Saturday's news in less than two minutes.






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.

Police are treating the deaths as suspicious.

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”.

“Forensically, we are able to say the fire was deliberately lit and that the children’s access or escape from that room was deliberately impeded,” he said.

For more information, read this.

3. 51-year-old Australian woman arrested for drug trafficking in Malaysia.

An Australian woman could be facing the death penalty after being arrested in Kuala Lumpur for drug trafficking.

The 51-year-old was caught carrying 1.5 kilos of methapmhetamine, or ice, while travelling through the Malaysian capital from Shanghai to Australia. She is due to appear in court tomorrow and could be facing the death penalty.


The only circumstances in which a death sentence can be commuted in Malaysia is if the accused is pregnant or a child.

4. The Pope says all dogs go to Heaven.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis continues to surprise everyone, most recently being overheard telling a boy that dogs also go to Heaven. USA Today reports that the Pope told the young boy, whose dog had recently died, that “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

The remark, which is apparently the opposite of Catholic theology, goes against the belief that animals are soulless and therefore cannot go to Heaven. Theologians have explained this as Francis, whose papal name comes from the patron saint of animals, St. Frances of Assisi, simply being conversational with the grieving boy.

5. Four-year-old girl got drunk on hand sanitiser while in daycare.

A four-year-old girl is making news headlines around the world after her mother discovered she was drunk when picking her up from daycare. Holly Hawke is believed to have become intoxicated after drinking hand sanitiser from a dispenser at her daycare centre in Invercargill in New Zealand.

Believing her daughter to have contracted meningitis, Ms. Hawke rushed her daughter to a local hospital only to be told her daughter had a blood alcohol reading almost four times that of the legal limit. Authorities are investigating the incident.