news

Prince Andrew will reportedly give evidence to US investigators, & more in News in 5.

With AAP.

1. Prince Andrew will cooperate in US criminal investigation into Epstein.

Prince Andrew is preparing to give formal evidence to US prosecutors as part of a criminal investigation into convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

According to British newspaper, The Telegraph, Buckingham Palace is braced for an “imminent” subpoena from American authorities, requesting the Duke of York gives testimony under oath over his friendship with the late disgraced financier.

Epstein was found dead in his New York prison cell on August 10, 2019, while awaiting trial over allegations he trafficked underage girls for sex. Prosecutors alleged he brought “dozens” of teenage girls to his mansions in New York and Florida for sexual encounters with himself and a host of his wealthy friends.

Watch: Prince Andrew addresses allegations he slept with a 17-year-old.

Video by BBC

Prince Andrew, 59, was widely criticised this week for what a leading publicist called a “car crash” BBC interview late Saturday to discuss his links to Epstein and allegations from a US woman who said she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times, including when she was 17.

The Royal announced on Wednesday that his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, had approved his plan to “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future,” citing the “major disruption” caused by the renewed focus on his ties to Epstein.

He said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.

2. A Victorian male nurse has been jailed for recording secret videos of his colleagues.

A male nurse who sexually assaulted a post-op patient and secretly recorded videos of colleagues getting undressed at a Melbourne hospital has been jailed.

Sean Farrow admitted to installing hidden cameras in the toilet cubicle and a female change room at the Monash House Private Hospital in January 2019.

The registered nurse also admitted to sexually assaulting a female patient who was recovering in the post-operative ward where he worked.

“You have betrayed their trust in the most egregious fashion. You used your position to take advantage of people at their most vulnerable,” magistrate Simon Zebrowski told the man while jailing him for six months.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 52-year-old told police during an interview he “feigned shock and horror” about the discovery of the cameras, court documents show.

The magistrate said the offending was not spur of the moment and was planned, sophisticated and calculated.

“This was done solely for the purpose of your own sexual gratification,” Mr Zebrowski told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

He called the acts an extraordinary breach of trust.

“You’ve also betrayed your profession as a nurse and every man who has trained to be a nurse, in particular,” he said.

The behaviour came to light when an employee found the camera on the floor of the toilet cubicle in January.

Police searched the devices and found video footage of Farrow setting up the camera.

They also found other videos of his victims getting changed and one of a woman using a toilet.

The post-operative patient was assaulted as he moved her thighs apart to “get a better image” of her genitals.

When asked about his motivation Farrow told police: “I had that hiding in plain sight thing. Can I do it? Is it noticeable?”

Farrow’s lawyer argued he should avoid jail because of his remorse, loss of reputation and loss of career.

He said Farrow was ashamed of his offending and admitted his guilt.

But this argument was rejected.

Farrow pleaded guilty to five counts of installing a surveillance device and one count of sexual assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

He was sentenced to six months in prison and placed on an 18-month community corrections order.

3. The early bushfire season is putting a strain on bushfire-fighting resources.

Australia’s bushfires are burning earlier than usual, forcing a lag in the rotation of equipment shared between the states to put out the flames, a former fire boss says.

Four people have died and hundreds of properties have been destroyed around the nation in recent weeks, as catastrophic conditions fan flames.

Bushfires have historically first kicked-off for the season in Queensland, allowing firefighters to put out the flames before shuffling resources down the east coast.

But Australia’s earlier-than-expected fire season in 2019 has limited the equipment rotation, Victoria’s former Country Fire Authority Neil Bibby told AAP on Thursday.

“Over the years, the number of fires we have had pre-Christmas is increasing,” Mr Bibby said.

“The timing of the fires that authorities use equipment (for) is being affected.

“Normally we would have fires in Queensland, then those resources would be moved down to NSW and Victoria.”

australian bushfires
Image: Getty.

Mr Bibby, who was in charge during Victoria's devastating Black Saturday, said Victoria's fire season normally starts near the Australian Open in January - not November.

"We have had a horrible fire season starting very early. To have fires in Queensland, NSW, South Australia and ... Victoria, it is just unprecedented," he said.

"It is a symptom of climate change - the fires and cyclones are more intense ... the Australian government has to at least look at what can be done in the near- to-long-term to mitigate the build-up of CO2."

ADVERTISEMENT

While the community is more educated about fires, they are not prepared to fight them this early in the season, Mr Bibby added.

He praised Victoria for its climate change framework, which he said is lacking in other states.

Victoria's highest fire alert level - code red - has been issued in two parts of the state on Thursday.

It comes after the NSW government issued a "catastrophic" fire danger earlier this month for the first time since new fire ratings were introduced a decade ago.

Four people died and 600 homes have been lost in NSW as fires continue to rage, and blazes burn across Queensland and South Australia where fire crews are also battling catastrophic conditions.

More than 20 ex-fire chiefs from across Australia last week urged the federal government to declare a climate emergency amid catastrophic bushfires raging across NSW and Queensland.

4. Man punches teenager on Sydney school bus after collision.

Video has emerged of a busload of Sydney school students being verbally abused by a man who then appears to punch one of them in the face.

The boys from Shore School - an elite private school on the lower north shore - were travelling on the bus when it was involved in a minor collision with a car on Burns Bay Road in Lane Cove after 6pm on Wednesday.

It is alleged the 20-year-old man - who owned the car, reported to be a BMW - then boarded the bus where he unleashed an expletive-laden tirade.

"Who's the smartarse c***, tell me, I heard one of yas, I head one of yas out the back window too, huh, you're all quiet now - all quiet like little bitches," the man can be heard yelling.

ADVERTISEMENT

A 15-year-old boy sitting at the front of the bus then intervenes - pointing out some of the boys are only 12.

The man then appears to punch the boy in the face.

"What are you going to do? Do you want another one?" he can then be heard saying.

The teenager was left with bruises and a chipped tooth, NSW Police said in a statement on Thursday.

Officers found the man and his car in a nearby underground car park after he left the scene.

He was released pending further inquiries as the police investigation continues.

5. "Clear evidence" Trump used his office for personal gain, says Speaker.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is clear evidence President Donald Trump used his office for personal gain and undermined national security.

However no final impeachment decision has been made as House Democrats continue their inquiry into the Republican president.

Pelosi, speaking at her weekly press conference on Thursday, reiterated it was up to the House Intelligence Committee to determine how to proceed as it continued gathering facts and hearing from witnesses.

"The evidence is clear ... that the president has used his office for his own personal gain and in doing so undermined the national security," she told reporters.

"He has violated his oath of office."

The Democrat-led committee on Thursday was in its fifth and final day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry centred on Trump's request in a July 25 phone call that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy conduct probes of his political rivals.

The inquiry is also examining whether Trump's withholding of $US391 million ($A574 million) in security aid to Ukraine was meant to pressure Zelenskiy to undertake the investigations.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

Trump and Pelosi. Images: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

The inquiry could lead the House to approve formal charges against Trump, known as articles of impeachment.

The Republican-controlled Senate would then hold a trial on whether to remove him from office, although few Republican senators have been critical of Trump so far.

Asked by a reporter whether the House was now ready to advance articles of impeachment against Trump, Pelosi said: "We haven't made any decision."

The nation's leading Democrat also left open the possibility of additional hearings by the House Intelligence Committee or the interviewing of additional witnesses.

"We are not finished yet. The day is not over and you never know what testimony of one person may lead to the need for testimony of another," Pelosi said.

She again issued an invitation to Trump to come forward, saying, "if you have any information that is exculpatory ... because it seems as if the facts are uncontested to what happened.

"Now if you have contrary, if you have reason to convince people that something was different, under oath, please let us know."

Been listening to That’s Incredible? Tell us what you think.

MMSurvey
00:00 / ???