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News in 5: Teen died after airport meal; New free vaccines; Cosby's 'uncontrollable urge'.

-With AAP

1. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, died after she bought a sandwich at the airport.


The father of a teenage girl who died from a severe allergic reaction on a British Airways flight has called the pain he and his family feels as “indescribable”.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, collapsed on a July 17, 2016 flight from London to Nice after buying an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette at Heathrow Airport.

Red welts began appearing on her skin during the flight and her father Nadim, a millionaire owner of Wow Toys from Fulham, administered the first of two EpiPens she carried.

She started the hyperventilate and cabin crew were made aware of the situation. She was given a second EpiPen, but continued to deteriorate.

Natasha was laid out on the floor of the plane to receive emergency treatment and a junior doctor on board administered a shot of adrenaline from an on-board first aid kit.

She lost consciousness and suffered a cardiac arrest.

French paramedics met the plane when it landed and rushed her Natasha to hospital, but she was pronounced dead later that day.

Nadim told The Sun he, his wife and son are still trying to adjust to life without Natasha.

“It’s a daily battle and the pain is indescribable.”

“Everything we say and do is a reminder that she isn’t with us, her empty bedroom, school uniform hanging in her wardrobe, her holiday bag packed for her holiday in Nice has never been unpacked. We can’t bear to.”

An inquest into her death could lead to changes to food labelling laws.

It is believed the Pret a Manger baguette she bought had sesame seeds baked into the dough.

Under EU law, sesame must be listed in pre-packaged food made off premises.

But a loophole means companies do not have to list it if the food is prepared on the same day in an on-site kitchen.

Instead signs are supposed to be put up on shelves and tills to warn customers of potential allergens.

2. Australian teenagers are set to get a free meningococcal vaccine.

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Australian teenagers will be getting a free vaccine to protect them against four strains of the potentially deadly infection meningococcal.

The combined vaccine for meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y will be available at no cost to Australians aged 14 to 19 from next April.

The change is being listed for the age group on the National Immunisation Program, which provides free jabs.

More than a million teenagers are expected to get the vaccine in the next four years.

The listing for adolescents had been recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

It comes after the jab became freely available for 12-month-olds in July.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the bacterial infection, although rare, can be deadly.

It killed 28 Australians last year, compared to 11 in 2016 and 12 in 2015.

“The consequences are devastating for individuals and their families,” he said.

The federal government has also been under pressure to list a vaccine for the B strain of meningococcal on the National Immunisation Program.

But the prime minister has said the change cannot occur until the vaccine earned the recommendation of an expert committee.

He has urged the company that makes the vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline, to have another attempt at becoming listed on the program.

The company confirmed in August it would consider the move but only after it had the results of a South Australian study on the impact of the vaccine, Bexsero, on meningococcal B immunity in 2019.

3. Court hears Bill Cosby has an ‘uncontrollable urge’ to violate young women.

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Evidence shows that Bill Cosby has an uncontrollable urge to violate young women and would likely reoffend if given the chance, a Pennsylvania state board psychologist says.

The 81-year-old comedian’s sentencing hearing has opened with a debate over whether he should be declared a “sexually violent predator”, which would subject him to mandatory lifetime counselling and community notification of his whereabouts.

Cosby, who faces up to 30 years in prison for drugging and molesting a Temple University women’s basketball administrator in 2004, fought the prosecution’s effort to classify him as a predator under state law.

Pennsylvania state board psychologist Kristen Dudley testified that Cosby has an uncontrollable urge to violate young women and would probably commit another offence if given the chance.

Dudley added that Cosby’s assault of Andrea Constand fits a long pattern of predatory behaviour by the former Cosby Show star.

Cosby often befriended women, then betrayed their trust by sedating them with drugs or alcohol and violating them for the “sole purpose of his sexual gratification”, Dudley testified.

Trying to avoid the predator designation for their client, Cosby’s lawyers argued that the state law itself is unconstitutional.

However prosecutors told Judge Steven O’Neill the law is necessary for public safety, and the judge allowed the hearing on Cosby’s status to proceed.

The defence contended that Cosby is unlikely to commit another crime because of his advanced age and health – he is legally blind and uses a cane – and because there have been no new complaints to authorities since Constand came forward in 2005.

The legal wrangling came at the start of a hearing that will determine how the comedian once known as “America’s Dad” will be punished for knocking Constand out with pills and assaulting her at his suburban Philadelphia home more than 14 years ago.

Cosby was the first celebrity to go to trial in the MeToo era and could be the first to go to prison – perhaps for the rest of his days – after being convicted in April.

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Cosby, looking grim, walked into the courthouse on the arm of his longtime spokesman as protesters shouted at him. Constand arrived a short time later.

At the end of a hearing that could last two days, the judge could sentence Cosby to as much as 30 years in prison or send him home on probation.

The state guidelines for someone like Cosby, with no prior convictions, call for about one to four years behind bars.

“Obviously, the allegations are serious, and, except for his age and poor health, would normally warrant some jail time,” said Samuel Stretton, a veteran defence lawyer not connected to the case.

In the years since Constand first went to police in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.

At least two of those women, Lise-Lotte Lublin and former model Janice Dickinson, were among those in the courtroom on Monday.

4. Michelle Guthrie’s leadership style at the ABC has been compared to ‘Hunger Games’.

Michelle Guthrie’s time as the ABC’s managing director will be remembered for low staff morale, redundancies and budget cuts, says the national journalist’s union.

In the two-and-a-half years of Ms Guthrie’s leadership, there has been widespread concern over “Hunger Games”-like processes and unprecedented political attacks on the ABC’s independence, according to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).

In response to the announcement of Ms Guthrie’s sacking on Monday, the union, along with ABC journalists, have expressed hope the next director will put up a better fight for the public broadcaster.

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“Whoever the next MD is, they need a deep understanding of the history, purpose and importance of an independent public broadcaster, and be ready to fight bare-knuckled to protect it,” said ABC TV news presenter Juanita Phillips.

Others were harsher in their criticism of the former managing director, such as ABC’s 4 Corners Executive Producer Sally Neighbour, who tweeted: “Excellent decision.”

ABC Melbourne radio presenter Jon Faine said Ms Guthrie had no interest in journalism and had been “obsessed with platforms, structures, flowcharts”.

“She would not take on her role as a champion for this organisation. It’s an astonishing fail on her part,” Faine said on-air.

MEAA Director Katelin McInerney said the next managing director needed to back staff and be an advocate for the ABC, who lost $84 million in funding in this year’s budget.

“The next managing director of the ABC will face real challenges, including how to restore the trust and confidence of staff by ending the ‘Hunger Games’ processes,” Ms McInerney said.

“”They must be 100 per cent committed to public broadcasting and to fend off any attempts to privatise the ABC either directly or by stealth.”

Leader of the union for non-journalism staff, Sinddy Ealy, said it was the right decision to remove Ms Guthrie.

“It’s been clear for some time that Michelle Guthrie is not the right leader for the ABC,” said the secretary of the ABC section of the Community and Public Sector Union.

“The board needs to act quickly now to reassure Australians that they will appoint a new MD who not only knows understands public service broadcasting but someone who is committed and able to restore the confidence of the ABC workforce and the community at large.”

Meanwhile, Ms Guthrie has said she is considering her legal options following her sacking, which came halfway into her five-year term.

“I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part,” she said in a statement.

5. A whale carcass has been stranded on a Sydney beach for a week.

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Authorities are still trying to work out how they can remove a whale carcass stranded in an inlet south of Sydney for a week.

The male whale’s body, estimated to be 20 metres long, first became lodged on rocks near Wattamolla Beach on September 17 before it was washed onto the sand on Monday.

Sharks have been feeding off the carcass in the remote inlet located in Royal National Park, more than 15km by car or boat from the nearest town.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service has told visitors to stay out of the water.

Whale welfare group ORRCA said the whale was male but its species was yet to be confirmed.

A member of the group had estimated the whale was about 20 metres though its position in shallow water meant no formal measurement had been taken.

Towing the carcass back out to sea is one of a range of options being considered by the NSW environment office.

But the whale’s size and the beach’s location meant disposal options were limited, a spokesperson said.

Two Sydney bathers filmed themselves swimming near the carcass on the weekend even though sharks were nearby to feast on the dead mammal.

6. Scams involving celebrity names have soared by 400 per cent in a year.

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Does it feel a bit dodgy for Kyle Sandilands’ image to be used to flog skin care cream?

What about Meghan Markle hocking weight loss pills, or Delta Goodrem spruiking investment schemes?

If a celebrity endorsement seems a bit far fetched or too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

The number of Australians ripped off by product scams purporting to be endorsed by celebrities has soared by 400 per cent in the past year.

The consumer watchdog ScamWatch website has received almost 200 reports of fake celebrity-backed products in 2018, with losses totalling $142,000.

Almost two-thirds of Australians duped were aged over 45, with women more likely than men to be sucked in.

Most people lost between $100 and $500, with one victim swindled out of more than $50,000.

Images of television presenters including Lisa Wilkinson, Sonia Kruger, Georgie Gardner, Jessica Rowe, Steve Baxter and Deborah Knight have all been used in recent celebrity endorsement scams.

So too have actors Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Sally Field, along with international stars Oprah, Dr Oz, Mark Shuttleworth and Mikhail Varshavski.

One common scam works by people punching in their credit card details to sign up for a free product trial, before being stung by ridiculous terms and conditions and sneaky subscription renewals.

Delia Rickard from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the groups behind celebrity endorsement scams are organised and sophisticated fraudsters.

“It’s easy for them to create fake ads and websites to give credibility to their con, so people need to be very careful and sceptical about ads they read on social media and websites,” Ms Rickard said.

The ACCC wants Google, Facebook and Instagram to crack down harder on fake ads.

“Most of the reports to ScamWatch involve these scam advertisements running on Google ad banners or as ads in Facebook news feeds,” Ms Rickard said.

“These tech giants must do more to quickly suspend ads, as every time consumers click on a scam ad they are at risk of losing money.”

Australians sprung by scams are being urged to call their banks immediately to try and arrange a chargeback, and to stop any more debits from their cards.

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