Friday afternoon's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the news you need this afternoon — so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Nigeria has officially outlawed female genital mutilation.

Good news: The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has officially signed a bill banning female genital mutilation.

nigeria fgm
Nigeria has officially banned FGM. (Image: iStock.)

Two new acts passed in Nigerian parliament recently — and one of them, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015, prohibits” female circumcision or genital mutilation, forceful ejection from home and harmful widowhood practices,” a local media outlet reports.

UNICEF reports FGM is commonly undergone by girls between the ages of 1 and 4, most commonly by a community elder. The brutal practice can result in trauma, disease and death.

The International Business Times predicts approximately 19.9 million women have undergone FGM in Nigeria.

2. At least 12 women have fled Melbourne to become Jihadi brides.

Victorian police believe more than 12 women from Melbourne have fled Australia and attempted to join Islamic State.

The women are aged between 18 and 20 often lie to their families about where they are going, before disappearing to conflict zones.

jihadi brides
Purported Jihadi brides. Image: Screenshot via ABC.

“Some of the families have contacted us, some of the families were taken by surprise when their daughters said they’re travelling for some other purpose and then they subsequently find out that they’ve gone to the conflict zone,” Victorian police assistant commissioner  Tracy Linford told ABC’s AM program.

Associate Commissioner Linford warned that, while young women often believe they will be placed on a “pedestal” as jihadi brides, they are more likely to end up as sex slaves.

“We’ve had information come back that some women have actually been pushed into sexual servitude, the living conditions can be very tenuous for a young women over there, they can be on rations and living in squalid and dirty conditions,” she said.

According to ABC News, five of the women have successfully joined IS, while the others remain unaccounted for.

3. Aussie singles are ‘serial online stalkers’.

A survey has found 69 per cent of Australians stalk their prospective partners online before going on their first date.

While it may no surprise you that the majority of Gen Y-ers stalk their love interests before a date (66 per cent), a third of Baby Boomers also engage in a bit of amateur detective work, as do 55 per cent of Gen X.

He already knows her parents’ names. She already knows he has a cat named ‘Sam’.

The study conducted by eHarmony found Aussies go on an average of 41 dates per year and 30 per cent date at least once per week.

The biggest turn offs on a date are being rude to waiters, bartenders and cab drivers, as well as drug use and smelling bad.

Interestingly, more than half of those surveyed noted that films influenced their perception of what love is like, noting particularly The Notebook and Love Actually. Furthermore, 65 per cent of single Aussies believe that you don’t have to look for love, preferring the “love will find you” mantra.

4. Shorten releases details of Labor’s marriage equality bill.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has unveiled his party’s marriage equality bill to be presented to parliament on Monday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the bill will propose removing “man” and “woman” as well as “husband” and “wife” from the Marriage Act, and replace with “two persons”.


The Act currently defines marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

Labor proposes to change this to “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.

The Marriage Amendment (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015 will be introduced in parliament on Monday.

Related content: A statement from the Mamamia Women’s Network on marriage equality.

5. Study: Childhood inactivity could have serious consequences for teenagers.

Now you have even more cause to tell your kids to get off that iPad and out in the backyard.

New research has found inactivity as a child could negatively impact a person’s weight and risk of disease as early as 15 years of age.

Silhouette, group of happy children playing on meadow, sunset, s
An active childhood is better for your adult health.

The study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney found that, by the age of 15, active children showed better health outcomes.

“For example, an increase of 60 minutes of daily activity in childhood was linked to two percent less body fat,” Lead researcher Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis said.

“If inactivity patterns persist into adulthood, which is very likely, we expect an increased risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

Professor Stamatakis has called for a serious long-term strategy to encourage children to keep active.

“With technology today meaning excessive sitting and screen time, we urgently need a serious long-term health policy which promotes strategies in schools and communities to give young people more opportunities for walking, cycling, play, and sports on a daily basis,” he said.

The study published in journal, Pediatrics, surveyed more than 4,600 children and is the longest running study on the subject.

What’s making news in your world this afternoon?

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