Daily News Roundup

June 19, 2018

Image: ABC News

Tuesday, June 19

Evidence on day one of the coronial inquiry into the Dreamworld tragedy, where four people were killed on a family-friendly ride at the theme park on Queensland’s Gold Coast, could damage the theme park’s reputation for good, media and branding analysts say.

A coronial inquest resumes on the Gold Coast today, investigating the deaths of Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low.

The group perished on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld in October 2016 when their raft collided with a stranded vessel after a large water pump feeding the ride failed.

Yesterday, the inquiry heard that not one single event caused the incident, rather, a series of operator procedures and design faults, which all occurred within a short period of time.

The inquest heard one of four people killed on the ride would not have fallen to his death had his Velcro seatbelt not come apart.

Barrister for Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, Steven Whybrow, questioned crash investigator Senior Constable Steven Cornish about the Velcro seatbelts used to secure guests on the six-person raft.

“[Luke Dorsett] was on the up side of the raft … and it was only after several violent shakes of the raft that his Velcro strap came apart and he fell onto the conveyor?” Mr Whybrow asked.

“Yes,” Senior Constable Cornish replied.

“If his restraint had been one of which was able to hold him, what would have been the outcome for him?”

“He would not have fallen in.”

The first day of the inquest also heard how a memo was sent to Dreamworld staff less than a week before the incident, discouraging operators from pressing an emergency stop button.

It could have shut down the ride almost instantly.

It also heard how on the day of the tragedy, the ride had broken down twice before and that operators relied on a simple “scumline” rather than a ruler or device to tell the water level was no longer functional.

The ABC quoted communications expert Alex Smith as saying the barrage of negativity from the witness box so early in the inquest meant the company’s “reputation was irretrievable”.

“You can’t manage reputation in the face of an avalanche of negatives,” Mr Smith said.

“The reality of reputation management today is that no amount of spin can put a wrecked reputation back together.”

The ABC said brand strategist Allan Bonsall from Brand Genetics agreed, if that kind of evidence was coming out so early there was very little chance of rebuilding the brand.

“They never really got the numbers back after the incident,” he said.

“You would almost believe, the only way to get out of the bind they are in, is by selling and having a complete new group of people come in and make all the assurances and promises and then diligently deliver on them.

“The biggest problem with brand is trust … and the majority of it is to do with emotions.

“They had built that trust up and usually a company has to do some pretty dumb things to lose that trust.

“But Dreamworld is now in a position where its trust level is down to rock bottom and I do not see how they can recover from that.”

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“CRUEL”, “atrocious”, “inhumane”, “immoral”, “shameful” and “heartbreaking”. Donald Trump has been accused of many moral outrages during rica.

A wave of anger towards the 71-year-old over his most controversial policy has swelled to an unprecedented size, with a desperate White House swinging into damage-control mode, reports news.com

Mr Trump’s close allies and family members, as well as the most senior members of the US political establishment, have come forward to condemn his actions.

The policy at the centre of this gathering political storm is that of “zero tolerance” to undocumented migrants entering the US, introduced in April. Adults are now immediately charged and jailed and their children taken away from them in traumatising circumstances.

A gut-wrenching image of a two-year-old Honduran girl sobbing at the border has gone viral, becoming a symbol of the nationwide horror at these destructive operations.

A defiant Mr Trump today insisted America could not become a “migrant camp” or “refugee holding facility”, and that “a country without borders is not a country at all.”

for separating immigrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

Democrats and some in Mr Trump’s own Republican Party have admonished the administration for dividing nearly 2,000 children from their parents between mid-April and the end of May.

Medical professionals have said the practice could cause lasting trauma to children, reports the ABC.

Video footage released by the Government showed migrant children held in wire cages, sitting on concrete floors.

Mr Trump, whose hard-line stance on immigration is a major policy of his presidency, responded sharply to critics on Monday.

“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. It won’t be,” he said.

“You look at what’s happening in Europe, you look at what’s happening in other places — we can’t allow that to happen to the United States, not on my watch,” Mr Trump said at the White House while announcing an unrelated policy.

Earlier, Mr Trump said on Twitter that people should be wary of what he called the cultural change caused by migrants in Europe.

He cited immigration for causing political instability in Germany and said that crime in Germany was “way up”.

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

Contrary to Mr Trump’s assertion, the crime rate in Germany is at its lowest point in more than 30 years, according to figures reported by Germany’s inthis tenure as President, but he may finally have gone a step too far for Ameernal ministry last month.

Mr Trump’s comments come as German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a row over immigration that threatens to scupper her three-month-old coalition Government.

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BRITISH police are investigating if three suspected graffiti artists were killed by a freight train hours before their bodies were found on the tracks.

According to The Sun newspaper in  the UK, the bodies of the three men, aged in their 20s, were found near Loughborough Station, South London — a known graffiti hotspot.

Police are now investigating whether the men had been sneaking onto the tracks in the middle of the night, with spray cans having been found near the bodies.

 

British Transport Police say three people have died after being hit by a train at Loughborough Junction in south London.

‘We’re working hard to understand how they came to receive their fatal injuries.’

Investigating officers were also seen taking photos of graffiti at the tracks — probing the street art as a possible “line of inquiry” into the “unexplained” deaths.

The investigation comes as fears mount the men could have been killed by a freight train in the early hours of this morning, found hours later at 7.30am (4.30pm AEST).

British Transport Police has not confirmed if the group were graffiti artists, but Superintendent Matt Allingham, BTP, said: “The bodies were discovered by a train driver.

This news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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