Daily News Roundup

May 30, 2019

A mother killed with her four kids in a fiery car accident said she felt “alone” and “left behind”, in a pleading message shared before she died.
Image: News.com.au

THURSDAY,  MAY 30

A mother killed in a fiery crash with her four children posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook before she died.

Charmaine Harris McLeod, from the southern Queensland city of Hervey Bay, wrote on the page for her local church that she felt friendless and abandoned after leaving a relationship.

“I feel as if, if you cant or dont grasp God/healing etc, when they think you should have then you just get left behind,” wrote the 35-year-old single mother on April 15.

“You would think there would be support/help, but very very little, they were always too busy, not one piece of clothing or a piece of bread was offered, let alone shelter.

“I feel as if I’ve done it alone… these are the things Jesus did, he ate with the less fortunate.. I’ve asked for prayer before surgery & yes I’ve had a lot of surgeries but they dont, they do for others though.”

Ms McLeod died on Monday evening along with her children Aaleyn (Ally), 6, Matilda, 5, Wyatt, 4, and Zaidok, 2, after slamming into an oncoming truck while trying to overtake on the Bunya Highway near Kumbia in South Burnett.

Police said the “catastrophic” crash was one of the worst they had ever seen. Paramedics had to fight their way through flames and smoke to reach the vehicle, which was set ablaze along with the truck.

The doting mum and three of the children died instantly, while a girl was pulled from the car with horrific burns. She made it to Kingaroy Hospital in a critical condition, but died while on a rescue flight bound Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.

Ms McLeod said in her desperate message that she had attended Bayside Christian Church for 17 years, and “asked for prayer”, but she had never fit in.

Commenters on the mother of four’s desperate post said the message was “very sad” and she was “crying out for help” for her family.

A church representative replied: “We have known Charmaine for over 15 years and provided many hours of support whenever she needed it. People were in contact with Charmaine right up until last week. Our door was always open to Charmaine whenever she needed help.

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US special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, has told a press conference that Justice Department policy prohibited him from bringing charges against a sitting president.

In his first public statement on his investigation Mr Mueller addressed whether there were efforts to obstruct his investigation.

“If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime we would have said so,” he said.

“We did not however make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime,” he said.

“Charging the president with a crime was … not an option we could consider,” Mr Mueller said.

Mr Mueller said that “under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office”.

“That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view — that too is prohibited.

“It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge.”

Mr Trump took to Twitter to declare that nothing had changed since Mr Mueller’s remarks and that “the case is closed!”

“There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent,” he wrote.

A redacted version of Mr Mueller’s report was published in April, concluding the Trump campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with Moscow to win the White House.

Mr Mueller declined to make a judgment on whether Mr Trump obstructed justice, although the report outlined 10 instances in which Mr Trump tried to impede the investigation.

Mr Trump has said the investigation exonerated him after repeatedly denouncing it as a witch hunt.

But Mr Mueller said he was permitted to investigate a sitting president “because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available”.

The White House and several top Republicans said it was time to move on to other matters, while several Democratic presidential candidates called for impeachment.

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A girl believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving baby, who weighed just 245 grams when born, has gone home from hospital after five months in the neonatal intensive care unit at the San Diego Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in the US.

The baby named Saybie was born at 23 weeks and three days and was sent home this month weighing 2 kilograms.

Saybie’s ranking as the world’s smallest baby ever to survive is according to the tiniest baby registry maintained by the University of Iowa, the hospital said.

News agencies reported the mother said she was taken to the hospital, where she was told she had preeclampsia and very high blood pressure and that the baby needed to be delivered quickly.

The mother said she told medical professionals that she didn’t think her daughter would survive because she was only 23 weeks. Babies typically are born at 40 weeks.

“They told my husband that he had about an hour with her and then she was going to pass away,” she said.

“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day and then a week.”

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Israelis will head to the polls again for an unprecedented second election in September after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition, international news agencies report.

The members of Israel’s parliament have only just been sworn in after elections in April.

But a majority voted to dissolve parliament at midnight, the deadline for coalition negotiations, rather than allow the main opposition group a chance to form government.

A key right-wing party and religious parties had refused to compromise on the divisive issue of mandatory military service for ultra-orthodox men, causing the coalition talks to fail.

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Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace Theresa May as UK prime minister, must appear in court over allegations he lied to the public about Brexit, a British judge has ruled, UK news reports reveal.

District Judge Margot Coleman said the allegations were not proven and she had made no finding of fact, but Mr Johnson must answer a private summons alleging he had committed three offences of misconduct in a public office.

The allegations relate to claims that Mr Johnson made in the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2016 European Union referendum, when he was one of the leading campaigners for Britain to leave the bloc. Britons voted by 52 to 48 per cent to leave.

“During both time periods outlined above, the [proposed] defendant repeatedly lied and misled the British public as to the cost of EU membership, expressly stating, endorsing or inferring that the cost of EU membership was 350 million pounds ($A640 million) per week,” the application against Mr Johnson said.

The case is a private prosecution, brought by businessman Marcus Ball, who used crowdfunding to raise the money to file the case at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Johnson’s statements were irresponsible and dishonest.

“It is alleged that Mr Johnson, acting as a Member of Parliament and as the mayor of London, made statements concerning the cost of European Union Membership, which were false, misleading and which abused public trust,” the group said in a statement when the case was filed.

The 350 million pound figure was a central and controversial part of the pro-Leave campaign’s “take back control” message, which was famously emblazoned across a campaign bus.

Leave campaigners said the money would be better spent on health services.

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