News in 5: 14-yo’s brave last words; Franco, Douglas deny allegations; Netflix warning.

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Warning: This article contains information about suicide and sexual assault which may be distressing for some readers.

1. The brave words written by 14-year-old Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett just days before she took her own life.

Dolly Amy Jayne Everett
14-year-old Dolly took her own life last week. Image via Facebook.

Dolly was just 14 years old when she decided that she had no other way to escape her online bullies than to take her own life.

Four days after the teen's January 3 death, her father Trick posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook thanking friends and family for their support, and urging them to help put an end to bullying.

"I know for some suicide is considered cowardly but I guarantee those people wouldn't have half the strength that my precious little angel had, Doll had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world," he wrote.

"However, unfortunately, Dolly will never know the great pain and emptiness left behind.

"If we can help other precious lives from being lost and the suffering of so many, then Doll's life will not be wasted."

The family has released a drawing the teenager - who had been the face of Australian hat company Akubra - completed just days before her tragic death. It shows a dancer, stretching backwards, with the words, "Stand up, speak even if your voice shakes" written above.

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It's a powerful reminder of the power of speaking up as Dolly's family launch a campaign against cyber bullying.

"Before Dolly died, she completed a drawing and wrote the words 'Stand up, speak even if your voice shakes'," her family said in a statement to ABC News.

"This powerful message tells the dark, scary place our beautiful angel had travelled to.

"We are not concerned with the who or the why of who pushed our daughter to this point, we just want to save another family going through the sadness and tragedy that our family is experiencing."

The family want to establish a trust called 'Dolly's Dream' to raise awareness of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide. Those who knew Dolly have been using the hashtags #stopbullyingnow and #doitforDolly online. A picture that tells Dolly's story has also been shared more than a thousand times on Facebook.

"Our daughter Dolly was the kindest, caring, beautiful soul, and she was always caring for animals, small children, other children at boarding school who were less fortunate than herself," her family said.

"Out of all the sadness that the loss of our daughter has brought to our lives, we feel that through losing Dolly we would like to help other families by making an awareness of bullying and harassment that some people are sadly subject to."

Akubra Hats has also posted a moving tribute, which has been shared more than 11,000 times, honouring the girl who was once the face of their past Christmas advertisements.

"To think that anyone could feel so overwhelmed and that this was their only option is unfathomable," the company wrote.

A public memorial service will be held on Friday at the Casuarina Street Primary School in Katherine East. Friends and family are asked to wear blue, which was Dolly's favourite colour.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

2. Golden Globe winner James Franco denies sexual misconduct allegations, while Michael Douglas pre-emptively strikes against harassment claims.

james franco michael douglas
Image via Getty.

Facing accusations by an actress and a filmmaker over alleged sexual misconduct, James Franco has told CBS' The Late Show the things he's heard aren't accurate but he supports people coming out "because they didn't have a voice for so long".

Franco's appearance on Tuesday came hours after The New York Times cancelled a public event scheduled on Wednesday that was intended to feature The Disaster Artist director/actor and his brother and co-star, Dave Franco, discussing the film.

The Times said in a statement that it had cancelled the event "given the controversy surrounding recent allegations".

After he won a best actor Golden Globe on Sunday night, actress Violet Paley accused Franco on Twitter of sexual misconduct. Filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan questioned Franco wearing a "Time's Up" pin during the awards ceremony in a tweet about him having her do a nude scene for $US100 per day.

Franco said he supports the "Time's Up" movement against sexual harassment and for gender equality. He said that "if there's restitution to be made, I will make it".

"I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done," Franco told Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

"The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn't have a voice for so long, so I don't want to shut them down in any way. I think that it's a good thing and I support it.

"I'm here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it's off, and I'm completely willing and want to."

Actress Ally Sheedy also tweeted during the Golden Globes that Franco was an example of why she left the film and television business, but she later removed that message.

Sheedy worked with Franco on an off-Broadway play in 2014, but Franco told Colbert that he had no idea what he did to Sheedy and had "nothing but a great time with her".

Meanwhile, veteran actor Michael Douglas has denied that he sexually harassed a woman more than 30 years ago, taking a pre-emptive strike against an as-yet-unreported allegation.

The US actor said he felt "the need to get ahead" when he became aware that a former employee was going to release claims that he had masturbated in front of her, used explicit language in front of her and "blackballed" her from the industry in the press.

The 73-year-old - who called the most serious of the claims "a complete lie" - also said he wanted to speak out because his children are "really upset" and are worried he will be labelled a sexual harasser.

Asked why he was coming forward to expose the story that may or may not surface, Douglas told Deadline: "I felt the need to get ahead of this.

"It pertains to me but I'm also getting a sense of how it reflects in our culture, and what is going on today. I see it as a cautionary tale."

"This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever," Douglas said of the allegations that have been made against him.

"I don't have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who's coming out or saying this.

"I'm bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now. As I say, I will 'fess up to colourful language, but the issue of masturbating in front of her? That rung is something I've only heard about the last year.

"It's not an expression that related to the '80s. So I thought it stunk."

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

3. Aussie Netflix customers are being warned about a new email scam designed to steal your credit card details.

netflix logo
Image via Netflix.

Netflix customers have been targeted in a phishing scam with NSW Police warning users of Stranger Things happening with the fake email.

The scam uses fake Netflix branding in an email asking users to update their payment details which then allows cybercriminals to harvest victim's credit card details, AAP reports.

NSW Police tweeted the warning on Wednesday with a link to an explanation of the scam from security service company MailGuard.

The email tells customers that a payment has recently been declined, and prompts them to re-enter their credit card details.

The email contains Netflix branding and once details are entered, redirects to a real Netflix display page.

While most inboxes should be able to determine the email is a scam and send the message straight to 'junk' folders, users are being asked to double check any link or sender that asks for payment details.

The latest scam is similar to one that was sent in November last year.

This new round of phishing emails follows the Netflix branded scam MailGuard broke November 3 last year, which made international media headlines.

Comment is being sought from Netflix on the latest scam.

4. Former Labor leader Mark Latham has launched a bizarre campaign to 'Save Australia Day'.

mark latham
Mark Latham. Image via Getty.

Former federal Labor leader Mark Latham has launched a bizarre "Save Australia Day" ad campaign in Sydney supported by indigenous Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price.

The campaign includes television, radio and social media advertisements depicting an Orwellian future where families, shoppers and the elderly are all too paranoid to celebrate Australia Day openly, AAP reports.

"In an environment where you have so much political correctness, where certain words, themes and values are banned in public institutions, I think the Big Brother approach, that dystopian theme, is very appropriate," Mr Latham said.

The politician-turned-pundit says the campaign is being rolled out ahead of January 26 to combat a push to move Australia Day, given that many Aboriginal people consider the date to be "invasion day".

Ms Price said she was proud of the campaign and sick of indigenous voices being lumped together.

"We've got to stop painting each other with the same brush ... not all white people are racists and not all Aboriginal people are feeling like they are victims of our country's history," Ms Price told reporters via Skype.

Ms Price and Mr Latham argue indigenous people should shift their focus from seeing the day as one for mourning and instead think about the future.

"A lot of terrible things happened in the 19th and 20th centuries, no one's wiping that history away, but we can't rewrite that history," Mr Latham said.

"What we can do is adopt Jacinta's agenda of finding positive solutions so all indigenous people benefit from the western civilisation opportunities that came here in 1788."

Ben Silverstein, who teaches indigenous histories at Sydney University, acknowledges Aboriginal opinion on changing the date of Australia Day is varied.

But he says for too many the day is seen as a memorialising of death.

"Victorian Aboriginal activist William Cooper wrote in 1938 that the memorial of the coming of the whites is a memorial of death to Aboriginal people," Dr Silverstein told AAP.

"To commemorate that day is to commemorate invasion and indigenous death."

Thousands of Australians marched from Redfern to Victoria Park on January 26 last year demanding Australia's national day be moved.

A number of local councils across the country in 2017 said they'd move Australia Day celebrations from January 26 out of respect for indigenous people.

5. Great news: hitting the snooze button a couple of times each morning could actually be good for your health.

snooze sleep
Image via Getty.

Sleeping for longer every night could lead to a healthier diet, new research has found.

AAP reports adults who increased the amount of sleep they had reported consuming less sugary foods and making better nutritional choices, according to the King's College London (KCL) study.

Researchers said the findings strengthened the link between lack of sleep and a poor quality diet.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sought to increase sleep in 21 adults getting less than the recommended minimum of seven hours every night.

The group undertook a sleep consultation aiming to extend their time in bed by 1.5 hours.

They were told to avoid caffeine before sleeping, establish a relaxing routine and try not to go to bed too full or hungry.

Of those who received advice, 86 per cent spent more time in bed and around half increased their sleep duration.

Researchers found extending sleep patterns resulted in a 10 gram reduction in intake of free sugars compared to baseline levels.

They also noticed trends for reduced intake of carbohydrates among those getting more sleep.

Those in a control group of 21 participants, who received no advice, reported no significant differences.

6. It's been so hot in Sydney lately that hundreds of flying foxes have been 'dropping dead' from the sky.

flying fox
Image via Getty.

More than 500 flying foxes died in Sydney during the weekend heatwave and experts say global warming could lead to more fatalities and a reduction in tree cover because bats are key to seed dispersal, AAP reports.

With temperatures reaching 45.1C on Sunday, hundreds of flying foxes dropped dead in Campbelltown when the heat became too much to bear, WIRES flying fox rehabilitator Cate Ryan said on Tuesday.

"When temperatures get that hot it's quite detrimental to any flying fox colony," Ms Ryan said.

"Sunday was an absolute nightmare."

The Campbelltown colony, which was home to between 1500 and 2000 flying foxes, also lost 60 bats less than a month ago as temperatures soared in the area.

WIRES volunteers have been in recovery mode since this weekend's hot weather, desperately trying to save the mammals they rescued in a critical condition.

But, with more hot weather on its way, Ms Ryan says the impact on the broader ecosystem is equally worrying.

"As the temperature raises these situations could escalate because these animals are a keystone animals, without them we don't have the dispersal of seeds, which means you won't have forestation," she said.

"We won't have forest renewal because they won't be there."

Flying foxes struggle with extreme heat because of their nocturnal nature which means they remain still during the day instead of moving to cooler locations, Australian Reptile Park mammal expert Andrew Daly says.

Loss of habitat can leave colonies without enough protection from the sun.

"If there's a little bit of habitat degradation, the canopy won't be in good state, and they're not getting good relief," Mr Daly told AAP.

"It's not providing them with as much protection as it normally would."

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