1. Grieving mum’s desperate plea after her 10-year-old son was hit and killed.
The family of Jack Power, the 10-year-old Melbourne boy who died after being struck by a van on Saturday, is pleading with drivers to take extra caution behind the wheel.
The primary school student was crossing at traffic lights on Springfield Road, Blackburn North, when he was hit. His mother, Bonnie, arrived at the scene to find a stranger performing CPR.
“There was a group huddled over someone. I just remember seeing them wrapped up in an army jacket and I felt relieved because I knew Jack didn’t have a jacket like that,” she told The Age. “But when I walked over I saw it was Jack’s face.”
Jack was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital where surgeons performed an emergency operation in an effort to ease pressure on his brain. He died the following day.
Bonnie told the ABC her boy was trying to do all he could to survive because he was “meant to do great things”.
“I said darling, you don’t have to pull through, if you don’t want to… This is now completely up to you if you want to let go, if you see a white light.”
His family have opted to donate his organs, which could help save the lives of up to 10 people.
Though her grief is raw, Bonnie Power has spoken publicly about her son’s death in the hope that another family might be spared from experiencing such a tragedy.
Speaking to the ABC, she issued a message to motorists: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a phone, doesn’t matter if you’ve had an argument with someone, doesn’t matter if you’re stressed about money, it doesn’t matter,” she said.
“Don’t just assume that you’re safely going to go from A to B.
“There could be a kid on the road… the light could turn red.”
2. Malcolm Turnbull is barely hanging on as Prime Minister as challengers rally.
A defiant Malcolm Turnbull is hanging on but challengers reportedly have the numbers needed to force a leadership showdown.
The Prime Minister told challenger Peter Dutton to get a majority of Liberal MPs to sign a letter and he'll bring on a leadership spill at midday on Friday.
Late on Thursday Mr Dutton had reached the 43 signatures required, News Corp reported.
Earlier on Thursday Mr Turnbull was refusing to call the meeting until the names were in.
"I have just signed the petition, I have done that because this matter needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency," Liberal MP Karen Andrews told Sky News on Thursday night.
"I understand that only one more signature is required."
If the spill goes ahead, Ms Bishop could split off MPs who were considering backing Mr Dutton.
"Australians will be rightly appalled by what they're witnessing in their nation's parliament today and in the course of this week," Mr Turnbull told reporters.
"A minority in the party room, supported by others outside the parliament, have sought to bully, intimidate others into making this change of leadership that they're seeking."
The Prime Minister has lost 13 ministers, including loyalist Mathias Cormann, after they told him the numbers had moved behind Mr Dutton, who lost Tuesday's leadership vote 48-35.
"I can't ignore the fact that a majority of colleagues in the Liberal Party party room are of the view that there should be a change," Senator Cormann told reporters.
Mr Turnbull expects the solicitor-general to provide MPs with advice on whether Mr Dutton is eligible to sit in parliament before Friday's meeting.
The former home affairs minister has his own legal advice that his interest in childcare centres - which receive funding from the federal government - does not breach section 44 of the constitution.
The section bans from parliament anyone with "any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the public service of the Commonwealth".
Polls are predicting a Dutton government would be heavily defeated in an election.
A ReachTel poll of more than 2400 voters found if Mr Dutton became prime minister 55 per cent of voters would be less likely to vote Liberal.
And a Galaxy poll showed Mr Dutton was behind Mr Turnbull, Ms Bishop and even former prime minister Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister.
3. Women accused of abusing children at circus school face court.
Three women linked to a NSW performing arts school west of Sydney have been granted bail after being charged over "bizarre" allegations of repeated child abuse.
Spectators in an overflowing Sydney courtroom quietly exclaimed "Yes!" following the bail decision by NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum on Thursday.
Therese Ann Cook, 59, her daughter Yyani Cook-Williams, 30, and Clarissa Meredith, 24, are among seven people to face a combined 127 charges related to the alleged abuse of three young boys between 2014 and 2016.
Meredith leaned into Cook and cried when the trio learned via video link of the bail decision.
Justice McCallum said that while she hadn't immersed herself in the material to consider the strength of the Crown case, she didn't necessarily think bizarre allegations must be weak allegations.
In the judge's experience, the allegations could be "every bit as true as they are bizarre".
The women were charged in February along with Cook's brother, Paul Christopher Cook, 52, and three others who can't be named as they were underage at the time of the alleged offences.
Police previously alleged Therese Cook first abused two of the boys, then aged three and seven, before her co-accused later got involved.
She was accused of having intercourse with the seven-year-old and choking him with the intent of sexually assaulting him.
She faces 43 charges including sexual intercourse with a person under 10, indecent assault of a person under 16 and assault occasioning bodily harm.
Cook-Williams, her 30-year-old daughter, was alleged to have incited two of the boys to have sex with each other.
Her eight charges include common assault and aggravated sexual assault in company.
Meredith's 13 charges include aggravated sexual assault in company, producing child abuse material and stalking or intimidation.
Their lawyer, Bryan Wrench, in February told a local court that one of his clients had video to show nothing happened.
"On face value, there appears to be no medical evidence to corroborate these claims, no DNA evidence," he said.
Strict bail conditions mean the women can't leave NSW, can't leave their homes unless accompanied by an approved person, nor be in contact with any child under 16 unless supervised by an approved adult.
They will each need one or more people to provide a $100,000 surety before they can be released.
Justice McCallum will deliver her reasons for the release decision on Monday.
4. Alan Jones uses vile racial slur on live radio - only apologises after backlash.
Sydney shock jock Alan Jones has apologised after again using the N-word on radio - but only after a public backlash.
Jones on Thursday was getting wound up about the Liberal leadership challenge in Canberra and his fear that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann wasn't helping Peter Dutton roll Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
"Anyone can stand ... but they are mobilising to block Dutton," the veteran broadcaster said.
"The n**** in the woodpile here, if one can use that expression - and I'm not going to yield to people who tell us that certain words in the language are forbidden - the person who's playing hard to get here is Mathias Cormann."
Jones apologised many hours later tweeting: "We all make mistakes. This morning ... I spoke about the covert actions of some political operatives in the current leadership challenges ... I used an old and offensive figure of speech that I regret saying."
The shock jock used the same phrase in 2013 when discussing Queensland's then-deputy premier and in 2012 when railing against Mr Turnbull's leadership aspirations.
Jones - who early in his career repeatedly failed to win a Liberal Party seat in parliament - used the expression on numerous other occasions on air dating back to at least 2007.
We all make mistakes. This morning on 2GB and 4BC I spoke about the covert actions of some political operatives in the current leadership challenges within the Liberal Party 1/2
— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) August 23, 2018
I used an old and offensive figure of speech that I regret saying. People should be honest and forthright in their actions and that is not happening in the Liberal Party right now. I will have more to say on this tomorrow 2/2
— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) August 23, 2018
5. Queensland man sentenced over savage killing of Korean student.
A Brisbane man who beat a Korean woman to death has spent his first night behind bars as a convicted murderer.
Relatives of Eunji Ban, 22, wept in Brisbane Supreme Court after a jury rejected Alex Reuben McEwan's claims he was suffering schizophrenia when he killed her.
McEwan has been sentenced to life in prison for punching, kicking and strangling Ms Ban to death and leaving her body in a park near Brisbane's CBD in November 2013.
He pleaded not guilty to murder on mental health grounds.
McEwan had claimed he was possessed by a demon when he attacked Ms Ban near her Roma Street Parklands unit as she walked to work in the early hours of the morning.
McEwan had been drinking with friends the night before the killing, waking up the next day and walking the streets near Ms Ban's home.
He randomly attacked her before she could scream or fight back.
He dragged her body up stairs to the nearby Wickham Park and dumped it by a tree, which he decorated with clumps of her hair.
The trial heard Ms Ban was beaten so badly she drowned in her own blood.
McEwan told police he had set out that morning to kill, and said to a friend he "just felt like" killing someone.
With time already served and a mandatory non-parole period of 20 years, McEwan will remain behind bars at least until late 2033.
6. Claims travel company Trivago misled consumers.
Watchdog is taking @trivago Australia to court.
"If you look at Trivago's advertisements it's got a lot to do with getting the best price, when in fact the hotel that comes up in the listings is the one that’s paid Trivago the most money.”https://t.co/4gbdtqotBh
— Michael Lallo (@Michael_Lallo) August 23, 2018
Travel website Trivago is facing legal action over "serious allegations" it misled consumers with its hotel price comparison service.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges that from December 2013 Trivago advertised itself as an impartial price comparison service when it was actually prioritising advertisers willing to pay the highest cost-per-click fee to Trivago.
The ACCC on Thursday morning filed proceedings in Melbourne's Federal Court.
The website claims to aggregate deals offered by online travel sites and hotels to highlight the best deal to consumers.
But in many cases the highlighted price was not the cheapest available, the ACCC says.
As a result, consumers may have formed an incorrect impression that Trivago's deals were the best price they could get at a particular hotel, ACCC chair Rod Sims says.
"It is an extremely concerning issue .... the allegations are extremely serious," Mr Sims told AAP on Thursday.
The legal proceedings will determine whether Trivago has breached Australian consumer law. Each breach could attract a penalty of up to $1.1 million.
Mr Sims says if the ACCC's allegations are proven it would be seeking a "very sizeable" fine.
A Trivago spokesman says the company's priority is helping Australian travellers find their ideal hotel.
"We are disappointed by the action the ACCC has chosen to take in relation to Trivago and will vigorously defend our interests," the spokesman told AAP in a statement.
The consumer watchdog is worried about other comparison sites too.
"We are extremely concerned in a general sense that these sorts of comparison platforms convey impressions that their service benefits consumers when it, in fact, benefits the suppliers which give them the most money," Mr Sims said.
"It's a very serious issue for consumers in Australia."
The ACCC also alleges Trivago's online price comparisons were false or misleading because they often compared an offer for a standard room with an offer for a luxury room at the same hotel.
This created a false impression of savings meaning consumers could have paid more than they otherwise would have, the watchdog claims.
The ACCC investigation was based on allegedly misleading information on Trivago's website and in television advertisements which the watchdog claims were aired more than 400,000 times from late 2013 to mid-2018.