Monday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. 17-year-old set alight in attack allegedly by her teenage partner.

A 17-year-old girl from Queensland  has been set alight allegedly by her teenage partner after an argument over a mobile phone.

The teenager has been placed in an induced coma with burns to her arms, legs and torso and will need months of treatment, reports The Courier Mail.

Her partner of two years is in custody and will face court over the incident charged with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm.

It is understood the pair were living together a property in Marsden when the incident occurred.

Her sister wrote on Facebook:

“She is only 17 years old, she has her whole life ahead of her and she does not deserve this,”

“You’re not giving up on me this easy, I know you can get through this, you’re a fighter. I love you.”

Police will allege petrol was thrown over the woman following an argument before she was set alight saying in a statement “Around 4pm it is alleged the man became involved in a verbal argument with a 17-year-old woman, known to him.

“Police will further allege the man then used a flammable liquid to set the woman on fire. The woman was treated by paramedics for serious burn injuries to her arms, legs and upper body.

“She was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital for treatment.”

The man will appear in court today.

  For domestic violence support 24/7, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). 

2. Zoo shoots gorilla dead to protect boy who was pulled into enclosure.

A zoo response team shot and killed a gorilla at an American zoo that grabbed and dragged a four-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla exhibit moat.

The boy was picked up out of the moat and dragged by the 17-year-old gorilla for about 10 minutes.

Director Thane Maynard said the zoo’s dangerous animal response team that practices for such incidents decided the boy was in “a life-threatening situation” and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla named Harambe.

“They made a tough choice and they made the right choice because they saved that little boy’s life,” Maynard said. “It could have been very bad.”

He said while the gorilla didn’t appear to be attacking the four-year-old it was “an extremely strong” animal in an agitated situation.

Tranquilizing the gorilla, he said, wouldn’t have knocked it out immediately and the little boy could have been in danger.

Zoo officials believe the boy crawled through a railing barrier.

We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically-endangered gorilla,” Maynard said in the statement. “This is a huge loss for the Zoo family and the gorilla population worldwide.”

3.  12-year-old girl dies after falling off horse.

A 12-year-old girl has tragically died of head injuries after falling from a horse yesterday while riding in northwest Sydney.


Emergency services were called to the Pitt Town property at about 5.30pm yesterday to find the girl suffering serious head injuries.

She was airlifted to Westmead Children’s Hospital but died a short time later.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

4. 60 Minutes apologises for “serious mistakes.”

60 Minutes presenter Michael Usher has fronted an apology from the program that aired last night.

“Tonight we face up to the errors we made,” he said in a mea culpa on the child abduction story that saw presenter Tara Brown jailed and producer Stephen Rice lose his job.

Usher said, “We’ve been asking ourselves how things could have gone so wrong.”

“We sincerely apologise for our serious mistakes.”

In an interview in the segment, founding producer Gerald Stone described the debacle as “without a doubt, the greatest misadventure in the 37 years of 60 Minutes.”

On Friday it was announced the producer Stephen Rice was fired over the incident.

Stone said last night “I felt very strongly that as long as management was not completely in supervision of the program, it seemed to be unfair…that a journalist should be picked out”

“if one was going to be picked out, it was going to be the producer of the program.”

Stone said that he believes the crew had “let their guard down”

“Its amazing to me that a program bases itself on asking the right questions didn’t ask themselves the right questions,” he said.

“I have no doubt that their (Tara Brown and producer Stephen Rice) judgment was blurred, I don’t understand how they would have agreed to take an assignment on that basis.”

Usher said they had “damaged the reputation of a great television program,” he said.

“What’s important is to learn from the mistakes and we are committed to doing that.”

5. Leaders go head to head in second debate.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have gone head to head at the National Press Club in Canberra. It was their second debate, the first a hall-style people’s forum held in western Sydney earlier this month and again they argued company tax cuts, climate change, health and asylum seekers.

Mr Turnbull began by talking his plan for the economy.

“These are times of enormous opportunity and uncertainty, these are times of great challenge,” Mr Turnbull said.

“These are times when we need a clear economic plan.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the election was about the next 10 to 20 years and Medicare.

“This election is about … Labor’s positive plans for a strong economy and a fair society,” he said.

He said Labor’s plans would “ensure jobs, education and Medicare”.


6. Nova Peris outs Facebook troll.

Outgoing Labor Senator Nova Peris has publicly named and shamed a troll..

Peris, who just days ago announced her retirement was attacked by the troll on her Facebook page being told, among others things to ”suck on witchetty grubs” and to go back to the bush.

In the post shared yesterday under the hashtag ‘#Racism — It stops with me. Reconciliation Australia’ Peris wrote “ Be easy to block and delete your comment Sir Chris Nelson but I will leave it there to continue to show the ugly side of this country..  My skin is my pride.”

7. Calls for Olympics to move rejected by World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization has rejected a call by 150 leading scientists for the Rio Olympic Games to be moved or postponed due to the threat posed by the Zika virus.

More than 150 leading scientists signed the letter sent to WHO director-general Margaret Chan saying the Games, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, should be moved to another location or delayed.

“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic,” the letter said.

But the United Nations health agency said having the Games in Rio as planned would ‘”not significantly alter” the spread of Zika.

“Based on the current assessment of Zika virus circulating in almost 60 countries globally and 39 in the Americas, there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games,” the WHO said in a statement.

One of the signatories of the letter, brain injury specialist Dr Ford Vox, called the WHO’s response “defeatist, depressing, and quite a bit too quick for anyone to believe they gave the letter due consideration.”

8. Playdough and pasta necklaces banned at pre-schools.

Pasta necklaces and playdough have been banned from many Queensland kindergartens in response to fears of allergies.

The Sunday Mail reports that the rise in allergies has affected the way many Queensland centres operate with traditional items such as play dough banned.

But several Queensland preschools are making sure gluten-intolerant children don’t feel left out by making  gluten-free playdough or “cloud dough”, using rice flour.

Wilston Grange Kindergarten director Robbie Leikvold told The Sunday Mail there has been a “huge escalation of allergies” among children.

“We’re talking nuts, gluten, lactose – even insects – so we are constantly cautious of how the children play and eat.”

Another centre manager from “Amaze” said problems arose when parents self-diagnosed their children with allergies.

“I would be questioning whether the children have been diagnosed with a qualified allergy specialist,” Lucy Cook said. “Despite this, there are some children whose families have made lifestyle choices based on culture or medical reasons so we need to be respectful of that.”

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Tags: australian-politics , current-affairs
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