Law Unto Themselves As protectors of the community, police are expected to be tough. But what happens when they take their aggression home and are violent with the people they're supposed to love? On 60 Minutes, brave victims tell disturbing accounts about domestic violence perpetrated by police officers. It's something most people find unimaginable, but cops crossing the line is a growing problem in Australia. As Nick McKenzie reports, equally concerning is the apparent willingness of many of their police colleagues to look the other way when it comes to investigating these crimes. Sick and Tired It seems the scab has well and truly been ripped off the sore that is rural health. Many of the 7 million Australians who live outside the big cities are sick and tired of the way they're being treated and are quite rightfully demanding action. Liz Hayes knows their pain. Three months ago, she reported the horrific story of the death of her own father, who tragically was an all too familiar example of the dangers of falling ill in the country. In the weeks following her report, 60 Minutes was swamped with more stories about medical failings in regional and rural Australia, including from many dedicated doctors and nurses working on the front line. Their blunt assessment is a major worry: they say they can no longer prop up our ailing rural health system.
20/20 Hindsight For all the torment and unprecedented upheaval we've endured in 2020, every Australian should also be mightily proud of the way they've coped. In decades to come, this year will be remembered as a defining time for the nation. In a special edition of 60 Minutes, reporters Liam Bartlett, Liz Hayes, Tara Brown, Sarah Abo and Tom Steinfort reflect on a tumultuous year, from the first early reports of a mysterious form of pneumonia striking people down in China to the realisation the world was battling a catastrophic pandemic, the monumental economic implications of the virus, and the frantic race for vaccines. The program includes expert analysis about how far we've come, what the road ahead will look like, and why Australia is the envy of the world in terms of overcoming coronavirus COVID-19's destruction. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in lockdown at The Lodge in Canberra, also provides the latest information on when an effective vaccine will become available not only for Australians, but also for our Pacific neighbours.
Terminal Hell Qatar is a small but wealthy country in the Persian Gulf. It promotes itself as a modern and progressive state that welcomes and respects foreign visitors. But that's far from the truth. In reality Qatar is a dangerous destination, especially for western women. Even transiting through its international airport is risky. As Sarah Abo reports, the problem is a culture of entrenched misogyny, which seven weeks ago resulted in an appalling incident where a large group of women, including 13 Australians, were snatched off flights and physically violated by Qatari authorities. For the first time one of the victims, a brave young woman from Victoria, tells of her nightmare at Doha International Airport. And the story of how she was assaulted is so unbelievable that not only will it outrage all Australians, it's sure to make people reassess future travel to or via Qatar. A Few Bad Men The shame brought upon the entire country by a few bad men from our military's special forces is a brutal truth Australians now have no choice but to handle. On Thursday the findings of a four-year-long Australian Defence Force inquiry into the war in Afghanistan were released. The report detailed shocking crimes, including murders, allegedly committed by men who were supposed to be our best-trained, most elite soldiers. What's staggering is the scale of the wrongdoing - 39 potentially unlawful deaths including Afghan civilians and children. Nick McKenzie has been at the forefront of the reporting of this story for three years. In an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes he asks the chief of army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, to explain how this disaster was ever allowed to happen, and how far up the chain of command responsibility for it should rest. McMaster Class Just when we thought our relationship with China couldn't get any worse, Beijing has delivered Australia another punch. It's in the form of a list of 14 grievances it has with us and is polished off with an almighty threat: if you make an enemy of China, China will be the enemy! When that belligerence is combined with the upheaval of a new administration in Washington, it's clear we are facing a dangerous new world order, and the Pacific is likely to be an especially vulnerable region. For the best analysis of what the immediate future might hold, Tom Steinfort speaks with HR McMaster, a highly respected military man and former US national security adviser. But his expert assessment includes a grim warning. Australia, he reckons, has a battle on its hands. Game of Thrones: Update Everyone knows royal scandals rarely end well. But on 60 Minutes we have an unlikely exception. A few weeks ago, Liam Bartlett reported the dirty little secret of the Belgian royal family: that the former king, Albert the second, had had an 18-year affair and fathered a love child. His illegitimate daughter, Delphine Boel, kept quiet for years until she decided she had a right to be called a princess. When she took her case to court - and won - there was enormous embarrassment in the palace. But now in this intriguing game of thrones comes an unexpected rapprochement, and maybe even a fairytale ending.
The Final Battle On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned the country to brace for uncomfortable news. As unthinkable as it is, it seems men we've always thought of as heroes are not. An exhaustive four-year investigation by the inspector-general of the Australian Defence Force has found that a small group of soldiers from our elite special forces were potentially involved in shocking war crimes in Afghanistan. The IG's report is set to be released within days and is expected to detail a litany of heinous crimes committed against defenceless Afghans, including alleged executions. In a special report for 60 Minutes, Nick McKenzie will not only explain what went wrong with the special forces, but also the one piece of good news: how this story was uncovered rather than covered up. AC/DC Rock 'n' roll suffered an enormous hit a few years back when AC/DC turned down the volume and quietly faded into the background. But there was little choice. Co-founder Malcolm Young had lost his long battle with illness and other members of the group were plagued by their own demons. For a band that had been so phenomenally successful, not to mention phenomenally loud, for almost 50 years, the silence without AC/DC was deafening. But as Allison Langdon reveals in an exclusive interview with Angus Young and Brian Johnson, there's now been an unexpected yet incredible musical miracle which proves it is possible to do U-turns on the highway to Hell.
Biden His Time As vote counting continues in the US presidential election it appears increasingly likely that Joe Biden will finish the race for the White House ahead of Donald Trump. But that doesn't guarantee he will become America's next commander-in-chief. The incumbent president has already deployed an army of lawyers to challenge the results of the election. As Tara Brown reports, turmoil in the US is set to continue. The King and Thai Here's a regal dilemma to consider: Is it right for a king with 70 million subjects and wealth in excess of $70 billion to be seen frolicking around in a crop top rather than a crown? Many people in Thailand are outraged by the skimpy outfits their monarch, King Vajiralongkorn, loves to wear. And they're also furious at other aspects of his outlandish lifestyle - his womanising, his alleged brutality and the fact he seems to prefer the crisp air of the Bavarian Alps to the stifling humidity of Bangkok. Tom Steinfort reports that there is also the small matter of Fufu, the pet poodle the king controversially appointed as the chief marshall of Thailand's air force. Bananarama When you first think about it, it is utterly bananas that a band with such a silly name could go so far. Even Bananarama's founding members, Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin, think so. They pinch themselves that 40 years on from first teaming up they're still together and still performing. But as Liam Bartlett discovers in a charming interview with Keren and Sara, Bananarama's success is not nuts at all. It's all about having the talent to make some of pop's most memorable songs, combined with the energy needed to smash through the music industry's glass ceiling.
The White Island Disaster It's a terrible truth to have to acknowledge. The White Island volcano in New Zealand is not only spectacular but spectacularly dangerous. One awful afternoon last December, it erupted, seemingly without warning. Forty-seven tourists and guides, who up until the catastrophic explosion had only been thinking of adventure, were stranded on the island. All suffered injuries, and 21 died. Now, for the first time, Australian survivors talk about that tragic day and its devastating aftermath. They tell Sarah Abo it is a miracle that more people weren't killed. But they also express their anger and ask questions about why they were allowed to visit such a perilous location in the first place, and why efforts to rescue them were flawed. The Labradorables Everyone agrees coronavirus COVID-19 has dominated our lives this year, and not in a good way. So on 60 Minutes comes a moment of long overdue respite where smiles are guaranteed to replace snarls. It's thanks to two adorable Labradors, Olive and Mabel, and their best friend, Andrew Cotter. He's a famous Scottish sports commentator who was forced off air when the pandemic hit and shut down major events like Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. However, instead of simply accepting unemployment, Andrew took his microphone home and made Olive and Mabel his sport. He saw magic in the mundane lives of his mutts - and turned them into worldwide internet sensations.
Operation Atlantis In a major exclusive involving 60 Minutes, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the New York Times, reporter Nick McKenzie reveals extraordinary details about a five-nation investigation targeting wealthy Australians accused of tax evasion. Codenamed Operation Atlantis, its aim is to recover hundreds of millions of dollars stashed away in faraway banks - money that has been ripped-off from ordinary Australians. The Last Laugh What does the classic American film Gone with the Wind have in common with the revered British sitcom Fawlty Towers? Well, after entertaining millions and millions of people for decades and decades, they were both recently taken off our screens because it was decided they caused offence. The productions joined a lengthening list of casualties of the cancel culture movement, a growing force of PC police who are determined to rid the world of racism, sexism and all forms of bigotry. Of course it's a fine ambition, but as Tara Brown asks comedians John Cleese and Kathy Griffin, have we now all become too easily outraged, especially when it comes to satire and comedy? And a warning: this story contains frequent references that some viewers may find humorous.
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No Second Prize In the US presidential race there's no second prize for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. It's victory or nothing! With so much riding on the result, it's not surprising the campaign has become so personal and incredibly vicious. The candidates' nastiness, as well as their lack of respect for each other, was abundantly clear when they met for the first presidential debate a few days ago. Insults flew faster and further than any talk of policies and promises. It is a great shame for an already deeply divided country and further complicated by the shock news the president and first lady have both been diagnosed with coronavirus COVID-19. On assignment for 60 Minutes, Nine News US correspondent Alexis Daish reports that reuniting the US will be a near impossible task for whoever wins. The Big Smoke The flames of last summer's apocalyptic bushfires are well and truly embedded in the memories of all Australians. But what scientists have now discovered is that it was actually the smoke from the blazes that caused the greatest human loss. For weeks and weeks, vast swathes of the country were choked in a suffocating haze of highly polluted air. It led to a staggering toll. More than 400 deaths, as well as 4000 hospital admissions, have been directly attributed to the bushfire smoke. As Tara Brown reports, everyone hopes this year's fire season will be less severe, but unless the insidious health threat posed by smoke is fully understood, more lives will be at risk.
The Bogeyman It's further proof of how perverted he is, but the man Australia now knows is the Claremont serial killer used to call himself the Bogeyman to people he met online. On Thursday, Bradley Robert Edwards was found guilty of murdering two young women in the mid-1990s. The judge at his trial said it was likely that he also abducted and killed a third woman, but because her body has never been found there was not enough evidence for a conviction. Notwithstanding that setback, the verdict ends more than two decades of fear in Perth. As Liam Bartlett reports, what is less well known about Edwards is that before he started on his killing spree, he violently attacked numerous other women. On 60 Minutes, one of his victims is speaking publicly for the first time about her incredible escape from evil. And Wendy Davis is also asking a very uncomfortable question of police: If her case had been investigated more seriously, could Edwards have been stopped much sooner? Angel Babies Sometimes it is easier to look the other way than confront a difficult subject head on. Up until now, stories about miscarriage have often fallen into that category. It's a topic few people talk about and even fewer understand. But there is a simple yet hard-to-believe fact which means it must be given more attention. One in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. When the unthinkable and unexpected occurs, a miscarriage is often associated with shame, blame and guilt. But as Tara Brown reports, that's just as wrong as ignoring it.
Lady and the Trumps Just as the world has never experienced a US president quite like Donald Trump, it's not seen a first lady like Melania Trump either. Despite being one of the most photographed women on the planet, she remains virtually unknown. But wealthy New York socialite Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is now controversially trying to change all that. She says she was "besties" with Melania for 15 years, and because of their friendship was not only appointed a senior adviser to the first lady, she was also asked to organise Trump's presidential inauguration. But two years ago the friendship between the two women soured. Stephanie claims she was the victim of an orchestrated political hit and was bitterly disappointed when Melania abandoned her. Many are calling it a despicable act of revenge, but Stephanie has now written a tell-all book about the first lady and her secrets, and as she explains to Liam Bartlett in an exclusive interview, there are plenty of secrets to tell about Melania and the Donald. The Long Haul In the fight against coronavirus COVID-19, working out why the disease attacks people differently is vital. It's so sneaky, because as often as it kills it can also be completely benign. But there's also another group of sufferers: an increasing number for whom recovering from the disease is not the end of their ordeal, it's just the beginning. They're not regaining normal health, which means tasks as simple as walking up a flight of stairs continue to be a struggle. As Tom Steinfort reports, the great worry for scientists is that these so-called COVID long-haul victims might bear the scars of the pandemic for the rest of their lives. Urban Legend For all of Keith Urban's phenomenal worldwide success, he remains delightfully unassuming and unaffected. It's a typically Australian trait that endears him to his millions of fans. On assignment for 60 Minutes, Peter Overton discovers that with Keith, what you see really is what you get. And that's a hardworking superstar who also loves being a husband and a dad.
The Greatest Loss In a very special edition of 60 Minutes, Liz Hayes reports on what is the most important, and personal, story of her career. However, it's also a story that in modern Australia she shouldn't need to tell. It's about decent people in the country who are dying because of a rural health system that's broken and failing them. They are people like Liz's precious dad. For many years Bryan Ryan was a farmer who lived near Taree, north of Newcastle in NSW. He was 88 years old when he died a year ago, but it's highly likely he'd still be alive today if not for a catastrophic medical error that occurred while he was being treated in the rural health system. As Liz reveals, what happened to her dad, Bryan Ryan, is inexcusable but it's just one of many cases that are as heartbreaking as they are tragic.
Innocence Ignored In a special edition of 60 Minutes, Tara Brown reports on one of the worst miscarriages of justice imaginable: a high-profile criminal investigation where not only were the failings of the police case inexplicable, they caused catastrophic consequences for six innocent, law-abiding Australians. Members of the extended Cook family, from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, ran a much-loved circus school but ended up in prison after being charged with 127 counts of monstrous child sexual abuse. At the time of the arrests, detectives were quick to publicise their success in identifying and stopping a depraved sex ring. The only problem: there wasn't a shred of credible evidence to back up the accusations. Now, having destroyed the lives of blameless people, it might be expected that the NSW Police would be big enough to apologise for their incompetence. But they're not.
Deep Blues It's easy to look at Mick Fanning and think life's a beach. He's a three-time world surfing champion who has earned millions of dollars doing what he loves. He even part-owns a brewery. But what on the surface looks like a dream existence masks years of pain and suffering below. Living Hell Kylie Moore-Gilbert's situation is grim. She's about to start her third year as a prisoner in Iran and is being held in an unimaginably squalid, coronavirus-infested jail outside the capital, Tehran. Her crime, according to the Iranian regime, is that she's a spy. Dr Moore-Gilbert emphatically denies the accusation, but her appeals have all been ignored or rejected. Katy's Smile Reporter Tara Brown first caught up with pop superstar Katy Perry back in March when she was visiting Australia to support victims of the catastrophic bushfires. But then COVID-19 put a halt to filming until a few weeks ago when a heavily pregnant and very excited mother-to-be told Tara how she couldn't wait to meet her daughter.
Party Games It's no surprise that politics is a dirty business, but rarely do we see just how grubby it is. An exception was two months ago when 60 Minutes, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age exposed the ALP's faceless man, Adem Somyurek, as a bully and a misogynist. As a result of reporter Nick McKenzie's story, Somyurek was immediately expelled from the ALP and two other Victorian ministers resigned from their portfolios. Now McKenzie has turned his attention to the other side of politics, where he's discovered it's also not immune to dodgy dealing and dubious behaviour. The Good Doctor You know these are strange days indeed when an immunologist, albeit a very good one, becomes a household name. But that's exactly what has happened to Dr Anthony Fauci. His expertise in fighting the coronavirus pandemic has made him a hero to many, but not his boss, the US president. Talk about shooting the messenger - Donald Trump continually undermines his chief scientific adviser, calling him alarmist, and scoffing when the doctor urges caution about reopening the economy. But Dr Fauci's not worried. Instead he's getting on with trying to beat COVID-19. In an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes, he shares important news with Tara Brown about the race for a vaccine and the way Australia is tackling this nightmare. Despicable Him If every mention of your name was preceded by the word 'conman', you'd probably realise what a despicable person you are. For Peter Foster, that's been his lot in life for more than three decades. But in June, 60 Minutes reported how Foster was more than a career fraudster with accusations he had attempted to hire a hitman to take out one of his enemies. On Thursday there was a welcome development in the case. A police investigation into Foster's nefarious activities led to his arrest on the idyllic sands of a Port Douglas beach, and only 60 Minutes was there to catch the dramatic moment.
The Red Zone It's an enormous relief to know it's there, but it's also a place you want to do everything you can to avoid. The so-called Red Zone at the Royal Melbourne Hospital is where extraordinary battles against COVID-19 are being fought day and night. In the deadliest week of the virus so far in Australia, 60 Minutes' cameras have been given special access to the hospital's coronavirus wards to show the sombre reality of a disease that for many people is still difficult to fully comprehend. Tom Steinfort's confronting report reveals not only how dangerous COVID is, but also the incredible bravery of the doctors and nurses on the frontline of this medical war as they fight to save the lives of their patients. Confessions of a Cop It would be hard to find a police officer who was more dedicated to catching bad guys than Gary Jubelin. For 35 years he was the worst nightmare for crooks in New South Wales. Perversely though, his commitment to the job was so great it ended up destroying his career. Now in a retirement he really doesn't want, the former homicide detective has some confessions to make. In Tara Brown's revealing interview Jubelin explains the true cost of being a cop who sacrificed so much for a life of fighting crime.
The Experiment Identical twins are beautiful quirks of nature, perfect genetic copies of each other with a bond so close many believe they're telepathic. Understandably, twins, and even rarer identical triplets, have been magnets for curious scientists trying to answer that profound question: Is it nature or nurture that determines who we are? But one well-known psychiatrist in the US became so obsessed by his research he engineered a truly heartless experiment. Peter Neubauer separated sets of identical twins and triplets at birth and studied them as they grew up apart. Incredibly they never even knew their siblings existed. But this doctor's cruelty was finally exposed when decades later - in a one in a million chance - Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran found each other and discovered an unbelievable truth. Includes interview footage from Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers. Buyer Beware Here's an incredible, not to mention shameful, statistic about Australia's building industry. Eighty-five percent of new high-rise apartment towers are defective. The rate of shoddy workmanship has increased dramatically as governments around the country have encouraged more developers to build more high-density housing as a way of containing urban sprawl. As a result, many unsuspecting buyers, trying to put a roof over their heads, are learning a painful lesson: that the cost of cutting corners is very expensive. But as Sarah Abo reports, there is one man determined to fix all the damage.
Security Breach It's been a hell of a year for everyone. But for Victorians, and in particular people living in Melbourne, the resurgence of coronavirus COVID-19 and the return to lockdown has been especially tough. Up until a few weeks ago things had looked so different and there was even cautious optimism that the virus was being beaten. But by escaping containment it has now proved how devious it really is. What remains both galling and inexcusable though is how the state government of Victoria lost control of the disease. Sarah Abo reports on an appalling breach of security that's causing a catastrophe. 'Til Depp Do Us Part It's a Hollywood drama like the world has never seen. With an A-list cast, it's full of intrigue and fiery dialogue, and topped off with lashings of sex and drugs. There is even a pivotal scene set right here in Australia, starring politician Barnaby Joyce. But this production isn't playing at any theatre. Centre stage is a London court where actor Johnny Depp is suing an English tabloid for calling him a wife beater. As Tom Steinfort reveals, no one is going to win an Oscar, but Depp and his one-time bride, actress Amber Heard, have been putting on the performance of their lives, airing every sordid detail of their bizarre and doomed marriage. Order of the Court For three decades, Karen Simmons kept a terrible secret. As a young girl she was a victim of traumatic sexual abuse. In 2017, she bravely decided it was time to speak about her ordeal. She went to the police, and last year also told her harrowing story on 60 Minutes. Now there has been a significant development in the case: Karen's alleged attacker has been charged with 11 counts of historic child sex abuse. But while this courageous woman feels relief, she is furious because a court has ordered the man's identity to be kept secret.
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