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Primary school boy dies in playground tragedy in Darwin, & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. Primary school boy dies in playground tragedy in Northern Territory.


A child has died in an accident at a Darwin playground.

Nine-year-old Seth Tran Anderson died in a playground nearby his school Wanguri Primary School boy on Wednesday night.

Northern Territory Police are investigating what they described as a non-suspicious death that enquiries so far indicated was a result of misadventure.

The Australian reported the boy was out with his sister when the flying fox accident occurred.

The school principal had been in contact with the family to offer support, the Department of Education said in a statement.

Counsellors were also working at the school for students and staff.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with the family during this difficult time,” the statement said.

Friends of Seth’s mother Imelda have started a GoFundMe campaign to ease financial pressures and pay for his funeral.

Police investigations were continuing and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

2. Soldier charged over alleged rape of 16-year-old-girl at Brisbane army barracks.

A soldier has been arrested and charged with raping a teenage girl at barracks in Brisbane.

The man, aged in his 20s, was taken into custody on Wednesday after he reportedly assaulted the 16-year-old girl at the Enoggera Army Base barracks.

Queensland Police said the alleged incident occurred on January 14 and resulted in an investigation.

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The Australian Defence Force confirmed the soldier was taken into custody in relation to a sexual assault allegation and released on bail.

“Defence is assisting Queensland Police Service with their inquiries,” a spokesperson told AAP in a statement.

“As the matter is under investigation by the Queensland Police Service it would be inappropriate for Defence to comment.”

The man was ordered to appear at Brisbane Magistrates court on February 26.

3. David Beckham faces court for using mobile phone while driving.

David Beckham will face a court hearing over allegedly using a mobile phone while driving.

A member of the public alerted the Metropolitan Police to the alleged offence, said to have taken place on November 21 in west London.

A London Magistrates’ courts spokesman said the former England footballer, 43, received a single justice procedure notice in the post, but had not yet been charged.

A hearing will take place at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on March 19.

The government says a person issued with such a notice does not necessarily need to attend court.

A spokeswoman for Beckham, married to former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria and a father of four, could not be reached for comment.

4. Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff banned from Parliament after physical fight.

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Pauline Hanson’s chief-of-staff has been banned from parliament after fighting with a senator who admitted smearing blood on the One Nation leader’s door after the ugly clash.

James Ashby had his parliamentary pass revoked by Senate president Scott Ryan as drama engulfed One Nation and defector Brian Burston on Thursday.

Senator Burston, now in parliament under Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party banner, concluded he must have smeared blood on Senator Hanson’s office door, despite bizarrely claiming not to remember doing so.

Mr Ashby and Senator Burston were involved in a physical altercation on Wednesday night, after attending a dinner at which they sat on the same table.

The fracas deepened an already bitter spat between Senator Burston and Senator Hanson, who have been at loggerheads since he split from the party last year.

After his pass was revoked, Mr Ashby released a statement saying he respected the decision but wanted the incident investigated fully.

Tensions have boiled over since she used parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to accuse an unnamed senator of sexually harassing at least six staff.

Senator Burston outed himself as the alleged culprit, telling News Corp it was “bull***”, going on to claim he left One Nation after Senator Hanson sexually harassed him.

But she emphatically denied the claims, laughing them off in media interviews.

“I might be 64 … but I tell you what, I’m not that desperate.”

5. Drinking two or more diet drinks a day increases risk of stroke.

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Two or more diet drinks a day increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and the likelihood of an early death, research suggests.

A large study involving more than 80,000 women found that drinking two or more diet drinks a day – including fizzy drinks and fruit-based diet drinks – increased the risk of stroke by 23 per cent.

Compared with women who consumed diet drinks less than once a week or not at all, women who consumed two or more artificially-sweetened drinks per day were also 29 per cent more likely to develop heart disease and 16 per cent more likely to die from any cause.

Further analysis showed that some groups of women were most at risk, with those drinking two or more diet drinks a day who were also obese having more than double the stroke risk.

African-American women also had a higher risk of stroke.

Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, lead author of the study and associate professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, said: “Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet.

“Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”

The authors stressed that the study found a link but could not prove that diet drinks cause strokes and heart problems.

The research, published in the journal Stroke, included data from 81,714 post-menopausal women (who were aged 50-to-79 at the start of the study) and who were tracked for an average of 12 years.

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One serving of diet drink was regarded as 355ml.

Dr Mossavar-Rahmani said the study had not looked at individual artificial sweeteners, saying: “We don’t know specifically what types of artificially sweetened beverages they were consuming, so we don’t know which artificial sweeteners may be harmful and which may be harmless.”

The American Heart Association has recently published a science advisory which found there was inadequate scientific research to conclude that low-calorie sweetened beverages do or do not affect the risk of heart disease and stroke.

But it states that water is the best choice for a no-calorie drink.

Dr Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition emeritus at the University of Vermont and chairwoman of the writing group for the American Heart Association’s science advisory, Low-Calorie Sweetened Beverages And Cardiometabolic Health, said: “Unfortunately, current research simply does not provide enough evidence to distinguish between the effects of different low-calorie sweeteners on heart and brain health.

“This study adds to the evidence that limiting use of diet beverages is the most prudent thing to do for your health.”

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