Tuesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. The trial of a woman accused of ‘encouraging’ her boyfriend to take his own life has begun.

Michelle Carter was just a 17-year-old high school student when she allegedly sent her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, text messages encouraging him to take his own life.

Roy was found dead in his car on July 12, 2014, and had allegedly sent Michelle messages telling her he had second thoughts about what he was about to do. She told him to “get back in”.

Today, Michelle, now 20, waived her right to a jury trial as her trial began in Bristol County Juvenile Court, the Boston Globe reports. Her decision means her fate will be decided by a judge alone, and not by members of the public.

Seven months after her boyfriend’s death, in February 2015, Carter was arraigned and a jury found there was enough evidence against her to charge her with involuntary manslaughter.

According to local news reports at the time, Carter sent Roy dozens of texts helping him plan his death, including messages of encouragement like, “No more pushing it off, no more waiting” and “Tonight’s the night. It’s now or never.”

Another text read: “If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow, but you probably won’t.”

Roy’s grieving family claim that Michelle’s actions in the months after his death made her appear “calculating”.

Four months after his suicide, she tweeted that she “couldn’t believe” he was gone.

“I love you and miss you always Conrad,” she wrote.

She also sent texts to his mother telling her that she “saw her life with him” and reminded her that she was not at fault for her son’s death.

Opening statements in Michelle’s trial are due to begin first thing tomorrow morning.


If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

2. Islamic State claims responsibility for hostage attack in Melbourne last night.

Islamic State is claiming responsibility for last night’s Melbourne hostage attack.

Reuters says IS made the claim through its Amaq news agency.

The gunman at the centre of the deadly situation that is being investigated for terror links was reportedly known to police over the Holsworthy terror plot.

The man – who we have chosen not to identify – was shot dead in a shootout with police at the Brighton scene on Monday night.

But sources told the Herald Sun he was rated as “a low-risk person of interest” by anti-terror police.

The man was acquitted over the terror plot to launch a suicide attack against Sydney’s Holsworthy army barracks in 2009 after a trial in 2010.

In 2007, he was charged with armed robbery after holding up passengers on a Melbourne train, leaving one man with knife wounds.

The Seven Network took a phone call in its Melbourne newsroom at 5.41pm from a woman who said she was in a hostage situation before a man came on the line, saying, “This is for IS, this is for al-Qaeda”.

Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters on Monday night terrorism was “one line of inquiry” but it was still early days.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton will hold a press conference on Tuesday morning to address fears of a terror link.

Police were called to the Brighton serviced apartment building about 5.40pm on Monday to reports of an explosion.


When they arrived, they found a man apparently shot dead in the foyer.

They began efforts to negotiate with the gunman who was holding a woman hostage in one of the apartments.

Mr Crisp said the man spoken to by negotiators inside the building came out about 6pm and opened fire, hitting three police. They returned fire and killed him.

Two male officers were taken to hospital for treatment while another was treated at the scene.

“We are extremely concerned about terrorism. Whenever there is any incident overseas it causes us to question what major events we have running…we are very attuned to the threat of terrorism here in Melbourne,” he said.

3. “I have done something to the baby”: Mum charged with murder of 13-month-old girl.

A mother accused of killing her 13-month-old girl with a stab wound to the throat is due to face a Melbourne court later today.

Umal Sharif Abdurahman, 28, of Reservoir, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court late on Monday charged with one count of murder.

Detective senior constable Jennifer Booth said the accused, who appeared unrepresented, had a psychiatric illness and significant mental health issues.

Det Sen Const Booth said Abdurahman called the baby’s father about 11am Monday and said: “I have done something to the baby”.

He left work and on the way contacted his brother-in-law to check on his wife and kids.

When the brother-in-law arrived he found Abdurahman at the front of the house with her three remaining kids, aged two, three and four.


One of the children directed him inside the house, where he found the baby in a bedroom with what appeared to be a single knife wound in the throat, Det Sen Cons Booth said.

Emergency services were called and the infant was pronounced dead.

Abdurahman was declared unfit for interview by police. The three surviving children were not injured.

Police told the court there have been nine reported family violence incidents between the accused and her husband since 2013.

Magistrate Robert Kumar adjourned the case until Tuesday and ordered Abdurahman be seen by a doctor.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

4. Ballet dancer ‘leaps’ onto subway tracks to save the life of a homeless man in New York City.

A ballet dancer can also add heroics to his repertoire, having saved a homeless man who was pushed onto New York subway tracks.

Thirty-one-year-old Gray Davis, a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, says no one was acting to help the man who had fallen onto the tracks on Saturday night.

Davis tells The New York Times that he jumped onto the tracks and lifted the unconscious man onto the platform, before swinging himself up using his ballet training.

“At first I waited for somebody else to jump down there,” he said.

“People were screaming to get help. But nobody jumped down. So I jumped down.”

New York Police Department officials arrested a 23-year-old woman in connection with the assault.

5. The bodies of a mum and her seven-year-old son have been found in a suspected murder-suicide.


The bodies of a 42-year-old woman and her seven-year-old son have been found at a home on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

Police were on Monday morning called to the property at Tiddy Widdy Beach, near Ardrossan, to check on the welfare of the occupants.

Mick Sutton reportedly discovered the bodies of his wife and his “happy-go-lucky” stepson when he arrived around 8am to take the boy to school, according to The Advertiser.

The tragedy has sent shockwaves through the small town, which has a population of just 200 people.

Local resident Rod Saler said Mick was “devastated” by what had happened.

“He couldn’t believe it,” Rod said, adding that seven-year-old Jacob was “a very happy, very active little fella”.

Police say no one else is being sought in relation to the incident, and a report is being prepared for the state coroner.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

6. Air travel across the Gulf region faces major disruption as Arab nations ‘cut ties’ with Qatar.


Air travel across the Gulf region and beyond faces major disruption following the move by a group of Arab nations to sever ties with Qatar, accusing the tiny oil rich state of supporting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia on Monday banned Qatari airlines from its airspace, while Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad Airways and Dubai’s Emirates Airline said they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice, AAP reports.

Qatar is home to global airline Qatar Airways and many airports in the Gulf region are major hubs for international connecting flights. Qatar’s main Hamad International Airport, for example, served around 9.8 million passengers in January-March, according to its website.

“There is a wider impact than Qatar Airways not being able to land in markets like Saudi and UAE since those markets are significant sources for transfer traffic,” said Will Horton, a senior analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation in Melbourne.

The harshest restrictions came from Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), which banned all Qatari planes from landing at the kingdom’s airports and stopped them from crossing Saudi airspace. It also banned Saudi commercial and private air operators from serving Qatar.

Bahrain’s civil aviation authority, meanwhile, announced flights to and from Qatar had been suspended, according to state news agency BNA.

Among airlines, flydubai and Bahrain’s Gulf Air joined Etihad and Emirates in saying they would suspend all flights to and from Doha. Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.

Saj Ahmed, the UK-based chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, warned of disruptions in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as further afield.

“Airspace will be impacted by flights being re-routed, especially for Qatar Airways who will no longer be allowed to use the expansive airspace of Saudi Arabia on flights to Europe and North America,” he said.

The row between Gulf states is a fresh challenge for the region’s airlines at a time when US President Donald Trump is trying to restrict the travel of passengers to the US from some Muslim-majority countries.

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]

00:00 / ???