News in 5: Missing hiker found dead; Epidurals don't slow labour; SSM prediction.

1. Body of missing Australian hiker Sophie Dowsley found in Canadian wilderness.

Melbourne woman Sophie Dowsley. Image via social.

Canadian search teams, risking their lives in treacherous rapid river conditions, have found the body of missing Australian hiker Sophie Dowsley near a waterfall.

Ms Dowsley, 34, and her Canadian partner, Gregory James Tiffin, 44, disappeared on July 10 while hiking near Statlu Falls, about three hours' drive east of Vancouver.

Some of their personal items were found at the top of the falls and Mr Tiffin's body was found at the base on July 19

Royal Canadian Mounted Police and volunteer Kent Harrison Search and Rescue teams, driven to give closure to Ms Dowsley's Australian family, never gave up and discovered her remains on September 23.


They announced the discovery on Wednesday after confirming her identity.

Lower water levels helped their search as rope rescue and swift water rescue technicians scoured waterfall canyons and a boulder-strewn river.

"There were places that we wanted to look into but we just couldn't get to them," Agassiz RCMP spokesman Mike Rail told AAP on Wednesday.

Ms Dowsley, originally from Melbourne, had lived in Canada for about three years. She set out with Mr Tiffin for a day hike to Statlu Lake on July 8 and concerns were raised for their safety four days later.

"Discovery of Sophie's remains brings closure, not only for family and friends, but for the volunteers who were heavily invested in finding Sophie," Kent Harrison Search and Rescue search manager Neil Brewer said.

"This was a difficult search in very technical terrain. It involved not only unpaid SAR volunteers, but technical specialists from the RCMP underwater recovery team and emergency response team, along with some very skilled helicopter pilots."

The British Columbia Coroners Service is investigating the deaths.

2. Harvey Weinstein stripped of honours, called "disgusting" by the Obamas.


The University at Buffalo is moving to have alumnus Harvey Weinstein's honorary degree revoked in response to multiple accusations of harassment and sexual assault against the Hollywood mogul.

The university said on Wednesday it is "well aware" of the allegations against Weinstein, who was an English major there from 1969-1973, AAP reports.

The university says it has begun the process for revoking the honorary degree it bestowed on him in 2000.

Meanwhile a group of British politicians has called on the government to strip Weinstein of a royal honour bestowed on him for his contributions to the arts.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs from the opposition Labour Party said Weinstein should be stripped of his title as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) - a prestigious award given out by Queen Elizabeth upon the recommendation of the government of the day. Weinstein received his in 2004.


On Wednesday, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) also announced that it had suspended Weinstein's membership for "alleged behaviour completely unacceptable and incompatible with BAFTA's values".

This comes as former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have said they are "disgusted" by revelations of sexual abuse and harassment being leveled at Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein has been a major Democratic Party donor for years. He and his family have given more than $US1.4 million ($A1.8 million) in political contributions since the 1992 election cycle, including contributions to Obama.

3. Epidurals don't slow labour: Women have been suffering for no reason.

Image: Getty.

Women in labour may have had their pain relief reduced unnecessarily due to an out-of-date practice, a new study suggests.

There is a long-held belief that epidurals - a type of local anaesthetic - slow the second stage of labour. And, because of the risks associated with this, obstetricians routinely reduce or discontinue epidural pain management to keep things moving quickly.

Now, however, researchers have found that epidurals do not slow labour and that this practice could be out of date.

The new study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that an epidural has no effect on duration of second stage of labour - the stage which starts when a woman's cervix has dilated 10cm and ends when her baby is born - compared with placebo.

Researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in the US compared the effects of low-concentration epidural anaesthetic with a saline placebo among 400 healthy first-time mothers, AAP reports.

"We found that exchanging the epidural anaesthetic with a saline placebo made no difference in the duration of the second stage of labour," said senior author Philip Hess, associate professor of anaesthesia and obstetrics at Harvard Medical School and director of obstetric anaesthesia at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


"Not even the pain scores were statistically different between groups. However, pain scores in women receiving the saline placebo increased over time, as would be expected."

4. 'Yes' camp will win same-sex marriage postal survey, Peter Dutton predicts.

Peter Dutton, one of the key people in designing the postal survey on same-sex marriage, believes the "yes" camp will prevail.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Tuesday that 10 million citizens have had their say, with 62.5 per cent of the voting papers received.


On Wednesday night, the immigration minister told the audience at a Fairfax Media event in Sydney he believed the "yes" vote would win, AAP reports.

Mr Dutton is personally against changing the law but has pledged to vote for same-sex marriage in parliament if the "yes" vote wins.

There are still four weeks to go before the postal survey closes on November 7.

5. Human remains found near where Melbourne mum Elisa Curry disappeared.

Police are awaiting pathology tests to confirm whether suspected human remains that washed up on a Victorian beach belong to a missing Melbourne mum.


The remains were found by a woman walking her dog on O'Donohue Road Beach near Anglesea on Wednesday, AAP reports.

The beach is just 7km away from Aireys Inlet, the holiday town Elisa Curry, 43, disappeared from 11 days ago.

The mother-of-three was last seen by a neighbour getting into bed on Saturday, September 30 and was not in the house when her husband returned from Melbourne for the football on the Sunday morning.

Police are urging anyone who finds any more suspected human remains to leave them alone and phone authorities immediately.

6. Australian man held in Bali over marijuana possession.


An Australian man detained in Bali after he was allegedly found with a small amount of marijuana and antidepressant pills is receiving assistance from the federal government.

Joshua James Baker, 32, allegedly spent 10 hours on the run after Indonesian customs officials found the drugs in his luggage on Sunday with police eventually catching up with him in the tourist resort of Kuta, AAP reports.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said it was providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in Bali.

News Corp Australia reported customs officers allegedly found 36 grams of marijuana and 37 Diazepam antidepressant pills in Mr Baker's luggage when it was X-rayed after he flew into Bali from Thailand, AAP reports.

They published supplied photos appearing to show Mr Baker in custody alongside the drugs that were found.

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