Oscar Pistorius to undertake mental health assessment
Oscar Pistorius‘ application to undertake a mental health assessment has been approved by the court. The order was granted following Pistorius’ diagnosis with anxiety disorder. Such assessments typically last 30 days and take place in in a mental health facility.
Former Paralympian Pistorius is currently on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The court will adjourn until next Tuesday, when a full ruling on the referral will be given.
Over 200 dead in Turkish mine blast
At least 201 people have died following an explosion in a mine shaft in western Turkey. A total of 787 miners became trapped underground in the Menisa mine following the disaster on Tuesday. 80 people have been rescued alive, while hundreds remain underground.
Geoff and Sara Huegill have reportedly pleaded guilty to drug possession charges.
The news was tweeted by 9 News reporter Kelly Fedor just before 10am this morning.
The former Olympic swimmer, 35, and his PR professional wife, 30, appeared in Waverly local court this morning in relation to cocaine found on the pair at the Randwick races earlier this year.
Security guards at the racecourse allegedly found the couple with cocaine in a private suite at the running of the Champagne Stakes.
For more background on the story, see here.
1. Budget 2014
Treasurer Joe Hockey has delivered what many are calling a horror budget with cuts unlike most Australians have seen before.
His overall aim is to reduce the budget deficit from $29.8 billion in 2014-15 to $2.8 billion in 2017-18.
Key budget measures include:
- All Australians to pay at least $7 for GP visits, blood tests and X-rays.
- General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs.
- Family Tax Benefit B will no longer be available when a family’s youngest child turns six and the income threshold will be reduced to $100,000.
- Low-income single parents will get a new $750 supplement a year for each child aged between six and 12.
- Childcare Rebate to remain at $7,500 per child.
- Massive cuts for public hospital funding and states given power to charge for emergency department.
- A deregulation of uni fees.
- Pension age will increase to 70 by July 1, 2035.
- Enforced six-month waiting period for under 30s signing on for the dole.
- Cutting of 16,500 public service jobs.
- $525 million for a “green army”, $40 million over four years for the Great Barrier Reef and $2.1 million for solar projects in local communities.
- Foreign aid to be cut by $8 billion.
- $43.5million cuts to ABC and SBS and abolition of Australian Network.
For more, see this post.
2. Search for MH370
The search for missing jet MH370 will cost the government up to $89.9 million, last night’s budget revealed.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre, which was established to oversee the search, will cost $2 million over two years and the Department of Defence will receive a cash boost of $27.9 million over two years for the cost of its role in the search for the plane.
3. Rolf Harris trial
The first witness in the trial of entertainer Rolf Harris has faced tough cross-examination.
The 84-year-old Australian artist and singer is charged with 12 counts of indecently assaulting the woman and three other girls from 1968 to 1986.
His alleged victims were aged between seven or eight and 19 when the offences are said to have taken place.
He has denied all charges.
The first witness was shown a diary entry she made on one of the occasions when she said Harris abused her, and defence lawyer Sonia Woodley QC asked why the entry failed to mention “anything unpleasant happening” on the day.
“You said the day was great. You didn’t give any clue or hint of unhappiness,” Ms Woodley QC said.
The woman replied: “I wouldn’t put it in a diary… I made it seem better in the diary.”
The trial continues.
4. Oscar Pistorius trial
The judge in the trial of Oscar Pistorius will today announce whether she will allow the prosecution’s request that the paralympian accused undergo a mental observation.