1. Police hunt for missing man who left Australia after Brazilian woman Cecilia Haddad was found dead.
Police want to speak with a man who left Australia at the weekend when the body of Brazilian executive Cecilia Haddad was found in a Sydney river. The man is believed to have been an ex-boyfriend of the mining exec.
Kayakers found Ms Haddad’s fully-clothed body floating in the Lane Cove River at Woolwich, on Sydney’s lower north shore, on Sunday morning about six kilometres from her Ryde home.
Forensic pathologists on Wednesday conducted a post-mortem on Ms Haddad’s body. The findings have yet to be released.
Investigators on Wednesday evening confirmed they were trying to reach a man known to Ms Haddad who flew home to Brazil over the weekend. The exact nature of their relationship is unclear but Sydney media reports suggested he was a friend or former lover.
Homicide detectives plan to interview the man once he is located, NSW Police told AAP.
Investigators spent Wednesday poring over forensic reports, phone records, security camera footage and witness statements searching for a clue to her death. Earlier in the day, they said the key to finding the popular 38-year-old’s killer could be her distinctive Italian car. They said her red 2013 model Fiat 500 sedan was found parked at West Ryde train station on Sunday afternoon.
Ms Haddad was at a barbecue on Friday night and made her last known phone call to a friend between 8am and 9.30am on Saturday, Detective Acting Inspector Ritchie Sim said. The Daily Telegraph reported she “seemed anxious about something” in those hours, before friends called police when she failed to show up for social events.
Ms Haddad’s ex-husband, who detectives believe was in Perth at the time of her death, is co-operating with the investigation and travelling from Western Australia to formally identify her body.
Meanwhile, police will travel to Perth to visit Ms Haddad’s close friend of 11 years, Carolina Camara, who told Fairfax overnight she hopes she can “in some way” help police in their investigation. She would not comment on Ms Haddad’s ex-boyfriend, but said she would divulge everything she knew to police.
“I know personal things about Cecilia that I am going to share fully with [police], if it’s going to help some way, I hope so. She confided a lot in me,” she said.
2. Commonwealth Bank confirms they lost the financial statements of almost 20 million customers and never told them.
The Commonwealth Bank is reportedly facing renewed investigations after admitting it lost backup data on tape for more than 15 years of customer statements in 2016, affecting almost 20 million accounts.
The CBA’s acting group executive for retail banking services, Angus Sullivan, issued a video statement on YouTube after BuzzFeed Australia published an article about the incident on Wednesday.
Mr Sullivan assured customers their information had not been compromised and no action was required.
“The tapes did not contain PINs, passwords or other data that could enable account fraud,” he said.
In a statement the bank said it had confirmed there was no evidence of suspicious activity involving the 19.8 million accounts affected following the incident.
CBA says it had been unable to confirm the destruction of two magnetic tapes containing historical customer statements.
The tapes contained customer names, addresses, account numbers and transaction details from 2000 to early 2016.
An investigation in 2016, when the incident occurred, determined it was most likely the tapes had been disposed of and the bank immediately put mechanisms in place to further protect customers.
“We take the protection of customer data very seriously and incidents like this are not acceptable,” Mr Sullivan said.
“I want to assure our customers that we have taken the steps necessary to protect their information and we apologise for any concern this incident may cause.”
He added that the relevant regulators were informed in 2016 but that the bank had decided it was not necessary to alert customers after discussion with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
However, BuzzFeed reports the OAIC is now making further inquiries into the incident, following a report by the banking regulator that slammed the bank for its “widespread sense of complacency”.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority said on Tuesday that community trust in Australia’s banks had been “badly eroded” and CBA had failed to meet expectations and “fallen from grace”.
3. Emmanuel Macron accidentally thanks Malcolm Turnbull and his ‘delicious wife’ Lucy.
After a morning of speeches, meetings and greetings, Mr Macron fronted the media for nearly an hour on Wednesday afternoon alongside the Australian PM.
He switched mostly flawlessly from French to well-spoken English as he was quizzed by reporters from both countries.
But at the end of proceedings, Mr Macron proved it’s not so easy to give a press conference in your non-native language.
The president had to rush off to a lunch with the French community, Mr Turnbull noted.
"For the French gastronomy, for the French wine," Mr Macron replied.
He continued: "Thank you and your delicious wife for your warm welcome. It was the perfect organisation of this trip. Thanks to you and Lucy."
The word for delicious in French - delicieux - also translates as "delightful".
The seemingly-hungry president earlier picked up on an analogy Mr Turnbull used repeatedly about "big fish, little fish, and shrimps" in reference to rules-based international order, noting he was a "big fan" of shrimps.
"Especially New Caledonian shrimps," he joked, ahead of his trip to the French territory on Thursday.
Mr Macron arrived in Australia on Tuesday night and kicked off his brief tour with a visit to the Sydney Opera House.
The 40-year-old shared dinner and wine with Mr and Mrs Turnbull alongside politicians, business leaders and others.
The French leader's wife, Brigette, hasn't travelled with him to Australia after their recent trip to the United States.
His slip-of-the-tongue caused a stir on social media with the moment trending on Twitter in Australia.
4. WA man the fourth person to be charged in ongoing "swinging" sex parties investigation after admitting to child sexual assault.
Police allege the man abused the girl, who was seven at the time of the first offence, between December 2013 and October 2015 while he was with three other people previously charged in the case.
The Beckenham man, who cannot be named, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with nine counts of indecent dealing with a child and two counts of sexual penetration of a child.
He was not required to enter pleas and is due back in court on May 11.
Detectives running Taskforce Mirzam previously charged a 45-year-old man and his 39-year-old female partner, and another man, aged 56, with a total of more than 200 offences.
Taskforce Mirzam was launched in February following the discovery of a recording device that contained videos of men and women engaging in sex acts with the woman's daughter.
The 45-year-old man last month pleaded guilty to four of his 83 charges when he appeared in Perth Magistrates Court via video link from Casuarina Prison.
He admitted sexually penetrating one of his stepchildren three times and encouraging the same child to engage in sexual behaviour in 2015.
5. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle select their wedding transportation.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through Windsor Town after their wedding on May 19th. The carriage is one of five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews. The carriages are used in official and ceremonial state events, such as Coronations, Royal Weddings and State Visits ????PA
Prince Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan Markle say they're looking forward to the procession through Windsor following their wedding this month, after choosing an open-top royal carriage for the journey.
Harry and his American fiancee will ride in an Ascot Landau carriage when they take a tour through the town after the wedding ceremony at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth's home to the west of London, on May 19.
"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are very much looking forward to this short journey which they hope will allow them to express their gratitude for everyone who has gathered together in Windsor to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day," Harry's office, Kensington Palace, said in a statement.
The carriage procession will see the couple ride from the castle through Windsor before returning up the Long Walk, a famous, tree-flanked straight promenade that leads to the castle gates.
There are more than 100 carriages in the Royal Mews collection with five Ascot Landaus. Harry travelled in one of them to the wedding of his elder brother William to Kate Middleton in 2011 when he acted as best man.
Kensington Palace said the carriage would be pulled by Windsor Grey horses, which have drawn the carriages of monarchs and members of the royal family Queen Victoria in the 19th Century, and would be escorted by members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.