Daily News Roundup

June 10, 2019

Image: Pro Bono Australia

MONDAY June 10

Australian sports star Erin Phillips said she fled in “complete fear” after being only metres away from a suspected shooter during an LGBT pride parade in Washington DC.

Thousands were taking part in the parade when a man threatened another person with a BB gun, causing panic among hundreds of people who believed gunshots were fired, running in fear.

The AFLW Adelaide Crows co-captain, voted the league’s best and fairest two years in a row, tweeted about the chaos.

“I was only about 100m from a suspected shooting at the DC Pride parade. Ran and hid with the thousands of others in complete fear,” she wrote.

“How has the world come to this? The world my kids will grow up in.”

Phillips and her wife, Tracy Gahan, married in the US in 2014 before same sex-marriage was legalised in Australia and have two children together.

Aftabkit Singh, 38, was arrested by police on weapons possession and disorderly conduct charges after the incident.

While no gunshots were fired, hundreds of people ran from the area, knocking down metal police barricades and running into stores, fearing a gunman opened fire on the crowd.

Mr Singh pulled the BB gun on another person who was “hitting on his significant other”, according to a police report.

Someone in the crowd pointed to Mr Singh, saying he had a gun in his bag.

As police took him away in handcuffs, Mr Singh vowed to come back and shoot a particular person, police said.

The parade was shut down after the incident by organisers, who said they would not allow the scare to ruin the weekend pride celebrations

A commander of the Metropolitan Police Department, Guillermo Rivera said the department had an “adequate amount of resources on the ground, which is why we were able to respond so quickly.”

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Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty, was appointed an officer in the Order of Australia, as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours today, recognising her “distinguished service to the community.”

The 2015 Australian of the Year campaigned tirelessly after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father at cricket practice in Victoria the previous year.

“This is a societal issue that’s always existed, you can’t expect miracles to occur in such a short time,” she previously told AAP about domestic violence.

She started the Luke Batty Foundation in 2014 to raise awareness of issues facing victims and to demand action from community leaders.

Her advocacy was key to the establishment of a Royal Commission into Family Violence in Victoria in 2015, with the state government vowing to enact all 227 recommendations it tabled in 2016.

Ms Batty announced the foundation’s closure in 2018.

“It has been a gruelling and unrelenting four years in the public eye,” she said at the time. “I realise that I can’t keep going at this pace forever. It is unsustainable and I am tired.”

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Australians who rely on earning interest from their saving will be the biggest losers after the Reserve Bank slashed rates to a record low last week.

A total of $526 billion is currently held in savings accounts across the nation, according to a report by financial comparison website Finder.

It also found that households may lose around $1.3 billion in interest from their term deposits and saving accounts if the banks pass on the full rate cut of 0.25 percentage points.

Graham Cooke, Finder’s insights manager said the hardest hit groups will be “those savings for their first home, or retirees relying on their savings as a form of income.”

On the other hand, mortgage borrowers are the main beneficiaries of lower rates, even though many lenders opted not to pass on the full cut.

In the past two months, more than 50 banks have already lowered their term deposit rates.

“I’d expect all saving accounts to be cut within the next week or so… between 30 and 25 basis points,” Mr Cooke said.

In addition, more cuts to deposit rates are expected in the next few months as the RBA is widely tipped to cut rates to a historic low by the end of this year.

There may not be much that bank customers can do apart from “shop around” and see which banks, building societies and credit unions offer the highest rates – within a rapidly dwindling pool of “higher interest” options.

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