1. Christmas is cancelled in Sierra Leone to prevent the spread of Ebola.
The government of Sierra Leone has banned public Christmas celebrations in an attempt to contain the further spread of Ebola.
Alarm continues to grow in the West African nation as the virus continues to elude control. The decision to ban public Christmas and New Year’s celebrations was made by the government’s Ebola response unit, who hope the move to keep people indoors will help to contain infection.
Palo Conteh, head of the government department, told reporters that the crack down would ensure “everybody remains at home to reflect on Ebola.”
Military will patrol the streets and bars and clubs have been shut down ahead of the holiday period. Although Islam is the dominant religion in Sierra Leone, more than a quarter of the population is Christian.
Sierra Leone has over-taken Liberia to become the worst affected country by Ebola and has recorded 1,319 new infections in the last three weeks. You can read more about this story here.
2. Grandmother is a ‘person of interest’ in the alleged murder of two children.
A grandmother has been named as a ‘person of interest’ in the suspected murder of two children in a fire at a property in Morayfield, just north of Brisbane. Police have revealed that the fire that killed two children was deliberately lit and the children’s escape from the room was purposely blocked.
But several other deaths of children in the family are now being investigated.
In July 2013, a three-year old died at the property and his death determined to be as a result of a virus. In February 2014, a fire blazed at the family home, apparently targeted at two other children aged nine and 11. Most recently, in September, a nine-month-old baby was found dead at the same address. All deaths are now being investigated as potential murders.
Acting Superintendent Damien Hansen said on Friday that the deaths were being treated as suspicious as the children were related and their grandmother was a “person of interest”.