1. Chair of the Queensland Ethics Committee Peter Dowling has resigned from his position amid a sexting scandal that rivals that of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.
Speaking to the media yesterday, 51-year-old Dowling said: “I owe my family an apology, I am sorry for the pain and embarrassment I caused you…I am not proud of the events plastered all over the paper. I can’t and won’t defend any part of it.”
Dowling was exposed by his former mistress, who said the father of two sent her thousands of sexts – including one of his penis dipped in a glass of wine – and took advantage of his parliamentary travel privileges to meet up with her.
The woman – whose identity has been kept secret – last night spoke to a Channel 9 reporter. She told the reporter: “I really tried to keep this quiet but I felt the party really should have known about it because I felt everyone was getting fooled by this person.”
“He’s a public servant, essentially. I know it can be construed that I am being vindictive in what I am doing. But I am just a country girl and I think everyone should be accountable,” she said.
2. Two young brothers in Canada have died after a python escaped from the pet store beneath their appartment and strangled them while they were sleeping. Noah Barth, 7, and Connor Barth, 5, were visiting a friend whose dad owned the pet shop. The 4.3-metre python reportedly travelled through a ventilation system to get to the boys. The owner of the shop told the media “I can’t believe this is real.”
3. Actor Dustin Hoffman has reportedly undergone treatment for cancer and is on the road to recovery. The 75-year-old’s publicist confirmed the rumour, saying that the cancer had been “detected early and he has been surgically cured.” It’s not know what kind of cancer Hoffman has been suffering from.
4. The Supreme Court in Perth has ruled that a Western Australian newspaper should not have to reveal its sources to mining magnate Gina Rinehart. Ms Rinehart has asked the court to force the editors of the West Australian newspaper to declare where they received information that was used to in a series of stories about Ms Rinehart’s son, John.
Justice Janine Pritchard refused to do so, saying that journalist Steve Pennells was “bound by an ethical obligation to respect and observe undertakings of confidence given to sources”.
5. A 44-year-old Australian man – who was formerly a police officer and customs official – has pleaded guilty to the rape of a 19-year-old woman.
Stephen Michael Adams allegedly developed a ‘rape fantasy’, according to News Ltd reports, after watching excessive amounts of pornography while he was working with Customs.
Adams appeared in Western Australia’s Supreme Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to 31 crimes including rape, robbery, and fraud.
6. Rupert Murdoch has taken a swipe at Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) plan, saying he likes the “ideal of the NBN” but did not understand how it would be paid for. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded to Murdoch’s comments during a press conference yesterday, saying: “It’s for others to ask the question why Mr Murdoch really doesn’t want the National Broadband Network to be connected to everyone’s home and everyone’s small business premises … Does he sense it represents a commercial challenge to Foxtel – which is a major cash cow for his company – or not?”
7. There are plans for an asylum seeker processing centre to be built next to a primary school on Manus Island, in the capital city of Lorengau. Immigration Minister Tony Burke said there was no problem with the plan but that “you need to make sure everything’s managed properly”.
8. Thousands of travelers have been affected after Virgin Australia‘s check in system crashed. At least 30 flights were cancelled on Tuesday afternoon and many more were delayed.