Tuesday's news in under 2 minutes.

34-year-old Aaron Alexis.






1. 13 people have died in a gun massacre in the United States, and at least 12 others have been wounded.

A former Navy reservist, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis – who had won the National Defence Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal – snuck into a Washington DV Navy Yard using another man’s security pass, and opened fire.

Alexis had been discharged from the military some years ago for another gun-related incident.

The death toll includes the gunman himself, who was killed by police after he began shooting at them. Authorities are currently looking for a second possible attacker, who was disguised in military uniform. President Obama has delivered an address to the nation, saying that he mourned “yet another mass shooting” and declared it a “cowardly act.”

2. The royal commission into child abuse started holding hearings yesterday. The Commission heard from former Scouts Australia group leader Armand Hoitink about former employee Steven Larkins. Larkins is currently serving a sentence for possessing child pornography and indecent assault of two children. Larkins was allegedly left working with children even when others were concerned about his conduct because it would ‘look bad’ to fire someone who was part Aboriginal.


3. The parents of a woman who was brutally gang raped and bashed to death in New Delhi last year, gave an interview to ABC’s 7.30 report in which they said that they were disappointed one of the men received only a three year prison sentence for his crime. Four of the other men involved in the rape were sentenced to death.

Asha Devi and Badrinath Singh, the parents of the victim said: “They must be hanged because if they remain in society they will only spread filth.” The heartbroken father continued, “There are two kind of flies – one that eats from the side of your plate and flies away, and the other one who drops on your plate, spoils the food and even dies in it. They are these sort of men.”

4. Past and present female Liberal Party members have expressed disappointment that only one woman – Julie Bishop – was appointed to a senior cabinet position yesterday by Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott. Senator Sue Boyce, who is set to retire next July, said, “I think it’s shocking and I think it’s embarrassing, and it’s not just embarrassing nationally but I think it’s embarrassing internationally… I would hasten to add I do not see this as Prime Minister-elect Abbott’s problem, I think it’s a system issue for our party.”

Billy Connolly.

Judith Troeth, a former Liberal senator, echoed these sentiments. She said: “I mean this is running the country, now why aren’t women equally as good at that as men are?”


5. In other news, Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has called stopping the boats a “stand or fall issue” for his government, and said yesterday that the Coalition’s asylum seeker policy would commence implementation on Wednesday after he is officially sworn in.

6. Scottish comedian and star Billy Connolly has recently undergone surgery for prostate cancer, and is reportedly recovered. But sadly the 70-year-old has also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

A spokesperson for the star said in a statement:  “Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer. The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered.”

“In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.”

7. A 25-year-old man has given evidence in a District Court, saying that he had a relationship with a female teacher at his school eight years ago. The 30-year-old Sydney PE teacher is on trial, and has been charged with engaging in a sexual relationship with the boy back in 2005. She has pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual intercourse with the boy, then aged 17. The charges are based on the fact that the boy allegedly digitally penetrated the teacher.

Any other news stories today you would like to share?