Daily News Roundup

August 28, 2018

TUESDAY, August 28

The late US senator John McCain has taken a parting shot at President Donald Trump in his farewell letter to the nation, denouncing “tribal rivalries” and imploring citizens to focus on what unites.

Rick Davis, a former presidential campaign manager for Senator McCain who is serving as a family spokesman, read the farewell message on Monday at a press briefing in Phoenix, the ABC and AP report.

In the statement, Senator McCain reflected on the privilege of serving his country and said he tried to do so honourably. He also touched on today’s politics.

“We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” the statement read.

“We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been,” he added in an apparent reference to Mr Trump’s plans for a border wall.

“Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

“Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”

Senator McCain also expressed his deep gratitude and love of country.

“I lived and died a proud American. We are are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil,” he said.

Senator McCain died Saturday from an aggressive form of brain cancer at age 81.

Senator McCain was a noted critic of Mr Trump, and the President’s response to Senator McCain’s death has been closely watched.

On Monday, for instance, flags at the White House were not lowered.

Two days after Senator McCain’s death, Mr Trump said he respected the senator’s “service to our country” and had signed a proclamation to fly the US flag at half-staff until his burial.

Mr Trump tweeted about Senator McCain after his death on Saturday but has passed up several chances to comment publicly on the Arizona senator.

Mr Trump said in a written statement that he had asked Vice-President Mike Pence to speak at a ceremony honouring Senator McCain at the Capitol on Friday.

The President also said he had agreed to the McCain family’s request for military transportation of Senator McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington.

Mr Trump was not expected to attend any of the services that will take place over several days in Arizona and Washington.

When asked about Mr Trump’s response to Senator McCain’s death, Mr Davis said the family was choosing to focus on the outpouring of support from around the world instead of “what one person has done or said”.

“The entire focus of the McCain family is on John McCain,” Mr Davis said.

“There really is no room in the McCain family today to focus on anything but him.”


Police in Victoria’s armed robbery squad kept a stash of weapons to plant on suspects, and “kidnapped and threatened” a fellow officer who refused to take a weapon to a crime scene, according to an affidavit from a retired fraud squad detective, writes the ABC’s Rachael Brown and Ben Knight.

In a stunning statement, Bill Nash also says that police presented false evidence to the courts during the investigation into the death of Graeme Jensen, a convicted bank robber who was fatally shot by police in October 1988 in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

The Narre Warren shooting sparked a revenge attack on police the following day — the execution of constables Steven Tynan and Damian Eyre on Walsh Street, South Yarra.

Mr Nash was part of a police unit that investigated the Jensen case for Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions in the mid-1990s.

In the affidavit, obtained by the ABC, Mr Nash also states a former armed robbery squad detective said he was told to bring a gun to the Jensen crime scene on the day of the shooting.

Mr Nash said the former detective told him he refused to carry out the instruction, and squad members later “kidnapped and threatened” him to keep quiet about what he knew.

Officers charged over Jensen’s death claimed they shot him in self-defence, after he pointed a gun at officers while trying to escape in his car.

Then-detective Robert Hill, who fired the fatal shot, was acquitted of murder in the Supreme Court in 1995, and is now an assistant commissioner.

Jensen’s family has always claimed he was unarmed, and that the weapon — which didn’t work and had none of Jensen’s fingerprints on it — was planted by police.

Two former detectives have now come forward to support that claim — Mr Nash, and former detective Malcolm Rosenes, who signed an affidavit that said he saw a detective place a sawn-off rifle in Jensen’s car after the shooting.

Jensen’s sister, Fay Spear, had applied for a fresh coronial inquest but has now told the ABC she is abandoning that application, because she is distrustful of the system and is tired of waiting for justice.


An unprecedented archaeological dig is underway beneath Melbourne’s CBD, writes ABC Melbourne’s By Nicole Mills.

In order to make way for the Metro Tunnel — a rail network that will include five new stations — a team of more than 100 archaeologists, students and staff are overseeing excavations at two locations.


More than 1,000 human teeth were found at one of the locations, next to the Young and Jackson pub on the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets.

Excavation director Meg Goulding said there used to be a dentist on the site.

“This guy clearly disposed of a lot of his teeth down the pipe, down the sink,” she told ABC Melbourne’s Richelle Hunt.

“They gross me out. I mean I’ve excavated a lot of skeletal remains in my time, but there’s something about disembodied teeth that is very unattractive.”

The teeth, some of which could date back to 1898, are especially disgusting by modern standards.

“A lot of them are unattractive because they’ve got very big holes in them,” Ms Goulding said.

“So they instantly say to you pain and agony, both in terms of people suffering for the length of time that they must have had some of these teeth in their mouths, but also just the extraction process.”

A number of objects highlight the different businesses which have stood on the site.)

Hundreds of lead print types were discovered, left behind by a stationer and printer who worked in the area in the late 1800s.

There are also labels from James Dickson & Co ginger ale bottles, a company which started in a Richmond shed during the 1850s gold rush before moving to the CBD in 1869.

Heat-resistant ceramic crucibles may have been used in a printing workshop or sold by stationery shops.

Gambling dice and gaming discs have also been unearthed, mostly made from cattle bone or ivory.

At least 20 dice were recovered from 13 Swanston Street, a site formerly occupied by hotels, along with corks, corkscrews, glass tumblers, wine glasses, swizzle sticks and alcohol bottles.

Archaeologists also uncovered 34 glass discs which suggest that opium lamps were manufactured in the area.

Items left behind by wealthy patrons who would have visited the hotels include an opulent jet earring which probably fell through the floorboards, lost for more than a century.

PHOTO: This toy soldier depicts a British army drummer around the time of the Battle of Waterloo. (Supplied: Metro Tunnel)

Plenty of children’s toys have also been uncovered, including a toy soldier that dates back to the 1850s.

It was likely made in Germany and depicts a British army drummer around the time of the Battle of Waterloo.

There’s also a yellow bird-shaped whistle that dates back to at least the 1860s and the head from a china doll.

The doll is believed to be a Frozen Charlotte, which were popular toys that got their name from a song about a vain girl who refused to cover up and froze to death on a winter’s night.


This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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