Daily News Roundup

February 17, 2020

The daughter of South Australian cooking legend Maggie Beer has died “unexpectedly” yet “peacefully” in her sleep at the weekend. 


The daughter of South Australian cooking legend Maggie Beer has died “unexpectedly” yet “peacefully” in her sleep at the weekend. 

Saskia Beer was the eldest daughter of the Barossa Valley food icon, who shared a statement on social media on Sunday saying her family had “broken hearts”.

“It is with broken hearts we need to let you all know that our beautiful, extraordinary daughter Saskia died unexpectedly yet peacefully in her sleep on Friday,” the post said. 

“We ask for time [and] space as we grapple to come to terms with our loss and appreciate all the support we have been given.” 

Saskia’s husband, Peter Jercic, who she married in April last year, shared a similar post on social media, saying he would continue her successful work in the South Australian food industry.

“The business Saskia grew and loved will continue on with me, her loving husband,” he said. 

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Saskia, started up her own food company, Saskia Beer Farm Produce in 1997 in her mid-20s.

Adelaide chef Adam Liaw also shared his condolences and told ABC Radio Adelaide it was hard to imagine anything more sad than losing a loved one. 

“The idea that one day someone who is so close to your family might not be there anymore is just too sad to bear,” he said. 

Social media posts have received thousands of comments, with many fans of Saskia and the Beer family sharing their sadness. 

The Adelaide Showground Farmers Market posted online, saying it had lost a “dearing member” of the market.

“The whole market community will miss her and we send our love and sympathy to her husband, children, parents and sister at this dreadful time,” the post said. 


Tens of thousands of people have poured into Sydney’s ANZ stadium for a star-studded relief concert, in a massive show of support for those affected by the summer’s bushfire crisis. 

Over 70,000 people were expected at the Fire Fight Australia concert on Sunday, where tickets were sold out within 24 hours, according to organisers. 

Hosted by comedian Celeste Barber, who raised more than $50 million for bushfire relief, all ticket profits go to groups which are helping communities affected by bushfires get back on their feet. 

$9 million of donations have been made as of 11pm on Sunday.

Barber thanked the volunteer firefighters who sacrificed their time to battle devastating blazes, saying “you will never know how grateful we are.”

“Our volunteers across this entire country, they are the ones who saved us,” Barber told the crowd. 

“They are the ones who cancel holidays to stay here and look after us, and I will speak now very confidently on behalf of a nation when I say to those volunteers: Thank you.” 

Queen joined with Adam Lambert reprised the band’s iconic 1985 Live Aid set, with Alice Cooper, Irish favourite Ronan Keating and singer-songwriter k,d lang also performing. 

Popular Australian acts were also on the line-up, including 5 Seconds of Summer, Amy Shark, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, John Farnham, Lee Kernaghan and Olivia Newton-John. 

The concert’s profits will be shared between the Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery fund, rural and regional fire services and the RSPCA’s bushfire appeal. 

Donations to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal will also be accepted during the concert to fund grants for community-led projects needing support in the bushfires’s aftermath. 


US police allege that a woman has posed as a photographer as part of a plot to drug a woman and steal her newborn baby to raise as her own.

In a Facebook post, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in Tacoma, Washington, said a 38-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested on February 14 following an extensive investigation.  

Police said they received a 911 call on February 5 from a woman who believed she was drugged by another woman who came to her house after they met via a newborn baby group on Facebook.

“The suspect had advertised free photos of newborn babies so the suspect could build her portfolio,” police said.  

“The suspect reportedly came to the victim’s residence on three occasions to photograph her newborn baby.

“The suspect was observed taking cell-phone selfies with the victim’s baby and was seen wiping her fingerprints off items she touched inside the victim’s home.”

Police say during the third visit, the woman who posed online as Juliette Parker, Juliette Noel and Juliette Gains and her teenage daughter gave the mother a cupcake to eat. 

“The victim reported feeling numb and drowsy immediately after eating the cupcake,” police said. 

“The victims told the suspect and her daughter to leave her home.

“After they left, the victim noticed that the suspect had stolen her house keys.” 

After an extensive investigation was conducted, which included identifying additional alleged victims, police said evidence indicated the suspect was planning to steal a newborn baby to raise as her own. 

After a search warrant was executed by police, the woman was arrested on multiple felony charges, as was her daughter.

Police encouraged others who had been contacted by the woman online and who believed may have been a victim to contact them.

The department said, Sheriff deputies had donated money to buy new locks and window guards for the alleged victim and volunteered to install them at her home. 

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