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NEWS: Explosions at the finish line of the Boston marathon.

1. At least three people are reported dead and hundreds of  people have been injured after two explosions occurred on the finish line of the Boston Marathon today. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy.

Crowds had gathered to watch the 27,000 runners in the marathon cross the finish line. The explosions reportedly went off two hours after the first runners finished the race. Witnesses have described the moment as “like a huge cannon.”

Authorities have not explicitly stated that the explosions were bombs. Some news outlet are describing it as a “well planned and thought out event”.

There have been reports that another explosive device was found and detonated by police.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard issued a statement this morning. She said:

“Australians have awoken this morning to shocking and tragic scenes at the Boston Marathon. Our condolences go to the families of those killed and our thoughts are with those who have been injured.

“It will be some time before we know the full extent of what has occurred but these explosions have cast a long shadow over one of the world’s great sporting events. The Australian Consulate-General in New York is making urgent enquiries to determine whether any Australian citizens may have been involved in this attack.”

If you’re concerned about a relative or a friend, you can contact DFAT on 1300 555 135.

2. Audience members of 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan‘s comedy show have described his performance as sexist and offensive. Morgan performed two shows at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of a national tour. Up to 50 people reportedly walked out of the show after Morgan made jokes that went “went beyond the gutter”.

3. West Australian premier Colin Barnett has rejected the federal government’s proposed $14.5 billion educations funding plan. He said Western Australia would not benefit from the six-year plan, which would see the federal government contribute $2 towards primary and secondary funding for every $1 contributed by the state. Speaking to to media, Mr Barnett said: “On those figures alone, this is grossly inequitable and shows a complete disdain by the Prime Minister to Western Australia. I will not sign an agreement, which, on all the advice I have, will disadvantage West Australian education, and particularly West Australian government schools.”

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Under the agreement, Western Australia would get $300 million, whereas NSW would receive $5 billion. NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania are likely to sign up to the new agreement, but Queensland has also expressed opposition.

4. As much as $15 billion was wiped off the Australian share market yesterday. The loss came after weaker than expected Chinese GDP data.

5. Australian golfer Adam Scott is celebrating after his win at the US Masters. The 32-year-old is now the 10th Australian to win a men’s major and he’s moved to the number three ranking in the year.

5. The father of an 16-month-old child with a rare brain disease says he’s waiting for a miracle to save his little girl. Runa Begum is suffering from Hydrocephalus – a condition that causes a build up of fluid around the brain. “Day by day, I saw her head growing too big after she was born. It’s very difficult to watch her in pain. I pray several times a day for a miracle — for something to make my child better,” Abdul Rehman told the AFP.

He was originally recommended to see a specialist but couldn’t afford the fees. Now doctors say it’s too late and there’s little they can do. Hydrocephalus affects around one in 500 children every year, most of whom are in developing areas where families can’t afford access to specialty doctors.

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