Friday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest news from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Ravenswood school back in the headlines.

There are reports today that a group of girls from the school locked a young “sports star” in a cupboard and stripped her. Two girls were reportedly suspended and another two were expelled over the alleged treatment of the Year 8 student, according to reports from The Daily Telegraph.

Ravenswood’s departing school captain Sarah Haynes.

Last week a speech by the departing school captain Sarah Haynes went viral. In the speech, Haynes criticised the school, accusing it of being more concerned with the business of running a school than educating kids.

In a response to the speech by Sarah Haynes the school’s council chairman Mark Webb said in a statement “This relates to a family taking the school to court about a disagreement over disciplinary action taken against a number of students following an incident of alleged bullying.”

Sarah’s parents Christopher and Robyn Haynes have lodged a statement of claim in the Supreme Court in a matter due to be heard next on December 17.

2. 15-year old boy charged yesterday on terrorism charges back in court today.

A 15-year old boy who was among a group of five men who were charged with conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act had been on the police radar for more than a year.

The men are accused of plans to target government buildings, including the Australian Federal Police offices in Sydney.

The 15-year old applied for bail at Parramatta Children’s Court through his barrister Charles Waterstreet.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Bruce Wells told the court the boy posed a risk to the safety of the community.


Sergeant Wells said the boy used coded text messages to communicate with his co-accused about becoming a martyr.

In one message the boy said: “I’m going to get to paradise through banana, God is great, no God but Allah.”

The ABC reports that the court heard the word “banana” was a coded reference for a gun.

Among photos police recovered from the boy’s home were pictures of an Islamic State fighter and a picture of an Islamic State beheading.

The boy had been the subject of three separate counter-terrorism raids over the past two years.

If convicted of the terror charge, the teenage boy faces the prospect of life in prison.

The magistrate will make her decision today.

3. Bill Shorten caught texting and driving.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten has been caught on camera using his mobile phone while driving and the evidence to prove it has been splashed across the front page of The Herald Sun.

A motorist told The Herald Sun he filmed the opposition leader using his phone for at least six seconds as he drives after dropping his children at music lessons.

The video was taken back in August and Mr Shorten has admitted that he could have been texting.

“He was driving all over the place,” the witness told The Herald Sun.

“He’s one of our leaders … he should be setting an example,” he said.

For more read this post here. 

4. Petition calls on Queensland Attorney general to appeal Baden-Clay murder downgrade.

A petition calling for the overturning of Gerard Baden-Clay’s downgraded conviction from murder to manslaughter has been signed by more than 43,000 people.


The Australian Missing Persons Register created the petition on Wednesday morning, titled: “Appeal the decision reducing Gerard Baden-Clay’s murder conviction to manslaughter”.

It reads: “We, the people of Australia, are outraged by the decision of the QLD court to reduce Gerard’s Baden-Clay’s conviction for the murder of his wife, Allison Baden-Clay, to the lesser charge of manslaughter. We are requesting the QLD Attorney-General files an appeal against this decision,”

The Queensland attorney-general’s department is seeking legal advice about possibly appealing the manslaughter conviction.

“The department is working extremely hard to get that advice as soon as possible,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday.

“But this is a very serious issue and once we get that advice we’ll be making a more formal comment.”

5. Fears about 10-year anniversary of Cronulla Riots.

Locals of Cronulla in Sydney’s south have met with police amid fears over a ten year anniversary of the 2005 Cronulla riots event, organised by far-right wing group Party for Freedom and scheduled for tomorrow.

Sydney’s Sutherland Shire residents met with police and council last night to raise their concerns about the event.

The Daily Mail reports that Nick Folkes, the organiser of the event, has been in court three times this week as police try to take an injunction out to stop the event.

6. Supreme Court upholds wrongful dismissal case of teacher who started a relationship with former student.

The high court in Victoria has upheld a wrongful dismissal case where a school was found to have wrongly sacked a teacher who started a sexual relationship with a student just days after she left school.


The Herald Sun reports that schools are now fearing the case will make it “almost impossible” to sack teachers who engage in sexual relationships with students aged over 18.

Catholic Education executive director Stephen Elder said he was “bitterly disappointed” about the ruling.

The decision relates to a teacher formerly from Padua College who was sacked in June 2013 after the principal learnt of his relationship with a former student.

John Martin was 56 at the time and had known Samantha Anderson, 18 since she was in year 7.

Mr Martin took his case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and argued that he had been discriminated against because their “lawful” sexual relationship was the reason for his dismissal.

VCAT ordered the school to pay compensation of $80,000 for economic loss and $10,000 for pain and suffering reports The Herald Sun.

Padua College appealed, but yesterday Justice Greg Garde upheld the decision, saying the sexual activity “loomed large” in his dismissal.

7. Call for indefinite detention for terrorists.

A proposal to indefinitely detain convicted terrorists even after their sentences have expired is set for discussion at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first COAG meeting of state and territory leaders today.

Under the plan national sex offender style laws would address the problem of sole national terrorists who cannot be deported.

Federal Liberal MP Dan Tehan writes for Fairfax Media that terrorists would be placed “into the same category as sexual offenders who remain a threat to public safety”.


8. The by-election after Joe Hockey’s mid-term resignation cost taxpayers more than $450,000.

Joe Hockey’s mid-term resignation cost taxpayers more than $450,000.

Joe Hockey’s decision to quit politics mid-term and spark a by-election last weekend has cost taxpayers more than $450,000.

Labor’s waste watch spokesman Pat Conroy told the ABC it was a ridiculous waste of money.

“Well this is Joe Hockey’s final insult to the Australian public, to cost taxpayers a completely unnecessary half-a-million dollars” Mr Conroy said.

9. Daughters-in-law blamed for estranged families.

Many families will experience a lonely Christmas this year.

A study has found that tension between in-laws and men’s wives are a major cause of long-term family estrangement.

The study found that fights between woman and their mother-in-laws usually lasted a third longer than with daughters.

One woman told the study ‘My son and I had a very strong loving relationship for 25 years. He met his soon-to-be wife and our relationship and his relationships with everyone on his side slowly went away.

“Everyone that knew him including friends and family saw this and felt this. He disowned anyone that does not like his wife.”

The organisation, called Stand Alone, and Cambridge academics questioned more than 800 people who were estranged from a parent, it found that parents are more likely to lose touch with their sons than their daughters after they get married.

More than seven in 10 respondents said they were estranged from their mothers due to emotional abuse reports The Daily Mail.

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