Monday's news in under 2 minutes.

Good idea or not?




1. Schools in the American state of California are sending letters to the parents of kids who are classified as overweight. The letters – which are being referred to as ‘fat letters’ – have received some criticism from parents, but nutritionists have defended the practice.

“We let the parents know in a gentle fashion, but we also send out a ton of handouts to try to help that family,” nutritionist Lauren Schmitt told a US news service. 

It shouldn’t be a stigma, it’s not a way to categorize someone. It’s just showing that this child has increased risk to be obese as an adult, which then could lead to quite a few chronic diseases.”

2. The Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott said yesterday that he was “getting down to business” and considered his Sunday morning “essentially a working day”.

Yesterday Mr Abbott held a meeting with heads in the public service and revealed that he wants to implement his policies as quickly as possible. Abbott said: “Obviously a very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax.”

3. The Senate will remain under the control of the Labor Party the Greens until mid-2014. While senate votes are still being counted, it is likely that a number of right wing minor parties and independents will hold the balance of power when the new Senate is sworn in mid next year.

The Motoring Enthusiast’s Party looks likely to win a Senate spot in Victoria, while Clive Palmer’s party may yet win two Senate seats. Votes are still being counted in the House of Representatives as well but it looks like the Coalition will ultimately win 89 seats, and the ALP 57.

abbott and family
Tony Abbott and his family after winning the election. Image from WIN news.

4. Despite failing to win seat in the Senate, WikiLeaks party founder Julian Assange says that he plans to try again for the Senate in the future.

On Saturday, Mr Assange won 25 667 primary votes in Victoria, which accounted for 1.19 per cent of the ballots cast. Mr Assange told the ABC’s Europe correspondent, “I’m pleased”.

“The party was registered exactly three months ago, and we are the second-largest vote count for the new parties after Clive Palmer’s party, which had a billion bucks behind it.”

“I think that’s a pretty good outcome. It’s rather bizarre that the present calculations for my seat in Victoria show that perhaps it’s been taken by a party that has less than a third of the vote that we had.”

5. Meanwhile, QLD police are investigating the death of a man at a Brisbane polling booth on Sunday. The 49-year-old man was reportedly arrested after creating a disturbance at the Upper Mount Gravatt State School booth. Moments after he was escorted outside the school, the man collapsed and was taken to hospital where he later died.


6. A Sudanese woman says she’s willing to be whipped for wearing her hair uncovered and not under a hijab. Under Sudanese law, Amira Osman Hamed is required to cover he head when she’s out in public but the 35-year-old is refusing to do so. Hamed – who says she has never worn a hijab – was recently charged under a law which prohibits “indecent clothing” when she was visiting a government office. If she’s found guilty she could be flogged.

7. Security services at Buckingham Palace have formally apologised to Prince Andrew after mistaking him for an intruder. The royal security guards apparently pointed their guns at the 53-year-old Prince and told him to “put your hands up and get on the ground”. It’s being reported that the guards were just being over cautious – the incident comes just days after an intruder was found in the palace’s state rooms.

8. A sign-making company in the USA has copped criticism for using violence to drum up business after it created stickers that depicted a kidnapping and stuck them to the back of a ute. For passers by, it looked like a woman (who is an employee of the company) was tied up in the back and unable to get out.

The Texas company says they created to stickers to test how realistic their work was, but said they weren’t expecting the reaction from the public. “I wasn’t expecting the reactions we got, nor do we condone this by any means… It was more or less something we put out there to see who noticed it,” Brad Kolb who owns Hornet Signs said.

The sign.