Why everyone is talking about The Masked Singer US.

Morning,

This week marks 10 years since the murder of Brisbane’s mother-of-three, Allison Baden-Clay.

Earlier this week on the anniversary of her death, I took a look back at the case that became one of Australia’s biggest missing person’s searches. You can read all about it here.

My colleague Gemma Bath also spoke with Former Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth about the ins and outs of the case on today’s episode of Mamamia‘s True Crime Conversations podcast.

But before you take a listen, let’s get you across the top news stories you need to know today, Thursday April 21.

1. Albanese takes narrow debate victory.

Anthony Albanese has emerged as the narrow winner from the first leaders’ debate ahead of next month’s federal election.

Last night, Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced questions from a panel of 100 undecided voters, ranging from the economy, nursing in aged care and the need for a federal integrity commission.

Of the voters in the room, 40 percent backed the opposition leader while 35 percent thought the prime minister had the better night. 25 percent still remained undecided.

Morrison used the debate to spruik his economic record as leader, coming off the back of the COVID pandemic, while Albanese went on the attack, saying the government was not focused on the future beyond the May 21 poll.

The prime minister also copped criticism for saying he and his wife were “blessed” to have children who did not have disabilities.

The comments came after an audience question over NDIS funding from the mother of an autistic child who had their support on the scheme slashed by 30 percent.

The two leaders also traded blows over stances on boat turnbacks.

Integrity in politics also came up as a major issue, with Labor pledging an anti-corruption commission “with teeth”, while the prime minister said he wanted to see a commission deal with criminal matters and not for it to be a kangaroo court.

2. QLD considers changing COVID restrictions after NSW and VIC scrap close contact rule.

Health authorities in Queensland are considering relaxing COVID-19 close contact isolation rules to bring the state into line with NSW and Victoria.

NSW will scrap close contact isolation rules from 6pm Friday, while Victoria will follow suit from 11.59 pm.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath met with Chief Health Officer John Gerrard yesterday to discuss whether to take the step and says there is merit to having the same rules across the country.

“I would have liked this to be a national decision where all state and territories implement changes at the same time to avoid any confusion,” D’Ath said.

But the removal of the rules will inevitably result in an increase in positive cases.

“That is a given and everyone needs to be prepared … when there (are) changes to the close contact rules,” the health minister said.

Close contacts are currently subject to a seven-day isolation period, beginning from when they last had contact with a known case.

3. Prince Harry opens up about the relationship with the queen in a tell-all interview.

Prince Harry has opened up about his “special” relationship with the Queen, following his surprise visit to the UK with Meghan Markle.

In a tell-all interview during the middle of the Invictus Games in the Hague, Harry told NBC’s Today show it was “great” to see the queen when the pair stopped by at Windsor on their way to the games last week.

“It was just so nice to see her. You know, she’s on great form. She’s always got a great sense of humor with me,” he said. “I’m just making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her.”

“We have a really special relationship,” he added. “We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anyone else.”

While Harry said he misses the rest of his family in the UK, he didn’t comment when specifically asked about whether he missed his father, Prince Charles, and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge.

When asked about fatherhood, Harry said he was enjoying the “chaos” and “learning” of becoming a parent.

“I love it, I love every part of it.”

4. Ukrainian commander makes desperate plea to the world as a deadline for surrender ends.

A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to surrender or die has expired with no mass capitulation, but the commander of a unit believed to be holding out in the besieged city says his forces could survive just days or hours.

Thousands of Russian troops backed by artillery and rocket barrages were attempting to advance elsewhere in what Ukrainian officials call the Battle of the Donbas – a push by Moscow to seize two eastern provinces and claims on behalf of separatists.

In a video, the commander of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, one of the last units believed to be holding out in Mariupol, asked for international help to escape the siege.

“This is our appeal to the world. It may be our last. We may have only a few days or hours left,” Major Serhiy Volyna said in a video uploaded to Facebook.

“The enemy units are dozens of times larger than ours, they have dominance in the air, in artillery, in ground troops, in equipment and in tanks.”

Volyna, who has said women and children are trapped in cellars under the plant, spoke in front of a white brick wall in what sounded like a crowded room. Reuters could not verify where or when the video was filmed.

5. Rust fined over gun safety failures.

A fine of nearly $ US137,000 ($ A184,437) has been issued against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set of Rust where a cinematographer was fatally shot in October by actor and producer Alec Baldwin.

New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said Rust Movie Productions must pay the over one hundred thousand dollar fine and distributed a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols, including testimony that production managers took limited or no action to address two misfires on set prior to the fatal shooting.

The bureau also documented gun safety complaints from crew members that went unheeded and said weapons specialists were not allowed to make decisions about additional safety training.

“What we had, based on our investigators’ findings, was a set of obvious hazards to employees regarding the use of firearms and management’s failure to act upon those obvious hazards,” said Bob Genoway, bureau chief for occupational safety. Associated Press.

That’s it, you’re all up to speed. We’ll be back to bring you more of the top stories you need to know throughout the day.

– With AAP.

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