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An inquest into the London Bridge terror attack that killed two Australians begins, & more in News in 5.

1. An inquest into the London Bridge terror attack that killed two Australians begins.

The families of eight people, including Australians Sara Zelenak and Kirsty Boden, killed in the London Bridge terror attack are expecting to learn more about their loved ones’ deaths as an inquest begins in Britain.

Ms Zelenak, 21, and Ms Boden, 28, were killed when Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba drove a van into people walking on London Bridge, then ran through the Borough Market stabbing people with ceramic kitchen knives on the night of June 3, 2017.

Canadian Christine Archibald, 30, Briton James McMullan, 32, Frenchmen Xavier Thomas, 45, Alexandre Pigeard, 26, and Sebastien Belanger, 36, and 39-year-old Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria also died in the attack.

All but Mr Thomas, who was hit by the van and thrown into the Thames River, are believed to have been stabbed to death.

Another 48 people were injured in the violence, while all three attackers were shot dead by police at the scene.

The inquest is expected to start at the Old Bailey in London on Tuesday morning local time.

Queensland nanny Ms Zelenak evaded two previous terror attacks; she had a ticket to the Ariana Grande concert that was bombed in Manchester but didn’t go, and was at Westminster Bridge a day before a deadly rampage three months before the London Bridge attack.

Her mother Julie and stepfather Mark Wallace, who started holistic trauma healing centre Sarz Sanctuary after her death, have reportedly flown to London for the inquest at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The pair have already been told by London police most of the details about what happened that night.

“It’s certainly that process to identify learnings of how it can change or be better and make cities safer,” Mr Wallace told the ABC.

South Australian nurse Ms Boden, who worked at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, posthumously won two bravery awards as she was killed while trying to help other victims.

She was honoured by the Queen by being named on the 2018 Civilian Gallantry list and was also awarded the Australian Bravery Medal two months ago.

Ms Boden had been having dinner with two friends when they heard a commotion and she jumped up immediately and ran towards the bridge to see if anyone was hurt, the citation from the governor-general’s office said.

“Moments later, the area turned to a scene of mass chaos and panic as people began screaming and running from the bridge into Borough Market. Ms Boden’s two friends lost sight of her in the melee.

“As soon as they were able, they made their way back to where they thought Ms Boden would be. They located her on the pavement about 50 metres away from the restaurant. She had been attacked and severely wounded by terrorists who had been in the van, and a police officer was performing CPR on her.”

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Ms Boden has been dubbed ‘the angel of London Bridge’ for her actions that night.

The inquest is expected to run for about eight weeks.

2. $25k reward issued for Melbourne couple’s missing phone.

Amiyah Windross parents
Melbourne parents Jay and Dee Windross. Image: Facebook.

An anonymous donation of $25,000 has been made to help recover a stolen mobile phone filled with images of a Melbourne couple's baby who recently died.

A businessman and his wife, whose son was treated in Monash Children's Hospital several years ago, say they wanted to make a "significant personal offer" for the return of the phone and photos of grieving Boronia parents Dee and Jay Windross' baby Amiyah, who died in the same hospital on April 24, the Herald Sun reports.

Mrs Windross left the phone in a toilet cubicle at Chadstone Shopping Centre on Easter Saturday but it was gone when she returned a few minutes later.

Jay Windross told 3AW radio on Monday the couple had been inundated with offers of money to go towards a reward for the phone's return but nothing of this scale.

"If we had the money, we'd be throwing out a reward to get it back," he said.

"Obviously it's Amiyah who has touched us so deeply and everyone she met. Because she's been spread out so far, she's touching everyone else as well."

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Mr Windross said the donors, who had endured a similar experience, asked to remain anonymous.

"I'm very grateful for them that their child was able to make a full recovery," he said.

The shopping centre had scoured CCTV footage but it was impossible to see who took the black Samsung Galaxy S8 with a purple cover.

However the couple has not given up hope, despite some knocks, including a person who set up a fake crowdfunding page to generate funds in their name and a woman who allegedly tried to extort $1000 for the phone's return.

The woman, Siti Nurhidayah Kamal, 24, has been charged with blackmail and will face court on July 8.

"You can never give up hope. Just like with Amiyah, we felt things were pretty grim from the start but we never gave up hope," Mr Windross said.

"But unfortunately you don't know who you're dealing with in this world anymore.

"We've had so many amazing people reach out to us but unfortunately we've come past two or three that have been quite unhelpful."

3. All drink-drivers in NSW to immediately lose their licence under new law.


Anyone caught drink or drug-driving in NSW will immediately lose their licence for three months under a tough new regime.

First-time low-range drink-drivers will be slapped with an on the spot three-month licence suspension and ordered to pay a $561 fine from May 20.

Drivers found with drugs in their system will face the same sanction if the offence is confirmed by laboratory analysis.

Currently, only those who have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher cop an immediate licence suspension.

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The NSW change mimics that introduced to Victoria in April 2018.

NSW Police said the drink-driving limit has been 0.05 for almost four decades and drivers have "no more excuses".

"For the last 38 years we have been sending that message clearly, so this is not new," Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

"You know how much you've had to drink. Make some decisions when you're drinking about not driving, make some decisions about not taking drugs and driving."

He said NSW drivers should be able to travel the state's roads without worrying about being hit by a drunk- or drug-driver

NSW's peak motoring body said two-thirds of its surveyed members supported the immediate licence suspension for low-range drink drivers.

"Only one-in-five opposed it, which is a pretty clear indication the community wants and expects more to be done around this behaviour," NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury told AAP.

Roads Minister Andrew Constance said it was concerning that 56 per cent of low-range drink driving offenders who take their case to court escape without conviction.

Drivers under the new regime can still take their case to court but face a bigger fine and longer suspension.

Mr Constance wouldn't say if he'd consider similarly harsh measures for those caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel but said road safety measures were constantly reviewed.

Some 68 people died in alcohol-related crashes in NSW last year while preliminary results suggest another 70 died in crashes where one or more drivers had illicit drugs in their system.

4. Aged care resident allegedly 'left in dirty nappies'.

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Eresha Dassanayake washes dried faeces from her mother's hands nearly everyday at a NSW residential aged care facility.

Ms Dassanayake told a hearing of the aged care royal commission in Sydney she believes her mother is left in a dirty nappy for long enough that the 87-year-old, although bedridden, tries to remove it herself.

"Whoever tries to change her eventually, they're not washing her hands," Ms Dassanayake said on Monday.

"I find her hands covered in faeces every day."

Her mother, who has Alzheimer's disease, was first moved into an aged care facility in 2015.

Ms Dassanayake told the inquiry her mother became "dopey" after being given opioid patches and Panadol Osteo at the same time at one home.

When Ms Dassanayake was sick and unable to visit her mother for several days in July 2017, she discovered upon her return her mum was barely able to talk.

"This was a woman, who a week before, was walking around with her walker," the witness told the hearing.

The elderly resident was taken to hospital where doctors discovered she was severely dehydrated and had pressure sores because she hadn't been out of bed for up to five days.

Overall, she lost 19 kilograms in less than 12 months.

"I didn't think she'd make it through ... I stopped everything and decided I had to be with her at least three times a day," Ms Dassanayake said.

The commission also heard on Monday from Merle Mitchell who recalled the loss she felt moving into a Melbourne residential aged care facility.

"There's just that feeling that this isn't a proper life ... (you're) told this is your home now ... well it's not, it's an institution," the 84-year-old told the inquiry.

"There's this feeling that the quicker it's all over, the better it is for everybody."

Ms Mitchell said staff don't have time to support residents and, as a result, she's watched many lose their cognitive abilities.

The elderly woman believes all aged care facilities should have counsellors available for residents and staff and the carer-to-resident ratios need to be improved.

The commission heard shocking evidence of incontinence pads being rationed at another Melbourne facility.

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Darryl Melchhart revealed that at one stage residents were limited to three pads a day.

The 90-year-old recalled when a friend couldn't attend one of the facility's social activities because she was left in "wet pads".

Ms Melchhart said she also feared for her safety because some residents with dementia become "vicious".

"This one woman came up and tried to take my walker away, I hung onto it and she starts hammering on my hands like mad," Ms Melchhart said.

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner received nearly 24,000 complaints of substandard care in residential aged homes between June 2012 and December 2018, counsel assisting the commission Peter Gray said.

The Sydney hearings continue until Wednesday.

5. The Daily Telegraph to appeal Geoffrey Rush ruling over 'bias'.

geoffrey rush
Image: Getty.

The Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathan Moran are appealing after a NSW judge found the newspaper defamed Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush in articles which made him out to be a pervert and a sexual predator.

The news organisation lodged a notice of appeal in the Federal Court in Sydney last week which argues Justice Michael Wigney's conduct "gave rise to an apprehension of bias".

The judge in April ruled publisher Nationwide News and Moran were reckless regarding the truth of their story when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behaviour in 2017.

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Justice Wigney found a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings and the news organisation didn't prove they were substantially true.

"This was ... a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind - the very worst kind," the judge said on April 11.

The Telegraph and Moran largely relied on the evidence of actor Eryn Jean Norvill during a Federal Court defamation trial in 2018.

She alleged Rush sexually harassed her during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015-16 when she played the daughter of his titular character.

Justice Wigney found Norvill was at times "prone to exaggeration and embellishment".

He said he wasn't persuaded she was entirely credible and awarded Rush $850,000 in general and aggravated damages.

But the Daily Telegraph, in its notice of appeal, says the judge's "apprehension of bias" was evident when he found Norvill was an unreliable witness lacking in credibility and awarded "excessive general damages".

The newspaper says Justice Wigney was wrong to "disallow the evidence of Colin Moody" and "Witness X" while allowing into evidence the opinions of Rush's Hollywood agent Fred Specktor and director Fred Schepisi.

Moody, a co-star of Rush and Norvill, was in October 2018 barred from giving evidence.

If allowed to testify it was expected Moody would have said he heard the play's director tell Rush he was doing something unclear and bordering on creepy.

The judge ruled against the Telegraph's application to amend its defence based on the evidence of "Witness X" in November 2018 on the basis that would have delayed proceedings.

News Corp and Moran also argue they were denied procedural fairness when the judge found Robyn Nevin and Helen Buday were of "impeccable character and integrity" when that was "irrelevant to the issue of credit" and there was "no evidence" on that subject.

The veteran actors, who were also in King Lear, testified they didn't see Rush make lewd gestures in Norvill's direction or comment about her body.

Nationwide News and Moran want the Full Court of the Federal Court to set aside Justice Wigney's orders or order a retrial before a different judge. No date has been set for the appeal hearing.

The parties are due back in court on Friday, however, to consider special damages for Rush's lost earnings that could run to many millions of dollars.

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