By MAMAMIA NEWS
1. Authorities in America are searching for gunmen who kidnapped a 14-year-old Georgia girl from her home this week, during an attempted robbery. Ayvani Hope Perez was taken from her home in the early hours of the morning, after the gunmen shot and killed the family dog. The men have since demanded a $10,000 ransom in return for the teenager.
2. In his first few hours as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott announced the sacking of three senior public service officials. The PM’s office released a statement saying that three departmental secretaries were being sacked, and further announced that the Treasury Secretary would stand down in 2014. Mr Abbott said, “Each of these secretaries has made a substantial contribution to public life in Australia and I wish them well for the future.”
3. Other major government changes include AusAID – the agency responsible for international aid – being amalgamated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Tony Abbott released a statement saying that this was to make diplomacy and aid “more closely aligned”. The ABC has reported that AusAID’s director-general Peter Baxter has resigned as a result of this.
Meanwhile, a member of Indonesia’s parliament has labelled the new government’s asylum seeker policy as “illegal”. Indonesian MP Tantowi Yahya told the ABC that the policy “clearly … annoys our sovereignty as independent country.”
4. A woman’s body has been found on the Central Coast in NSW, and police believe it may be the body of Allyson McConnell – a woman who was convicted of killing her sons in Canada. Originally from Australia, McConnell had admitted to drowning her sons – 10-month-old Jayden and two-year-old Connor – in 2010. 34-year-old McConnell was deported to Australia this year, after she had finished serving six years in a Canadian psychiatric hospital. The death does not appear to be suspicious.
5. Sophie Mirabella yesterday conceded defeat in the seat of Indi, the electorate that she had held for the past 12 years. Mrs Mirabella said in a statement, “Today I have contacted [independent] Cathy McGowan to congratulate her on her win in Indi and concede defeat… Representing the people of Indi in the federal Parliament has been a high honour and a very special privilege.”