1. “Every parent’s worst nightmare.” Bus carrying junior hockey team in Canada crashes, killing 15 and injuring dozens more.
A horrific bus crash in Canada involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team has sent shockwaves through the National Hockey League.
WATCH: 15 members of a junior ice hockey team killed in a bus crash, from Seven News.
The crash on Friday afternoon killed at least 15 people, including the Broncos’ coach and team captain.
The team comprises 16- to 20-year-olds and was headed to a playoff game in Saskatchewan when a semi-truck slammed into its bus.
A harrowing image of three of the survivors holding hands in a hospital ward – one in a neck brace – shows the bleak reality of the tragedy and its aftermath.
The father of one of the players in the shot, Derek Patter, took the photo just hours after the crash and posted it to social media with the caption:
“Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital.”
He also said they were “one of the luckier ones” and that, “We’re just sitting here in the hospital waiting to hear who’s left us”
Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital pic.twitter.com/DzesIoT27B
— R J patter (@rjpatter) April 7, 2018
The father of Nick, also pictured, Myles Shumlanki was one of the first to arrive at the scene after a desperate call from his son, New York Post reports.
“As soon as I came, I knew that it was a disaster,” Myles said. “People were getting blankets. You were taking your jackets. You were doing anything to cover these boys. They were in snow and ice and it was very cold . . . They were in very bad shape.”
It’s reported there were 29 people on board the bus, and dramatic images from the scene appeared to show the bus torn in two by the force of the impact. Debris was scattered on the highway, and a large tractor-trailer lay overturned on the pavement.
Tom Straschnitzki, the father of Ryan Straschnitzki, one of the players injured in the crash, said his son suffered a severe back injury.
“He’s alive and breathing, and from what we know he has a broken back, and as of now, can’t feel anything from his waist down,” Tom Straschnitzki, the father of one of the players Ryan, told CBC News.
“I think he’s still in shock, still asking how everyone is and who perished and who didn’t.”
The Humboldt Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, which has a population of about 6000.
"An entire country is in shock and mourning," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement, The Guardian reports.
"This is every parent’s worst nightmare. No one should ever have to see their child leave to play the sport they love and never come back."
Broncos head coach and married father of two Darcy Haugan, has been named by New York Post as among those killed. As well as captain Logan Schatz, 20; defenseman Stephen Wack, 21; radio play-by-play announcer Tyler Bieber; and volunteer statistician Brody Hinz.
"My brother didn’t make it," Haugan’s sister posted to social media, New York Post reports.
"He will always be a great man in our hearts . . . The tears just keep coming."
2. Cate Campbell is back! She's won her third gold at the Commonwealth Games for an event she "entered as a bit of a joke."
Aussie swimmer Cate Campbell won her third gold medal last night at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in an event she entered as a "joke" - the 50m butterfly.
"I am actually really stoked with that one," Campbell said after the event, Seven News reports.
"I kind of picked up the 50 'fly as a bit of joke towards the end of last year. I qualified for Comm Games and it suddenly didn't become such a joke."
Campbell's revival comes after the crushing disappointment she suffered at the 2016 Rio Olympics - self-described as the "biggest choke in history", AAP reports.
She kicked off her 2018 Games comeback by breaking the world record in the women's 4 x 100m freestyle relay, alongside her sister Bronte, Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack. She then won gold for the 50m women's freestyle on Saturday with a Commonwealth record time of 23.78.
And, last night, she brought it home with her 50m butterfly success - just moments after the Aussie male trio, Mitch Larkin, Ben Treffers and Zac Incerti took out gold, silver and bronze in the 50m backstroke.
"I swear, if there was a roof on the stadium, we would have lifted it off," Campbell said.
And, though she said she entered the event as a "bit of a joke" to "shake things up", she doesn't want people to think she's taking it lightly.
"I’m lucky that 50m butterfly is in the program and I don’t want people to think I’m taking this lightly, I’m still representing my country," Campbell said, News Corp reports.
"It is really nice (to have an event with no pressure).
"I’ve been a two-trick pony for my entire career — the 50m and 100m freestyle, it makes a nice change."
Also in the Games over the weekend:
Cyclist Kaarle McCulloch won her first individual cycling title with a wafer thin win over great friend Steph Morton in the 500m time trial.
Australia's world champion mixed relay triathletes got day three off to a golden start with an emphatic win over England, while the women's 4x200m freestyle swimmers, cyclist Sam Welsford in the 15km scratch race and para swimmer Tim Disken all won gold.
After a tight first two legs in the frenetic super sprint triathlon, Ashleigh Gentle pulled away in the third to hand over for Jake Birtwhistle who extended the lead over England's dual Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee in the final leg.
But Australia's sprint cycling world champion Matthew Glaetzer suffered a massive shock after committing a fundamental tactical error, knocked out by Malaysian 16th fastest qualifier Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom.
3. Malcolm Turnbull suffers his 30th consecutive loss in the latest Newspoll - the same marker he used to kick out Tony Abbott.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Coalition government has suffered its 30th consecutive loss to Labor in the latest Newspoll - the same marker he used to knock Tony Abbott off the top job in 2015, AAP reports.
The coalition trails Labor 48-52 on a two party preferred basis, according to results published by The Australian on Sunday night.
However, Mr Turnbull remains preferred PM at 38 per cent to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's 36 per cent.
The national survey of 1597 voters was done between April 5 and 8. The Greens remain on 10 per cent and One Nation on seven per cent, according to The Australian.
Senator Eric Abetz told ABC on Sunday night ahead of the poll result that Mr Turnbull would lead the coalition to the next federal election.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm not aware of any leadership challenge and my understanding is that we will be going to the next election with Malcolm Turnbull as our prime minister," he said.
Turnbull set the 30 Newspolls benchmark when he ousted Mr Abbott in 2015 as prime minister, but Abbott insists he is not about to challenge Mr Turnbull for a return.
"None of us should live in the past or dwell on things," Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday before pushing off on the annual Pollie Pedal charity bike ride.
But he did call on his Liberal colleagues to explain why he was kicked out of office on the 30 Newspolls metric, telling News Corp newspapers: "Life is not fair."
In 2015, after Tony Abbott was ousted as Prime Minister, Turnbull said the 30 straight Newspoll loses proved that "people had made up their mind" about Abbott's leadership.
"The one thing that is clear about our current situation is the trajectory," he said in 2015.
"We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind."
A bride, groom and their 80 guests were forced to evacuate after a fire broke out in their wedding venue in rural QLD on Saturday.
They'd just finished the outdoor ceremony at Spicers Hidden Vale in Lockyer Valley, when a fire in the kitchen sent the entire homestead up in flames.
The kitchen, dining room, reception area and lounge area were all destroyed, Seven News reports.
"To our dear community. We can confirm that a fire broke out late this afternoon at Spicers Hidden Vale. Everyone is ok and we are working with emergency services," the homestead posted to Facebook.
Sadly, it's history repeating itself.
The near-100-year-old homestead burnt to the ground the same way the original homestead was engulfed by fire 99 years ago, Seven News reports.
"We're devastated," Spicers Hidden Vale’s Kira Klein said.
"Like they did then, it will be rebuilt and we'll keep Hidden Vale going for the community."
Anxious brides and grooms who were anticipating their wedding at the homestead are now waiting for answers.
5. An alleged chemical gas attack by the Syrian government leaves 70 dead, resulting in threats from the US.
More than 70 people have been killed after a suspected chemical attack on the last remaining rebel stronghold in the Eastern Ghouta area - with fears growing the toll could surpass 100, aid organisations say.
According to AAP, Syrian state media denied government forces had launched any chemical attack as soon as the reports began circulating and said rebels in the eastern Ghouta town of Douma were in a state of collapse and spreading false news.
The US State Department said on Saturday reports of mass casualties from an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma were "horrifying" and would, if confirmed, "demand an immediate response by the international community".
The charity Union of Medical Care and Relief Organisations (USOSSM) told German news agency dpa that "significant numbers of children" were among those killed in the Douma attack.
In a separate statement, the charity said the death toll was expected to rise to well over 100, as rescuers had experienced "extreme difficulty reaching victims due to the continued bombardment on Douma."
"Many of the victims were women and children and experienced symptoms consistent with inhaling toxic gas," USOSSM said in a statement.
"Some of the symptoms victims experienced include: cyanosis; foaming of the mouth; cornea irritation; and the strong odour of a chlorine-like substance."
Writing on Twitter, US President Donald Trump said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will have a "big price to pay" for launching a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians, and blamed Iran and Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing "animal Assad".
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
....to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
Turkey, which has been working with allies of Assad for a political resolution to the crisis in Syria, called for international action against the attacks in Douma.
"The Syrian regime must give account for the attacks in various regions of the country at different times," a spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan said.
"The entire international community, primarily countries that have an influence on the Syrian regime, has a responsibility to take the necessary steps in order to prevent similar war crimes and crimes against humanity," Ibrahim Kalin said in a statement.
Meghan Markle will travel to Sydney this spring to cheer on Prince Harry's Invictus Games heroes, AAP reports.
Markle told Invictus hopefuls competing in the UK team trials she would be in Australia, the host country of this year's games, to experience the competitors' journey from selection through to the games.
The US actress met wounded, sick and injured military and veterans with Harry when the couple visited the trials being hosted by Bath University on Friday.
Harry and his bride-to-be shared a laugh with hopefuls as they watched shot put competitors show off their strength, encouraged 1500 metre runners by applauding as they ran past, and watched sitting volleyball players being put through their paces.
When Toronto hosted the Paralympic-style event last year, Markle, who at the time was living and working in the city, attended the opening and closing ceremonies and visited competitors with Harry.
Kerys Knight, 48, a former driver in the Women's Royal Army Corps, who has nerve damage in her left leg following an accident, said: "She said how good it was to be here and see the start of the Invictus journey."
The 48-year-old from Northampton, who won an archery gold medal in last year's games, added: "She was saying she went to Toronto last year but only got to see some of the swimming but this year she's hoping to be there for the whole thing and see the whole journey all the way through.
"To see where the trial takes you and how different you can be from this point to the Games in October."
RAF Sergeant Pete Lauder, 39, chatted to the couple when they watched the volleyball, an event he hopes to be chosen to compete in.
Sgt Lauder, who has a serious hip joint condition, said: "We were chatting about Canada, she really enjoyed it and she said she's going to be in Australia."
The former Suits star looked stylish in a Babaton for Aritzia jacket and Mother Denim jeans, and wore an Invictus Games polo shirt as did her fiance.