News in 5: Teenage girls killed in escape room tragedy; Mixed sun safety messages; & more.

1. Horrific details emerge about escape room deaths.

Polish officials have shut down 13 escape room sites over safety issues after five teenage girls were killed in a fire.

Firefighter chief Leszek Suski says the escape room at a private house in the city of Koszalin where the girls died had no emergency evacuation route.

The 15-year-olds had been celebrating a birthday when they died on Friday, locked inside a room.

Firefighters found their bodies after they extinguished a fire next to the locked room.

Post-mortem examinations showed they died of carbon monoxide inhalation.

Police chief Jaroslaw Szymczyk said other people had previously posted critical remarks online about the safety of that escape room site, but local officials were not notified.

The 28-year-old who runs the site has been detained and will be questioned, Szymczyk said.

His employee, who suffered burns in the fire, will also be questioned.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke after holding a meeting in which officials discussed ways to improve safety at entertainment venues.

He called the teenagers’ deaths an “immense tragedy”.

Since Friday, more than 200 of Poland’s some 1100 escape rooms have been checked, revealing a number of safety flaws that needed to be immediately fixed.

Players in escape room games are locked inside a room or building and must solve puzzles and find clues that lead them to the key that will unlock the door.

Regarded as an intellectual challenge, the games are highly popular among teenagers in Poland.

2. Taxpayers foot bill for Queensland senator to attend far-right rally.


Taxpayers will foot the bill of Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s return flights to Melbourne to attend a rally involving both right-wing extremists and anti-fascists.

The Queensland senator insists he was representing local constituents on the interstate trip as his state is experiencing violence from African gangs.

The controversial senator is adamant the rally was attended by “ordinary working people” rather than radicals or skin heads.

“The truth is that attempts to claim that this rally was a ‘far right’ event appear to be left wing media attempts to distract attention from the purpose of the protest – African gang violence,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“The only people who were doing Nazi salutes were the far left extremists one hundred metres away who came to try to disrupt a peaceful rally,” he said.

The senator – who sits as an independent after being booted from the Katter Australia Party following his defection from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation – attended the right-wing event on Saturday at St Kilda beach alongside organisers, convicted criminals Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson.

Several hundred people attended, whith Cottrell and Erikson it was a response to recent incidents in which youths have mugged people along the bay.

Three people were arrested on Saturday at the duelling rallies.

The first was held by anti-racism campaigners ahead of the right-wing event.

Senator Anning uploaded several videos on Facebook with Cottrell, posing for photos and making inflammatory remarks about migration.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the senator’s attendance at the rally was “disgusting”.

“I think the vast majority of Australians would be disgusted to think their taxes are paying for an Australian senator to attend an event which seeks to divide, not unite our country,” she told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter to blast the “ugly racial protests”, he was mum on Senator Anning.


Mr Morrison thanked the hundreds of Victorian police on hand for Saturday’s event, while calling Australia the most successful migrant country in the world.

“This has been achieved by showing respect for each other, our laws and values and maintaining sensible immigrations policies,” he tweeted.

Labor leader Bill Shorten condemned the event on Twitter but was also silent on Senator Anning.

However Treasurer Josh Frydenberg laid the boot in.

“Fraser Anning’s appearance was unacceptable and he should not have participated in this divisive event,” the senior Jewish MP told reporters.

He also labelled the use of the Nazi salute as “particularly repugnant and abhorrent”.

Mr Frydenberg said it was up to the independent parliamentary entitlements authority as to whether it was an official parliamentary duty expense.

Independent Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps says the rally should be called out for being a “demonstration by a neo-Nazi group”.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the government should refuse to take Senator Anning’s vote after his involvement.

3. Media blamed for conflicting messages about sun safety.

Image: Getty

Some Australian media have been publishing inaccurate and conflicting information about vitamin D and safe sun exposure, research has found.

Researchers reviewed more than 200 articles published between 2000 and 2017 and found that many journalists encouraged abandoning sun safety messages and glorified sun exposure for the sake of vitamin D.

However, some journalists took the opposing view that the "vitamin D fad" has led to unnecessary tablets and tests.

The study comes as vitamin D deficiency is recognised as a growing problem in Australia, with up to 25 per cent of people found to be lacking the essential nutrient.

The researchers say the media has an important role in relaying public health messages and complex information in plain language.

As such, they're encouraging scientists and health professionals to work with journalists to ensure media reports are accurate.

Dr Stephanie Blake says the articles reviewed often conflicted with Cancer Council guidelines on safe sun exposure, which are designed to protect the public.

"I think journalists may have been caught up in the idea that everyone knows about sun protection and safety, and may have been worried people didn't necessarily know about the dangers of vitamin D deficiency," Dr Blake told AAP.

"So they were going out of their way to put that message out there - it was well intended, it just needs additional detail."

If the poor quality reporting continues it could lead to health messages being ignored and create public mistrust of important information, she says.

A recurring theme found was that the health benefits of sun exposure outweighed the potential harm posed by skin cancer, with many articles giving strong support for the benefits of vitamin D supplements.

Others used sensational headlines to promote sun exposure or negative language to describe sun safety - such as "slip-slop-slap themselves into ill health".

While some articles did discuss the negative health effects of excessive sun exposure, less than a third of all the articles mentioned UV levels when advising about sun exposure.

Newsprint articles were also found to overemphasise research in pilot or preliminary stages and make inappropriate conclusions based on the results of single studies, Dr Blake says.

Most of the articles were written before the Cancer Council published its guidelines in 2016.


These guidelines clarify a complex message, so the confusion the research found should be cleared up in future, Dr Blake says.

The council says for most people, adequate vitamin D levels are reached through regular incidental exposure to the sun.

"When the UV Index is 3 or above (such as during summer), most people maintain adequate vitamin D levels just by spending a few minutes outdoors on most days of the week," it says on its website.

The research was completed by The University of New South Wales and The University of Notre Dame Australia.

It was published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology on Monday.

4. Teen accused of stabbing Scientology member will face court.

A teenager who allegedly murdered a Church of Scientology member at the organisation's Australasian headquarters is due to face a Sydney court for the first time.

The 16-year-old, who can't be named for legal reasons, is accused of stabbing the man in the neck with a large kitchen knife while being escorted off the premises in Chatswood on Thursday afternoon.

The victim - 24-year-old Taiwanese national Chih-Jen Yeh - died later that day.

A 30-year-old man also suffered minor injuries in the incident.


The boy didn't attend when his case came before Parramatta Children's Court on Saturday.

But he's expected to appear via video link when the matter returns to the same court on Monday.

As well as the murder charge, the boy is accused of common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray and domestic assault.

The last charge relates to an alleged incident on Wednesday evening.

The 13,500 square metre building, which was opened by global Scientology leader David Miscavige in September 2016, is the largest centre for the religion outside the United States and the base of their Asia Pacific operations.

5. Awards season kicks off with the Golden Globes today.

The Golden Globes are about to kick off the showbusiness awards season with Hollywood apparently in the mood for a party, and with plenty to celebrate.

After a record $US41.7 billion global movie box-office in 2018, crowd-pleasers like A Star is Born, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and Mary Poppins Returns are competing for Golden Globe honours.

This year, the boozy, informal dinner in Beverly Hills, organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is expected to leave politics behind.

Golden Globe hosts Andy Samberg and Killing Eve nominated actress Sandra Oh say they are aiming for a fun evening. (The show will air live in Australia midday on Monday).


"Everyone is depressed and maybe that's as good a reason as any that everyone could use a little time to laugh and celebrate," Samberg told the Hollywood Reporter.

Oh said she is "not interested at all" in talking about US President Donald Trump, who has been a focus of attacks at award shows since his 2016 election campaign.

Last year's Golden Globes were marked by celebrities turning out en masse in black in solidarity with the #MeToo sexual harassment scandal that was roiling Hollywood.

"After Trump's election and #MeToo, people felt like they had to speak up," said Tim Gray, awards editor at Hollywood publication Variety.

"This year it's, 'let's celebrate the work'. They are looking forward to the fun of the Globes," Gray added.

Lady Gaga, Idris Elba, Bradley Cooper and veteran Dick Van Dyke will be among dozens of famous faces turning out.

Scathing comedy Vice, about former US Vice President Dick Cheney, has a leading six nominations, including for actors Christian Bale, Sam Rockwell and Amy Adams.

But competition is strong for the best comedy or musical statuette, with historical romp The Favourite, romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, 1960s road trip Green Book and Mary Poppins Returns all vying for honours.

"Vice director Adam McKay really takes chances with that movie. Sometimes he goes too far, and some people love it and some people are having a hard time with it," said Gray.

Pop star Gaga and actor-director Cooper are seen taking home statuettes for A Star is Born, with Gaga's version of Shallow widely viewed as a shoo-in for best original song.

Despite being musicals, both A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, will compete in the more prestigious best movie drama category.

They will face off against three films focusing on racial issues - superhero movie Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron's lovingly shot Roma is expected to win the Golden Globe for best foreign language film.

The Golden Globes ceremony will be televised live on FOX8 in Australia, with the pre-show beginning at 11am AEDT and the award show starting at noon.