Australia news live: religious sect allegedly thought 8-year-old diabetic ‘should not use insulin’, court told; Alice Springs curfew won’t continue | Australia news

Australia news live religious sect allegedly thought 8 year old diabetic should not use insulin court told Alice Springs curfew wont continue | Australia news
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Second day of Toowoomba murder trial starts

Andrew Messenger

The second day of the trial of the Toowoomba religious group the “Saints” for alleged murder and manslaughter is under way.

All 14 adult members of the group are on trial for the death of 8-year-old Elizabeth Struhs in 2022, who had type 1 diabetes. The court heard yesterday that the sect held “extreme” beliefs against medicine, and members believed she should not use insulin to treat her condition.

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Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco has continued laying out her case this morning.

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Yesterday, she told the court that Elizabeth had been hospitalised for a month in 2019 after a severe case of diabetic ketoacidosis and had been given a treatment program after her release, which Marco said was unusual.

Kerrie Struhs, Elizabeth’s mother, reassured child safety officers that the program would be followed, but she was allegedly taken off insulin in 2022 and died days later, the court has heard.

The trial continues.

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‘Our focus is on the long term’ for Alice Springs, police commissioner says

The NT’s police commissioner, Michael Murphy, said that an additional ten officers started duty in Alice Springs yesterday with an additional 19 due to start in two weeks and 15 to be posted to the town at the end of the month.

The [public disorder declaration] is not a long-term solution, and I am mindful of the impact that decision has had on the broader community.

As commissioner of police I have a responsibility to listen to the community, to make sure that the best decisions are made to uphold the law and to maintain social order. The PDD has assisted in the short term by providing relief to the frontline, but our focus remains on the long term.

Police will continue to work collectively with government stakeholders, community members, and local service agencies to find long term solutions to the issues currently facing Alice Springs.

A general view of Alice Springs CBD from Anzac Hill. Photograph: Aaron Bunch/AAP
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Alice Springs curfew won’t continue, police commissioner says

The Northern Territory police commissioner says the curfew in Alice Springs will not be extended. The curfew declaration will conclude at 12.55pm today, local time.

A 72-hour stay-at-home order was issued on Monday for the red centre after a spate of violent incidents, including a brawl involving 80 people and a knife attack on a 42-year-old woman.

The commissioner, Michael Murphy, said in a statement that during the past three days, police engaged with 159 people, directing 93 to leave the area. Twenty were conveyed to the “care of other agencies” and 18 removed from the area by police.

No arrests were made in relation to the public disorder declaration, he said.

The declaration has had a noticeable effect in preventing public disorder within the CBD and I would like to thank the Alice Springs community for working with us.

There is currently no reasonable grounds for me to extend the declaration and I am confident we have capable police resourcing in Alice Springs to react and respond to any instances of crime or antisocial behaviour.

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Human Rights Law Centre calls on University of Melbourne to drop disciplinary cases against students

Caitlin Cassidy

Caitlin Cassidy

The Human Rights Law Centre has called on the University of Melbourne to drop ongoing disciplinary cases against students, warning it is opening itself up to “potential challenges” and could be operating in counter to the law.

Pressure is mounting on the university over the use of surveillance footage in its issuing of misconduct notices to around 20 students, which included CCTV footage and wifi location data.

David Mejia-Canales, a senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, said it was a “dark day in our democracy” when universities were “tracking and punishing their own students for peacefully protesting for human rights”.

Instead of tracking and monitoring student location data to be weaponised against students protesting a war, universities should be encouraging peaceful, respectful debate where diverse perspectives are respected and heard.

Tents at a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Melbourne in May. Photograph: Con Chronis/EPA

Mejia-Canales said the use of surveillance technology by the University of Melbourne to monitor protests “goes against the principles of privacy and human rights upheld by Victorian and international law”.

The University of Melbourne’s use of surveillance technology to target students during protests may undermine these fundamental principles and opens the university up to potential challenges.

A University of Melbourne spokesperson said it would not comment on individual matters. Prof Nicola Phillips said that “freedom of speech is foundational to our values and polices” at the university.

We have consistently stated that we recognise the right of students and staff to participate in peaceful protest.

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Religious group faces court over death of 8-year-old diabetic after alleged opposition to use of insulin

Andrew Messenger

Andrew Messenger

The trial of a Toowoomba religious sect over the death of 8-year-old diabetic Elizabeth Struhs is ongoing.

The court has heard father Jason Struhs was gradually convinced to join the group known as “the Saints” while his wife, Kerrie, spent time in jail. He was finally baptised in August 2021.

She spent five months behind bars for failing to supply the necessaries of life to Elizabeth in relation to a 2019 incident. The young girl was taken to hospital after a severe case of diabetic acidosis by her father, the court has heard.

The court heard the religious group allegedly believed she should not use insulin.

Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco laid out a series of phone conversations, letters and other messages between members of the group about their attempts to convince Jason to stop aiding her treatment program. Another member stopped using his glasses as a result of the belief, she said.

Elizabeth died in January 2022. The trial continues.

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ACCC to take The Good Guys to court

As reported earlier, the ACCC has said it will take electronic retailer The Good Guys to court over alleged breach of consumer law.

The Good Guys have released a statement responding to the allegations, authorised by chairman Stephen Goddard:

The Good Guys takes its compliance with the law very seriously and has a comprehensive compliance program in place. The Good Guys has always sought to provide value and benefits to its customers and has worked cooperatively with the ACCC throughout its investigation.

As this matter is the subject of proceedings in the federal court, JB Hi-Fi is unable to make any further comment.

(The Good Guys is a subsidiary of JB Hi-Fi).

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Calla Wahlquist

Calla Wahlquist

CEO of Grains Producer Australia in US hospital after being reportedly assaulted on work trip

The CEO of an Australian farming lobby group is in intensive care in the US after he was reportedly assaulted while on a solo work trip.

Colin Bettles, the CEO of Grain Producers Australia, was returning to his hotel in San Francisco after a casual work dinner on 4 July when he was reportedly assaulted and his phone and wallet were stolen. His injuries were so severe that he was placed in an induced coma.

His family sought the assistance of Nationals MP Michael McCormack when they were unable to reach him for several days. McCormack asked foreign minister Penny Wong to track him down. Bettles, a former journalist who was the inaugural president of the National Rural Press Club, worked for McCormack as a media adviser in between leaving journalism and taking up his role at Grain Producers Australia.

McCormack told News.com.au: “We found him thanks to consular officials going hospital to hospital, ward to ward.”

In a statement, Grain Producers Australia said Bettles had “experienced an injury while in the United States and is currently in hospital receiving care”.

The GPA Board is supporting his family and authorities to provide assistance where possible. GPA is grateful to our networks, the authorities and US health professionals for their assistance in ensuring his welfare and ongoing care.

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ACCC taking electronic retailer Good Guys to court over alleged breach of consumer law

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are taking electronics retailer Good Guys to court over more than 100 promotions, run over four years.

The ACCC is alleging the Good Guys made false or misleading representations about their store credit and ‘StoreCash’ promotions, failing to provide store credit to eligible consumers.

The ACCC says thousands of consumers were affected due to details in the terms and conditions, including that they only had 7-10 days to claim the credit, “which many consumers were unaware of.”

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The ACCC said 116 promotions were run between July 2019 and August 2023. It alleged the Good Guys said the only requirement to receive store credit was to make a qualifying purchase, which was not the case, because consumers were also required to opt into marketing communications.

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ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the commission was concerned that “consumers may have purchased products from The Good Guys which they might not have done otherwise,” due to the alleged conduct.

The ACCC is seeking consumer redress, penalties, declarations, compliance orders, publication orders and costs. The Good Guys have been approached for a response.

ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Marles attends White House while taking part in Nato summit

Deputy prime minister Richard Marles has shared some more photos from the United States, where he has been attending the Nato summit in Washington, DC in Anthony Albanese’s place.

Marles wrote that Nato “comes at a critical time for global security”.

An honour to join Nato and Indo-Pacific leaders at the White House this evening for the 75th anniversary of the historic alliance. We all share a vision for a world that is open, peaceful and prosperous.

The #NATOSummit comes at a critical time for global security.

An honour to join NATO and Indo-Pacific leaders at the White House this evening for the 75th anniversary of the historic alliance.

We all share a vision for a world that is open, peaceful and prosperous. pic.twitter.com/zC5Otg8R8T

— Richard Marles (@RichardMarlesMP) July 11, 2024

NSW Health says influenza still circulating but may soon ‘plateau’

NSW health’s latest respiratory surveillance report, for the period ending 6 July, shows there are still high levels of influenza in the community.

The report states that influenza activity remains high, “with some indication of a plateau in emergency data and notifications”. NSW Health says there will probably be continued flu activity over the next few weeks, with test positivity increasing to 26%.

Considering all RSV indicators, activity is at a moderate level. Pertussis and pneumonia continue to be unseasonably high in school-age children.

Covid-19 activity continued to decline during the week, NSW Health says.

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Melbourne’s Derrimut factory fire disrupts some mobile phone services

Telstra says that the Derrimut factory fire, west of Melbourne, has damaged one of its mobile sites and is causing some disruption to mobile services.

A spokesperson says there is overlapping coverage from other sites in the area, but “customers may notice slower data speeds and patchy coverage in places”.

We’re working closely with emergency services and will get in to assess the damage as soon as it is safe to do so.

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The Bureau of Statistics has published this graph, demonstrating Australia’s ageing population compared with 1981:

An intergenerational report, published last year, showed that over the next 40 years life expectancy at birth is projected to continue to increase.

It is predicted to increase from 81.3 years for men and 85.2 years for women in 2022-23, to 87 years for men, narrowing the gap with women, who are projected to have a life expectancy of 89.5 years by 2062-63.

Australia’s population is projected to reach 40.5 million in 2062-63.

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PNG minister to fight domestic violence charge in Sydney

Papua New Guinea’s petroleum minister will fight an accusation that he assaulted a woman during a domestic dispute in Sydney, AAP reports.

Jimmy Maladina, 58, pleaded not guilty in Waverley local court today after being charged on the weekend with allegedly attacking a 31-year-old woman. Police were called to a property in the eastern Sydney suburb of Bondi on Saturday, when they found the woman with facial injuries.

Maladina appeared in court represented by high-profile barrister Margaret Cunneen. The PNG minister stepped down from his government role earlier in the week while the case was before the courts.

Papua New Guinean minister for petroleum, Jimmy Maladina, departs Waverley local court. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/EPA

He remains on bail under conditions including that he not contact the alleged victim or anyone she has a domestic relationship with. The bail conditions state:

You must not approach or be in the company of [the alleged victim] for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs.

Maladina is due to return to court on Wednesday before a scheduled hearing.

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Second day of Toowoomba murder trial starts

Andrew Messenger

Andrew Messenger

The second day of the trial of the Toowoomba religious group the “Saints” for alleged murder and manslaughter is under way.

All 14 adult members of the group are on trial for the death of 8-year-old Elizabeth Struhs in 2022, who had type 1 diabetes. The court heard yesterday that the sect held “extreme” beliefs against medicine, and members believed she should not use insulin to treat her condition.

Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco has continued laying out her case this morning.

Yesterday, she told the court that Elizabeth had been hospitalised for a month in 2019 after a severe case of diabetic ketoacidosis and had been given a treatment program after her release, which Marco said was unusual.

Kerrie Struhs, Elizabeth’s mother, reassured child safety officers that the program would be followed, but she was allegedly taken off insulin in 2022 and died days later, the court has heard.

The trial continues.

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Rob Rogers to retire as NSW RFS commissioner in early 2025

The commissioner of the NSW Rural fire service, Rob Rogers, says he will retire from the role at the end of the coming bushfire service.

Rogers has led the emergency service agency for nearly five years, after taking over from Shane Fitzsimmons in 2020. Rogers spent 40 years as a member and nine years as deputy commissioner prior to this.

As deputy commissioner, he played an important role during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Rogers says he would continue in the role of commissioner until early 2025, supporting the transition to new leadership.

It has been a privilege to serve alongside such dedicated individuals and witness their unwavering commitment to protecting our communities.

I have a deep sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to contribute to the safety and wellbeing of our State.

The resilience and spirit of our 70,000-plus members inspire me every day and I am confident that they will continue to uphold the values of courage and service that define the RFS.

NSW Rural fire service commissioner Rob Rogers announces his retirement from the position. Photograph: Bianca de Marchi/AAP
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Businesses can return on ‘case-by-case basis’ following Derrimut factory fire

Fire Rescue Victoria deputy commissioner of community safety, Joshua Fischer, says businesses surrounding the Derrimut factory fire in Melbourne’s west will be allowed to return on a case-by-case basis.

In excess of 3m litres of water and 40,000 litres of foam has been used to suppress this fire.

We have three appliances currently undertaking firefighting operations to continue to suppress the fire and we still have a further 11 appliances on scene supporting and in time going through a decontamination process.

We are now currently managing runoff of contaminated water as a result of the firefighting effort and contaminants in the building, alongside the EPA. It is a dynamic situation and we are undertaking atmospheric monitoring so we can allow businesses in the area to return to premises on a case-by-case basis.

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Lithium-ion battery in ebike explodes, sparks fire in Sydney unit overnight

A lithium-ion battery from an ebike exploded in a unit in Sydney overnight, with seven people being treated for smoke inhalation.

Seven Fire and Rescue NSW trucks and 28 firefighters responded to an automatic fire alarm in a 26-storey unit block on George Street at about 11.50pm.

A battery was charging in the lounge room of a level-six unit when it exploded and caught fire, a statement said. The occupants managed to escape and the automatic sprinkler system extinguished the fire.

FRNSW evacuated an additional 80-100 people as a precaution, however they were able to return a short time later.

The occupants of the unit were treated on scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation but were not taken to hospital.

SYDNEY | E-bike battery explosion in multi-story unit block. Seven people have been treated for smoke inhalation after a lithium-ion battery from an e-bike exploded in a unit in Sydney overnight.

Seven Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) trucks and 28… https://t.co/u8IUsqd8KC

— Fire and Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) July 10, 2024

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Man charged with murder, attempted murder following fatal house fire in Sydney’s west

A man has been charged over a fatal house fire in Sydney’s west at the weekend where three children died.

A 29-year-old woman, three boys – aged four, seven and 11 – and a nine-year-old girl were taken to hospital following the fire at Lalor Park on Sunday. The woman has since been discharged, and the children remain in stable conditions.

Three children – a two-year-old boy, six-year-old boy and five-month-old girl – died at the scene. Police saay they are yet to be formally identified and post-mortem examinations are being conducted to determine the cause of death.

A 28-year-old man, who police earlier confirmed was the children’s father, remains at Westmead Hospital under police guard.

He has been charged with three counts of murder (domestic violence), five counts of attempted murder (DV) and destroying/damaging property with the intent of endangering life (DV).

The matter will be heard in Parramatta local court today and the man is expected to appear via a bedside court hearing.

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