Tuesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Melbourne is the “food allergy capital” of the world.

Researchers have awarded Melbourne the dubious honour of being the “food allergy capital of the world” as they have revealed the reasons why food allergies are so prevalent in children born in Melbourne.

Speaking at an immunology convention in Melbourne Professor Katie Allen, of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said that the city “leads the way.”

“Unfortunately Australia does appear to be the food allergy capital of the world with Melbourne leading the way,” Professor Katie Allen, of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute said.

She said reason the city was most probably worse than other Australian cities was due to its location. “The further from the equator you live, the higher the risk of food allergy,” she said.

The ABC reports that the findings fit with the “so-called vitamin D hypothesis” – whereby children with low levels of vitamin D were more susceptible to food allergies. Melbourne’s cooler climate meant children spent less time exposed to the sun than in most other Australian cities.

Other factors driving Australia’s rising food allergies were cleanliness and parents unwillingness to give babies solid food from a variety of food groups.

Professor Allen said food groups like nuts and dairy should be introduced to an infant’s diet in small amounts from six months of age.

“The introduction early is not only safe, it looks like it’s protective,” she said.

2. 14-year-old girl repeatedly raped by youth workers in a foster refuge centre but abuse wasn’t reported to police.

A teen foster child was reportedly repeatedly raped over a five-month period in 2012 by two workers at a residential refuge centre in Sydney’s inner west.

The girl, who since died of a drug overdose was removed from a safe foster home by Family and Community Services and sent to the refuge centre. Despite warning by a member of the public of the “extremely inappropriate” abuse taking place, nothing was ever done.

Police were called after the teenager was taken to Sydney Children’s Hospital where DNA and semen was found on her clothing.

But The Daily Telegraph reports that the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the rape case after her death despite DNA evidence that found the odds of her attacker being innocent were “100 billion to one”.

A DNA profile match with one of the men, a 26-year-old man was ‘expected to occur in fewer than 1 in 100 billion individuals’.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard said yesterday the decision to not go ahead with the prosecution of the “carer” is “beyond disturbing.”

Details emerged after the main offender recently applied for a Working With Children check. His failed appeal revealed he had “several sexual encounters” with Girl X over a five-month period.

There is now pressure on NSW public prosecutors to reopen the case.

3. Boyfriend of Sara Connor confesses to killing Bali policeman.

The boyfriend of Australian Sara Connor has confessed to killing a Balinese police officer at Kuta beach on August 17.

Taylor has told investigators that he hit a police officer on the head twice with the officer’s own binoculars during a fight on a Bali beach.

Taylor’s lawyer Haposan Sihombing said his client had confessed to striking the officer on the head as the two wrestled on the sand.

“Our client regrets what he did on the incident of the 17th” the lawyer said.


Mr Sihombing said that the pair were on the beach searching for Connor’s handbag when Taylor saw a man near the area, who later turned out to be a police officer.

It is claimed that Connor, a mother-of-two from Byron Bay, was trying to break up the fight.

4. Police release new images to identify ‘body in suitcase’ woman.

Police in WA have released new images of a woman they believe was murdered and whose body they found stuffed inside a suitcase and dumped in the Swan River.

The suitcase was discovered by two Perth fisherman on July 2.

“These variations on the original image may trigger someone’s memory and help us to identify this woman,” Major Crime Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Tom Mills said.

“You may not know this woman’s name but she may look familiar. If she does, we urge you to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

The woman is described as being of Asian appearance, about 158cm tall and 59kg in weight.

She had tattooed eyebrows and a red shade in her hair.

The woman was wearing a Kathmandu vest, a black T-shirt bearing a “Tokyo Disneyland” logo, and a long sleeve shirt bearing a L’Amitie logo.

5. Manus Island has cost Australian taxpayers around $2 billion since it re-opened four years ago.

Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island detention centre has reportedly cost Australian taxpayers around $2 billion since it re-opened four years ago.

According to Fairfax Media that is $1 million for each of the 2,000 people who have been detained there.

Parliamentary Library analysts put together a total cost for the Manus Island operation. They found the centre has cost Australians at least $420 million to build and maintain, and $1.25 billion to run since the Gillard government reopened it in late 2012, giving a total of more than $1.6 billion

The figures also do not include the costs of resettlement, charter flights to and from the island, or the additional aid spending Australia has directed towards PNG in exchange for hosting the center. They also do not include the last year of capital costs or the last four months of operating costs.

6. Women in AFP face sexual harassment.

A report by former sex discrimination commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has found women in the Australian Federal Police are almost twice as likely to experience sexual harassment as women in the average workplace. Further to this two-thirds of the force have been bullied or intimidated by their peers.

Commissioner Andrew Colvin yesterday said he was “sickened” by the reports and urged victims to come forward.

He declared bullying and sexual harassment in the 37-year-old organisation “stops now.”

“The report makes it very clear that it is (a boys’ club) and it’s incumbent on all of us, particularly those in senior management … to stop, pause, and to reflect and to go ‘where in my career could I have done better?’” he told Sky News.

7. Woman charged with murder after shooting man on Gold Coast.

A woman will appear in the Southport Magistrates Court today after being charged with the murder of a man yesterday afternoon.

Police and paramedics were called to a home on Imperial Parade in Labrador just after 2pm after reports of a shot being fired. The 43-year-old man died at the scene.

The 48-year-old woman, who was known to the man was charged with his murder.

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