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Thursday's news in 2 minutes.

Roger Dene

1. Former nurse Roger Dean has been sentenced to life in prison. Dean is responsible for the deaths of 11 people after he set fire to a nursing home in Quaker’s Hill in 2011.

There were reportedly cheers and tears from the public gallery when the judge read out his verdict.

2. A 35-year-old Queensland woman has told a Brisbane court that she left her dead toddlers in their bedroom for a week after their deaths because she “did not know how to tell somebody”.

The 18-month-old twins died of starvation after the woman contracted the flu. She said she couldn’t remember how often she had been feeding them and that it “was just a blur from being sick.” She did not tell the father because she did not know how he would react.

The bodies of the twins were eventually discovered by their 11-year-old sister. Both the woman and her partner have pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder.

3. Kevin Rudd has come under fire for enlisting the help of his two sons for the Labor party’s election campaign. The Prime Minister has reportedly hired his 24-year-old son Nicholas as an adviser. The Prime Minister’s office has confirmed that Rudd’s 20-year-old son Marcus is volunteering with the digital campaign team. A senior government adviser told News Limited: “People are pretty p****d off that both Rudd’s sons are going to be there.”

4. The Federal Government is expected to announce it will increase the tobacco excise by 12.5 per cent each year over the next five years. It’s estimated that the new plan – which would come into effect on December 1 – will raise at least $5.3 billion and provide a much needed injection into the Government’s budget.

In a statement yesterday, Treasurer Chris Bowen said: “This increase in excise serves several purposes: it provides funds for cancer-related health services; it deters young people from taking up smoking; and of course, it alleviates some of the revenue impacts on the budget.”

5. A former Essendon Football Club high performance manager has claimed that Essendon coach James Hird was the man who drove the club’s alleged use of banned substances. Speaking to Channel 7 last night, Dean Robinson called on James Hird to stand down, saying: “It was a boys’ club – whatever James Hird wanted, James Hird got,” Robinson said. “It was no expense spared, it was ‘whatever it takes’.”

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The Essendon Football Club has denied the allegations, saying Hird only endorsed a legal supplement program. In a statement, the club said: “The series of allegations made by Dean Robinson on Channel Seven tonight are totally without foundation … They are coming from a disgruntled, disaffected and discredited ex-employee.”

6. The first asylum seekers denied the chance of resettlement in Australia, under Labor’s new asylum seeker arrangements, were carried by plane from Christmas Island to Manus Island last night. If they are found to be refugees, they will be resettled in Papua New Guinea and not allowed to return to Australia.

7. Fairfax has reported that a visually impaired woman, who walks with the assistance of a cane, was stalked and groped by a man who followed her when she got off the train. The man allegedly followed her, and touched her breasts on numerous occasions. Obviously the woman could not describe her attacker but police have obtained his image from CCTV footage in the train stations.

An image of the man police are looking for

8. The Independent Commission Against Corruption has recommended that former New South Wales Labor Minister Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid should face criminal charges in regards to the Mount Penny mining licence given to a farm that belonged to Mr Obeid’s family. Macdonald has said he will fight the findings against him.

9. An Adelaide academic has suggested that breastfeeding for more the four months might not be good for a baby’s health. Australia followed the World Health Organisation’s advice to breastfeed exclusively for six months but Dr Bryan Simon says that there’s evidence to suggest that breastfeeding alone is not enough nutrition for a baby.

Dr Symon told the media: “Breastfeeding is extremely important for children’s early life, but there is evidence that the emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months may be linked to certain health problems… This includes the rapid increase in food allergies among children. Some studies suggest that delaying the introduction of solids is contributing to this problem.”

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