Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Macksville ready to say good-bye to Phillip Hughes

The funeral of Phillip Hughes will take place today.
The funeral of Phillip Hughes will take place today. ( Source: Getty Images)






The NSW town of Macksville will today host the funeral of Phillip Hughes.

The service, which will be broadcast on Channel 9 and ABC News 24 as well as Fairfax and ABC radio, will begin with the tones of Youth Group’s Forever Young.


Over 5000 people are expected to attend the funeral which will hear a tribute from Michael Clarke. Clarke who has been in the town preparing for the funeral for several days will also be pallbearer along with Aaron Finch, Tom Cooper, as well as Hughes’ father Greg and brother Jason.

Fairfax Media reports that the family has decreed 80% of mourners inside the hall should be locals.

The streets which are lined with photos, bats, messages and memorabilia to the batsman will see a procession down Wallace Street ending at the Pacific Highway.

A private function will follow for invited guests only.

It is expected that the Australian and Southern Stars squads will attend along with Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne among others.

The Daily Mail reports that the family of Phillip Hughes have said they are looking forward to greeting NSW bowler Sean Abbott and giving him a hug to tell him everything is okay”.

 2. Toddler dies after car rolls down driveway

A toddler has died after a car has rolled down the driveway of her home in the Adelaide Hills and struck her.

There was no one in the car when it started rolling.

The 18-month old girl was rushed to hospital with critical injuries, but died shortly after arriving.

Police say the child’s mother was also hit but sustained non-life threatening injuries.


3. Cyber-bullying laws

Cyberbullying affects one in five Australian children.

New laws to be introduced to parlimaent today will see social media companies will face fines of up to $17,000 a day if they repeatedly refuse to take down bullying material.

The legislation to be introduced today in parliament which will create a new authority to fight cyberbullying.

Under the new laws any  internet user, even children, can be directed to take down the remarks and apologise or face a Federal Court injunction reports News Limited.

4. Best birth announcement ever

A Queensland family has placed a birth announcement with a difference in The Courier Mail writing a birth retraction.

The family of Kai Bogert published the announcement yesterday, in it they note that they originally announced the birth of their daughter, but say they should have announced that they have a son.

For more on this heartwarming reaction read this post here.

 5. Senate rejects Pyne’s push for Higher Ed reforms

Christopher Pyne will introduce a new reform bill today.

By ABC political reporters Eliza Borrello and Jonathon Gul

The Senate has rejected the Federal Government’s push to deregulate universities, which would have allowed them to set their own fees.

Despite a last-ditch plea from the Government and the promise of several last-minute amendments to woo the crossbenches, the Senate voted down the bill 33 to 31.

The fate of the bill was sealed when the Government failed to gain the support of the Palmer United Party (PUP) and independent senators Jacqui Lambie and Nick Xenophon.


In the minutes leading up to the vote, PUP senator Glenn Lazarus made his feelings clear.

“No amount of texting, chocolates and red roses from Christopher Pyne is going to change my mind, or the mind of my fellow colleague, Senator Dio Wang,” he said.

The Greens and Labor have welcomed the bill’s defeat, but the Government has already pledged to push on with its plans.

In his first interview after the defeat of the bill he had spent six months trying to get through the Parliament, Mr Pyne vowed to reintroduce higher education legislation.

He said “great reform takes time”.

“I don’t think the Australian public ever marks anyone down for having a go,” he told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

“Tomorrow I’ll be introducing a new reform bill which picks up nine of the 10 elements of the previous bill.”

Mr Pyne said the new legislation would contain many of the changes requested by crossbench senators.

 A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission.

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 6. Chloe Valentine Inquest

An inquest into the death of four-year old Chloe Valentine who died after being forced to repeatedly ride a motorbike by her mother, Ashlee Polkinghorne has heard that Families SA knew Chloe and her mother were living with a violent sex offender but had no reservations because the man’s crimes were “consensual” because the victim was his girlfriend.


The inquest is examining the response to more than 20 notifications made to authorities about Chloe before her death in 2012.

Her mother Ashlee Polkinghorne and Polkinghorne’s then partner, Benjamin McPartland are serving jail sentences for manslaughter by criminal neglect.

Yesterday the inquest heard evidence from a former student social worker, Janelle Morris, who was appointed Chloe’s primary support contact when Families SA deemed her case low risk.

Evidence included: (from The Advertiser)

  • Concerns that Polkinghorne did not prioritise Chloe’s needs over her own. Morris said that the teenage mother’s level of insight changed with her mood.
  • Polkinghorne, continued to display aggressive behaviour and blamed “her mother, workers always interfering and Tom”, Chloe’s father, for her attitude.
  • Chloe’s daycare centre worker once reported that, “in the nine years I’ve worked in child care, I’ve never seen a nappy as full as Chloe’s was today”.
  • Chloe was “a darling little girl” who “always tried to please her mother”. “She was quite independent and I guess she had learned to be independent because of the situation she was in.

 7. Newborn baby found dead in wheelie bin

It is a desperately sad phenomenon not just happening in Australia – overnight the horror news that police in Yorkshire are investigating the discovery of the body of a newborn baby girl in a wheelie bin.

The body was found just moments before the rubbish was collected.

A 71-year old man made the grisly discovery.

The Mirror reports that the baby girl could not be revived and was pronounced dead.

8. Switched at birth

Two French women are suing the doctors at a hospital where they were switched at birth.

The families of the girls, both now aged 20 are suing doctors and the clinic involved in the case for more than 12 million euros ($A16 million) in damages.


The babies were switched accidentally after a doctor put them together in a jaundice treatment crib.

At the age of 10 one of the girl’s fathers did a paternity test after concerns his daughter did not look like him.

He and his wife then found out she was not biologically related to them.

The two families met up 10 years ago but did not switch the daughters back.

They distanced themselves from each other since the meeting reports The Telegraph.

“It’s too difficult, so we each went our separate ways as it’s so distressing, it was the only way to find some stability again,” said Sophie Serrano the mother of one of the girls.

 9. Baby dies in parent’s bed after they return from night out

The six week old was suffocated.

It was their first night out in a year and it ended in tragedy.

A hearing in the UK has heard that a six-week old suffocated in his sleep after he was brought into the bed of his parents.

Paul Pearson, 24 and 22-year-old Emily Lambert got straight into bed when they returned home from a night out, but at 5am their son woke crying.

Paul Pearson brought him into bed after feeding him and the baby lay between his parents.

The inquest heard that at 8.50 his parents woke to find their son unresponsive.


Tests showed he had died from Sudden Infant Death syndrome after being deprived of oxygen reports The Daily Mail.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Eduardo Moya told the hearing that the parents’ decision to co-sleep with their baby and having consumed alcohol that night may have contributed to their baby’s death

Dr Moya said: “The not deliberate and unfortunate set of circumstances is well-documented – bed sharing with parents combined with alcohol consumption.

“Furthermore one or both of the parents did smoke and that could be a contributory factor as that baby had a rhino viral infection. There are a series of risk factors that increase the likelihood of having SIDS. One reason bed sharing is considered dangerous is that one parents could roll on to the infant in the middle of the night.”

For more on the dangers of co-sleeping read this post here.

10. Australian Open organisers revise extreme heat policy

The Australian Open organisers have updated their ‘extreme heat policy’ for next year’s tournament.

Director Craig Tiley  told media yesterday that a roof has been added to a third court, and the heat policy had been updated to “ensure conditions are fair for all players”.

In this year’s tournament temperatures soared above 40C causing players to faint or suffer from heatstroke.

Organisers were criticised for not suspending matches, with some players describing conditions as “dangerous”.


11. Left-handed? You might just earn less.

Lefties disadvantaged in the workplace.

A study has undermined previous claims that left handed folk are gifted, showing that lefties in fact are likely to earn 12 per cent less over their lifetime.

The study of 47,000 people shows that left-handers are at a significant disadvantage in the workplace.

The research presented in the Journal of Economic Perspectives says,  “Lefties exhibit economically and statistically significant human capital deficits relative to righties. Left-handed individuals show consistently lower cognitive skills and higher rates of mental and behavioural disabilities.

“This paper is the first to demonstrate that lefties also have consistently lower labour market earnings than right-handed individuals.”

 12. World’s Most Excellent Airline

The best airline in the world award goes to….

The award for the best airline in the world has gone to Air New Zealand for the second year in a row as voted by safety assessment website

AirlineRatings said Air New Zealand had been honored for “its award winning in-flight innovations, record financial performance, operational safety and motivation of its staff.”

Qantas won Best Domestic Service, Best Catering and Best Lounges.

Etihad Airways was awarded Best First Class, Cathay Pacific took the Best Business Class prize, Thai Airways got Best Economy Class, while Best In-Flight Entertainment went to Emirates.

Virgin Australia won the Best Cabin Crew prize for its outstanding staff.


13. Scott Morrison gives a press conference.


The Federal Government has announced an increase in the refugee intake and other changes to legislation currently before the Senate in a bid to stave off another defeat in the Upper House.

The Government has agreed to increase the number of people who can come to Australia under its refugee and humanitarian program as part of negotiations over its legislation to resurrect Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).

The program will go up by 7,500 places over four years, with the final year seeing 5,000 extra people added to the intake, taking it up from the current level of 13,750.

Scott Morrison.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the move would be funded by savings.

“This increase, at a cost of more than $100 million, will be fully funded by offsets that I have committed to within my portfolio,” he told reporters.

“If you’re going to increase the intake, you’ve got to pay for it.”

Mr Morrison announced a range of amendments agreed to during negotiations for the legislation, which is being debated in the Senate today.

He said the bill would be amended to give the Senate the power to block any proposal to lower the new refugee intake level.

It would also be amended to only apply what is called the “fast-track” assessment process to the existing backlog of asylum seekers who have already arrived.


Those asylum seekers who are on bridging visas will also be allowed to work while their refugee applications are processed.

Mr Morrison said an agreement with independent Senator Nick Xenophon would see “greater alignment with UN High Commission for Refugees definitions and guidelines within the provisions”.

A version of this post originally appeared on the ABC has been republished with permission.

14. Jacqui Lambie interrupts Phillip Hughes tribute

Jacqui Lambie.

Outspoken senator Jacqui Lambi has interrupted today’s tributes to late Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes in the Senate to talk about her  private bill to raise defence force pay. reports former Palmer United Party senator Lambie cut short a move to honour Hughes, who died last week.

After the Senate agreed to finalise its tributes to Hughes with a minute’s silence, Senator Lambie moved to suspend all other business so that senators could debate her bill.

The move — which was supported by Labor but was defeated 34-33– was criticised on social media, with Twitter commentators calling it “disrespectful”.

“Show some respect today #PhillipHughes. You are so disrespectful,” @lisaykw wrote.

“How rude and disrespectful of Jacqui Lambie to interrupt a tribute to Phillip Hughes in the Senate,” Belinda Demy-Geroe said.

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