News: The cutest picture you will see today.

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1. And now, the cutest picture you’ll see today…

We kind of just had to share this. Baby photographer Richard Barry was on assignment with bub Matilda and four tiny chihuahua pups and had to try and get them all asleep at the same time. Hard? Nearly impossible. He said it was the most difficult shot he’d ever taken. But, oh so worth it.

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2. Qantas faces the music … and more strikes

As baggage handlers, caterers and ground staff walk off the job today, affecting 10,000 passengers, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has faced angry shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting. Mr Joyce apologised to passengers affected and noted the industrial action had so far cost the company $68 million – but that’s not as much as what the union is asking for in better conditions. Shareholders will vote on whether the remuneration of Qantas executives and board members is too high and if more than a quarter agree the company will receive its first strike under the Government’s new pay laws. Two strikes mean the board has to resign and reapply for their jobs.

3. Julian Assange backs Andrew Bolt

The founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange has backed News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt who was found to have offended white-skinned Aborigines during columns he wrote . He wrote for Fairfax: “It might seem unusual to take a stand for a bloke who has called you a ”patronising, supercilious racist git” when that very same man has just been prosecuted for ”race hate speech” – but the conviction of Andrew Bolt ought to raise alarm bells for all who believe in freedom of expression. However much you disagree with Bolt, the ”hate speech” law under which he was prosecuted is more offensive than he is.” That would be the Discrimination Act he’s referring to before going on to say it wasn’t the judge that got it wrong, but Parliament. He argued that debate that offends people should take place and if untruths are told, they should be dealt with under existing defamation laws.

4. The PM is having trouble finding a house

The Prime Minister and her partner Tim Mathieson are having difficult finding a rental property. But then finding homes with secure entries and bullet proof glass, as the Australian Federal Police demand, is no easy task. The Lodge where the PM would usually reside is undergoing urgent repairs which will include a new roof and replacement of dodgy wiring. The PM’s office ruled out buying a house during the period and Mr Mathieson turned down moving into the Governor-General’s Yarralumla residence because it was ‘intimidating’.

5. Should a fertilised egg be seen under law as a person?

Amendments in some US states, particularly Mississippi, are being debated to grant ‘personhood’ to fertilised eggs which would effectively make abortions (rape and incest cases included) an act of murder under the law. But it goes further. It would also make some forms of birth control such as IUDs and the morning after pill, illegal while embryos created in laboratories would not be able to be destroyed. Here’s a great conversation we had recently about when life begins. What do YOU think?

Marni Kotak and her husband before giving birth in front of a crowd

6. Woman who gave birth in art gallery won’t repeat it

Marni Kotak described being in ‘the worst pain of my life’ as she gave birth to her son Ajax Bell in a small art gallery in Brooklyn, New York, and said she was now having trouble coping with all the attention while nursing her child. That tends to happen if your labour becomes an art exhibition, of course. A crowd of around 20 people gathered for the experience, including one expecting couple who wanted to see what they were in for.

Take a mid-news break with the Week in Pics right here:

A very big gold coin (the biggest, in fact)

7. PETA says killer whales kept on show are ‘slaves’

The animal rights activists at PETA have turned their attention to killer whales kept in captivity in the US, alleging in Court that some marine parks are violating the 13th Amendment on slavery. And yes, PETA is asking for the court to grant constitutional rights to the five killer whales. The Amendment does not specify that only humans can be victims of slavery.

8. Perth Mint makes world’s largest gold coin

Well done Perth! The $54 million gold coin – which weighs just over a tonne – and is 99.9 per cent pure gold. Oh, it’s legal tender too. So if you got your hands on it and wanted to buy something with it, you could. Except that then it’s only worth about $1 million. The mint apparently made the coin because they could.

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