Daily News Roundup

December 1, 2020


Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert says there are “no words to express the depth of my gratitude” after being released from an Iranian prison.

The University of Melbourne lecturer arrived in Canberra last Friday, after spending more than two years in jail for espionage, a charge she has always denied.

In a statement, Dr Moore-Gilbert said the support of friends and colleagues gave her the strength to endure what she described as a “never-ending, unrelenting nightmare”.

“I honestly do not know where to start or how I can ever thank you for all of your incredible efforts to campaign for my release,” she said.

“I am totally blown away by everything you have done for me, I honestly have no words to express the depth of my gratitude and how touched I am.

“I can’t tell you how heartening it was to hear that my friends and colleagues were speaking up and hadn’t forgotten me, it gave me so much hope and strength to endure what had seemed like a never-ending, unrelenting nightmare.”

Dr Moore-Gilbert was reportedly released in exchange for three Iranian prisoners being held in Thailand.

Following her release this week, Dr Moore-Gilbert released a statement thanking her supporters and the Australian Government for working to secure her freedom.

She asked for privacy for her and her family “during what will undoubtedly be a challenging period of adjustment”.


China has hit back at the Australian Government, accusing it of attempting to “stoke domestic nationalism” by demanding an apology for a tweet depicting an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.

Beijing has already rejected demands to apologise for the image, which was shared by China’s foreign ministry spokesman on Monday.

Now, the Chinese embassy in Canberra has issued a fresh statement accusing the Government of trying to deflect attention from atrocities committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

The embassy has also suggested the Federal Government is trying to stoke nationalism in Australia.

“We would like to further stress the following: The rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of, and overreaction to, Mr Zhao’s tweet,” a spokesperson said.

“The accusations made are simply to serve two purposes.

“One is to deflect public attention from the horrible atrocities by certain Australian soldiers.

“The other is to blame China for the worsening bilateral ties.”

Last week China confirmed it would impose a 200 per cent tariff on Australian wine while it conducted an anti-dumping investigation.


A Perth father who caused life-threatening brain injuries to his seven-week-old son by shaking him has been jailed for almost four years.

Lochlan Stuart Rankine, 28, was found guilty by a District Court jury of DEEC 1 causing grievous bodily harm to his son, Bam, at the family’s Hamersley home in August 2018.

Rankine was looking after the child while his partner went to the gym.

While exactly what happened is not known, medical experts testified the injuries suffered by Bam, including bleeding to his brain and his eyes, were consistent with him being “violently shaken.”

When the baby became unresponsive, Rankine immediately called triple-0, telling the operator the child was having trouble breathing and had gone limp.

He then performed CPR on the baby under the guidance of the operator, and the baby became responsive again before an ambulance arrived and rushed him to hospital.

He was found to have a range of injuries and later required two surgeries.

Rankine denied hurting his baby, telling police he found Bam unresponsive when he returned to check on him in his rocker, where he had placed him after giving him a bottle.

He was also described by his lawyer, Mark Cuomo, as a loving father who was looking after his son as best he could.

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