news

Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Woman and three children killed at Lockhart

The local community is in shock.

A woman aged 41 and three children have been found dead at their rural property near Wagga in NSW.

Kim Hunt, her son, aged 10 ,and her two daughters aged 6 and 8 were found dead, the victims of gun shot wounds.

Geoff Hunt, their father, was said to be missing by police and there are grave concerns for his welfare.

A suicide note was reportedly found at the property.

A strikeforce has been set up and this morning a dam on the property will be searched for the missing man.

For more on this read this post here.

2. Apple launch

Three new products launched.

Apple has launched three new products overnight:  The iPhone6, the iPhone6 Plus and Apple Watch a new smartwatch with a digital crown.

To a large crowd Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the new products.

For more on them, see this post.

3. Duchess wants three children before 35

The Duchess wants three children.

The Duchess of Cambridge wants three children before she’s 35, according to The Telegraph in the UK.

The 32-year-old Duchess came from a family with three siblings and wants to emulate the childhood she had.

The Telegraph reports The Duchess has told friends she would like “at least” three children.

According to the report, Prince George’s brother or sister is likely to be born in April or May — meaning there will be almost exactly the same age gap as there is between the Duchess her sister Pippa Middleton.

4. Michael Schumacher out of hospital

Michael Schumacher has left the Lausanne Hospital to go home, according to a family statement.

The former F1 champion had been discharged from the intensive care ward of a hospital in Grenoble in June after suffering series head injuries in a skiing accident in December last year. In the latest statement, his family said there is still a “long and difficult road ahead,” reports News Limited.

“Henceforth, Michael’s rehabilitation will take place at his home. Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months,” said the brief statement issued by manager Sabine Kehm.

5. Would you pay to have your child’s party in a park?

Parties like this might now attract a fee.

Brisbane City Council is considering new rules that may see parents fined up to $5692 if they hold a large birthday party in a park without a permit.

The proposal, which will go to public consultation on Friday, would see anyone holding a gathering of 50 or more people having to pay $300 and give 20 days notice to apply for a permit.

The Parks, Environment and Sustainability boss, Cr Matthew Bourke, said it would only be larger events that would trigger the permit which might cause damage to the park or which have large games or jumping castles.

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News Limited reports Opposition Leader Milton Dick says he fears people holding children’s birthday parties would be caught out by the confusing laws.

“This is covering birthday parties in red tape and political correctness gone mad when family events or community gatherings could be caught up in this net,” he said.

6. MH17 report

A report compiled by Dutch crash investigators into flight MH17 has found the plane was punctured by a “large number of high-energy objects” which led to it falling apart in the air.

A total of 298 people were killed when the plane was downed over Ukraine in July.

To date, investigators have found no indications of any technical or operational issues with the aircraft or crew.

The report said: “The fact that there were many pieces of aircraft structure distributed over a large area indicated that the aircraft broke up in the air.”

The BBC reports this evidence is consistent with the plane being struck by shrapnel from a missile.

7. Byron Bay shark attack

A man in his 50s has died at Byron Bay after being attacked by a Great White Shark. Paul Wilcox, a British ex-pat who worked in the IT industry, was swimming at the beach while his wife of 24-years waited on the shore.

Michael Brown, a shark expert who runs Surf Watch Australia, told The Daily Mail the attack was a result of recent stormy weather and an increased number of baitfish in the area.

8. Terror threat level may be raised

The terror threat may be raised by the end of the week.

ASIO boss David Irvine has told the ABC officials are actively considering raising Australian’s terrorism threat level from “medium” to “high”.

“I would say that at the moment it is at a very elevated level of medium,” he said. “I’m certainly contemplating very seriously the notion of lifting it higher because of the numbers of people we are now having to be concerned about in Australia, because of the influence of Syria and Iraq on young Australians both in terms of going to those places to fight, but also in terms of what they are doing here in Australia with a potential intent to attack.”

David Irvine, who steps down from his position at the end of the week, said there were more than 20 people in Australia who had fought in Iraq and Syria and posed a threat to national security.

9. Man allegedly puts two-year-old boy in dryer

A man in the US has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly putting a two-year old boy in a clothes dryer and turning it on.

The man, Adam Morton, has been accused of putting his girlfriend’s son in the clothes dryer and turning it on. The boy suffered second degree burns on his back, arms and feet.

Morton has claimed he only put the toddler in the dryer for one revolution. A police report, however, says he was in there for a prolonged period of time.

WCSH6 reports Morton is still in custody.

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10. Domestic violence accommodation shortage

Domestic violence accommodation shortage.

Domestic violence victims are being forced to stay in hotels due to a national shortage of crisis accommodation.

News limited report at least half of women escaping violent homes are unable to obtain immediate crisis accommodation, and most of the women who miss out have children.

11. Jewish school builds bomb-proof wall

A Jewish school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs has built a bomb-proof concrete wall to protect its students from terror attacks.

The Yeshiva Centre in Bondi, a kindergarten-to-year 12 school, also now has closed-circuit TV cameras, intercoms and bombproof ­windows

Director Rabbi Dovid ­Slavin said the wall was designed to withstand the force of a car bomb left outside. “We who live in Australia need to be extremely grateful but at the same time we never want to be complacent or irresponsible when dealing with young people’s lives,” he told News Limited.

12. Young women struggle with breast cancer diagnosis

A report into women aged under 40 with breast cancer shows that many struggle to get a diagnosis and feel isolated.

The report will be launched today by Sarah Murdoch.

News Limited reports that many young women find their breast lumps are sometimes dismissed by doctors, the study found. Women under 50 with breast cancer find their cancer is nine times more likely to return than the breast cancer suffered by older women. The treatment for young women is more aggressive than that for older breast cancer sufferers.

A new network to help younger women goes live today at this website. It encourages women under 40 to share their breast cancer experiences.

13. Father jailed for son’s injuries

An Adelaide father has been jailed for causing a life-threatening injury to his son by thrusting his finger down his throat to stop him crying.

The five-week-old boy had to be resuscitated after suffering an acute obstruction to his airway, and had his rib broken during the assault.

His 28-year-old father Andrew Gordon Campbell pleaded guilty in the South Australian District Court to aggravated charges of recklessly causing harm and causing harm on May 6, 2013.

Campbell wrote a letter that was presented to the court saying he was sorry to his son. “For what I have done to hurt you Ethan I’m truly and dreadfully sorry to cause you so much pain and grief, my intentions were never to of hurt you but I did.”

The Advertiser reports he was jailed for three years and four months.

14. Private schools give more homework – but don’t perform better.

Private schools assign 7.4 hours a week of homework.

A global education report has found that Australian private school students spend two hours a week more on homework than public school kids, but when socio-economic advantage is taken into account they don’t actually perform any better.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Education at a Glance 2014 report shows that Australian private school students have amongst the most homework in the world – spending 7.4 hours a week on it.

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By comparison, Australian public school students spend 5.1 hours on homework a week.

The report, revealed by Fairfax Media, also found that in early childhood education Australia still lags behind the rest of the world.  A total of 18 percent of three-year-olds in Australia were in pre-primary education in 2012, below the OECD average of 70 percent.

15.  Generation helpless

They are being called “generation helpless”.

A series of studies has shown that kids these days are better skilled at operating a smart phone than reading, swimming or tying their own shoelaces.

The study, reported in The Daily Mail, showed that more than half of children aged between two and 10 feel more confident using a smart phone or tablet than learning to swim or telling the time.

But a separate Australian study by Medibank Community Grants showed that one-third of kids would prefer technology to playtime.

More than 40 percent of Australian children under the age of 13 own their own tablets.

16. Casanova’s social media fail

Perth radio station Nova 93.7 is in hot water after one of its “Casanova” crews was photographed in a disabled parking bay.

WA Today reports the picture was posted to Facebook on Monday, and was  shared on a name-and-shame page for those spotted parking in disabled bays without a permit.

(Photo: Facebook)

Nova programme director Daniel Underhill said the Casanovas “unreservedly apologised” for the incident.

“While the Casanovas were directed to park there by a third party, the decision to follow that direction is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“We can assure everyone that this mistake will never be repeated.”

17. Julia Gillard at the royal commission

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appeared before the royal commission into trade union governance and corruption.

Gillard denied she did anything wrong in helping set up the slush fund for her former union boyfriend Bruce Wilson in 1992, when she was a lawyer and he was a leader of the Australian Workers Union.

The Australian reports Gillard admitted she would have acted differently if she could, but she said she “lacks a time machine”.

It reports Gillard “stuck to her past story” during her appearance before the commission.

The Sydney Morning Herald said of Gillard’s appearance: “Don’t we all wish we had a time machine?…  No smoking guns or plot changing slip ups here.”

What news are you talking about today?

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