Wednesday’s news in 5 minutes.

Video via Channel 7

1. Inquest into London attacks reveals the heartbreaking details of how two Australians were killed.

Details of the frenzied knife attacks on unarmed victims in the London Bridge terror attack have been set out at the inquests into their deaths.

Australians Kirsty Boden, 28, and 21-year-old Sara Zelenak were among the eight people killed on June 3, when three attackers ploughed into pedestrians with a white van before stabbing revellers in Borough Market.

The mother of Australian nanny Sara Zelenak was in attendance to hear how her 21-year-old daughter was knifed in the throat on Borough High Street that night.

Julie Wallace, sitting beside her partner Mark Wallace, nodded silently to confirm the spelling of her daughter’s name.

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Coroner Andrew Harris opened and adjourned inquests at the court on Tuesday for five victims of the attack.

He told the families: “All of our thoughts and condolences are with you at this terrible time, one of the most horrible things is for parents to be in court hearing the details of a death, particularly a violent one, of their children.”

Boden, Zelenak, Sebastien Belanger, 26, of France, James McMullan, 32, from London and Ignacio Echeverria, 39, from Spain all died in the area on June 3.

A grim account of their injuries was read out to the inquest, detailing where they had been found and how they were identified.

McMullan, from Brent, northwest London, was killed by a haemorrhage after being stabbed in the chest in Borough Market.

He was found lying outside the post office on Borough High Street and was later identified by his father.

Chef Mr Belanger, originally from Angers, western France, was drinking at the nearby Boro Bistro when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, the inquest heard.

His body was located in Borough Market and he was identified by dental records and fingerprints while his loved ones spent several days unaware of his fate.

Boden, from Loxton, South Australia, ran towards the danger in a selfless bid to save people.

She was found in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, on Montague Close, with a stab wound to her chest, and was later identified by DNA and dental records.

Au pair Zelenak, from Brisbane, was found in Borough High Street, stabbed in the neck, and was subsequently identified by dental records and DNA.

HSBC analyst Mr Echeverria, from As Pontes, Spain, was knifed in the back on London Bridge, having tried to defend a woman with his skateboard. His body was identified by his brother several days later, the hearing was told.

Armed police shot dead the ringleader and his two accomplices just eight minutes after the first emergency call was made.

The inquest proceedings were suspended by the coroner so the vast police operation was not hampered by his investigation.

A hearing will take place on Wednesday into the deaths of Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, and Frenchmen Xavier Thomas, 45, and Alexandre Pigeard, 26.

2. Sydney teen kidnapped, sexually assaulted and ‘forced to marry’ her captor.

A 33-year-old man who allegedly forced an 18-year-old Sydney woman to marry him has been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting the teen.

Chafic Charylala – believed to be a distant family friend of the woman – allegedly drove to the woman’s Bankstown home early on Monday morning before taking her to the Novotel at Brighton Le Sands, and then to a Lakemba house, where an Islamic ceremony took place.

The young woman told 7 News he wanted to use the marriage to secure an Australian citizenship.

She was then driven down the Hume Highway towards Melbourne, where Charylala’s cousin lives, but officers intercepted the vehicle after her family contacted police.

“It was scary, like, I just wanted to come back home to my family. I wanted to come back home,” she told 7 News.

“I can’t stand him, I want to kill him,” she added, when asked what she wanted to say to her abductor.

Charylala was arrested in Gundagai on Monday night and charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and indecent assault.

The matter was heard at Wagga Wagga Local Court on Tuesday.

3. US university student held captive in North Korea for 17 months has been released, but is in a coma.

Otto Warmbier, a US university student held captive in North Korea for 17 months, has been released, but a former US official says he is in a coma and in urgent need of medical care, AAP reports.

“Otto has been in a coma for over a year now and urgently needs proper medical care in the United States,” said Bill Richardson, a veteran former diplomat and politician who has played a role in past negotiations with North Korea, said after speaking to Warmbier’s parents on Tuesday.

Warmbier, 22, a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati, was on his way back to the United States, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

The family said they were told by North Korean officials, through contacts with American envoys, that Warmbier fell ill from botulism sometime after his March 2016 trial and lapsed into a coma after taking a sleeping pill, the Washington Post reported.

“In no uncertain terms North Korea must explain the causes of his coma,” said Richardson, whose Center for Global Engagement directly sought Warmbier’s release with the North Korean government.

Tillerson, at a US Senate hearing on Tuesday, declined to comment on Warmbier’s condition.

Warmbier’s release came as former US basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Tuesday, returning to the increasingly isolated nuclear-armed country where he has previously met leader Kim Jong Un.

US officials appeared to brush aside any speculation of a connection between Rodman’s controversial visit and Warmbier’s release.

A senior administration official said the Trump administration did not authorise Rodman’s trip.

The State Department is continuing to discuss the situation of three other detained Americans with North Korea, Tillerson said.

Warmbier was detained in January 2016 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in March last year for trying to steal an item with a propaganda slogan, according to North Korean media.

“At the direction of the president, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea,” Tillerson said.

4. Research details the lasting health impacts of women who experience domestic violence.

Women who have lived with a violent partner suffer “real” and long lasting physical health issues on top of poor mental health, new Australian research reveals.

A University of Newcastle study tracked three generations of women for 16 years and found the physical health of those women involved in a violent relationship worsened as they aged, AAP reports.

Professor Deborah Loxton, from the Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing and Hunter Medical Research Institute Public Health Program, says it’s vital for clinicians and healthcare workers to understand and recognise the long-term impact of domestic violence on a woman’s health.

“I suppose people think about physical health and violence in terms of injury but as well as that there is that impact of living with long-term stress,” she said.

Domestic violence can lead to poor mental health, including depression and anxiety, and that these issues can last many years.

It is also associated with a higher prevalence of chronic pain and headaches, cervical cancer, chronic disease, and problems with physical function that affect quality of life, says Professor Loxton.

Researchers followed 16,761 participants in the Women’s Health Australia study – also known as the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health – for 16 years.

The three groups of women, born from 1921-1926, 1946-1951 and 1973-1978, were asked whether they had ever been in a violent relationship and answered regular surveys assessing their physical and mental health.

The difference in physical function and general health among the women who had experienced violence at the hands of their partner compared to those from a non-violent relationship was “stark”.

“Overwhelmingly they experienced poorer physical health, poorer mental health and more bodily pain over the 16 year study period,” said Prof Loxton

One of the more interesting findings, she says, was that poor mental health was a risk factor in women entering into abusive relationships, as well as being a consequence of abuse.

“This indicates that appropriate mental health care can play a role in the prevention of domestic violence.”

Professor Loxton says interventions and support available to women are frequently for the immediate crisis period, with many people believing that ‘if she leaves, then she’ll be alright’.

“Unfortunately, the reality for one in four Australian women is that the physical and mental health impacts of domestic violence could last a lifetime,” she said.

“We need policies and interventions in place to provide support for the women who are still feeling the impact 10 or 20 years later.”

The research is published in journal PLoS ONE.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

5. Vets urge owners to consider donating their dog’s blood on World Donor Day.

Vets are urging pet owners to consider the needs of our four-legged friends on World Donor Day.

Dogs are also able to donate blood, which can help save the lives of ill and injured dogs in need of blood donations.

“Most walk out just the same as when they walk in,” Kerry Bozicevic, a nurse from Melbourne University’s U-Vet clinic told 9 News, adding that the procedure only takes around 15 minutes and only 450 millilitres of blood is taken.

Just like humans, one doggy blood donation can form three products to save the lives of three other canines.

Six-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff Bronson has donated his blood six times, and his owner Kaii said it was “cool” to know the beloved pet has helped save the lives of others.

One of Bronson’s donations saved the life of three-year-old Cocker Spaniel Sophie, who fell ill after eating rat poison.

To donate blood, dogs must weight over 25kg and be aged between one and seven years. All donors must also have a full vaccination history.

6. Uber CEO to take leave of absence following investigation into the company’s ‘toxic’ culture.

Uber boss Travis Kalanick will take a leave of absence for an unspecified period and let his leadership team run the troubled ride-hailing company while he’s gone.

Kalanick told employees about his decision on Tuesday in a memo, saying he needs time off to grieve for his mother, who died in a May boating accident, AAP reports.

He also conceded he’s responsible for the company’s current situation and needs to become a better leader.

The announcement comes as former US Attorney Eric Holder released a list of recommendations to improve Uber’s toxic culture.

Holder recommended Kalanick be relieved of some leadership responsibilities and that Uber use performance reviews to hold senior managers accountable by setting metrics for improving diversity and responsiveness to employee complaints.

Holder’s firm, Covington & Burling LLP, and a second firm, Perkins Coie, were asked to conduct separate examinations of Uber’s workplace culture after a former engineer levelled charges of sexual harassment.

In February Susan Fowler detailed in a blog her sexual harassment during her year working at Uber, including being propositioned by her manager.

She reported him to human resources and was told he would get a lecture but no further punishment because he was a “high performer”, she wrote.

Holder’s investigators conducted more than 200 interviews with current and former employees.

After Fowler’s blog, Uber Technologies made changes in human resources and opened a 24-hour hotline for employees.

Last week, the company fired 20 people including some managers at the recommendation of Perkins Coie, which probed specific complaints made to the company about sex harassment, bullying, and retaliation for reporting problems.

That firm checked into 215 complaints, with 57 still under investigation.

 

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