Friday's news in under 5 minutes

1. Female genital mutilation

FGM is much more common than we realise in Australia

A Sydney father was charged yesterday with having his then nine-month-old baby daughter allegedly circumcised overseas.

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward has said that the practice is “more common than the reports would suggest”. She told the ABC that toughening the law on this crime was not an option.

For more on this read this post here. “Female Genital Mutilation in Australia”

2. Cowards punch victim

The family of 18-year-old Daniel Christie who is in a critical condition in St Vincent’s Hospital say their lives have been “irrevocably turned upside down” by the king hit which occurred on New Years Eve

In a statement released through police, the family said their greatest “hope and focus” is for Daniel’s full recovery.

Shaun McNeil, 25, was arrested shortly after the attack and is alleged to have also punched three other men.

“We don’t agree with the popular term “king hit”,” the family said.

“We have heard it referred to as a coward punch, which seems to be more appropriate.”

3. Calls for action

Calls today for the NSW Government to trial the Newcastle  city model of tougher liquor licence restrictions.

Alex Wodak, the former director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital said the government was coming up with “red herrings” to combat alcohol-fuelled violence, and ignoring a tried and tested solution.

“In Newcastle, trimming opening hours reduced alcohol-related violence 37 per cent and hospital admissions 26 per cent,” Dr Wodak writes in The Daily Telegraph today.

 4. Nigella speaks

Nigella Lawson has given her first interview since the trial of her former assistants.

She told Good Morning America that the experience was mortifying.

“But there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self-pity and I don’t like to do that.”

She said at times she felt like she was on trial herself.

“It’s one of the monsters of the English legal system that you’re not allowed any counsel if you’re a witness. Maybe it will change.”

 5. India gang-rape

Protestors have taken to the streets in Delhi saying that nothing has changed since the bus gang rape last year – after a teenage gang rape victim was set alight and died on New Years Day.

The 16-year old was gang raped in October by a group of six men. The group were arrested but on December 23 the victim, who was pregnant was set alight by two men.


Reports from India that police then hijacked the hearse carrying the girl’s body and attempted to cremate it. The family finally received their daughter’s body on Wednesday.

 6. Russian ice-trapped passengers freed

All 52 passengers have been airlifted from a Russian research vessel icebound in Antarctica and are safe on board an Australian supply ship, rescuers said.

Passengers were flown to the Australian ship in groups of 12 by a helicopter from a Chinese icebreaker.

 7. Heatwave

Eggs were fried on shovels right across outback Australia yesterday

Australia sweltered through the first heatwave of the year yesterday. In Sydney temperatures reached 36.5 degrees in the city.

Birdsville in Queensland reached 48.6 degrees and Moomba in South Australia fell just 0.3 degrees short of its record, with a scorching top of 49.3 degrees.

Longreach in Queensland’s south-west sweltered through its sixth day of above 43-degree temperatures, with 44 degrees expected today.

Brisbane’s predicted maximum is 37C today and 41C tomorrow.

8. Calls to curb alcohol promotion

There are calls to close a loophole which allows alcohol advertisements to be screened in children’s viewing hours.

Curtin University professor of health policy Mike Daubetold The Australian children were being “massively exposed” to alcohol promotions through broadcasts of cricket, AFL and the rugby codes, which are sponsored by breweries.

The Greens are calling for an inquiry into the loophole.

 9. Twins born in different years

Twins born a year apart

An amazing twin birth in Canada has seen two baby girls born in different years. Gabriela was born with eight minutes remaining in 2013 and Sophia was born 38 seconds into 2014. Because of the Canadian school system their mother is concerned they may end up in different school years.

10. Bizarre fine

A QLD father is perplexed after receiving a police fine for leaving his car window down ‘3-4cm’, while parked, to cool down his car.

Under Queensland law, if a driver is more than 3m from their car, the vehicle must be “secured” with the engine off, hand brake applied, ignition key removed (if no one over 16 remains in vehicle) and windows up with a gap no more than 5cm.

He received a $44 fine.

In Brief:

Day 1 of the final Ashes test starts today in Sydney at the SCG with England expected to make changes for their team which hasn’t won a test so far.

A child is in a critical condition after a golf buggy carrying seven children crashed into a tree on a Yallingup property in WA.

Three children are in a serious condition and three have minor injuries.

What news are you talking about today?