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The two Australian women killed in the London Bridge terror attack died trying to save others, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. The two Australian women killed in the London Bridge terror attack died trying to save others.

Australians Sara Zelenak and Kirsty Boden were killed in the London Bridge terror attack after both made the fatal decision to check on the scene rather than flee.

Zelenak, a 21-year-old nanny, and Boden, a 28-year-old nurse, were murdered along with six others during the attack by Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba on the night of June 3, 2017.

An inquest into the attacks in London has heard the three attackers used a van to run down dozens of people on the bridge before stabbing dozens more with 30cm ceramic kitchen knives in the nearby Borough Market.

The van first struck Frenchman Xavier Thomas, 45, who died after being thrown into the river, with 30-year-old Canadian Chrissy Archibold struck and killed moments after.

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Riggs told the Old Bailey on Tuesday that Zelenak, of Queensland, was walking down steps nearby with a friend when they heard the van crash into a railing and turned back to see what happened.

The Queenslander was viciously stabbed in the neck and body by Butt and the others.

Just around the corner Boden, who was having dinner at the Boro Bistro with two friends, also heard the crash and told her dinner companions she was going to see if anyone was hurt.

“Her immediate response was to leave the table where she was sat with her friends and to go to assist as she was a nurse,” England and Wales Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft told the inquest’s opening day.

In the meantime the attackers knifed French chef Sebastian Belanger, 36, before stabbing 26-year-old French waiter Alexandre Pigeard, who South Australian Boden then started to treat.

“Whilst Kirsty was trying to assist she was also attacked,” Det Insp Riggs told the inquest.

After being stabbed in the chest by Butt, Boden started running towards The Mudlark pub, but she collapsed and died from her injuries.

“The lives of many people were torn apart in what took place in less than 10 minutes of high and terrible drama,” Judge Lucraft said.

Boden’s English partner James Holler said her brave actions that summer night would not have seemed unusual for everyone who knew her.

“To Kirsty it wouldn’t have seemed brave, she loved people and lived her life helping others. To Kirsty her actions that night would have just been an extension of how she lived her life,” he said.

“We are so unspeakably proud of her and not a day goes by that we are not in awe of her bravery that night.”

The attackers went on to kill 32-year-old British web educator James McMullan and Spanish money laundering analyst Ignacio Echeverria, 39, who died trying to defend a woman by fighting off the trio with his skateboard.

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All eight fatal attacks occurred in a three-minute period, while the attackers were shot dead by police 10 minutes after their van first mounted the curb on the bridge. The coroner said another 48 people were seriously injured.

Zelenak’s mother Julie Wallace said that night “every sliding door slid for Sara to be in harm’s way”, echoing the sentiments of many victims’ families.

Tragically Zelenak had already escaped terror twice: she’d been at Westminster the day before a terror attack two months earlier and also had a ticket to the Ariana Grande concert that was bombed in Manchester but didn’t go.

“Everyone that knew Sarz or lived in our town in the Redlands, Queensland, Australia has been affected. No one has ever died from a terrorist attack in the Redlands,” her mother said.

“That only happens on TV in another country.

“It couldn’t be real, I thought. Well unfortunately it does happen and it’s a world problem.”

The inquest is expected to run for about eight weeks.

2. Israel Folau found guilty of high-level contract breach over anti-gay social media post.

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Israel Folau. Image: Getty.

Israel Folau's future in Australian rugby is looking increasingly grim after an independent panel determined that the Wallabies superstar committed a "high level" breach of his contract.

The three-person panel of chair John West QC, Rugby Australia representative Kate Eastman SC and the RUPA-appointed John Boultbee have now retired to decide on Folau's sanction following an epic code of conduct hearing in Sydney.

RA boss Raelene Castle issued Folau with a breach notice last month following his controversial social media posts about homosexuals and other sinners and threatened to tear up his four-year, $4 million contract.

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The 30-year-old devout Christian took to Instagram to proclaim "hell awaits" for "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators".

While Folau may yet be spared the sack, termination of his contract is now a possibility.

Had the panel deemed Folau's breach of RA's players' code of conduct anything less than "high level", the governing body would not have had the power to boot the three-times John Eales Medallist out of the game.

The best punishment Folau can now hope for is a suspension and/or a fine.

The sanction is not expected to be handed down for several days, with RA not offering a timeline on any decision.

Folau also has the right of appeal, a process that would involve a completely new three-person panel being selected.

Should he be sacked, Folau - Super Rugby's all-time leading try-scorer and a 73-Test stalwart for the Wallabies - would be the first Australian athlete dismissed for expressing fundamental religious beliefs.

Even before it potentially reaches the courts, the Folau hearing has developed into one of the most drawn-out legal stoushes in Australian sports history.

The hearing stretched 22 hours over three days, with any hopes of a "common sense" settlement - as NSW Waratahs chairman Roger Davis had hoped for on Monday - were blown out of the water by Tuesday night's sensational development.

Folau spent more than twice as long holed up at the hearing than he has played for the Waratahs in 2019.

RA initially anticipated all evidence being heard in one day, with Sunday also reserved if more time was needed.

The decision was expected to be handed down on Tuesday.

Instead, the hearing resumed at the offices of Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney's CBD on Tuesday after some of the brightest brains in the land spent the weekend arguing the complex case at RA headquarters.

As well as the extraordinary length of the hearing, the cost of the case is also mounting, with the two parties thought to have shelled out an estimated $300,000 on legal bills since Saturday alone.

Regardless of the panel's ultimate decision, the expenses are almost certain to keep piling up.

Folau's Wallabies teammate Quade Cooper - himself frozen out last year by Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn - was asked earlier on Tuesday if he could see any way back for the stood-down star.

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"I'm not too sure - that's something you would have to speak to (his Waratahs teammates) Bernard (Foley) and Nick Phipps and Michael Hooper and those guys about," Cooper said, adding that he empathised with Folau's flight.

"You feel for anyone who's going through a difficult patch in their life."

3. A 24-year-old woman has been charged after egging Scott Morrison.


A woman has been charged after allegedly attempting to strike Prime Minister Scott Morrison with an egg at a Country Women's Association function in Albury in NSW.

The 24-year-old Victorian woman wearing a beanie and wielding a six-pack of eggs was arrested at the scene after allegedly attempting to crack the egg on the prime minister's head.

Mr Morrison reacted as if an object or a hand touched his head, but the egg appears to have flown over his head and was later found whole and unbroken.

Police later found cannabis on the woman, who was charged with common assault and drug possession.

She is due to reappear in Albury Local Court on May 27, having been granted strict conditional bail.

Margaret Baxter, a 70-year-old who had recently undergone stomach surgery, was knocked to the floor in the incident, but helped to her feet by the prime minister.

"All I know, I saw a guy with a camera start to wobble and he knocked me and I went down," she told reporters.

"I found out later that there was a protester trying to get in but I didn't see the protester.

"I have to say that the prime minister helped me get up off the floor and I was very grateful for his assistance."

Outside the venue, the protester told reporters she didn't mean to knock the other woman down.

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"I don't want to give a report, no thank you. I've got to go to work. No comment," she told reporters.

She denied using violence, describing the action as "the most harmless thing you can do".

It's understood the young woman was protesting the coalition government's asylum seeker policy.

Mr Morrison said he did not want to "over-egg" the incident, because his main concern was for Mrs Baxter's wellbeing.

"We have got to disagree better about things," he said.

"Just because you have a difference of view to someone doesn't mean you have to engage in these sorts of ugly types of protests."

4. Pamela Anderson is planning to visit Julian Assange in jail.

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Julian Assange was arrested last month. Image: Getty.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to receive his first prison visitor other than one of his lawyers when Pamela Anderson meets him in the high-security jail where he is being held.

The US actress met Assange on several occasions when he lived at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

She will be accompanied on the visit to Belmarsh Prison in southeast London by WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Assange was dragged out of the embassy last month and has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation.

He is fighting extradition to the United States where he is wanted for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

Hrafnsson said Assange was in "general" solitary confinement because he mostly spends 23 hours a day in his cell, adding that the situation was "unacceptable".

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Speaking after a court hearing last week, he said: "We are worried about Julian Assange. We are hearing that the situation in Belmarsh Prison is appalling because of austerity and cutbacks.

"For the last weeks since he was arrested, he has spent 23 out of 24 hours a day in his cell most of the time.

"That is what we call in general terms solitary confinement. That's unacceptable. That applies to most of the prisoners in that appalling facility. It is unacceptable that a publisher is spending time in that prison."

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in a statement on Friday it was "deeply concerned" about the "disproportionate" sentence imposed on Assange.

"The Working Group is of the view that violating bail is a minor violation that, in the United Kingdom, carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.

"It is worth recalling that the detention and the subsequent bail of Mr Assange in the UK were connected to preliminary investigations initiated in 2010 by a prosecutor in Sweden.

"It is equally worth noting that that prosecutor did not press any charges against Mr Assange and that in 2017, after interviewing him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, she discontinued investigations and brought an end to the case.

"The Working Group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April 2019 in Belmarsh prison, a high-security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence.

"This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards."

The Working Group has previously stated that Assange was arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorean embassy and should have had his liberty restored.

5. Bad flu season expected nationwide after early surge.

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Australia is headed for a bad flu season after a surge in cases in summer and autumn.

Experts predict about 4000 people will die from complications due to influenza this year as the number of infections increase again following a quiet 2018.

There have already been 40,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in 2019, almost three times the number recorded at the same time in recent years.

Experts from the Immunisation Coalition have urged people to get vaccinated now so they are protected during the winter flu peak.

"What we are really concerned about is that these very large numbers don't continue on through winter," medical virologist Professor William Rawlinson said on Tuesday.

He said the number of flu cases could end up being the highest since 2017, when a quarter of a million laboratory-confirmed cases were recorded.

The 2017 influenza season was the worst since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Last year there were 58,570 confirmed influenza cases in Australia, although the laboratory numbers do not show the full extent of the flu because most people do not get tested.

Prof Rawlinson predicted about two million people will get the flu this year, as typically occurred in a busy influenza year.

"It's likely this will be the highest number since 2017 although I'd be very concerned that it may be higher because we haven't seen so much in 2018."

Immunisation Coalition chairman Professor Robert Booy said there has been a sustained and rising summer and autumn surge that is continuing to increase.

"The best explanation is that 2018 was so quiet that we have reduced community immunity, so there are more people who are vulnerable to catching infection and therefore transmitting infection," he said.

While the latest ABS statistics showed 1200 people died due to influenza in 2017, Prof Booy said modelling showed the actual number of deaths on average each season was about 3000 to 4000.

The Immunisation Coalition expects about 4000 deaths this year.

"I'm not saying we're getting more deaths this year than any other year," Prof Booy said.

"We've got a very busy early season but it's nothing like the peak that we had in 2017."

He urged people to get vaccinated to protect themselves as well as more vulnerable people such as those with impaired immunity, chronic medical conditions, indigenous Australians, young children and the elderly.

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