Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

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

1. Government to ban credit card surcharges and make super fairer.

Government to ban credit card surcharges.

The Treasurer has signaled that unfair credit card surcharges will be banned to put a stop to the gouging of credit card users.

In the government’s response to the Murray inquiry into Australia’s financial system  all but one of the recommendations will be implemented.

Shops, cabs, and other merchants will be banned from imposing unfair surcharges on credit cards.

“It has to be about the fair dinkum cost of what someone is actually absorbing and passing on,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said yesterday.

The review represents the biggest overhaul of the financial system since 1997 touching on everything from credit card fees, superannuation, cyber security, and crowd funding regulation.

The government will also ask the Productivity Commission to provide a framework to help people to make good superannuation choices to make the sector more competitive.

“It’s not the fund’s money, it’s not those who run the fund’s money, it’s the workers’ money.” Mr Morrison said yesterday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the review’s recommendations would make Australia’s banking system stronger while also protecting consumers from being charged unfair card surcharges.

“These are some of the important outcomes from the Government’s response to the Murray inquiry,” he said.

2. Former-PM a paedophile claims Senator.

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has told a Senate Estimates hearing he had given the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse a police document that names 28 alleged paedophiles – one of whom is a former Prime Minister.

Senator Heffernan told Attorney General George Brandis that the commission should be expanded to include the legal fraternity

The documents were given to him by a police agency during the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Force and they were “very disturbing” Mr Heffernan said.

“There is a former prime minister on this list and it is a police document. No one seems to want to deal with them,” he said.

“I think it is time, like our churches and our other institutions who are now facing up to the truth, I think it is time the institution of the law faced reality.”

3. Joe Hockey farewells parliament today.

Farewell Joe.

Former treasurer Joe Hockey will make his final speech to Parliament today at 11am before he tenders his resignation.

Fairfax Media reports that he farewelled the party room yesterday telling colleagues he was leaving politics with “many friends and many solid relationships” and while some are “a bit bruised” at present he predicted these relationships “will be repaired” with time.

The Member for North Sydney was first elected in 1996, being promoted to the frontbench in 1998, as Minister for Financial Services and Regulation in the then-Howard government.

Mr Hockey is expected to take up Australia’s most senior diplomatic posting as ambassador to Washington.

4. 12-year old boy has neck slashed by rope while riding his bicycle.

A father has taken to social media to condemn the cowards who tied up a rope between two trees on a popular BMX track.


Jason Davies, from Ballarat, said his son Devon, aged 12, was riding his bike at Mount Beckworth when he rode into a thin piece of rope tied up between two trees.

“He got the all clear, but as the doctor said if he’d been on a motorbike, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be around now,” Mr Davies told The Ballarat Courier.

“You hear stories about it growing up but you never think it would happen. It’s so messed up that people want to do that,” he said.

“I spent my childhood racing around bushes and it never happened to me, but it does happen.”

The Age reports that the incident has been reported to police.

5. First born children more likely to be intelligent.

Definitely the most intelligent brother.

A study has found that first borns are more likely to be smarter than their siblings – and its because of all that attention Mum and Dad give them.

The study, from The Leipzig University found a 1.5 drop in IQ points per sibling first-born children are likely to get an IQ boost also from having to teach their younger brothers and sisters.

Scientists also suggest that having your parents’ undivided attention means you end up learning more, which benefits the eldest child.

As well as demonstrating a heightened intelligence, older children also displayed an increased perception of their brainpower.

Researcher Julie Rohrer, who co-authored the research, said “One theory is that following children “dilute” the resources of their parents.

“While the firstborn gets full parental attention, at least for some months or years, late-borns will have to share from the beginning.

“Another possible factor is described by the tutoring hypothesis: A firstborn can “tutor” their younger siblings, explaining to them how the world works and so on.” reports The Telegraph. 

6. More than 60 women may join an action against a cosmetic surgery clinic.

More than 60 women are looking to be involved in legal action against The Cosmetic Institute claiming they were left with mis-shapen implants, some the wrong size, mismatching, others with serious post-operative infections and scarring.

Seven News reports that the lawyer investigating a class action believes there are many more unhappy clients out there.

One woman who was left with her implant migrating into her armpit told Seven News she was offered a refund of $6,000 if she’d sign a contract to keep quiet.

The Cosmetic Institute is the nation’s largest provider of breast augmentations.

7. Window cleaners fall 10 storeys in Sydney CBD.

Witnesses have watched in horror as two window cleaners fell more than 10 storeys from a Sydney CBD high-rise.

The men, who were in a metal window-cleaning cage, positioned fell about 12 storeys when a cable snapped just after 11am yesterday.

“We all looked out the window, the cable had snapped and we saw the whole scaffold with two guys plunge straight down … we heard the thump,” Con Triantafillou, who works across the road, told AAP.

“He ended up being about three metres off the floor. If the harness wasn’t there, he probably would have died,” said another worker.


8. Man with GPS ankle device held girl captive for months.

Cody Lee Jackson.

A 20-year-old man in the US allegedly raped, impregnated and held a 14-year old girl captive for months while wearing an electronic monitoring device in connection with a previous abduction case.

Cody Lee Jackson was arrested October 8 at a bus station in Salt Lake City, Utah, on federal charges of production of child pornography and coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

It is alleged he coerced a 14-year-old girl on Facebook in early February to be dropped off at his home by taxi, where he held her captive for months, repeatedly raping her that resulted in pregnancy.

Court papers say at one stage Jackson destroyed the victim’s phone and changed the passwords to her Facebook and email accounts as a way of controlling her.

CNN reports that Jackson arranged for a taxi to deliver the girl to his home after school each day.

During the time the 20-year-old mother of one of Jackson’s children moved into the home to help keep an eye on the alleged victim and run errands for him.

He faces up to 30-years prison.

9. The “sexiest politician” in the world just got elected.

Canada has elected a new Prime Minister – and he is being labelled the “sexiest politician in the world.”

43-year old Justin Trudeau is the prime minister-designate after sweeping to victory taking 184 of the 338 seats in parliament with representatives in every province and roughly 40% of the popular vote.

In his victory speech Trudeau promised “sunny ways” for all Canadians. “This is what positive politics can do. This is what a positive, hopeful vision, and a platform and a team together can make happen,” he said.

Shortly after his victory The Mirror newspaper revealed their interest in the new world leader running this headline:

“Is Justin Trudeau the sexiest politician in the world?”

And it seems for many on Twitter the answer is yes.

Watch out Malcolm Turnbull you may have some competition in the charm stakes.

10. Israeli restaurant offers 50% discount for Arabs and Jews dining together.

Hummus Bar offers 50% discount for Arabs and Jews dining together.

The owner of an Israeli restaurant has offered a 50 percent discount to Arab and Jewish people eating together.

Kobi Tzafrir, the owner of Hummus Bar in the central Israeli village of Kfar Vitkin advertised the special discount on their Facebook page and he said the response was overwhelming.

He told NBC News that police and emergency responders were among those who had dined for half price.

“I always had Arab clients and Arab workers that are very nice and when the last round of violence started I felt very uncomfortable,” Tzafrir said.

“The situation is absurd and I thought that I can bring a smile to people’s faces.”

Tzafrir, 32, said he has received lots of message of support via social media for his restaurant which is 26 miles from the capital Tel Aviv.

His restaurant specialises in hummus.

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