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Australia

An Australian mum has hit out at trolls who have used a photo of her daughter on Twitter, claiming she's among those missing in the Ariana Grande concert tragedy.

Photographer Rachel Devine was shocked to see the picture of her 12 year old daughter Gem being circulated on the internet, when she was in fact safe at school.

The Melbourne mum has told the Hit Network, she just wants people to know her daughter is safe and well. "I have no idea who stole her image or why."

"My thoughts are with those who are actually searching for loved ones".

While desperate parents in Manchester took to social media to search for missing children, cruel trolls have started creating fake tweets about teens that are not actually missing. hit.com.au
An Adelaide woman charged with being a member of terror group Islamic State (ISIS) will deny the allegations, her lawyer has said.

The 22-year-old Somalian born woman was arrested and appeared in Adelaide Magistrates Court this afternoon accused of being a member of a known terrorist organisation.

Handcuffed and wearing a hijab, she made no application for bail, with her identity suppressed until another appearance in August.

The woman came to Australia as a 14-year-old and now has citizenship.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Assistant Commissioner for Counter-Terrorism Ian McCartney said she first came to the attention of authorities in July last year while trying to fly out of Australia.

She was stopped from leaving the country and police had been investigating her since, with the majority of her dealings with ISIS being online, where she connected with terrorism suspects around the world, he said. 9news.com.au
Nervous Sydneysiders thought the worst when they were rocked awake in the early hours by a mystery — and extremely loud — bang.

Well, we can indeed confirm it was just thunder.

But even the Bureau of Meteorology weather experts agreed it sounded louder than usual.

Meteorologist Steph Spackman was travelling to work at 4.30am when the thunder jolted her. “I was at Epping when I heard a huge thunderclap overhead,” she told news.com.au.

The lightning cracks appeared to be particularly loud on Sydney’s north shore.

Sydney’s rather noisy start to the day comes as Brisbane, yet again, struggles to get to work through thick fog delaying flights at the city’s airport. news.com.au
THE scale of an alleged $165 million tax fraud is “unprecedented” in Australia and could be the biggest white-collar crime the country has ever seen.

The deputy commissioner of the Australian Taxation Office, Michael Cranston, has been charged in relation to the scam, along with his 30-year-old son Adam Cranston.

Michael Cranston, a 35-year veteran of the ATO, has been issued with a court attendance notice to appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 13 — the same court his son appeared via videolink from Surry Hills police station.

Adam Cranston’s 24-year-old sister Lauren Cranston is also facing charges.

She is expected to appear in court next month on the same day as her father. news.com.au
Corrupt former Labor minister Ian Macdonald faces repaying a debt to NSW taxpayers potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars under a move to strip him of his parliamentary pension via legislation announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The legislation, unveiled on Tuesday, also threatens corrupt former minister

Eddie Obeid with loss of his parliamentary pension under which he has been paid more than $120,000 a year since he quit politics in 2011.

The move comes just over five months after Obeid was sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail for misconduct in public office and days before Macdonald faces a sentencing hearing on Friday after being convicted of the same offence in March.

However, the government will not be able to move against Obeid and Macdonald's pension for up to 12 months after their convictions - the period within which the legislation says they can head off the action with a successful appeal. smh.com.au
Australia is to open free trade talks with Peru in what could be a boon for beef, sugar and services exports.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will launch trade negotiations with Peruvian counterpart Eduardo Ferreyros in Canberra on Wednesday.

"Peru, with a population of 31 million, presents a growing opportunity for Australian exporters and an important gateway to the Latin American market," Mr Ciobo told AAP.

Mr Ciobo said he hopes to conclude a deal by year's end. sbs.com.au
The sixth annual Economic and Social Impact Survey found that skyrocketing housing costs are driving an increasing number of people into poverty, forcing them to choose between rent and putting food on the table or paying bills.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking," Salvation Army fundraising and communications director Leigh Cleave said.

The survey of almost 1400 Salvation Army clients, including 638 households with children, found two-thirds were living in extreme housing stress, spending more than half their income on accommodation costs.

Almost 70 per cent of respondents said they could not afford to buy enough food, with two in five saying their budget doesn't stretch to eating fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

One-quarter of respondents said they could not provide three meals a day for their children. smh.com.au
A music teacher with a fetish for stockings has been sentenced to five years' jail for indecently recording dozens of his young students at West Australian schools.

Christopher Ryan Jones, 32, mostly used an app on his mobile phone to secretly record the 40 female victims, who were aged between six and 15, over a three-year period.

Many of the recordings were made during music classes or at recess at the schools in WA's south and south east where he was teaching.

He also admitted to indecently recording a six-year-old girl in a supermarket and an 11-year-old at a scout jamboree.

Jones was caught when he left one of his phones at school and a teacher discovered the recordings and reported him to the deputy principal.

A search of his home then uncovered thousands of child exploitation images on electronic devices. abc.net.au
A woman has been banned from Virgin airlines for life after she was filmed hurling racist insults at a Sydney family.

Fijian authorities are investigating after the woman on board flight VA 181 to Nadi began verbally abusing the family sitting across from her.

“You’re a f------ Muslim,” the woman was filmed saying to the passengers, slurring her words.

The woman’s distressed son can be seen repeatedly putting his hands over her mouth in an attempt to stop her ranting.

“Are you f------ kidding me? I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m sitting here,” she argues as cabin crew repeatedly try to subdue her.

The woman then threatens to “knock out” the passenger filming her. 9news.com.au
The federal Labor senator Lisa Singh has said the Adani coalmine would be “a huge mistake for this country” in a departure from the official Labor position.

The opposition maintains the controversial project can proceed on its merits, but without any government support.

Singh, a left-leaning Tasmanian senator, told Guardian Australia on Tuesday the coal project had absolutely no merit.

“If we are going to be serious about climate change, we should not be starting any new coalmines in this country,” she said. “I understand the need for jobs in the regions, but those jobs need to be long-term sustainable jobs.

“I believe the Adani coalmine is a big mistake for this country. Our future, like India, has to be in renewables.” theguardian.com