Daily News Roundup

July 4, 2018

WEDNESDAY, July 4

US President Donald Trump says talks with North Korea are “going well”, claiming that without him, the United States “would now be at war with North Korea”.

His comments on Twitter came as US officials seek to reach an agreement with Pyongyang over a denuclearisation plan following last month’s summit between Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel to North Korea on Thursday to take the next step in negotiations, in his first official visit to Pyongyang since the summit on June 12 in Singapore, the ABC reports.

In a tweet, Mr Trump said North Korea has conducted “no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months”.

“Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well!” Mr Trump said, echoing his sentiments following the historic meeting with Mr Kim in Singapore.

“All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining.”

“If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”

A US delegation met over the weekend with North Korean counterparts at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the next steps to implementing the June 12 summit’s declaration, according to the US State Department.

The White House has characterised ongoing meetings as positive but not commented on recent news reports of US intelligence assessments saying North Korea has been expanding its weapons capabilities.

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Years after suffering through the traumatic arrival of her daughter Ruby, Bree Hicks is still trying to fix her damaged body and admits the relentless ordeal has been doing her head in.

Two and a half years after childbirth, the 32-year-old first-time mother from western Sydney is still undergoing surgery for a fourth-degree tear of her perineum she sustained when doctors performed a vacuum delivery.

She underwent six hours of emergency repair surgery, had five blood transfusions, three further operations and is still dealing with a rectovaginal fistula.

Mrs Hicks said there had also been significant psychological damage, the ABC reports.

“I have anxiety attacks and am medicated,” she said.

“I see a psychologist so I can get to the point where I can have the next lot of surgery.”

As bad as her experience was, a new Australian study has found her story is far from unique.

Australian mothers are developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after difficult childbirth at alarming rates.

PHD student at the Sydney University Medical School Nepean, Liz Skinner, said two-thirds of the 40 women she interviewed for the two-year study showed signs of PTSD after suffering unexpected and severe injuries while giving birth.

“By the time I got to patient 16, I was getting very loud signals I was getting something different happening with their mental health,” she said.

The symptoms of the disorder include numbness, dissociation, flashbacks, claustrophobia, panic attacks and high levels of anxiety.

Surprisingly, Mrs Hicks has been happy to talk about her ordeal as a peer support person at the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA), which said one in four first-time mothers sustained significant injuries.

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Around 180 electronic drum lines will be installed along 260km of popular West Australian beaches under a federal government plan to prevent shark attacks.

Eleven of the 17 fatal shark attacks occurred in the areas under consideration in the last 25 years, with the federal government insisting the installation cost of up to $7 million over six months should be borne by the state government.

The SMART non-lethal drum lines would be deployed and monitored from Quinns Rock Beach to Mandurah in the metropolitan area and from Bunbury to Prevelly in the southwest, federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Given the high incidence of shark attacks in Western Australia and the recent release of a CSIRO report into great white shark numbers off the west coast of Australia, now is an opportune time for the Western Australian Government to take further steps to protect is citizens from shark attacks,” he said.

The exact locations of the drum lines will be subject to local conditions.

“The plan would cover approximately 260km of coastline with about 80 percent of WA’s population living within 30km of the proposed protected areas,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“The cost of the deployment of the SMART drumlines would be borne by the Western Australian Government, as shark management is the primary responsibility of state governments.”

WA opposition tourism spokeswoman Libby Mettam says the federal government’s figure was drastically lower “than the politically inflated estimate of $75 million suggested by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly”.

“The minister can no longer sit on his hands saying the subsidies on a personal shark deterrent is enough to make people feel safe, particularly when it is extremely limited,” Ms Mettam said in a statement.

She was referring to the state government’s May announcement that a further $200,000 would be added to its subsidy program for personal shark deterrent devices for surfboards.

“Given this information, Mr Kelly must explain why he put the figure at $75 million,” she said.

This news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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