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Brittany Higgins trial brought to a standstill



Brittany Higgins unavailable for court as trial is paused

The trial of the former Australian Liberal Party staffer accused of raping Brittany Higgins has been paused.

Higgins’ then-colleague, Bruce Lehrmann is charged with sexual intercourse without consent.

Higgins claims to have been raped by the individual in 2019 at Australia’s Parliament House.

Today, she was suppose to give evidence in court.

The case was scheduled to start at 10:00AM AEST, but Higgins is now unavailable.

Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denies having sexual intercourse with Higgins.

Higgins faced cross-examination last week by Lehrmann’s defence lawyer Steven Whybrow.

On Friday, Whybrow contended she pretended to have doctor’s appointments in the week after the alleged assault to “bolster” her story.
It followed Higgins telling the court she made multiple doctor’s appointments with the intention of going but could not bring herself to attend.
“I intended to do the right thing but every time I went home I was collapsing and unable to get out of bed because I was so deeply depressed because I had been assaulted at work by a colleague,” she told the court.
Whybrow then asked if she didn’t go to the doctor because she hadn’t had sex with anybody on the night she alleges she was raped.
“Nothing you are saying right now is true whatsoever and it’s deeply insulting,” Higgins said.
The trial is estimated to run for at least another five weeks.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Texas man breaks ice off trampoline net



Texas cold snap sees temperatures plummet

How’s this for cold?

Twitter user Brett Hillier has shared a video from his property in Texas, showing ice on the net of his trampoline cracking.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been blanketed with snow, with hazardous conditions expected to continue until at least Thursday.

Authorities have responded to hundreds of accident-related calls, with the ice storm wreaking havoc on roads.

The freezing conditions are making making roads slick, sending cars sliding as residents are told to stay home.

Schools across Mississippi and Tennessee have also been shut. #trending #featured

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Kamala Harris demands Congress pass George Floyd Act



U.S. vice President Kamala Harris has implored Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act

While at the funeral of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten and died at the hands of five Memphis police officers – Harris implored for the right thing to be done.

“As vice-president of the United States, we demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. Joe Biden will sign it,” Harris made the call to action while at the congregation in Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department fired five of the officers involved in the attack, who also are Black.

Prosecutors then charged them last week with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.

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Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’



Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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