Daily News Roundup

February 28, 2019

Thursday 28th February 2019

John, the husband of Australian television host Kerri-Anne Kennerley has died in hospital overnight.

Ms Kennerley said her husband,a quadriplegic, died at St Vincent’s hospital alongside family, in an Instagram post this morning.

“It’s with a heavy heart and awful sadness that I let you know that my beautiful husband John passed away last night,” Ms Kennerley wrote.

“John has faced some tremendous challenges over the past few years and with each he has been extraordinarily brave and determined to overcome those hurdles and live a normal life.

“John, you were the love of my life.”

The tribute was posted alongside a black and white photo of the couple.

Mr Kennerley was left a quadriplegic after he slipped off a balcony verandah at a Coffs Harbour golf resort in March 2016.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the couple’s relationship as a “true love story”, while at a press conference announcing the appointment of new ABC chair Ita Buttrose.

“[It’s] a love story that shows how lucky we are to have people we love in our lives and I’m sure Kerri-Anne will be deeply comforted by that,” Mr Morrison said.

“They shared their story openly with the Australian public and they let people into a very private part of their lives and I think the strength, determination and compassion and care that was shown in that relationship was an inspiration to all Australians.

“You have the love and care of the nation with you.”

Ms Buttrose said she was a good friend of Mr Kennerley and sent her condolences.

“I’m really am sad … They were a great couple and she adored him,” she said.John

 

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Media icon Ita Buttrose says her top priority when she takes over the chair of the ABC was to restore stability to the public broadcaster and get it “functioning again”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially announced he will recommend the Ms Buttrose to the Governor-General as the new leader of the ABC.

It’s been five months since the ABC had a permanent board chair and managing director.

“I think my most important role is to restore stability to the management of the organisation, to reassure the staff that life will go on as usual and to reassure the board, who has also been through a period of unrest that it’s time to get the ABC functioning again with proper stable management and good frank discussion between the chair and whoever is the managing director,” Ms Buttrose said.

“If there’s not a close relationship between the chair and the managing director, you cannot make an organisation work efficiently and well.”

The ABC’s management was plunged into turmoil when chairman Justin Milne resigned in September last year.

It came after a week of revelations about his alleged interference with editorial decisions and demands senior journalists be sacked — charges he strongly denied.

Mr Milne and the ABC board of directors sacked Ms Guthrie earlier that week.

Ms Buttrose said she was a life-long ABC fan and wanted to ensure the community retained its trust in the organisation.

“I consider it one of the most important cultural and information organisations in our country and I’m honoured to be asked to lead it into the future,” she said.

“It is a voice of the Australian people, I think it reflects our identity, tells our stories, it tells our stories not just here in Australia but to the rest of the world, and I have grown up with the ABC.

“I’m a devoted listener to the ABC. I start my day with ABC News Radio, I don’t leave home without it.”

Ms Buttrose was the founding editor of Cleo Magazine in 1972, and later the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

She became the first woman to edit an Australian metropolitan newspaper, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, in the 1980s and was the first woman appointed to the News Limited board.

In recent years the former Australian of the Year has been lauded for her work in the media and as an advocate for Australians with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Last year, Ms Buttrose, 77, lamented the credentials of those currently among the ABC’s directors.

“If I look at the board, and I look at [former managing director] Michelle Guthrie’s CV, I don’t see anybody there with a lot of media experience,” she told ABC’s The Drum, after Ms Guthrie’s dismissal.

“And I think that is a failing of the board — they’re very, don’t get me wrong.

“But there’s not a lot of media experience there, and I think you must have media experience if you’re going to run the ABC because of the very nature of the ABC.”

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Donald Trump’s former lawyer has spectacularly dumped on his former  boss damning the US President as a racist and conman.

Michael Cohen told a Congressional hearing Trump used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex and lied about his business interests in Russia throughout the campaign that sent him to the White House.

But Trump backers were quick to jump to the President’s defence saying Michael Cohen was a convicted liar and should not be believed.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress, testified before Congress overnight that Mr Trump had advance knowledge and embraced the news that emails damaging to Hillary Clinton would be released.

But he also said he has no “direct evidence” that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia.

Shaking off incessant criticism from Republicans anxious to paint him as a felon and liar, Cohen became the first Trump insider to pull back the curtain on his version of the inner workings of Mr Trump’s political and business operations.

He also claimed faith in Mr Trump led him astray and ultimately to jail.

“I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty, of the things I did for Mr Trump in an effort to protect and promote him,” Cohen said in his opening statement.

“I am ashamed of my own failings and I publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the Southern District of New York.”

The problem is that his actions on behalf of Mr Trump only account for some of Cohen’s guilty pleas — namely, lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow and making hush money payments to women who allegedly had affairs with the President.

Cohen is also going to jail because he “pulled a Capone”, and admitted to dodging his taxes for five straight years.

That gave Republicans on the committee all the ammunition they needed to ask why Cohen should be believed now.

ENDS

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