1. Tennessee mum speaks of losing her twins to a backyard drowning at their babysitter’s home.
A Tennessee mother is grieving the loss of her twin children after they were found unresponsive in their babysitter’s swimming pool last Friday.
It’s understood that 23-month old Elijah and Elyssa Orejuela were found in the deep end of the pool last week. They were rushed to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital where Elyssa was pronounced dead. Elijah was left in a critical condition and put on life support, before passing on Sunday.
Speaking to the Knoxvill News Sentinel, Amelia Wieand said Elijah’s organs would be harvested for donation.
“After much heartbreak, Elijah has gone to be with his sister Elyssa,” she said.
“I’ll never understand this, and I’m not sure how to live with this pain. But to prevent another family from suffering this immeasurable pain, today Elijah became a superhero.”
Wieand also thanked the public for their support.
Since her twins’ death, two friends of the family started a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses and medical bills. As of today, the fundraiser has reached $37,600 ($51,000 AUD) of it’s $50,000 ($68,000 AUD) goal.
“I can’t thank you enough for the support we have been given knowing that our babies were loved by so many and touched others’ lives,” she told the publication.
2. Former prime minister Paul Keating labels Fairfax-Nine merger “exceptionally bad” news.
Media diversity will be reduced by the Fairfax-Nine Network merger, says former prime minister Paul Keating, calling it an "exceptionally bad development."
The ex-Labor leader says allowing the merger will mean a dramatic drop in diversity of news and opinion within Australia.
"If in the announced arrangement, Channel Nine has a majority of the stock, Channel Nine will run the editorial policy," Mr Keating said in a statement on Thursday.
He said that for 50 years, Channel Nine had "displayed the opportunism and ethics of an alley cat."
Mr Keating said the government's 2017 law changes allowing greater concentration of media ownership had led to a "media free-for-all".
"On competition grounds and that of the imperative of local diversity, the competition commissioner should put this proposal under high scrutiny," he said.
"Through various changes of ownership, no one has lanced the carbuncle at the centre of Nine's approach to news management.
"And, as sure as night follows day, that pus will inevitably leak into Fairfax."
Mr Keating derided the enabling legislation as "disgraceful".
"Why would you let a television station own the principal newspaper mast head?" he said on te ABC on Thursday night.
He also lambasted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for welcoming the merger.
"He's the author of the damn thing," Mr Keating said.
3. Dr Richard Harris still "pinching" himself over success over Thai caves rescue mission.
Dr Harris has been feted for his efforts at a reception at Government House in Adelaide, where he again thanked all those who sent messages of support from across Australia and around the world.
"The fact that our rescue strategy worked not just once but 13 times still seems beyond the realms of possibility," he said on Thursday.
"I'm pinching myself that this has been the outcome."
Dr Harris said all the Australians involved in the rescue had been overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill.
"I'm sure the reason for the outpouring of gratitude was obviously because of the success of the rescue and because it represented such a great example of international cooperation," he said.
"The many thousands of people that were involved, not just in and around the cave, all had a common goal and that was to save the 12 children and their coach.
"I think we were all ready for a good news story."
Dr Harris said the cave diving involved was not as challenging as some he and dive partner Craig Chellen did for recreation.
But he said the sense of responsibility for the children was overwhelming and the prospects for success seemed "terrifyingly slim".
Earlier this month the nine Australians involved in the rescue were presented with bravery awards by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Dr Harris and Dr Challen also received the Star of Courage for their unique roles in the daring rescue mission.
The pair were crucial to the international operation, with Dr Harris' experience as an anaesthetist critical.
He assessed the boys before giving them the medical all-clear to undertake the perilous mission out of the cave, advising authorities on the best way to bring them to safety.
The other Australians deployed to Chiang Rai spent long days diving kilometres through the caves to move hundreds of air tanks, pumps, pipes and cables as part of the rescue effort.
South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le said one of the striking aspects of the rescue was the way it brought the international community together.
"Not only in the conduct of the rescue itself but in the strong sense that the world was putting aside its differences, watching with hope in its heart, with a spirit of common humanity," he said.
4. A world-renowned Aussie doctor has joined rescue efforts for the Greece wildfires as death toll rises.
A world-renowned Adelaide plastic surgeon will fly to Greece on Friday to treat victims of deadly wildfires with Australian-developed skin repair technology.
Dr John Greenwood will assist Greek surgeons with the 10 most severely burned patients from the fires near Athens that have taken more than 80 lives and injured many more.
He will begin work on Sunday at the KAT Hospital in Athens using a biodegradable skin graft substitution he pioneered with the CSIRO after the Bali bombings in 2002.
Dr Greenwood is director of the Adult Burns Unit at Royal Adelaide Hospital and was 2016 SA Australian of the Year for his world-leading work in burns treatment.
The skin graft product, called NovoSorb, made by Melbourne-based company Polynovo, acts as a dermal tissue scaffold allowing new dermal cells, blood vessels and skin structures to develop, leaving soft, supple skin with minimal scarring.
The product is considered a game-changer for burns treatment.
Currently, the fires have been burning for three days and it's expected they've killed at least 83 people.
With the death toll expected to rise further, about 300 firemen and volunteers combed the area for dozens still missing.
The cause of the fire is still unclear, but authorities, including an Athens prosecutor, were investigating how it started simultaneously from three different locations and the way it was handled.
Among the tributes, Queen Elizabeth has also offered her "deepest sympathies" to the people of Greece.
The Queen said in her message: "Prince Philip and I offer our deepest sympathies to the people of Greece in the wake of the devastating fires in Attica and across Greece.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy and to all those who have lost their homes.
"I pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the Greek emergency services and the volunteers that have provided support."
5. Man jailed over the murder of his wife almost three decades later.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) July 26, 2018
When a Sydney restaurateur fell out with his older wife and became besotted with his younger lover, he arranged for a killer to get rid of his spouse.
Mark Caleo didn't care about the method or brutality which would be used against his slightly built wife, despite knowing a Tongan bouncer from Kings Cross was prepared to do the job for $10,000.
Almost three decades later, the now 55-year-old has been jailed for at least nine years for soliciting the murder of Rita Caleo, 39, who was stabbed 23 times at the family home in August 1990.
Alani Afu, now 51, was jailed was at least 15 years for murdering Ms Caleo in her bedroom late at night in a crime made to look like a robbery-gone-wrong.
"He acted as a hired killer, carrying out his master's bidding with little hesitation," Justice Robert Allan Hulme said on Thursday when sentencing the pair in the NSW Supreme Court.
The jury acquitted Caleo of soliciting the murder of his brother-in-law, Dr Michael Chye, 39, who was shot in the head as he drove into his Woollahra home in October 1989.
Outside the court, Geoff Thompson, a family friend of the siblings, said the sentencing marked the end of a "long and very painful journey" but relatives hoped those responsible for Dr Chye's death would also be brought to justice.
Ms Caleo, who was 12 years older than her husband, was deeply saddened by her brother's violent death and troubled by her husband's affair with her friend Janice Yap.
She wrote him out of her will in May 1990.
"Mr Caleo was an embittered husband to an older woman with whom he had fallen out and he had become besotted with a much younger woman," Justice Hulme said.
"Dissolution of the marriage would have necessitated a property settlement in which at least half of their joint property would be lost to his wife.
"Mr Caleo saw the way forward in a cold-blooded plan to get rid of his wife by having her murdered."
The judge stressed that Caleo had to be sentenced for soliciting the murder as, "for reasons which are not apparent", the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew the more serious charge of murder.
"Not being able to take into account that Ms Caleo died includes that I cannot take into account how she died and all of the other circumstances relating to her death."
Caleo had unlocked the balcony door to his wife's bedroom to enable access for the murderer, who was told the whereabouts of her extensive jewellery collection.
"The grief that Ms Caleo's loved ones have experienced is incalculable," the judge said.
"It has endured for the past 28 years and it will never abate."
One relative said: "It's a lifetime crime that affected countless people and continues to do so" and it "will stay in my family history forever".
Caleo was jailed for a maximum of 12 years. Afu's maximum was 20 years.
6. Teacher suffers heart attack and dies in front of students.
— Jack Paynter (@jackpayn) July 26, 2018
A shaken school community is grieving the loss of a teacher, who died at Berwick College on Thursday afternoon in front of student.
The Herald Sun reports the 60-year-old man, Satya Nadan, died at the southeast Melbourne school after suffering a seizure and heart attack in front of students.
An afternoon school assembly was held to inform the school of the passing of the beloved senior maths and physics teacher, with every effort made to support distressed students and staff, the school's principal said.
Police have not confirmed the circumstances surrounding his death, but say it was not suspicious.