The 9 news bites you'll need this Wednesday

Caylee Anthony was murdered.

I mentioned it was the Humpiest of Hump days last week on Wednesday, but this week is different. Mostly because there is a story about camels below and for no other reason. Also, it’s State of Origin tonight! New South Wales coach Ricky Stuart cried when he said he needed to win. That’s a bit much, surely? I am a Queenslander, however, and will be tuning in. So sue me!

Anyhow, you need the news. And I’ve brought it to you!

1. Mother Casey Anthony, on murder charge, found not guilty

It’s the verdict that shook a nation. Casey Anthony was found not guilty by a Florida jury of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008 despite what appeared to be overwhelming evidence. It’s been compared to the OJ verdict. Caylee was knocked out with chloroform, gagged with duct tape, left in a car boot to die and then thrown in a swamp. Casey Anthony lied to police about leaving Caylee with a non-existent babysitter – for which she has been charged. It was alleged Caylee was an inconvenience to her mother’s lifestyle, who was seen partying in the weeks Caylee was ‘missing’. Casey would have been eligible for the death penalty had she been convicted. The verdict was screened live. Here it is:

Monkeys: totes going on Facebook

2. Monkeys steal camera, take photos

Monkeys totally love ‘selfies’ as well. Photographer David Slater was taking photos on his tripod in Indonesia when he walked away and it was raided by some black crested macaques. Who then proceeded to take stacks of photos of themselves. Facebook! Totally looks like every photo of me ever taken on a Friday night.

3. The average Aussie spends $31 a week on alcohol.

They clearly did not count me in this survey. Ahem. This is according to a survey of 2500 people by Canstar Blue, a consumer research group. Men spent more than women, New South Wales spent more than any other state. So it goes. And, of course, beer was our favourite beverage. Yours?

4. Escalator reverses in China, kills 1

This is a shocking and weird story. An escalator in an underground subway in Beijing apparently reversed in morning peak hour, killing one person and injuring 28 others, two of them seriously. Never heard of something like this happening before.

5. International society condemns Aussie camel cull idea

Everything about this story is odd. Everything. Firstly, a carbon company in Adelaide suggested Aussies ‘kill-a-camel’ as a way of reducing our carbon footprint because camel farts add a total of 45 kilos of methane – many times more potent than carbon dioxide and equivalent to about one tonne – per animal. But now the International Society of Camelid Research and Development says the plan is harsh, cruel and in response to poor science. They say camels are more efficient than cattle. But seriously, there is an association for camel scientists! With the acronym ISOCARD. Which just sounds super cool, really.

NB: This is all happening as the carbon price is to be released this Sunday. The PM is tossing up the idea of holding a live address to the nation. Channel 9 and Channel 7 have said they would not air it. ABC said it might and would offer a right of reply to Tony Abbott if it did.


6. Roland, the atypical model, wins model vote thanks to fans.

This story makes my heart sing. So that’s Roland in the photo and he entered a UK retailer’s competition to become its next top model, win some cash and get introduced to a modelling agency in the hope of making it big. The thing is, Roland isn’t your typical model. He’s not size zero, overly tall or with perfect skin. And that’s exactly why the people fell in love. He ended up getting 66,000 public votes ahead of second place who received 89. And now he goes on for the second round of judging, with actual judges. Let’s hope they can see his meteoric rise continue.

NB: Roland has now pulled out of the competition after receiving threats. He said: “just to let u all know i am quitting the next model contest. it was a big honor to win and its been fun but the amount of abuse ive been gettin since Thursday is out of control and ive now jst been threatened. thx to everyone who has supported me but i am now bowing out before this gets any worse. i dont think ppl like Grazia have helped encouraging ppl not to vote for me. yes i know its letting the dark forces win but its not worth the hassle. I suggest they take a long hard look in the mirror before they call someone else ugly. You are the real ugly people of this world.”

7. Botox can help fight asthma, possibly.

Researchers at Melbourne’s Monash University will soon trial botox as a means of removing some of the worst symptoms from asthma sufferers. The Botox would be injected into the voice box and relax the muscles for up to three months. It’s a measure routinely used for sufferers of voice box ‘over use’ so researchers are confident the outcome will help. It’s not a cure, but it could be great for quality of life.

8. Victorian volcanoes well overdue for eruption.

The volcanoes are late. In news released on the same day a richter scale 4.4 tremor rocked Melbourne, scientists at the University of Melbourne’s School of Earth sciences say volcanoes in regional Victoria along the border of South Australia are about 3000 years overdue. Studies of the patterns of eruptions in the past show they have, on average, been every 2000 years. But the last eruption was a volcano at Mt Gambier about 5000 years ago. Of course, in a geological sense, the difference between 2000 years and 5000 years is practically nothing. Right?

9. Elderly woman dies in flat, goes unnoticed for 8 years

This story is so, so sad. The bones of a woman who died alone in her Sydney flat were found yesterday. She was last seen in 2003. In a sad twist, a relative was trying to make contact with her to end a long family feud. Police have said we should all be checking on our neighbours more often. Too right.

So what can we do to help?   Get to know your elderly or housebound neighbours.  Don’t have any? Then you might like to volunteer for Telecross. Telecross is a brilliant community service initiative developed by Red Cross.   Trained Red Cross volunteers make a daily reassuring phone call – at the same time every day –  to an elderly or housebound person to ensure they are safe and well.  If the call goes unanswered, an agreed emergency procedure is activated and help is arranged (if necessary).

For information on receiving this service or becoming a Telecross volunteer, contact Red Cross on 1300 885 698 or go to the Red Cross site.

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