News in 5: ‘Creepy’ drone spying on sunbathers; More teens sexting; Snake in kid’s lunchbox.

Video via Channel 7

1. “It’s just creepy.” Mother and daughter catch drone spying on them sunbathing in their backyard.  

Morgaine Halligan and Melissa Rays. Facebook.

An afternoon enjoying the outdoors quickly turned creepy for a New Zealand mother and daughter who realised, too late, a drone had been spying on them sunbaking in their backyard.

Morgaine Halligan, 23, and her mother Melissa Ray in Auckland were wearing bikinis and enjoying the evening sunlight in the privacy of their fenced backyard when Halligan noticed a drone flying above the pair.

"I was changing in a fenced-off backyard; when I finished I looked up and saw a drone," Halligan told New Zealand Herald.

"My mum was in her bikini in our private area also. It hovered above us for another 15 minutes."

It was lucky they noticed the almost-soundless device at all. But, even once they had, their options were limited... How to confront a silent camera, hovering metres above, controlled by an anonymous person potentially blocks away?

"It is just creepy as you don’t know what the purpose may be," Halligan said.

"We are worried now. When I come around to my mum’s house we spend a lot time outside, and now we don’t know if a drone will be there."

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Halligan told the New Zealand Herald the drone hovered over the backyard for around 15 minutes, and then spent another 30 minutes "going low into peoples' properties, and creeping down driveways". She said it disappeared a few streets away, where it apparently landed.

"There had recently been break-ins in the area, so neighbours were afraid people were trying to check out houses."

In New Zealand, like Australia, there are legal restrictions around the use of drones to protect people's privacy. One of Halligan's neighbours, who contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, was told people must seek permission before flying drones over residential properties and concerned citizens should call the police.

In Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority mandates drones must be kept within the user's eyesight (without a telescope or binoculars); it must be flown no higher than 120 metres; and it must not be flown over highly populated areas.

According to The Conversation, CASA does not cover taking pictures of people without their consent. But recreational drone users will find themselves in breach of state and territory laws if they impeach on personal privacy and take image or video without permission.

2. Michaela Perrin, 26, died days after giving birth. An inquest has found her death was the result of "grossly inadequate medical care".

Michaela Perrin
Michaela Perrin was just 26 when she died. Image via 7 News.

A doctor who provided "grossly inadequate" care to a young mother who died days after giving birth in a NSW hospital still doesn't seem to understand the magnitude of her failings, a coroner says.

Deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame has referred Dr Cristina Penanueva to the Health Care Complaints Commission following an inquest into the 2014 death of Michaela Perrin, AAP reports.

"Given the demonstrated gaps in Dr Penanueva's knowledge and her apparent lack of insight in relation to a number of issues I remain concerned that she does not understand the magnitude of her failings in relation to this death," Ms Grahame said at Glebe Coroner's Court on Tuesday.

Ms Perrin was 26 years old when she died from sepsis at Lismore Base Hospital while her healthy newborn daughter slept nearby.

Ms Grahame found she received grossly inadequate medical care and her death was potentially avoidable.

"Michaela's death is a terrible tragedy... appropriate and timely medical care could have saved her life," Ms Grahame said in her written inquest findings.

"Instead, her three greatly loved children are being raised by her mother, and her family continue to grieve their loss."

Ms Perrin first presented to the hospital's emergency department complaining of wound pain on October 20 some four days after giving birth by caesarean section and one day after she had been discharged.

According to her mother, Cathy Perrin, who is a qualified midwife, she was in so much pain that she "couldn't stand up straight".

Dr Penanueva sent Ms Perrin home with painkillers but experts told the inquest she should have been admitted for tests and close observation.

The doctor failed to write any notes of her assessment, review the triage notes, take vital signs, properly assess the pain in Ms Perrin's uterus or identify the possibility of sepsis.

The coroner said when Ms Perrin returned to hospital the next day with a fever and severe pain, Dr Penanueva took steps she should have taken a day earlier.

Experts said it was obvious at that stage that Ms Perrin had sepsis and the situation was urgent.

The young mother was admitted to an inappropriate ward with an ill-equipped nurse who had not been told she was in a critical condition and needed frequent observations, the coroner said.

She was found cold and unresponsive in her hospital bed the following morning.

The coroner said Dr Penanueva - who is no longer working in an obstetrics and gynaecology role - showed a wholly inadequate knowledge of sepsis and a serious lack of essential medical knowledge.

She was not a reliable witness and at times seemed confused, giving implausible and even untruthful answers, the coroner said.

The coroner recommended the Northern NSW Local Health District use Ms Perrin's story of rapid deterioration from maternal sepsis as a case study for educating midwives and other staff.

3. Aussie teens are 'sexting' more than ever before, new research finds.

teenagers iphones sexting texting social media
Image via Getty.

Parents of teenagers may deny it but there is a good chance their child may be among the estimated one in seven teens sending sexually explicit texts, or the one in four to have received a 'sext'.

According to AAP, new research, published in journal JAMA Pediatrics, has confirmed sexting is on the rise among high school students due to the prevalence of the smartphone and other digital devices, prompting calls for better education in schools.

Parents should also discuss sexting with their teenage kids, says sexual health expert, Dr Christopher Fisher at La Trobe University's Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society.

"It's a conversation worth having, it's worth talking about 'digital citizenship' and what are the implications around sexting in terms of things like consent," Dr Fisher told AAP.

A good digital citizenship refers to those who use online tools appropriately and safely.

Dr Fisher says while sexting can be just as an extension of natural sexual curiosity, it is also important for teens to recognise the "permanency" of sending a sext.

"Parents are really important it that conversation. Parents can provide some guidance in terms of values and how they might approach winning in this digital age we are in," he said.

Researchers at the University of Calgary, Canada, conducted a meta-analysis of all the published research literature on sexting, drawing from 39 international studies between 2009 and 2016.

The data involved a total of 110,000 teens aged between 12 and 17 from numerous countries including Australia.

According to the findings, 15 per cent reported sending a text and 27 per cent had received one.

Older teens were more likely to engage in sexting than their younger peers, and boys and girls were equally likely to participate in sexting.

An estimated 10 per cent had forwarded a sext without consent or had a sext forwarded without consent.

"The prevalence of sexting has increased in recent years and increases as youth age. Further research focusing on non-consensual sexting is necessary to appropriately target and inform intervention, education, and policy efforts," the authors wrote.

Included in the research review was a 2015 study of sexting behaviour of 2000 Year 10, 11 and 12 students in Australia, which found nearly half (42 per cent) had received a sext from a fellow student.

One in four students (26 per cent) had sent a sexually explicit image of themselves and one in 10 had sent a sexually explicit image of someone else.

The Australian study also found 22 per cent of students had used social media for sexual reasons.

4. An Adelaide mum got the surprise of her life when she found a brown snake hiding in her child's lunchbox.

brown snake in child's lunchbox
The baby brown snake was found hiding in a child's lunchbox. Image via 9 News.

An Adelaide Hills mum made a terrifying discovering while packing her child's lunchbox before school, when she noticed a baby snake hiding in the container's lid.

According to 9 News, the mum had already put an apple and two snacks in the lunchbox before she realised the tiny brown snake was hiding in the lid.

Although the snake was only around two weeks old, snake catcher of 43 years Rolly Burrell told 9 News the reptile's bite could still be deadly to a young child.

"Eastern brown snakes are the second deadliest land snake in the world. The baby snakes are as venomous as the adults," he said.

"It could have been very dangerous for the child if he put his hand in there, he could have been bitten and probably wouldn't have known he'd been bitten because it would have been a very soft bite."

The mother's find is the the latest in a string of easter brown snake sightings across the Australian city. Burrell says snake numbers are higher than usual this year due to ideal breeding conditions, with hatching season due to continue for another four weeks.

"The weather has been fantastic.. the weather is fine and the humidity is there and that's what snakes need to hatch," he said.

"Snakes don't like hot conditions so they've got to find somewhere to cool off. Obviously [this snake has] gone into the pantry...maybe he was looking for something to eat."

5. Women told "there's safety in numbers" after a string of assaults on one of Sydney's most popular running tracks.

man wanted bay run assaults
Police have released this image of a man wanted over the assaults. Image via NSW Police.

Women who go jogging on Sydney's popular Bay Run in the inner west have been told "there's always safety in numbers" after three females were assaulted by a serial sex pest with fang-like teeth.

AAP reports detectives are trying to find a man they believe is responsible for at least three incidents over the past month near the seven-kilometre track around Iron Cove.

NSW Police Inspector Ned Gligorevic says the man - who has "very prominent teeth" - approached the women and asked for sex before flashing them.

"They've all indicated he's approached them, then asked for sexual favours and then exposed himself," Insp Gligorevic told reporters on Tuesday.

"He's grabbing his genitalia and then exposing himself."

Police said the incidents were a timely reminder for women using the path to remain aware.

"Look around you as you jog along, there is always safety in numbers, I can assure you of that," Insp Gligorevic said.

The attacker is described as being in his mid-20s with cropped hair and brown eyes. He has an athletic build and a tattooed left arm - possibly a full sleeve tattoo. But his teeth are his most distinguishing feature.

"The most important thing with this offender is that he has very prominent teeth, our victims have all indicated that," Insp Gligorevic said.

"Apparently the incisors are sharp, so you're looking at a rather unique set of front teeth."

The most recent incident was on Saturday evening when a woman was indecently assaulted by a man walking his dog near the Glover Street sports ground at Lilyfield which adjoins the Bay Run.

A man riding a yellow bike also approached a woman on the running track on February 2 at Leichhardt before dumping the bike and fleeing, leaving the woman to seek help from a passer-by.

Two days earlier, a man exposed himself to a woman as she returned to her car on Glover Street after completing her run on January 31.

 

Detectives believe there could be other victims who are yet to come forward. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

6. Sorry Germany, but you no longer have the world's most 'powerful' passport.

german passport
The German passport has been overtaken as the world's most "powerful" travel document. Image via Getty.

There are diplomacy meetings about Brexit, talks of war in North Korea, and a crazy person running the US, but with all this turmoil there's something else going on behind the scenes.

The 'power' of passports from various countries keeps changing. And the latest reshuffle means Germany, which has held the position of "most powerful passport in the world" for years, is no longer in first place.

Historically, people with German passports have been free to travel to the greatest number of countries without a visa. This is a sign of the passport's "strength" and the Passport Index ranks countries according to the travel freedom offered to their citizens.

Now, for the first time in five years, Germany's lead has been toppled by Singapore, tied with South Korea. Both countries afford citizens visa-free access to 162 countries. Germany is tied second place with Japan, allowing freedom of travel to 161 countries.

Australia is tied seventh with Czachia and Malta, affording access to 156 countries. New Zealand comes in just one place behind.

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