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Sunday's news in under 5 minutes.

midterm elections

Obama to send 1500 more troops to Iraq.

US President Barack Obama has decided to roughly double the number of American forces on the ground in Iraq working to train Iraqi forces in their fight against the Islamic State.

Obama has currently approved another 1500 troops to be sent over; adding to the number of non-combatant troops already sent to the region this year after advances by ISIS increased.

Olympic swim team official quits after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Senior Olympic swim team official Greg Hodge has quit competitive coaching overnight, following claims by the Sunday Telegraph that ‘Swimming Australia’ failed to properly investigate allegations against him.

A note was sent to members of West Coast Swimming club yesterday stating that Hodge had retired from competitive coaching. However, he will continue to work there until a replacement coach is found despite being investigated by the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association.

Some of the accusations of inappropriate behaviour made against him include allegedly kissing a junior female member on a pool deck in 2011, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Single women have half the average assets of single males. pay gap

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The average wealth gap between single men and single women across all age groups has grown from $18,300 in 2002 to $47,000 in 2010, a Curtin University Study has found.

Despite increases in female workplace participation and tertiary education rates, single women are left with just over half the average assets of single males, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The study found that males under 35, on average, had assets worth over $120,000 in 2010. This was 89 per cent higher than the average asset value for females in the same demographic.

Man found in possession of ‘childlike sex doll’ to fight child pornography charges.

A Sydney man is set to fight child pornography charges, arguing that his possession of a childlike sex doll does not fit within the legal definition of child abuse material.

Current child pornography laws may have to be amended before he is found guilty over possessing the 132 cm tall doll in the shape of a 12 to 14 year old girl.

The 31-year-old’s home was raided by police in July 2013, when the mannequin was found alongside other child abuse material.

The accused man said he “played dress up, then put it in my bed [and used] it as a hug pillow when I sleep”.

julie bishop at the UN
Julie Bishop

Foreign Minister named  Harper’s Woman of the Year.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been named Harper’s Bazaar’s Woman of the Year.

Speaking about her choice to distance herself from the word ‘feminism’, Bishop said: “Please do not let it get to you and do not become a victim, because it’s only a downward spiral once you’ve cast yourself as a victim”.

Ms Bishop also said her current role was the position she had always dreamed of in politics. “I went into federal politics with the secret hope [of becoming] Foreign Minister. It’s the greatest opportunity I could ever wish for. I am living my dream.”

You can read the full interview with Julie Bishop in the latest Harper’s Bazaar. 

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Three men charged over death of 75-year-old Australian grandmother in India.

Police are investigating the murder of an Australian grandmother, who went missing while volunteering in India in August this year.

Toni Anne Ludgate is believed to have been murdered by a guard at the building where she was living in Andhra Pradesh.

The ABC reports Ms Ludgate gave the guard $600 to cover her rent, but he only passed $200 onto her landlord. When she asked for the money back, the guard and two of his friends murdered her.

The accused are currently facing murder charges after confessing, but the investigation is ongoing while they try to track down Ms Ludgate’s mobile phone.

Ms Ludgate’s daughter said he mother was a “deeply humane and compassionate person and well loved by all who know her.”

Hamish and Andy set to earn big(ger) bucks. hamish-andy-620x349

News Limited is reporting today that Hamish and Andy will each receive an annual salary of $4M for taking back drive time on 2DayFM, making them the highest paid FM radio personalities in the country.

Hamish and Andy will kick off their new show mid-year in 2015, with Jules Lund from the morning show on drive time duties until then.

You can read more here. 

Man from US injected with Ebola virus as part of a clinical trial.

Peter Hubbard from the US is the latest person to take part in a clinical trial to develop a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus.

The 35-year-old is one of 20 who has been voluntarily injected with the Ebola virus. The US National Institutes of Health hopes a potential breakthrough from this study may assist in minimising the severity of future outbreaks.

“I get  a lot of satisfaction out of the fact that this could potentially develop into a viable vaccine that prevents another outbreak, “Mr Hubbard told The Mirror.

Mr Hubbard has previously partaken in vaccine trials for HIV, malaria and swine flu. He says he “feels great” and even ran a marathon over the weekend.

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