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Wednesday's news in less than two minutes.

Brit Lapthorne
Britt Lapthorne who went missing in Croatia five years ago.

1. There’s been a breakthrough in the Croatian investigation into backpacker Britt Lapthorne’s death. Five years to the day Brit disappeared, Croation police have ruled out the possibility that Brit committed suicide or that she went swimming on the night she died.

The 21-year-old went missing from a nightclub where she was partying with other backpackers on 18 September, 2008. Her body was found floating in the nearby ocean less than three weeks later.

2. Toy retailer Toys R Us have said that they’re going to stop marketing their products to specifically girls or specifically boys. The decision comes after lobbying from groups that say segregating ‘boys’ toys and ‘girls’ toys is sexist. From now on Toys R Us say their advertisements will feature boys AND girls playing with each toy.

3. After a 19-hour salvage operation, the Costa Concordia has been re-floated. Workers used jacks and cables to bring the 114,000 tonne ton ship upright, 18 months after it capsized off the coast of Italy and killed 32 people. The salvage operation reportedly cost $859 million, which makes it the most expensive of its kind. This is a time-lapse video of the salvage operation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_1185236777&feature=iv&src_vid=2P-yhRaf_AA&v=vNUZHEQnkYc

4. Victorian Independent MP Geoff Shaw has been charged with misusing a government car for his own business purposes. He’s been accused of using the taxpayer-funded car (and letting others use the car) to run a hardware business. 45-year-old Shaw, who holds the balance of power in the Victorian Parliament, will face court in October. A guilty verdict could trigger a by-election. Shaw says that he’ll fight the 24 charges which he has labelled as “incorrect”.

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5. Tony Abbott will be sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia this morning at Government House. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister-elect announced his cabinet and received criticism for only including one woman in his leadership team.

Aaron Alexis
Aaron Alexis allegedly shot and killed 12 people in Washington DC yesterday.

6. More information has come to light about the American man who allegedly shot dead 12 people at a Navy base in Washington DC yesterday.

It’s not known why 34-year-old Aaron Alexis targeted the naval base, but reports say that Alexis was a quiet man who had a “pattern of misconduct” during his service in the navy from 2007 until 2011.

The navy contractor was arrested in 2004 for shooting out the tires of a car during an anger-fueled rage.

7. Anthony Albanese has officially launched his campaign to become the new leader of the Labor Party. Speaking last night in Sydney, Mr Albanese said: “I’m putting myself forward though because I think at this time, I’ve got the vision, I can bring unity to the party, and I’ve got the strength that’s required to take on Tony Abbott and bring him down in one term.”

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