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Wednesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Mother whose car plunged into a dam while on her way to visit her premature newborn son in hospital has died.

Kerry Budding (Arrow), the young mother who was in a car that plunged into a dam while she was on route to visit her premature baby still in hospital, has tragically died.

Dr Budding was left in a critical condition after the car, driven by her husband Phil Budding, crashed into a dam on their property outside Melbourne at 10.20am on November 26.

The couple were on their way to the Mercy Hospital to visit their newborn son Jock.

Mr Budding told The Leader he did everything he could to save his wife.

“I had to swim to her side and break the window,” he said. “(I) continued CPR (until the) ambulance arrived, which wasn’t long,”

She was rushed to hospital but her injuries were too great and overnight on Tuesday, surrounded by her family and friends, she passed away.

On social media friends paid tribute to the young mum.

One saying, “my bravest, most intelligent, quirky and brilliant mates fought for her life without succeeding.”

Another: “We lost a truly special person last night. I am honoured to have called you my friend Kerry Budding (Arrow). I cannot put into words how I feel but I will never forget you and I’m so grateful I got to tell that I valued you and loved. Fly high now Kerry and watch over your baby boy. I miss you already.”

A fundraising page for Jock and his dad, Phil can be found here.

2.  Family court rules 5-year-old who was born as genetically male will be raised as a sterilised female.

A family court ruling means the child can have their gonads removed.

The child, named Carla, was born with ambiguous genitalia.

The Australian reports that at first, doctors thought the infant was female. Yet tests revealed that Carla had no female reproductive organs even though her genitals resembled that of a female – and had male gonads tucked inside her body.

The judge’s decision, only published this week, says that Carla was born with the “external appearance of a female child” but when her mother noticed swelling around the vulva, more tests were done, revealing that she was “genetically male”.

“Her loving parents, after obtaining expert medical advice and support, determined to rear her as a female.”

The court heard Carla “enjoys toys and colours that are stereotypically female, for example, having pink curtains, a Barbie bedspread and campervan, necklaces, lip gloss and ‘fairy stations’”.

“She happily wore a floral skirt and shirt with glittery sandals and Minnie Mouse underwear and had her long blonde hair tied in braids …. She never tries to stand while urinating, never wants to be called by or referred to in the male pronoun.”

Caroline Overington reports for The Australian that the court found that the parents were “well within their rights” to pursue surgery for their child.

Many in the intersex community argue against “medically unnecessary surgery” on children.

Morgan Carpenter told The Australian: “The child will need to decide their identity for themselves, when they are older, and that’s difficult when surgery has been enforced on them as children.”

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3. Man named ‘The Wolf’ granted bail after denying rape claims.

His case was adjourned until next year.

Liam Gordon Murphy, who calls himself the unusual pseudomen on a Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) website, is charged with two counts of having sexual intercourse without the 21-year-old woman’s consent in circumstances of ­aggravation, in that he caused her actual bodily harm, reports The Daily Telegraph.

He is also charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault.

Police allege Murphy met the young woman on the BDSM website Fetlife, they then arrange to meet in real life.

Murphy has published an online book, titled 'Show Me Who Really Are' in which he says he is called “The Wolf” ­because a friend told him, “Most men are like dogs, you are like the wolf.”

He appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court where he plead not guilty.

His case was adjourned.

4. Another dismal report card: Australian students two years behind rest of the world.

Just a week after a report showed Australian students were trailing behind, another study has produced similar results.

The OECD's latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a global test of student achievement held every three years, has revealed that Australian 15-year-olds students were up to two years behind the world's strongest performers.

About half a million students from 72 countries took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, including more than 14,000 Australian children.

Students in Singapore - the OECD's top performer in all areas - are two-and-a-third years ahead of Australian students in maths. Australia has now fallen behind Slovenia, New Zealand and Vietnam in scientific literacy, while in reading literacy we are behind the Netherlands, Estonia and Poland.

Australia was significantly outperformed by nine countries, ranking just below New Zealand, well below Japan and Canada, and just above the United Kingdom and Germany.

5. Dick Smith supports Pauline Hanson but won’t stand for her party.

Millionaire businessman Dick Smith has said he will not stand as a member for One Nation.

Mr Smith said yesterday that he was planning to meet with Senator Hanson before Christmas to throw his weight behind her party.

He said people were disillusioned with the major parties and traditional Liberal supporters in Sydney's North Shore, where he lives, have been talking about voting for One Nation.

But he told Sky News he won't be financially backing Pauline Hanson or running for the One Nation party, but supports her immigration policy.

“I'll never stand for Pauline Hanson's party, I don't have similar views other than when it comes immigration,” he said.

“I'd much rather see one of our major political parties reflect what most Australians' want and that's to live in balance and to live in harmony, not to have perpetual growth.”

Mr Smith said the number of immigrants allowed into Australia should be capped at 70,000.

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“I believe we should double the number of immigrants that come here for compassionate reasons but the total should be at 70,000 not 200,000,” he said.

“You can't have a never-ending population increase, it's the prime reason young couples can't afford a house, it's the prime reason half the immigrants and half our kids won't have jobs.”

6. Health authorities Sydney measles warning.

Sydneysiders have been warned to be vigilant for signs of measles after a person recently arrived from overseas visited several sites with measles.

The sick traveller was staying in the Sydney CBD between November 26 and December 4.

They visited the Sydney Hospital emergency department, several GP clinics in Sydney and Darlinghurst and a coffee shop in Ultimo while carrying the infection.

Symptoms of the airborne virus include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed by a red, blotchy rash three to four days later.

7. Surge in children fleeing domestic violence.

It is being called the “Batty Effect” in the wake of Luke Batty’s murder by his father in February 2014, the number of children seeking shelter from family violence has surged.

The Age reports that demand from children accessing homelessness help dropped in the year prior to Luke's tragic death, but increased in that financial year and rose even more the one after that.

The trend isn’t just in Victoria, but national.

Jenny Smith, the head of the Council for Homelessness Persons told The Age, “Rosie's heroic stand following Luke's death triggered community action and inspired the state government to announce the Royal Commission [into Family Violence]."

"This has given women and the community more courage to think clearly about the limited options that are available to them."

8. Queensland scientists make cancer breakthrough in treatment methods.

Scientists at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research have made a breakthrough in the way cancers are treated.

The researchers found that reversing the accepted method for treating aggressive cancers can improve survival rates.

Usually doctors operate and then use immunotherapy but flipping the order can have better results.

Lead researcher Dr Michele Teng told Seven News in their trials on mice, between 40 to 60 per cent were cured by using immunotherapy before surgery.

"Immunotherapies have shown efficacy against 15 different cancer types, including in triple negative breast cancer," Dr Teng said.

"Because of our findings they've started clinical trials against breast cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer as well as melanoma, where they're looking at giving immunotherapy first followed by surgery," Dr Teng said.

Immunotherapy treatment differs from chemotherapy in that it uses drugs to activate the patient's own immune system to help fight the cancer.

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Tags: current-affairs , serialised-news
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