Baby among latest Vic measles patients

A BABY is one of six people to contract measles after coming in contact with an infected overseas traveller in Victoria.

The tourist from Vietnam attended family events in Mornington and St Kilda on May 4 and 5 before visiting Moonee Ponds, North Melbourne, Coburg and Mount Waverley.

It is the largest linked cluster of measles in Victoria since March last year, when nine people developed the illness, the health department confirmed.

The people are believed to know to each other because they attended the same events, acting Chief Health Officer Angie Bone said on Wednesday.

“All of these cases have had fairly extensive contact with the community in Victoria in a number of different suburbs,” Dr Bone said, urging others to watch for symptoms.

Those six people visited Geelong, East Malvern, Chadstone, Noble Park, Hawthorn, Oakleigh, Mount Waverley, Fairfield, South Wharf, Armadale, Abbotsford, East Melbourne, Baxter, Frankston, Karingal and St Kilda Road while infectious.

More than 30 babies and toddlers who had contact with the child – who was too young to be vaccinated – at a childcare facility were given antibodies on Wednesday to prevent them developing the disease, Dr Bone added.

In a separate case, a person who was diagnosed with measles this week after visiting Bendigo and Echuca is linked to another overseas traveller who visited in April.

“It is quite likely, despite our best efforts, that we will have more cases,” Dr Bone said.

Symptoms of the disease include sore eyes, a runny nose, cough, rash and fever. In the worst instances, measles can lead to death.

Twenty-two people have been diagnosed with measles in Victoria this year.

© AAP 2019

Girl stumbles on gold nugget near Bendigo

A YOUNG girl has stumbled across a gold nugget, estimated to be worth more than $30,000, near Bendigo.

She was on a walk with her father, sister and dog on Sunday when they made the glittering find, the Bendigo Advertiser has reported.

“I actually walked right past it but my daughter pretty much kicked it as she was walking. She then goes ‘dad, is this gold?’. I said, ‘I think it might be’,” the man told the Victorian news outlet.

A visit to a nearby supermarket to use the deli scales showed the nugget weighed 624 grams or about 20 ounces.

Experts have since assessed the nugget and confirmed it is gold.

On Tuesday, the spot gold price was trading around $US1299 per ounce, equivalent to $A1,865, implying a notional value for the nugget of $37,300.

“We’ve come on some tough times so it’s really good because we’ve been struggling financially. It couldn’t be better timing really,” the father said.

The family won’t reveal the exact location of the find and is planning to go back in the hope of finding more gold.

“Usually, when you find a nugget that big, there will be more gold around so hopefully that’s the case,” the man said.

© AAP 2019

NYE Melbourne terror plot admission

THE brother of a terrorist who murdered a Melbourne restaurateur has himself pleaded guilty to preparing for a New Year’s Eve terror attack in the heart of the city.

During a Supreme Court of Victoria hearing on Wednesday, Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 22, pleaded guilty to one charge of preparing or planning a terrorist attack, namely by making inquiries about gaining access to a firearm and ammunition.

Ali, an Australian citizen, was due to stand trial over the accusation that between March and April 2017 he planned for the December 31 attack at Federation Square, a popular public space.

Ali is the younger brother of 30-year-old Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who fatally stabbed Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar owner Sisto Malaspina, 74, in November last year.

The killer was shot at the scene by police and later died in hospital.

The younger sibling had previously denied his terror charge in a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court.

He had been subjected to a lengthy police investigation, with a phone tap in place from October 2016 until his arrest, the court was told at the committal hearing.

Ali was also subject to physical surveillance and his spending activity was tracked.

He has been in custody since November 2017, when police arrested him at a Werribee shopping strip.

It was alleged he attempted to buy a gun for the attack, was described as an “ISIL sympathiser” and allegedly accessed an al-Qaeda guidebook with information on how to commit a terrorist act and use firearms.

Police at the time said the human cost of the plot would have been “catastrophic … horrendous”.

It is not the first time Federation Square has been the target of terrorism plots.

In November last year, Ibrahim Abbas was jailed for 24 years after admitting he planned a terror attack on Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and St Paul’s Cathedral for Christmas Day 2016.

His co-conspirators Hamza Abbas, Abdullah Chaarani and Ahmed Mohamed are yet to be sentenced after being found guilty by a Supreme Court jury.

The plot was foiled just days before the attack by police who had been listening to their preparations and watching as they carried out reconnaissance at Federation Square.

A pre-sentence plea hearing for Ali has been set down for August 23.

© AAP 2019


Appeal lodged over “inadequate” sentence for wife-killer Borce Ristevski

Prosecutors in Victoria have lodged an appeal against the sentence given to wife-killer Borce Ristevski.

Ristevski was last month jailed for a maximum of nine years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Karen.

The 55-year-old was given a non-parole period of six years, meaning that with time already served he could walk free in December 2023.

Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed on Monday that an appeal had been lodged on the basis that the sentence and non-parole period were “manifestly inadequate”.

Karen Ristevski, 47, disappeared from the family’s Melbourne home in June 2016.

Her remains were discovered in bushland north-west of Melbourne eight months later.

An autopsy was unable to determine exactly how she died.

Borce Ristevski continuously denied any involvement in the disappearance and death of his wife before eventually being charged with her murder.

However before his trial got underway a court ruled there was insufficient evidence to secure a murder conviction, which saw Ristevski plead guilty to manslaughter.

Following his sentence last month, Ms Ristevski’s family slammed the sentence as inadequate.

“We didn’t get justice today at all,” Karen’s brother Stephen Williams said outside court.

A date for the appeal is yet to be set.

Golf Buggy

Wedding guest tears up Vic golf course

A guest at a wedding in Victoria has been arrested after he damaged a golf course by driving across it.

The man, who had been evicted from the wedding at a Mornington golf club about 10pm on Saturday, got behind the wheel of his car and began driving erratically through the car park.

He then drove across the greens, causing damage.

The 33-year-old Langwarrin man was arrested and allegedly returned a positive reading to a breathalyser test.

His car was impounded at a cost of $1010 and he is expected to be interviewed in relation to drink-driving and criminal damage offences.

© AAP 2019