NEWS: 8 things to talk about today.

Daniel Morcombe

1. The accused killer of Daniel Morcombe has told Brisbane Magistrates Court details of the day that Daniel disappeared in 2003. Brett Peter Cowan revealed the details to an undercover police officer in 2011, and the recorded conversation was played today in court. In the recording, Cowan describes how he offered Daniel a lift as he was waiting at the bus stop. He then took Daniel to a remote area.

“I never got to molest him or anything like that,” Cowan said in the recorded conversation. “I panicked and he panicked and I grabbed him round the throat and he was dead.”

Cowan’s committal hearing continues.

2. Malalya Yousafza, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by members of the Taliban for her work to promote education for women, has spoken publically for the first time since the event. In a recorded message she said: “Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and I am getting better day by day.”

3. Senior Labor ministers are urging the party to make the most of Kevin Rudd’s popularity. (It’s estimated that Rudd’s backing could be 45 votes out of 102 caucus members) In an interview yesterday, Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean said: “He is an asset and we should use him, but it has to be a disciplined asset.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged caucus members to be loyal to the party.

4. The remains of King Richard III have been found more than found 500 years after he died.  The king’s skeleton was found under a council car park in England. His DNA was confirmed against a Canadian carpenter who only found out he was a direct descendant of Richard III’s sister 6 months ago.

Kevin Rudd’s popularity is growing within the party.

5. Beyonce announced a world tour – which includes Australia. Dates haven’t been confirmed, but it should be in the second half of the year.

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6. Members of the stolen generation have begun court proceedings against in state in a Western Australia court. The seven Collard siblings were removed from their parents between 1958 and 1961. Their lawyer said in a statement: “This is a historical day as we embark upon a hearing that has the capacity to right the wrongs of the past.” It’s the first trial of its kind.

7. Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke won cricket’s best and fairest award, the Alan Border medal. It’s the forth time the 31-year-old has won the medal.

8. The chairman of the Queensland Flood Appeal Committee has appealed to the public to donate to victims of the Queensland floods. Terry Mackenroth said the group had only collected $6 million in donations when they really need between $15 and $25 million. The flood appeal for the 2011 floods raised $250 million. If you’d like to donate and help those in need, click here.

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