1. NSW Labor calls for Premier Barry O’Farrell to enforce earlier closing times on Sydney’s pubs and clubs
NSW Labor has called for the Premier to cut parliament’s summer holiday short in order to pass new legislation for Sydney’s pubs and clubs, following a spike in alcohol fuelled violence, including the allegedly unprovoked assault of Sydney teenager Daniel Christie on New Years Eve.
The opposition are advocating the solution currently implemented in the City of Newcastle, where pubs and clubs are forced to close at 3am, not accept any new patrons after 1am and stop serving shots after 10pm.
2. Queensland announces police scorecards
Queensland will roll out a new ‘scorecard’ system for police officers, in a bid to cut the state’s crime by 10%. The scorecards will keep track of each officer’s number of traffic fines issued, RBTs held, street checks and calls for service. The scorecards are currently being trialled on the Gold Coast, with plans to implement the system across the state.
3. A-League teams punished for fans’ behaviour in wild brawl
The Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers A-League soccer teams are set to be the first clubs to be stripped of competition points due to the behaviour of their fans, following a wild brawl in Melbourne’s CBD last week. Football Federation Australia has announced that the clubs stand to lose three points each, and has given the clubs until Tuesday to develop a defence.
A-League chief Damien de Bohun said of the proposed sanction: “Today we are saying that maintaining the Hyundai A-League as a safe, family friendly environment is of paramount importance.”
4. Kim Jong-un’s execution of his uncle sends the media into a spin
The media has been abuzz this morning over reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un killed his uncle by feeding him to a pack of 120 dogs. The claims made international headlines following reports in Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po newspaper that Jan Song Thaek was killed ‘quan jue’, a method of execution by dogs.
However, many outlets have disputed the claims. Writing for Fairfax Media, Max Fisher has said that it is highly unlikely that the execution would have been carried out in that way, referring to the Wen Wei Po‘s unreliability and the reluctance of media outlets in the Asian region to run with the story.
5. Severe storms hit the UK and the US
The US midwest and mideast have faced a severe winter blizzard, leaving 11 people dead and over 4200 flights cancelled.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the south and west coastlines of England and Wales have been battered by 30ft waves in one of the regions biggest storms in over 20 years. Devon and Cornwall police are currently searching for 18-year-old Harry Martin, who was last seen walking towards the coast to take pictures of the weather.
6. Snapchat responds to data hack
The creators of popular photo sharing app Snapchat have announced changes to the app’s security settings, following a recent hack which saw the phone numbers of millions of US users made available to the public. The hack occurred earlier this week, when a group called ‘SnapchatDB’ generated a database of millions of US users and posted it online. While the last two digits of each phone number were redacted, the group threatened to release full numbers “under certain circumstances”.
Snapchat have announced that they are creating a new version of the app which will let users to opt out of the app’s “Find Friends” function, which allows users to find other users through their mobile phone contacts.