news

The haunting final video of Justine Damond that's started a legal battle, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. The haunting final video of Justine Damond that’s started a legal battle.

A legal stoush has broken out in the US over whether police video of Australian yoga instructor Justine Ruszczyk Damond naked and “gasping for breath in the last moments of her life” should be shown to the media and members of the public.

Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance ruled last week the police body camera video should only be viewed by the jury, lawyers and herself during Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor’s murder trial.

A coalition of media organisations, led by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, challenged the judge’s ruling at a hearing on Friday.

Jury selection for Noor’s trial in Minneapolis began on Monday and will stretch into next week.

“I am trying to protect the pictures of this woman naked and her gasping for breath in the last moments of her life,” the judge said at the hearing, according to the Associated Press.

Noor, a 33-year-old Somali-American, has been charged with counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter and faces more than 40 years in jail if convicted.

He has pleaded not guilty on all charges, claiming self defence, the ABC reported.

Damond, a 40-year-old life coach and yoga instructor who lived in Minneapolis and was weeks away from marrying her American fiance, called police just before midnight on July 15, 2017, after she heard a woman’s screams and feared a sexual assault was taking place near her home.

In 911 transcripts released shortly after her death, she can be heard telling emergency operators she wasn’t sure if a woman outside her house was “having sex or being raped”.

“I think she just yelled out ‘help’ but it’s difficult,” she said.

“The sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don’t think she’s enjoying it.”

Eight minutes later, at 11.35 pm, Damond called 911 again to ensure police were still coming to the scene. She confirmed her address and told the operator the woman in question was still screaming.

Damond was unarmed and dressed in her pyjamas when she approached Noor’s police vehicle in the dark.

Noor’s partner Officer Matthew Harrity was “startled” and “perceived that his life was in danger” when he heard a “muffled voice or whisper” and thump on the squad car when Damond suddenly appeared, according to prosecutors.

Noor was sitting in the front passenger seat of the squad car and shot across Officer Harrity, who was driving the vehicle, and out the driver’s side window striking Damond in the stomach, prosecutors said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Prosecutors said Noor and Officer Harrity switched on their body cameras after the shot was fired and it captured their attempts to resuscitate Damond, who was declared dead at the scene.

The media coalition argued the media and the public should see what the jury sees.

The judge promised to make a quick ruling on the video footage access. Noor was fired from the police force when he was charged last year.

2. Paroled Sydney murderer Peters on the run after removing electronic monitoring anklet.

A convicted killer is on the run after removing his electronic monitoring anklet while on parole in Sydney.

Damien Anthony Peters, 50, was last seen at Randwick’s Prince of Wales Hospital about 4.15pm on Sunday and police found his monitoring device just over four hours later in nearby Kensington.

Peters pleaded guilty to murdering and dismembering two of his male lovers in his Surry Hills flat in 2001 and was jailed for 21 years, with a non-parole period of 13 years, in 2002.

The court heard Peters, then 32, had stabbed Tereaupii Akai, 50, twice in the neck before cutting up his body and throwing it in a council bin.

About eight months later Peters stabbed 57-year-old Bevan James Frost to death while giving him a massage in bed before cutting up his body.

Detectives investigating Mr Akai’s disappearance found Mr Frost’s remains in the bath when they went to Peters’ flat.

Peters is described as Caucasian and 175 to 185cm tall, with a muscular build and short brown hair. He has a tattoo of a snake wrapped around a panther on his upper right arm and tribal style tattoos on his upper left arm.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. What the coronial inquest into the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe found.

Queensland police are considering coronial findings that their investigation into the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe did not focus hard enough on his murderer.

daniel-morcombe-

State Coroner Terry Ryan has handed down his report from an inquest into Daniel's death more than 15 years since he vanished on the Sunshine Coast on his way to buy Christmas presents.

It would take 10 years to secure Brett Peter Cowan's conviction after he abducted, murdered and buried the 13-year-old in 2003.

As he emerged as a suspect, Mr Ryan said "more could have been done to focus on Mr Cowan in the early stages of the investigation".

"(That is) particularly having regard to his admissions that placed him at the scene of Daniel's disappearance, the gaps in his alibi, and the specific nature of his offending history," he said.

Cowan was a convicted child sex offender, admitted being in the Sunshine Coast area when Daniel disappeared and had a weak alibi.

But Mr Ryan stopped short of admonishing police over the "largest criminal investigation in the history of Queensland" with 100 dedicated officers and about 10,000 interviews.

Efforts by undercover officers in extracting a confession from Cowan, leading to his 2011 arrest and life sentence for murder, were praised.

Prior to that, there was not enough evidence to determine his alibi - that he was off buying drugs - was a lie.

In a statement, police said they would "thoroughly consider all aspects of the findings".

ADVERTISEMENT

"Our thoughts continue to be with Daniel's family," the force said.

4. Prime Minister Scott Morrison keeping mum on the election date.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is keeping mum on the election date, saying he is focused on explaining his government's budget to the public.

He had been widely tipped to announce a May 11 election on Sunday, but that did not happen and he is instead spruiking last Tuesday's budget announcements.

The delay has led to accusations from the Labor opposition that Mr Morrison has pushed the election back so the cash-strapped coalition parties can exploit taxpayer-funded advertising.

"Bill (Shorten) can be as frustrated and anxious and grumpy as he likes, but you know, we are running to the plan that we've set as a government," Mr Morrison told reporters in northwestern Sydney on Sunday.

"We're looking forward to the weeks ahead and it won't be before too long that obviously we will go to the polls."

He dismissed the complaints about spending taxpayers' money to promote the budget.

"I'm also not going to take lectures from the Labor Party that completely defied every single convention that has been known to Australian elections when they ran taxpayer funded ads during the 2013 caretaker period."

He said the three dates of May 11, 18 and 25 still stood.

"The election will be called in April and the election will be held in May," he said.

"We're not doing this with any haste and we're not doing it with any delay."

ADVERTISEMENT

5. Measles alert in NSW and QLD after two unvaccinated tourists caught disease.

Two unvaccinated Australian tourists have sparked a measles alert in the region with the worst immunisation rates in the country.

NSW Health is warning visitors to Gold Coast airport and several NSW north coast towns to remain alert for measles symptoms after the pair of returned travellers caught the disease in Asia.

At 90.6 per cent, NSW North Coast has the worst rate of fully vaccinated five-year-olds of any primary health network in Australia, according to national data.

Gold Coast doesn't fare much better at 92.2 per cent - 2.5 per cent lower than the national average.

Since Christmas, NSW has recorded 33 measles cases - a rate almost five times higher than over the two years before that.

The two travellers, aged in their 20s, likely acquired the infection while in the Philippines in mid-March and were unwell before landing on the Gold Coast on March 30, NSW Health said.

They visited shops in Pottsville and Cabarita on April 2 before seeking medical treatment in Murwillumbah and Tweed Hospital the following day.

Anyone on Scoot flight TR6 on March 30 or in the same locations as the travellers have been urged to be alert until April 22 for measles symptoms, which including fever and a cough followed by a blotchy rash days later.

"Anyone who develops symptoms should call ahead to their GP to ensure they're not in the waiting room with other patients," NSW Health official Greg Bell said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is free for anyone born after 1965 who haven't had two doses.

Vaccination rates in NSW are at their highest level ever, with more than 95 per cent of five-year-olds fully vaccinated against measles.

6. Another batch of eggs recalled in NSW and Victoria over salmonella fears.

Consumers in NSW and Victoria have been warned not to eat the latest batch of eggs that have been recalled over possible salmonella contamination.

Synergy Produce has recalled six and 12 packs of Southern Highland Organic Eggs with best before dates up to and including May 9, The NSW Food Authority said on Saturday.

The eggs have been available for sale in Woolworths in NSW and Victoria, IGA in NSW and other independent retailers in NSW.

The authority said the recall was due to potential salmonella enteritidis contamination, which could cause illness.

It follows a number of recalls linked to a salmonella enteritidis outbreak, with NSW Health saying in March that 149 of the state's residents had become unwell since it was first reported in May 2018.

"This latest farm was firmly on our radar because it is close to farms in which salmonella has recently been detected," Australian Eggs Managing Director Rowan McMonnies said.

Some brands of eggs were last month recalled across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia after salmonella was detected at Victoria's Bridgewater Poultry.

People infected with salmonella commonly develop headaches, fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, NSW Health says.

00:00 / ???