-year-old had to survive stormy weather as Hurricane Beryl inundated the area with heavy rain and high winds, but was relatively unscathed when he was found.</p> <p>The truck driver recalled the moment he found the child to local news station KPLC, saying, "There was a little boy sitting down in the embankment there."</p> <p>"As I approached him, he smiled at me and then he started crying and walked toward me. Once he walked toward me, I grabbed his hand and he stopped crying at that point."</p> <p>Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Gary “Stitch” Guillory said the baby had a few insect bites, but otherwise seemed well.</p> <p>“This kid spent two days out in the weather on the side of the highway,” Guillory said while becoming emotional.</p> <p>“Thank God that trucker seen him. When you look at the video, here he was, you know, crawling toward the highway."</p> <p>“We look at this one-year-old as our miracle baby because he was still alive.”</p> <p>The children’s mother, 25-year-old Aaliyah Jack of Lake Charles, has been charged with failing to report a missing child, while the child's grandmother is fighting for custody of the infant. </p> <p><em>Image credits: News15</em></p>

Caring

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"Worth it": Insane amount woman spends to clone dead cat

<p>Kelly Anderson from Texas, US was devastated when she lost her "soulmate" cat Chai more than four years ago. </p> <p>Not long after, in what she calls "fate", Anderson decided to clone her beloved pet, a process which cost her a whopping $USD25,000 ($AUD38,000).</p> <p>"It was just one of those moments where I had been talking about cloning a few weeks before and fate kicked in," she told <em>Weekend Today</em>.</p> <p>"I remembered the conversation and decided to clone."</p> <p>The process took about four years, which is roughly twice the average time it takes to clone a pet. </p> <p>"It was not money that I had come easily to me but it was a very important process for me to do," she said.</p> <p>"It was 100 per cent worth it. The process saved my life."</p> <p>Anderson added that Belle, the successfully cloned cat, has grown to be as "bold, bossy, sassy" as Chai, and their personalities have become more alike. </p> <p>Despite the similarities, Anderson said that she doesn't set any expectations on Belle to be Chai's replacement. </p> <p>"I would still say she's very much her own cat and I treat her that way. I always try to treat them as individuals.</p> <p>"I never wanted to put expectations on Belle to be Chai. But I would say that they're very similar in a lot of ways."</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">According to</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span><em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60924936" target="_blank" rel="noopener">BBC</a>, </em>the process itself involves extracting DNA from the pet to be cloned, then injecting that into a donor egg that has had its genetic material removed. The egg then grows into an embryo before being implanted into a surrogate mother, who then gives birth to the kitten. </p> <p>Pet cloning has become an increasingly popular practice, , despite how controversial and expensive it is, with celebrities like Barbra Streisand and Simon Cowell using the process to clone their own beloved pets. </p> <p>Anderson, who decided to document her story on social media added that people have mixed reactions to the process. </p> <p>"I think there's people who are fascinated and don't even realise that we're cloning animals ... so a lot of people are learning about cloning," she said. </p> <p>"But a lot of people also have opinions. So it's a mixed bag."</p> <p><em>Images: Weekend Today</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Groom faces serious jail time after $89 million "wedding of the century"

<p>A groom whose viral $89 million wedding was dubbed the "wedding of the century" is now facing a possible life sentence in prison. </p> <p>Jacob LaGrone, 29, and wife, car dealership heiress Madelaine Brockway, took social media by storm last month after videos of their lavish, five-day wedding in France went viral on TikTok. </p> <p>The wedding which featured an overnight stay at the Palace of Versailles, rehearsal dinner at the Paris Opera House, and a performance by Maroon 5 at the Texan couple's reception, was nothing short of amazing. </p> <p>Now, instead of going on their honeymoon, the groom could be facing life in prison, after getting arrested for allegedly shooting at three police officers in an incident on March 14.</p> <p>The Nashville native was indicted eight months ago on three counts of aggravated assault on a public servant, which is a first-degree felony in Texas, that, if convicted, could see him face a sentence from less than five years to life in prison. </p> <p>According to city officials, officers responded to multiple disturbance calls about a gun being discharged at a home – and when the three officers arrived, "they were fired upon” by LaGrone.</p> <p>An indictment obtained by <em>The Washington Post</em>, said that LaGrone "did intentionally and knowingly threaten imminent bodily injury" to the officers and “did use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault, namely, a firearm”.</p> <p>The indictment did not specify where the incident took place, and no further details were given regarding the disturbance calls.</p> <p><em>The Dallas Morning News </em>reported that the Tarrant County District Attorney offered LaGrone a plea deal of 25-years in jail . </p> <p>Neither LaGrone nor his wife have publicly addressed the charges, and both have since made their social media accounts private. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram/ News.com.au</em></p> <p> </p>

Legal

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"Most dangerous spy in US history" dies in jail

<p>The USA’s most notorious FBI agent has been found dead in his top security prison cell at the age of 79. </p> <p>Prison officials confirmed the news of Robert Hanssen’s passing, more than 20 years after he received a life sentence for selling classified US material throughout the 1980s and 1990s. </p> <p>While no cause of death has been revealed, a statement from the Bureau of Prisons revealed that staff at the facility took life-saving measures after Hanssen was found unresponsive in his cell, to no avail. </p> <p>Hanssen - who is now regarded as one of the most dangerous spies in US history - sold thousands of documents in exchange for the diamonds and cash over the course of his deception. According to the FBI, by the time of his arrest, Hanssen had received the value of more than $1.4 million. </p> <p>He first launched his career with the FBI in 1976, and it was only a few years before he began spying for the Soviet Union, sending classified information - on everything from human resources to counterintelligence - to the Soviet Union and Russia under the alias ‘Ramon Garcia’. </p> <p>It is believed that he was able to cover for himself through his role in the FBI’s New York counterintelligence department, where he was tasked with tracking down his own kind - spies. </p> <p>“As a result of his assignments, Hanssen had direct and legitimate access to voluminous information about sensitive programs and operations,” the FBI explained at the time. “As the complaint alleges, Hanssen effectively used his training, expertise and experience as a counterintelligence Agent to avoid detection, to include keeping his identity and place of employment from his Russian handlers and avoiding all the customary ‘tradecraft’ and travel usually associated with espionage.”</p> <p>Neither the FBI or CIA caught on to the fact there was a mole working within the system for years, but did eventually secure “original Russian documentation of an American spy”, according to the FBI and Forbes. </p> <p>According to reports, not even Hanssen’s Russian handlers knew his true identity, and he was not at the top of any suspect list. By all appearances, he lived a frugal life among Washington’s conservative Catholics, with a wife and six children. </p> <p>But Hanssen was caught in suburban Virginia at a ‘dead drop’, and his arrest came in 2001. He pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage, and was consequently sentenced to life behind bars without parole for “espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, and attempted espionage”.</p> <p>“I apologise for my behaviour,” Hanssen said during his sentencing. “I am shamed by it.</p> <p>“I have opened the door for calumny against my totally innocent wife and children. I’ve hurt so many deeply.”</p> <p><em>Images: FBI</em></p>

Legal

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“A parent’s worst nightmare”: Tammin Sursok reveals daughter’s lockdown for school shooting

<p>Former Home and Away star Tammin Sursok has revealed her daughter’s school in Nashville was placed on lockdown after a mass shooting took place at the school next door.</p> <p>Sursok, 39, who lives in Nashville with her husband Sean McEwan and their two children, took to Instagram to explain the “nightmare”.</p> <p>The 39-year-old shared that the shooting, which took place at The Covenant School, was just next-door to her nine-year-old daughter Phoenix’s school.</p> <p>“There’s been an active shooter, in Nashville, in one of the schools in Greenhills,” Sursok said in her video.</p> <p>“It’s right next to my daughter’s school. She’s in lockdown. She’s fine.</p> <p>“It’s really close to home, I know it’s close to home for a lot of you.</p> <p>“I know a lot of mothers are just completely hysterical and shaking right now.</p> <p>“I just can’t believe this keeps happening, and you always think that it’s not going to happen to you.”</p> <p>The shooter has been identified as a woman, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who opened fire killing three children and three staff members. She was also a former student of the Covenant school.</p> <p>Hale was shot and killed by police at the scene.</p> <p>Sursok later posted a follow-up video saying she wasn’t sure what to do after hearing of her daughter’s lockdown.</p> <p>“Do we go to the school, do we wait until they tell us they’re out of lockdown?” she said.</p> <p>“It’s just really hard to even fathom that this happens so much.</p> <p>“I can’t even let my brain go there, because it’s just too hard to think of.”</p> <p>Sursok then wrote a lengthy message about the shooting and weighed in about gun control.</p> <p>The post saw an image of her and Phoenix, wearing tops that read “Love More”.</p> <p>“Our community in Nashville is in shock,” she wrote, adding a shooting trigger warning.</p> <p>“My thoughts and prayers are with the families going though this unimaginable tragedy.</p> <p>“Today I got a call that I never thought would happen but at the same time expected because I live in the USA.</p> <p>“My daughter’s school was on lockdown. There was an active shooter somewhere.”</p> <p>“A parent’s worst nightmare,” she wrote.</p> <p>“As you’ve now seen on the news, a school in Nashville has lost children and adults at the hands of a 28-year old-woman.</p> <p>“That school was next door, walking distance from my daughter’s school.</p> <p>“The argument when these horrific events happen is don’t get political, now is not the time, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.</p> <p>“I call BS.</p> <p>“... people with access to assault rifles cause mass destruction.</p> <p>“Why do we sell in the USA weapons of mass destruction to civilians?</p> <p>“Why do we sell weapons that can shoot hundreds of bullets in seconds?</p> <p>“Read that sentence again.</p> <p>“Hundreds of bullets in seconds.”</p> <p>The actress pointed out that in most American states, a person can buy an AR-15 - a semi-automatic rifle - once they turn 18.</p> <p>“The AR-15 (and military style weaponry) is not designed for hunting or ‘sport’,” she wrote.</p> <p>“It’s meant to kill people. Lots of people all at once.</p> <p>“How is this allowed? Please explain it to me.”</p> <p>She said she felt numb, angry, and “at a loss”.</p> <p>“Parties need to come together on both sides. I don’t care what side you are on,” she added.</p> <p>“We can come together to AGREE to uphold the freedom of America and its constitution AND keep our children safe.</p> <p>“We can do BOTH!</p> <p>“You know this doesn’t make sense. You know this isn’t normal.</p> <p>“You know children shouldn’t live in fear like this.”</p> <p>Sursok’s followers flooded the comments with support, with most agreeing gun control is a major issue in the US.</p> <p>“It only took one major incident for Australia to see what mattered most ... Lives not Guns,” one person wrote, referencing the Port Arthur massacre Tasmania saw in 1996.</p> <p>“Absolutely horrific,” another wrote.</p> <p>“When I am in the US I always think about that each person I am passing by could have a gun,” wrote a third.</p> <p>“Cannot imagine living with this thought every day.</p> <p>“You are right, the gun laws finally have to change. Sending lots of love.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Florida’s plan to ban ‘period talk’

<p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">Politicians in Florida are considering a draft law to strengthen state control over sex education in students.</p> <p dir="ltr">This would ban any lessons in schools teaching students about menstrual cycles before high school.</p> <p dir="ltr">The proposal comes after Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature, backed by Governor Ron DeSantis, passed various laws limiting discussion in schools of gender and sexuality, reducing the emphasis on diversity in public schools across the state. </p> <p dir="ltr">The latest proposal came from Republican Stan McClain which would allow instruction "acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, or health education” only from sixth grade through to 12, typically children aged 12-18. </p> <p dir="ltr">Girls generally have their first period between the ages of 10 and 15, but some do as young as eight. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Imagine a little girl in fourth grade, going to the bathroom and finding blood in her panties and thinking that she is dying," state representative Ashley Gantt, a Democrat, said in a social media post.</p> <p dir="ltr">"She doesn't actually know what's going on. And her teacher does not even have the ability to tell her that this is a part of life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the bill passed the subcommittee by a 13-to-5 vote.</p> <p dir="ltr">Planned Parenthood said the legislation would take "total control from local school districts in approving sex ed curriculum and give it to the State Department of Education", in turn presenting a "reductive and binary view of sex" and stigmatising LGBTQIA+ students.</p> <p dir="ltr">Critics say conservative legislatures in the USA are trying to impose their own views on others, preventing students from having a well-rounded education. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

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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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Travel beyond the ordinary with Globus Journeys

<p><span lang="EN">Pack your bags and prepare to tick the USA and Canada off your bucket list. With </span><span lang="EN"><a href="https://www.globus.com.au/deals/au/2023-north-america-promotion?&utm_medium=native&utm_source=over60&utm_campaign=globus-2023-nam-oct&utm_content=native-article-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Globus</a></span><span lang="EN">, it’s time to immerse yourself in travel. It’s not just a holiday – it’s an experience with memories to last a lifetime.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN">For more than 90 years, Globus has been sharing the world with travellers, setting the gold standard for award-winning tours across virtually every continent. Pairing unrivalled knowledge with superior accommodation, authentic cuisine, VIP sight-seeing and unique insider experiences, you get to say hello to the United States and Canada as you’ve never seen them before, on a journey beyond ordinary!</span></p> <p><span lang="EN">Soak up everything this part of the world has to offer on a first-class, escorted Globus journey, </span><span lang="EN"><a href="https://www.globus.com.au/deals/au/2023-north-america-promotion?&utm_medium=native&utm_source=over60&utm_campaign=globus-2023-nam-oct&utm_content=native-article-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">with a huge saving of up to $1,000</a></span><span lang="EN"> (per couple) for a limited time on 2023 tours.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN">From the majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies to America's colourful Southern States, Globus has more than 50 North America itineraries to choose from – so you’re sure to find the perfect one to line up with your dream holiday.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN">In fact, if you're anything like us, your US and Canadian travel bucket list is easily a mile long. So to help get you started, here are our <strong>Favourite Five destinations</strong> we are itching to see at least once in our lifetimes. If you haven't been, now is the time to stop dreaming and start planning!</span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><strong>Favourite Five:</strong></span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><strong><span lang="EN">1. Monument Valley, Arizona:</span></strong><span lang="EN"><strong> </strong></span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/10/Arizona.jpg" alt="" width="792" height="515" /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN">Located on the Utah-Arizona state line, Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley hosts unique crimson sandstone and rock formations that have been sculpted by time. These natural masterpieces soar through the sky and are framed by the beautiful clouds casting shadows that project onto the rich dessert ground. Experience one of the most breathtaking points on earth – not to mention one of the world’s most-photographed natural wonders. The rocks are surrounded by an abundance of beautiful nature and – of course – peaceful serenity.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><strong><span lang="EN">2. Bourbon Street, New Orleans:</span></strong><span lang="EN"> </span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/10/Bourbon-St.jpg" alt="" width="819" height="523" /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN">Looking for the life of the party? Look no further than Bourbon Street in the historic centre of New Orleans’ French Quarter. You’re bound to hear music on every corner as the popular strip lights up under a neon glow day-in and day-out. Famous for its intoxicating atmosphere, Bourbon Street will immediately have you buzzing and coming back for more.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><strong style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt;"><span lang="EN" style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;">3. Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies:</span></strong><span lang="EN" style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;"> </span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/10/Banff-Canada.jpg" alt="" width="778" height="533" /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN" style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;">Visit the flagship of Canada’s picture-perfect scenery and immerse yourself in a vast range of activities including hiking, biking, skiing, camping and much more. Experience beautiful scenery, lux accommodation and bask in the beauty of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;"><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: medium;"><span lang="EN">4. Denali National Park, Alaska:</span></strong><span lang="EN" style="font-family: -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: medium;"> </span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN" style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 18.4px;"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/10/Alaska6.jpg" alt="" width="761" height="452" /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN">Denali sprawls out across six million vast unspoiled acres of wilderness and is home to the tallest peak in North America, Mt McKinley. </span><span lang="EN">Here you’ll find an abundance of native wildlife including moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves. Compare the different park roads and discover which is best for you and your sight-seeing adventure – but keep in mind you don’t have to set a limit; with an array of different activities you’ll find yourself at one with the wilderness in no time.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><strong><span lang="EN">5. Washington, DC:</span></strong><span lang="EN"><strong> </strong></span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/10/Washington1.jpg" alt="" width="742" height="458" /></span></p> <p><span lang="EN">From monuments to memorials, explore the Nation’s capital and learn a thing or two about its rich historic background. Washington offers a host of different experiences to suit everyone. You certainly won’t run out of things to do with Washington ranking in the top 5 best cities of America in 2022. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN">Give yourself something to look forward to with a Globus undiscovered journey and go off-the-beaten-path, or design your days your way with Choice Touring by Globus. You’ll have to see it to believe it! Prepare for the adventure of a lifetime as Globus connects you with places, people and experiences that will ignite your passion for travel all over again.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN"><a href="https://www.globus.com.au/deals/au/2023-north-america-promotion?&utm_medium=native&utm_source=over60&utm_campaign=globus-2023-nam-oct&utm_content=native-article-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Book a 2023 Globus North America tour by 31 October</a></span><span lang="EN"> 2022 and save up to $1,000 per couple!</span></p> <p><span lang="EN">This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </span><span lang="EN"><a href="https://www.globus.com.au/deals/au/2023-north-america-promotion?&utm_medium=native&utm_source=over60&utm_campaign=globus-2023-nam-oct&utm_content=native-article-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Globus</a></span><span lang="EN">.</span></p> <p><em><span lang="EN">Images: Supplied</span></em></p>

International Travel

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World's most-loved landmarks ranked

<p dir="ltr">A new study has ranked the world's most-loved landmarks, whittling down a list of 125 iconic spots down to just ten.</p> <p dir="ltr">Travel experts at <a href="https://usebounce.com/blog/best-loved-landmarks" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bounce</a> analysed Google search data with a focus on several factors, including annual visitor numbers, TripAdvisor ratings and posts on social media. </p> <p dir="ltr">The US and Canada dominated the list, with Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty coming in first, third, fourth and fifth respectively. </p> <p dir="ltr">India's Taj Mahal came in second, while the Great Wall of China just missed out on the top five. </p> <p dir="ltr">Though Australia and New Zealand's icons were noticeably absent from the list, the famed Sydney Opera House took out second in Bounce's ranking of landmarks expected to generate the most revenue, coming in behind India's Burj Khalifa.</p> <p dir="ltr">The full list of the top ten most-loved landmarks is:</p> <p dir="ltr">1. Niagara Falls, Canada </p> <p dir="ltr">2. Taj Mahal, India </p> <p dir="ltr">3. Grand Canyon, United States </p> <p dir="ltr">4. Golden Gate Bridge, United States </p> <p dir="ltr">5. Statue Of Liberty, United States </p> <p dir="ltr">6. Great Wall Of China, China</p> <p dir="ltr">7. Eiffel Tower, France</p> <p dir="ltr">8. Burj Khalifa, India</p> <p dir="ltr">9. Banff National Park, Canada</p> <p dir="ltr">10. Colosseum, Italy</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-a8e96ede-7fff-f0d0-7a86-4e6177dfc7c8"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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Body of kidnapped heiress found

<p dir="ltr">The body of missing heiress Eliza Fletcher has been found dumped in Memphis four days after she was violently snatched during an early morning run, Tennessee police confirmed on Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The deceased victim that was located yesterday in the 1600 block of Victor (Street, south of Memphis’ CBD) has been identified as 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher,” Memphis Police Department <a href="https://twitter.com/MEM_PoliceDept/status/1567147974462939139" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeted</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the <em><a href="https://nypost.com/2022/09/06/police-confirm-body-found-in-memphis-is-eliza-fletcher/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a></em>, Fletcher’s suspected killer and kidnapper, Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping, in addition to a charge of especially aggravated kidnapping laid against her on Saturday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Authorities found the body of the mother-of-two at 5.07pm on Monday in an area near to where police say Absten was seen clearing out a vehicle seen in the surveillance footage of Fletcher’s abduction.</p> <p dir="ltr">Abston, who has previously served 20 years in prison for violent kidnapping, had refused to reveal where Fletcher was, police said at the time.</p> <p dir="ltr">His brother was among those who reported that Abston was acting “strange” and scrubbing his clothes in the hours after the abduction, according to an affidavit.</p> <p dir="ltr">After police released images of Fletcher during her 4am run around the University of Memphis on Friday, it was later revealed that the car she was forced into had been trawling the area at least 24 minutes before she ran through.</p> <p dir="ltr">Surveillance footage showed an SUV pulled up ahead of her, with a man getting out and running “aggressively toward” Fletcher before forcing her into the backseat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“During this abduction, there appeared to be a struggle,” the affidavit said, adding that Fletcher likely “suffered serious injury”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her husband, Richard Fletcher, raised the alarm at 7am.</p> <p dir="ltr">Abston quickly became the prime suspect after a pair of shoes left at the scene returned his DNA when tested.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-57720813-7fff-75f0-54e7-2d89765f74c6"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">The 34-year-old was the granddaughter of a late Memphis billionaire.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: The New York Post</em></p>

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Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! ABBA’s Florida mansion hits the market

<p dir="ltr">A mansion built specifically for ABBA is up for sale, and its new owners will also walk away with a collection of memorabilia, recording equipment, cassettes, and even a stereo that once belonged to the iconic Swedish pop band - as long as they can afford the $US 3.9 million ($AUD 5.59 million) price tag.</p> <p dir="ltr">The sprawling home was designed by the stars themselves in the style of a Swedish longhouse and built in 1982 - just before the band officially broke up.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bandmates Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad were believed to have lived in the house until 1986, when it was purchased by an unnamed couple who lived there until they passed away earlier this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even after all these years, the band’s recording equipment and tapes remain completely untouched inside the home.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lisa Farmer, the listing agent with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, revealed that the architect who worked with the band to design their home had no idea that the two Swedish couples were actually the people behind <em>Waterloo </em>and <em>Dancing Queen</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We found the architect and spoke to him on the phone. He said he was in a trailer on the site before the home was built with both couples, all four members of the band, face to face, designing the home,” Farmer said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“At the time, he didn't realise it was ABBA until a few days later when he got a call from a reporter in London who apparently got wind of it.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He said he met with two Swedish couples and that's how he found out it was ABBA.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Farmer added that it was “super cool” that there were things left behind from the band that were never even used.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There's some stereo equipment that the people who bought the house never even used,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It's in this one area where [ABBA] might have done some recording. There's an actual ABBA cassette that was left inside the cassette player.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The six-bedroom home on the island of Tierra Verde features a “community space with two-storey vaulted ceilings” according to the <a href="https://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/sales/detail/180-l-3357-7xnejq/873-2nd-avenue-s-south-bay-st-pete-pinellas-point-tierra-verde-fl-33715" target="_blank" rel="noopener">listing</a>, as well as two identical wings on each side, complete with a master suite, loft area, and two bedrooms with jack-and-jill bathrooms.</p> <p dir="ltr">Recent upgrades include a new roof with skylights, battery-ready solar panels, renovated guest baths, and a fresh coat of paint.</p> <p dir="ltr">'[The band] specifically requested a Swedish longhouse design. It's got a really neat central, common living area that's big and open with a really nice stone fireplace,” Farmer said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“What's kind of unique is that the two wings on both sides of the house are exactly identical and symmetrical.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The layout of the home is pretty special and just makes for a great house for somebody who would like to entertain or has a big family.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-b898f197-7fff-fd60-62e7-5de8234a0133"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty Images / Sotheby’s International Realty</em></p>

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Alex Jones to pay eye-watering sum in damages

<p dir="ltr">Alex Jones, the host of far-right radio show InfoWars, has been ordered to pay a total of $US 49.3 million ($AUD 70.51 million) in damages for falsely claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax.</p> <p dir="ltr">A Texas jury ruled that Jones pay $45.2 million in punitive damages, after awarding $4.1 million in compensatory damages the previous day, per <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62444302" target="_blank" rel="noopener">BBC News</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jones has repeatedly claimed that the shooting at Sandy Hook primary school, Connecticut, where 20 children and adults were killed was a “hoax” carried out by actors who opposed the Second Amendment right to bear firearms.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nail Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the plaintiffs in the case and whose son died in the shooting, asked the court for $150 million, claiming they endured harassment and emotional distress as a result of his misinformation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Heslin told the court that Jones’ falsehoods had made his life “hell” and led to harassment and death threats from people who believed he had lied about his son’s death.</p> <p dir="ltr">The $4.1 million in compensatory damages were issued on Thursday to cover the actual costs incurred by the plaintiffs as a result of Jones’ defamation, including the private security they hired out of fear a Jones supporter may attack them during the trial.</p> <p dir="ltr">The following day’s $45.2 million are meant to deter Jones from repeating his offence.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We ask that you send a very, very simple message and that is: Stop Alex Jones,” a lawyer for the parents said in court on Friday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Stop the monetisation of misinformation and lies. Please.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Lawyers representing Heslin and Lewis accused Jones of trying to hide evidence, arguing that he committed perjury by denying having sent any messages about the shooting - with one attorney revealing that Jones’ legal representative accidentally sent them two years of Jones’ text messages.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Did you know 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” said attorney Mark Bankston, according to HuffPost.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And when informed did not take any steps to identify it as privilege?”</p> <p dir="ltr">"If I was mistaken, I was mistaken, you've got the text messages right there," Jones said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite his long-held position that the shooting was fake, Jones acknowledged that it was “100 percent real” in court.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I unintentionally took part in things that did hurt these people’s feelings, and I’m sorry for that,” Jones said.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, the radio host has continued to use his media platform to claim the case was rigged against him, with his InfoWars depicting a judge being consumed by flames.</p> <p dir="ltr">During his brief appearance in court, Jones was rebuked several times by the judge for lying under oath, including one moment where he was told: “This is not your show.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The trial is one of three brought against Jones by family members of the Sandy Hook victims, and comes after he has lost a series of defamation cases filed by parents by default after he failed to produce documents or testimony.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, this is the first trial where a jury agreed to award financial damages.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-71a17443-7fff-4a6b-001a-e0fe0b49116b"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Camping tragedy as parents and 6-year-old girl killed

<p>A nine-year-old boy who was camping at an Iowa state park in the US with his parents and six-year-old sister has survived a shooting that killed the rest of his family.</p> <p>The Iowa Department of Public Safety identified the victims as Tyler Schmidt, 42; his 42-year-old wife, Sarah Schmidt; and their daughter, Lula Schmidt, all of Cedar Falls, Iowa.</p> <p>Their bodies were found in their tent early Friday at the Maquoketa Caves State Park Campground, about 290 kilometres east of Des Moines.</p> <p>Authorities said the suspected gunman, 23-year-old Anthony Sherwin, was found dead on Friday in a wooded area of the park with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.</p> <p>Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety’s division of criminal investigation says that the motive for the attack was still unknown.</p> <p>“We don’t know what led up to this, what precipitated it,” he said, adding that so far, “the investigation has not revealed any early interaction between the Schmidt family and him.”</p> <p>Adam Morehouse, brother to the victim Sarah Schmidt, said the family had no connection to Sherwin and he believed it was a “completely random act.”</p> <p>Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green, who said he is a neighbour of the Schmidts, posted on Facebook on Friday the 22nd of July saying that the couple's nine-year-old son, Arlo, “survived the attack, and is safe.”</p> <p>The post did not say whether Arlo was in the tent or even at the campsite when the shootings happened, and the mayor says he doesn’t have those details. It was confirmed Arlo was on the family's camping trip, but said he didn't know the boys whereabouts at the time of the shooting.</p> <p>“He is with family and he is OK, but I have not had any interaction with him,” Morehouse said.</p> <p>“As far as I know, he was uninjured physically.”</p> <p>By the evening of Saturday the 23rd of July, more than $108,000 had flowed into a crowdfunding campaign created for Arlo.</p> <p>The page, organised by a cousin, Beth Shapiro, said: “Arlo is a strong boy, surrounded by family and friends who are supporting him as best we can.”</p> <p>The killings prompted the evacuation of the park and campground, including a children's summer camp. After the evacuations, Sherwin allegedly was the only person unaccounted for.</p> <p>He said that during the course of the investigation, authorities learned Sherwin was armed and “that of course heightened our awareness.” Iowa allows people with permits to carry firearms virtually anywhere in the state.</p> <p>Officials did not say if Sherwin had a permit and provided no information about the firearm used to kill the Schmidts.</p> <p>It was reported that Sherwin was from La Vista, Nebraska.</p> <p>Felicia Coe, 35, of Des Moines, was at the campground Friday morning with her boyfriend and his two sons, ages 11 and 16. She said the 16-year-old went out early to go running, and she was talking with someone at the park at about 6:30 am when two park rangers dressed in helmets, vests and carrying what looked like automatic rifles told them to leave the campground.</p> <p>More law enforcement and an ambulance showed up, at the time, Coe did not know what happened. But she recalls seeing a little boy standing near the paramedics.</p> <p>“He was in his pyjamas. I distinctly remember he had one blue tennis shoe,” she said. She later saw a picture of the Schmidt family online and said she recognised the boy she saw as Arlo.</p> <p>“He’s got this really cute, floppy-curly, moppy, strawberry-blond hair that’s really distinguishable,” Coe said. “He was in these super cute little pyjamas, like a cotton T-shirt and shorts that matched. ... He was just standing there. He wasn’t crying. He wasn’t distraught. But he also wasn’t being comforted. He was just standing there by himself.”</p> <p>The Schmidts moved to Cedar Falls in 2018 and had been active in the community ever since, according to Morehouse.</p> <p><em>Image: Schmidt and Morehead families / Facebook</em></p>

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Law and Order crew member shot dead on set in New York City

<p dir="ltr">A Law and Order: Organized Crime crew member has been fatally shot outside the series set in New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">Johnny Pizarro, aged 31 who was identified as the show's parking enforcer, was killed on the 19th of July, during a car ambush in Brooklyn, according to the NYPD.</p> <p dir="ltr">The father of three, was then take to Woodhull Hospital where he was pronounced dead.</p> <p dir="ltr">The murder happened around 5:15 am in the Greenpoint area when a killer opened the door of the victim's vehicle and shot him in the face and neck.</p> <p dir="ltr">Pizarro was inside his vehicle and had a traffic cone on the roof of the car at the time of the shooting. Reports claim he was gunned down while reserving spaces for filming.</p> <p dir="ltr">The NBC crime show, had been gearing up for its third season after it was renewed in May. "We were terribly saddened and shocked to hear that one of our crew members was the victim of a crime early this morning and has died as a result," NBC said.</p> <p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;">"We are working with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate. Our hearts go out to his family and friends and we ask that you respect their privacy during this time."</p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"> </p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; outline: none !important;"><em>Image: Fox News</em></p>

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Inside the house where you can swing from room to room

<p>Dubbed ‘Disney World for adults’ by the selling agent, the owners of this interesting resort style home have dropped the price by AUD $946,400 (USD$700,000) in hopes someone will finally buy the property after a long 18 months on the market.</p> <p>Real estate agent Colleen Henninger of City Center Realty recently re-listed the unusual family home on real estate site Zillow, where it gained huge interest thanks to its design.</p> <p>It’s a fusion between African safari, American wild west, Tarzan's lair and a ride at a Disney resort.</p> <p>For AUD $1.6 million (USD $1.2 million ), the home could be all yours. The outside of this two-storey home features timber and rock walls, while inside you will find massive exposed timber beams, corrugated iron walls and wrought iron walkways connecting the rooms, which are separated by a massive internal void.</p> <p>A life-sized carved timber elephant is on display in the downstairs living room, while a statue of a pirate guards the upstairs area.</p> <p>There is also an elevated stage complete with drum kit and ropes to swing from end to end if you’re feeling like something different.</p> <p>The three-bedroom, three bathroom home in the Los Angeles suburb of Lakewood, California, first hit the market in October 2020, with an asking price of USD $1.9 million (AUD $2.57 million). However, after failing to sell and a brief stint as a rental on Airbnb where it was leasing for USD $730 per night, the owners have decided to drop the asking price.</p> <p>Henninger, who is a friend of the owners, says there had been a great deal of interest in the home, but the majority of those who inspected the property just wanted to look and had no intention of buying.</p> <p>"It's a great house. It's like Disney World," she said. "It was built with fun in mind.</p> <p>It's a unique home and it's going to need a unique buyer. You go in and you either love it or hate it. It needs someone who wants to entertain guests and have fun."</p> <p>Of course if you do get bored, the home is within driving distance to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim which is a short 20 kilometres away.</p> <p><em>Images: Domain</em></p>

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Hugh Jackman's NYC "triplex" attracts big looks and bigger bucks

<p>Hugh Jackman has listed his beautiful New York City apartment for sale.</p> <p>The five-bedroom West Village ‘triplex’ – a dwelling composed of three units – has just hit the market for $US38.9 million (A$56.1m).</p> <p>The seven-bathroom pad boasts more than 1,020 square metres of floor space and has stunning views over the nearby Hudson River and the city itself. Jackman has owned the home since 2008, when he paid $US21m for it.</p> <p>The interesting home was designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, who has made his name with a series of projects including the Getty Centre in Los Angeles. Meier designed the building and also personally designed Jackman’s apartment.</p> <p>“He had done the interior of the apartment for the previous owner,” Deborah Grubman, who shares the listing with fellow Corcoran brokers David Adler and Paul Albano said. .</p> <p>Through its wall-to-wall windows, the apartment looks down upon the Hudson River and out onto the New York skyline.</p> <p>The unit spans the building’s 8th, 9th, and 10th floors. On the 8th, there’s an enormous recreation room and four bedrooms, all with ensuite baths, as well as a guest bedroom with a half bath.</p> <p>On the 9th, there’s the double-height great room, as well as a home office with a gas fireplace, the kitchen and a dining area.</p> <p>The 10th floor is dedicated to the primary bedroom and its spa-like bath, dressing rooms and a sauna, as well as an exercise area. Every floor has a terrace and they are all connected by a spiral staircase.</p> <p>New York City has enjoyed a post-Covid real estate revival, with Jackman’s pad joining a number of top-end listings that have hit the market this year.</p> <p><em>Image: Real Estate</em></p>

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Madonna to offload home with a huge price tag

<p dir="ltr">Madonna’s nine-bedroom Los Angeles home has hit the market with an eye-watering price tag of $US 26 million ($AU 36.1 million).</p> <p dir="ltr">The pop megastar bought the sprawling estate in the Hidden Hills, California, from Canadian singer, The Weeknd, last year, dropping $US 19.3 million ($AU 26.7million).</p> <p dir="ltr">Sitting on nearly three acres, the home sits beyond a driveway lined with olive trees and a “storybook bridge” according to the <a href="https://www.thebeverlyhillsestates.com/listing/24220-long-valley-rd-3/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">listing</a>, and boasts a range of upgrades.</p> <p dir="ltr">Interior features include a foyer filled with natural light from two-storey walls of windows, a great room with an indoor-outdoor bar, an outdoor living room, a formal dining room with a fireplace and glass wine cellar, a home theatre and music lounge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Out of the nine bedrooms, seven come with an ensuite, including the primary ensuite which boasts dual closets, a steam shower and a stone bath.</p> <p dir="ltr">Heading outside, the property includes a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house with a full kitchen, a barn housing a gym and dance studio, a zero-edge saltwater pool, a spa that can fit over 10 people, and a full-size basketball court, all surrounded by grassy lawns and sunny hillsides.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-5ab7d6cc-7fff-a035-e0c4-2fb6171bb148"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: @madonna (Instagram), The Beverly Hills Estates</em></p>

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