Trump heading to US-Mexico border
Donald Trump is heading to the US-Mexico border this week, with the United States in chaos and an immigration crisis looming after 17 days of partial government shutdown.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that the US President would “travel to the Southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the front lines”.
Mr Trump said he would “address the nation on the humanitarian and national security crisis” on Tuesday at 9pm Eastern Time.
The President is demanding $US5.7 billion ($A8 billion) to fund his long-promised border wall on the southern border, but Democrats have refused to agree to provide money for the plan they see as “immoral”.
It means Congress has not been able to pass funding for key government agencies, with services on hold and 800,000 federal workers on leave without pay or working without pay.
National parks, airports and immigration courts are struggling to function, and the dire situation for America is only set to get worse as the government remains at an impasse.
But Mr Trump said all was going well, and that he was now thinking of building a steel wall, rather than a concrete one as he initially planned.
Acting White House budget director Russell Vought sent a letter to congressional leaders on Sunday listing the administration’s demands, which include $US5.7 billion “for construction of a steel barrier for the Southwest border” plus “an additional $800 million ($A1.1 billion) to address urgent humanitarian needs” and unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the border.
—Emma Reynolds, read more.
Traffic delays in Sydney’s east
Motorists in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs are being warned to allow for extra travel time this morning with a truck breakdown causing delays in Matraville.
Two of three lanes are closed in each direction on Botany Rd at McCauley St due to the incident.
Drivers are being told to expect delays.
Bill for storm damage soars to $670m
More than 81,000 insurance claims have been lodged as a result of the wild hailstorm that lashed Sydney and parts of NSW in December, with the repair bill coming to over $670 million.
The Insurance Council of Australia told AAP that the bill for the December 20 storm that saw tennis ball sized hailstones smash homes and cars has now reached $673.9 million.
About three-quarters of the claims relate to vehicle damage, the ICA added.
Many homes and businesses suffered damage to roofs, awnings and solar panels while vehicles were dented and had windscreens destroyed.
Berowra Heights in northern Sydney was one of the worst hit areas with claims also coming from Liverpool in the city’s southwest and Tamworth in northeastern NSW.
Huge hailstones lashed Sydney and parts of NSW.Source:News Corp Australia
Spike in potentially deadly jellyfish stings
Twenty-two people have been taken to hospital with suspected Irukandji stings in Queensland so far this season.
That’s more than double the 10-year average, according to the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service.
The potentially deadly jellyfish are typically found in high numbers in tropical waters towards the north of the state but warm water following heavy rainfall is luring them further south.
AMSAS director Lisa Gershwin said it was “shaping up to be a pretty bad year”.
“You can’t really say there is a hot spot this year — they (Irukandji) have been up and down the coast,” she said.
“There have been clusters at Fraser Island, there have been clusters at the Whitsundays, there have been clusters in Cairns region and stings in between.”
Authorities along the Queensland coastline also have warned swimmers to beware of the more common bluebottle jellyfish which have washed ashore in record numbers.
There has been a spike in irukandji stings in Queensland. Picture: Anna RogersSource:News Corp Australia
Teen charged over bushfire
Police have caught a teenage volunteer firefighter setting bush alight in the Lake Macquarie area.
According to authorities, the 17-year-old NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer was caught lighting a fire in bushland on Archery Rd at Wakefield about 12.30pm on Friday.
He had been under the surveillance of Strike Force Kurla which had been investigating suspicious fires in the district.
The youth was arrested in Glendale on Monday night and charged with three counts of lighting a fire and being reckless to its spread.
Two of the fires were allegedly set at Teralba in November and December.
The teen has been granted strict conditional bail to appear at a Children’s Court on February 4.
Fury at ‘monstrous’ breakfast
A furious customer has slammed a cafe’s “monstrous” $9 (£5) eggs benedict after tucking in at his local store.
Thomas Hesketh, 20, was disgusted when served the dish at a cafe in his local branch of the UK supermarket giant Tesco.
Sharing a picture of the eggs on Twitter, he fumed: “Ordered eggs benedict in your Wigan cafe and received this monstrosity.”
The image showed two limp pieces of cold ham with what looks like dollops of salad cream and custard on a small piece of bread.
Traditionally the American recipe consists of an English muffin topped with thick slices of ham and two poached eggs with hollandaise sauce to top it all off.
Thomas said he finished the dish despite how it looked as his dad’s breakfast was already there and they “didn’t have time to wait for another”.
According to the dissatisfied diner, the hollandaise sauce came straight out of the fridge.
He said: “I could see as it was an open kitchen. The hollandaise sauce was straight out of a small tub from the fridge.”
The stomach-churning picture has gone viral with more than 19,000 likes and 3500 retweets.
Tesco replied to Thomas’ tweet saying: “I’m very sorry about this happening. Did you tell the cafe staff?”
But Thomas was sure to let them know that it wasn’t the staff that were the issue but the food itself.
He replied: “Yes, they said they would cook me up another one but it would be the same!”
A spokesman for Tesco later apologised for Thomas’ bang-average breakfast.
No thank you. Picture: HeskethThomasSource:Twitter
Kevin Spacey pleads not guilty in groping case
Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty Monday to indecently assaulting a teenager who alleged that the Oscar-winning US actor groped him in a bar in Massachusetts in 2016.
The House Of Cards actor, who faces five years in prison if convicted, is accused of repeatedly reaching down into the pants of a man identified as William Little, who was 18 at the time of the alleged attack at a Nantucket restaurant.
Spacey, dressed in a grey coat over a dark blazer and tie, was not asked for his plea during the brief arraignment in a crowded Nantucket courtroom, but his lawyer entered the denial on Spacey’s behalf.
A follow-on hearing was scheduled for March 4, but Spacey is not required to attend.
The 59-year-old actor stood quietly with his hands clasped as the clerk read out the charge “that in the town of Nantucket on July 18, 2016 (the defendant) did commit indecent assault and battery on someone 14 and over”.
The case marks the first time Spacey has faced sexual misconduct charges, although there are dozens of claims against him.
They come more than 13 months after the complaint was filed.
Actor Kevin Spacey (L) attends his arraignment on sexual assault charges with his lawyer Alan Jackson at Nantucket District Court. Picture: Nicole Harnishfeger-Pool/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Man shot during Sydney brawl
Police have charged three men after another man was shot in the foot in Sydney’s west yesterday evening.
A fight in Clyde yesterday saw a 48-year-old man shot in the foot, with police arriving at the scene just before 5pm.
The alleged victim was reportedly seen arguing with the three men before one allegedly took out a pistol and fired a shot.
A 25-year-old and a 22-year-old have been charged with discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and common assault.
They were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court today.
The third man, aged 22, was charged with affray and bailed to appear at the same court on February 5.