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US judge tosses Trump tax returns case

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A federal judge has dismissed New York’s attorney general and state tax commissioner as defendants in US President Donald Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block a House of Representatives committee from obtaining his New York state tax returns.

US District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington DC said on Monday he lacked jurisdiction over Letitia James, the attorney general, and Michael Schmidt, commissioner of the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance. The dismissal was without prejudice.

Nichols said Trump could sue the New York officials in that state.

The ruling may not end the lawsuit before Nichols. Trump also sued the US House Ways and Means Committee, and the judge ordered congressional lawyers and the president’s lawyers to confer and file a joint status report outlining how they would propose to proceed.

New York passed a law earlier this year that would allow the congressional committee to access Trump’s state tax returns.

Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit in July, arguing that the New York law violates his free speech rights.

New York’s law “was enacted to retaliate against the President because of his policy positions, his political beliefs, and his protected speech, including the positions he took during the 2016 campaign”, Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing.

The lawsuit is just one of several court fights over access to Trump’s tax returns.

Last week, an appeals court in New York ruled that Trump’s longtime accounting firm must hand over eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors. Trump’s lawyers have said they will take that case to the US Supreme Court.

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Sydneysiders told to be on alert as temperatures soar above 40C in areas already hit by bushfires

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Residents in Sydney are urged to be on high alert as a sweltering 43C is forecast in areas where out of control bushfires are already bearing down on homes.

Firefighters had another tough day on Saturday battling blazes including the massive Gospers Mountain mega fire near Sydney’s northwestern outskirts, which has merged with neighbouring fires.

Conditions eased on Sunday, allowing firefighters a chance to do critical back-burning ahead of Tuesday, when the mercury is tipped to soar into the 40s in parts of the state. 

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Seven News on Sunday: ‘We’ve got much more benign conditions, particularly a dominant easterly influence which will stretch pretty much right across most of our fire grounds. 

Residents in areas of Sydney were bushfires are already burning are urged to prepare ahead of Tuesday's forecast, which could reach 42C in some parts. Pictured: Beachgoers at Milk Beach on Saturday

Residents in areas of Sydney were bushfires are already burning are urged to prepare ahead of Tuesday's forecast, which could reach 42C in some parts. Pictured: Beachgoers at Milk Beach on Saturday

Residents in areas of Sydney were bushfires are already burning are urged to prepare ahead of Tuesday’s forecast, which could reach 42C in some parts. Pictured: Beachgoers at Milk Beach on Saturday

Thick smoke from bushfires in New South Wales descended on Canberra Saturday evening

Thick smoke from bushfires in New South Wales descended on Canberra Saturday evening

Thick smoke from bushfires in New South Wales descended on Canberra Saturday evening

A Rural Fire Service officer establishes a backburn to contain a bushfire in Mangrove Mountain, New South Wales on Saturday

A Rural Fire Service officer establishes a backburn to contain a bushfire in Mangrove Mountain, New South Wales on Saturday

A Rural Fire Service officer establishes a backburn to contain a bushfire in Mangrove Mountain, New South Wales on Saturday

A firefighter conducting back burning to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires at the Mangrove area, some 90-110 kilometres north of Sydney on Saturday

A firefighter conducting back burning to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires at the Mangrove area, some 90-110 kilometres north of Sydney on Saturday

A firefighter conducting back burning to secure residential areas from encroaching bushfires at the Mangrove area, some 90-110 kilometres north of Sydney on Saturday

‘Which means hundreds – as a matter of fact more than 1600 – firefighters are around again today doing really important and critical back burning and containment-line consolidation.’

Mr Fitzsimmons said the measures were to ‘try and gain the upper hand’ before conditions deteriorate into Tuesday. 

The Gospers Mountain fire, which is more than 304,000 hectares in size, is burning in the Wollemi National Park area.  

Residents in Glen Alice, Wolgon Valley, Ovens, Olinda Valley, Lower Portland, Central Colo, Colo, Upper Colo, Colo Heights, Mountain Lagoon, Upper Macdonald, Perrys Crossing, Fernances and Mogo Creek, Blaxlands Ridge East and East Kurrajong areas are advised to ‘continue to monitor conditions’ and ‘be ready to take action in case conditions change’.

It comes after 2,000 koalas are estimated to have died in bushfires on the NSW mid-north coast so far this fire season. The state’s upper house inquiry is holding a hearing today on the matter.

The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted a warning on Sunday that much of inland NSW would ‘swelter’ through a heatwave early this week.

‘With hot 40-plus-degree days and very warm 20-plus-degree nights,’ the bureau tweeted.

‘Stay hydrated, keep cool, look out for the vulnerable and beat the heat.’ 

According to the Bureau, Penrith and Richmond could hit 42C on Tuesday, while Liverpool and Campbelltown are expected to reach 40C.  

At 9pm on Sunday, there were 91 bush and grass fires burning across NSW and 48 were uncontained. Pictured: Firefighters try to contain an out of control fire near properties west of Newcastle last week.

At 9pm on Sunday, there were 91 bush and grass fires burning across NSW and 48 were uncontained. Pictured: Firefighters try to contain an out of control fire near properties west of Newcastle last week.

At 9pm on Sunday, there were 91 bush and grass fires burning across NSW and 48 were uncontained. Pictured: Firefighters try to contain an out of control fire near properties west of Newcastle last week. 

‘Hot and mostly sunny. Areas of smoke haze,’ the forecast reads. 

The Green Wattle Creek fire burns west of Campbelltown and the Gospers Mountain blaze is raging north-west of Richmond.   

At 9pm on Sunday, there were 91 bush and grass fires burning across NSW and 48 were uncontained. 

There were five blazes which remained at Watch and Act, NSW RFS said. 

‘Crews have worked hard today locking in containment lines, being supported by aircraft and heavy plant as well as making safe roadways to try and re-open them,’ NSW RFS wrote on Facebook. 

‘A number of community meetings were also held today providing updates to residents on the current fire situation and what they should do to prepare, ahead of increased fire dangers on Tuesday.’ 

The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted a warning on Sunday that much of inland NSW would 'swelter' through a heatwave early this week

The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted a warning on Sunday that much of inland NSW would 'swelter' through a heatwave early this week

The Bureau of Meteorology tweeted a warning on Sunday that much of inland NSW would ‘swelter’ through a heatwave early this week

NSW RFS spokesman Greg Allan told The Daily Telegraph fires are named by the location in which they started.  

‘Not all times will a fire be named after a suburb, town or road so it’s very important people stay up to date with the web, radio or other media,’ Mr Allan said.

Mr Allan also spoke of the warm weather looming in on Tuesday.   

‘The forecast for that southerly change means any fires currently burning would change direction, which is when conditions become very dangerous because you have that large fire front,’ he said.

Hawkesbury City Council mayor Barry Calvert also stressed his concern about the massive Gospers Mountain blaze amid Tuesday’s forecast.  

‘In Richmond they’re expecting temperatures of about 43C and the wind will be coming from the west or northwest toward Blaxlands Ridge and East Kurrajong, where there are a lot of properties to defend,’ he told the publication. 

According to the Bureau, Penrith and Richmond could hit 42C on Tuesday, while Liverpool and Campbelltown are expected to reach 40C. 'Hot and mostly sunny. Areas of smoke haze,' the forecast reads. Pictured: NSW RFS crews north of Sydney on Friday

According to the Bureau, Penrith and Richmond could hit 42C on Tuesday, while Liverpool and Campbelltown are expected to reach 40C. 'Hot and mostly sunny. Areas of smoke haze,' the forecast reads. Pictured: NSW RFS crews north of Sydney on Friday

According to the Bureau, Penrith and Richmond could hit 42C on Tuesday, while Liverpool and Campbelltown are expected to reach 40C. ‘Hot and mostly sunny. Areas of smoke haze,’ the forecast reads. Pictured: NSW RFS crews north of Sydney on Friday

Air quality in Coffs Harbour, Bathurst, Tamworth and Gunnedah also reached hazardous levels on Sunday evening.

‘Very high’ fire danger is in place for Monday for the greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Monaro alpine, southern ranges, central ranges, northern slopes and north-western fire regions, as well as the ACT. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the RFS Control Centre in the Hawkesbury on Sunday.

Mr Morrison attended for a briefing and update from Superintendent Karen Hodges and her team ‘who are doing a great job,’ Mr Fitzsimmons posted on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

‘The PM also delivered a message of thanks to crews in the field, via the radio network.’

NSW Rural Fire Service crews assemble at a staging area as the Wrights Creek fire approaches Kulnura on the NSW Central Coast on Friday

NSW Rural Fire Service crews assemble at a staging area as the Wrights Creek fire approaches Kulnura on the NSW Central Coast on Friday

NSW Rural Fire Service crews assemble at a staging area as the Wrights Creek fire approaches Kulnura on the NSW Central Coast on Friday

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Christmas miracle for inspirational West Australian teen battling brain cancer

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This time last year, Sunrise introduced you to a brave West Australian teenager facing the fight of his life.

Baxter Hutchinson had his life turned upside down when he was diagnosed with two aggressive brain tumours just weeks away from graduating high school.

Watch the full story in the clip above

He later died twice on the operating table during risky surgery and lost the ability to walk, talk and see.

 Baxter was diagnosed with two mailgnant brain tumours

Months of radiation and chemo followed, but Baxter refused to give up hope and focused his energy on fundraising to help other young sufferers.

The inspirational teen’s efforts have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, touched the hearts of millions and brought our presenters to tears.

Now Baxter’s medical team has given him and his family the best possible news, just in time for Christmas.

After taking part in a radical clinical trial that tailored his treatment to his specific medulloblastoma sub-type, the 18-year-old is completely cancer free.

He’ll need regular MRI scans for the next 5 years before he’s in remission, but has already started planning the exciting next stage of his life.

“I’ve booked a Europe trip in May which I’m excited for – so I’ll be doing a bunch of travel, having fun and living my life,” he told Sunrise.

“I also hope to continue working for the Minderoo Foundation as an ambassador, doing public speaking and fundraisers.”

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Woman, 25, is stabbed to death as police arrest boy, 13, and 27-year-old man on suspicion of murder

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Police have launched a murder probe after a 25-year-old woman was stabbed to death last night.

A 27-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder. 

A second 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of the first, who is in hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, police have confirmed. 

The woman was knifed in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, at around 8.30pm. She died at the scene.

A 27-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody. Pictured: The aftermath in Northamptonshire

A 27-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody. Pictured: The aftermath in Northamptonshire

A 27-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in police custody. Pictured: The aftermath in Northamptonshire

Police also seized two cars which appeared to have had their passenger windows smashed. 

Residents living near the murder scene expressed their shock at the murder with some claiming it was a ‘mugging gone wrong’.

One person in nearby St George’s Way, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We had come back from an evening meal when the police stopped us and told us we couldn’t get through with our car because there had been an attack.

A second 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and also remains in police custody. Pictured: A car is removed from the scene

A second 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and also remains in police custody. Pictured: A car is removed from the scene

A second 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and also remains in police custody. Pictured: A car is removed from the scene

Police also seized two cars from the scene which appeared to have had their passenger windows smashed

Police also seized two cars from the scene which appeared to have had their passenger windows smashed

Police also seized two cars from the scene which appeared to have had their passenger windows smashed

As of this evening, Wellingborough Road remains closed after the murder of the woman last night

As of this evening, Wellingborough Road remains closed after the murder of the woman last night

As of this evening, Wellingborough Road remains closed after the murder of the woman last night

‘We parked our car and an officer walked us past the incident. It was dark but there were forensics officers and police doing door-to-door enquiries.

‘It was obvious something terrible had happened. One of my neighbours said an officer told them it is believed it was a mugging gone wrong.’

Another resident living on Wellingborough Road added: ‘Obviously it’s speculation but I’ve heard from two people that apparently the boy stabbed her and left the knife at the scene.

Some residents living near the murder scene are claiming it was a 'mugging gone wrong'

Some residents living near the murder scene are claiming it was a 'mugging gone wrong'

Some residents living near the murder scene are claiming it was a ‘mugging gone wrong’

The woman was knifed in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, at around 8.30pm. She died at the scene (pictured)

The woman was knifed in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, at around 8.30pm. She died at the scene (pictured)

The woman was knifed in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, at around 8.30pm. She died at the scene (pictured)

‘This sort of thing never happens around here. It’s really shocking because it’s a nice area with families and professionals living here.

‘There’s even a care home opposite to where the murder happened. It’s so out of kilter for this area.’

The murder happened around 200 yards from a One Stop Shop. A worker said: ‘There were lots of police cars and sirens everywhere last night.

‘Someone thought it was a hit-and-run but then it came out that the woman was stabbed.

‘It’s awful to think someone died like that and especially someone so young.’

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Pete Long of Northamptonshire Police said: ‘This was an extremely tragic incident in which a young woman has lost her life and I want to reassure people that we are doing all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

‘A large team of detectives have been working on this case around the clock and a number of lines of enquiry are being pursued as part of this fast-paced investigation.

Increased police patrols by both response officers and neighbourhood officers will be taking place in the area

Increased police patrols by both response officers and neighbourhood officers will be taking place in the area

Increased police patrols by both response officers and neighbourhood officers will be taking place in the area

‘This incident has really shocked the Rushden community, many of whom were on the scene last night, and I would ask anyone who was there and saw what happened to please come forward with your information.

‘Likewise, if anyone has any information about last night’s events or any dashcam footage of the area at the time, please come forward.

‘Anyone with information can contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.’

A scene-guard in Wellingborough Road is expected to be in place for the rest of the day and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Increased police patrols by both response officers and neighbourhood officers will be taking place in the area.

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