Wednesday'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. Aboriginal girl racially abused at a Frozen event tried to scrub her skin white.

A three-year-old Aboriginal girl who was racially abused at a Melbourne shopping centre last week sat in the bath and scrubbed her skin until she bled in an attempt to make it white.

Samara Muir was waiting in line with her mother, Rachel, last week at an event for fans of the animated film Frozen when a woman and her two daughters began abusing them, SBS reports.

Image via Facebook.

“We were standing in the line and the lady turned to her daughters and said, ‘I don’t know what that girl’s getting excited for because Elsa isn’t black’,” Ms Muir said.

“Then her daughters turned around and said: ‘Yeah, she is black and black is ugly.”

Ms Muir said her daughter was traumatised as a result and did not want to go to her dance classes, saying “black is ugly”.

“She was asking to have baths every day and she was soaping up to look white,” Ms Muir said. “But then she got the glove and scratched herself until it was red. I had to tell her skin colour isn’t going to come off. You are born that way and it isn’t going to come off.”

Samara has received hundreds of messages of support since her mother recounted the story on Facebook.

2. Melbourne man charged yesterday with the 2013 murder of his ex-wife to face court today.

A man charged yesterday with the murder of his ex-wife, whose body was found in a Victorian backyard in 2013, will appear in court today.


Fernando Manual Paulino, 53, was arrested and charged with murdering mother-of-two Teresa Mancuso, also known as Teresa Paulino.

The body of Ms Mancuso – who was aged 49 – was discovered by a relative at the back of the Reservoir home she shared with her mother on July 15, 2013.

It is believed the hairdresser was stabbed to death.

She and Mr Paulino divorced in 1998, but continued an “on-off relationship” until about 2010, the Herald Sun reports.

Mr Paulino was remanded in custody and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a filing hearing today.

3. Drama over passenger demanded nuts or crackers costs airline $715,000.

An unruly passenger demanding “nuts or crackers” forced the unscheduled landed of a commercial flight at a cost of $715,000 to the airline.

A United Airlines flight from Rome to Chicago landed in Belfast after the pilot became so concerned about the passenger’s behaviour that he turned the plane around over the Atlantic, the Telegraph reports.

The passenger, Californian Jeremiah Mathis Thede, allegedly stood up shortly after take-off – while the seat-belt sign was still on – and demanded nuts or crackers.

Staff apparently obliged the request, but 10 minutes later he allegedly demanded more, saying: “I can have as much nuts and crackers as I f—ing want.”


Passengers claim Mr Thede repeatedly got up from his seat, opened overhead lockers, blocked aisles and made numerous trips to the toilet.

Mr Thede is in custody in Belfast after being charged with endangering the safety of the aircraft, disruptive behaviour on board and common assault against an air hostess and denied bail.

Most of the passengers slept on the terminal floor overnight as they were forced to wait almost 24 hours before continuing their journey due to legalities around the crew’s flying hours. The plane had to dump 50,000 litres of fuel to make the unscheduled stop.

4. Sexual harassment in the medical profession is rife and surgeons are the worst offenders, study finds.

A new study has found that discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment are “endemic” in the medical work environment – and surgeons are often named as the perpetrators.

The research came about after senior vascular surgeon Dr Gabrielle McMullin claimed that complaining about sexual harassment could ruin a trainee’s career.

Following her comments, a number of other female doctors came forward with their own tales of the “boy’s club” culture that prevails in the medical profession.

Now the Expert Advisory Group, appointed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), has released its first findings into the alleged behaviour, the ABC reports.

“The existing complaints processes haven’t proved to be adequate,” RACS vice president Graeme Campbell said.


“We’re going to have to create an open communication framework where any bullying or harassment is reported and any complaint is acted upon freely.

“The solution is going to have to address culture. It’s going to have to address culture in organisations, culture within surgery.”

5. Terminally ill women are vulnerable to abuse.

Dying women are being abused by carers, the Victorian royal commission into family violence has heard.

In a submission from Melbourne City Mission, palliative care workers are reportedly concerned that terminally ill women are being physically and emotionally abused.

Some reports express that some relatives of sick patients may be stealing their medication.

The Age reports a specific case of a young woman who was being abused by her husband.

“We had questions about the level of care being offered to her [in her home],” the submission said.

“But we were naive to imagine she’d walk out any more easily as terminal, than in normal circumstances. She was still protecting her child.”

While some patients are being left for hours on their own, without food or the chance to use the toilet, the commission also heard that it is difficult to discern whether such mistreatment was deliberate.

6. Khaled Sharrouf’s mother-in-law begs government to bring home her daughter and grandchildren.

The mother-in-law of Australian ISIS fighter Khaled Sharrouf has pleaded for the safe return of his wife and their grandchildren.


The news comes amid beliefs that Australian terrorists Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar may have been killed.

Karen Nettleton said the news means now, more than ever, her daughter needs to return home.

“The messenger told me that the man my 13-year-old granddaughter was forced to marry, Mohamed Elomar, was dead,” she said in a statement provided to ABC.

“I was also told that Khaled Sharrouf, my daughter’s husband, was missing and presumed dead.

“With the deaths of Mohamed Elomar and likely Khaled Sharrouf, my daughter and grandchildren more than ever need the love and care of their family to help them recover from the trauma, abuse and terrors of war they have experienced.”

7. Mother wins top Australian literary prize with novel about domestic violence.

Sofie Laguna has won the Miles Franklin Award for her novel about domestic violence, The Eye of the Sheep.

The story is told from the eyes of a young boy, looking at his violent family.

sofie laguna
Image: Allen & Unwin.

However, Laguna says it the subject was not influenced by high-profile domestic violence cases in the media this year.

“My process is just to be in that boy’s world … a child doesn’t understand things in terms of violent or non-violent,” she told Fairfax Media.

“I’ve heard before that writers or artists, without being conscious of it – we are reflecting back to society the issues of the day. But this was unconscious, as so much of [my] work just is.”

At just 47-years-old Laguna is a mother of two, and was a lawyer and actor before becoming a successful author.

This is her second work for adults, following her acclaimed novel One Foot Wrong.

8. Adelaide council will keep flying the rainbow flag.

Despite opposition among the community and within the council, Marion City Council in Adelaide has voted to keep flying the rainbow flag.

rainbow flag
Image: iStock.

Yesterday, Mamamia reported that Councillor Jerome Appleby hoped to have the flag taken down because it was “promoting homosexuality.”

However, the statement in support Marion’s LGBTQI population will remain after the council voted 7-4 in favour of the flag, Adelaide Now reports.

9. Gender neutral baby names are becoming more popular.

Noah and Emma were the most popular names in 2014, but Amari, Karter and Phoenix are the new up-and-coming favourites.

gender male female
Image: iStock.

A study conducted by Baby Center has found a significant jump in the popularity of gender neutral names.

The list of progressive monikers is topped by Amari — which ros ea whopping 56 per cent in popularity for girls last year, and 22 per cent for boys.

Daily Mail reports the top 10 trending gender neutral names in 2015 are:

1. Amari

2. Karter

3. Phoenix

4. Quinn

5. Reese

6. Phoenix

7. Rory

8. Rowan

9. Sawyer

10. Taylor

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