Wednesday'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. PM: The last thing you should do is dud the people who voted for you.”

The PM speaks on the party room decision.

The Prime Minister has defended the Coalition’s decision not to allow a free vote on same-sex marriage during this term of parliament with MPs split 60/30 to uphold the Coalition’s position that marriage should be between a man and woman.

Mr Abbott said around 60 frontbenchers and 30 backbenchers spoke in the six-hour special meeting yesterday, with around 30 MPs voting in favour of a free vote.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Coalition Government will either allow a free vote on same-sex marriage or put the question to the people if re-elected for another term.

“I’ve come to the view… that this is the last term in which the Coalition party room can be bound, although we will definitely maintain the current position for the life of this term,” said Mr Abbott.

He said, “The last thing you should do is dud the people who voted for you,”

“There was a strong view in the party room today that if we were to drop the policy, even if we were to adjust the policy to the extent of having a free vote, a lot of the people who voted for us were going to feel dudded.”

LNP MP Warren Entsch said  last night that his same-sex marriage bill would still be introduced to Parliament on Monday.

“I can confirm that the Bill will be introduced on Monday morning when I intend to highlight some of the very personal and heartfelt stories that have led me to take this path,” he said.

“I have to concede however that given today’s decision, the likelihood of failure, should it come to a vote, is assured.”

The PM’s sister, Christine Forster was asked on Twitter whether having a brother as Prime Minister would “stop you from belting him if he makes a stupid decision about marriage equality?”

Her response:

“It won’t stop me from wanting to … ;)”

2. 91-year old Australian man might be the world’s oldest drug trafficker.

A 91-year old Sydney man has appeared in court charged with drug trafficking after being accused of  trafficking 4.5 kilograms of cocaine masked in 27 bars of coloured soap.

It is believed that Vic Twartz may be the oldest person in the world to be charged with drug trafficking.

Twartz was arrested on July 8 at Sydney airport on his way back from Delhi in India.

Fairfax Media reports that he was sent to India by who he says were men claiming to be “ from the World Bank in Switzerland” who paid several thousand dollars for his airfare.

In Delhi a man met up with Twartz at his hotel and asked him to bring back soap to the man’s family members and sign related documents.

He claims he cannot be held criminally responsible for the drugs given he did not know they were cocaine.

“I’m 1000 per cent against any drug,” he said. “I don’t even drink alcohol.”

He told Fairfax Media “I looked carefully what was in the soap,”

“I scraped it and it was certainly soap but there were these streaks of white stuff in between. I thought it was additional perfume or that was the style of Indian soap.”


His case was adjourned.

3. Health Minister urges Aussies to “put down the remote” and “go for a walk”.

One in 5 Australians have a chronic disease brought on by obesity, smoking and inactive lifestyles.

Statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare have shown that one in five Australians has at least two chronic diseases brought on by obesity, smoking and inactive lifestyles.

The findings have promoted Health Minister Sussan Ley to urge all Australians to “put down the remote” and “go for a walk”.

“Too many Australians – young and old – are living sedentary lives and, frankly, it’s killing us,” she said.

“These worrying new statistics highlight for all of us the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

4. Food labelling may tell us how far we need to go to walk off our snacks.

One Tim Tam would mean you need to walk for 30 minutes.

Researchers from Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University have called for a new food labelling system that shows consumers how many minutes of exercises they will need to do in order to burn off their snack.

The group has recommended that an ‘equivalent walking time’ associated with each food could be displayed on the front of the food packet.

Associate Professor Owen Carter said that the current system was confusing.

“For instance, one 500ml energy drink had a single label ‘16 per cent daily intake of energy’, which doesn’t sound too bad. It’s only when you read the little nutrition panel on the back that you learn it also contains 93 per cent of your daily intake of sugar, which is really bad,”

“When people were presented with a can of soft drink and told it would take 40 minutes’ walking to burn off, all of a sudden a bottle of water with no kilojoules looked much more attractive.”

5. 28 people bought this tutu. Does one of them know who the little girl in the suitcase is?

The Cotton On dress.

Police in South Australia have said they are no closer to finding out the identity of the remains of a little girl found in a suitcase on the side of a highway in South Australia.

Detective Superintendent Des Gray told A Current Affair last night that they are still trying to identify the girl.

“This is a very challenging investigation and I don’t think that anybody would have thought that weeks later, we would still be trying to identify this little girl.”

He said that of the belongings found alongside the little girl’s remains a Cotton On Tutu could hold the key to her identity.

“It has been found with the young girl and there was only 28 of them sold within South Australia,” Detective Inspector Greg Hutchings said.

Police have had 773 calls to Crimestoppers – and have doorknocked 500 homes and businesses but still they are no further.

If you have any information please contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

6. George Brandis took a $5000 water taxi.

Senator George Brandis

News Limited reports that Senator George Brandis used a luxury water taxi costing more than $5000 to tour around the canals of Venice during a trip to open a visual arts exhibition in May.

Australian embassy officials are reported to have booked the taxi as there were no other vessels available.

Senator Brandis’ office has told News Limited that the first he knew of the water taxi was when Australia’s ambassador to Italy and former South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann turned up in the boat, with his wife, to pick him up.


Mr Brandis’s office told News Limited that the trip was an important cultural event.

7. MH17 debris may include Russian-made missile system.

The MH17 crash site.

Dutch investigators have said that debris recovered from the crash site of flight MH17 in Ukraine may belong to a Russian-made missile system.

The prosecutors from the joint international criminal investigation believe the fragments are from the BUK surface-to-air missile system.

The debris has been passed to the Dutch Safety Board, which is carrying out the civilian investigation into the July 2014 crash.

All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines flight died when the plane downed over territory held by pro-Russian rebels.

8. The number of single women undergoing IVF has more than tripled in less than a decade.

The number of single women undergoing IVF has more than tripled in less than a decade with experts saying that it reflects a growing acceptance of single-parent families and IVF in general.

One doctor feels men could play a part in the increased number of women seeking out IVF solo.

The figures – out of the UK show that there has been a 226 per cent increase since 2006 and a 22 per cent hike in just one year in single women seeking the treatment.

The Daily Mail reports that one doctor feels men could play a part in the increased number.

“Obviously more women now have gone up the career ladder, they have their own house, they’ve got financial stability – but they haven’t met anybody or a relationship that’s ended” said Dr Marilyn Glenville.

“They are in the older age group for fertility and they feel they don’t have enough time to start another relationship and then have children with a new partner.

“But I think there has been issues on the other side – of men not wanting to commit to marriage or relationships, so that may have pushed the statistics up as well. I think it works both ways and I think it makes men feel less wanted.”

9. Mother divides Internet over wet-nursing image.

The mum posted the image for World Breastfeeding Week.

A mother from the US has divided social media after posting an image of her breastfeeding both her own 16-month-old son and her friend’s 18-month-old son.

26-year old Jessica Anne Colletti, from Pennsylvania, shared the photo for World Breastfeeding Week.

She wrote:  “Happy World Breastfeeding Week! My son on the right is 16 months and my friend’s son is 18 months.

“I watch her son while she works and have been feeding them both for a year! So much love between these milk siblings, it’s a special bond between us all.”

She told Mama Bean:

“Breastfeeding my friend’s son came naturally to me.  I started babysitting him when he was 5 months old and the first time she dropped him off to me I asked permission to nurse him, since I was already nursing my 3 month old.  She responded with an enthusiastic yes, because he was having issues with the formula his previous sitter had been giving him.  My friend struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning and succeeded for 9 months.  She was always very happy that her son had the nutrition and comfort he needed while she was working.  Being able to breastfeed her little boy has created a special bond between us all, a bond I will always cherish.”

But social media have been– predictably divided in their response.

10. Sydney school placed in lockdown.

Police swarmed Sydney Boys’ High School in Moore Park earlier this afternoon after an “armed man” was reportedly spotted at the school.

Police blocked off traffic on Cleveland Street after the alleged incident.

Channel Seven reports that Sydney Boys High was opened again by around 3:20pm.

Details remain unclear.

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