1. A little girl who touched the heart Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has died
A little Australian girl who touched the heart of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during her royal visit in 2014 has died at the age of nine.
Irish-born Mia Murchison succumbed to late infantile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, commonly known Batten Disease, last week according to a posted shared to the Bounce4Batten Facebook page.
“Mia died this morning at home in our arms,” the post read. “So incredibly sad and beautiful. So very loved and adored.”
Mia was diagnosed in May 2013, after enduring nine months of increasingly frequent and debilitating seizures.
Her family have spent the past few years since making memories for the Sydney girl. Meeting the Duchess during her visit to Manly children’s hospice, Bear Cottage, was one Mia’s mother, Peta, said they’ll treasure forever.
Mia made headlines around the world – her photo seen in large overseas publications – for cheekily trying to take the royal’s flowers in a move Peta said made the Brit “giggle”.
Writing about the special encounter on the Bounce4Batten website, she wrote, “[The Duchess] made her way around the group meeting each family and chatting. She listened so attentively to us and crouched down engaging with Mia which was very sweet and probably not very comfortable.
“Mia said the word ‘baby’ and Kate replied ‘yes, I have a baby, baby George’.”
Peta continued, “I read in the papers the following day that Kate said on leaving Bear Cottage, ‘inspiring but we’re also ready for a big sob.’
2. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is facing fresh au pair claims.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he reviews every visa case on its merits following revelations he personally intervened to stop the deportation of a third au pair.
Mr Dutton, who's facing an upcoming Senate inquiry over his involvement in the cases of two other au pairs, sought a briefing on the third after she arrived in Australia in November 2015.
Border force officers detained the woman for questioning over concerns she intended to work in the country.
Mr Dutton reportedly used his powers to approve the 27-year-old's release after his office was lobbied by AFL boss Gil McLachlan on behalf of a relative in South Australia.
Documents obtained by the ABC show Mr Dutton granted the woman a three-month tourist visa, on the condition she did not work.
"Having regard to this person's particular circumstances and personal characteristics, I have decided to use my discretionary powers ... as it would be in the public interest to grant this person a visa," he wrote.
"In the circumstances, I have decided that as a discretionary and humanitarian act to an individual with ongoing needs, it is in the interests of Australia as a humane and generous society to grant this person a visitor visa (subclass 600) for a period of three months."
Mr Dutton released a strongly-worded statement refuting any suggestions of impropriety.
He said immigration ministers receive hundreds of inquiries each year on individual migration matters from members of the public, organisations, journalists and MPs.
"There are long standing intervention powers provided to ministers to consider and deal with these representations," Mr Dutton said in a statement on Tuesday.
"I consider cases on their merits. Any suggestions cases are determined on any other basis, including whether I knew the individual who referred the matter, is completely ridiculous.
"There is an administrative process to be followed and it has been followed in every instance."
Greens Senator Nick McKim and opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said Mr Dutton has some serious questions to answer.
"Labor expects the new prime minister Scott Morrison to ensure his minister fully cooperates with the Senate inquiry and its efforts to get to the bottom of these matters," Mr Neumann said.
The AFL has been contacted for comment.
Last week, Labor successfully moved to establish an inquiry into "allegations concerning the inappropriate exercise of ministerial powers with respect to the visa status of au pairs".
The upper house committee will investigate two separate decisions by Mr Dutton to overrule his department's denial of entry to two young women in 2015.
3. Woman and boy found dead in Central Coast home.
Wyongah: Police have reported the deaths of two people found in a house on the Central Coast. Investigations are being made into a possible murder-suicide. @BryanSeymour1 #Wyongah #7News pic.twitter.com/cOhWN0QIW4
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) August 28, 2018
The bodies of a woman and a boy have been found in a home on the NSW Central Coast.
Emergency services were called to a home on Kilpa Road, Wyongah, on the Central Coast just before 2pm Tuesday, after the body of a 47-year-old woman was found. The body of a nine-year-old boy was also discovered inside the home.
A NSW Police spokesperson said detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths but no other parties are being sought in relation to the incident.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
Anyone seeking help is urged to call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
4. Victim of sexual predator issues warning over his release.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) August 28, 2018
The advanced age of sexual predator Robert John Fardon should not reduce his risk of re-offending, according to a woman he raped as a child at gunpoint.
A Brisbane Supreme Court decision earlier this week dismissed a Queensland government attempt to extend a supervision order against Fardon.
It means the 69-year-old, who has a history of attacking females dating back to the 1960s, will be released unmonitored into the community when the order expires in October.
Among his reasons for dismissing the government's bid, Justice David Jackson said the risks of rapists re-offending "becomes very low after the age of 65".
Sharon Tomlinson, who was attacked by Fardon as a 12-year-old, says the prospect of an unmonitored Fardon in the community was "terrifying".
Ms Tomlinson dismissed the suggestion Fardon, who has emphysema, was less of a risk due to his age.
"This man might be 69 years old but he is a sexual sadist ... what do you think he's going to do at 69? He's going to go for the more vulnerable, probably younger children or really elderly women or disabled women," Ms Tomlinson told AAP.
"I have no doubt about that."
A spokeswoman for Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has told AAP she is examining whether there are any legal grounds for an appeal.
Ms Tomlinson, who has previously agreed to be identified as one of Fardon's victims, was part of a vocal campaign in 2013 to keep him locked up.
At the time, she told AAP of the harrowing day in 1978 when Fardon approached her as she played in the front yard of her Redcliffe home, asking her if she wanted to come for a cuddle of his newborn son.
Fardon's son had been born that day but Ms Tomlinson did not get to meet the baby.
Instead Fardon held a gun to her head, repeatedly choked her and raped her, with a smirk on his face.
5. Emma Husar says "slut shaming" forced her to quit politics.
Federal Labor MP Emma Husar says vicious "slut shaming" forced her to quit politics.
Ms Husar, a first-term MP for the western Sydney seat of Lindsay, announced in August she wouldn't contest the next election after being accused of bullying staff.
The 44 allegations levelled at her were not the reason behind her decision, but rather the extraordinary media attention around the harassment claims and "the slut shaming that went along with that".
"That's actually what brought my career in politics to an end was being slut-shamed so viciously, with no ability to come back and stand up for myself," she told the ABC's 730 program on Tuesday.
"I guess slut shaming is the oldest trick in the book to bring down a woman. It's almost used as a method of torture."
More than half of the allegations were made by a former staff member, whose probationary period was extended in September last year over "poor performance", the MP says.
Ms Husar says Labor leader Bill Shorten provided support during the public ordeal.
"They are words I will always remember: 'I believe in you. I believe you,' she said.
The allegations levelled against Ms Husar included that she bullied and sexually harassed her electorate office employees and diverted Labor funds into her personal bank account.
She was also accused of exposing herself to Labor frontbencher Jason Clare while he played with his young child in his office.
"It's utter garbage," Ms Husar said.
"You've had both me and Jason Clare on the record saying it didn't happen."
Ms Husar directly addressed some of the headline grabbing allegations, such as having a turnover of more than 20 employees in her electorate office, swearing at staff and talking about sex in the office.
"Let me be clear - I have had seven full-time staff in a two-year period," she said.
"I swear a lot. But, you know, in a frustrating high pressure work environment ... I don't swear at people."
The Lindsay MP said conversations about sex occurred in her office because she wanted to brush off rumours being spread about her.
"As a way of kind of batting it off and brushing it off and showing that I'm still fierce and I'm still tough in the face of it," she said.
Two days after Ms Husar announced her decision to quit, Labor released the results of an internal investigation clearing her of allegations of lewd conduct and sexual harassment of employees, finding there was no need for her to resign.
However, the report did find she behaved unreasonably towards staff and there were grounds for a further investigation into the alleged misuse of entitlements.
The investigation into Ms Husar's office dragged on for months, but only became public in August when some details leaked - which the report found was "reprehensible".