Toddler of missing Australian woman found, and all the news you need to know this morning.
On Wednesday night, my colleague Rebecca Davis attended a domestic violence vigil in Melbourne. She's shared what the experience was like and why it was so triggering. A must read, here.
These are the top five news stories you need to know this morning, Friday May 6.
1. Toddler of missing Australian woman found alone in Mexico.
The toddler of a missing Queensland mother has been found wandering alone in the resort city of Cancun in Mexico.
Authorities on Mexico's Caribbean coast have issued an alert for 32-year-old Tahnee Shanks, who was last seen on Monday in Cancun.
There's been no immediate information on how she became separated from her two-year-old daughter.
On Thursday, prosecutors issued a missing persons alert for the girl's father, Jorge Luis Aguirre Astudillo, a Mexican citizen, who was also last heard from on Monday.
According to a GoFundMe page set up in the name of the family of Tahnee Shanks, Aguirre Astudillo is believed to have dropped the child near a church in Cancun. The girl toddler was reportedly taken into the care of child welfare authorities.
"You wouldn't have been able to drag her away from her daughter, that's what's got me so scared." Missing Qld mother Tahnee Shanks' family say she was meant to return to Australia in June to release her brother's ashes | @brisbanetimes https://t.co/YKz3rS5x26— Cloe Read (@cloe_read) May 5, 2022
Shanks’ brother, Dan, said the situation is "just horrifying " as his sister would never leave her daughter behind.
"You wouldn’t have been able to drag her away from her daughter. She would have fought to the death, so that’s what’s got me so scared," he told the Brisbane Times, adding she was meant to return to Australia in June to release her brother's ashes.
2. PM promises over $100m boost for defence as Albo faces criticism for gaffe.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will help train an additional 1500 workers for the nation's defence industry under a $108.5 million election promise.
Morrison, who will be in Perth today, will announce the expansion of the Defence Industry Pathways Program, which will upskill additional teenagers graduating or leaving school in 14 regions across the country.
Defence industry trainees get $100m boost.— Kim Wingerei (@kwingerei) May 5, 2022
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will help train an additional 1500 workers for the nation's defence industry under a $108.5 million e...
Latest #news from MWM newsfeed #auspol
The prime minister said his government's $270 billion investment in Australia's defence capabilities this decade included a "strong pipeline of workers" in local industry.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will campaign in Sydney, after Labor promised to put downward pressure on inflation.
The party has pledged to uphold - or surpass - many of the government's spending commitments including freezing the deeming rate, cheaper medicines, stage three tax cuts and one-off payments and tax offsets.
Albanese has defended his inability to detail his own National Disability Insurance Scheme while on the campaign trail on Thursday.
The Opposition Leader was asked to name the six points of his disability policy, in which at first he responded indirectly, before reading the answers from a folder handed to him by one of his advisors.
"One of the things that puts people off politics, I think, is the sort of 'gotcha' game playing," he told ABC's Q&A.
3. Calls for inquiry after toddler left alone on QLD bus.
There are calls for an inquiry as a Queensland toddler recovers in hospital after being left on a minibus for almost six hours.
Three-year-old Nevaeh Austin was rushed to Rockhampton Base Hospital in a critical condition after being discovered unconscious in the van outside Le Smileys Early Learning Centre at Gracemere on Wednesday.
Nevaeh is now in a "stable condition" in the intensive care unit, Queensland Children's Hospital confirmed to AAP yesterday.
"She's doing alright, she's tired," her grandmother Pamela Parker told Ten News. "She's breathing on her own. She's her happy self. I honestly believed that last night when I left them at the hospital to fly down to Brisbane that would be the last time I would see her."
Her family remain at her side, as authorities investigate how she was left in the bus.
Nevaeh was the only passenger after being collected from her home about 9am on Wednesday. Two staff failed to ensure she left the vehicle.
As temperatures climbed to almost 30C, Nevaeh remained strapped into her seat, clutching her bag. Almost six hours later, a staff member setting off for the after-school pick-up finally discovered the unconscious preschooler.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry told the ABC "there needs to be a major inquiry into how it happened".
"You send your kids to childcare, you expect them to come home safely," she said.
4. WHO says nearly 15 million COVID deaths over two years.
Nearly 15 million people have died either by coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems during the first two years of the pandemic, the World Health Organisation says.
The figure is more than double the current official death toll of just over six million, with most deaths occurring in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the WHO report.
The director-general of the United Nation's health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the newly calculated figure was "sobering" and should prompt countries to invest more in their capacities to quell future health emergencies.
Breaking News: Nearly 15 million more people than expected died during the pandemic, the WHO said, far exceeding Covid tolls reported by countries.https://t.co/GpDiu2tizK— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 5, 2022
The estimate is based on country-reported data and statistical modelling, but only about half of affected countries have provided information.
WHO said it wasn't yet able to break down the data to distinguish between direct deaths from COVID-19 and those related to effects of the pandemic, but the agency plans a future project examining death certificates.
5. Russia vows pause as women and children 'trapped'.
Ukrainian civilians including women and children remained trapped in underground bunkers at a steel works in the ruined city of Mariupol although President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to allow them to leave safely.
Russia's military promised to pause its activity in the Azovstal steel plant during Thursday daytime and the following two days to allow civilians to leave, after what Ukrainian fighters described as "bloody battles" prevented evacuations on Wednesday.
The Kremlin said humanitarian corridors from the plant were in place. However, nobody from Azovstal was among more than 300 civilians to leave Mariupol and other areas in southern Ukraine on Wednesday, the United Nations humanitarian office said.
Ukrainian officials believe about 200 civilians remain trapped along with fighters in a sprawling network of underground bunkers there.
In an early morning address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine is ready to ensure a ceasefire.
"It will take time simply to lift people out of those basements, out of those underground shelters. In the present conditions, we cannot use heavy equipment to clear the rubble away. It all has to be done by hand," he said.
Zelenskiy has also announced Ukraine has created its own state donation platform, United24, where donations can be made separately for the army, humanitarian purposes or reconstruction.
We launched United24 @U24_gov_ua global initiative.— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 5, 2022
Its 1st component is an online platform to raise funds in support of 🇺🇦. Other projects & programs will be added soon.
You can make a donation in 1 click from any country.
Together we will win!#united24 #thepoweroffreedom pic.twitter.com/notUt1P3ZF
You're all up to speed for the morning.
- With AAP.
Rising interest rates, inflation and cost of living explained.
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The Quicky speaks to an expert in economics, and a housing market guru to find out.
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Feature Image: [email protected] Shanks/Getty.