news

Tuesday's news in under 5 minutes

1. Coward’s punch laws

Daniel Christie died after being assaulted in Sydney on New Year’s Eve

The NSW Government will release details of tough new ‘cowards punch’ laws today.

Fairfax Media report that the reforms will include a mandatory minimum penalty of eight years in jail, and a maximum sentence of 25 years, would apply to one-punch assaults resulting in death where drugs or alcohol were found to be a factor.

No mandatory minimum sentence will apply for fatal one-punch assaults that do not involve drugs or alcohol. However, under laws flagged last year by Attorney-General Greg Smith and modelled on West Australian legislation, a maximum sentence of 20 years will apply.

This is lower than the 25-year maximum sentence for manslaughter, but the proposed law will make it easier to secure a lengthy prison sentence than it is to secure a murder conviction, where the Crown must prove the attacker knew the punch would be fatal.

2. Terrorist threats to Olympics

Islamist militants have issued a terror threat to organisers of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. With 60 Australian athletes attending the games, Australian organisers are concerned about growing terrorist threats.

For more read this post here. “Terrorist threats overshadow the upcoming Sochi Olympics”

3. Schapelle Corby

Schapelle Corby one step closer to freedom

Schapelle Corby is one step closer to parole after fulfilling two of the requirements.

She has been issued with a new passport and a confirmation letter that she can stay in Indonesia.

She has now fulfilled all the immigration requirements of a foreign prisoner serving parole – including a guarantee from the Australian embassy that she will behave well.

The two remaining hurdles are sign-off from a meeting of staff of the Corrections Department to confirm that all the paperwork is in order, and then political approval from Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin.

Once she is out of jail, Corby must spend the rest of her sentence under the care of her sister, Mercedes, in Bali. She has agreed that she will work designing bikinis at her brother-in-laws’s shop.

4. Accused baby basher faces court

A Townsville mother accused of punching her baby girl in the face has appeared in court.

Police say a passer-by allegedly saw the 29-year-old punch the crying baby, who was in a pram on a footpath.

The mother appeared briefly before the Townsville Magistrates Court yesterday charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.

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She was granted bail and will reappear in court on February 7.

5. Dolphin Hunt

Images from the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove”.

Japan is under fire after footage from its annual dolphin hunt was live streamed by activists from environmental group Sea Shepherd.

The dolphin capture i the village of Taiji drew worldwide attention in 2010 when it became the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove”.

Sea Shepherd said on Saturday that at least 25 dolphins were taken away from their pods for possible sale to aquariums.

“Those taken captive are forced to watch as the remaining members of their family are brutally killed for human consumption,” the environmentalist group said in a statement.

More than 200 dolphins will remain trapped, where several of them are likely to be slaughtered today.

Caroline Kennedy, the recently installed U.S. ambassador to Japan, tweeted that she is “deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing.”

6. Secret cameras in toilets

Secret cameras have been found in the female and male toilets at the Tour Down Under village in central Adelaide.

Police say the black device resembled a double towel hook and was mounted on the wall.

A second device was found in the female toilets.

Police said any images captured appeared to be stored on SD cards which also have been seized.

7. Women are equal as long as they don’t have kids

The leader of the UK’s right-wing UKIP Party, Nigel Farage, has claimed that women who work in the financial sector who take time off to have children are paid less because they lose contact with their client base and struggle to succeed when they return to work.

But he insisted there is no sex discrimination in financial services because childless women do ‘as well or better than men’.

He told the BBC that, “the reality for women (in the City) is that if they have children it has a very detrimental effect on their future pay prospects.”

8. Vietnam death sentences

Vietnam has sentenced to death 30 heroin smugglers, including 9 women for the trafficking of more than 12 tons of heroin.

The country currently now has more than 700 prisoners on death row.Amnesty International said it was “dismayed” to learn of the sentences.

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9. Women’s friendships

An Australian study claims to have revealed the secret to women’s friendships – and it is all about how openly you can talk about your feelings.

Girls who are more emotionally aware and able to talk about how they are feeling are the most likely to make female friends, according to the study published in the International Journal of Adolescence.

Study author Claire Rowsell said girls wanted friends they could confide in and talk things over with.

When these traits weren’t present, girls were found to have fewer female friends – instead choosing to hang out with males and play sports or video games.

10. Uni choices

Psychology degrees said to be a poor choice

About to embark on a uni degree? Research out today may make you think twice about your choice.

A study has looked at the most overrated and underrated degrees and found that studying psychology was a poor choice for future outcomes. Only 63 per cent of the psychology graduates found full-time work in their chosen field. It turns out that surveying is the smartest choice for students, ranking as Australia’s most underrated degree.

Overrated degrees according to McCrindle Research

1. Psychology

Full-time employees working in this field: 63%

Median starting salary: $47,500

 2. Architecture

Full-time employees working in this field: 72%

Median starting salary: $32,500

 Most underrated degrees

 1. Surveying

Full-time employees working in this field: 90%

Median starting salary: $52,000

 2. Urban/Regional Planning

Full-time employees working in this field: 81%

Median starting salary: $50,000

 In Brief:

Tennis: Roger Federer became the last man to qualify for the Australian open quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

What news are you talking about today?