Daily News Roundup

September 27, 2018


THURSDAY,  September 27

US President Donald Trump says he could change his mind about Brett Kavanaugh and withdraw his nomination for the Supreme Court based on upcoming testimony about alleged sexual misconduct.

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused  Mr Kavanaugh of a sexual assault in 1982, is scheduled to testify before lawmakers on Thursday in Washington, reports the ABC and news.com.

“I can always be convinced,” Trump told reporters in New York. “It will be interesting to hear what she has to say.”

Ms Ford said in written testimony released on Wednesday that she believed it was her civic duty to testify at the high-stakes Senate hearing.

She said her motivation in coming forward was to provide facts that senators could take into “serious consideration” before voting on the President’s nominee.

Mr Trump’s latest appraisal of the confirmation hearing came after a third woman came forward in a statement to a Senate panel made public on Wednesday accusing Mr Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

Mr Kavanaugh immediately denied the allegation, but Mr Trump said that if testimony was convincing, he could change his mind on the nomination.

The woman, Julie Swetnick, detailed her allegations in a statement to the Judiciary Committee a day before the Republican-led panel is set to hold a high-stakes hearing in which Mr Kavanaugh and another woman who has accused him of a sexual assault in 1982 will testify.

Mr Kavanaugh rejected the latest allegations in a statement released by the White House.

In her statement, Ms Swetnick said she attended more than 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where Mr Kavanaugh was present when gang rapes occured

“In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present,” she said, mentioning the name of a close friend of Mr Kavanaugh. She did not identify her attackers.

“During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes (a sedative) or something similar placed in what I was drinking,” she said.

Ms Swetnick said Mr Kavanaugh was present but did not accuse him of taking part.


A Canberra man has been attacked by what he thought was a dead eastern grey kangaroo, after he stopped by the side of the road to check its pouch for a joey.

Billy Willox was left with blood pouring from his eyes and requiring plastic surgery to repair his face — all after doing what he thought was the right thing,reports the ABC.

“All of a sudden, it just got up,” he said of the roo.

“Before I knew it, it had gone for my eyes. It was very, very quick.

“I just couldn’t move away from it.”

Mr Willox was eventually able to kick the kangaroo away and that was when he felt the blood around his eyes.

In a state of shock, he got behind the wheel and managed to drive the short distance home.

He had only left for work minutes beforehand, but now the bus driver was bursting through his front door and calling out for his partner to take him to hospital.

“When he turned around, all I could see was two split eyes.” his partner Kerrie Venables said.

“It was just so gruesome and he just kept trying to wash them out.”

The pair ended up in Canberra Hospital, where emergency staff told Mr Willox the ligaments and skin tissue around his eyes had been torn.

Mr Willox underwent plastic surgery and was given a tetanus shot, and two-weeks later he’s back at work, feeling incredibly lucky to have come away with his eyesight in tact.

Following his attack, Mr Willox warned others to call for help rather than approaching injured or dead wildlife.

“I just think that it’s not worth it,” he said.


Ever wondered why the in-flight safety videos tell you not to move your seat if you drop your phone?

A Qantas business class passenger learned the hard way after dropping their phone during a flight on an Airbus 380 from Los Angeles to Melbourne on Wednesday morning.

After their phone became stuck in their seat, they attempted to retrieve it and moved their seat in the process, crushing the device.

A Qantas spokesperson said the phone then began “smoking”, before the cabin crew “contained the situation”.

The captain then spoke to the operations centre before completing the flight into Melbourne.

A phone was destroyed in a similar incident in 2016, when the lithium battery of a passenger’s phone was crushed in a seat mechanism and caught fire.

Lithium batteries ‘capable of ignition’

The incident prompted the airline to issue a reminder to passengers not to attempt to pick up any electronic devices dropped during the flight.

“This incident shows why we ask passengers to seek help from our cabin crew in retrieving their mobile phone,” the Qantas spokesperson said.

In its investigation into the 2016 incident, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) cited the United States Federal Aviation Administration’s guidelines which warn of the risk posed by lithium batteries.

“Lithium batteries are capable of ignition and subsequent explosion due to overheating,” the administration said.

“Overheating results in thermal runaway, which is a chemical reaction within the battery causing the internal temperature and pressure to rise.

“The result is the release of a flammable electrolyte from the battery and, in the case of disposable lithium batteries, the release of molten burning lithium.”

This daily news roundup has been curated with stories from the ABC News

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