Thursday's news in under 5 minutes

1. Alcohol fuelled violence

Alleged attacker Shaun McNeil cried as he was refused bail

A New Years Eve attack has left a Sydney teenager in a critical condition after he was punched in the face in Kings Cross.

His alleged attacker, Shaun McNeil punched four other victims during the same assault, a Sydney court heard yesterday.

Daniel Christie, 18, is in a critical condition in St Vincent’s Hospital. It has been revealed that he was shielding other alleged victims when he was punched.

Mr McNeil, 25, cried as he was refused bail.

He has been charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Christie, one count of assaulting Mr Christie’s brother, Peter Christie, and two counts of common assault.

The attack occurred on the same street where teenage king-hit victim Thomas Kelly was killed in 2012.

2. Other New Years Eve violence

The Kings Cross attack was just one of a number of violent acts across the country. In Port Macquarie, NSW there was a stabbing murder; another alleged attempted murder by stabbing in Adelaide; and a killing, reportedly by machete, at a beachside party on a remote island north of Perth.

At Surfers Paradise, a riot erupted after police arrested two men. The crowd followed them back to the police station, threw objects and injured three officers, including one who was bitten on the arm.

In Melbourne two police officers were assaulted at Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy, where about 15,000 people had gathered.

3. Teenage alcoholic

With many young people still recovering from New Years Eve festivities one young woman has told her story of battling alcoholism at the age of 15.  She says she was drinking up to six litres of alcoholic cider a day.  For more, read this post here.

4. No name for former AVN

AVN refused potential name change

The Australian Vaccination Network, which promotes the “benefits” of measles and believes vaccines cause autism, has lost its first battle to find a new name after groups opposing them argued the use of the word ‘skeptics’ was dishonest.

The Australian has reported that the former AVN tried to reserve the name Australian Vaccination Sceptics Network with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

The failed attempt comes as new laws aimed at raising immunisation rates begin in childcare centres across NSW.

As of January 1, a child cannot be enrolled at a childcare facility unless the parent or guardian provides an official record proving the child is fully immunised or an approved exemption is provided.

5. NSW Rape

A 21 year old woman has been raped on a NSW stretch of beach in the early hours of New Years Day.

The woman was walking alone in an area known as Puckeys Estate, between North Wollongong and Fairy Meadow beaches, when an unknown attacker grabbed her from behind.

He dragged her over to a nearby sand dune and raped her before fleeing into the night.

6. Heatwave weather

Central Australia is set to experience some of its hottest weather ever with parts of QLD predicted to hit 50 degrees and Alice Springs to potentially have one of its hottest days ever.


Certain parts of Queensland could experience the longest stretch of extreme heat on record, with the town of Longreach expected to have nine consecutive days in 44-46 degree heat.

7. Michael Schumacher

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher remained “stable” on Wednesday after spending a third night in hospital with severe brain injuries sustained while skiing in the French Alps.

Reports are emerging that he was not skiing fast when the accident happened, rather hitting a rock when he took a turn in what his manager describes as an unfortunate chain of circumstances.

His family have asked for privacy – but this hasn’t stopped some journalists trying to reach the racing legend with a person, suspected to be a reporter dressing up as a Priest and attempting to sneak into his room.

8. Man charged over genital mutilation of daughter

A man has been arrested in Sydney and charged in relation to the alleged genital mutilation of his nine-month old daughter.

Police have been told the man allegedly organised for his infant daughter to undergo circumcision while holidaying overseas in February 2012.

Six months later police were alerted when the child’s mother took her to a doctor.

9. Viral complaint letter

A man’s complaint letter to Jetstar is going viral after his attempt to secure some more room by paying an extra $25 failed when his fellow seat passenger turned out to be a morbidly obese man.

He wrote: “As I got closer, I was relieved to see that it wasn’t a dangerous semi-aquatic African mammal, but a morbidly obese human being. However, this relief was short-lived when I realised that my seat was located somewhere underneath him.”

He then says that he: “spent the remainder of the flight smothered in side-boob and cellulite, taking shallow breaths to avoid noxious gas poisoning.”

10. Toys for Nauru

Great news: toy donations to asylum seeker toys is successful.

An email and social media campaign to collect toys for asylum seeker children being held in Nauru has been a success with a mountain of toys held in the office of Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, waiting to be delivered to more than 100 children detained in Nauru while their families’ asylum requests are processed.

Save the Children will be distributing the toys in January and donations are still being accepted.

For more information and to donate toys go here.

 In Brief:

An Arizona woman tried to kill her ex-husband and poison her four children, including a teenage daughter found dead in her home on Christmas Day because she didn’t want the man to have custody of the kids.

Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste will spend the next 15 days detained in Egypt and questioned over alleged ties to terrorists.

What news are you talking about today?