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Sunday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Celebrity chef Pete Evans wins “Bent Spoon” award for “quackery”.

Infamous celebrity chef, Pete Evans, has been named as the recipient of the annual Australian Skeptics Bent Spoon award.

The prize officially acknowledges the “perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle”, says the organisation, and Pete Evans now holds one on his mantelpiece.

Pete Evans.

The President of Australian Skeptics Inc, Eran Segev, claims that whilst Evans’ obsession with the Paleo diet partially earned him the award, there were a number of Evans’ other ideologies that clinched him the prize.

“It is not only for his diet that he is a worthy winner,” says Segev, “even though it can apparently shrink tumours, reduce diabetes, cure autism, stop asthma and reverse chronic fatigue.

“No, he has won the award for his support of pseudo medicine, his stance against fluoridation, and his association with rabid anti-vaccinationist Stephen Mercola – “the legend” as Evans calls him.”

pete evans paleo
The Bent Spoon Award. Image via Australian Skeptics Inc

Evans wasn’t at the event in Brisbane to accept his new award, but he has continued to face controversy since his recipe book was taken off shelves, promoting paleo diets for babies and children.

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Evans has attributed over 1.2 million followers on Facebook and his website claims that, “in an activated nutshell, The Paleo Way is literally the most natural dietary approach on earth…”.

It is Evans’ mass following that helped him win the “uncoveted” award with Australian Skeptics Inc concerned about the number of people who believe his “quackery”.

“…He is certainly influential, and he has a wide following, so when he pushes something of highly dubious quality or scientific evidence, then it has to be a worry,” said Segev.

“It’s all quackery he promotes, some of it dangerous quackery.”

2. Report: deaths of seven newborn babies were a result of Victorian hospital’s “incompetency”.

Victorian health services, Bacchus Marsh and Melton hospitals, have been found completely responsible for the deaths of seven babies, according to a review of perinatal deaths between 2013 and 2014.

Dr John Ballard, from the Djerriwarrh Health Service, reported that review showed gaps in skills and training, and poor responsive actions to early symptoms were to blame for seven of the eleven newborn deaths at the hospitals.

Image via Twitter.

“The situation has arisen due to the services at times operating beyond the scope of its capability,” Ballard said.
Since the opening of the investigation a number of families have also come forward to report their horrific incidents with Bacchus Marsh or Melton Hospital. Fairfax Media reports that many women, who lost their babies or experienced “traumatic” births under the hospital, have reported their stories, some from the 1990s.

The Age reports that the sister of a woman who experienced a stillbirth has held the hospital responsible for her child’s death. It is alleged that a “botched” caesarean caused the woman to have a stillborn child that forced the mother to carry the baby full term, despite suffering pre-eclampsia.

The woman claims that her sister’s doctor, Dr Parhar, was barely present for most of the birth, and that the doctor didn’t attempt to intervene during the birth.

Image via Twitter.

“[My niece] never took a breath – 10 minutes before she was born she went into distress.”

Consequently, the newborn baby suffered major brain damage and fatal organ injury all over her body, excluding her heart.

Dr Parhar was only investigated after another incident in 2013, and restrictions were placed on his licence, however, he had already left the hospital.

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Law firm, Maurice Blackburn, report they are being daily contacted by families with experiences at the hospitals.
Principal lawyer, Dimitra Dubrow, at Maurice Blackburn says, “We have broader concerns about the mismanagement of labour and birth in other cases and that a lack of patient safety has led to babies having long-term injuries.”

“Families are still coming to terms with the new they have received this week. They are distressed and shocked to know that their baby’s death could have been prevented.”

3. McDonald’s franchisees claim that all-day breakfast is a “nightmare”.

The launch of all-day breakfast has been disastrous for masses of McDonald’s franchises, apparently causing slow service, decrease in average purchases, and major kitchen problems.

Analyst, Mark Kalinowski, surveyed 29 franchisees to investigate the consequences of introducing all-day breakfasts, which did not have the positive results McDonald’s were hoping for.

McDonald’s all-day breakfast.

One franchisee wrote, “Customers are abandoning us in droves because we are either too slow, or sub-par quality.”
Another claimed, “We are trading customers down from regular menu to lower-priced breakfast items. [We are] not generating new traffic.”

These are just a few complaints among many that labelled the processes, “erratic, distorted, and disorganised”, or causing people to “fall over one another” and clogging machinery.

Beyond longer waiting times, franchisees are genuinely worried for McDonald’s broader brand image, leadership and financial capacities.

“We are in the throes of a deep depression and nothing is changing. Probably 30% of operators are insolvent,” a franchisee reported. “The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another. I have been in this business since the early 1970s but have not seen us this leaderless in all my time.”

McDonald’s Australia has disputed the report, reporting that all the feedback they are hearing has been positive.
“Trials so far are going well here and feedback has been positive,” stated a spokesperson for the fast-food outlet.
“…All-day breakfast is the number one request we hear from customers.”

4. A Sydney man on bail for child-rape has been arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that a Sydney man, who was already on bail for previous offences, has been arrested for allegedly gang-raping a 16-year-old girl.

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It is reported that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was already on bail after the rape of his girlfriend’s 15-year-old sister.

The man was already on bail for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

At the time, he was granted bail in Parramatta Local Court for the indecent assault and rape of the young girl with just a $200 bail.

The case is just another among many to anger both members of the legal community and public over weak laws.
New South Wales’ Shadow Attorney-General, Paul Lynch, has requested for the Department of Public Prosecutions to urgently review the decision to grant bail for the alleged serial rapist.

Lynch said, “This government’s approach to bail laws is, at best, confused and haphazard. The Attorney-General must demand the DPP urgently review the facts and circumstances around this case.”

Attorney-general, Gabrielle Upton, has declined to comment on the case as legal proceedings are still occurring, however, she claims that bail laws have already been strengthened, due to reform in early 2015.

5. Sarah Taylor becomes first woman to play men’s A-Grade cricket in Australia.

Sarah Taylor is an English International cricket player who has just made history in Australia after playing as wicketkeeper in a professional men’s game against Port Adelaide.

Before the game, Taylor said she was experiencing “a combination of nerves and excitement.”

Sarah Taylor (right).

“I’ve always wanted to push myself,” Taylor said, “and check where I’m at in terms of my cricket. It shows that if you’re good enough, doors will open…I just want to build that respect that I’m not a girl, I’m just another player.”

Taylor is only 26, but has recently signed to play for the Adelaide Strikers in the first of its kind, Women’s Big Bang League this winter.

Pat Howard, who is Cricket Australia’s team performance manager, is excited about the future of Taylor and women’s cricket.

“We are very proud that our women’s domestic competitions are arguably the strongest in the world and our ability to attract world-class players such as Sarah is a testament to that.”

Do you have a news tip? We’d love to hear it. E-mail us at: [email protected]

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