news

Wednesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. 13-year-old Brisbane boy dies after taking part in choking game.

A 13-year-old Brisbane boy has accidentally choked himself to death as part of a dangerous “game” spread online.

The Catholic school student was taking part in what is called the ‘good boys game’ in which participants choke themselves until they are unconscious, the Courier Mail reports.

The boy’s parents have urged others to educate their children about the dangers of the game and prevent another tragic accident.

“His parents … wish this ­information be made public in order to alert other families of the dangers of this online influence,” the school principal wrote in a message to the school community.

His school has not been revealed, nor the boy’s name.

The game has reportedly been spread and made popular online, and has claimed the lives of at least two boys aged 12 and 14 in the UK in the past two years.

2. 3.9 magnitude earthquake shakes NSW town.

Appin residents were shaken after a 3.9 magnitude earthquake rocked their small NSW in the early hours on Wednesday morning.

The earthquake struck about 1.15am and could be felt as far as 35km away in Wollongong, AAP reports.

About 100 residents said they felt the quake, while no damage has been reported.

Appin has a history of earthquakes, with an average of one tremor every one to two years over the past decade.

3. Four Texas siblings killed by poisonous gas.

Four children have been killed by poisonous gas, while six of their relative remain in hospital after someone tried to wash away a pesticide sprayed under their Texas home.

Phosphine gas was likely emitted when water was mixed with the pest control chemical used to kill mice, according to fire officials from the town of Amarillo.

Yasmeen Balderas, 17 and her three brothers Felipe Balderas, seven; Johnnie Balderas, nine; Josue Balderas, 11 all died due to the incident, news channel WJLA reported.

One child died at the scene and three others died at a hospital.

Meanwhile, their mother is in a serious condition and their father and four other children in the home are in stable conditions in intensive care.

Emergency services responded after a visitor arrived to find everyone sick and called 911 at 5am Monday local time.

Local newspaper, The Amarillo Globe-News, reports that emergency crews were not sure how long the household was exposed to the deadly gas before the visitor arrived.

4. Man in hospital after coward punch attack on Gold Coast.

A young man has been left with serious head injuries after a coward punch attack at the Gold Coast around 2am Wednesday morning.

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Gold Coast police are interviewing two teenage boys over the attack that happened Ferny Avenue at Surfers Paradise, AAP reports.

The 21-year-old victim was walking with a friend when he was punched in the back of the head.

He fell to the ground and suffered traumatic head injuries, according to ambulance officers.

The man was stabilised at the scene before being taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital.

No charges have been laid at this stage but police are interviewing two youths, aged 15 and 16.

5. Homicide squad oversee investigation into dancer’s death.

Police have confirmed the homicide squad is overseeing the investigation into a woman’s death in a Melbourne strip club in December.

Yesterday Mamamia reported British woman Stacey Tierney, 29, had been left for 12 hours before her body was discovered inside Dreams Gentlemen’s Club, where she is believed to have worked, on 19 December.

The fitness instructor, who had been living in Australia for three years, was understood to have been partying with several men inside the Elizabeth Street venue before her death, the Herald Sun reports.

“The exact circumstances surrounding her death are still to be determined and police are awaiting the results of a post mortem,” a police statement said.

“Investigators have spoken to her family, and the homicide squad are aware of the investigation.”

6. Push to tighten Australian citizenship test.

Pauline Hanson has backed calls to revamp the Australian citizenship test to make it tougher for potential terrorists to become citizens.

Ms Hanson has slammed the current test format, where migrants must get 15 out of 20 questions correct on Australian culture and history, Channel Seven News reports.

“It’s ridiculous, you just answer a few questions,” Ms Hanson said.

“And I’m told they give you the answers anyway.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said revamping the citizenship test “was a debate worth having” – saying a greater emphasis should be placed on people integrating into Australian society, rather than knowledge of Australian history and culture.

“The question we face is whether or not we have the right test, the right questions … whether or not people know Don Bradman’s batting average is a true test of whether or not somebody shares an Australian value,” Mr Dutton told 2GB radio.

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