Daily News Roundup

May 15, 2019


Brisbane singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke has made it through to Sunday’s grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest…..and she is high among the favourites to win.

Miller-Heidke made it through the semi final along with nine countries out of the other 16 that were also vying for a spot.

These included performers from Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia.

Finland, Montenegro, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Georgia and Portugal all missed out on nabbing a spot at the headline show.

Half of the votes were cast by a professional jury and the other half remotely by viewers.

Miller-Heidke, who performed atop a moving pole in a billowing white gown, sang Zero Gravity, a ballad about emerging from depression, for the crowds in Israel.

The grand final will be on SBS live from 5:00am Sunday, May 19, with a replay at 8:30pm


An Australian man is among six tourists killed in a mid-air collision between two small sightseeing planes off the coast of Alaska.

Four bodies, including that of the Australian man, have been recovered and two people are missing feared dead.

All 14 passengers on the two seaplanes came from the cruise ship Royal Princess, which is on a seven-day tour from Vancouver to Anchorage. Each plane also had a single pilot.

Authorities say the collision occurred at 1:08pm on Monday, local time, in George Inlet some eight nautical miles from the town of Ketchikan, where cruise ships often stop.

The first plane, a de Havilland Otter operated by Taquan Air, was carrying 10 Americans and a pilot, who were returning from a tour.

The Coast Guard recovered one body from the aircraft. Nine passengers and the pilot were rescued. Four patients have been flown to Seattle for further treatment, and three are in serious condition.

The second, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver which was operated by a different tour company, had four passengers and a pilot on board.

Rescuers say it crashed on a steep section of rocky shoreline and was partially submerged upside down in the seawater. The Coast Guard recovered the bodies of two guests and the pilot.

Cruise company, Princess Cruises, said rescue and recovery efforts were still taking place on Tuesday morning local time.

At the time of this collision, the National Weather Service says there was 16 kilometres of visibility and it was partly cloudy with 14 km/h southeast winds.


Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has been dumped as a patron of animal welfare charity Born Free after he was filmed riding an elephant in Nepal.

The 57-year-old actor climbed onto an elephant while shooting an episode of ITV program My Travels And Other Animals, prompting social media criticism.

The actor expressed concern about riding the elephant during the episode, but then countered that using the elephants for tourism was a “kinder life than hauling heavy logs”.

The footage shows Clunes gripping the elephant by both ears, before apologising and saying “I didn’t want to hurt her”.

Born Free confirmed Clunes’s “deeply unfortunate” departure for riding a “captive, wild” elephant.

“Born Free has always been opposed to the exploitation of captive wild animals for entertainment and human interactions,” it said.

“There is clear evidence that training, keeping and riding captive elephants causes distress and suffering.”

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