Daily News Roundup

November 19, 2018

Image: ABC News

MONDAY November 19

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a nine-month-old baby girl whose body was discovered on a popular Gold Coast beach overnight, less than a kilometre from the schoolies celebrations hub.

Police said a couple who are known to police — a 48-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman — were found at Broadbeach a short time later and are assisting detectives with their inquiries.

The baby girl was found unresponsive on Surfers Paradise Beach by a member of the public near the intersection of Staghorn Avenue and the Esplanade around 12:30am on Monday.

Detective Inspector Marc Hogan said the body was found on the edge of the surf.

“Clearly it had been in water … I don’t know how long for,” Detective Inspector Hogan said.

“This is a very tragic event and I wanted to thank police and emergency services who attended this morning … it’s a very sad situation.”

Detective Inspector Hogan said he believed the man and woman were partners and the baby belonged to them.

“We’ve got to dig into the background of the people involved and determine the exact nature of their relationship,” he said.

Police said despite attempts to revive the baby, she had no chance of survival.

Detective Inspector Hogan said the baby had no visible injuries but police would conduct a post mortem today, and the child had not been reported missing by the couple.

He said the couple had been staying on the Gold Coast and New South Wales police would be involved in the investigation, with potential movements of the pair between Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast.

Police will also look through CCTV footage of the Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise areas.

Officers searched the beach in cars and by helicopter, but the area is no longer an active crime scene.

The Gold Coast is busy with tens of thousands of school leavers celebrating schoolies week.
A police spokesman said the death was “not schoolies related at all”, although the body was found only 750 metres from the main schoolies celebrations area.

Surfers Paradise Beach is a 3-kilometre coastline popular with locals and tourists and host to a number of hotels with schoolies staying in them.

More than 13,000 teenagers attended the first night of festivities on Saturday night with 22,000 graduates expected to be part of the end-of-year event.

Police said the person who reported the body was not a school leaver.

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Deep divisions between the United States and China have derailed the APEC meeting in Port Moresby, with regional leaders failing to agree on a final communique for the first time in the summit’s history.

The two regional powers clashed repeatedly over the language on trade in the final document, with Beijing angrily rejecting paragraphs that called for an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and warned against unfair trade tactics.

The Trump administration has repeatedly accused China of economic coercion, and the two nations have already slapped competing tariffs on exports worth billions of dollars.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who was hosting APEC, said there were disagreements between the two “giants” at the meeting, adding the “entire world is worried” by tensions between the nations.

But he insisted the summit had still been a success and allowed leaders to have “fruitful discussions … and exchange frank views”.

One source familiar with negotiations told the ABC that China and the US had both taken an uncompromising approach to the language, and it was “impossible” for other countries to hammer out a compromise.

“The US was determined to include a strong message on trade and the WTO in the communique, and China was determined to get rid of that language,” the source said.

“So the negotiations fell in a heap and the chair [Papua New Guinea] gave up.”

They added that some other countries were also frustrated by the stances taken by the US and China.

The confrontation highlighted how rising tensions in the region have complicated the routine business of diplomacy — although some experts were already questioning the usefulness of the APEC summit.

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Tasmanian kayak adventurer Adrian Kiernan has died during a white-water mishap in Nepal, with the worldwide kayaking community shocked at the loss of a “legend” of the sport.

The 31-year-old was kayaking on the treacherous Humla Karnali — a 240-kilometre-long river in the Himalayan region of Nepal with stretches of white water renowned for its difficulty — when he got into trouble, according to friend and kayak partner Louis Bissonnette.

“As a lot of you heard by now, Adrian has passed yesterday November 15, 2018 around noon on the Humla Karnali,” Mr Bissonnette wrote on Facebook.

“We were all having the time of our life until the river drastically decided to put an end to it.

“We will remember you as a humble and dedicated human being. A man who lived life to the fullest, through his love for travelling and discovering new places, sparked at a young age by his loving family, further pursued with his wonderful girlfriend, his kayak, and all the people he met and loved along the way.

“Adrian, brother, we will all miss you so much, but we shall stay strong as we know you would. Rest in peace you legend. Much love to all affected by this terrible event.”

The exact circumstances of Kiernan’s death are not known at this stage.

An experienced raft guide, coach and competitive kayaker, Kiernan was an Australian freestyle champion and had kayaked in a number of countries, including Russia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and New Zealand.

Kiernan’s family have shared the tributes to him from friends across social media.

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Rachael Webster drives an average of 400 kilometres every week just so her nine-year-old daughter Lucy Faggotter can take dance lessons.

With Lucy getting more involved in the local dance school and eisteddfods, Ms Webster said her friends and family were starting to think she was mad.

It was Lucy’s persistence that got her into her first dance classes, but none of the family expected it to turn into a 400km-per-week commitment driving from their sheep and cattle property, Mt Victoria, into Longreach.

“I wouldn’t stop bugging Mum and Dad to dance,” Lucy said.

“It makes me happy and I love to move my body in so many different ways.”

Lucy said all the driving was “definitely” worth it, and her mum agreed, but admitted that by Friday night it was a long drive home.

“I think people think I’m totally crazy actually,” Ms Webster laughed.

“We go into town a couple of times a week to do dancing, but to make it work I try to tie it in with other things for my other kids.”

Ms Webster said putting Lucy into dance classes had been a family decision, but she was usually able to coordinate it with her two sons’ commitments too.

“As Lucy said, she was really wanting to dance and we knew that and we held off for a long time,” she said.

“She was the kind of little person who never stopped moving, she would make a stage wherever she was.

For Lucy, her dreams of dancing with the Queensland Ballet push her to practise more, and she is now pushing to finish her schoolwork by lunchtime each day to allow time for more dance practice at home.

 

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

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