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Thousands of people set to take part in Australian climate rallies, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP

1. Thousands of people set to take part in Australian climate rallies.

At least 35,000 people nationwide – and perhaps as many as 225,000 – are set to strike in favour of stronger action on climate change.

The Global Strike 4 Climate will on Friday take place in 110 towns and cities across Australia, with organisers demanding government and business commit to a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

They are also campaigning for a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.

“Australia is already on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Prolonged drought. Flash flooding. Catastrophic bushfires, severe cyclones and heatwaves,” Australian strike organisers say on their Facebook event page.

“But just at the time when we need to ramp up climate solutions, we have elected a government that wants to open the floodgates to new coal, oil and gas projects that put all of us at risk.”

While about 37,000 people have confirmed their attendance at capital city rallies on the strike’s Facebook pages, a Global Strike 4 Climate spokeswoman said organisers expect a 50 per cent increase on the attendance of the most recent climate strike in March, which garnered 150,000 protesters.

Universities have confirmed they will not penalise students for attending the rallies, while the Uniting Church synod for NSW and the ACT have backed their students to attend the demonstrations.

But Catholic and Anglican church-run schools say their students should remain in class, as do NSW public schools.

Some Queensland students have called for Adani to halt their Carmichael coal mine, and for a ban on new coal, oil and gas projects.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions supported the strike.

“One of the fundamentals of unionism is the power of people joining together to stand up for justice. We have and must take a stand for our future when our government will not,” the ACTU said in a statement.

The strike is the latest in a worldwide movement started in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside Sweden’s parliament on school days.

She’ll participate in the UN’s youth climate forum on Saturday and address world leaders at the UN secretary general’s climate summit on September 23.

She is currently in the US after taking a yacht across the Atlantic to prevent carbon emissions, and urged US lawmakers to “listen to the scientists”.

A second global strike is scheduled for September 27.

2. Police are set to charge two people over Danielle Easey’s death.

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Police are set to charge two people over the gruesome murder of Danielle Easey, whose body was found wrapped in plastic in a creek near Newcastle in August, but have not said what those charges will be.

A man, 33, was arrested in Cardiff, Lake Macquarie, on Thursday and taken to Belmont Police Station, and a woman, 32, was arrested at a home in the Newcastle suburb of Holmesville an hour later.

The body of the 29-year-old Easey, a mother of two, was found floating in Cockle Creek at Killingworth on August 31.

An autopsy revealed she had been seriously assaulted and stabbed. Police believe she may have been killed weeks before she was found.

Detective Acting Superintendent Jason Dickinson told reporters on Thursday that police were not looking to make more arrests at this stage.

He said the pair would likely be charged by the end of the day but could not confirm they would be charged with murder.

“That’s something that’s progressing. I anticipate there will be charges later on today. The exact nature of those charges, and who is charging what, will be forthcoming later in the day,” Det Acting Supt Dickinson said.

“Based on the information we have to hand today, there’s nothing indicating there’s any other people involved.”

Police searched the two properties where the arrests were made as well as a home in the Central Coast suburb of Narara. A Mitsubishi vehicle was also seized.

Ms Easey, who was known to police, lived in Booragul in Lake Macquarie but more recently was couch surfing at homes in the area.

Police said she had recently become involved in the drug scene and her family last had contact with her several weeks before the discovery of her body.

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Det Acting Supt Dickinson said police had been in frequent touch with Ms Easey’s family and information from the public had played a large role in the arrests.

He said police believed the two arrested people and Ms Easey were associates for “a number of years”.

3. Nancy Beaumont, the 92-year-old mother of the missing Beaumont children has died.

Nancy Beaumont, the mother of the three missing Beaumont children, has died in Adelaide aged 92.

Mrs Beaumont passed away on Monday in a nursing home and her death was confirmed in a notice published on Thursday.

The disappearance of her three children – Jane, 9, Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4 – on Australia Day in 1966 is one of the country’s most enduring mysteries.

But despite its notoriety, Mrs Beaumont and the siblings’ father, Jim, retreated from the public eye and have not spoken to the media in decades.

Their children never returned after leaving the family home for an afternoon at Glenelg Beach, sparking a widescale search operation that remains open today.

In 2013, investigators scoured a factory west of Adelaide after two brothers told police they had spent the 1966 Australia Day weekend digging a large hole on the site at the request of the owner Harry Phipps.

Phipps died in 2014 but his son, who accused his father of sexual abuse, believed he was linked to the missing children.

The factory site was excavated by police in early 2018 but only animal bones were found.

The officer in charge of Major Crime, Detective Superintendent Des Bray, said police were still investigating Phipps and remain committed to solving the mystery.

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“We will always do anything humanly possible to locate the Beaumont children and take them home to their family,” he said after the search wound up.

“I don’t think there’s anybody in the country who doesn’t want to find the Beaumont children.”

A police statement released after Mrs Beaumont’s death noted her passing “with sadness”.

“Consistent with family wishes, SAPOL have no comment to make about her passing beyond expressing our sympathy,” it read.

The disappearance of the Beaumont children has been one of Australia’s most prominent cold cases and subject to wild speculation at times, including possible sightings of the trio living as adults overseas.

Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset was invited to Australia shortly after they disappeared, and claimed to have had a compelling vision that the children had been buried less than two kilometres from where they went missing.

Mr Croiset believed the children were buried under a brick kiln in a nearby warehouse, but extensive excavation of the areas he pointed to found nothing.

Others theorised the siblings were living in the Mud Islands, and a Perth woman came forward to claim that for about nine months in 1966 she had lived next door to the Beaumont children in an isolated railway town near the SA-WA border.

A renewed call for information on the 50th anniversary of the children’s disappearance prompted hundreds of phone calls to Crime Stoppers – but all amounted to nothing.

Mr Beaumont is also aged in his 90s and living in Adelaide, but the couple separated years ago.

Mrs Beaumont’s death notice said she would be privately cremated.

4. Northern NSW pipe bomb has been declared safe.

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A pipe bomb found in a laneway has been declared safe after prompting evacuations in the northern NSW town of Mullumbimby.

An emergency operation was launched on Thursday after the suspicious item was found in a laneway behind a bank branch about 7.30am.

Police urged people to avoid Burringbar Street and Station Street and established a 200m exclusion zone around the bank.

Additional resources, including a rescue and bomb disposal unit, were sent to the scene and arrived in Mullumbimby on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities have assured locals the pipe bomb is no longer a risk.

“It’s all been resolved, with the item rendered safe,” a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Kehoe earlier said police had received “no threats, no calls, no letters, no other information” about the object, which was found by local shop owner Mark Thomas.

“We can just go on the fact that the device was located where it was and we’ve taken all precautions to make sure the community is safe,” Det Chief Insp Kehoe told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Thomas, who discovered the object near his store, said it was like a metal pipe, capped either end with “circuit-board-looking stuff and a switch”.

“I couldn’t see it properly so I rolled it over, ‘Oh yeah, looks like someone has made a bomb for Halloween but, you know, could be real so better call the police’, and so here we are,” he told the ABC.

5. Mum says Sydney man never mistreated his wife.

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The mother of a Sydney man accused of burning his wife to death has told a jury she never saw him treat her with anything but affection.

“Both of them loved each other a lot,” Ranjit Kaur told the NSW Supreme Court jury on Thursday.

She was giving evidence at the trial of her son, Kulwinder Singh, 41, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Parwinder Kaur, 32, in December 2013.

She sustained burns to 90 per cent of her body in the petrol-fuelled blaze at their Rouse Hill home.

The Crown alleges Singh was responsible for her death but he told police “she did it to herself” while he was upstairs.

The dead woman’s relatives have testified to seeing Singh grab his wife, of seeing her with bruises she said were caused by her husband, and of her having said he swore at her.

But her mother-in-law, who lived with the couple at various stages, testified to having never seen her son hit or beat his wife with a thong, push or mistreat her, or swear at her.

“Nothing of that sort ever happened,” she said, speaking through a Punjabi interpreter.

Ms Kaur said she also worked at the same mushroom farm as her daughter-in-law and employees would sometimes bump themselves when climbing onto the platforms.

The dead woman’s brother, Sukhvinder Singh, had previously told the jury his sister had to do the cooking, washing and cleaning for the whole family, which included her in-laws when they lived there.

But Ranjit Kaur on Thursday said her daughter-in-law did not wash everyone’s clothes, used a washing machine and was not forced to do washing by hand, and shared in the cooking.

“There was no complaint,” she said.

“There was nothing going on. It was like a happy family.”

She also denied suggestions she or other members of their family had abused and criticised her daughter-in-law for cooking or other mistakes.

Her daughter and Singh’s sister, Manjinda Kaur Hoffi, said the couple had had issues about their mortgage and her brother did become stressed and upset saying he could not pay it all himself.

But she described their marriage as happy, saying she never saw them arguing.

She said she would be surprised if her brother had said in mid-2011 that he had no relationship with his wife or that “I don’t want to see her face anymore”.

The trial continues before Justice Natalie Adams.

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