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Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest news from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. New research says ‘Cry It Out’ baby sleep method doesn’t harm babies.

Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide have found that babies allowed to “cry it out” or cry themselves to sleep, in a method called “graduated extinction” by researchers, did not produce any more signs of stress in the infants than a “gentler” method.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics found that babies allowed to “cry it out” have no difference in terms of stress hormone levels than babies helped back to sleep by their parents through a method called  “bedtime fading.”

Graduated extinction is a method of controlled crying that involves gradually delaying parents’ response to their baby’s cry. Bedtime fading involves parents gradually delaying a baby’s bedtime each night in the hope that sleepier babies will fall asleep more easily.

The study was led by Michael Gradisar, an associate professor at Flinders University in Australia and director of the university’s Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic who monitored 43 infants (between ages 6 months to 16 months) who had issues falling asleep.

He found that babies who cried it out slept roughly 20 mins more than the other group and showed no signs of immediate stress — or had raised levels of cortisol, that could indicate long-term stress.

The researchers found there was no difference among the groups 12 months later in the measures of the children’s emotional and behavioural well-being.

Critics of graduated extinction believe that strategy disrupts parent-child attachment but Dr. Gradisar said: “We couldn’t find any differences. The more studies we get, the more confident we can feel that this is actually safe to perform.”

2. Appeal to find baby missing for over a month.

Salieghah Amiri via the Department of Child Protection.

Child protection officers in Western Australia say they are "very concerned" about the whereabouts of a five-month-old baby who has been missing for more than a month.

WA Today reports that the Department of Child Protection suspects Salieghah Amiri is being harboured by family members and this is the second time they have put out an appeal.

"The initial announcement made on May 6 has not provided any leads into Salieghah's whereabouts and the Department is very concerned that her health needs are not being met by her family," the appeal read.

"The department is liaising with family and working with the police to locate her, and continues to appeal for the public's help."

Salieghah is described as having dark brown eyes and wavy dark brown hair.

Anyone able to assist should contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

3. Bill Cosby ordered to stand trial for sexual assault.

A judge in the US has ordered Bill Cosby to stand trial for a sexual assault case dating back to 2004. If convicted he could face up to 10 years in jail.

The entertainer, 78, allegedly sexually assaulted Andrea Constand at his Philadelphia home after giving her drugs.

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Prosecutors say he urged her to take the pills and drink wine, leaving her unable to resist as he sexually assaulted her.

Dozens of women have come forward in recent years to accuse Cosby of sexual impropriety dating back to the 1960s, but this is the only case that has gone to court.

In March, a judge ruled former supermodel Janice Dickinson can pursue a civil sexual assault case against him, but this will not result in criminal charges.

Cosby said "thank you" to the judge after she announced her decision.

4. Parents sending kids as young as 7 to “pick up their ice” and police are powerless to do anything.

Parents are seeing 7-year-olds to pick up their drugs. Via IStock.

“They have these lovely little bags that have these cutesy cartoon characters. The kids will be told that it’s their parents’ medicine. They tell their kids that they have cancer (or another illness).”

But what they are picking up is ice.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that parents are sending children as young as seven to pick up their drugs weekly but authorities are powerless to intervene because the children do not know what they are doing and the Department of Communities are  reluctant to remove them as they try to rescue entire families trapped in the drug crisis.

“Kids are just couriers to the parents,” said June Hintz, founder of Mothers Against Drugs. “I have a dealer living close to me. It’s usually the kids they send in.

A police source told The Gold Coast Bulletin that the children tell them they are picking up a package for mum and dad”

“A juvenile unknowingly collecting a package is not a convictable offence. Common sense tells you to separate the kids from the parents, but (the authorities) look upon it as a health issue. That’s the big debate here” said the source.

Ms Hintz said she and her volunteers knew of children as young as seven collecting ice and progressing as teenagers to become addicts.

The Australian Anti Ice Campaign director Andrea Simmons said the initial target for the “at risk” group was 12 to 17-year-olds.

“Some of the teachers that we have spoken with have said we should go into grade six,” Ms Simmons said. “They know there are kids on ice there. These are 11 year olds.”

“They are getting high (on ice) on the weekend for $50.”

5. Magistrates castigates woman who threw an egg during Kendall and Kylie Jenner meet-and-greet.

A court has heard that a woman who allegedly threw eggs from the third floor of a shopping centre onto a stage where US reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner were appearing then struggled with officers when they tried to get access to her handbag.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Clancy Florence Leach, from Punchbowl, pleaded guilty to offensive behaviour at Parramatta Local Court after being arrested by police at Westfield Parramatta in November, 2015.

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Kendall and Kylie Jenner were scheduled to visit fans to promote their clothing line at Westfield Parramatta when the woman allegedly launched eggs from an upper level on to the stage area.

Magistrate Margaret McGlynn was told Leach had a half-dozen carton of eggs inside her backpack.

“What on earth possessed her to think — she may hate the Kardashians and the Jenners — it was okay to go to a place with children with a couple of other people and throw eggs,” Ms McGlynn said.

“I have evidence that one landed on the head of a child and made her cry.”

However two counts of assaulting a police officer were dismissed by Ms McGlynn.

Senior Constable Sian Davies got in a tug of war with the accused when she showed the officer her bag with the eggs inside and then tried to keep them reports The Daily Telegraph.

Ms McGlynn adjourned the matter until June 6 for sentencing at Parramatta Local Court.

6. Body of Australian climber brought down from Mount Everest.

The body of Dr Marisa Strydom who died climbing Mount Everest has reportedly been brought down from the mountain to be transferred to Kathmandu within days.

The ABC reports that Seven Summit Treks says Marisa Strydom’s remains have been recovered,

Dr Strydom died along with Dutch climber Eric Arnold on the peak at the weekend after suffering altitude sickness.

7. Nova Peris to quit at next election.

Indigenous Labor senator Nova Peris has chosen not to re-contest her Senate seat at the upcoming election.

In a statement, Senator Peris said she made the decision following careful deliberation with her family.

"It is my intention that I will serve out my term and fully support and endorse my replacement for the number one position on the Labor Senate ticket, whoever that might be," she said.

"As a champion of change I will continue to fight racism and prejudice," she said.

"I had never envisaged myself becoming a career politician."

Senator Peris was the first Aboriginal woman in federal politics and Labor's first Aboriginal member in Federal Parliament.

The decision comes amid reports Senator Peris had a second interview for a job at the AFL in recent weeks.

8. Victorian parliamentary apology welcomed by victim of homophobic laws.

Yesterday Victoria's parliament formally apologised to men convicted of historic homosexual crimes in the state.

Homosexual activity was decriminalised in 1981.

Premier Daniel Andrews said “on behalf of the Parliament, the Government and the people of Victoria: for the laws we passed and the lives we ruined and the standards we set, we are so sorry.”

One of the men Mr Andrews KIIS radio it was a big acknowledgement.

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“To me it's going to be a big acknowledgement, that finally a formal apology, a formal statement saying that I did nothing wrong,” Tom Anderson said.

Mr Anderson, now in his mid-50s, said he had lived his whole life trying to work out what he did wrong, and why he was charged for reporting his sexual assault.

“I think a lot of young people today would really fail to comprehend ... there are still people alive who have suffered the indignity of being charged with (the) crimes,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson was convicted of homosexual crimes after his boss raped him when he was just 14.

9. Study shows Fitbits may not be accurate.

A new study has shown that your Fitbit may not be keeping you as fit as you think.

The accuracy of the Fitbit trackers has been questioned by a new study highlighting a class-action lawsuit which claimed the Fitbit devices, specifically the Surge and Charge HR were 'highly inaccurate'.

One of the plaintiffs, US woman Teresa Black, claims she purchased the Charge HR and found it to be off by 78 beats per minute (bpm) during one workout, reports Ars Technica.

Her personal trainer recorded her heart rate at 160 bpm, while the Fitbit displayed 82 bpm.

The study was performed by researchers from California State Polytechnic University reports The Daily Mail.

Researchers tested the heart rates of 43 healthy adults using Fitbit's PurePulse heart rate monitors, as well as a consumer-grade ECG device.

They found that Fitbit's devices can be off by up to 20 beats per minute during intensive workouts, after comparing results with a Zephyr Bioharness.

“Our claim is that Fitbit knowingly marketed and sold devices equipped with the PurePulse technology that do not in fact accurately measure heart rates during the very types of moderate to intense exercise Fitbit shows people doing in its ads,' Jonathan Selbin, partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in New York City and one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit, told The Daily Mail

“It charged more—a price premium—for the ones with the PurePulse than those without. For example, the Charge HR typically cost $20 more than the regular Charge.

“That's classic consumer fraud.”

But a source “close to Fitbit” told The Daily Mail study “is very flawed, as it compares the Fitbit devices with the Zephyr,”

“Researchers give the implication that the zephyr used to conduct the study has been proven and validated, but it hasn't.”

“There isn't a gold standard device that can be accurately compared to Fitbit.”

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Tags: australian-politics , current-affairs
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