news

Thursday's News in 5: Mum also dies after family set alight, Australia's fireys say thank you, Trump and Assange.

This post deals with violence and might be triggering for some readers.

1. Hannah Baxter has died in hospital after her three kids were killed in car fire in Brisbane.

Hannah Baxter, the mother of Laianah, Aaliyah and Trey who died in a Brisbane car fire allegedly lit by their dad, has died from her injuries.

The 31-year-old died at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital early on Wednesday evening.

Neighbours reported hearing multiple explosions before seeing the car engulfed in flames in Raven Street at Camp Hill about 8.30am yesterday.

Her husband Rowan Baxter, a former NRL player, died alongside the children. He allegedly died from self-inflicted injuries after getting out of the burning car, The Courier-Mail reports.

Police said it was too early to tell whether it was murder-suicide or an accident, although one witness told News Corp Ms Baxter had run from the car screaming, “He’s poured petrol on me.”

Camp Hill car fire
Hannah, her three children and her ex partner Rowan all died yesterday. Image: Facebook.

Another man who tried to help at the scene was also taken to hospital with facial burns.

The Baxters were owners of a fitness centre but had reportedly separated late last year. Hannah and the kids had been staying with her parents in Camp Hill.

The family was not involved in any Family Court or Federal Court proceedings.

Six days ago, Rowan Baxter's friend Joey Abraham wrote under a photo of little Trey: "Chin up brother everything will work out just hang in there my bro."

If this story brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

2. A 20-metre high thank you from the New South Wales firefighters.

A huge billboard has been erected in Times Square, New York, as a thank you from the NSW firefighters to the rest of the world for their support this summer.

"Imagine fighting a fire higher than this billboard," it reads on top of a video of fire footage.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Thank you to the brave Australian and US firefighters defending Australia. And to the world for all your support.”

Three Americans were killed fighting Australia's bushfires, when their air tanker crashed into a mountain in the NSW Snowy Mountains on January 23.

Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Clyde Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan were experienced pilots and firefighters, and were farewelled by their families who travelled to Sydney for a memorial service.

AMERICANS KILLED
Three Americans died fighting our bushfires. Image: Facebook.

Five Australian firefighters also died this fire season, alongside dozens of civilians. 

3. Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange two years ago.

US President Donald Trump offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a US presidential pardon or "some way out" two years ago, according to evidence to be presented at his London extradition trial.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the final administrative hearing in Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Assange's barrister Edward Fitzgerald revealed that fellow defence solicitor Jennifer Robinson will outline the presidential pardon offer in a statement to the trial starting on Monday.

He said Ms Robinson's statement will describe how Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher had visited the Australian in the Ecuadorian embassy to offer him a deal back in 2017.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Image: Getty.

Mr Fitzgerald alluded to the deal requiring Assange to deny Russian links to the hacking and leaking of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) emails before the 2016 elections.

"Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, on instructions from the president (Trump), he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange would say the Russians had nothing to do with the DNC leaks," Mr Fitzgerald told the court.

While then-Congressman Rohrabacher's meeting with Assange is already public knowledge, until now it has been reported he did so on his own rather than under the orders of President Trump.

Assange, dressed in a brown sweater and white shirt with black trousers, calmly read through documents during the revelation.

The 48-year-old will begin his legal challenge against extradition to the US to faces charges including 17 counts of spying and one of conspiring to commit computer intrusion.

Those charges relate to Wikileaks' 2010 release of thousands of classified Pentagon files on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, some of which revealed war crimes and the torture of prisoners, along with US diplomatic cables.

The Australian is facing up to 175 years in prison if convicted in the US.

With AAP

Feature Image: Facebook

For a “different” way to look at the news, sign up for my weekly Deep Dive newsletter.

00:00 / ???