Monday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Six-year old boy missing

The search for the boy’s body will continue this morning.




The search will continue this morning for the body of a missing six-year old boy who disappeared on Saturday while swimming in the Murray River, northeast of Kerang.

The boy was one of seven children swimming near a campsite on Gunbower Island in Koondrook about 2.30pm on Saturday, when they drifted downstream.

Four children managed to get out of the water, while three struggled against the current.

According to Nine News the family of the boy had camped in the area for several years and knew the river well.

Police confirmed yesterday that that the search for the boy has now become a recovery operation.

 2. Four-year old girl drowns off Torquay

Meanwhile another summer holiday tragedy with the body of a four-year old girl who had been reported missing to police found in an inlet off the Torquay surf beach in Victoria last night.

Victoria Police said the death was not suspicious and a report would be prepared for the coroner.

 3. Air Asia latest

162 people are missing.

The search has been halted overnight for 155 passengers and seven crew on board an AirAsia flight which lost contact with air traffic control just after taking off from Indonesia on Sunday morning.

It had been due to land in Singapore around 11.30am AEDT but went off the radar three minutes after a request to deviate from flight plan.

The search will resume at first light.


The latest:

  • Information is starting to be uncovered about the missing passengers for more on the passengers go here.
  • The plane was flying flying from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. For more on the plane’s flight path go here.
  • Four navy ships, seven aircraft and six boats are searching for the plane. For more on the search go here.
  • One expert has said that highly turbulent black storm cells could have caused the plane to crash. For this theory on why the plane disappeared. Go here.
  • The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered assistance in a press conference last night. For more go here.
  • For more on who Air Asia is go here.
  • The Pilot is said to be an experienced flier. His daughter tweeted an image of him overnight
  • And for more on one of the flight attendant’s haunting SMS earlier this year on MH17 and MH370 go here.

4. Childcare fees set to rise for parents


Childcare fees set to rise.

The Federal Opposition has warned childcare fees could increase by more than 30 per cent over the next four years.

The Education Department forecast in the May budget that fees will rise by almost 30 per cent but the budget update released this month pointed to “higher than expected” fees.

Opposition spokeswoman Kate Ellis said fees could increase even further because the budget update earlier in the month pointed to “higher than expected” fees.

“Tony Abbott promised every Australian family that he would make their child care fees more affordable,” Ms Ellis said.

“In fact what we’re seeing is an explosion in unexpected costs and fee increases to a level that nobody anticipated.”

A spokesman for Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said the forecast increases were identical to those when Labor was in power.

“Increased costs are a function of many things including increased regulation in the sector, all of which has to be considered in how we deliver a system which keeps parents in the workforce while at the same time respecting the taxpayers who foot the bill for the rebate and benefit schemes,” he said.

“It is important that we get this right.”

The Government plans to announce a new child care policy next year.


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

5. Calls to dump fast foods in children’s hospitals

Call to ban fast food outlets in children’s hospitals.

There is a call today for paediatric hospitals to end their relationship with fast food giants such as McDonalds.

Melbourne University public health professor Rob Moodie has told Fairfax Media that Australia’s leading paediatric hospitals should not be supporting multinational fast food chains.

“It’s like Peter MacCallum [Cancer Centre] supporting the tobacco industry,” he said.

“It’s hard enough to encourage people to eat healthy foods at the moment. We don’t need the branding of some of Australia’s most prestigious hospitals lending their support to something that is fundamentally promoting a poor diet. There’s a real clash of purpose there.”

The Royal Children’s Hospital has a McDonald’s outet on its premises and there are concerns that there will be one at new Monash Children’s Hospital due to open in 2017,

 6. Ferry disaster

One person has died  and another injured after a ferry caught fire in the Adriatic Sea near the Greek Island of Corfu.

Hundreds remain trapped on top decks as gale-force winds and choppy seas hamper the evacuation.

The ferry carrying about 470 people caught fire off the Greek island of Corfu early Sunday.

Greek and Italian rescue helicopters and vessels are struggling to reach the stricken ferry.

The fire broke out on the car deck of the ferry with 422 passengers and 56 crew members on board. Rescuers transported 117 people to safety.


“The fire is still burning,” Greek passenger Sofoklis Styliaras told Mega TV. “On the lower deck, where the lifeboats are, our shoes were starting to melt from the heat. … There’s nowhere else for us to go. It’s impossible to walk on the lower deck because of the heat.”

7. Daughter of Cairns Mum FB post

The daughter of the Cairns mother accused of killing seven of her own children and her niece in the week before Christmas has taken to Facebook to pledge her support for her mother, Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday.

The Courier Mail reports that her daughter, Norena Warria tweeted on Christmas Day “I Love My Mum & 7 Siblings So Much. No Matter What, I Am My Mother’s Child.”

The funerals for the children will take place in the new year.

8. Temperatures below freezing in UK

The UK has been thrown into chaos with below freezing temps causing chaos on the roads and public transport.

The BBC reports that the country is under an amber alert, level three. The alert is one below a national emergency and indicates social and healthcare services should target “high-risk” groups, such as the very young or old, or those with chronic diseases.


 9. US and NATO mark end of mission to Afghanistan

The US and NATO have formally ended 13 years of war in Afghanistan with a ceremony overnight at their military headquarters in Kabul.

The mission ends with 2,224 American soldiers killed, of a total tally of some 3,500 foreign troop deaths.

The United Nations says civilian casualties will hit 10,000 for the year, mostly caused by the Taliban.

10. Pakistan officials angry over Homeland

Reports Pakistan furious over Homeland.

Reports today that officials in Pakistan are furious over the deptiction of their country in the hit TV show Homeland.

The NY Post reports that the main concerns is that the Pakistan reflected in the show is “undemocratic and allied with terrorists.”

According to The New York Post  a “source from Pakistan officials” said that “Islamabad is a quiet, picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery. In Homeland it’s portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombs go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.”

The popular show’s “Islamabad” scenes were actually filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.