1. In the US the two week government shutdown looks set for a resolution. President Barack Obama said there had been some progress in Senate negotiations on a possible compromise to reopen the federal government and avoid a U.S. default as soon as Thursday. President Obama is meeting this morning (AEDT) with bipartisan congressional leaders. Analysts are warning that if the US government default on their debt obligations the world markets could be sent into a spin. Congress is racing against the clock. US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that the U.S. will quickly exhaust its ability to pay the bills on Thursday.
2. A TV special in the UK has released new details about the suspects wanted in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007. They are focusing in particular on the sighting of a man walking down the street with a child in his arms on the evening of the 3rd of May around 10pm.
“The child was described as about three to four years old, with blonde hair, possibly wearing pyjamas. That’s why we’re so interested in this particular incident,” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told BBC television. Two of the suspects are German-speaking, according to the German tabloid Bild and the British newspaper The Times.
3. An app that helps pregnant women be more aware of their unborn baby’s movements could cut the rate of stillborn deaths by as much as 30 per cent. The smartphone program called My Baby’s Movements will be rolled out to 27 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand as part of a push by the ANZ Stillbirth Alliance to reduce stillborn deaths. The app aims to raise awareness among pregnant women of the importance of noticing reductions in a baby’s movements.
More than 2000 babies were stillborn in 2010. The study of 3000 women in Norway who were more than 28 weeks pregnant showed that monitoring decreased foetal movement could reduce the death rate by a third.
4. Parents are being warned of possible childcare fee increases with providers across the country formally told the conditional funding offers they received under Labor to give staff pay rises have been revoked.
Education Department sent childcare providers a letter on Friday revoking the offer of funding.
The Abbott government have a month-long review on whether it can get back $300 million allocated by Labor for pay rises in the industry, to compensate for its increased quality reforms.
Rebecca Swainson, director of [email protected] in Brisbane is just one who told the newspaper she would have to increase fees. Other centres are considering legal action.
5. The victim of the 2011 Skype sex scandal faced the two Military cadets found guilty over the scandal in the ACT Supreme court yesterday. She told the men they ruined two years of her life and she will never forgive. Witnesses called her defiant in court, and praised her courage in reading her victim impact statement. She looked directly at the pair and addressing them by name throughout. She told them their actions had stolen her dignity, self-worth and dreams of an Air Force career.
“You could not have hurt me more if you had taken a bat and beaten me with it,” she said.
” I will never be able to show you forgiveness for what you did to me.”
The woman admitted to breaking the military college’s rules prohibiting fraternisation by agreeing to have consensual sex. But said she had not known she was being filmed with a laptop.
“You reduced me to nothing more than an animal … an object to be used by you and your friends for your own sick enjoyment,” she said. One of the Cadets has been has been suspended again, this time over an investigation into a homosexual sex initiation group.
6. The use of psychoactive substances like kronic and bath salts has risen in Australia.
The Herald Sun reports that four out of ten drug users in Victoria used the mind-altering drugs in 2013.
There are concerns that while some people are seeking out the hallucinogenic drugs others are being tricked into taking them by dealers who pass them off as ecstasy.
Meanwhile the father of James Munro, who died from a drug overdose at Sydney’s Defqon festival last month, has spoken publicly about the dangers of buying drugs online. The 23 year old died from taking ecstasy tablets that he had bought online and had delivered to his door from them infamous web site Silk Road. The FBI arrested the proprietor of the notorious online bazaar last week. But experts are warning that emerged Australians are accessing a number of other similar sites to purchase illegal substances.
7. Parents have reacted angrily to Supermarket chain Woolworths inadvertently dropping the F-BOMB in a find-a-word puzzle in a children’s promotional card album. The retailer has apologized after its Facebook page was bombarded with disappointed parents demanding the book be re-printed. The chain has taken the offending item off the shelves resulting in Aussie animals frenzy on ebay, with albums and cards selling for up to $150.
8. Fast food giant McDonald’s is set to become one of America’s largest publishers of children’s books when it distributes 20 million paperbacks next month. The books, which will be distributed with Happy Meals focus on healthy eating and exercise. include The Goat Who Ate Everything and Doddi the Dodo Goes To Orlando. McDonald’s in Australia have said, there were no plans to bring Doddi and friends here, there would be a four-week national “book program” next year.
9. And the price of chocolate is set to rise. Growing demand in emerging markets and bad weather in major cocoa producing countries is pushing up the cost of key ingredients, leaving manufacturers little choice but to pass on some of that pain to consumers.
The price of cocoa butter, for example, stands at a four-year high, having risen by 70% over the past 12 months. Better eat your Caramello Koalas now!
10. Jetstar has apologised to a passenger received a bag from the baggage carousel only to find it had been branded with stickers that read ‘I am gay’. A twitter user named @aaronpp posted the image on the social media site after getting off a Perth to Brisbane flight, saying:
— Sleepysaurus Rex! (@aaronpp) October 13, 2013
Jetstar has since launched an investigation.
Have you seen anything in today’s news that you want to talk about?