The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Friday February 26.

Remains of missing woman Melissa Caddick has been found.

NSW Police have found the remains of missing businesswoman and alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick, three months after she disappeared. 

The partial remains were found on a beach on the NSW South Coast. 

Caddick vanished from her home in Dover Heights in Sydney on November 12, last seen leaving the house in activewear for a morning run. She left her wallet, keys and mobile at home. 

On Sunday, February 21, a shoe was located on the shoreline of the national park south of Tathra by campers. 

Within the shoe was the remains of a human foot, with DNA matching the remains to Caddick on Thursday evening. 

"I can say that exactly how Melissa came to enter the water is still a mystery and will be subject of ongoing investigations by the strike force team. Police have always kept an open mind in relation to what the circumstances were for her disappearance, including the fact that Melissa may have taken her own life. However, a definitive decision in relation to the manner, time and cause of death is a matter for the coroner. An investigation, as I said, will be ongoing," Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing told the media in a press conference this morning. 

Since her disappearance, it's been revealed Caddick was allegedly involved in fraudulent business dealings, with the financial adviser accused of operating without a licence and orchestrating false financial statements for her clients, many of whom were close friends. 


Police believe clients trusted Caddick with up to $20 million collectively, which she secretly used to fund her lavish lifestyle, whilst providing them with false financial statements to make them believe their investments were growing. 

One day before her disappearance, the Australian Federal Police raided the 49-year-old's cliff-top home.

Facebook lifts its ban on Aussie news after eight-days.

At 1AM AEDT Friday morning, Australia's eight-day news blackout came to an end after the social media giant reached an agreement with the Federal Government over its new media code.

"It's fair to say Google and Facebook didn't want this code to come into existence, but today it has and as a result Australian news media businesses will get paid for content and journalism will be sustained in this country," Mr Frydenberg told 2GB on Thursday evening.


"You'll see some changes from tomorrow (Friday) and that's what Facebook have told us," Mr Frydenberg said.

Facebook had earlier agreed to restore Australian news pages following amendments earlier in the week to the code, following lengthy negotiations with the treasurer. 

From Friday, Australian Facebook users should be able to read and share news from Australian organisations on the social network as they previously did.

Lady Gaga offers reward for stolen dogs.

Pop superstar Lady Gaga is offering a $US500,000 ($A628,155) reward for the return of her French bulldogs Koji and Gustav that were stolen in Hollywood, a source familiar with the matter says, after reports that her dog walker was shot.

Gaga, whose recent performances included singing the national anthem at US President Joe Biden's inauguration last month, has been in Rome filming a movie.

Her three French bulldogs remained in Hollywood, the Daily Mail reported.

The outlet said Gaga's dog walker was walking the dogs on Wednesday evening when he was shot.


The third dog, Miss Asia, escaped and was later recovered.

Shortly before 10pm on Wednesday, a male gunman wielding a semi-automatic handgun shot a male in his 30s in Hollywood and fled in a white vehicle, stealing two French bulldogs, Los Angeles Police Officer Drake Madison said.

Fire department paramedics took the male victim to a local hospital in unknown condition, Madison said.

The source close to Lady Gaga, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the singer was urging anyone who has the dogs to contact the email [email protected] to return the dogs and retrieve the reward, no questions asked.

Victoria, NSW set to lift virus restrictions.

Victoria is expected to lift its coronavirus restrictions after recording six days with no local infections.

The eased set of rules are expected to be similar to those in force over Christmas, and it's tipped they will come into effect at 11.59pm on Friday.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday he was "very confident" he would have good news on restrictions for the state.

But thousands of people remain in self-isolation after coming into contact with cases linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn outbreak, which sparked the recent five-day statewide lockdown.

North of the border, house parties are back on in NSW from today and rules about dancing and singing in public have eased as the state heads towards 40 COVID-19 free days.


Fifty people are now allowed to gather in homes - up from 30 - and 50 are also allowed in gym classes, although the four-square-metre rule still applies.

Weddings are still limited to 300 guests but up to 30 people — not just those in the bridal party — will be able to hit the dance floor.

The cap on singers on choirs and congregations has also increased to 30 and cinemas can operate at 100 per cent capacity.

Trade war flares up as China accuses Australia of being part of an "axis of white ­supremacy."

China's state-run media mouthpiece The Global Times has reignited its ongoing trade war with Australia, accusing the country of forming "a US-centred, racist, and mafia-styled community, wilfully and arrogantly provoking China and trying to consolidate their hegemony as all gangsters do."

It was talking about our intelligence alliance with Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, which the tabloid refers to as a "racist axis of white ­supremacy."

The strongly worded article came out hours after Canada’s House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to declare China’s treatment of its Uighur minority population a genocide.

On Thursday it was also revealed that Australia's biggest live-fish exporter had failed to have its export licence renewed in China. 

Australian Reef Fish Traders accounted for 70 per cent of all live exports last year, with the move threatening the viability of Queensland's coral trout industry.


It's just the latest in a number of industries blocked out by China's increased regulations against Australian trade.

Politicians warned about reporting crimes.

Federal police have warned politicians they must report crimes without delay after an explosive rape allegation was kept secret for almost two years.

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins says she was raped by a colleague in then defence industry minister Linda Reynolds' Parliament House office in 2019.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about MPs, senators and staff reporting crimes.

"I cannot state strongly enough the importance of timely referrals of allegations of criminal conduct," Mr Kershaw said.

He said the failure to report criminal behaviour or allowing allegations to be aired in the media risked prejudicing police investigations.

"By not adhering to this process, there is a real risk that any alternative actions by individuals may lead to obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating the course of justice or administration of the law."

Mr Morrison said Senator Reynolds, who was Ms Higgins' boss at the time of incident, did the right thing by meeting with police.

But he conceded she should have told him about the incident without identifying the woman involved.


"I wish she had, but she did not," he told parliament on Thursday. "I would hope that in the future, if people wish to protect the privacy of any individual, they could raise these matters in an anonymised way."

82yo man charged over death of 82yo QLD woman.

An 82-year-old man has been charged with the death of an 82-year-old woman found by police on the Gold Coast. 

The elderly man was also found at the Varsity Lakes address when police responded to requests for help by someone who went to visit the home on Thursday afternoon.

"They saw something that concerned them and they immediately contacted the police who responded along with other emergency responders," Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said. 

He said the man was conscious when he was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital where he is undergoing treatment under police guard. 

He has since been charged with one count of murder and is due to appear in court today, pending hospital clearance. 

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. 

Princess Latifa plea on her sister's case.

Emirati princess Latifa Al Maktoum has urged British Police to reopen investigations into the disappearance of her older sister, Princess Shamsa.


Princess Latifa says she has been held captive in a "villa jail" in Dubai by her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum since an attempt to flee in 2018.

She says Shamsa was also captured by her father.

Shamsa, now 38, was abducted from the streets of Cambridge on August 19, 2000 and has not been seen in public since. It is believed she was returned to the United Arab Emirates.

Cambridgeshire Police previously confirmed "aspects" of its 2001 investigation - which found insufficient evidence to take any action - will be revisited, although the force insisted the investigation was no longer "active".

In a letter from Latifa to the force, obtained by the BBC, she wrote: "All I ask of you is to please give attention on her case because it could get her her freedom... your help and attention on her case could free her.

"She has strong links to England... she really loves England, all of her fondest memories are of her time there."

Around the world.

- A gorilla and two lions at the Prague Zoo have been infected with coronavirus. 

- More than 1.3 million people in Texas still don't have safe water supplies after a storm that killed two dozen people and caused widespread blackouts.

- With AAP

Feature image: Instagram @ladygaga/Mamamia/ Facebook.