52:20 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

October 4, 2020  |  Nine

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.

50:52 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

September 27, 2020  |  Nine

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.

53:10 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

September 20, 2020  |  Nine

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.

50:44 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

August 23, 2020  |  Nine

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.

47:41 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

August 9, 2020  |  Nine

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.

47:04 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

August 2, 2020  |  Nine

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.

55:48 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

July 26, 2020  |  Nine

Mary Trump The president of the United States is often referred to as the most powerful man in the world. But Donald Trump's niece, Mary Trump says the current POTUS is really the most dangerous man in the world. She is so troubled by Trump's abuse of his position that she says it's her patriotic duty to take him down. And to do that she has written a brutal tell-all memoir. As Liam Bartlett discovers in an Australian television exclusive interview, the book is the ultimate insider's account of a truly dysfunctional family. But it has added substance because Dr Mary Trump is also a clinical psychologist. Her analysis of how her Uncle Don became Uncle Sam is not just a page-turner, it's a horror story. What Now? For more than six months coronavirus COVID-19 has proven to be a sneaky and formidable opponent. However, Australians were doing well in the battle, and up until a few weeks ago the national plan to combat the virus by suppressing, but not necessarily eradicating it, seemed to be working. What's now happening in Victoria though is not only a grim reminder of how easy it is for the disease to spiral out of control, it's a call to rethink our strategy about how to fight it. Most of the debate is about whether to stick with suppression or leap to elimination, to try to rid the country of the virus once and for all. But Liz Hayes reports that, as controversial as it is, there is also another way. Enemy of the State: Update Federal MP Bob Katter and University of Queensland philosophy student Drew Pavlou make an unlikely duo. But they formed an alliance after Katter watched last week's 60 Minutes and saw the treatment dished out to Pavlou by his university. The 21-year-old student was the organiser of a pro-democracy rally on campus which turned violent when Chinese communist thugs attacked him. But instead of cracking down on the unruly mob, the UQ punished Pavlou. Following the 60 Minutes story Drew Pavlou was overwhelmed with support, most notably from Katter, who tells Tom Steinfort he's so angry he is now demanding a parliamentary inquiry into foreign interference at all Australian universities.

45:38 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

July 19, 2020  |  Nine

Enemy of the State When 21-year-old student Drew Pavlou organised his first-ever protest at his university campus in Brisbane, little could he have imagined the extraordinary chain of events he would set off. His criticism of China's record on human rights saw him bashed by pro-Beijing protestors and branded an enemy of the Chinese state. What's worse, he and his family were deluged with death threats in a disturbing campaign of intimidation designed to shut him up. You'd think the University of Queensland would race to the defence of its student, but it appears instead to have gone on the attack. The accusation that it has sided with the communist regime raises serious questions about its reliance on Chinese money and how deep Beijing's influence on campus goes. Fire and Ice Making fire from ice may sound like the impossible. But that's exactly what scientists have been able to do in the wilderness of the Arctic as a sleeping giant begins to stir. Ground that's been frozen for thousands of years is rapidly thawing out, releasing dangerous gases on a colossal scale. The result is not only wreaking chaos on local communities but has the potential to rapidly accelerate global warming. Just before the planes stopped flying, Sarah Abo travelled to spectacular Alaska to investigate this worrying new environmental threat that has profound implications for us all.

47:44 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

July 12, 2020  |  Nine

Super Splurge As important as everyone knows superannuation is, the mere mention of the word, particularly among younger generations, used to be a sure-fire guarantee of glazed eyes and stifled yawns. But workers around the country woke up when the financial hit of coronavirus COVID-19 led the government to announce retirement savings of tomorrow could be used to pay the bills of today. More than 2 million Australians have so far found salvation in their super by cashing in as much as $20,000 each. Of course, the money is desperately needed by many, but for others it seems to be an excuse to splurge. And as desirable as designer handbags, new cars and new boobs might be right now, are they really worth more than a comfortable old age? RIP Hong Kong Rest in peace Hong Kong. It might seem over the top to say it, but according to thousands of worried residents, the once thriving hub of Asia is now all but dead. They blame the heavy-handed tactics of the Chinese Communist Party for their city's demise. The Beijing regime has imposed a strict national security law which not only strips Hong Kong of its autonomy but also severely restricts democratic freedoms. Anyone breaking the law faces life imprisonment. The draconian takeover has been condemned around the world with countries including Australia warning its citizens to stay away from the troubled region. However, as Liam Bartlett reports, that's only strengthening the resolve of the increasingly belligerent Chinese leadership. Wrongs and Rights For victims of sexual assault, recovery is often long and torturous. But some women face even more trauma when they find out they are pregnant to their attacker. Every year in the US about 10,000 babies are born as a result of rape. In these situations, the natural assumption is that all compassion, as well as all legal rights, rest with the victim and her child. But as Liam Bartlett discovers, that's not the case in several states where outdated laws mean an increasing number of American rapists are legally applying for, and being granted, custody rights over these children. Thankfully though, there are courageous women fighting to change these crazy laws.

50:40 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

July 5, 2020  |  Nine

Right Hand Woman There was little Jeffrey Epstein wouldn't do to satisfy his lust for young women and girls. It included spending millions of dollars masterminding a worldwide sex-trafficking operation. Countless innocent lives were destroyed. A year ago Epstein was arrested and a month later he died in custody. Investigators though refused to let this scandal go to the grave with him. Instead they shifted their attention to his high-profile friends. One of them is the Queen's son, Prince Andrew, who continues to dodge requests from the FBI for an interview. But late this week there was a significant breakthrough in the case with the arrest of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. She's accused of being Epstein's right-hand woman and has been charged with multiple child sex offences. As Tara Brown reports, for the first time in a long time, the victims in this wicked saga are feeling relief rather than terror. Money for Nothing Australians are generous. In a crisis we're happy to donate money or provide a helping hand to those who need it. It's a kindness that is recognised around the world and was well and truly on display in the aftermath of last summer's shocking bushfires when hundreds of millions of dollars was given to charities to help those who'd suffered. But six months on much of the money remains undistributed, which is causing bitterness in many fire-ravaged communities. Victims who lost their homes and are now struggling through winter living in caravans and tents feel like they've been forgotten. But the charities say there's a reason for the delay: that it takes time to ensure the claims are legitimate, especially when there are so many people accused of wanting money for nothing. In a special investigation for 60 Minutes, Tom Steinfort confronts those allegedly cashing in our generosity.

59:05 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

June 28, 2020  |  Nine

Foreign Interference On Friday, federal agents under the direction of counter espionage authority ASIO, conducted an extraordinary raid on the home and office of NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane. Investigators were searching for evidence of any involvement by Moselmane in a plot by China to interfere in Australia's political system. It's thought to be the first time a serving member of an Australian parliament has been investigated over allegations of being influenced by a hostile foreign state. Reporting for 60 Minutes, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Nick McKenzie was there for the raid and says the agents clearly knew what they were looking for. McKenzie, who for months has also been observing Moselmane's pro-China activities, warns this operation will have far-reaching consequences both here and in Beijing. Madeleine The disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann has been a heart-breaking mystery. For 13 years, ever since she went missing on a family holiday in Portugal, her beautiful face has haunted the world. In that time her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have never stopped searching for answers about their daughter. They've also never stopped hoping she's still alive. Now there is news, but it's not good. German prosecutors say they know Maddie is dead and they have the prime suspect, a known sex offender, in their sights. On 60 Minutes, Liz Hayes reports on the depraved world of 43-year-old Christian Bruckner. Her story includes the first pictures from inside his secret lair, as well as comprehensive analysis of the investigation to ensure justice for Madeleine McCann. Dusty's War Every front-line soldier knows war is hell. It's an enormous responsibility to pick out an enemy fighter, aim a weapon at them and then pull the trigger knowing death is the likely result. That's why in conflict there are very specific rules of engagement. For the last four years, a secret inquiry - the biggest in Australian military history - has been investigating whether soldiers from our elite special forces broke those rules and committed war crimes in Afghanistan. On 60 Minutes, Nick McKenzie reveals new information about the shameful conduct of some of our elite fighters. One shocking incident involves former SAS medic Dusty Miller, a good man traumatised by the savagery he says a fellow soldier inflicted on an injured, unarmed Afghan civilian.

45:28 | News and current affairs
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60 Minutes

June 21, 2020  |  Nine

King Hit Here's a tip worth remembering. Under no circumstances should anyone stand between Peter Foster and his ill-gotten gains. For three decades Foster has been scamming his way to millions and millions of dollars of other people's money. He's Australia's best - correction, worst - con artist, but until now the real impact of his crimes has often been diluted by ridiculing the gullible victims who were duped by his fast-talking and dodgy schemes. The truth though is simple: Foster is a hard-nosed criminal, and as you're about to see - and hear - he'll stop at nothing to get to his loot. On assignment for 60 Minutes, Karl Stefanovic reports on explosive new allegations involving Australia's most despicable conman and the cop who finally beat him, in an epic battle that gets downright dirty. Top Secrets Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has made his name - and plenty of enemies - by publishing military and other highly sensitive secrets of multiple governments around the world. As a consequence, he now calls a maximum-security jail in the UK home while he fights a bitter battle with the Trump administration which wants him extradited to the US. Before prison, the controversial - and now very frail - Australian spent seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. And that's where Assange conceived his own top secrets - two sons with his, until now, equally secretive fiancee, Stella Moris.

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