Thursday afternoon'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. 150 refugees arrested on Nauru as police crack down on peaceful protests.

Nauru police have arrested more than 100 refugees in connection to recent protests on the Pacific island, advocates say.

The Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) said a 13-year-old was among the 150 refugees arrested on Wednesday.

The ABC believes the number of those detained vary from 70 to about 100.

RAC spokesman Ian Rintoul said two women collapsed with panic attacks during the arrests and were taken to hospital.

“The refugees have been taken to Yaren police office,” he said in a statement.

“Dozens were arrested as refugees tried to assemble at the police station to demand the release of those who had been arrested earlier.”

Related content: The horrific effect of keeping children in detention.

The arrests came after hundreds of refugees staged protests in recent days against what they said were deplorable living conditions and treatment by locals on Nauru.

They vowed to continue their campaign of non-cooperation with the Nauruan and Australian governments.

“It’s quite clear the police were responding or concerned about the fact that there was going to be a demonstration this afternoon,” Mr Rintoul told the ABC.

“They circulated threatening notices yesterday saying people could face up to three years’ jail for being involved in protests.”

The people were protesting the horrendous conditions of Nauru detention centre.

Australia has been sending asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for processing.

Around 400 people have been released from the Australian-run detention centre to live in the community after being given refugee visas by the Nauruan government.

This article was originally published by the ABC and was republished here with full permission.

2. Rosie Battie launches a new app to support victims of family violence.

Today, Australian of the Year Rosie Batty launched a government-funded app to help victims of domestic violence locate specialist support services.

The ‘Daisy’ app claims to help women find legal support, shelters, and specialist services to help them, to

Rosie Batty stated the app is important tool to empower women.

“When you are experiencing gendered violence, people often tell you what to do – but the strongest predictor of a woman’s safety is the woman herself,” Ms Batty said.


“What Daisy gives you is options and choices – it will help connect you with options and make choices that suit you, not what people tell you to do. If a refuge is the help you want, you can access that information. If you want specialist support, that’s there too.”

The Daisy App will help connect women with vital services for dealing with domestic violence and abuse.

The government-funded app was developed in partnership with 1800 RESPECT.

3. My School website shows schools achieve above-average NAPLAN results.

The Federal Government’s My School website has been updated today, with the latest financial figures and academic performance of almost 10,000 Australian schools included.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) identified more than 300 public and private schools that have achieved above-average gains in NAPLAN scores compared to similar schools.

Many schools contacted by the ABC were unaware they were on ACARA’s “high gain” list.

The latest NAPLAN results were released today.

Cabramatta High School in Sydney’s south-west made significant gains in its numeracy scores.

Principal Beth Godwin said her school recorded double the normal two-year learning growth expected between Years 7 and 9.

Related content: We took our kids out of school for a year-long holiday.

“We believe that we’re unlocking their potential and we’re going to continue to do so,” she said.

“You never rest on your laurels. So whilst we’re really happy with the results we’re not stopping there.”

Ms Godwin put the improvement down to a number of programs to help students focus on their learning, including a homework centre every afternoon with free tutors until 5:00pm.

“We’ve always had a couple of students in the high end but we see it more and more now that it’s quite consistent,” she said.

One school started a homework centre, which may have resulted in their high NAPLAN results.

“These are students that may have been average in junior school, or may have newly-arrived into the country and only been learning English for a few years.

“But we’re seeing it more and more that the students are realising that they have potential, and they can achieve whatever they want to achieve if they put their mind to it and use the resources that are available.”

For the first time, parents and principals can track the progress of the first NAPLAN students with seven years of data now available for comparison on My School 2015.

Related content: “Yes, I do my children’s homework. And here’s why.”

General Manager of Assessment and Reporting at ACARA, Dr Stanley Rabinowitz, said: “We’re very careful when we allow comparisons on My School to select schools that have similar student populations. That way we believe it’s a fair comparison.”


ACARA has urged parents not to make decisions about their child’s schooling based solely on the My School data.

“It’s one bit of information. Schools are much more than just their test scores,” Dr Rabinowitz said.

“My School provides a starting point to then gather more information.”

This article was originally published on ABC and was
republished here with full permission.

4. Police have arrested 500 people in Pakistan for failing to vaccinate their children.

Pakistani police have arrested over 500 parents who refused to allow their children to receive the polio vaccine.

The Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar — the Pakistani town where the arrests took place — said the 513 parents would be released on bail on the condition they sign an affidavit, enabling their children to be vaccinated.

Administering the polio vaccine to a little girl as part of a government initiative to immunise people in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The push for vaccinations is part of a government campaign to eradicate polio in the Peshawar region.

Pakistan currently has the highest rates of polio, with 327 cases recorded last year. This is a significant gap from Nigeria, which has the the second highest polo rates, with only 36 recorded cases.

According to CNN, the anti-vaccination movement gained momentum in Pakistan when United States security attempted to trace Osama Bin Laden via the nation’s vaccination program.

5. Government predicts the average Australian will live well into their 90s — and population will boom.

A Federal Government glimpse into the future shows a growing and ageing population of 40 million Australians, facing ballooning budget deficits and increased pressure on health services, aged care and the environment.

That is the picture drawn by the Abbott Government as it attempts to peer four decades down the track, in the fourth Intergenerational Report released in Canberra today.

Joe Hockey handed down the government’s intergenerational report today.

Treasurer Joe Hockey delivered the long-range forecast with less than 10 weeks before he hands down his second federal budget.

In keeping with his early messages about the budget, Mr Hockey emphasised the need to encourage more people to work more – harnessing an “ageing boom” of older workers, putting more women in paid work, and getting younger Australians into a job.

Australia in 2055:

  • Population: 39.7 million
  • 40,000 centenarians
  • Female babies will live to 96.6
  • Male babies will live to 95.1
  • 2.7 working age Australians for every 1 aged 65 or over
  • 70 per cent of women in paid work
  • 17.3 per cent of older Australians in paid work
  • Annual income: $117,300

The report predicts the population will hit 39.7 million in 2055, and 40,000 people will celebrate their 100th birthday.

It also shows that babies born in 2055 will expect to live well into their nineties – with men living until 95 and women to 96.

The number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to more than double.

This article originally appeared in the ABC and was republished here with full permission.


6. Former Knox student tells royal commission sex abuse ruined his life.

A former student at Sydney’s Knox Grammar School has told a royal commission that sexual abuse had “destroyed a lot of [his] life” and that he was traumatised by the sight of the current and former headmasters at the inquiry.

The royal commission into child sexual abuse has been examining reports of abuse of students at the school from the 1970s through to 2003.

The man, who the ABC will not identify, told the hearing in Sydney that he was abused in 2003, when he was in year six, by Craig Treloar, who was later sentenced to 4.5 years jail for indecent assault.

Elite Sydney boys’ school is under investigation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sex Abuse.

The man said he had made several suicide attempts, and went from being a promising student to a troubled teenager who was unable to concentrate in class.

He cried as he spoke of his joy when he joined the school in 2002.

“I was proud to wear the uniform that so many older students I looked up to and knew were wearing,” he said.

Related content: Kings School principal apologises for his failures at Knox royal commission.

“I really enjoyed Knox at first. I was doing well in class, had lots of friends, participated well in all school activities such as drama and sport.”

The former student said Treloar befriended him and offered ginger beer in his classroom, before one day assaulting him there after “blacking out” the windows.

“He made his classroom very dark, which was something all my friends were talking about,” he said.

“Apparently he was doing it for some sort of special effect, but I don’t remember what the effect was.”

Today, the royal commission heard from a former student who made several suicide attempts after being abused at Knox school.

The man described the terror he experienced and said he was left with blood in his underwear.

When he fled, crying, he said another teacher asked what was wrong and did not pursue him when he ran away.

“The abuse I witnessed and suffered at Knox was horrible,” he said.

“It destroyed my chance at a normal education and I believe it has destroyed a lot of my life so far.

“It has forced me to leave school before graduating because whenever I spent time at school I was reminded of what happened to me at Knox.”

The man told the commission he was admitted to hospital last week, after being traumatised when he saw the current headmaster, Dr John Weeks, and his predecessor, Dr Ian Paterson, at the hearing.

This article was originally published by the ABC and was republished here with full permission.