Daily News Roundup

August 7, 2019

NSW MPs continue to debate historic abortion bill
Image: SBS News

WEDNESDAY August 7

A teenage boy has died in front of his schoolmates after he was dragged and trapped by a bus outside of a NSW school. 

Brennan Nean, 17, was riding his bike near Newcastle, not far from Irrawang High School, just before 8:30am yesterday when he was struck by the bus while crossing the road. 

The bus was filled with children from his school. 

The 17-year-old was dragged under the bus, which also crushed his bike, and couldn’t be revived by paramedics. 

“Despite best efforts by paramedics, the boy died at the scene,” NSW Police said. 

The boy was reportedly stuck under the bus and it is understood multiple students witnessed the teen being dragged along the road. 

There were reportedly schoolchildren inside the bus at the time of the incident. 

“It was quite a confronting scene for emergency services and those bystanders who witnessed the incident,” Inspector Matt Hawke from NSW Ambulance said. 

Ambulance Chaplains and clinical psychologists also responded supporting witnesses and emergency services personnel. 

The 41-year-old male driver of the bus has been taken to hospital for mandatory testing. 

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Canadian police searching a riverbank say they have found “several items directly linked” to two fugitives suspected of killing Sydney man Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend. 

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsy, 18, both of Port Alberni, British Columbia, are charged with killing a university lecturer and have been on the run for nearly three weeks, with no confirmed sightings since July 22.

The evidence details have not been revealed, but were found on the banks of the Nelson River, 9 kilometres along the shore near Gillan, Manitoba, the tiny northern community that was the centre of the search last week, before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) scaled back the manhunt. 

Police divers searching the riverbed near where a boat was found last week said they “did not uncover any additional items linked to the suspects.” 

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Two senior NSW ministers are expected to propose changes to draft laws to decriminalise abortion in the state as the debate on the bill continues in parliament. 

Attorney-General Mark Speakman and Planning Minister Rob Stokes have reportedly drafted amendments to the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 to address concerns around late-term abortions. 

The changes will include extra requirements for those seeking a termination after 22 weeks, including approval by a hospital advisory committee, according to The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald. 

The debate on the bill began in the lower house on Tuesday and ran late into the night. It is scheduled to resume on Wednesday afternoon. 

The private member’s bill would allow pregnancy terminations up to 22 weeks, as well as later abortions if two doctors considering all the circumstances agree the termination should be performed.  

Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged his colleagues to support the changes, telling parliament it was disturbing that the framework for abortion was still found in the state’s Crimes Act. 

“I ask all honourable members whether it is acceptable, whether it’s conscionable that in making this major life decision, women and their doctors have to do so with the threat of being charged with a criminal offence,” he said. 

Labor MPs Trish Doyle and Yasmin Catley, opposition leader Jodi McKay, Nationals MP Leslie Williams and Greens MP Jenny Leong were among those who supported the bill on Tuesday. 

The draft legislation faced some resistance with Police Minister David Elliott and fellow Liberal MPS Tanya Davies and Kevin Conolly among those to voice their opposition in parliament. 

Mr Elliott opposed it because it wasn’t an election issue and “it is certainly in my mind being rushed”.

He said of the 240 people who had contacted his electorate office about the bill, “all but 12 have said to me that I should be opposing it.”

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