Thursday's news in under 2 minutes.

Lisa Wilkinson interviewing Margie Abbott


1. Tony Abbott’s wife Margie has appeared on the Today Show. Speaking with host Lisa Wilkinson, on the topic of gay marriage Mrs Abbott said:

“My opinion is one that open to discussion. I suppose at the end of the day I think that love (and) commitment are things that should be recognised and I think it’s a conversation that Australia needs to have and hopefully going forward that is one that we will have.

“Tony’s sister Christine has recently – over the last three years – come out and that’s something that Tony and I have embraced; our family has embraced. So it’s an evolving thing, it’s incremental. And I think change should be an incremental thing. ”

Answering the question of whether she believes in the saying that ‘behind every great man is an even greater woman,’ Mrs Abbott said: “People often say that to me, Lisa, and I correct them because I am actually beside my husband – I am not behind him – and we are a team.”

Taylor Smith

2. The body of a US cheerleader, who died after having suffering a severe asthma attack, has been dumped on the side of the road by her friends. Twenty-year-old Taylor Smith suffered the attack while partying with friends, who are believed to have been taking drugs at the time. They initially tried lying Taylor on her side, and after realising she was not responsive, tried to revive her in a cold shower. When that failed, the group didn’t take Taylor to a hospital but rather, drove Taylor’s body to a mobile home and left her there.


Taylor’s mother, Tanya Smith, told the media: “She didn’t deserve just to be dumped on the side of the road, just because they didn’t know what else to do. As a mother, I’m so angry, so angry that they treated her the way that they did … There was a thousand other scenarios they could have done.”

3. In last night’s episode of ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet, Opposition leader Tony Abbott told host Annabelle Crabb that, despite a tense three years in Parliament, he and Julia Gillard might be able to greet each other as friends in the future. Mr Abbott said: “I’m sure the day will come when we can be genial and respectful again … In fact we had quite a genial and respectful exchange in an airport lounge a few weeks ago.”

Tony Abbott and Annabel Crabb

When they bumped into each other at the airport, Mr Abbott reportedly said to Ms Gillard: “You’ve been through a pretty tough time.” She agreed that she had but that ‘was the kind of thing that tended to happen in the rough and tough business we’re in’.

4. Meanwhile, Coalition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey is expected to release the opposition’s policy costings in Melbourne today. Mr Hockey has said the budget will be $6 billion better off under a Coalition Government. The announcement of the Opposition’s costings comes on the first day of the media blackout on political advertising on TV and radio. Phew.

5. The body of a man found in the Blue Mountains has been confirmed as that of 23-year-old Gary Tweddle. Tweddle went missing during a work conference in July. His disappearance inspired the largest search ever conducted in the Blue Mountains.


6. An Australian man who was facing drug trafficking charges in Malaysia – for which the death penalty applies – has been acquitted and is now able to return home. Dominic Bird was arrested trying to sell 167 grams of methamphetamine to a police officer, who was undercover. If someone is found carrying mote than 50 grams of meth in Malaysia, the crime carries the death penalty.

Ariel Castro

7. A new study has found that a lack of sleep makes us look tired and old. The Swedish study used 10 people who were photographed twice – once after a normal eight hours sleep and again, after 31 hours without sleep. The researchers found people looked sadder and more worn out in the images taken after sleep deprivation. We suspect this is science procrastinating…

8. Ariel Castro has been described as a “coward” following his suicide in a Cleveland jail yesterday. The convicted kidnapper was found hanging in his prison cell. He had previously been sentenced to life in prison plus 1000 years for the kidnapping and rape of three Cleveland women. A former neighbour of Castro told the media: “He took the coward’s way out… We’re sad to hear that he’s dead. But at the same time, we’re happy he’s gone — and now we know he can’t ask for an appeal.”