"Full of self-pitying cr*p." UK TV host's blistering attack on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. “Full of self-pitying cr*p.” UK TV host’s blistering attack on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

British TV host Piers Morgan has criticised Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the wake of their documentary that focuses on their trip to South Africa in September.

In the documentary, the Duchess of Sussex described the past year as a member of the royal family as “hard” and admitted she was not prepared for the intensity of tabloid interest.

“I don’t think anybody could understand that, but in all fairness I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand.”

Piers Morgan, host of Good Morning Britain, posted a number of tweets that showed no sympathy for the royals.

“Imagine being two staggeringly privileged royal multi-millionaires going to Africa to make a documentary that supposedly ‘shines a light’ on poverty, violence against women/girls & racial inequality – then in fact making it all about their own terrible struggle?” the controversial television host wrote.

He continued: “I just think they’re full of self-pitying crap & need to get a grip of themselves before they do real damage to the Royal Family.”

The couple have faced mounting criticism after reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days this summer, rather than opting for commercial flights, despite speaking out on environmental issues.

During the tour, journalist Tom Brady asked Meghan if she could continue to cope with the pressure and what would happen if she could not.


She replied: “In all honesty I have said for a long time to H – that is what I call him – it’s not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive. You have got to feel happy, and I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip.

“I tried, I really tried, but I think what that does internally is probably really damaging, and the biggest thing that I know is that I never thought this would be easy but I thought it would be fair, and that is the part that is hard to reconcile but (I) just take each day as it comes.”

Morgan’s tweets were challenged by another British breakfast host who works for the BBC, Dan Walker, who wrote: “Imagine being given a TV show & a newspaper column & using them both to pick on a woman who didn’t want to go out for a second drink with you.”

2. Scott Morrison says child sex abuse survivors deserve an ongoing apology.


Child sex abuse survivors deserve an “ongoing, continuous apology” as well access to adequate compensation, Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes.

The federal government committed an extra $11.7 million to the national redress scheme on Tuesday as parliament paused to commemorate one year since child sex abuse survivors received a national apology.

“As we commemorate this day, they – the survivors – are the ones we have in the front of our minds and deep in our hearts,” Mr Morrison said.

“And we also remember those for whom it was just too much, and they are no longer with us.”

Mr Morrison also offered a stinging assessment of the institutions who have not joined the redress scheme, saying all they were doing was “doubling down on the crimes and doubling down on the hurt”.

More than 60 non-government institutions or groups are now part of the scheme.

It involves a payment to survivors, access to counselling and a direct personal response, such as an apology, from the responsible institution if the victim chooses.

Australians want child abuse victims to have access to redress, Mr Morrison said.

“Join,” he urged institutions. “Do the decent thing, do the right thing, do the honourable thing.”

More than 600 payments had been made through the scheme, totalling more than $50 million.

Average payments have been about $80,000.

Advocates recently described the $3.8 billion national scheme as frustrating, slow and difficult.

“I want better outcomes,” Mr Morrison said.

He acknowledged the courage of the 17,000 Australians who came forward to the royal commission into child sex abuse, saying the number made him “shudder”.

Mr Morrison – who delivered the historic apology last year – acknowledged words wouldn’t undo suffering experienced by victims.


“Our failure as a nation was catastrophic and inexcusable,” he said.

“And no apology can undo it.

“Yet we apologised because we should have and we must have. And I’d like to think of it as an ongoing, continuous apology.”

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese thanked former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard for her “courageous” decision to establish the royal commission.

“Most of all, I acknowledge the victims, I acknowledge the survivors, I acknowledge your supportive families and I acknowledge your children,” he said.

A permanent tribute for survivors has been unveiled at Parliament House.

Child sex abuse survivors cried, yelled and clapped with raw emotion as they received last year’s national apology.

It evoked mixed feelings from survivors and their supporters, most of whom welcomed the sentiment but called for much more to be done.

3. Horse welfare on ministers’ meeting agenda.

Australia’s agriculture ministers will urgently discuss the welfare of retired racehorses after a scandal surrounding the animals being mistreated before being slaughtered.

Federal Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said the issue would be a top priority at Friday’s meeting with her counterparts in Melbourne.


“It’s really important that we have a discussion as the country’s agriculture ministers about how we adopt and practice world’s best animal welfare standards,” she told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Tuesday.

An ABC report last week showed footage of workers at the Meramist abattoir north of Brisbane tormenting horses before they were killed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced an inquiry into oversight of retired racehorses and operation of facilities accepting horses for slaughter.

Senator McKenzie said the vision was horrific, noting animal welfare was a state government responsibility.

Under questioning from Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, the agriculture minister said she hadn’t watched the full report aired on 7.30.

But Senator McKenzie rejected claims she was not taking the matter seriously, arguing elevating the issue at the ministerial meeting showed it was a priority.

Senator Faruqi implored her to watch the full report.

“I was bawling my eyes out for the full 40 minutes, as were people across Australia,” she said.

Agriculture deputy secretary Malcolm Thompson said the department’s on-plant vet had raised concerns about animal welfare over the state of horses presenting for slaughter at Meramist.

He said the concerns were referred to authorities in Queensland, with states responsible for animal welfare.

The federal department’s role is limited to export abattoirs.

“Consistent with the department’s responsibilities, we are conducting a critical incident audit of the facility at the centre of recent footage depicting the mistreatment of horses,” it said in a statement.

The department will produce a preliminary report this week before determining any regulatory action which could be taken.

Queensland authorities have requested the footage from the ABC to help work out when the incidents took place.

“The department urges anyone with evidence or concerns about animal welfare to immediately report it to the relevant state jurisdiction,” the statement said.

4. Man who punched Victorian paramedic student avoids jail.


A Victorian road rage driver has walked free despite punching an aspiring paramedic in the head in an attack that could have killed her.

Attacker Joshua Burke punched his then 23-year-old victim to the face so hard in the November 2018 incident her eye socket broke in two places.

“She could have died and that arsehole in there gets to walk f***ing free today,” her father Ed told reporters outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

“This sends a very clear message that you can beat women up and you’ll get away with it.”

The victim, Erin, was in her paramedic uniform on her way back from a placement when Burke cut-her off on the Western Port Highway.

The now 22-year-old had been driving erratically, braking suddenly, and forcing his victim to drive on the wrong side of the road to escape.

Burke then followed her for 10km before confronting the victim when she stopped at Sommerville and he argued with her before he hit her.

The punch knocked her to the ground.

“Where’s the justice?” her father asked after Burke was ordered to serve a community corrections order.

But Magistrate Johanna Metcalf admitted she “wrestled” with the decision to impose the order on Burke.

“I have wrestled with this decision and if you let me down…you will be looking at a jail term,” Ms Metcalf told Burke.

“People can die from a single punch to the head, if there had been bleeding on the brain that could very easily have been an outcome from your behaviour.”


The behaviour was unacceptable and he acted “wholly inappropriately” when he harmed a complete stranger, she added.

The victim was left in “terror and shock” after the incident, Ms Metcalf said.

However the magistrate took into account Burke’s early guilty plea, his ongoing mental health issues, lack of prior criminal history and age at the time of the offence.

“I do accept Mr Burke is genuinely remorseful for his behaviour,” she said.

She noted he had “anger and impulsivity issues” he needed to bring under control.

Burke pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury, criminal damage and possessing cannabis and box cutters which were uncovered during a police search.

He was convicted and ordered to serve a 24-month community corrections order, with 300 hours of community service and judicial monitoring.

A fine of $500 was also imposed for possessing drugs and a controlled weapon.

5. Western Australia’s assisted dying bill may be delayed.

Western Australia’s voluntary assisted dying laws could be delayed if a crossbencher convinces the upper house to refer the bill to another inquiry but a ministerial expert panel is urging against any amendments.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Rick Mazza revealed on Tuesday he wants to refer the bill to a committee to consult indigenous people about palliative care options in regional and remote communities, and consider whether the legislation offers culturally appropriate end-of-life choices.


Under the plan, the committee would provide a report by February 11 but it is understood supporters of the legislation are cautiously optimistic they can defeat Mr Mazza’s motion.

Meanwhile, the panel that made recommendations to assist the state government’s bill, have written to upper house MPs outlining their arguments against eight proposed amendments, saying the bill provides a “safe and compassionate legal framework”.

Former WA governor Malcolm McCusker, who led the panel, rejected the suggestion they were overstepping boundaries.

“We weren’t intending to lobby anyone or push a particular viewpoint, we were simply explaining … the reasons for the various recommendations,” he told reporters.

Mr McCusker declined to comment on Mr Mazza’s motion, saying that was a political issue.

The panel said an amendment requiring the disease be incurable “would cast too heavy a burden”, while a suggestion one of the assessing doctors be a specialist was dismissed because there may be few of them.

A further amendment that a medical practitioner be prohibited from initiating the discussion with a patient was rejected because it “risks creating more barriers to timely end-of-life and advance care planning discussions”.

The panel also disagrees with listing voluntary assisted dying as the cause of death, describing it as suicide and requiring self-administration be mandatory unless a person is physically incapable.

The legislation sailed through the lower house in September without amendments, 46 in favour and 11 against, after more than 70 hours of debate that included an all-night sitting.

Under the proposed laws, which include 102 safeguards, terminally ill adults living in WA who are in pain and likely have less than six months to live – or one year if they have a neurodegenerative condition – could take a drug to end their lives.

The state government wants the legislation to pass by the end of the year but if Mr Mazza’s motion succeeds, another inquiry could delay the laws until well into next year.

Victoria is currently the only state where voluntary assisted dying is legal.