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News in 5: Tributes for Aretha Franklin; Dad arrested over missing wife and kids; Powerball win.

-With AAP

1. Tributes are flowing for Aretha Franklin, who has died aged 76.

Fans, music legends and US presidents have paid tribute to the “greatest soul artist of all time”, Aretha Franklin, who died aged 76 from cancer.

The woman known for hits such as Respect, I Say a Little Prayer and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, died on Thursday at her home in Detroit from pancreatic cancer after a long struggle with health problems.

The US Recording Academy, the body that presents the Grammy Awards, called the 18-time Grammy winner an “incomparable artist” and “one of the most profound voices in music.”

Her powerful voice was “a glimpse of the divine,” Barack and Michelle Obama said of Franklin, who sang at Obama’s first presidential inauguration in 2009.

Fans paid their respects by laying flowers at her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles and remembering her on social media, where fellow musicians also saluted her.

“What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude,” wrote Carole King, who co-wrote (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

To read our full story about Aretha Franklin, click here.

2. Father arrested after his “missing” pregnant wife and children’s bodies are found.

shanann watts
Shannan Watts constantly shared photos of what looked like a happy family. Image: Instagram.
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A US father arrested over the disappearance of his pregnant wife and two children has reportedly led police to where their bodies were hidden.

Police told reporters that investigators had found a woman's body and were trying to recover the bodies of two children, believed to be her daughters, CBS Denver reports.

Colorado woman Shanann Watts, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and her daughters Bella, four, and Celeste, three, were reported missing on Monday, launching a desperate search for them.

On Wednesday police detained the 34-year-old's husband Chris Watts. CBS Denver reports police say he confessed to killing his family and agreed to lead detectives to their bodies. The bodies were found at Anadarko Petroleum Corp, which was Watts' workplace in 2015.

A friend raised the alarm with police on Monday after becoming concerned when Shanann didn't show up for a meeting and didn't answer her phone.

Before Watts' arrest, the father appeared on NBC’s Today show on Wednesday morning, where he said he was living a "nightmare" and spoke of the "emotional" conversation he'd had with his wife on Monday morning, not further elaborating.

He now faces three charges of murder and tampering with evidence.

3. Dying man awarded $1 million from Christian Brothers after childhood sex abuse.

paul-bradshaw
Paul Bradshaw has been awarded $1 million. Image: AAP
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A landmark $1 million settlement for historical child sex abuse committed by members of the Christian Brothers could lead to more claims out of Western Australia.

Paul Bradshaw, 74, was abused at Castledare Junior Orphanage and Clontarf Orphanage in the 1950s and 60s by Brothers Lawrence Murphy, Bruno Doyle and Christopher Angus, who are all dead.

The terminally ill man, who reached a settlement in the WA District Court on Thursday with the Trustees of the Christian Brothers, is the first person to claim damages under new WA laws that remove the time limit for compensation in such cases.

The Christian Brothers have paid a total of $48.5 million to 763 victims, with an average payment of $64,000, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse previously heard.

Mr Bradshaw cried outside court, saying he had lived on the street most of his life and did not want his family to do the same.

"I'm just hoping now that this has been settled and I can get on with my last six months in peace," he said.

"I will die happy now knowing that I can care for my family."

Lawyer Michael Magazanik described it as a landmark case and said his firm was working on about 60 other similar matters in WA.

Mr Bradshaw said it was never about money.

"I just wanted the apology of the Christian Brothers."

Mr Bradshaw's claims of abuse were twice dismissed as a child and when he later told a judge about it he was labelled a liar and put in a psychiatric hospital, Mr Magazanik said.

In the 1990s, Mr Bradshaw was also involved in the prosecution of Brother Murphy, but the case was eventually dropped and he died without facing justice.

4. Two people split Australia's largest ever Powerball jackpot win.

Two entries have grabbed a $50 million slice of the equal-largest division one lottery prize pool in Australian history.

A ticket sold in Sydney and another online to someone in Victoria were the only two to get a taste of the $100 million Powerball jackpot by correctly selecting 3, 13, 27, 31, 32, 33, 35 and the powerball 3.

Almost 3.5 million other players collected a return ranging from a division two prize of $122,000 down to ninth division's $10.55.

A $100m first division prize was already the largest Powerball jackpot in history with an Oz Lotto draw in 2012 reaching the mark.

But with that pool also shared, a Hervey Bay couple who won $70 million in 2016 remain the nation's largest individual prize winners.

The Lott said the Sydney entry was unregistered while the online entrant hadn't supplied complete contact details.

"While we are unable to confirm the win with either of our winners, we can guarantee that when they discover the news, their life is set to change when their bank balance balloons by a whopping $50 million," spokesman Matthew Hart said in a statement.

5. Aussies are living longer, while other wealthy countrymen are dying sooner.

Australians are outliving their British and American cousins.

A study of how long men and women are living in 18 wealthy countries has found that life expectancy is on the rise in Australia but declining in Britain, the United States and several other nations.

Australian women had a life expectancy of 85.5 years in 2016, while for men it was 81.5 years, the study by researchers at Princeton University and the University of Southern California found.

Both Australian men and women are now living more than a year longer than they were in 2010.

By comparison, British women and men have seen their life expectancy dip to 82.7 years and 79 years respectively.

There's been a similar pattern in the US, where men now live an average of 76.4 years and women for 81.4 years.

Overall, Switzerland has the longest life expectancy for men at 81.6 years, while Japanese women live to a ripe old age of 87.2 years.

Japanese people live the longest with women having an average life span of 87.2 years and men 81 years.

The researchers said while Australia's life expectancy rates have increased uninterrupted since 2010, about 12-of-the 18 OECD countries experienced an unusual simultaneous drop in 2014-15.

While they blamed the fall largely as a result of a severe flu season, the researchers said it was the first time in decades that so many wealthy countries experienced a decline in the one year.

Most of those countries bounced back the following year, but the US and Britain did not.

The researchers suggested that the opioid epidemic gripping the US could be to blame for the decline in life expectancy there, while in the UK it could be the result of higher mortality rates among the over 65s.

The findings were published by the British Medical Journal on Thursday.

TOP FIVE COUNTRIES FOR LIVING LONGER

WOMEN

1. Japan 87.2 yrs

2. Spain 85.8 yrs

3. Switzerland 85.4 yrs

4. France 85.5 yrs

5. Australia 85.46 yrs

MEN

1.Switzerland 81.6 yrs

2. Australia 81.5 yrs

3. Japan 81.01 yrs

4.Norway 80.61 yrs

5.Sweden 80.57 yrs

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