news

Monday's news in just two minutes.

1. Kristi Anne Abrahams, the mother of Kiesha Weippeart,  has pleaded guilty to her daughter’s murder. Six-year-old Kiesha disappeared from her home in Western Sydney in August 2010. Her remains were found eight months later in April 2011. Thirty-year-old Kristi Anne Abrahams appeared in Supreme Court today for what was supposed to be the first day of her murder trial.

2. A representative for Tony Blair has denied the former British Prime Minister ever had an affair with Rupert Murdoch’s soon-to-be ex wife, Wendy Deng. In the wake of the news that 82-year-old Murdoch had filed for divorce from 44-year-old Deng there were rumours of an affair between Blair and Deng. But according to the rep who spoke to the Hollywood reporter:  “If you are asking if they are having an affair, the answer is no.”

3. As speculation about a possible Kevin Rudd comeback mounts, the former Prime Minister has reportedly listed the key Labor ministers he’d need on his side in order to make it happen. According to News Limited who had the exclusive report, those ministers include Bill Shorten, Jenny Macklin, Penny Wong and Greg Combet.

4. Meanwhile, today’s Nielsen poll shows Labor’s primary vote falling below 30. The two party preferred figures put Labor at 43 per cent and the Opposition at 57 but that number would be 50-50 if Kevin Rudd were the leader of the Labor party. There has reportedly been a drop in support of 7 points for Labor led by Gillard amongst male voters.

5. A Queensland primary school has reversed its decision to ban a transgender girl from using the girls’ toilets at the school. Last night, Channel 9 broadcast the story of nine-year-old Emma Hayes on it’s current affairs program, 60 Minutes. Emma was born a boy – named Ronan – but had identified as a girl since a young age. Emma’s mum had planned to lodge a complaint with the Anti-Discrimination Commission, but on Friday she was informed that Emma would be allowed to use the female bathrooms. You can read a full report on Emma’s incredible story here. 

6. Two Australian cities have made the top five list of the most expensive cities to live and play in. A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit found Sydney was the second most expensive city in the world behind Osaka, while Melbourne was the fourth. The third most expensive city was Oslo and Singapore was the fifth.

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7. Former South African president Nelson Mandela is continuing to recover in hospital, according to the current President, Jacob Zuma. “We are grateful that he continues to get better… Over the last two days, although he remains serious, his doctors have stated that his improvement has been sustained,” Mr Zumba said at a youth day gathering over the weekend.

Piers Akerman

8. In the wake of the sacking of Perth radio host Howard Sattler (for asking the Prime Minister about rumours about the sexuality of her partner Tim Mathieson) News Limited columinist Piers Akerman has caused controversy over the weekend by reigniting those rumours.

Appearing on ABC’s Insiders, Akerman said: “A lot of people in the Canberra gallery have been saying the same thing.” The show’s host Barrie Cassidy replied: “You’ve just done precisely what Howard Sattler did and passed on rumours and that’s just as pathetic, quite frankly.”

9. Since Sydney teenager Henry Kwan took a synthetic drug and fell to his death, pressure has been put on governments to act so that such tragedies would be prevented in the future. Earlier this month – prompted by the 17-year-old’s death – the NSW government banned synthetic drugs. The Federal Government has now revealed an interim national ban, on 19 different synthetic drugs, which aims to stop supply for 120 days. The interim ban will give other states and territories time to update their own laws – and legislate against synthetic drugs.

10. Recent reports indicate that the Australian Defence Force knew of the ‘internet sex ring’ – a group of personnel who were involved with an email chain, depicting images of women who were unknowingly photographed during sex – three years ago. Over the weekend, Fairfax reported that the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service began looking into the scandal in September 2010.

11. A female asylum seeker has died on a boat that was travelling towards Christmas Island. The woman was reportedly found dead on a boat that was carrying 60 asylum seekers and intercepted by the Navy. It’s not known whether the woman died from natural causes or whether there was foul play. Her husband and son are being held at the detention centre on Christmas Island.

Have you seen anything in the news that you want to talk about?

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