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Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards pleads guilty to two attacks including rape, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. Claremont serial killer Bradley Edwards pleads guilty to two attacks including rape.

Accused murderer Bradley Edwards has pleaded guilty to the attack on a woman in the Perth suburb of Huntingdale in 1988 and the rape of a teenager at Karrakatta Cemetery in 1995.

The ABC reports the court heard he broke into the 18-year-old Huntingdale woman’s home while she was asleep, straddled her as she lay on her stomach and tried to force a piece of fabric into her mouth. She managed to fight him off and flee.

In previous hearings the court was told that the other girl, who was 17, was pushed to the ground from behind and bound. He placed a hood over her head and bound her feet together before carrying her to his car and driving her to a cemetery. He admits he raped the teenager twice.

The 50-year-old is also charged with murdering Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon who all disappeared from an entertainment district in Claremont between 1996 and 1997.

The remains of Ms Glennon, who was a lawyer, and Ms Rimmer, a childcare worker, were found in bushland a week after their murders. But Ms Spiers, who was a secretary, has never been recovered.

Edwards has continued to plead not guilty to the three women’s deaths.

2. There are no records of the controversial phone call between Donald Trump and Scott Morrison.

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Officials from the prime minister’s department appear to have no written records of a controversial phone call US President Donald Trump made to Scott Morrison.

The prime minister agreed to help Mr Trump with a contentious inquiry into the FBI during a phone conversation on September 5.

No one from the department sat in on the call and they were not aware of any of the prime minister’s parliamentary staff doing so either.

“I received a brief readout from the office after the call had taken place … It was a verbal readout,” senior official Justin Hayhurst told a Senate committee hearing on Monday.

Asked whether he wrote it down, he replied: “Me? I didn’t take notes of that readout, no.”

“I alerted (deputy secretary Caroline) Millar, who was away at the time, that the call had taken place and I would tell her about it when she returned to Canberra.”

The question of who from the prime minister’s office had briefed him was taken on notice.

Mr Morrison has said Mr Trump was simply seeking a point of contact within the Australian government for the investigation.

But officials who were asked repeatedly who the prime minister had nominated could not reply and also took that on notice to answer later.

The inquiry is widely seen as a partisan attempt by the Trump administration to discredit an earlier investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

The initial probe was sparked by a tip-off from former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer.

3. Ex-NRL players Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman found guilty of indecent assault.

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Former rugby league players Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman have been convicted of the indecent assault of a woman at a hotel in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Former South Sydney prop Musgrove and ex-Penrith reserve grade player Coleman were on Monday found guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court of groping the woman at the Coogee Bay Hotel in November 2018.

Magistrate Paul Lyon found the pair, both 23, guilty of assault with an act of indecency and sentenced them to 12-month intensive corrections orders.

They have both launched appeals.

“In the cold light of day you could observe the distress on her. She was crying and upset. It even affected her here today,” Mr Lyon said.

The pair were charged after the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police Musgrove had pulled her close and repeatedly kissed her aggressively.

The woman said Musgrove grabbed her breast briefly and thrust his pubic region into her hip.

She told the court Coleman later put his hand on her breasts.

The footballers were supported in court on Monday by a large group of family and friends, including Coleman’s father, South Sydney great Craig Coleman.

Musgrove played 27 NRL games for South Sydney from 2016 to 2017.

He had signed with the Wests Tigers for the 2019 season, however the NRL refused to register his contract after he was charged.

The court also heard that Coleman had abandoned his rugby league dream after quitting the Panthers.

4. Pauline Hanson argues Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching happens “naturally”.

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A defiant Pauline Hanson has told the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s top scientist coral bleaching is a natural occurrence, rejecting its link to heat waves.

The Queenslander used a Senate estimates hearing on Monday to question the link between extreme heat and back-to-back mass coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017.

“You’re saying that coral bleaching is affected by water temperatures,” she told David Wachenfeld.

“Yet around Indonesia, closer to the equator … where the water temperatures are 29 degrees, it’s a known fact that coral actually grows faster and more prolific in warmer temperatures.”

Dr Wachenfeld explained that corals live in a variety of water temperatures over the world, with substantial differences even within the Great Barrier Reef.

Corals bleach when stressed – such as when exposed to warmer than normal temperatures – and die if stressed for prolonged periods, he told the senator.

“The fact that corals in Indonesia could withstand higher temperatures than corals on the central Great Barrier Reef is of no benefit to the corals of the central Great Barrier Reef when they die.”

But Senator Hanson was not swayed, asking how the authority planned to address both water temperatures and the “natural occurrence” of bleaching events with its taxpayer funding.

The GBRMPA is trying to stamp out crown-of-thorns starfish and improve water quality in catchments while urging for greater global action on climate change, Senator Hanson was told.

The authority’s recently-released five-year outlook for the reef found it to be “very poor” unless more action is taken to slow climate change.

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Senators were also told Liberal MP Warren Entsch will present two reports each year to the environment minister in his role as special envoy for the reef.

The reports will focus on community and industry views towards the reef, while his broader role leans towards promoting the government’s existing management of the protected area.

The special envoy role is “colossal bullshit” to distract from the help the reef needs, Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said after hearing the role’s description.

Mr Enstch, whose electorate includes the Great Barrier Reef, has been vocal in his belief that it does not need saving but needs to be managed well.

Senators also heard the Great Barrier Reef Foundation – controversially handed close to $444 million in taxpayer money last year – had raised $21 million on its own for projects.

The government had justified funding the charity due to its ability to leverage further investment from the private sector.

5. Inquest continues over Victorian police officer who shot a driver.

The suitability of a Victorian police officer suffering mental health issues to work alone has been questioned at an inquest after he fatally shot a driver.

Then-leading senior constable Timothy Baker pulled over Vlado Micetic, 44, at Windsor on August 25, 2013, the Coroners Court was told on Monday.

He says he acted in self-defence when he shot Mr Micetic three times to the stomach after Mr Micetic pulled out a spring-loaded knife.

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“He believed he was going to be stabbed and due to the close approximately he had no alternative to shoot him,” counsel assisting Rachel Ellyard said.

Mr Micetic had stepped out of the car and was complying before it was alleged a scuffle with the officer unfolded.

“What you doing this for? You are going to get in big trouble. You are going to lose your job,” Mr Micetic can be heard saying in vision played to the inquest before three shots ring out.

Following the shooting, Mr Baker was suspended from duties before resigning and was later cleared of murder by a jury.

The inquest heard Mr Baker could not pass a training course in 2012 due to shaking hands, his operational duties had been suspended while getting treatment before he was allowed to work again.

His return to work in 2013 came after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was allowed to work alone conducting traffic patrols – similar to his peers – and carry a gun, the court was told.

“It is not clear what degree, if any, of monitoring he was under on his return to work,” Ms Ellyard said.

Mr Baker also suffers a depressive illness and alcohol dependency.

Some of his medication had been changed recently prior to the incident.

Retired inspector Stephen Beith told the inquest he was not aware of any health conditions of Mr Baker until after the shooting.

“During my career I have known a lot of police would drink and would be alcoholics. But they would also front up the next day and you would not know they are alcoholics,” he added.

“It would have to be quite strong evidence given to me to change his rostering.”

During the fatal incident, Mr Baker called for an ambulance and Mr Micetic was taken to hospital having a cardiac arrest.

“Two minutes and 48 seconds had elapsed between the time Vlado got out of the car and he was shot,” Ms Ellyard said.

Investigators found three spent casings, a knife with a spring-loaded blade, a phone, keys and safety flag at the scene.

Mr Baker said he moved the knife without using gloves at the scene. Mr Micetic’s female passenger told police she did not see a knife.

The inquest continues on Thursday.

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