news

Monday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. 50% of mothers to lose government paid parental leave entitlements.

There has been a fierce reaction after the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, announced yesterday that 80,000 new mothers will lose some or all of their government parental leave payments in a move which will see “double dipping” parental leave payments stopped in the next budget.

The mother of all insults.

The Treasurer announced that women who access funds from both the government scheme – which provides 18 weeks of leave at the minimum wage to primary care givers earning $150,000 a year or less – and from their employer will now be forced to choose or to take a part payment.

Sydney University professor of employment relations Marian Baird told Fairfax Media the proposed changes were “the mother of all insults.”

“To now say that mothers are double dipping is just rude and cruel – it’s an outrageous attack on mothers because that was the plan of the scheme.” She told Fairfax Media.

Advocacy group The Parenthood described the move as a “slap in the face.”

It is estimated that about 45,000 women a year – will have access only to a partial government payment because they have some employer entitlements, which are less than the government scheme.

34,000 women a year are estimated to lose the government support entirely, as their workplace scheme is more than the government scheme.

About 90,000 women a year are due to be unaffected, as they do not have an employer-provided parental leave payment.

2. Childcare reforms tied to last year’s budget passing the Senate.

The childcare reforms announced by the government yesterday, which are due to simplify the childcare subsidy process with a $3.5 billion overhaul, are contingent on previously rejected family tax benefit changes being approved by the Senate.

$3.5 billion overhaul

Labor’s Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said that tying the childcare changes to the family tax benefit changes was “disingenuous and cruel’’ and Labor would not vote for the savings.

The blocked cuts include maintaining family tax benefit rates, adjusting supplements linked to the benefits and freezing eligibility thresholds so people gradually lose payments as their incomes increase.

The most criticised change is a plan to stop paying Family Tax Benefit Part B to households when the youngest child turns six, down from the current cut-off age of 18 as long as the child is in school.

For more on the childcare overhaul read this post here.

3. Meanwhile Nationals worry stay-at-home mums overlooked.

The ABC reports that the Nationals, including Queensland LNP Senator Matt Canavan, are concerned the proposed childcare package over looks stay-at-home parents.

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“I am disappointed there’s not more, or even something, for parents that decide to look after their own children,” Senator Canavan said.

He told the ABC that choosing to have one stay-at-home parent could be the costliest option “because you give up your entire second income to do it”.

“I’m deeply concerned about the growing divide between the costs of stay-at-home parenting and the benefits and advantages that flow to parents that decide to put their kids in childcare.”

“I think we should have a system where mums and dads make the decision about how they want to look after their children but we increasingly have a system that encourages or forces them to enter the workforce.”

Senator Canavan said “there are enormous benefits to our community from people working in the home or out of the home but not getting paid for it,” he said.

New South Wales Nationals Senator John Williams agreed “I see nothing wrong at all with parents rearing their children instead of having to drop them off to day care centres,” Senator Williams said.

4. Accused teenage terror plotter to face court.

A 17-year-old from Melbourne will face court today after he was arrested on Friday over fears he was planning to bomb a major event possibly on Mother’s Day.

Police searching his home found explosive devices . It is reported that the boy had plans to unleash the bombs at a public event.

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said, “We do believe that the young man intended to explode a device at an event over the coming days,” he said.

“We actually have no evidence of any specific target by this 17-year-old.

“We will continue our ­investigations. But at this stage, we have no evidence of a specific time or target.

“We will allege he had taken serious steps to prepare a device and we believe — we made the judgment call late last week — that in the interests of community safety we needed to act and we did.”

5. Two separate dog attacks over the weekend.

A two-year-old boy is in hospital after being attacked by a dog in Sydney’s northwest.

The boy from Castle Hill was attacked by his family pet, a husky. He was taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Also in Sydney a man and woman in their 20’s were attacked after two dogs got into their chicken coop and began to kill the chickens and ducks.

Fairfax Media reports that man and woman from Castlereagh tried to stop the attack, but were severely injured. One of the dogs has been put down. Police said they were still searching for the second dog, a ridgeback-cross.

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6. Family angry after deceased father’s Facebook profile deleted.

The family of a Brisbane man, who died in a motorbike accident, have started up a campaign to have his Facebook page reinstated after the social media giant deleted it without notice.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, a 34-year-old father-of-six, was killed on March 14.

His former partner Fiona Wrigley has been trying to have his Facebook page put back online saying his teenage children — Abby, 17, and Curtis, 14 — were devastated to find the page had been deactivated.

Mrs Wrigley writes on Change.org: “Despite the desperate requests of his grieving children and partner of 10 years, Facebook are refusing to restore Daniel’s profile,”

“Facebook promote themselves as a platform committed to fostering connections and relationships between people — as a place to share thoughts and photos with loved ones. They have a responsibility to uphold this social commitment.

“But by refusing to reinstate Daniel’s Facebook page they are doing the complete opposite — driving a wedge between Daniel’s heartbroken children and the visual memory of their beloved father.

Mrs Wrigley says that Facebook said a “close family member” provided evidence of his death and asked for the profile to be deleted.

She told News Limited that the current partner of Mr Cook supports her campaign.

Facebook say they stand by their decision.

7. Five found dead after shooting in Switzerland.

Five people, including a gunman have been found dead after a shooting spree in the Swiss town of  Wuerenlingen.

The victims of the gunman were the shooter’s in-laws, police confirmed today.

According to Reuters local police told the press that the gunman’s father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law were among the dead, along with a neighbour of the family.

8. Nearly 600 asylum seekers rescued from sea off Indonesian coast.

Nearly 600 people, thought to be Rohingya refugees, have been rescued from two wooden boats stranded off the coast of Indonesia’s northern Aceh province.

“There are 573 people, 424 men, 98 women and the rest children,” said North Aceh police chief Achamdi.

“About 50 of them have been brought to the hospital because of weak health.”

The group which included hundreds of women and children left Thailand about seven days ago and some died during the journey, reports Reuters.

9. Man arrested for attempted murder after wife’s parachute failed to open.

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after his wife’s parachute failed to open during a skydive.

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Victoria Cilliers plummeted more than 1,200 metres to the ground when her parachute failed. She “miraculously survived” but sustained multiple serious injuries reports The Guardian.

Her husband, South African-born Emile Cilliers, 35, was arrested after the parachute club alerted police to the rarity of the incident.

“This woman would have been dead if her chute hadn’t partially opened, this meant her descent was slowed enough for her to survive the fall.

“However, we were alerted to concerns over what had happened by the parachute club and as a result instigated an investigation.”

He added: “In particular, we are looking for ‘slinks’ that were missing from the parachute which may have been removed and discarded somewhere.

“This woman survived this fall miraculously but despite her experience she very nearly lost her life.”

10. Parents blind to their own child’s obesity.

A study into childhood obesity has found that parents of overweight children are blind to their unhealthy size, and continue to think that as their children continue to gain weight.

The Goldilocks syndrome.

Experts have dubbed this  “the Goldilocks syndrome”.

The study tracked almost 7,000 children between two and five. More than 94 per cent of parents of overweight kids thought them “about the right weight,”

The US study, by NYU Langone Medical Center has been published online in the journal Childhood Obesity.

11. David Cameron makes first statement as renewed PM.

The re-elected British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made his first public statements since the election and has also announced a cabinet shuffle.

As SMH reports, Prime Minister Cameron has promoted a Scottish cabinet member in an effort to keep Britain united, particularly in ongoing rumble of Scotland’s independence from the empire.

 12. ISIS doctor says he wasn’t brainwashed.

The Australian doctor who joined Islamic State forces has hit back at claims he was a womaniser in college, and traveled to Syria because he was brainwashed.

“If you truly have concerns of womanising or alcoholic behaviours, maybe you should look into every Australian medical school starting with the yearly AMSA conventions,” Dr Tareq Kamleh said in response to his womanising allegations.

News Corp reports Dr Kamleh wrote a letter also rebutting claims he was brainwashed by Islamic State, stating he made an “educated” and “calculated” decision.

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