1. Teen claimed she was kidnapped and gang raped. Two weeks later, she’s admitted to making it up.
— Liz Farmer (@liz_farmer) March 22, 2017
A Texas teenager who ran into a church and claimed that “three black males” wearing ski masks had abducted and raped her has admitted it was all a hoax, police say.
According to the Dallas News, Brianna Harmon Talbott confessed she had made up the story to police on Tuesday.
The next day, she was arrested on a charge of making a false report to officers.
The 18-year-old was reported missing by her fiancé on March 8, after finding her car with the driver’s door open, and her phone, keys and one shoe nearby.
She later burst into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. According to police reports at the time, there were visible cuts and scrapes all over her body.
Police now believe the crime scene, including the alleged kidnapping scene and the church where she was found, was staged. Talbott also admitted her injuries were self-inflicted.
Medical personnel who examined the teen after she was found were “not able to corroborate her claims” that she had been sexually assaulted.
Police aren’t completely sure of the motives behind her false report, but Denison Police Chief Jay Burch has called her falsified claims an “insult to the community”.
“[Her hoax is] especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax,” he said.
“The anger and hurts caused from such a hoax are difficult and so unnecessary.
“It’s unfortunate a person can falsely report such a major incident in our community that wastes the time of law enforcement and needlessly puts some people in fear.”
2. Man behind London attack named as a man in Belgium is arrested after trying to drive through crowd.
The Westminster attacker has been identified as Khalid Masood, 52, – a British-born man with a criminal record https://t.co/9fSWAlGJtA
— smh.com.au (@smh) March 23, 2017
The knife-wielding man responsible for the terror attack that left three other people dead and at least 29 injured in Westminster, has been named by London police as Khalid Masood.
Police say the 52-year-old Briton and father of three had a range of previous convictions for grievous bodily harm, assault and possession of weapons but had never been convicted of any terrorism offences.
The announcement comes as Belgian authorities have tightened security in Antwerp after a Frenchman drove his car at high speed through a busy shopping area, forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way.
French President Francois Hollande compared the incident to the attack in London that left three people dead Wednesday, saying the Frenchman was “trying to kill people or create a dramatic event.”
The federal prosecutor’s office said the car was intercepted late Thursday morning at the port docks and police arrested a man, identified as 39-year-old Mohamed R.
In the car, authorities found knives, a shotgun and a gas can with an unknown liquid. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
An official at the prosecutor’s office, who asked not to be identified because the investigation was still ongoing, said the suspect “was under the influence” but refused to elaborate whether it was drugs or alcohol.
Authorities immediately raised security in the centre of Antwerp.
3. A major overhaul of Australia’s child care system has passed the Senate.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 23, 2017
A major overhaul of Australia’s child care system expected to benefit one million families has passed the Senate following a heated late night debate, AAP reports.
Under the $1.6 billion package which cleared the upper house on Thursday night, a family earning less than $65,000 a year will pay just 15 per cent of their child care fees with the remainder of the bill footed by taxpayers.
The means-and-activity tested subsidy, which requires both parents to work, study, volunteer, or search for work for at least eight hours a fortnight, tapers down to 20 per cent for those earning $340,000.
All subsidies cut off for families earning more than $350,000 after the Federal Government agreed to an amendment from crossbench senator Derryn Hinch, meaning the amended legislation needs to go back to the lower house for its tick of approval.
The more hours of work parents do, the more subsidised care they get.
Labor and the Greens opposed the package, arguing it hurt the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by slashing in half the hours of subsidised care available for families earning less than $65,000 a year who fail the activity test.
They wanted the 12 hours-a-week entitlement boosted to 15 hours, with Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young describing the move as a “kick in the guts” for vulnerable children who’d been put in the “dustbin”.
“Unless both your parents are working… you’re not as valuable to this government,” she said.
4. A man has been killed in a skydiving accident near Perth.
Tragic news from York this evening. https://t.co/fhbuaivCQt
— The West Australian (@westaustralian) March 23, 2017
A man has died in a skydiving accident during a national championship event east of Perth.
The man, an experienced skydiver aged in his 30s, suffered a canopy entanglement during a formation jump and collided with another person about 5pm local time on Thursday, according to Skydive Australia.
The event was being held at the Skydive York facility in Burges.
Skydive Australia said nobody else was injured and the drop zone had been secured.
“The Australian Skydiving Championships have been put on hold pending a meeting with the 200 plus competitors,” the organisation said in a statement.
Police confirmed they were also investigating the incident.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
5. Australian man avoids jail, fined $189, after his girlfriend was killed in Thailand jetski crash.
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) March 23, 2017
An Australian man has been given a suspended one-year prison sentence over his girlfriend’s death in a jet-ski accident on Thai resort island of Phuket.
Thomas Keating, 22, pleaded guilty at Phuket Provincial Court and on Thursday was handed a one-year sentence – suspended for two years – for criminal negligence that led to the death of Emily Jayne Collie on February 6.
The charge specified that “the accused committed the crime without intent but also without care.”
He was fined 5,000 baht ($A189) and was allowed to leave Thailand. He had been barred from leaving the country pending the completion of his trial, , AAP reports.
Renting a personal jet-ski is popular at many Thai beach resorts. Keating has said he was blinded by the sun when his jet-ski crashed into hers.
Keating was accompanied by family members, his lawyer and Craig Ferguson, the Australian Consul-General for Phuket in court on Thursday.
He declined to comment to reporters after leaving the court.
Soon after last month’s tragedy, Keating wrote a heartfelt tribute to his 20-year-old partner on his Facebook page.
“I love you so much Emily and I wish I could just bring you back into my arms. I’m so broken and I know I’ll never never be able to mend.”
6. Nineteen-year-old man arrested after trying to drown Victorian police dog.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) March 23, 2017
Indy the canine cop has scored the clincher in a creek-bed tussle with a Victorian man accused of bashing the police dog and trying to drown it, AAP reports.
The 19-year-old man allegedly hit the German Shepherd across the head and tried to drown it in Darebin Creek early on Thursday after it chased him down in a police pursuit.
“The dog bit the Broadford man before the canine handler pulled the dog from the water and the man escaped,” police say.
The man got away, for a while, but he was arrested when he turned up at hospital seeking help for severe dog bites.
The ordeal started when police chased a car with three people inside, which blew a tyre in Reservoir about 12.30am.
A 20-year-old Pascoe Vale woman and a 29-year-old Mill Park man were arrested nearby, while the 19-year-old man, with the dog on his tail, fled into Darebin Creek.
The teenager has been charged with animal cruelty, breach of bail and resisting arrest and was bailed to appear at Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on March 24.
The woman was charged with conduct endangering life and traffic matters and the Mill Park man was released pending further inquiries.
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