Friday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. James Foley ransom

ISIS demanded a $132 million ransom for James Foley.

The GlobalPost, one of the news outlets for which murdered US journalist James Foley worked, has said ISIS demanded a $132 million ransom in the days before it executed Foley.

GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni confirmed the demand was made.

Meanwhile it has been reported that US Special Operations Forces attempted to rescue Foley and other American hostages earlier this year, but the rescue attempt failed when the hostages were not at the location US intelligence had pinpointed.

In the UK a Frenchman, Didier Francois, who was held captive with Foley has said he roughly knows who the terrorist who executed him is. The Guardian reports the executioner is one of a gang of British jihadist known as ‘The Beatles’ who guards foreign captives.

2. Ebola patients survive

Dr Brantly was one of two Americans cured of Ebola

Two Ebola patients in America have survived. Dr Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, an American Doctor and aid worker respectively, were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, where they were working at a missionary clinic.

Overnight they have been discharged from hospital.

For more, read this post here.

Meanwhile South Africa has announced it is closing its borders to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,  the BBC reports.

3. Rabbit torturer sentenced today

Warning: this post contains disturbing details of animal torture.

A man who filmed himself torturing a pet rabbit will be sentenced today.

The Herald Sun reports that the man, Karim Salem, 27, was on the drug ice when he deliberately hurled the rabbit against a wall and ran over it with his car while taunting its owner, Jemma and filming the incident.

“Hello Jemma. I’ve warned you, sweetheart. Now look what’s going to happen to poor Pancake,” The Herald Sun reports he said.

Salem pleaded guilty to aggravated animal cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of two years’ jail. He will be sentenced today.

4. Jodhi Meares driving record

Jodhi Meares driving record comes to light.

The Daily Telegraph report that Jodhi Meares, who recently lost her license for 12 months after rolling her Range Rover while three times over the blood alcohol limit, was on her sixth driving suspension.

She had received five speeding fines, her license had been suspended six times in the last seven years and was ordered three times by police not to drive.

5. Fred Nile links abortions and breast cancer

Christian Democratic Party MP Fred Nile has angered breast cancer experts over comments linking abortion and breast cancer.

That link has previously been discredited by a number of medical professionals, as Mamamia has previously reported.


Mr Nile told a budget estimates hearing in NSW that the Government should alert women to the “dangers of abortion.”

Fairfax Media reports he then later claimed that “studies confirming the link to breast cancer are being censored.”

“The body is preparing to have a baby … and suddenly it’s terminated, and that causes some reaction in the cells, and the cells in the breast particularly,” he said. “I can see it’s logical. There could be some disturbance to the women’s physiology when she has an abortion, because she is programmed to … have a baby, feed a baby, and it stops.”

Nile was echoing sentiments expressed by Eric Abetz two weeks ago.

Both are speakers at the upcoming World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne.

Mamamia are calling for Australia’s politicians to not attend the conference. If you agree sign Mamamia’s petition here.

For more on the conference read this post here.

6. Garbage woes

How are you coping without a garbage service?

Over a million households are suffering this morning from a problem no one wants to have – excess garbage – after 2,800 garbage trucks were taken off the road following a fatal crash in Adelaide earlier on this week involving a garbage truck.

Transpacific Cleanaway took all of its garbage trucks off the road to check their safety, leaving one million households without a garage collection throughout all states.

In WA alone, more than 700,000 homes have gone without a garbage collection though some areas began to have their built up waste removed overnight.

Transpacific Cleanaway said it would take up to a week to bring trucks back ­online in Sydney.

For more information on which suburbs are affected, visit the Transpacific web site.

7. George Pell trucking company comments

Cardinal Pell has appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne via video-link from the Vatican.

He has distanced the Catholic Church from pedophile priests, saying: “there is a long history of sin and criminality within the church.”

He compared the Church to a trucking company, saying that if a driver molested a woman “it would not be appropriate, because it’s contrary to the policy, for the ownership, leadership of that company to be held responsible.”

“Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation,” he said, according to The Age.


If you need help or wish to speak to someone regarding sexual abuse contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831

8. Co-sleeping deaths

Katherine Jennings was charged with manslaughter.

A mother in the US has been charged with manslaughter over the co-sleeping deaths of two of her children.

Katherine Jennings, 33, faces charges over the death of her 8-month old son, Luke.

The Daily Mail reports Luke’s 2013 death was ruled an accident, with the medical examiner finding that he suffocated while he was sleeping with his mother.

A year earlier, her 4-month old son also died while in bed with her. The medial examiner said at the time that a cause in his death was the fact he was sleeping with in bed with his mother.

District Attorney Lee Bollinger told The Daily Mail the has never prosecuted a co-sleeping case before.

“She had two infants die and so that automatically makes this case different from folks who have an isolated incident of a child’s death,” he said.

There are reports she has previously been convicted of drink driving offences.

9. Concerns over Colgate toothpaste

There are health concerns over a popular brand of toothpaste, with Fairfax Media reporting that Colgate Total toothpaste contains 0.3% triclosan.  This is the maximum level it can contain before it must be declared a poison under the Australian department of health’s national industrial chemicals notification and assessment scheme.

There have been studies which links between triclosan with disrupted hormonal development, increased allergies and a reduction in bacterial resistance.

However, Fairfax Media quotes experts saying the toothpaste is “ proven to fight gingivitis, gum bleeding and inflammation” and that the benefits outweigh the risks from triclosan.

 10. Mistress cards

Mistress cards

An estimated 25% of married couples cheat on each other,  so no wonder one company has tapped into that market with greetings cards for cheaters to send to their secret liaison. is a venture from a dating website for married people – and with gems such as “Roses are red, violets are blue, forget that I’m married … I’m hitting on you,” there’s something for every adulterer.

11. Baby News

Australian model Kristy Hinze Clarke has given birth to a baby girl, Harper.

The 34-year-old former Project Runway host – who is married to 67-year-old billionaire Jim Clark- made the announcement over Twitter.

“Elated to announce the birth of our 2nd daughter Harper. August 19, 2014 we are happy and healthy and completely in love,” she tweeted.


For more, read this post.

12. Retired hubby syndrome

Retired couples often divorce after work stops.

It turns out that retirement may not be the golden age for many married couples, with academics coining the phrase “retired husband syndrome” to describe a phenomenon whereby women feel depressed and stressed once their husbands give up work.

“With every extra year the husband spent in retirement, the wife’s condition became worse,” The Daily Mail reports.

13. Peter Greste appeals

Peter Greste and his two Al Jazeera colleages have filed appeals against their convictions, the ABC reports.

Greste was convicted in June, along with Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, of aiding the black-listed Muslim Brotherhood and ‘spreading false news’.

Greste and Fahmy were senteced to seven years in jail, while Mohamed was given 10 years behind bars.

The case sparked international outrage.
Daily Mail reports.

14. Scott Morrison fronts children in detention inquiry

Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is being interrogated about children in detention at an inquiry today.

The inquiry into children in detention, launched by the Human Rights Commission, is investigation the impact of detention on children asylum seekers’ wellbeing and development.

Speaking at the hearing today, Mr Morrison said ‘sentiment cannot be indulged at the expense of effective policy’.

“There were always going to be costs,” he said.

Naomi Sharp, counsel assisting the inquiry, asked whether Mr Morrison accepted evidence that detention is harmful to children.

“This is why I am keen to see as few children in detention as possible,” Mr Morrison responded.

Asked whether the means had ‘gone too far to justify the ends’, he responded: “I saw too many children die in the sea not to pursue the policies I am pursuing.”

The minister also criticised advocates who opposed the government taking a hard line on boat arrivals.

“Those who advocated getting rid of John Howard’s measures got what they wanted and the deadly curse that followed from that is there for all to see,” he said.

The Government says there are 876 children in detention centres – a reduction of more than 500 since the last election.

The hearing follows an announcement this week that hundreds of child detainees will be released from mainland detention centres while their refugee applications are being processed.

But that policy will not apply to those transferred from offshore for medical treatment, or to the 300 children on Nauru and Christmas Island.


Watch the ABC’s live stream of today’s hearing here.

15. Australians’ IQs ‘on the decline’

The IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade, new research claims.

An IQ test used to screen Danish men seeking to serve in the military has revealed a fall of 1.5 points in scores since 1998, and a report in New Scientist claims standard tests issued in the UK and Australia echo the results.

The Daily Mail reports that some researchers believe that humans have already reached their intellectual peak – although the report admits experts are divided as to whether the trend is long-term.

16. Koala revived by mouth-to-mouth

An injured koala nicknamed Sir Chompsalot has been revived using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Emergency crews received a call last night about the injured marsupial at Langwarrin in Melbourne, the ABC reports.

The koala was sheltering in a tree – and when rescue workers tried to retrieve it, the marsupial fell 10 metres to the ground.

“Wildlife Victoria actually performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the koala and one of the other members was actually pumping the koala’s chest to get some movement in the heart and also get some air into the lungs at the same time,”Langwarrin fire brigade captain Sean Curtin told the ABC.

“We put it on O2 oxygen therapy to assist in getting some oxygen into the blood flow of the koala.”

Sir Chompsalot is now recovering at a local animal hospital.

17. Father pleads guilty to murder of two daughters

A Melbourne father has pleaded guilty to the murder of daughters Savannah, 4,  and Indianna, 3, on Easter Sunday this year.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard today that Charles Amon Mihayo, 36, had suffocated the girls in a unit in Watsonia on April 20.

When police came to the door, he then allegedly told police he had “killed his two little girls”.

The Age reports that a summary tendered in court said there was “no good reason for what he did but it made sense to him at the time”.

“The accused stated that he did not plan to kill his children and stated that it did not matter what reason he had at that particular moment,” the summary said.

“He was not supposed to have done it and he shouldn’t have acted on it but he did.”

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