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Good Morning Britain airs heated exchange with Australian Liberal MP over bushfire response, & more in News in 5.

– With AAP. 

1. Good Morning Britain airs heated exchange with Australian Liberal MP over bushfire response.

British breakfast show hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid have lambasted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a tense interview with Liberal MP Craig Kelly.

Morgan had previously criticised Morrison on Twitter for a “shameless and shameful” political ad about the government’s response to the bushfire crisis.

Watch Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid blast the Australian government’s bushfire response.

Speaking to Kelly on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning UK time, Morgan noted that Morrison’s response to the bushfires was to go on holiday to Hawaii and asked Kelly why that was.

In response, Kelly said the bushfire response was a state and territory responsibility.

“So the ultimate responsibility for fighting fires is the state premier’s,” he said.

Morgan’s co-host Reid interrupted to say “but it’s a national emergency isn’t it? You’d expect the national leader to take charge and not fly out of the country.”

Kelly said the only thing a national leader could do in this situation was wait until he got instruction from state premiers.

“Or he could show leadership,” Reid said.

Kelly, a known ‘climate sceptic’ and part of the conservative right-wing Liberal faction, was grilled on his views by Morgan.

“You are facing now one of the greatest crises you have ever faced, and there is you Mr Kelly, with respect, a senior politician who still doesn’t think this has anything to do with a heating up planet,” Morgan said.

“Basically nothing to see here, nothing to worry about, as virtually your entire country is eviscerated by fires.”

Kelly replied: “This is a terrible disaster, this is one of our nation’s worst natural disasters, and in the past when we have these in our nation we all sat back and did what we could to fix it up, rather than people getting out there and scoring political points and that is what’s happening now.”

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Good Morning Britain‘s weather presenter Laura Tobin interrupted to say that 2019 was Australia’s hottest and driest on record.

“You have the second highest carbon emissions per person on earth and you are burying your head in the sand. You aren’t a climate sceptic you are a climate denier,” she said of Kelly, who did not object to the claim.

Morgan cut the interview short, saying: “I’ve got to say: wake up. Wake up. Climate change and global warming are real and Australia right now is showing the entire world just how devastating it is,” as he farewelled the MP for Hughes.

“And for senior politicians in Australia to still pretend there’s no connection is absolutely disgraceful.”

On Sunday, PM Morrison said his government did accept the link between climate change and extreme weather conditions.

2. Death toll from NSW bushfires climbs to 19.

The body of a missing 71-year-old has been found on his burnt-out south coast property, taking the NSW bushfire death toll this fire season to 19.

The elderly man was last seen on New Year’s Eve moving equipment on his property in Nerrigundah, NSW Police say.

Officers had been unable to access the area until Monday when a large-scale land search located the man’s body between a destroyed home and car.

Police believe the body is that of the 71-year-old but are awaiting formal identification.

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A person from south of Bombala in the Far South Coast region remains missing.

Ten people have died in NSW bushfires in the past week. Another died on December 29 from serious burns sustained in a fire in November.

Deaths in the 2019/20 NSW bushfire season:

October:

– Robert Lindsey, 77, and Gwenda Hyde, 68 – found in Coongbar home near Casino.

November:

– George Nole, 85 – found in his car in Wytaliba, near Glen Innes.

– Vivian Chaplain, 69 – found in her Wytaliba home.

– Julie Fletcher, 63 – found in her Johns River home near Taree.

– Barry Parsons, 58 – found in a shed at Willawarrin, near Kempsey.

– Man, 59 – sheltered in Yarrowitch water tank, died of injuries on December 29

December:

– Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36 – volunteer firefighters killed in rollover near Buxton.

Deaths as a result of the New Year’s Eve fires:

– Sam McPaul, 28 – volunteer firefighter killed when truck hit by fire tornado at Jingellic.

– Patrick Salway, 29, and Robert Salway, 63 – young father and grandfather found at the family farm north of Cobargo.

– Man, 70, named as Laurie Andrew by local media – found outside a Yatte Yattah home.

– Man, 75 – burnout car near the Princes Highway at Yatte Yattah.

– Man, 62 – found in a vehicle in Sussex Inlet.

– Body, believed to be man, 56 – found outside a home at Coolagolite, east of Cobargo.

– Man, 72, reportedly off-duty RFS firefighter Colin Burns – found in car near Belowra.

– Man, 47, dies of a heart attack while helping a friend defend their property near Batlow.

– Man, 71, found on a burnt-out property in Nerrigundah.

3. Harvey Weinstein charged with sexual assault in LA, hours after his New York trial begun.

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with new sex offences in California, just hours after he appeared in New York for the start of his rape trial.

Los Angeles prosecutors claim the disgraced producer raped one woman and sexually assaulted another in 2013.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said.

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Weinstein arrived at a Manhattan court on Monday for the start of his landmark rape trial, met by celebrity accusers including Rosanna Arquette who helped fuel the #MeToo movement in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women in New York.

He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.

Weinstein, dressed in a black suit, hobbled into court leaning on a walker and with a member of his team holding his arm. Lead defence counsel Donna Rotunno followed close behind.

Outside the courthouse, the Silence Breakers, a group of Weinstein accusers, including actresses Arquette and Rose McGowan, held a press conference and demanded accountability for Weinstein.

“As we stand here at the beginning of a new year and a new decade, time’s up on sexual harassment in all workplaces,” said Arquette.

“And time’s up on the pervasive culture of silence that has enabled abusers like Weinstein.”

#TimesUp is also the name of a movement that works against sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender-based discrimination.

Weinstein did not engage with the accusers who shouted at him outside court. McGowan was dismissive of Weinstein’s feeble appearance. “I think he’s taken some good acting tips.”

More than 80 women, including other A-list stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

Those accusations helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, politics, the news media and entertainment of sexual harassment or assault.

Weinstein has denied the allegations, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

Monday’s court proceedings began with a pretrial conference in state court, with jury selection starting on Tuesday, according to Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, whose office brought the charges.

Weinstein, who was arrested in May 2018, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been free on bail.

More than 80 women, including other A-list stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

In December, Weinstein and his former film studio reached a tentative 25-million-dollar settlement with 30 accusers, US media reported.

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The deal would end nearly all civil lawsuits against Weinstein, who would not have to admit any wrongdoing or pay anything out of his own pocket.

4. “Countries do look to Australia for direction.” Julie Bishop demands leadership on climate.

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop says Australia needs to show global leadership on climate change in response to the bushfire crisis.

Ms Bishop said Australia must develop coherent climate and energy policies to present to the world.

“Countries do look to Australia for direction for guidance and leadership,” she told the Nine Network on Monday.

“We don’t have a national energy policy in this country and a national approach to climate change … we are part of a global effort.

“If a country like Australia fails to show leadership, we can hardly blame other nations for not likewise showing leadership in this area.”

Actor Russell Crowe has also used his victory speech at the Golden Globes in the United States to call for more action on climate change.

While Crowe was in Australia defending his home from bushfires, actor Jennifer Aniston read his speech demanding a move to renewable energy.

“Make no mistake the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based,” Ms Aniston said, reading the speech.

In the face of mounting pressure, Scott Morrison has defended his record on climate change.

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The prime minister claimed his government had always made the connection between climate change and extreme weather conditions.

Mr Morrison said Australia was focusing on beating its carbon emissions reductions targets and argued what other countries did was a matter for them.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese wants to examine the impact of climate change on the current bushfires.

Mr Albanese said climate change had resulted in parts of Australia being burnt for the first time.

“This is not normal. And we need to acknowledge that. We need to act in the long-term on climate change,” he told Sky News.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale is angry with the prime minister’s response to the bushfire crisis.

“This should be a wake-up call to every single member of the political establishment in Australia,” Senator Di Natale said.

“The reality is we’ve had a prime minister who has chosen to effectively work as a lobbyist for the coal industry at a time when he should have been keeping Australians safe.”

He said Australia should be phasing out coal-fired power and preventing the construction of any new coal mines.

5. Two Australians sentenced in Bali for misusing cocaine.

Two Australians have been found guilty of misusing cocaine and jailed for up to a year in Bali, after they were arrested in police raids on the Lost City nightclub last year and later returned positive urine tests.

Melbourne nightclub promoter William Cabantog, 36, was sentenced to one year behind bars and David Van Iersel, 38, was jailed for nine months in the Denpasar District Court.

They were found in possession of 1.12 grams of cocaine hidden in the pockets of Cabantog’s jeans, worth about $300, and a set of scales.

The pair had faced up to 12 years behind bars but their sentences were reduced after prosecutor Ni Made Ayu Citra Maya Sari agreed the pair were “victims of the drug trade” and recommended 14 months for Van Iersel and 18 months for Cabantog.

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She also requested that time already served be taken into account – prompting both men to weep before the court – and has seven days to appeal the decision.

Police raids on the Lost City nightclub – where Van Iersel was the manager and Cabantog worked as a hospitality consultant – and nearby homes at the popular surf beach of Canggu were conducted on July 19 last year.

Both men expressed regret and have since apologised to the Indonesian people while a court-appointed expert said the pair were heavily dependent on drugs and recommended six months rehabilitation in lieu of jail time.

They had told the court they had come to Bali to stop using drugs. The court heard that Van Irsel was “highly addicted” and had begun using drugs when he was 18 after being offered narcotics by a friend at a party.

Cabantog told the court he had used cocaine since he was 20.

Observers said the pair had got off lightly given a recent crackdown announced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo who was initially elected in 2014 on a strong platform of zero tolerance towards narcotics.

The courts have recently taken a sterner view of foreigners abusing drugs.

Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug ring, spent a decade on death row before their execution in 2015.

Another Australian, Ryan Scott Williams, was jailed in August last year for five years for possession of 38.72 grams of home-made cocaine. State prosecutors had only asked for 15 months.

Feature images: YouTube.

… And there’s more.

Mamamia Out Loud, our bi-weekly podcast, is coming to Melbourne for a live show, with 100 per cent of all ticket proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund.

It’s a brand new show, full of laughs and news and opinions and a few special surprises, with Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens, on February the 11th. You can buy tickets right now at mamamia.com.au/events. See you there! 

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