1. Channel Nine journalist Peter Harvey is reportedly in hospital and “gravely ill”. Sixty-eight-year-old Harvey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October last year. His daughter Claire Harvey tweeted a thank you to everyone who had offered support recently saying: “Thank you to everyone for your amazingly kind messages to Dad. He is getting great care in hospital.”
2. Victoria’s Knox City Council has banned kindergarten students from sharing homemade cake because of allergies and ‘correct food handling procedures’ concerns. The ban does not stop kids from bringing a slice of cake in their lunchbox, but it does prevent them from bringing homemade cakes to celebrate birthdays.
3. Areas of Western Australia have experienced winds of up to 200km/hr as category three Cyclone Rusty nears the coast. The towns of Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier have been placed on red alert as the cyclone moves towards becoming a category four.
4. Nineteen people have died after the hot air balloon they were travelling in in Egypt plunged to the ground during a sunrise flight at the ancient temple city of Luxor. The balloon reportedly exploded and burst into flames killing all but two of the tourists from Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Britain and France.
5. A 21-year-old Sri Lankan asylum seeker has been charged with indecent assault and aggravated break and enter after he entered the dorm room of a 20-year-old female student at Macquarie University in NSW. The man, is in Australia on a bridging visa, entered the girl’s room at 3.20am on Thursday and was arrested the following Tuesday. The university reportedly provides accommodation for some asylum seekers, although the man was no one of them.
6. Sales of Adele‘s Oscar winning song SkyFall are expected to rise by 45 per cent following her Oscars win on Sunday. In other Adele news, her album 21 has topped the global albums chart for the second year in a row. The album, which was released in January 2011, sold more than 8.3 million copies last year.
7. Oscar Pistorius is reportedly holding his own memorial service for his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The Olympic Sprinter has been granted bail after he was charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp two weeks ago. Pistorius’ management says he “remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner Reeva.”
8. $110,000. That’s how much it’s cost the City Sydney Council to paint a rainbow road on Sydney’s Oxford St in preparation for this weekend’s Mardi Gras. It’s been a controversial move – with many suggesting it’s a waste of money.