News in 5: Angry Anderson speaks about son's death; Trump's vote reaction; Summer babies' eyesight.

-With AAP

1. Angry Anderson speaks out for the first time about his son Liam’s death.

Angry Anderson has spoken out for the first time following the tragic death of this son Liam on Sunday morning.

Anderson said Liam, 26, wasn’t actually best friends with his accused killer Mathew Flame as had been reported, but had been trying to help the man when he died.

“They were not best friends,” a devastated Anderson told The Daily Telegraph.

“He wasn’t even in Liam’s main group of friends.”

The rock star said he had raised his children to do the right thing and look after people.

“Liam was trying to help him,” Anderson said. “He was such a decent human being.”

Flame, 20, is alleged to have punched and stomped Liam Anderson, 26, to death in northern Sydney early on Sunday while under the influence of MDMA, marijuana and alcohol.

According to court documents, Flame feared he may have overdosed after briefly passing out so he tried to leave the party the pair were at about 4am.

Liam and others begged Flame to stay, as he would be safe there, but Flame walked out.

Liam followed him, which is when police allege Flame turned. He allegedly kicked and punched Liam in an attack so brutal police quietly counselled the Anderson family to not request a viewing of Liam’s body.

On Monday, Flame’s solicitor Omar Juweinat said that Flame’s family regarded Liam as “part of their family”.

The Anderson family strongly dispute this, saying they didn’t know who Flame was.

Anderson was in Perth when his eldest son Galen called him to inform him of Liam’s death. He said he didn’t recognise the name of Liam’s alleged killer.

“If he was Liam’s best friend, I would have known him,” Anderson said. “He would have been here, around this table, eating with us and the others.”

He told The Daily Telegraph that at most, the men bonded over a fondness for raves and musical events.

Flame has been charged with murder and is in custody, due to next face court on January 29.

2. Donald Trump labels mid-term election results a ‘tremendous success’.


US President Donald Trump has described the mid-term election results as a “tremendous success,” even as his Republican party lost control over the House of Representatives.

“Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!” the president said on Twitter, his only remarks after projections came in.

The House of Representatives will flip to the control of the Democrats while Trump’s Republicans have retained control over the Senate.

The projections were largely in line with polling ahead of election day on Tuesday, which predicted a split Congress.

Trump spent election night watching returns with family and friends at the White House, his shadow looming large over the results.

His closest aides tried to focus him on the positives.

Working on just a few hours’ sleep after a heavy final day of campaigning, Trump spent much of Tuesday on the phone, checking in with friends and advisers, talking to state and national Republican Party officials and White House aides to get a picture of what to expect.

What he heard from them was that Republicans would likely lose control of the House of Representatives but hang on to control of the Senate, adding seats to its majority there.

So when word came in that the projections were broadly correct, it did not come as a shock.

“It’s disappointing but it’s not surprising,” said Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway.

The House loss meant Trump will face investigations into his tax returns, his businesses and his administration by Democratic lawmakers. His legislative agenda, including a vague proposal for a middle-class income tax cut, is likely stalled.

One adviser said the president was probably not prepared for the onslaught of investigations that Democrats were likely to launch.

“I don’t think he fully comprehends what this means by giving the gavel to (Democratic House leader) Nancy Pelosi and her cronies,” the adviser said, asking to remain unidentified.

3. Six-year-old NSW boy with diabetes underwent “slapping” therapy before death.


A young, diabetic boy vomited regularly and was forced to fast for three days before his death during a “radical” Chinese slapping and stretching therapy workshop in Sydney, a jury has heard.

The boy’s mother, father and grandmother, and Chinese self-help practitioner Hong Chi Xiao have all pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to the manslaughter of the six-year-old boy in April 2015.

The Crown alleges all four accused breached the duty of care they owed the child through gross negligence.

Crown prosecutor Sharon Harris told a jury in the Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday the boy’s last insulin injection to treat his type one diabetes came on the first day of the week-long workshop.

The child was then forced to consume nothing but water or a ginger drink on days three, four and five.

During the workshop, the boy was subjected to “a radical treatment” called paida lajin that involved slapping and stretching the body.

Ms Harris said Xiao instructed the family to stop the regular blood glucose tests and insulin injections and said the boy’s increasing vomiting showed toxins were leaving his body.

Instead, Ms Harris said, the vomiting of black and yellow substances and other symptoms were “obvious signs of diabetic ketoacidosis”, which the boy died of on the sixth night.

“He was pushed around in a stroller on the final day because he couldn’t walk,” she said.

Ms Harris said Xiao had claimed in a seminar before the start of the workshop the treatment “activated the body’s self-healing power and unlocked the body’s energy channels” and was capable of curing cancer and diabetes.

“Xiao was promoting his methods as superior to conventional Western medicine,” she said.

But Xiao’s barrister Robert Cavanagh disputed his client owed the boy a duty of care or, even were that the case, the Chinese practitioner was ever criminally negligent.


“This was a workshop for a number of people…(and) is an offering to people of alternative treatment,” he told the jury.

The mother’s barrister, Ragni Mathur, said her client wasn’t some “alternative medicine fanatic” and had treated her son’s diabetes exactly as a Sydney hospital had instructed.

Both Ms Mathur and the grandmother’s barrister argued their client believed Xiao was a doctor.

“This is about trust, about misplaced trust and whether misplaced trust in all the circumstances amounts to manslaughter,” Ms Mathur said.

The father’s barrister asked the jury to consider how much the 58-year-old knew about his son’s condition and whether a duty-of-care breach amounted to gross criminal negligence.

The trial before Judge David Arnott is expected to last six weeks.

4. Sydney woman’s terrified emails to boyfriend before alleged murder.

A woman allegedly bashed to death by her boyfriend in a Sydney apartment block was living in fear of him and his threats to “cave” her head in, a jury has heard.

Onitolosi Etuini Atiai Latu, 30, is on trial in NSW’s Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to murdering Rhonda Baker, who died in Liverpool Hospital on August 7, 2016.

In his opening address on Wednesday, crown prosecutor Guy Newton said the 26-year-old suffered facial fractures and a brain bleed “that ultimately caused her to die”.

There was an AVO in place at the time but it allowed the pair to live together, Mr Newton said.

He said the “on-again, off-again” couple exchanged emails about three weeks before the alleged murder in which Latu allegedly expressed he was “not happy” with Ms Baker over past incidents he “regards as infidelity”.

Ms Baker allegedly wrote: “I’m trying to do the best I can right now for us and this relationship but it’s hard, especially when you’re going off at me and making threats.

“I can’t keep living in fear like this every time something happens.”

She asked “wouldn’t you be in fear too?” over threats he allegedly made such as “I’m going to cave your head in”.

The prosector said the relationship “had reached boiling point” in terms of Latu’s anger towards his girlfriend.

The jury will be played a triple-zero call made by Latu at 4.24am in which he was instructed to administer CPR.

He allegedly told a paramedic, who saw Ms Baker on the hallway floor with facial bruises and pink fluid frothing from her mouth, “I came home to find her like this … while I was asking her what happened, she had a seizure”.

Latu gave four “completely and utterly contradictory” versions of his whereabouts that night, Mr Newton said.


He was only wearing underwear and allegedly told police he had decided to shave his head at 4am.

Officers allegedly found blood throughout Ms Baker’s car – parked under the unit – including on a headrest, window, the exterior and a fire escape door.

A number of her family and friends are expected to give evidence, including her mother, who Mr Newton says will testify she saw her daughter had arm bruises in April 2016 and asked if “he” had “been hitting” her again.

The prosecutor expects the jury will hear Ms Baker had replied that she couldn’t leave Latu because he had made threats to “get” her family and burn her grandpa’s house down.

About a week before her death, the young woman allegedly told a colleague at Dial A Dump Industries that she was planning to move in with her parents, Mr Newton said.

Barrister Gregory Woods QC will open the defence case on Thursday.

The trial before Justice Julia Lonergan is expected to run for four weeks.

5. Summer babies may have worse eyesight, research says.

Children born in the summer may have an increased risk of being short-sighted, a new study suggests.

To a lesser extent, playing computer games may also be a risk factor, researchers found.

The study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, examined the risk of myopia among youngsters taking part in the Twins Early Development Study.

Myopia, or near-sightedness, is a common eye condition where objects close by can be seen clearly and those further away can appear blurred.

Almost 2000 twins with an average age of 17, who were born between 1994 and 1996, took part in the study.

Overall 26 per cent of the participants were myopic, and the average age at which children started to wear glasses was 11.

Researchers compared their short-sightedness to a range of factors.

Factors significantly associated with developing short-sightedness included being born in the summer – where children had a 93 per cent increased risk – and those who spent longer playing computer games were 3 per cent more likely to develop such eye problems.

But fertility treatment appeared to have a protective effect, with twins born as a result of IVF less likely to become short-sighted.

The authors wrote: “We attempted to address the question of what early life factors in modern-day childhood contribute to myopia and identified maternal education, playing computer games and a summer birth to be associated with increased odds, while fertility treatment appeared protective.”