Brekky Wrap: VIC Police Fake 250K Breath Tests, One Nation In Crisis And Weinstein Avoids Witness Box
All the news you need to know this Thursday morning.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein has been formally indicted on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act. The grand jury indictment -- which spares the prosecution having to go before a judge to demonstrate there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial -- follows a months-long investigation by the New York Police Department. Weinstein's lawyer said that his client would plead not guilty to the charges, the most serious of which carries a prison sentence between five and 25 years.
An internal investigation has revealed that Victorian police have faked more than 250,000 roadside breath tests in the state over a period of five years. More than 17.7 million tests have been analysed with 1.5 percent confirmed as being falsified. Professional Standards Command Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett has made a statement saying the force has “let the community down”.
The Catholic Church has signed up for the national redress scheme, becoming the first non-government institution to opt in. The church says it will help provide counselling, apologies, and compensation payments of up to $150,000 to victims of child sexual abuse.
It even tweeted the decision, confirming the long-standing intention to join the scheme once it was in place.
One Nation Senator Brian Burstan has deserted party leader Pauline Hanson, to support the federal government's company tax plan. Senator Burston says he was blindsided about the decision to withdraw support for the package and will honour the deal with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in March.
A Russian journalist reported 'dead' in Ukraine has dramatically reappeared alive and well, in the middle of a briefing about his own killing. In a stunning development, Arkady Babchenko, 41, appeared alive and well at a press conference in Ukraine, a day after he was shot dead at his apartment. He explained that his 'murder' was faked as part of a special Ukrainian services operation to thwart an assassination attempt on his life.
New evacuations are taking place on Hawaii's Big Island, as lava from Kilauea volcano continues to spread. Authorities have gone door-to-door calling for evacuations in rural areas as fast-moving lava blocks major evacuation routes. The number of structures destroyed has risen to 112, including more than 70 homes.
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will not testify before a New York grand jury who are reviewing his rape and sex-assault allegations. According to a statement by his representatives, there isn’t enough time to properly prepare and the “political pressure” has made an indictment unavoidable.
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