Pork chops, oranges and forgotten camping gear: What we know about Canadian teens final days, & more in News in 5.

With AAP.

1. Pork chops, oranges and forgotten camping gear: What we know about Canadian teens final days.

When Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod burned their getaway car, they left behind remains of what could’ve been their final meal.

Their bodies were discovered this week after a desperate three-week manhunt stretching 5000km across Canada – longer than the distance between Sydney and Perth. It ended on Wednesday in thick scrub in a remote area of northern Manitoba.

The deaths of Schmegelsky and McLeod, both 19, mean the world may never know why the teenagers embarked on a Canadian highway killing spree that took the lives of Australian tourist Lucas Fowler, his US girlfriend Chynna Deese, and Vancouver botanist Leonard Dyck.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police found the two bodies about 1km from the banks of the Nelson River where police had earlier found items that were “directly linked” to the pair, near the small town of Gillam which was the centre of the manhunt for the past two weeks.

“We believe they are in fact the individuals we were searching for,” RCMP British Columbia assistant commissioner Kevin Hackett told reporters. Autopsies will be held on Thursday.

Inspector Hackett declined to speculate what killed the teenagers.

bryer schmegelsky and kam mcleod
Image: RCMP.

The last known movements of the pair were on July 22, when they ditched their stolen Toyota RAV4 near a rail line at Fox Lake Cree Nation reserve.

The burning vehicle was found by residents Billy and Tamara Beardy, who told The Globe and Mail they were out strawberry picking with their daughter when they noticed billowing black smoke.


They drove towards it and discovered the car on fire, so called the RCMP.

When the remains of the car was pulled from a ditch, police discovered evidence of what could've been Schmegelsky and McLeod's final meal.

Sardines, small propane bottles, forks, orange peels, loose change and partially eaten pork chops were inside it, Tamara Beardy, who had returned to the scene, said.

A number of tools and a burned set of keys were littered on the road nearby.

It appeared the duo had left in a hurry, leaving behind crucial camping gear and canned foods that would've helped them survive in the surrounding wilderness.

It is not yet known when or how Schmegelsky and McLeod died, but they would not have been able to live long without access to food and freshwater.

On July 24 the RCMP named the two teenagers as suspects in the three murders of Fowler, Deese and Dyck.

A huge deployment of police manpower descended on Gillam, 3000 kilometres away from the murder scenes, and more than 11,000 square kms of wilderness was searched by officers on the ground and drones, helicopters and Royal Canadian Air Force planes.

It appeared the duo had fled a further 2000km east in the province of Ontario after members of the public, after widespread media and social media coverage, provided more than 30 false sightings and tips within an eight-hour period.

Searchers continued around the swampy, bug-infested Gillam wilderness despite no confirmed sightings of the pair since a July 22 petrol stop outside of Gillam.

"Our officers knew that we just needed to find that one piece of evidence that could move this search forward," RCMP Manitoba assistant commissioner Jane MacLatchy said.

The breakthrough came on Friday with the discovery of "items" on the shoreline of the Nelson River, about 8km from where the duo dumped the RAV4.

The RCMP would not say what the items were, other than they were "directly linked to the suspects".

The RCMP sent in dive teams on the weekend to scan the river and searchers went into the thick scrub around the area.

At about 10am on Wednesday Manitoba time (2am Thursday AEST) RCMP officers "located two male bodies, in the dense brush, within 1km from where the items were found".


The RCMP passed the news on to the victims' families.

Mr Fowler's father is one of NSW's highest ranking police officers, Chief Inspector Stephen Fowler for Sydney's northwest Hills district.

Canadian authorities have declined to make many facets of their investigation public, including how they were able to determine Schmegelsky and McLeod were responsible for the three BC deaths.

"Suffice to say that there is significant evidence that links both crime scenes together," Inspector Hackett said.

2. The grieving husband of a 35-year-old mum who died from influenza is urging people to get vaccinated.

A heartbroken husband has begged people to get the flu shot after his fit and healthy wife became the 84th Queenslander to die from influenza this year.

Toowoomba mother of three Jacinta Foulds, 35, died in hospital early on Wednesday morning after catching the flu and developing a secondary infection.

Her devastated husband Dan Foulds says he still can't fathom that he's lost his wife, and that their three children, aged 7, 10, and 11, will grow up without the love and care of their mum.

He's begged people not to "roll the dice" this flu season and to get the flu shot.

Health authorities have echoed his call, saying it's not too late, and that more than 37,000 Queenslanders have fallen ill so far this flu season.

Mrs Foulds was sick for about a week before she went to the doctor. She did what she was told and went home and stayed in bed.


On Friday she was diagnosed with influenza A, but by Tuesday she was so sick she called her husband at work, who rushed home and called an ambulance.

When she got to hospital, doctors gave her only a 50:50 chance of survival, and said the best thing was to put her into an induced coma.

The couple shared some last words, expressing love for each other. Mrs Foulds never woke up and died very early on Wednesday morning.

"If you're sick go to the doctor; if it's longer than two days... go to the doctor," Mr Foulds told the ABC.

"The flu shot, I always thought it was a load of crap. I know me and my three kids will be getting the flu shot forever.

"It's not a joke, this stuff kills."

Health officials say it's rare, but severe complications can occur with the flu in people aged under 50.

Queensland Health minister Steven Miles, who was hospitalised with the flu in 2017, joined the call for people to get their flu shot.

"A record number of Queenslanders have been vaccinated for the flu this year but there is no doubt if more people were vaccinated we could reduce the spread of the flu.

"We have seen a number of tragic deaths that remind us that the flu can affect anyone."

Other preventive measures included good hand hygiene, cough etiquette and staying away from work or school if you are unwell.

People most at risk from the flu include infants, the elderly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with chronic conditions and pregnant women.

3. Senior ministers will not proceed with a later-term amendment to the NSW bill decriminalising abortion.


Two senior ministers have dropped an amendment to the NSW bill decriminalising abortion which would have required later-term abortions to be approved by a hospital advisory committee.

The suggested change proposed by Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Planning Minister Rob Stokes had attracted strong criticism from the Australian Medical Association and pro-choice groups.

Mr Speakman on Thursday said they were no longer proceeding with the amendment as it had become clear such advisory committees weren't already "the invariable practice".

"It was never intended to put up something that would impede the relatively rare late-term terminations that are happening now," Mr Speakman said.

"I have been called many things and I am worthy of many criticisms but I don't think anyone has ever called me - until the last 24 hours - an extremist."

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 would allow terminations up to 22 weeks, as well as later abortions if two doctors, considering all the circumstances, agree the termination should occur.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich - who last week introduced the private member's bill - on Thursday wrapped up the first stage of lower house debate before MPs began considering some 19 amendments.

He reiterated a woman's decision to end a pregnancy was a health matter, not a criminal one, meaning the existing framework wasn't appropriate.

Addressing concerns raised over the proposed legislation, Mr Greenwich said the 22-week threshold was appropriate and honoured recommendations by the AMA and the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

"We want women to have time to make an informed decision - any pressure or rush imposed by reducing the 22 week gestation period could have perverse impacts," he said.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies tried without success to change the point at which patients needed the consent of two doctors to 20 weeks.

Mr Speakman and Mr Stokes did manage to pass a motion which would require doctors to receive informed consent - despite arguments it was already an obligation.

They also reached agreement with supporters of the bill over changes stipulating which medical practitioners could perform late-term abortions.


Nationals MP Leslie Williams, one of the bill's 15 co-sponsors, moved some "clarifying" amendments which she said were consistent with existing clinical practice in NSW.

Included was a requirement that late-term abortions only be performed at public hospitals or other approved facilities.

Lower house MPs will vote on the bill after debate on the amendments concludes. If it passes it will go to the upper house for consideration.

4. An Adelaide man has been handed a 10-year jail sentence after attempting to murder his wife.

An Adelaide mental health nurse who tried to murder his wife by repeatedly stabbing her in an "unprovoked, premeditated, brutal and cowardly" attack has been jailed for almost 10 years.

George Alexander Freeman attacked Carron Wickens in December 2017 after she told him their seven-year marriage was over.

In the Supreme Court on Thursday, Justice Sam Doyle said the attack was motivated by Freeman's "festering anger" over the end of their relationship.

On the day of the incident, Freeman had waited until Ms Wickens' son had left the house and, using a knife he had bought five days earlier, cornered his wife in her bedroom.

She tried to defend herself as he stabbed her multiple times but could not fight him off.

In the midst of the attack, Ms Wickens thought she was going to die but told her husband she loved him as she pleaded with him to stop.

Freeman eventually relented and put clothing behind Ms Wickens' back, before he called her elderly father to tell him she had been stabbed and then called emergency services.


At one stage Freeman "somewhat bizarrely" returned to the bedroom and dragged the knife through his wife's hand again, slicing it as he did, Justice Doyle said.

"I accept the prosecution's submission that your conduct involved an unprovoked, premeditated, brutal and cowardly attack on Ms Wickens in her own home, a place where she had a right to feel safe," the judge said.

Ms Wickens sustained serious injuries to her lungs, arms, hands, shoulders and back.

Outside court, the 57-year-old said no sentence would right the wrong inflicted on her by her husband.

She said she owed her life to the emergency service workers and the surgical teams at the Royal Adelaide Hospital "who put me back together".

She also urged anyone trapped in an abusive relationship to "value your worth".

"Recognise the signs of abuse, seek help and plan your escape silently to protect the safety of yourself and your loved ones," Ms Wickens said.

"While I live the memory of the violent attack from someone I loved and trusted ... I am focused on healing and moving forward with my life."

Justice Doyle jailed Freeman for nine years and 10 months and set a non-parole period of five years and six months, the head sentence discounted because of his guilty plea to the attempted murder charge.

The judge said the lower non-parole period reflected the 61-year-old's personal circumstances including his worsening Parkinson's disease.

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5. A NZ bill to decriminalise abortion within the first 20 weeks has found a majority in its first reading.


A bill that would decriminalise abortion and allow women to self-refer to abortion clinics within the first 20 weeks of gestation has found a resounding majority at its first reading in New Zealand's parliament.

Ninety-four members of parliament voted for it and 23 voted against it.

Currently, abortion is a crime in New Zealand and can only be legally performed to save the life of the mother, or to preserve her physical or mental health. A procedure must be approved by two doctors or consultants.

The strict law from 1977 does not mean that abortions are not available in New Zealand. More than 98 per cent of abortions are performed on the grounds that continuing with the pregnancy would cause serious danger to the woman's mental health.

The government-sponsored bill would remove requirements for statutory tests for a woman who is less than 20 weeks pregnant. After that, a health practitioner will need to vouch for the fact that the abortion is needed.

The bill was treated as a conscience issue, meaning politicians were able to cast their votes independently of their parties.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern passionately defended the bill saying women felt like they had to lie to legally access an abortion in New Zealand.

"And if they do tell the truth, then technically under our law they are a criminal. And I don't believe that is right, I fundamentally disagree with that," she added

"The time is right for us to finally put women's dignity and their rights at the centre of this discussion," she said.

Many members of the conservative National Party had also thrown their support behind the bill. Amy Adams who served as justice minister for the conservative National Party spoke in support of the bill.

"We have a long history of women's reproductive systems being subject to control of the state of laws of men.

"We do have to say that women should be trusted to make decisions that are up to them, for their families, or their bodies," Adams said.

The bill will now move to a select committee to hear the public's views.

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