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News in 5: Weinstein sentenced to 23 years, COVID-19 declared a pandemic, Eurydice Dixon's killer & more.

1. Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison after delivering a rambling statement in court.

An unrepentant Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after delivering a rambling statement in court, saying he is trying to be “a better person”.

The sentence was handed down in a Manhattan criminal court by Justice James Burke, who presided over Weinstein’s trial.

A jury on February 24 found former movie producer Weinstein, 67, guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and raping former aspiring actor Jessica Mann.

“I feel remorse for all of the men who are going through this fight,” Weinstein told the court before he was sentenced on Wednesday.

More than 100 women, including famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct stretching back decades, fuelling the Me Too movement against sexual abuse and harassment.

Weinstein, who addressed the court while sitting in a wheelchair, said he was worried about “thousands of men” being denied due process in the Me Too era.

In a rambling statement, he said he was “confused” and that he believed he had great times with “these people”, referring to the women.

He said he had worked too hard and put too much pressure on himself.

“I really feel remorse about this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart… I’m really trying to be a better person.”

The six women who testified against him were also in court for the proceedings.

In an emotional statement, Haleyi spoke of the trauma she had endured since the attack.

“It scarred me deeply, mentally and emotionally, perhaps irreparably, perhaps forever,” she said.

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Mann also addressed the court.

“I want to remind you I told Harvey, ‘no,'” she said. “I am forced to carry that experience until I die.”

2. “We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic.

The World Health Organisation has declared the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic, expressing alarm both about mounting infections and slow government responses.

But the organisation says it’s not too late for countries to act.

By reversing course and using the charged word “pandemic” it had previously shied away from, the UN health agency appeared to want to shock lethargic countries into pulling out all the stops.

“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva on Wednesday.

“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilise their people in the response.

“We are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.”

Iran and Italy are the new front lines of the battle against the virus that started in China.

“They’re suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation soon,” WHO emergencies chief Mike Ryan said.

Italy weighed imposing even tighter restrictions on daily life and announced billions in financial relief on Wednesday to cushion economic shocks from the coronavirus.

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In Iran, by far the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, the senior vice president and two other Cabinet ministers were reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

But for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia.

More than 121,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 4300 have died.

3. Jaymes Todd loses appeal against life sentence for the rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon.

Jaymes Todd has lost his bid to appeal his life sentence for the “unspeakably loathsome and cruel” rape and murder of aspiring Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon.

The killer’s lawyer unsuccessfully argued the man’s punishment is excessive.

“A young woman should be able to walk home alone after a night out without any fear of being harmed, let alone subjected to a vile sexual attack and killed,” Justices Anne Ferguson, David Beach and Phillip Priest wrote in their judgment.

eurydice dixon killer sentence
Eurydice Dixon was raped and murdered in Melbourne in June 2018. Image: Facebook/AAP.

Ms Dixon was nearly home from a night out at a comedy club when she was raped and murdered in June 2018.

Todd, then 19, stalked his 22-year-old victim for more than an hour before the attack at Carlton North's Princes Park.

He was last year jailed for life and must serve 35 years before being able to apply for release on parole.

4. Katy Perry performs for fire ravaged communities in Victoria.

Pop superstar Katy Perry has visited Victoria's fire-ravaged communities in the wake of devastation.

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Dressed in a fluorescent yellow dress, blue sneakers and a high ponytail, Katy came to bring cheer on those impacted in Victoria's recent bushfires, pulling out all the stops in the town of Bright.

"The point of coming out is just a message of gratitude and unity," she told reporters.

Katy Perry performs at the free 'Fight On' concert held for firefighters and communities recently affected by the devastating bushfires in Victoria. Image: Daniel Pockett/Getty.

"No matter where you are suffering in the world, we are all one. We can support each other in our own way."

Perry wanted to show her support in person, after seeing the "very apocalyptic" fire scenes from California.

Thousands of Victorians turned out to see Perry, as a way to celebrate coming through the fire season.

"This is exactly what my hometown looks and feels like. (But) We don't have any pies in the USA," Perry told fans while on stage.

"Congratulations for coming out on the other side."

Along with these fighting words, Perry hopes to spark a passion for people across the globe to take action on climate.

"It's another loud shout from Mother Nature, saying okay hold my beer," she told reporters.

"Unfortunately, I think a lot of these types of things are going to continue to happen unless we take drastic measures into effect."

-With AAP

Feature image: Getty.

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