news

Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Baden-Clay trial

Gerard Baden-Clay is accused of murdering his wife, Allison June Baden-Clay

 UPDATE: Bayden-Clay daughter gives evidence in court.

The Bayden-Clay murder trial continues today, with a forensic pathologist and one of the Bayden-Clay daughters giving evidence.

Dr Nathan Milne, who conducted the post-mortem examination for the coroner, told the court that he did not believe Allison had died from falling off the bridge where she was found.

“My assessment of the death scene is that it was not from a natural death,” he told the court.

One of the Bayden-Clay daughters, aged 8, gave evidence today through a recorded interview.

In her video evidence she said, “I saw her last night… In my room. She was saying goodnight to me.”

The second of the Bayden-Clay daughters, will be the 15th witness. She is only 10-years-old, and will give evidence through a pre-recorded video that was filmed in 2012.

The young girl has said when her mother disappeared that, “She went for a walk this morning and she hasn’t returned.”

“That’s about all I know about what happened,” she said at the time.

Previously Mamamia reported…

Gerard Baden-Clay was in a long-term affair and was planning to leave his wife for his mistress, according to evidence presented to court yesterday.

Baden-Clay is accused of murdering his wife, Allison June Baden-Clay, on April 19, 2012. He pleaded not guilty.

The court heard of a secret email account he used to tell his mistress that he loved her and to “leave things to me now” just days before Allison went missing.

The court also heard he was in debt and struggling to make ends meet.

2. High school shooting

A shooting in a US high school overnight has seen one student and the shooter die. The shooting took place in Oregon, just east of Portland.

“A gunman entered the high school this morning, shot one student. Unfortunately, that student has died,” police chief Scott Anderson said on Tuesday.

“The gunman was located and the gunman is also deceased … The situation is contained,” he said.

3. Mob sexually assault women in Egypt

Seven men have been arrested over several incidences of sexually assaulting women on Sunday at Egypt’s inauguration celebrations for their new president.

The arrests come amid growing outrage over a graphic video that appears to show a woman being stripped naked and attacked in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The footage allegedly shows a group of men surrounding a woman, the lower part of whose body is naked and bloodied. Towards the end of the video, the woman appears to have been stripped completely naked. She eventually reaches an ambulance parked nearby.

According to the BBC, the user who uploaded the video said it was filmed in Tahrir Square on Sunday, but it appears it was first posted online on Wednesday.

Also causing outrage are comments by a female presenter on a TV channel, al-Tahrir.

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When told about the reports of sexual assaults in Tahrir Square on Sunday, she laughed and said: “It’s because they are happy.”

4. Mother from incest cult appears in court

A mother who made headlines last year for being at the centre of an incest cult in NSW has appeared in court, after she allegedly tried to organise for two of her sons to run away from their foster homes.

The Daily Mail report that ‘Betty’ Colt faces up to 10 years behind bars if she is found guilty of recruiting a child to commit a crime.

She is accused of secretly giving her sons mobile phones during meeting supervised by foster carers and arranging to pick them up in the early hours of the morning.

5. Home birth inquest

An inquest into the death of Caroline Lovell, who died after a home birth in Melbourne, has heard that she told her midwife she was dying and needed to go to hospital in the moments after she gave birth to her second daughter.

One of the two midwives, Melody Bourne, gave evidence on the first day of the inquest.

There were two midwives present at the birth, Melody Bourne and Gaye Demanuele.

On the morning of January 23, 2012, they delivered Caroline Lovell’s daughter. Just over an hour the baby girl was born Ms Bourne said Ms Lovell was light-headed and hyperventilating, telling her midwives she was dying and needed to go to hospital.

“Gaye then questioned Caroline as to what she was feeling, in this conversation Caroline did not identify any physical symptoms,” The Age reports Ms Bourne said. “Gaye and I also made efforts to calm and reassure Caroline.”

According to The Age “five minutes later, Ms Lovell became pale, cold and unresponsive and an ambulance was called.”

Ms Bourne was asked whether this could have been identified if the midwives had examined Ms Lovell.

“There were more pressing events and there didn’t appear to be any excessive blood loss,” Ms Bourne said.

According to The Age, she said there was no hospital on stand-by in case it went wrong.

“As far as I aware, it wasn’t an option that was available,” she said.

 6. Bianca needs our help

Bianca Scott needs a $18,000-per-week drug to live.

An 18-year-old girl dying of a rare kidney disease is desperately seeking financial help, as the drug that can save her life costs $18,000 a week.

Bianca’s next dose is due on June 19.

For more read this post here.

7. Keep sick kids home

The Victorian Principals Association has told The Herald Sun that that many schools are struggling with parents who send their sick kids to school because they have no back up when their children fell ill.

“Because of the number of working parents, there is just not somebody at home to look after them,’’ she said.

The statement comes as a number of school principals plead with parents to keep their sick children home as the flu season hits.

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Berwick Lodge principal Henry Grossek told The Herald Sun: “some teachers thought parents treated schools with sick bays and nurses like pseudo hospital wards.”

8. Two-year-old boy killed by falling statue

A two-year-old boy who climbed on a 1.8 metres statue of a dolphin at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has died after it toppled on him.

Kayson Shelton was allegedly climbing the statue, which was outside a shop selling art. The little boy initially appeared okay and was treated for a bloody nose by ambulance officers, but he was then taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution where his condition quickly worsened and he died.

9. Rolf Harris trial

The trial of entertainer Rolf Harris has heard closing arguments by prosecutor Sasha Wass QC.

She told Southwark Crown Court there was no doubt the 84-year-old has had a glittering career as a “seemingly untouchable” children’s entertainer, but that you can’t sing your way out of a criminal charge.

“His fame, wealth, age or talent should not be used as an excuse for his behaviour,” Ms Wass said. Harris is accused of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four women. He has denied all charges.

“He was a sinister pervert who had a demon lurking beneath the charming exterior,” Ms Wass said.

10. Hillary Clinton says that Julia Gillard faced sexism

Hillary Clinton “‘‘women in public life still face an unfair double standard”

Hillary Clinton written of the “outrageous sexism’’ suffered by Former PM Julia Gillard in her new book.

The book, Hard Choices, which tells of her time as US secretary of state, says that ‘‘women in public life still face an unfair double standard”.

“Even leaders like former prime minister Julia Gillard of Australia have faced outrageous sexism which shouldn’t be tolerated in any country,” Mrs Clinton wrote.

11. Federal Government seizes ‘rainy day savings’

The federal government has seized $360 million from household bank accounts that have been dormant for just three years.

The figures from ASIC show that nearly 80,000 in active accounts were raided under new rules introduced by Labor. The new rules lowered the threshold at which the government is allowed to snatch funds from accounts that remain idle from seven years to three years.

The purpose of the laws is actually to reunite people with lost accounts before funds are eroded by fees and other charges, but many are criticising it as a cash-grab.

12. Twins born 24 days apart

A mother in the US city of Boston has had her twin boys over three weeks apart.

Lindalva Pinheiro da Silva was just 24 weeks pregnant when her waters broke and she gave birth prematurely to one of her baby boys. However her second twin did not come.

She was kept in hospital until three weeks later she began to have contractions again.

But born at 3 pounds, 3 ounces, baby Ronaldo was bigger and stronger than his brother Alexandre, thanks to an extra 24 days inside. “That time made a crazy difference,” da Silva told Good Morning America.

“He was born like a regular baby. He didn’t need a breathing tube or anything.”

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Alexandre is still a bit smaller than his brother, and doctors say he might need surgery down the road for eye problems and a hernia.

13. Concern over copyright issues for home bakers

Warnings over cake copyright.

A baker has expressed her concern over copyright issues when making Disney based cakes.

Quest Community Newspapers reports that Serene Leong, a baker in Rocklea, said after hearing of overseas cake businesses being slapped with hefty copyright lawsuits, she now refuses to make Disney character cakes for customers.

Copyright expert, Griffith University Associate Professor Leanne Wiseman told Quest Community Newspapers that home bakers also need to be wary.

Ms Wiseman said people who showed off their baking skills on social media might unexpectedly find themselves in trouble.

14. One of the world’s best-loved children’s authors passed away this morning.

Eric Hill, creator of the Spot books, has passed away.

Children’s author and illustrator Eric Hill, the creator of Spot the Dog, died today at 86-years-old.

Hill – who sometimes referred to himself as “Spot’s dad” – died after a short illness, at his home in California. His publisher posted a comment about his passing online.

Francesca Dow, the head of the company’s children division, said, “He created one of the world’s most loveable children’s book characters – Spot, the charming, naughty, playful puppy, loved and appreciated across the world.

“Eric’s ingenious lift-the-flap device turned the reading of a Spot book into a glorious game of hide and seek, enjoyed by children and adults alike.”

The Spot books have sold 60 million copies around the world.

15. Obama points to Australia’s gun laws as a good example

US President Barack Obama says Australia’s gun control laws have got it right — and that the US “should be ashamed” at its inability to address school schootings.

During a  live question and answers session on a Tumblr forum soon after the death of a student during the most recent shooting at a Oregon high school, Obama noted that Australia hadn’t had a single mass shooting since the crackdown on gun violence following the horrific Port Arthur shootings in 1996.

He also expressed disbelief that there was no momentum for gun reform in the wake of a recent spate of mass shootings.

“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts, there is no advanced developed country on earth that would put up with this,” the president said.

“We are the only developed country on earth where this happens, and it happens now once a week,” he said.

16. Angelina Jolie vows to help stop sexual violence in conflict

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has vowed to help put an end to sexual violence in conflict.

Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague are currently hosting the first global summit in London to end sexual violence in conflict zonesand Jolie gave the opening address at the event.

During her speech, Jolie said the summit –the largest ever event of its kind — must seek to destigmatise sexual violence.

She expressed a wish to dedicate the conference to a rape survivor she recently interviewed in Bosnia, who felt so humiliated after the abuse she suffered that she couldn’t tell her family.

“She felt that having had no justice for her particular crime, in her particular situation, and having seen the actual man who raped her on the streets free, she really felt abandoned by the world,” Ms Jolie said.

“This day is for her.”

Mr Hague, in his speeach, said rape was one of the “great mass crimes” of modern times and called on the more than 140 nations at the summit to write action against sexual violence into their army training.

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Jolie has travelled to conflict zones from Afghanistan to Somalia as a UN envoy, and her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey focused on women’s horrific experiences in Bosnia’s “rape camps” during the 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

In Australia, Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop hosted a roundtable discussion in Canberra last week on the role that Australia plays in preventing sexual violence in conflict. While the Australian government has committed to helping eradicate sexual violence in conflict, human rights and aid organisations are keen to ensure it keeps its promise to do so. 

Julie Bishop.

“We’ll be calling on Ms Bishop to ensure that this commitment translates into concrete actions and resources, including  facilitating direct support to countries that are affected by protracted crisis to respond more effectively to sexual violence,” Michelle Higelin of international women’s rights agency ActionAid Australia, said.

“This is a major historical moment. Right now, the world is coming together with more commitment to ending sexual violence against women than we’ve ever seen before,” Ms Higelin said.

“We are faced with an unprecedented opportunity to protect women living in contexts affected by conflict and to deliver access to justice for survivors of violence. Australia can make an enormous difference, and now is the moment for us to commit to doing that.”

For more on sexual violence in war zones, see this post.

17. New blanket developed to protect children from gunfire

Bulletproof blankets designed to protect children from school shootings have been developed in the US.

Bodyguard blankets. (Photo: Facebook.)

The blanket’s creator, ProTecht, says its Bodyguard Blanket is made from the same materials used by the US.military, and is now encouraging school administrators to adopt the Bodyguard Blanket as part of their lockdown protocol.

The blanket, which was developed after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School,  has been tested at a shooting range and will shielf children against 90% of all weapons used in school shootings in the US, according to the company.

The blanket can also protect against nails, shards of metal, or “that blunt-force trauma when that rubble is falling down on a child,” the Oklahoman reports.

The blankets, which $1,000, are meant to be stored in a classroom so students can put them on quickly.

“Instead of bending over and hoping for the best, they’re afforded an extra layer of protection,” ProTecht’s managing partner explains.

18. MP Geoff Shaw suspended from Parliament

Victorian MP Geoff Shaw has been suspended from Parliament for misusing his taxpayer-funded car. While Labor had initially pushed for Mr Shaw’s expulsion, ultimately Premier Dennis Napthine’s motion that the Frankston be suspended for 11 days was carried.  In addition, Mr Shaw has been fined $6838 and ordered to apologise. If he fails to meet these requirements by September 2 he will be expelled.

What’s news are you talking about today?

Tags: current-affairs
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