Thursday's news in under 2 minutes.

There's been a rise in the number of child drownings in Australia. So... how safe is your pool?
There’s been a rise in the number of child drownings in Australia. So… how safe is your pool?

1. A new report by the Royal Life Saving Society has revealed that there has been a strong rise in the number of Australian children who drown every year. The report shows that 31 children lost their lives in accidents around water last year – more than double the number of children who drowned the year before.

For more information on how you can keep your kids safe, head to the Royal Life Saving Society website.

2. Officers at Scotland Yard are reportedly set to release a picture of a man who could be suspect in the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann. Sky News is reporting that detectives will release an e-fit image of a man who was seen near the apartments where Madeleine went missing in 2007. UK police are yet to confirm the report

Anyone who knows the man will be urged to contact police.

3. A fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh has killed at least nine people. The fire started at the Aswad Knit Composite factory in Gazipur – a town on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday, and burned overnight. The fire consumed a warehouse and two other buildings. This is the latest industrial disaster that has highlighted the country’s poor OH&S record.

4. NSW is expecting a day of extreme weather. Temperatures are set to hit 39 degrees Celsius in Sydney and 42 degrees Celsius in areas of the west. Southern areas of NSW are also expecting winds of up to 120km/h. The state is under a strict fire ban.

Clive Palmer's party could hold the balance of power in the senate.
Clive Palmer’s party could hold the balance of power in the senate.

5. Senators of the Palmer United Party will reportedly preparing to form a partnership with Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator, Ricky Muir. Clive Palmer is yet to confirm the deal, but it’s expected to be announced today. The deal means the Clive Palmer will have the balance of power in the senate.

6. Oil and gas company, Chevron, has been slammed after a prospective employee questionnaire came to light showing that Chevron asks future employees if they have ever had a miscarriage or abortion. The questionaire is part of a medical form – a Medical History and Physical Examination – and Chevron says the questions are voluntary. However, the Maritime Union has said the questionnaire is not acceptable. Matthew Elliott from the union has said: “I find that it’s incredible that any employer believes that they need to know reproductive systems and history of any employee, and particularly the partner or the spouse of an applicant has to disclose that information as well.”

7. Six workers from Japan’s Fukushima plant have come into contact with radioactive water in a desalination system. Tokyo Electric Power said in a statement that a significant amount if water splashed the workers when they accidentally removed a pipe that was in use. A spokeswoman from TEPCO said, “The water did not come into contact with their faces, so there is a little possibility that the workers ingested” the water.

8. Lawmakers in Russia could pass a law that would strip gay parents of their children. The bill will be debated in February and if it’s passed, people who practice ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ could lose custody of their children. In a note about the bill, it’s suggested that ‘harm to the child’s psyche is great if one of the parents practises sexual contact with the same sex.’


9. And finally, Chinese researchers say they’ve ‘discovered’ the ultimate hangover cure. And the winner is Sprite! Yep, that 1.25L bottle of soft drink in your fridge could be the secret to all your post-Saturday night headaches. The researchers found that Sprite (or soda water) speeds up the body’s enzyme’s process, thus ridding you of your hangover sooner.

And that’s science for you, people.

Have you seen anything in the news that you want to talk about?

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