1. Family violence statistics
The Herald Sun report that 7 young children and babies have been killed as a result of family violence in the past 20 months.
The head of Victoria Police’s family violence unit, Det-Supt Rod Jouning, told the Herald Sun that children were more at risk of being killed by a family member than a stranger.
The distressing figure includes Divesh Sharma, 5, and his little sister, Divya, 3, who were killed by their father Niresh on June 1, 2012.
2. Refugee break-out
There are reports today of a mass breakout on Manus Island – and of refugees setting fire to a compound and tearing down fences.
The Age reports that Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the riot squad was called in before a perimeter fence was breached.
It is not clear how many asylum seekers have escaped or whether there are any injuries.
3. Scott Miller speaks
Olympic swimmer Scott Miller has spoken to 60 Minutes saying that the drug ice had him “by the balls” but he denied that he was a drug dealer.
Just last month Miller was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence over drugs.
Miller has since admitted that in the interview which was filmed six months ago but could not be aired until now for legal reasons – he was so out of it he could not remember speaking to reporter Tara Brown.
4. PM ahead in poll
The latest Fairfax-Nielsen opinion poll shows that the Government has regained the lead that saw them win the last election.
On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition now leads the ALP by four percentage points – 52 per cent to 48.
Support for the Greens has climbed 3 points since the September election to 12 per cent. On primary votes, Labor’s 33 per cent compares with the Coalition’s 44 per cent.
As the incumbent prime minister, Mr Abbott enjoys a 10 point lead over the Opposition Leader as preferred prime minister, 49 per cent to 39 per cent.
5. Fallout from autism scare campaign revealed
The Australian has revealed the legacy of the discredited research by an autism scare campaign which has created spikes in cases of preventable childhood diseases across the globe.
A map in the newspaper today shows areas across the globe where anti-vaccine campaigners are active measles epidemics follow.
The Australian reports that “any academics across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US believe Mr Wakefield’s widely dismissed claims – that the combined triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) increases the risk of autism – contributed to some outbreaks of preventable disease.”
6. Chemicals linked to brain development
A growing number of chemicals are being linked to a global ”silent epidemic” of brain development disorders such as autism, dyslexia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder with experts calling for an overhaul of the way everyday toxins are regulated.