Sister of Sydney 'knife attacker' apologises for brother's 'insanity'
The sister of the alleged knife attacker in Sydney's CBD has apologised to the family of the victim, noting changes in her brother's behaviour in the lead up to the incident. "He's had a steep descent into insanity... I wish I could make it better for everyone else... I just want to say sorry a million times to the family," she told media. Mert Ney, 20, allegedly slit the throat of Michaela Dunn, 24, inside a unit on Clarence Street before going on a knife-wielding rampage through the Sydney CBD on Tuesday afternoon.
The 24-year-old alleged victim of a Sydney knife attacker is being remembered as a beautiful, smart, fun-loving woman.
Ney is yet to be charged and remains under police guard in hospital, where he has undergone surgery for a laceration to his knee.
The government is launching an investigation into the care Mr Ney was receiving by the NSW health system in the lead up to the alleged attack.
Religious leaders to front inquiry into abortion laws
Religious leaders who support the NSW abortion decriminalisation bill are set to front an inquiry into the legislation on Thursday. Anglican bishop Peter Stuart and Uniting Church minister Margaret Mayman are among those appearing before Thursday’s hearing. Both leaders have publicly given their support for the bill, which would decriminalise terminations up to 22 weeks. Their appearance comes one day after a number of religious figures appeared before the inquiry to push for a six month delay on the final vote.
Telstra profit drops 40% as NBN hits hard
Telstra has reported a 40 per cent fall in full-year profit to $2.15 billion and flagged another earnings squeeze next year as construction of the national broadband network nears completion.
Profit for the 12 months to June 30 fell from $3.59 billion a year ago on $800 million in previously announced restructuring costs and $600 million in earnings lost to the government-owned NBN.
The company cut its final dividend to 8.0 cents per share from 11 cents a year ago, with its full-year payout down to 16.0 cents from 22.0 cents in FY18.
Telstra shares fell by 2.03 per cent in the first 15 minutes of trade to $3.86, having nudged a near two-year high of $4.00 last week.
George Pell's appeal judgment to be handed down next week
The supreme court of Victoria will hand down its judgment in the case of George Pell's appeal next Wednesday. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria will read out a summary of the Court's conclusions, almost three months on from the appeal hearing. Pell will either walk free from prison, face a re-trail or remain in jail to serve his maximum six year sentence.
It was announced today that judgment will be handed down on Wednesday, August 21.
A jury found Pell guilty last December of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child, making him the highest ranked Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse.
Three judges have scrutinised the case and will take their seats behind the bench to announce their decision from 9:30am on Wednesday.
The proceedings will be live streamed on the Supreme Court of Victoria's website.
NASRALLAH Cables Zarif in Solidarity After US Sanctions
Lebanon - Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, on Wednesday cabled Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to whom he expressed a stance of solidarity after the recent US sanctions against him.
"When the US administration announced sanctions on your person and added you to the honor list, my brothers and I decided to send you a cable to express our solidarity and respect; but I preferred to delay the cable till today, August 14, the day where the Resistance in Lebanon defeated America and Israel during the 33-day war in July and August 2006, with the full support of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Nasrallah said in his cable.
"You are the loud voice in all international instances, who speaks the truth in the face of the world's fiercest tyrants, that is the US and Trump," he added.
"They wanted to besiege, isolate and terrorize you. Yet, your presence and influence only became stronger," he said.
Fresh review of nation's migration program
Australia's migration program is set to go under the microscope at a new parliamentary inquiry.
The Morrison government will announce the upcoming review led by federal parliament's joint migration committee on Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age report.
The committee typically looks at Australia's detention centres and visa laws, but the new inquiry is expected to cover population and infrastructure pressures.
The move comes after Infrastructure Australia warned the nation must spend $200 billion every five years on a range of infrastructure projects if it wants to keep up with the pace of population growth.
In a report, the authority said the wave of investment is needed to ensure roads and public transport, schools, water, electricity and health services support people's quality of life and economic productivity.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the report's findings pre-date the 2019/20 budget, in which the government announced $23 billion worth of infrastructure projects, 160 of which were focused on busting congestion.
The government has committed $100 billion to infrastructure over the next 10 years.
NSW open to ban on sex selection abortions
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has opened the door to explicitly banning abortions based on gender if it will help ease community concerns.
Some MPs - including coalition ministers - raised the issue during debate on draft laws to decriminalise abortions in NSW.
The private members' bill, which passed the lower house last week, will be examined by a parliamentary committee before being considered in the upper house.
Ms Berejiklian, who is in Europe on a trade mission, said the state's chief obstetrician had advised her that sex selection terminations were "not an issue in NSW".
"But if there is more we need to do to actually allay concerns of the community of course we will," she told reporters in London overnight on Wednesday.
She encouraged upper house MPs to consider "strengthening" the bill to address the issue, saying she would be "more than comfortable" with it.
Muslim Hajj winds down without incident
Millions of Hajj pilgrims are heading back to Mecca for final prayers as the world's largest annual gathering of Muslims winds down without incident despite the logistical challenges and escalating regional tensions.
Senior officials said there had been no major incidents and the logistical, security and health plans had been successful, even with some heavy rainfall.
Saudi Arabia stakes its reputation on its guardianship of Islam's holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, and its organisation of the pilgrimage. It hopes to continue expanding attendance to help to build its tourism industry.
Pilgrims participated in a symbolic stoning of the devil, part of the Hajj rituals, in Jamarat before returning to Mecca, where the Grand Mosque filled with worshippers preparing to depart.
Nearly 2.5 million pilgrims, most of them from abroad, came for the five-day ritual this year. Attendance is a religious duty, once in a lifetime, for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.