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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Antoun Issa

Afternoon Update: Kathleen Folbigg dubbed ‘our Lindy Chamberlain’; Jacinda Ardern becomes a dame; and Barbie film drains world of pink paint

Kathleen Folbigg
Kathleen Folbigg at an inquiry into her conviction in May. She had been in jail since 2003 after being found guilty of killing her four infant children. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AP

Good afternoon. Kathleen Folbigg is free, after spending two decades in prison over the deaths of her four children.

It’s an extraordinary tale. Folbigg was convicted in 2003 of murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of one child. She has always maintained her innocence and new findings by an inquiry cast doubt over her conviction. “This is our Lindy Chamberlain case,” said NSW Greens’ justice spokesperson, Sue Higginson. Read the full report.

In other news, the written judgment into Ben Roberts-Smith’s verdict has been released.

Top news

Visitor looks at a portrait of Ben Roberts-Smith at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra
A portrait of Ben Roberts-Smith at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Photograph: Rod McGuirk/AP
  • Ben Roberts-Smith full defamation verdict | Among the key notes, the judge was scathing about Roberts-Smith’s evidence. “I have difficulty accepting the applicant’s [Robert-Smith’s] evidence on any disputed issue.” The judge also found Roberts-Smith and four key witnesses were not honest or reliable when it came to their evidence in relation to one of the main allegations in the case.

  • Deadly Queensland camel crash | A school bus driver in his 40s has lost his life after his vehicle crashed into two escaped camels and went down an embankment in Livingstone, east of Rockhampton.

Bruce Lehrmann
Former government staffer Bruce Lehrmann leaves the ACT civil and administrative tribunal in Canberra. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
  • Bruce Lehrmann insists he didn’t rape Brittany Higgins | The alleged sexual assault “simply didn’t happen”, Lehrmann told the Seven Network, adding that he has not ruled out suing Higgins. Lehrmann is also suing the ABC for defamation, accusing the network of acting maliciously by broadcasting Higgins’ National Press Club address. The ABC says the broadcasts didn’t defame Lehrmann and even if they did, did not cause “serious harm” to his reputation.

  • Government crackdown on migrant worker exploitation | Australian employers who exploit migrant workers will be banned from hiring other visa holders and will face new criminal penalties, including jail terms, as part of a government crackdown. The federal government will introduce the changes to parliament within weeks.

Jacinda Ardern makes her final speech to New Zealand’s parliament
Jacinda Ardern makes her final speech to New Zealand’s parliament on 5 April, after her five-year tenure as prime minister. Photograph: Mark Mitchell/AP
  • Jacinda Ardern becomes a dame | New Zealand has awarded Ardern one of the country’s highest honours, making the former prime minister a dame for her service to the country during the Covid-19 pandemic and Christchurch terror attacks.

  • Ukrainian offensive in Donetsk | Russia has claimed its forces thwarted a “major offensive” in the south-eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk and killed hundreds of pro-Kyiv troops, but its statement could not be verified by news agencies and Ukrainian officials made no comment.

Afghan girls read the Qur’an at desks in a classroom
Afghan girls read the Qur’an outside the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. Dozens of schoolgirls have been poisoned at two schools in the country’s north. Photograph: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
  • Afghan schoolgirls poisoned | Nearly 80 girls were poisoned and hospitalised in two separate attacks at primary schools in northern Afghanistan. It is thought to be the first time this kind of assault has happened since the Taliban swept to power in August 2021 and began their crackdown on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls.

  • Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira | Brazilian police have charged the alleged leader of a “transnational criminal organization” with being the mastermind of the murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon one year ago.

Margot Robbie sitting in a toy pink car
Margot Robbie stars in Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig. Photograph: Jaap Buitendijk
  • Barbie film drains world of pink paint | Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie film required so much pink paint during set construction that it wiped out an entire company’s global supply. Rosco, the paint company used by the film, confirmed the film “used as much paint as we had”, but qualified that production on Barbie had coincided with wider global supply chain problems.

In pictures

Buddhist devotees and tourists release a lantern into the air at night
Buddhist devotees and tourists release a lantern into the air at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Indonesia, during Vesak Day on 4 June. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Buddhists across Indonesia are commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the religion’s founder with light, prayer and lanterns. See the photo gallery.

What they said …

Jim Chalmers
Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the government is prepared to consider ‘if more needs to be done’ after the PwC scandal. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


“We think that there has been a substantial breach of faith and a substantial breach of trust here … And if more needs to be done, we’re prepared to consider it.” – Jim Chalmers

The heat is turning up on PwC, with the government hinting at further action and the corporate regulator saying the firm needed “to be held accountable for this extraordinary incident and very serious breach of trust”.

In numbers

48% of Australian motorists would swap their petrol cars with an electric vehicle
Australian motorists’ thoughts on electric vehicles Illustration: Guardian Design

The findings, from a survey commissioned by automaker BMW, arrive on World Environment Day and one week after consultation closed on a fuel-efficiency standard that is expected to be introduced to Australia later this year.

Before bed read

A video still from Kylie Minogue’s latest single, Padam Padam
A video still from Kylie Minogue’s latest single, Padam Padam. Photograph: Youtube

Kylie Minogue is 55, top of the charts and has survived a terrifying bout of cancer. Why would she pretend to be a day younger than she actually is?

Minogue’s modesty, likeability and vulnerability have aided her enduring appeal, and now, 36 years after I Should Be So Lucky, the pop princess has won over the TikTok generation.

Daily word game

Wordiply Photograph: The Guardian

Today’s starter word is: UTU. You have five goes to get the longest word including the starter word. Play Wordiply.

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