Friday's news in under 5 minutes.

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


1. Man accused of Salt Creek backpacker abduction and rape may be linked to the cold case murder of another woman in 1995.

The man accused of last week’s alleged kidnapping and attempted murder of two backpackers at Salt Creek is being investigated for links to the murder of an Italian tourist in 1995.

Victoria Cafasso was stabbed to death on a beach in Tasmania’s east coast.

She was found partially naked in the shallows, wearing a white bikini with small navy blue spots and floral trim. The top was pulled up over her breasts and the bottom was missing. There were stab wounds to her upper body, neck and face, lacerations and obvious signs of being bludgeoned.

Despite a $100,000 reward no suspect was ever identified for her murder.

Tasmania police are now examining similarities between the two cases.

“Taskforce investigators are in touch regularly with our interstate colleagues and we’re seeking their assistance and asking them to check records,” Inspector Trent Cox told Seven News.

While SA police say there’s no evidence to link the 59-year-old Morphett Vale man with any other crimes they say they will leave no stone unturned.

Meanwhile police have undertaken a massive search of the area where the two women were assaulted. One of the women returned to the Coorong with police on Tuesday to provide detectives with further information.


Inspector Trent Cox said police were looking for anything of interest but were particularly keen to locate a black Samsung phone with a black cover that belonged to one of the two women attacked.

“Investigators ask that should any member of the public locate this phone they should immediately contact their local police station, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 so that the phone can be seized and analysed,” he said.

A 59-year-old man has been charged with a string of offences including unlawful sexual intercourse and attempted murder in relation to the incident and will return to court in April.

2. Court hears that Masa Vukotic’s killer Sean Price should never be released from jail.

Price is yet to be sentenced for killing Masa Vukotic.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has heard that Sean Price, the man convicted of killing 17-year-old Masa Vukotic should never be released from jail.

Price is yet to be sentenced for killing Masa Vukotic, in a park near her Melbourne home last year.

Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, QC told the court yesterday that Price’s admission that he threatened to kill a prison guard means Justice Lex Lasry must sentence him as a serious violent offender when he hands down the penalty for Ms Vukotic’s murder.

Price pleaded guilty in the Sunshine Magistrates Court last month to threatening to kill a prison guard and was handed time behind bars, though he was already in custody.

Price represented himself after sacking his legal team in December and put forward his own hand-written submissions to Justice Lex Lasry.


Price’s prior convictions include sex offences against seven girls and women aged between 13 and 45.

He will be sentenced for killing Masa Vukotic at a later date.


3. Toyota recalls 98,000 cars due to potential seatbelt fault.

A seatbelt fault affecting 2.87 million cars worldwide has seen Toyota Australia announce the recall of roughly 98,000 RAV4 SUVs.

RAV4 vehicles built between August 2005 and November 2012 are affected by the recall, Toyota Australia said in a statement

“There is a possibility that, in the event of a high-speed frontal collision, the seat belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut and separate,”

If this occurs, the seat belt may not restrain the passenger, “which could increase the risk of injury.”

The owners of the affected cars will be contacted by Toyota mail advising them of the details of the recall, though it could take up till June until the repairs are done.

The repairs will be conducted free of charge and will take roughly 60 minutes, Toyota Australia said.

For further information customers can contact the Toyota recall campaign helpline on 1800 987 366 or visit

4. Prostitute arrested for infecting man with HIV.

Police from the sex crimes squad have arrested a transgender escort after she allegedly infected a man with HIV.


The 38-year-old was arrested at a hotel in Sydney’s Surry Hills after allegedly infecting a West Australian client with the virus last year.

Police said the woman was working as a prostitute in Redfern before her arrest, and detectives will investigate whether any of her other clients are infected.

The woman was diagnosed in August 2014, according to police, and had counselling about treatment options and disclosure obligations but allegedly had unprotected sex with a male client from early 2015.

5. Nut allergies more prevalent in Australian-born children than Asian-born children who migrate to Australia.

A large scale study has found that being born in Asia protects Australian schoolchildren from nut allergies triggered by the local environment.

The study, on 57,000 Australian schoolchildren in Victoria found that Australian-born children with Asian mothers have higher rates of peanut and nut allergies than Asian-born children who migrate to Australia.

The research found that being born in Asia seemed to be protective because these children were exposed to a different diet, and bacterial and UV environment.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute researcher Professor Katie Allen told the ABC  it was “exciting” as it provided evidence that “there’s something in the environment that’s driving this allergic epidemic”

Nut allergies were also more common among children of mothers with higher education and socio-economic status.

The study also found that urban Melbourne had an unusually high level of nut allergies.


Professor Allen said the overall presence of nut allergy in metropolitan Melbourne was 3.4 per cent, compared with 2.38 per cent in non-metropolitan areas.

“While the question still remains as to why allergy rates are on the rise, the urban-rural difference could be down to the hygiene hypothesis, which raises the possibility that our urban environment with less diverse microbial exposure may contribute to the rise in allergies.”

“It strongly suggests that early life environmental factors linked to the modern lifestyle play a key role in allergy development. Understanding these factors better will provide opportunities to intervene to prevent food allergy in the future.”

6. Dolphin killed by crowd of beachgoers for selfie in Argentina.

A tiny dolphin taken from the water and handed around a crowd for selfies on a beach died after being out of the water for too long.

A Franciscana dolphin, one of the smallest dolphins in the world, was picked out of the ocean and paraded around by a man last week at a Buenos Aires resort.

A statement from the Argentine Wildlife Foundation said that the dolphin died after the selfies.

Pictures taken by onlooker Hernan Coria showed an eager crowd clamouring to take photos and touch the tiny dolphin.

But, like other dolphins, Franciscanas cannot remain out of water for long.


“They have very thick and greasy skin that provides warmth, so the weather will quickly cause dehydration and death,” the foundation said.


7. Cancer patients given wrong chemo at Sydney hospital for years.

The ABC reports that up to 70 cancer patients at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital were given less than the recommended dose of chemotherapy.

The mistake began in 2012 and continued for three years but, the ABC reports only now is the hospital informing surviving patients and their families.

The doctor, Oncologist Dr John Grygiel gave all the patients suffering head and neck cancer up to one third of the recommended dosage of the drug carboplatin.

St Vincent’s Director of Cancer Services Dr Richard Gallagher told 7.30 he had no idea how Dr Grygiel came up with the figure and described the situation as a clear “breakdown in clinical governance”.

Four patients did subsequently relapse but that rate was found to be within expectations.

Dr Grygiel still works at the hospital, treating cancer patients “in a lesser role and under greater supervision,” Dr Gallagher said.

8. Pope questions Donald Trump’s Christianity.

The Pope has questioned US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Christianity.

On a flight back to the Vatican from a visit to Mexico, Pope Francis was asked about Trump’s proposals to build a wall along the US border with Mexico to keep out migrants.

The Pope told reporters “A person who only thinks about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”


Trump responded angrily to the comments, saying in a statement on his website the Pope would have “wished and prayed” Trump was president “If and when the Vatican is attacked by Islamic State.”

He said: “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened”.

He went on to add that it was “disgraceful” for a religious leader to question a person’s faith.

9. French workers given the right to ignore work related emails outside of their contracted hours.

The French government is getting ready to propose a new rule next month that would give workers the “right to disconnect” from their emails and smartphones when they’re out of the office.

The draft bill, originally leaked by French newspaper Le Parisien, is part of a wide range of labor reforms designed to make France a more competitive, business-friendly

Myriam El Khomri, the labour minister, is working on a new raft of labour laws designed to make the French labour market more flexible but also to encourage companies to join the small minority who already prevent employees from responding to emails outside the office.

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us