We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.
1. DPP to appeal Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict.
Queensland’s Director of Public Prosecutions will appeal Gerard Baden-Clay’s manslaughter verdict.
Baden-Clay, who was last year sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Allison, had his murder conviction downgraded to manslaughter earlier this month.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said in a statement yesterday “I have been advised that the DPP intends to file the application when the High Court registry opens on Monday 4 January.”
This will give the DPP 28 days to lodge an outline of argument with the High Court. The defence will then be given 21 days to outline its argument before the High Court schedules a date to hear the applications.
Her close friend Nicole Morrison told The Courier Mail the move was welcomed by Allison’s family.
“We are very pleased the DPP has announced it will file the special leave application to the High Court.”
2. Arrest warrant issued for Bill Cosby over 2004 sexual assault charge.
Bill Cosby has been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home 12 years ago — the first criminal charges brought against the comedian.
Prosecutors accused him of plying former Temple University employee Andrea Constand with pills and wine, then penetrating her with his fingers without her consent, while she was drifting in and out of consciousness, unable to resist or cry out.
The charges came down just days before the 12-year statute of limitations for bringing charges was set to run out.
Cosby acknowledged under oath a decade ago that he had sexual contact with Constand but said it was consensual.
For more read this post here.
3. Mother abused for expressing milk in her car told to “put her f—ing tits away.”
A young mother, expressing milk for her baby while in the front seat of her car in a Bunning’s car park has been the subject of verbal abuse by a passer-by.
Telaine Smith, 31, of Herbey Bay in QLD was sitting in her car in a Bunnings carpark with the windows up when the woman launched into her tirade.
Ms Smith told The Daily Mail she was too shocked to respond.
“I was sitting in the car with the aircon on with my sons, people who walk past normally don’t look in the car window,” she said.
“I noticed people out the corner of my eye walk past, and the woman actually walked back and hit the window.
“She said “put your f—ing tits away”,’ Ms Smith said. ‘I didn’t even respond, I was just in shock.”
But her six-year-old son, sitting in the back seat was quick to defend his mother telling the passer-by “‘If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to look”.
4. Ex-Neighbours star set to leave Malaysia with her son.
Australian actress, Eliza Szonert who has been in the headlines after she snatched her son back from her ex-husband in Malaysia is set to return home with her son within 48 hours reports Fairfax Media.
Szonert and her young son had been unable to leave the country after the boy’s father, the Australian businessman Ashley Crick, allegedly refused to release their passports.
She engaged a child recovery company to gain her son back from Crick, with a video of the incident released to the media.
Fairfax Media reports that Szonert is due to return home after Crick returned her and her son’s passport to the Australian embassy.
It is thought that Ms Szonert’s family and Mr Crick’s parents will accompany Szonert and the child on the flight back to Australia.
5. New Years fireworks will see extra security around the country.
With the national terrorism threat level of ‘probable’ the Special Emergency Response Team and other specialists will be ready to react to any major incidents across the country tonight.
Extra police will be in force as the nation welcomes in 2016 with spectacular fireworks shows across the country.
In Sydney family-friendly 9pm fireworks will kick off events followed by a 12-minute firework display at midnight that will include lighting on the historic pylons of the Harbour Bridge. Organisers have said this year will be the biggest ever incorporating an extra 2400 effects.
In Brisbane there will be free family movies and fireworks at South Bank
In Melbourne there will be four “lives sites” — at Docklands, Treasury Gardens, Kings Domain and Flagstaff Gardens — will host entertainment from 9pm to 1am, and there will be a multimedia countdown to midnight.
In Perth there are firework displays planned from Rottnest to Mandurah with Northbridge expected to attract the most revellers with road closures in place until 9am New Year’s Day.
In Adelaide a 10-minute fire work display will be set off from the banks of the River Torrens and from pontoons on the river at 8.50pm, while a 15 minute display will also include fireworks from the Riverbank Bridge
While Melbourne will see a spectacular fireworks display other parts of the state have had to put their New Years celebrations on hold as a total fire ban encompasses regions from Torquay to Apollo Bay.
The Country Fire Authority has revoked fireworks permits for these areas with soaring temperatures creating fears of bushfire breakouts.
Barwon South West Regional Controller Bob Barry said the CFA couldn’t “take any chances” on the coast because of the severe fire danger.
“Firefighters have been working around the clock on a serious fire at Wye River,” Mr Barry said.
“Our resources are already stretched to the limit and the last thing we want to do is spread our resources further.”
6. Calls to return Tony Abbott to cabinet.
Malcolm Turnbull is being urged by colleagues to return former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the frontbench position following the resignations of junior ministers Jamie Briggs and Mal Brough.
Conservative Senator Eric Abetz told the ABC he was urging the PM to make the move.
“Just as much as when other leaders have been deposed they have been rehabilitated into cabinet or shadow cabinet and I think that is important for the unity of the party, if that is at all possible.”
He later told media “It is up to the Prime Minister to determine who will serve in his ministry and, of course, Mr Abbott still needs to make up his mind whether or not he wishes to remain in the Parliament,” Senator Abetz said.
“I don’t want to pre-empt or be seen as trying to coerce the Prime Minister into any course of action. I simply objectively make the observation that … the former Prime Minister has a wealth of experience that is available to the nation and I hope that he makes it available and I hope the Prime Minister avails himself of that if those circumstances merge.”
7. Report says teachers are bullying children with autism.
A report by the Autistic Family Collective has found that more than 44 per cent of bullying cases against students with autism were found to have been started by the students’ teachers.
Earlier this year cases came to light including a boy with autism locked in a metal cage in a Canberra school and a nine-year-old boy, from QLD locked in an unsupervised room with boarded up windows at Kawungan State School.
AFC co-convener Cas Fields said more needed to be done.
“It’s pretty awful and I wish I could say it’s a surprise.”
“We have uncovered a lot of exclusions going on … it’s almost acceptable for the kids themselves to be blamed for a situation” she told The Courier Mail.
“This story is the tip of the iceberg. There are communication differences which makes it challenging for children to tell their parents about what’s going on and a lot of the time, the stories of what happened will only come out months and months later … it really is quite traumatising.”
8. Australian man refused entry to US because he shares name with Islamic State leader.
An Australian man has been removed from a plane bound for the United States because he has a similar name to a known Islamic militant leader.
Omar Mohamad was travelling to New York to spend New Year’s Eve with friends when he was removed from a U.S bound flight by custom officials moments before it was due to take off from Dubai International Airport.
The 28-year-old Perth Airport worker had just posted a status update of his business class seat when he was abruptly told to step off the plane.
His mother, Linda Mohamad told WA TODAY witnessing her son being discriminated against was ‘sobering’.
She said he was removed from the Emirates flight because his name was similar to Islamic militant leader, Omar Bakri Muhammad, who has been banned from Britain due to his views on terrorism.
“I have already had to change my name once because of this unbelievable dumbfermary [sic],” Ms Mohamad said.
“To now witness my son experience the evil of prejudice and discrimination, as many in this world suffer daily, is sobering.
“He has been to the US on numerous occasions and many, many other countries around the world… he is well travelled and well educated.”
Perth aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas told 6PR that following 9/11, thousands of people on a United States’ ‘no fly list’ often just those who shared the same name were caught up.
“It is certainly a problem, what you have to do is go to the US embassy and go through a rigorous investigation and then you get a document which you then cite from then on which proves that you’ve had this examination and you’re not the same person,” he said
Mr Mohamed was forced to change his plans and instead he headed to Greece.
Happy New year from all of us here at Mamamia News.