news

Sunday's news in under 5 minutes.

Reports Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme has been quietly shelved.

Insiders have told Fairfax exclusively that the Abbott government’s $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme is unlikely to be passed this year. The scheme, allowing new mothers 26 weeks paid leave at salaries of up to $100,000, was one Mr Abbott’s key election promises.

Government sources have told Fairfax it is likely the legislation has been shelved due to its anticipated crushing defeat in the Senate. Backbencher dissent on the issue has also been reported as further justification for why the scheme has been likely deferred.

Labor Senator Penny Wong has responded to rumours saying, “Tony Abbott has not only broken his election promises, he has now been caught out trying to hide cuts which will hurt some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community.”

However, Liberal Minister Scott Morrison has said the scheme has not been permanently shelved.

“The budget is the priority to get those measures through, and all of our other priorities then will be taken through the parliament in an orderly fashion,” he said.

Australian couples offer to adopt abandoned baby Gammy.

Last week it was revealed an Australian couple left their baby son with the surrogate they paid to carry him because he had Down Syndrome. There was national outrage when it was revealed they brought his healthy twin sister home to Australia.

The Daily Mail is reporting that since the news broke many other Australians have offered to adopt the disabled boy.

The surrogate Pattharamon Janbua decided to keep baby Gammy, but has been struggling as his health has deteriorated further following a serious lung infection.

Janbua has told the ABC: “I chose to have him, not to hurt him. I love him, he was in my tummy for nine months, it’s like my child”.

She also said, “I won’t give my baby to anybody”.

An Australian singer has passed away due to a blood clot.

An Australian singer who was a finalist on American Idol has passed away overnight. Michael Johns, aged 35, died in his sleep due to a blood clot in his ankle.

TMZ released a statement saying, ” he went to a doctor on Thursday to check out the pain he had been feeling in his ankle … the swelling and bruising had made their way up to his leg.

“We’re told the next afternoon at his friends apartment … Johns’ body was found on the couch unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, he was already dead.”

Stars including Simon Cowell have tweeted their condolences.

Usain Bolt announces when he plans to retire.

This morning, Usain Bolt won another gold medal for Jamaica after winning the mens 4 x 100 metre relay. Following the victory he revealed his plans to retire in 2017.

“I have always said that after Rio I wanted to retire but they keep saying I should go onto 2017 (world championship in London), so I think I might just do that, so that will be my last championship.

“This training thing is not so easy. I am just happy I have done what I wanted to do in this sport,” Bolt said.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has defended Nauru as a place fit for asylum seeker children.

.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has responded to recently released data about the impact detention has on children’s mental health. On the ABC’s Insiders program Morrison said the 50 Tamil children sent to Nauru who were on board a boat from India should not have been exempt from offshore processing.

“Offshore processing is a universal policy and when you create exceptions to that then you create an incentive for children to get on boats,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I hope the days now are long gone where children are dying at sea and my officials and officers who work for Customs, and the Navy officers have to scoop children out of the water.

“We have put considerable resources into Nauru to ensure it’s fit for families.

“The accommodation is air conditioned for children, there’s play equipment, there’s shaded areas for learning, there are covered areas, air conditioned for the schooling.”

American Ebola virus victim arrives back in the US.

The American aid worker who contracted the Ebola virus while treating patients in Liberia has flown to the United States.

Dr Kent Brantly was escorted from an ambulance to an Atlanta hospital, where he is now being treated in the special isolation unit.

As there is no cure for Ebola, the World Health Organisation’s recommended course of treatment is currently to keep Brantly hyrdrated with electrolytes and intravenous fluids.

A second infected member of the same Christian organisation Brantly was working with will be flown to the United States for treatment later this week.

Abbott’s ‘Green Army’ initiative has launched.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s ‘Green Army’ initiative to get young Australians working on environmental projects began yesterday.

The scheme involves 17- 24 year olds working on projects up to 26 weeks in length. These projects could include koala habit restoration, tree planting, and restoring culturally significant sites.

The young people are set to earn up to $1000 a fortnight. However, unions have criticised the government for paying participants below minimum wage.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt defended the ‘Green Army’ pay rates though, saying, “They not only earn the funds, but most significantly they get the work skills and hopefully, they will come out of it with certificates and occupational health and safety training, first aid training, and having achieved something.”

MH17 victims farewelled.


The parents of the three Maslin children who were on board MH17 when it was shot down have said their farewells in Perth today.

Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8 were travelling with their grandfather, Nick, Noris when the Malaysian aircraft came down over the Ukraine on the 17th of July.

Parents Anthony Maslin and Rin Norris were joined by hundreds of guests at Scotch College today to pay their respects to the three children and their Grandfather.

“Our three children are unblemished, innocent and perfect souls. They are our whole world,” said Mr. Maslin.

“THE only thing worse than the hell beyond hell we are going through is the horrific thought that our family may have never existed,” he said.

Ms Norris said “When their innocent bodies were shot out of the sky I stretched my arms as high as I could and screamed for them.”

“Now I see them only in my head. I can’t touch them, I can’t feel their warmth, I can’t imagine the memories of their bodies close to mine and the love in my heart will always be open for them.

“My arms will always be reaching for them.”

Our thoughts are with the Maslin family and their friends.