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"Life will never ever be the same." Australian man shot dead in Texas home invasion, & more in News in 5.

With AAP.

1. “Life will never ever be the same.” Australian man shot dead in Texas home invasion.

An Australian man has been killed after his Texas home was broken into.

Brenton Estorffe, 29, his wife Angeleanna and their two children were asleep just after midnight on Wednesday, local time, when two male intruders broke into the property through the back door.

Police said Estorffe woke to the sound of glass breaking and got out of bed to investigate, coming face-to-face with the intruders who shot him.

According to local ABC news, police received a 911 call from Estorffe’s wife to report the shooting. She and their two children, aged one and three, were unharmed.

A neighbour attempted to resuscitate Estorffe, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It’s sad. Sad. We have a homeowner here in Fort Bend County who is no longer with us – and the father of two small children. Breaks your heart,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told local media outside the Estorffe home, which was covered with Halloween decorations.

“We’re just trying to gather as much information as we can to figure­ out who could have done this.”

Police don’t believe anything was taken from the home.

Estorffe’s brother Cobin, who also lives in Texas, posted on Facebook that “life will never ever be the same” without him.

“Hands down you are my hero the way you stood up for your family. Can only dream to be a little bit like you.

“Thanks for the amazing times we had together. Miss you and love you so much Brenton,” he wrote.

Shocked neighbour Kimberley Patel told KHOU 11 she’d recently met the family for the first him after they moved to the area about six months ago.

“I can’t even imagine what the wife is going though right now,” Patel said.

She said she never expected anything like this to happen in their “quiet neighbourhood”.

2. Jock Palfreeman’s father hopes his son will be home for Christmas.

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Jock Palfreeman’s father says it would be magical to have his son home for Christmas but he’s worried the “corrupt process” that jailed him in Bulgaria may mean he will never return to Australia.

The 32-year-old – who spent more than 11 years in a Bulgarian jail after being convicted of murder – was released on parole earlier this week but is banned from travelling.

The prosecutor-general has also asked Bulgaria’s highest court to re-examine the case.

Simon Palfreeman says despite his son tasting freedom for the first time in a decade he’s worried Jock may be sent back to jail to serve the rest of his sentence.

“It’s incredibly worrying that Jock could get so close within the legal system of Bulgaria to the point where we’re actually looking at how to get him home, and then to be stopped at the last minute by the same corrupt process that saw him jailed for 20 years in the first place,” the Newcastle-based pathologist told AAP on Thursday.

“I’ve got to the stage now where until he’s back on Australian soil, I really do not trust that he will be let out of Bulgaria.”

Nevertheless, Mr Palfreeman is desperately hoping his son could be back in NSW by Christmas to be reunited with his ailing grandparents.

“Having him home for Christmas would be a great thing for him, but also a magical moment for his extended family,” he said.

“I just hope the Bulgarian system is strong enough to withstand this corrupt assault.”

Palfreeman’s parole angered nationalist politicians in Bulgaria prompting the chief prosecutor to ask for the review. The Supreme Court of Cassation has two months to make a decision.

He was convicted after fatally stabbing a local student in 2007, but shas always maintained his innocence, saying he was defending a Roma being attacked by football hooligans.

Palfreeman’s Bulgarian lawyer, Kalin Angelov, says it would be a “huge catastrophe” if he’s returned to jail.

“I don’t know what will happen,” the lawyer told AAP.

“We’re in some very strange legal territory and nothing is following the rules.”

Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Thursday said the Australian government was concerned “if non-legal issues were seen to have an influence on the process”.

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“We have called and continued to call for the Bulgarian authorities to allow Mr Palfreeman to travel to Australia given his paroled status,” Senator Payne told parliament.

Mr Palfreeman and his wife, Helen, have drawn strength from their son’s character as demonstrated by his work setting up the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Rehabilitation Association.

“It’s amazing that after almost 12 years of imprisonment in such terrible circumstances he’s managed to maintain passion, emotion, a sense of humour and an ability to achieve results,” he told AAP.

Palfreeman has indicated he could ultimately settle in Bulgaria.

His father says he would be happy for Jock – who speaks fluent Bulgarian and is currently staying with close friends in Sofia – to live in the country if the prosecutor-general’s application is thrown out and it’s safe.

Bulgarian radio reporter Ekaterina Katratcheva says Jock Palfreeman is a polarising figure in her homeland.

Ms Katratcheva told AAP while he was almost forgotten after spending 11 years in prison the granting of parole put Palfreeman firmly back into the public spotlight.

“It was like an explosion, it became a very hot topic and a very divisive topic for our society,” she said.

“Almost everyone in Bulgaria knows his name.”

3. A man has been charged with murder after two bodies were found following a house fire in northern NSW.

A deadly house fire that killed an elderly woman and a five-year-old boy, and left a 27-year-old woman fighting for life and another boy injured, is being treated as suspicious.

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A 60-year-old man, believed to be related to the four people in the house, is assisting NSW Police with their inquiries.

Emergency services found the home on Bylong Road in Tamworth engulfed by flames when they arrived on the scene in response to a triple zero call at 5.30am on Thursday.

Outside the home, firefighters found a 27-year-old woman suffering “serious and significant burns” and a seven-year-old boy, with the woman informing them more people were inside.

“Tragically we have located an adult female and a male child deceased within the home,” Superintendent Kylie Endemi told reporters in Tamworth.

The 27-year-old woman is in a critical condition and has been transported to a hospital in Sydney as she fights for life.

The young boy, who suffered from minor burns and smoke inhalation, was taken to Tamworth Base Hospital in a stable condition.

“This is an extremely sad and tragic situation for everyone involved,” Supt Endemi said.

“For those who have lost loved ones, for police and emergency service personnel and for the community of Tamworth.”

Supt Endemi said a 60-year-old man, who is believed to be related to the four people involved, presented to Tamworth Police Station and is assisting police with their inquiries.

A strike force has been established to investigate the cause of the fire.

“At this time, we are treating it as suspicious,” Supt Endemi said.

Fire and Rescue NSW acting superintendent Rob Jansen said the single-level house was “well alight” when they arrived on the scene.

“It was very intense at the rear of the house with flames coming out of the windows as well,” Mr Jansen told AAP.

Fire investigators travelled from Sydney to work with police forensics officers to determine the cause and origin of the blaze.

Neighbour Bernadette Wood said she woke up to see the house on fire and contacted emergency services.

She described the people who lived in the home as a “lovely family”.

“It’s really sad to see that for your neighbours. It’s a tragedy,” she told ABC.

A NSW education department spokesperson said staff at Tamworth public schools would be “vigilant” in their care of students and those who may need support in the coming days.

“Events such as this morning’s tragic fire can impact on young people,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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“Support for student wellbeing is available at public schools every day and where additional support is needed at any school it will be available for as long as needed.”

4. Labor will back trio of free trade deals.

Unions have accused Labor of abandoning Australian workers after the opposition decided to back free trade deals struck with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions says there is no evidence the deals will create jobs in Australia or improve wages.

Labor MPs decided at a special caucus meeting on Thursday morning to back the trio of deals but to seek further safeguards from the government on how they will be implemented.

ACTU president Michele O’Neil says the decision to side with the government abandon’s Labor’s national platform and its responsibility to stand up for fair trade deals and Australian jobs.

“They’ve made a mistake that will not be forgotten by Australian workers,” she said.

And the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union made the attack personal on leader Anthony Albanese.

“These deals are bad for Aussie jobs and let multinationals sue Australia if our laws hurt their profits. When is Albo going to stick up for Australian workers?” the union tweeted.

As well as unions, Labor was under pressure from churches and aid groups to block the bill due to concerns over provisions allowing foreign companies to sue the government.

Fears have also been raised the Indonesian deal will exploit workers.

Opposition trade spokeswoman Madeleine King has written to minister Simon Birmingham seeking a guarantee that local jobs will be protected, a review of clauses that would let companies sue the government if its law changes adversely affect them, new rules around working holidaymakers, the termination of old treaties, and an assurance that no treaty will force the privatisation of any services or public assets.

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“Labor will fight to ensure that the implementation of the Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru trade agreements fully achieves the goal of creating Australian jobs and opening opportunities for Australian exporters,” she said in a statement.

Senator Birmingham welcomed Labor’s intention to pass the legislation and said the government will go through its conditions.

Asked on Sky News whether jobs can be protected under a trade deal like this, the minister said: “We have an open economy, some businesses grow, some businesses fail.”

“What I can say is the proven experience of the trade deals we’ve done under this government is Australian export volumes are growing, we have have been recording record trade surpluses,” he said.

The government says the deals will lead to Australian grain growers being able to export 500,000 tonnes of feed grains into Indonesia, remove tariffs on goods exported to Hong Kong, guarantee market access for services suppliers, and improve conditions for two-way investment.

Australian dairy farmers would also have new access to Peru with no tariffs on up to 7000 tonnes of products.

5. Australian explorer is leading a push to save Antarctica.

A century on, Tim Jarvis is making it his mission to save Antarctica from man.

He was the first person to cross the world’s highest, windiest and coldest continent on foot but now the environmental scientist is leading a diplomatic charge to double the expanse of ocean in the region placed under protection.

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Mr Jarvis has spent a year-and-a-half in Antarctica’s icy wilderness, once losing 20 per cent of his body weight tugging a 225 kilogram sled for 90 days in minus 40-degree temperatures.

So he’s all too familiar with the dire situation it faces.

“If there’s a Venn diagram of the science around understanding what’s going on down there and then the personal experience of seeing what we’re doing, I sit in the middle of that,” Mr Jarvis told AAP on Thursday.

He and the Australian government are pushing the 25 member nations of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to make a new, million-square-metre marine park.

The area sits in Australia’s own slice of Eastern Antarctica but all 25 nations must agree when they meet in late October for the proposal to succeed.

Similar initiatives have struck opposition from China and Russia but Environment Minister Sussan Ley is urging her counterparts to act in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty.

“Every country is entitled to pursue its own interests in the region but I would simply say if you look at the overarching imperatives of the treaty they are peace and science,” she told reporters at Parliament House.

Mr Jarvis says creating the park – and hopefully others like it – could be the difference between extinction for many of the continent’s unique marine life.

From the krill and plankton at the bottom of the food chain to penguins and whales at the top, protection from fishing and the like is needed to fortify their populations to withstand climate change.

“If you don’t protect those resources, you risk disrupting the whole global food web in the ocean,” he said.

“You’re not going to head off climate change but you’re going to make them more resilient to it.

“If it could all be protected, that would be fantastic but if we could get this million square kilometres it would be a huge step in the right direction.”

When asked if the government’s support on this issue goes far enough in protecting the invaluable ecosystem, Mr Jarvis chose his words carefully.

“Ironically, most of the changes we need to make are back here,” he said.

“You want to protect Antarctica, we need to change the way we do things back in the rest of the world … in the cities where 75 per cent of us live, where we consume the energy that contributes to the CO2 emissions.”

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