Sunday's news in under five minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Ireland votes ‘yes’ in favour of gay marriage.

Ireland has voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage in an historic referendum, making the largely Catholic country the world’s first to make the change after a popular vote.

With ballots in 40 out of 43 constituencies counted, official figures showed the “Yes” vote was ahead with 62.3 per cent, and public broadcaster RTE said the result from the ongoing count was now certain.

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Ireland votes “yes.” Image via Getty.

Hundreds of “Yes” supporters gathered in the grounds of Dublin Castle and cheered and waved rainbow flags as the results came through. 

“It’s an amazing day to be Irish,” Rory O’Neill, also known as Ireland’s foremost drag queen Panti Bliss and a leading “Yes” campaigner, said as she arrived at the party wearing a figure-hugging dress and high heels.

Outside the main counting centre in Dublin, Grainne O’Grady, 44, and Pauline Tracey, 53, said the plan was to “celebrate, celebrate, celebrate”.

That’s a “yes!” Image via Getty.

Read more: ‘Why Plibersek’s gay marriage pitch will fail.”

“I’m just so happy I could burst. We were voting on whether we were equal in our own country,” Ms O’Grady said, wearing a “Yes Equality” T-shirt.

Legalising gay marriage is a seismic change in Ireland, where the church remains a powerful force.

Homosexuality was illegal until 1993 and divorce until 1996, and abortion is banned except where the mother’s life is in danger.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome said he was overjoyed with the referendum result in Ireland, and hoped it would have a positive impact on the marriage equality debate in Australia.

Overwhelming support in Dublin. Image via Getty.

“[It showed] increasing momentum, increasing support in parliament, quashing the old myth that Catholics and other people of faith are against marriage equality,” he said.

“There’s almost majority support for marriage equality in our federal parliament and our focus will be on persuading Tony Abbott and other coalition members to allow a free vote so that Australia can move forward in the same way that Ireland has.”

Billy Cantwell, editor of Irish-Australian newspaper the Irish Echo, also believed the vote in Ireland would help Australia’s same-sex marriage campaign gain momentum.

In Ireland. Image via Getty.

He said it will encourage other countries to look at similar laws.

“I think it’ll put heat on all democracies that haven’t actually adopted legislation in this area to actually have another look at it; I hope it does,” he said.

“It seems to be marred in politics in Canberra, whereas if it went to a popular vote I have no doubt that it would be carried here.”


This article originally appeared on ABC Online.

2. The Australian government is refusing to boost the retirement savings for women.

A private member’s Bill introduced by Greens MP Adam Bandt – which aims to smooth the way for employers who want to pay their female staff more superannuation – has been deemed by Attorney-General George Brandis as “unnecessary.”

Adam Brandt introduced the Bill last year as a means to bridge the growing gender pay gap in Australia. On average, Australian men have $82,000 in their super accounts to women’s $44,000.

Attorney-General George Brandis.

Financial consultancy firm Rice Warner is believed to be the only company in Australia that pays its female staff more super – an extra 2 per cent – than it pays its male staff, in an effort to address the savings gap.

Brandis said that the current laws in place don’t prevent employers from paying higher super contributions to women. There are already “special measures” in place to achieve gender equality.

But Bandt argues that these measures are not always known by employers and aren’t being used.

3. Samsung have recalled their washing machines after 18 fires break out in homes.

Samsung issued a recall in April 2013 after their top loader washing machine was deemed a fire hazard. However, just 42 per cent of the 144,451 faulty machines have been reported and repaired since the warning was issued to customers.

More than 18 fires have broken out in the Sydney region due to the faulty washer. Fire and Rescue NSW had to respond to one fire in Granville yesterday and another in St Marys today.

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The 18 fires have started across the NSW region. Source: NSW Fire and Rescue.

Fire investigators have now issued another alert to the public to check their models after one of the machines sparked a house fire in Corlette, north of Newcastle.

Read more: Toddler dies on birthday in house fire.

Station Officer Michael Forbes from the Fire Investigation and Research Unit (FIU) said that the incident in Corlette was worrying.

Mr Forbes said the owner of the machine in Corlette wasn’t even aware of the recall, despite buying it two years ago.

“She was quite shocked, she did a very good job of containing the fire, isolating the power and was able to prevent the fire spreading to the rest of the house,” Mr Forbes said.

This was the damage in Corlette. Source: Facebook.

The machine had been on for just 10 minutes when it caught fire, but her quick thinking had helped contain the damage to the laundry.

Samsung have since released a statement.

“Samsung Electronics Australia takes the safety of its customers extremely seriously.

We are concerned to hear about an incident in Corlette, NSW. The case was brought to our attention today (Thursday 21 May) and we are investigating the matter.

Samsung initiated a voluntary recall on six models of top loader washing machines in April 2013. This recall is an ongoing process and we continue to work closely with the NSW Department of Fair Trading and our retail partners to notify impacted customers and arrange rework services, exchanges and refunds.

Samsung top loader washing machines in the following six models that are being recalled for immediate









We urge customers to check the model details of their Samsung washing machine to determine if their model is affected by the recall.

For further details visit or call our dedicated customer service line Toll-Free product safety hotline on 1800 239 655.”

4. Schools are being asked to identify “future extremists.”

Attorney-General George Brandis says the federal government is working with community organisations and other governments to create education materials and training that will help schools “identify and steer individuals away from ideologies of hate.”

This notion comes after many young men and women decided to join ISIS.

“Just as parents and families have gained greater understanding of the dangers posed by online sexual predators, there also needs to be increased awareness of the threat from online terrorist propaganda,” he told News Corp.

The Council of Australian Education Ministers, which would have to sign off on any changes to the curriculum, is due to meet in Brisbane on Friday.

5. Sikh man who saved young boy is given a surprise.

Harman Singh broke a tenet of his religion by removing his turban in order to stem the bleeding of a boy who had been hit by a car. The boy miraculously survived.

Now, Singh has been given a miracle of his own.

Read more: Sikh man who saved a boys life is praised as a hero.

When a television news crew interviewed Singh later in his apartment, they noticed his empty rooms held very little furniture.

Harman Singh.

The staff at the station, spurred by comments from viewers, contacted a local furniture store owner and together they surprised Singh with a reward for his kindness. They showed up with a new bed, sofa, chair and coffee table.

Through tears, Mr. Singh, whose father died last year, said, “This the biggest surprise of my life.”

He said he knew his father would be proud of him, too.