News in 5: Bodene Thompson accuses ex of extortion attempt; Kevin Rudd's godson punched; New 'no jab, no pay' laws.

1. Bodene Thompson accuses Belinda Medlyn of extortion after she claimed he wasn’t meeting child support payments.

Bodene Thompson. Image: Getty.

Rugby star Bodene Thompson has attacked the mother of his son, former stripper Belinda Medlyn, and accused her of an "extortion attempt" days after she claimed he was not making the agreed-upon child support payments.

Medlyn gave birth to son Hendrix Lawrence in May last year and Thompson - though the pregnancy was unexpected - was there by her side to cut the umbilical chord, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The pair had reached an agreement stipulating monthly support payments of $500 from the New Zealand Warriors star to the new mother.


This week, however, Medlyn came out accusing Thompson of failing to make the child support payments on time. This has prompted the 29-year-old father to deny the allegations and accuse his former partner of an extortion attempt.

"Ms Medlyn approached me in June 2017 threatening that she would expose this story unless I gave her a sum of $50,000," Thompson's statement read, News Corp reports. "I love my son and I have been striving to have a relationship with him. I continue to meet all of my ­financial obligations to my son and work hard to ensure his future."

Medlyn has responded, claiming she only asked Thompson for money once he'd failed to meet the terms of the financial agreement between them. "Is it really extortion to ask for help for our son?" she asked News Corp yesterday.

2. Kevin Rudd's godson punched "standing up for marriage equality".


Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has shared a photo to social media condemning the government for allowing the marriage equality survey despite of the violence it's causing.

The image shows a man with a bloodied face staring at the camera. Rudd says it's Sean, his godson, and that he was punched "standing up for marriage equality".

Rudd took the opportunity to criticise the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for giving the public a vote on same sex marriage amid warnings it would unleash violence and hate toward the LGBTI communitiy.

"So many warnings to Turnbull about what the postal vote cld unleash," the tweet reads. "Now my godson Sean has been punched standing up for #MarriageEquality."

3. New 'no jab, no pay' laws to hit parliament: Parents to lose welfare.

The government is ramping up its "no jab, no pay" policy, with new laws to dock welfare payments by $28 a fortnight for parents whose children don't meet immunisation requirements.

Under legislation to be introduced to parliament on Thursday, parents' fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payments will be reduced for each child that has not been vaccinated.


From 1 July 2018, this will replace the current system under which end-of-year supplements are withheld for children whose immunisation is not up to date.

The end of year supplement is the same value as the fortnightly payments, but the government is hopeful the change will give parents an immediate incentive to have their children immunised.

4. Rebel Wilson expected to donate her $4.5m win.

Hollywood star Rebel Wilson has been awarded a record-breaking $4.5 million payout after proving the publishers of Woman's Day ruined her reputation and branded her as a serial liar.


The Australian-born, US-based actor and star of megahit film Pitch Perfect has previously said the case was never about money - it was about holding "bully" tabloid magazines to account, AAP reports.

"I'm looking forward to helping out some great Australian charities and supporting the Oz film industry with the damages I've received," the 37-year-old tweeted from London. "To me though, this case wasn't about the money."

The star said she was looking forward to getting back to her career and "entertaining everyone".

Wilson proved to an all-female jury in June that Bauer Media, which also publishes Australian Women's Weekly, OK! and NW magazines, defamed her when it published eight articles claiming she lied about her real name, age and childhood.

5. Family of Justine Damond want to press charges.


The family of an Australian woman who was fatally shot wants the Minneapolis policeman involved charged, their attorney says, as investigators send evidence collected to the local prosecutor.

On July 15, Sydney native Justine Damond, 40, died from a single gunshot fired by Officer Mohamed Noor who was in a patrol car with Officer Matthew Harrity.

Damond, who was living in Minneapolis and engaged to be married, had called police about a possible sexual assault near her house and had approached the police after their arrival, authorities previously said.

The shooting sparked outrage in Minnesota as well as in Australia, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident "shocking" and "inexplicable". Minneapolis' police chief resigned after city officials said procedures had been violated during the incident and Damond "didn't have to die".

The attorney for Damond's family, Bob Bennett, said her family believes the officer should be held accountable.


"They certainly believe charges are merited," he told AAP in a telephone interview. The most likely charges may be second-degree manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years, Bennett said.

6. Only two-thirds of child sex offenders sent to prison since 2012: Punishment "inadequate".

Image via Getty.

The federal government hopes tough new laws will prevent pedophiles avoiding jail or being released into the community without proper supervision.

Fewer than two-thirds of child sex offenders have been handed prison sentences since 2012, most commonly for a minimum of six months, Justice Minister Michael Keenan has told parliament.


But legislation introduced on Wednesday proposes longer jail terms, mandatory minimum sentences, and stricter supervision. "These measures send a clear message - this government will not tolerate such appalling and disgusting acts against children," Mr Keenan told MPs.

Some of the new laws include: Stopping courts from discounting sentences on the basis of good character; Preventing children and other vulnerable witnesses from being cross-examined at committal proceedings; Making it illegal to groom third parties - such as parents or carers - for the purpose of procuring a child for sexual activity; and criminalising the provision of websites that provide access to child abuse material online.

7. Third city council dumps official Australia Day celebrations saying they're "grossly insensitive".


A third Melbourne council will dump official Australia Day celebrations, with one councillor calling the day "grossly insensitive".

The Moreland City Council in Melbourne's inner-north voted on Wednesday night in favour of dropping all references to Australia Day and to join the push to change the date.

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton said hosting ceremonies and events on January 26 was "grossly insensitive" to indigenous people. "It would be like celebrating the Nazi holocaust," Ms Bolton said in the meeting on Wednesday, according to AAP.

The council will, however, continue to hold citizenship ceremonies on the date to avoid losing its right to host them altogether.

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