Queensland police hoping $100,000 reward will help identify who spiked strawberries with needles

Queensland police are yet to determine who is spiking store-sold strawberries with needles.

But they're hopeful a $A100,000 reward for information will lead to the capture of the culprit or culprits.

Consumers have been told to cut their strawberries up amid fears six brands across four states have been targeted with needle insertion.

Read more: Aussie strawberry scandal causes concern in New Zealand

"Our investigation is ongoing. It's fairly complex and fairly large because of the itinerant nature of employees in the industry," Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

"I won't go as far as saying we have specific leads.

"If we can narrow it down to a smaller geographical location and particular farms, that would be great for us."

Fruit sold under Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook brands originating from Queensland have been withdrawn from retailers.

NSW police have warned that fruit sold under the Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries and Oasis brands had needles inserted by a possible copycat.

A fresh report of a contamination in Townsville is being investigated, Queensland police said, following instances elsewhere in the state, as well as Victoria and NSW.

But authorities have stopped short of discouraging consumers from buying strawberries.

Sewing needles and pins have been deliberately placed inside strawberries across the ditch. Source: 1 NEWS



Man charged with murder over fatal Tauranga stabbing

A man has been charged with murder following the death of a 48-year-old man in Papamoa, Tauranga yesterday.

Police say the 22-year-old man charged was known to the victim and will be appearing in Tauranga District Court tomorrow.

The police investigation is ongoing but no-one else is being sought in relation to the death.

Police still want to hear from anyone who was walking in the Harding Street area between 7.30am and 9am yesterday.

Neighbour Todd Madden, who was walking to their car on the front lawn with his six-year-old at the time of the incident, told the NZ Herald they saw a "young guy covered in blood" in a driveway.

"[He] yelled at me to call the police.

"Police arrived and he laid down on the ground and I grabbed the two kids."

The children told him there was a victim inside "laying in a pool of blood".

"They had been crying loudly for about 30 minutes but I just thought they were being naughty - I wished I had've gone over earlier."

Anyone with information should call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

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Environmentalists outraged with shark killings after Queensland attacks

Baiting and killing sharks in the wake of two life-threatening attacks in the Whitsundays gives swimmers a false sense of security and will not prevent more bites, environmentalists say.

Sea Shepherd Australia and Humane Society International say human safety is paramount but that killing three tiger sharks in Cid Harbour in response to attacks on a Tasmanian woman and Melbourne girl woman is not the answer.

"Public support for these shark control methods is dropping off," HSI marine campaigner Lawrence Chlebeck told AAP today.

"We acknowledge the need for the use of technology and reducing these sorts of incidences ... but drumlines have been in the water since 1962, that's 60 years ago now.

"The technology is there and we've moved on."

The girl is Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents. Source: 1 NEWS

Fisheries Queensland has dropped baited hooks into the waters where Justine Barwick, 46, and Hannah Papps, 12, were bitten 24 hours apart last week.

The state government insists killing the sharks is in the interest of public safety despite admitting it will never know if they caused the injuries.

But Mr Chlebeck and Sea Shepherd's Jonathan Clark say personal shark deterrent devices, aerial spotters, drone surveys, public education and alert systems play a bigger role in protecting ocean-goers.

They want the Queensland government to rethink its approach to preventing attacks.

"Stop the nonsense about speaking of 'effectiveness' only in terms of their ability to kill sharks," Mr Clark said.

"That bit is easy and it's lazy policy. Making beaches actually safer is much harder and unrelated to their ability to kill sharks."

Both victims in last week's attacks remain in hospitals in Brisbane.

Image taken in Isla Guadalupe in Mexico.
A file shot of a shark. Source: istock.com


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UK envoy urges EU to step back from the Brexit 'abyss'

Britain's foreign secretary today urged European Union leaders to "step back from the abyss" and seek a compromise over stalled Brexit negotiations.

Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that the EU should work with Britain to try to find a way to make British Prime Minister Theresa May's "sensible, concrete proposals actually work" in the divorce between Britain and the bloc.

He spoke a day after May used a rare televised address to complain the EU was acting in bad faith by rejecting her proposed Brexit plan without offering an alternative. She said talks were at an "impasse" over future trade relations and a possible border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU-member, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K.

A gathering of EU leaders in Salzburg not only failed to make progress on the topic of Brexit but led to bitter recriminations from both sides. Since the failed summit, the usually reserved May has used unusually blunt language to complain that EU leaders are not taking her proposals seriously.

EU Council President Donald Tusk used a satirical Instagram post showing him giving May some sweets with the caption "Sorry, no cherries" - a reference to the EU's refusal to allow Britain to cherry-pick what aspects of EU membership it would like to keep after Brexit.

The British foreign secretary said this approach, and comments by French President Emmanuel Macron characterising the leaders of Britain's Brexit campaign as "liars," are counterproductive.

"Insulting her on social media, getting to these standoffs where you are calling people liars and so on is not the way we are going to get a solution to this difficult situation," Hunt said.

The increasingly bitter stalemate has raised the prospects that Britain will leave the EU in March without a deal. The value of the British pound dropped Saturday because of fears of the possible economic costs of a "no deal" Brexit scenario.

In the fallout from the snap UK Election two of Theresa May's closest advisors failed to sell her vision and lost their jobs in the process.
Source: 1 NEWS


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Australian doctor admits to helping suffering patient die

An Australian doctor has admitted to helping one of her suffering patients to die in an exclusive interview with Australia's 60 minutes.

West Australian based GP Alida Lancee is putting her reputation and freedom on the line by identifying one patient who requested her help in assisted dying.

This admission will most likely spark a police investigation and a possible murder charge.

"I’m not wimping out now. I’m going to take this all the way," Dr Lancee told 60 Minutes. "Deal with me as you see fit."

A long-time campaigner for euthanasia, Dr Lancee was investigated by police in 2016 over the death of one of her patients.

They found that her patient died of natural causes and there was no wrongdoing.

What police didn't realise is they were investigating the wrong patient.

Now, Dr Lancee wants to set the record straight in a bid to change Australia's euthanasia laws.

"Right now, behind closed doors in Australia, hundreds of people are begging for help," says Dr Lancee.

"This is no minor issue. This is not something that you can say, 'oh it's not happening because I can't see it'.

"If this requires a challenge in the court system, I have medical opinions who will back me up."

A police investigation has seen Dr Lancee face very public scrutiny being labelled "Dr Death", but 60 Minutes reveals, she is not without support.

Two other Australian doctors have come forward to 60 Minutes and have admitted to assisting terminally ill patients end their life.

Dr Frank Kotai says he has assisted in half a dozen deaths and Dr Rodney Syme admits to a staggering 300.

This admission could land them both in jail, but it is one they say is worth the risk if it results in their patients having control over the end of their lives.

"We recognise her courage and her enthusiasm," Dr Kotai says. "(Dr Lancee is) courageous enough to go out there in the public space.

"Not many doctors are willing to do it, and so she’s quite unique."

In June 2019 new laws will make Victoria the only state in Australia where it is legal for doctors to assist terminal patients who seek their help to end their lives.

Dr Lancee, Dr Kotai and Dr Syme are hopeful that by airing their stories, Australians will support them in their campaign to allowing for an end of life choice.

Mr Seymour, author of the End of Life Choice Bill, debated the pros and cons with Dr Peter Thirkell of the Care Alliance, which opposes euthanasia.
Source: 1 NEWS


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