news

Thursday's news in under 5 minutes.

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

1. Unconfirmed reports that Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi has been involved in suicide bombings.

There are reports that Melbourne teenager turned Islamic State supporter Jake Bilardi has carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Melbourne teen Jake Bilardi

Pro-IS twitter accounts claim that the 18-year old was one of the suicide bombers who carried out an attack on the city of Ramadi yesterday.

At least 10 people died and 30 were wounded.

The IB Times reports that in one of the images which shows a young man sitting below an IS flag with another man the caption reads “The Australian brother who carried out Martyrdom operation in Ramadi, Al Anbar.”

There is no confirmation of the claims or authenticity of the images.

 2. Bali Nine: Last appeal today.

Lawyers for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will today make their last effort at having the mens’ death penalty appealed.

Lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis will today appear in court challenging President Joko Widodo failure to assess the pair’s rehabilitation or give reasons for rejecting their clemency.

Yesterday a death row inmate who is scheduled to lose his life alongside Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had his case adjourned until March 25 after he went to court in a judicial review of his death sentence.

Fairfax Media reports that the timing of another prisoner’s review as well may affect the executions of the 10 drug felons.

The Supreme Court has said it could take up to three months to resolve the judicial review Filipino migrant worker Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, which could leave Chan and Sukumaran in limbo for a while longer.

3. Bali Nine: Australian Islamic clerics in Indonesia to appeal for clemency.

By George Roberts and Jane Norman

Australia’s most senior Islamic cleric is in the Indonesian capital to plead for the lives of two Australian death-row prisoners to be spared.

Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, the Grand Mufti of Australia with Lukman Saifuddin ( ABC NEWS)

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, members of the so-called Bali Nine heroin trafficking group, are listed for execution after president Joko Widodo denied them clemency. Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, the Grand Mufti of Australia, met with Indonesia’s religious affairs minister Lukman Saifuddin to urge the Indonesian government to show mercy.

He was accompanied in Jakarta by two Indonesian-born Australian clerics.

Last month Dr Mohammad expressed his concern for the two Australians at a joint media conference with Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

“By all accounts Andrew and Myuran have come to appreciate clearly the gravity of their crimes,” Dr Mohammad said at the time.”

These Sydney-born men have had a long time to think about what they have done while in Kerobokan prison and on death row.”

Dr Mohammad said mercy and forgiveness were at the heart of Islam.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon also travelled to Indonesia to support the Grand Mufti’s mission, which he said could only do good for the two condemned Australians.

Speaking from Jakarta, Senator Xenophon said he had been talking to as many people as possible about the case, including both human rights and Islamic groups.

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“[The Grand Mufti] gave a dignified, impassioned statement to the Indonesian media which I hope will cause those Indonesians in favour of executing these two young Australians pause for thought, a chance to reconsider,” he told the ABC.

“This really is an unprecedented intervention by the Grand Mufti and is a tremendous initiative of the Islamic community of Australia.”

For the Indonesian government to hear a different voice other than that of just the Australian Government on this issue, and I think his intervention speaking to the Muslims of Indonesia, is potentially very powerful and beneficial.”

Senator Xenophon said the Grand Mufti was listened to and well respected.”

A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission. 

4. Bali Nine: German man escaped death penalty.

A German man has been given 15-years jail after being caught trying to smuggle 11 capsules of cocaine into Bali.

A court found he had “proven legally and convincingly guilty of importing narcotics”.

Peter Hans Naumann’s sentence of 15 years’ jail come sin stark contrast to that of Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

 5. Bali Nine: Local youths united against death penalty.

The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesian youths, including several ex-prisoners have participated in a video campaign protesting the death sentence to support Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

6. Paleo baby book pulled from shelves.

An impending release of celebrity chef Pete Evans’ baby Paleo cookbook has been shelved after concerns about the safety of some of his recipes.

The Australian Women’s Weekly has reported that publishers Pan Macmillan have held back the upcoming release of Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way – after health officials expressed concerns that a baby might die if fed some of the recipes.

“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, has told The Weekly online.

For more read this post here. 

7.  Hundreds walk in memory of stabbed mother, Prabha Arun Kumar.

In western Sydney hundreds of local have gathered to retrace the final steps Prabha Arun Kumar who was murdered in Parramatta Park on Saturday night.

Prabha Arun Kumar

Ms Kumar was on the phone to her husband when she told him a “huge person was following her” along the dimly lit walkway she was then stabbed several times in the neck.

Her husband and brother have travelled to Australia and will make a public appeal at 9am for anyone with information about her murder.

 8. Five-year old boy attacked by gang of bullies.

The father of a five-year old boy has spoken out about the inadequacies of punishment after his son was attacked by a gang of bullies at school.

Five-year-old Ewan Potter attends Living Faith Lutheran Primary School at Murrumba Downs in Brisbane’s north. A group of five other prep students are said to have lured him away from the on duty teacher and kicked and punched him.

His father has spoken out to The Courier Mail saying that the form of punishment the school doled out was not good enough, he says the boy was made to face his attackers an hour after it happened so the boys could see what affect their attack had had on Evan.

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“How traumatic is that — to take him back in front of the bullies an hour or so after it happened. I wouldn’t for one second want him taken back on front of all five boys, especially without me knowing or being there,” his Dad said.

Living Faith Primary School principal Jane Mueller said the school was “saddened” by the bullying.

“An investigation was launched immediately, and students involved experienced age-appropriate consequences on the same day, and these consequences continue both at school, and at home, with the support of their parents.”

9. Missing man’s ute found in desert.

Police are investigating after the ute of a man who went missing between Melbourne and Darwin was found in South Australia.

Missing man’s ute found.

Dane Kowalski was last seen in Melbourne on December 13. He was travelling between Melbourne and Darwin, but never showed up. His family said it was unlike him and launched a Facebook campaign to help track him down.

His car, a white Holden Rodeo ute with Victorian registration WN114 was found yesterday abandoned in scrubland 95km southwest of Coober Pedy.

“Crime Scene Investigators are travelling to Coober Pedy and will be conducting an examination of the vehicle at the Coober Pedy Police Station,” Far North LSA Officer-in-Charge Peter Anderson said.

9. Elite school investigates alleged sexual assault.

Police are investigating an incident at an elite Sydney boy’s school, Scot’s College where a student was allegedly held down by one boy while another student rubbed his genitals near the victim’s face.

Fairfax Media report that the alleged incident took place at the prestigious school’s Glengarry Campus in Kangaroo Valley last month.

Scot’s College Bellevue Hill Campus.

As a part of the year 9 syllabus the boys spend two terms at the boarding facility, Glengarry. Police confirmed they were investigating the assault.

“Detectives from the NSW Police Force are making inquiries into an incident which is alleged to have occurred at an educational campus in Kangaroo Valley,”

It is reported that the two boys who carried out the attack were not expelled, but returned to the school’s Bellevue Hill campus.

10. Why Islamic State victims look calm in beheading videos.

An Islamic State defector has spoken to Sky News of why hostages look calm in beheading videos and appear to comply with the demands of their captors.

Saleh told Sky News that the hostages went through many mock executions. He said that he was employed by a Turkish man in the group to reassure hostages their lives were not in danger, even though he knew all along that they would be killed.

11. Study says homeopathy doesn’t work.

A major review has shown that homeopathy has no effect. The National Health and Medical Research Council scientists reviewed 1800 studies on the health effects of homeopathy and found that it is no more effective than placebos when it comes to treating common medical conditions.

Homeopathy doesn’t work.

The paper stated “Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”

What news are you talking about today?

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