news

Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. A breakthrough arrest in the case of Madeleine McCann.

A paedophile who has preyed on young girls in Australia and Europe is being extradited from Malta to the UK, where he will answer questions about the case of Madeleine McCann.

British man Roderick Macdonald, 76, is believed to have been in Portugal when three-year-old Mcann went missing in 2007, and will be jailed for the sexual assault of another young girl on his return to the UK.

Mr Macdonald was deported from Portugal to Australia in 2010 for raping an eight-year-old girl, but is believed to have fled to Thailand on a forged passport after being freed on bail. Most recently, he has been living in Malta.

In the UK he will face further questions in relation to the McCann case, with police believing he has knowledge of paedophile gangs operating in the area at the time.  The police are proposing new tests on DNA found in Madeleine’s bedroom that that did not belong to workers at the holiday resort where her family was staying at the time of her abduction.

2. Missing baby found

Ashley Groizard and her son Blake.

A three-month-old baby who went missing with his parents from NSW has been found in QLD and his parents arrested.

Three-month-old Blake Holman and his parents Ashley Groizard aged 20 and Michael Holman, 32, were reported missing by family members yesterday.

Police said yesterday they held “serious concerns” for the baby due to reports of erratic behaviour from his parents and a nationwide alert was issues.

Queensland Police located the family after they were allegedly involved in a car crash in Warwick.

The patents were arrested while the baby was taken to Warwick Hospital for observation.

 3. Russia responds angrily to Abbott’s comments

Russia has responded angrily to Tony Abbott’s tough talking in the lead up to the G20 summit in Brisbane.

In an opinion piece published in the Russian political newspaper Pravda – before the PM made his now famous, “shirt-front” threat – the Russian author writes that Prime Minister Abbott displays “insolence” and Australia has a “colonial chip on its shoulder.

Speaking on the ABC Senior Russian politician Vyacheslav Nikonov said that Mr Abbott’s threat is “predictable” because the Australian leader is so closely aligned to the United States.

 4. Sydney Storm

Sydney has been slammed by a storm.

Sydney has been hit by a powerful storm overnight which saw hail, winds of up to 160 km/hr and lightening that at one stage struck Sydney Tower and left it without power.

60mm of rain was dumped in less than an hour, with traffic light blackouts and road flooding creating traffic chaos.

Blackheath in the Blue Mountains saw over 15cm of snowfall.

The SES was inundated with calls and Sydney Airport was closed.

 5. Startling Ebola statistics

The World Health Organisation has warned that the number of people affected by the Ebola virus will reach as many as 10,000 new cases a week in West Africa.

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Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general told journalists that the virus is killing 70% of those infected.

Meanwhile Texas Nurse Nina Pham who was infected with the virus in a Dallas Hospital has released a statement saying, “I’m doing well and want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers. I am blessed by the support of family and friends and am blessed to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.”

 6. Controversial T-shirt

The offensive Woolies singlet.

A Sydney radio station has claimed that the T-Shirts pulled from the shelves of Woolworths yesterday are not racist and instead has begun to give them away.

Yesterday Mamamia reported that Woolworths had been forced to pull a line of singlets from the shelves featuring the line “If you don’t love it, leave” and apologise after the controversial tops were being sold at two outlets.

Social media criticised the supermarket giant for igniting the flames of racism.

Sydney radio station 2GB however decided to enter the furor with a giveaway of t-shirt’s bearing the same phrase.

2GB host Ray Hadley described the singlet as a “positive image”, with Ben Fordham giving away 50 shirts on his afternoon show.

7. Companies to pay for egg freezing

Tech giants to pay for egg freezing.

As we all know trying to combine motherhood and a high-powered job is difficult – but two companies are putting in place a system to assist women do both.

Apple and Facebook are going to start paying for egg-freezing treatments.

According to NBC women who work for the Silicon Valley giants will be covered for egg freezing if they wish to put off motherhood now but want to get pregnant later at an age.

“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” Brigitte Adams with the forum Eggsurance.com told NBC.

Facebook provides employees with $20,000 for the procedure, which can cost $10,000 per round, not including storage.

 8. Oscar Pistorius sentencing

Oscar Pistorius squeezes past his ex-girlfriend.

South African judge Thokozile Masipa has heard more legal arguments during a sentencing hearing for Oscar Pistorius.

Overnight the judge heard from probation officer Annette Vergeer who told the court that Pistorius would be vulnerable to gang rape if sent to prison and should serve house arrest instead.

The defence witness described the dangers of drugs, gangs and sodomy in South Africa’s prisons, which she said are poorly equipped for disabled people.

She also warned of the risks of transmission of Aids and tuberculosis due to overcrowding and poor sanitation.

The court was momentarily transfixed by Pistorius having tor squeeze past his ex-girlfriend, who also gave evidence against him.

9. Nurse arrested over deaths of 38 patients

A 42-year old nurse in Italy has been arrested for the suspected murder of up to 38 patients she had treated at an Italian hospital.

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The reason cited for the serial killings was because Daniela Poggiali found the patients or their relatives “annoying.”

For more read this post here.

10. Melbourne Plane crash

A pilot who died when his homemade plane crashed into two homes in Chelsea, Melbourne has been hailed a hero for steering his plane away from a children’s park and a busy shopping strip.

The man, in his 70’s, died on impact.

11.  Toddler dies of meningococcal disease

A two-year-old girl has died from meningococcal disease in north Queensland.

The toddler from Dysart died in Townsville Hospital after being airlifted there.

For more on how to spot the sign of meningococcal visit www.meningococcal.org.au

 12. Baby left in garbage

A newborn baby left in a garbage bin in California is healthy and thriving police say as they claim they have identified the baby’s mother.

The Huffington Post reports that a 13-year-old girl is the mother of the hours-old baby girl who was found last week by a man looking for cans and bottles.

Authorities are trying to determine if the baby was the result of sexual abuse.

13. Promising study with autism breakthrough

Promising study with a broccoli compund.

A new study has shown that a compound extracted from broccoli sprouts may improve some behavioral associated with autism.

The treatment which was one of the first to diminish the symptoms is said to be “promising” according to lead researcher Dr. Kanwaljit Singh, of Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

He told CBS News that it was important to note it was a small preliminary study.

The compound, sulforaphane, is naturally found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.

According to the study many of the boys taking the extract showed improvements in irritability, repetitive behaviours, hyperactivity and communication by the fourth week.

The findings have been called interesting and important.

 12. Parrot comes home with a new language.

This is NOT Nigel, but looks just like him.

We love a good pet returned home story but this one is a little bittersweet.

The Telegraph reports that a British parrot named Nigel who went missing four-years ago has been returned to his owner – speaking Spanish.

The bird left his owner Darren Chick with a distinct British accent – he was returned after being identified by a microchip but sadly the two can no longer communicate.

Chick told the Telegraph that the reunion brought tears of joy to his eyes – despite the fact that Nigel bit him when he first tried to pick him up.

We hope that the two manage to find a common language soon.