news

Monday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Mystery deepens over ‘Vogue’ model’s death as her family makes devastating claims.

Model Raudha Athif, 21, was featured on the cover of Vogue India and was studying medicine at a Bangladesh university.

On March 29, she was found dead in her college dorm room, with police determining she had taken her own life.

Now, the family of the Maldivian model have expressed their disbelief that the “happy” woman would take her own life, and have called for her death to be investigated as a murder.

“My daughter Raudha Athif did not commit suicide. She was murdered at her hostel room. I’ve the facts (sic),” her father, Dr. Mohamed Athif tweeted on April 4.

The model’s 18-year-old brother, Rayyan Athif, also believes his sister was murdered and her death was ‘covered up’ to make it seem like she had taken her own life.

“She was friendly, light-hearted and full of life. Her friends and family find it impossible to believe that she would take her own life,” he told The Sun.

“There have been a series of murders in Bangladesh which have been staged to look like suicides and Islamic extremists have been suspected to be behind these atrocities.”

Rayyan said his sister used her public person to regularly defend victims of religious controversies, and was branded as “immodest” and “un-Islamic” for her choice of clothing.

“She adhered to the dress code in the college premises by wearing a veil covering her face,” her brother said.

“But she was criticised for wearing jeans and was repeatedly told she couldn’t wear it at the Muslim college – which has a lot of extremist connections and support. Other students have also been subjected to this type of bullying.”

An autopsy report conducted by three doctors ruled the 20-year-old’s death as a suicide, but her family have rejected their finding.

ADVERTISEMENT

Her brother said the marks on her body, as well as the way her body was found show “somebody strangled her”.

2. Teenage girl found ‘unconscious and trapped’ in crashed stolen Audi after her friends fled the scene.

Three men are on the run after a dramatic car crash on Sydney’s northern beaches left a teenage girl unconscious and trapped in the car wreck, 7 News reports.

It appears the stolen Audi was travelling at speed when it lost control, became airborne and crashed into a yard.

The stolen vehicle was occupied by three men, believed to be aged in their 20s, and a 16-year-old girl, who was left alone when her three male companions fled the scene when it crashed into the front yard of Jo and Richard Moules.

Richard said one of the men tried to wrestle him as rushed to rescue the girl from the car’s backseat.

“She was totally out of it in the back, you know unconscious. And he was just pulling her,” he told 7 News.

When they couldn’t free her, Richard said the three men ran away from the scene.

The girl was treated by paramedics at the scene, and was taken to hospital with a broken leg and broken nose. Police are now searching for the three men involved.

Richard’s wife Jo described the trio as “absolute ratbags”.

“Something bad has happened but you don’t leave your girlfriend, so called, just there,” she said.

“She was frightened.”

3. ‘Hero’ toddler saves his family from house fire in Hobart.

ADVERTISEMENT

A three-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he saved his family from a house fire in Hobart, AAP reports.

The family’s home caught fire when food was left on the stove.

The toddler alerted his father to the blaze at around 9am on Sunday.

The boy’s quick-thinking meant all four of his family members had time to escape their Newtown home without injury.

The home sustained about $20,000 in damage, with the Tasmanian fire service confirming there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

4. Egypt declares state of emergency as ISIS claims responsibility for two deadly church bombings .

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says a three-month state of emergency will be imposed after two deadly bombings hit Coptic churches, killing at least 44 people, AAP reports.

“A series of steps will be taken, most importantly, the announcement of a state of emergency for three months after legal and constitution steps are taken,” Sisi said in a speech aired on state television on Sunday following the bombings, claimed by Islamic State.

ADVERTISEMENT

The army chief-turned-president hasn’t detailed the legal measures needed to declare the state of emergency but according to the Egyptian constitution, the parliament majority must vote in favor of the state of emergency.

Both attacks happened on Palm Sunday a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.

Sisi has also ordered military troops be deployed across the country.

Two Islamic State militants wearing suicide vests carried out the deadly church bombings the group said, as it warned of future attacks in a statement.

The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city about 100 km north of Cairo, tore through the inside of St. George Church during its Palm Sunday service, killing at least 27 people and injuring at least 78, the Ministry of Health said.

The second, carried out a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 17 people, including three police officers, and injuring 48, the ministry added.

Islamic State’s branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks and threats against Christians, who comprise about 10 per cent of Egypt’s 90 million people and amount to the biggest Christian minority in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has joined international condemnation of the Palm Sunday attacks on two Coptic churches in Egypt.

“We condemn the barbaric attacks on Coptic congregations in Egypt this Palm Sunday. Our prayers are with the victims & their families,” he tweeted early on Monday.

5. ‘Smiling’ 12-year-old stabs Brisbane restaurant worker with military-style blade.

Police have arrested a 12-year-old boy after a shocking attack on a Brisbane restaurant worker.

ADVERTISEMENT

Matt Yang was standing at the front of his workplace on Brisbane’s south side taking a phone order when he was attacked around 8pm last night.

Matt told 7 News he originally thought a “stone” had hit him in the back. But he had actually been stabbed by a 28-centimetre military-style knife, allegedly by a ‘smiling’ 12-year-old boy.

Matt’s boss said the child eerily told Matt to “watch his back” before he ran away from the scene of the attack, 7 News reports.

“The chef which is also working in here, pulled the knife out of his back, and then all the blood comes out and we called the ambulance and police,” he said.

Doctors told Matt that if the blade had sunk any deeper, he could have died from the attack.

Police arrived within minutes, arresting the boy nearby. He is currently in police custody and is due to face the children’s court today.

6. ‘Decomposing’ body found in western Sydney reserve.

Police have established a crime scene after a ‘decomposing body’ was found in a reserve in western Sydney.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports police were called to the bushland area at around 4:40pm on Sunday, and discovered what they believe to be an adult body.

Forensic officers searched the surrounding area for further evidence throughout the night. Police are unable to confirm whether the death is being treated as suspicious, but investigations are continuing.

The body is yet to be identified by authorities.

Anyone with information is urged to to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]

00:00 / ???