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Couple who lost phone with photos of their dying baby were allegedly blackmailed, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. Couple who lost phone with photos of their dying baby were allegedly blackmailed.

An Uber Eats delivery cyclist allegedly blackmailed a couple who lost a mobile phone filled with photos of their dying baby girl.

After the couple lost the phone, their terminally ill 11-month-old, Amiyah Windross, died after fighting an undiagnosed neurological issue from birth.

Just days earlier, her parents Jay and Dee Windross, appealed for public help to track down a stolen phone containing irreplaceable photos of her.

Dee accidentally left the Samsung Galaxy S8 with a purple phone cover behind in a toilet cubicle while she washed her hands in a bathroom at Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon.

When she realised and went back for the phone less than a minute later, it was gone, along with hundreds of photos of Amiyah who was in her last days.

On Sunday, Jay wrote that while he and his wife spent their final moments with Amiyah, he received a text message from someone claiming to have Dee’s phone.

siti-nurhidayah-f
Police have charged Siti Nurhidayah Kamal with one count of blackmail. Image: Facebook.

The person said they would return the phone after $1000 was deposited into their bank account.

"While trying to spend every emotional minute with Amiyah and giving her all of my attention, I'm also responding to someone claiming to have our phone with all the memories of her."

The couple later discovered it was a hoax.

Police have charged 24-year-old Siti Nurhidayah Kamal with one count of blackmail. She appeared in Ringwood Magistrates Court on Monday where she was denied bail.

The court heard Kamal and her husband, who both work as Uber Eats delivery cyclists and have two young children in Malaysia, have been struggling to get by, financially.

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The Age reported Jay and Dee Windross appeared in court to face Kamal and said outside that it was a relief to see her in the dock.

"We have had to pay hospital bills, car parking, everything, our mortgage bills, our everything, and she's in there crying because they don't earn enough money," Dee said.

2. Australian woman's fiance charged with her murder in London.

A man is due to face court in London charged with the murder of his Melbourne fiancee.

The body of Amy Parsons, 35, was found in a flat at Whitechapel in central London on Friday at about 1.30pm (BST).

Roderick Deakin-White, 37, was arrested on suspicion of murder the same day and has since been charged.

He is due at Thames Magistrates Court on Monday.

It's believed Parsons and Deakin-White were engaged and Parsons, a former Koonung Secondary College student, had visited Melbourne as recently as January.

Investigators are not looking for anyone else in connection with the killing, Met Police said.

The cause of death has not been confirmed.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said consular officials are providing assistance to Ms Parsons' family.

3. "I felt I was being punished for standing up for myself." Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says she's sick of being bullied by men in politics.

Image: Getty.
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Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has told a defamation hearing she felt bullied and intimidated by a continuing campaign of "lies and smears" by former politician David Leyonhjelm.

"It was obviously very upsetting but I felt set upon," the Greens MP told the Federal Court on Monday on the first day of the expected five-day hearing.

"I felt as though I was being played with."

She is suing Leyonhjelm for comments he made when he was a Liberal Democrat senator in a media statement and in interviews to Sky News, Melbourne radio station 3AW and the ABC's 7.30 program between June 28 and July 2, 2018.

In the material, he elaborated on his comment to Senator Hanson-Young on the floor of parliament to "stop shagging men" amid a debate on legislation seeking to prevent violence against women.

She says she was defamed in the interviews and media statement by his portrayal of her as a hypocrite and misandrist.

This flowed from him saying she used words in parliament that were "tantamount" to claiming all men are rapists but "nevertheless had sexual relations with them".

Leyonhjelm contends any reputation damage arose from her own words when she said "he's slut-shaming me" during a radio interview.

Senator Hanson-Young testified she was upset when she read his press release which contended she had made the "all men are rapists" comment during the Senate debate.

"It was untrue and I felt I was being punished for standing up for myself," she said.

"It's one thing to be in the chamber having a political debate.

"It's another thing to step outside to have to deal with lies and smears and excuses having nothing to do with the debate you were having."

She said the then-senator then "doubled down" and continued the lie in his interviews seeking "to make this some type of media circus" which left her feeling exposed and vulnerable.

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"He just thought this is a joke," she said.

"Violence against women is not a joke and lying is not a joke"

Earlier, Senator Kristina Keneally testified that Mr Leyonhjelm had sought to imply Senator Hanson-Young was a "narrow-minded, one dimensional misandrist", undercutting her advocacy for women and children to be safe from violence.

Under cross-examination, Senator Keneally agreed "slut-shaming" could refer to a person of low sexual morals and someone taking advantage of that, or to painting someone as having low sexual morals.

She said it was not appropriate for a person's sexual activity to be used as a weapon in a political debate.

The hearing continues before Justice Richard White.

4. One of the nation's most celebrated poets, Les Murray, has died aged 80.

Australia's unofficial Poet Laureate, Les Murray, has died, leaving a legacy recognised around the world.

Leslie Allan Murray, known as the Bush Bard of Bunyah, died in Taree on the NSW mid north coast on Monday, aged 80.

He is one of the nation's most celebrated poets, winning many international literary awards including the Petrarch Prize and the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize.

In 1999, he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Michael Duffy from independent book publisher Duffy and Snellgrove described Mr Murray as extraordinary.

"Les Murray was the most extraordinary person I ever met. He made Australia bigger," Mr Duffy told AAP in a statement on Monday.

Mr Murray was born in Nabiac on the state's mid north coast and grew up in poverty on a hard scrabble dairy farm in Bunyah. His time in the Australian bush and Bunyah specifically featured prominently in his poetry.

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His mother died from an ectopic pregnancy when he was 12.

According to The Steel, one of his angriest and most moving poems, her death may have been avoided if the local doctor hadn't initially refused to authorise an ambulance.

Despite an interrupted schooling, he made it to Sydney University where he didn't quite finish a degree. He dropped out for a time with a nervous breakdown. He hung out with other future writers like Geoffrey Lehmann and Clive James, wrote poetry and read voraciously.

He was also a natural linguist, which enabled him to get a job as a translator at the Australian National University.

In 1962 he married Valerie Morelli, becoming a Catholic in the process. They had five children.

Mr Murray published his first book of poetry, which was a joint collection with Mr Lehmann, in 1965.

He took his family to Britain and Europe in 1967 for two years and on his return to Sydney finally completed his arts degree while having his first sole-authored collection, The Weatherboard Cathedral, published.

Mr Murray was editor of Poetry Australia from 1973 until 1980.

Tributes have been flowing for the literary giant on social media.

"Les Murray: one of the last of the great 20th century poets, perhaps the last, who both became a symbol of their nation and , through the force of their words, were able to transcend mere nationhood," UK poet Andrew McMillan posted on Twitter.

"We have lost a giant of literature. A beautiful, humble, funny, courageous, generous and gentle titan of Australian letters. #lesmurray's words were a gift to us all. If only he'd won the Nobel - the last accolade due to him. Vale my dear, dear friend," Australian author Nikki Gemmell posted.

"Sad to hear of the death of Les Murray - he was a great larrikin with an extraordinary talent for word-play...," David Alexander, former senior advisor to treasurer Peter Costello posted.

5. Police are investigating the motive of the 19-year-old synagogue shooter.

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Police are examining the motive of the man accused of a deadly shooting at a synagogue in Southern California, after determining the 19-year-old gunman acted alone.

The gunman walked into the Chabad of Poway in suburban San Diego on Saturday and killed one woman and wounded three other people inside, using an assault-style rifle, police said.

The Poway mayor over the weekend called the shooting a hate crime.

The accused gunman, John T. Earnest, appears to be the author of an online manifesto who claimed to have previously set fire to a mosque and drawn inspiration from last month's mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people.

Saturday's bloodshed in Poway came at the end of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover and unfolded six months to the day after 11 worshippers were killed by a gunman who stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Earnest, who has been held without bail, is scheduled to appear in a San Diego court on Wednesday to face a charge of murder and three counts of attempted murder, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department website.

The gunman is believed to have carried out the shooting without support from anyone else, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said in a statement on Sunday.

"We are continuing to explore every investigative avenue to bring out all the facts in this case," Gore said.

Earnest fled in a car as an off-duty US Border Patrol agent, who had been at the synagogue, fired at his vehicle. The teenager later called police to surrender.

Authorities are investigating Earnest's possible involvement in the March 24 pre-dawn arson fire at the Islamic Centre of Escondido, a town about 24km north of Poway, Gore said.

The slain victim, Lori Kaye, was a founding member of the Chabad of Poway congregation, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was among the three wounded victims, told reporters.

Another survivor, Israel Dahan, whose 8-year-old daughter was wounded, told Israel Radio on Sunday that the attacker's gun jammed.

Worshipper Oscar Stewart, 51, rushed the gunman and chased him outside before another person, the off duty Border Patrol agent, opened fire, Gore said.

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