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Tuesday's news in under 5 minutes.

Rolf Harris guilty
Image via Angela Bishop

1. Rolf Harris found guilty of indecent assault.

Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been found guilty on 12 charges of indecent assault against four girls between 1968 and 1986.

His daughter Bindi and wife Alwen were both in court as the verdict was delivered. Both were said to be visibly distressed, although Harris was set to show no obvious outward emotions. He reportedly waved to his family and exited the courtroom with his lawyers soon after the charges were laid.

Later, he walked out of court holding his wife and daughter’s hand. No public statement was made to the multiple journalists hoping for comment.

The trial began in early May. During this time the prosecutor Sasha Wass QC likened Harris to a “Jekyll and Hyde” character whose ‘dark side’ consisted of being sexually attracted to young girls.

However, Harris and his defence pleaded not guilty to all charges, and maintained Harris was innocent.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard has said, “I want to thank the women who came forward for their bravery, I hope today’s guilty verdict will give them closure and help them to begin to move on with their lives.”

You can read more here- BREAKING: Rolf Harris found guilty of indecent assault. 

2. Man suspected of murdering a woman near Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens has been arrested by police

Scott Allen Miller, 42, the key suspect in the horrific murder of a woman near Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, has been arrested by police. He was arrested over the death of a woman whose body was found naked in parkland near the intersection of St Kilda Road and Linlithgow Avenue early on Saturday morning.

The woman was 32-years-old and of Chinese heritage, reportedly on her way to work when the incident occurred at 5:30 am.

The Homicide Squad Detective Inspector John Potter has said,”This is a particularly violent assault on this woman. She has been sexually assaulted and she has been physically assaulted.”

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He also confirmed CCTV footage showed a woman believed to be the victim being chased by a man across St Kilda Road in the early hours of the morning, heading towards where a body was later found.

Miller is expected to face court on Tuesday.

3. New details emerge in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Oscar Pistorius’s trial has resumed.

A psychiatric report released today has concluded that Oscar Pistorius, 27, was not suffering a mental impairment that would have hindered his ability to distinguish right from wrong when he shot girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The trial, which began in March, took a month- long break while Pistorius was evaluated by forensic psychologists to determine whether he had an anxiety disorder as the defence testified.

“At the time of the alleged offences, the accused did not suffer from a mental disorder or mental defect that affected his ability to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful nature of his deeds,” prosecutor Gerrie Nel read from a report submitted to the court.

Pistorius maintains that while he shot Steenkamp, it was only because he thought she was an intruder breaking into his home.

If convicted, Pistorius faces a life sentence in jail.

4. Four babies born with HIV ‘cured’.

There has been a major breakthrough in the quest to find a cure for AIDS. Canadian doctors have successfully given four infants born to HIV- positive mothers high doses of three antiretroviral drugs in the first few hours of birth.

The Herald Sun reports that while the virus was present within their systems at birth, they could not be found later.

Traditionally such treatment makes the HIV strain dormant, however after a University of Mississippi Medical Centre tried a more aggressive three-drug treatment in HIV-positive babies from 31 hours of birth and still could not find the virus 29 days later, new hope has emerged amongst the medical community that a breakthrough for AIDS could be on the horizon.

 5. Police question suspects regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine McCann.

British police have returned to Portugal to question a number of suspects believed to be linked to the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann.

Sky News UK Correspondent Martin Brunt said, “They will be joining their Portuguese colleagues and sitting in on a series of interviews with, I’m told, first a key witness, and then a number of people who are being described as aguidos (suspects).

“We think that this includes the three or more former workers from the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz where Madeleine vanished who are suspected of carrying out a series of burglaries in the months leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance.”

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007, while her parents dined with friends nearby.

6. Government may force Tamil asylum seekers to return to south Asia.

The Government is reportedly considering forcibly returning a boat with Tamil asylum seekers on board to South East Asia.

It is understood the 152 asylum seekers on board the fishing trawler were originally from Sri Lanka. They departed from Pondicherry in South India approximately 17 days ago.

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Mr Morrison’s office has refused to confirm the existence of the boat. They also refused to confirm the actions of the Australian customs vessel Ocean Protector last Sunday, though the vessel was last seen off the coast of Christmas Island at that time, near where the refugee boat is believed to have been.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, believes Australia has intercepted the asylum seekers.

He told Fairfax: “It has been 48 hours and under Scott Morrison’s own rules he would have had to announce there had been an incident at sea by now, so you can assume they have been taken off their boat.

“There is a lot of speculation that they will rendezvous with Sri Lankan navy boats and hand them back.”

Removing them from  Australian territory would be illegal under international law.

7. Socialist Alternative under fire for image of Tony Abbott used on front page of newspaper ‘Red Flag’

The Socialist Alternative have come under fire from enraged Facebook users after posting an image depicting Tony Abbott being cut with a knife on their Facebook page.

The crude image, from the front cover of the Socialist Alternative Newspaper Red Flag, was accompanied with the words, “One Cut We’d Like To See”.

One user said, “Oh… not cool. I’m no fan of the LNP – policies, parties, associates or leader – but this seems unnecessarily violent. ” 

More than 200 comments, mostly negative, have been posted about the image.

 8. Obama sending 300 more US troops to Iraq.

Officials have confirmed the US will send 300 more troops to Iraq to protect Americans, property, and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

This will raise official US troop presence in the region to approximately 750. These numbers are separate from the 300 US military advisors deployed by Obama to Iraq earlier in June.

The Pentagon’s press secretary, Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said, “The presence of these additional forces will help enable the embassy to continue its critical diplomatic mission and work with Iraq on challenges they are facing as they confront Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.”

9. Woolworths to conduct in-store health checks.

Woolworths has confirmed they are hiring final year pharmacy and nursing students and recent graduates to conduct in-store health checks to monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels of shoppers.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has labelled the new scheme as another way for the retail giant to ‘hoodwink’ shoppers.

A spokesman for Woolworths has said the health checks have been trialled in six stores across New South Wales and Queensland. This system will soon be expanded to other states too.

10. Israel finds bodies of missing teens, vows to make Hamas pay.

UPDATE: In a new development, the Israel Air Force has struck 34 targets in Gaza.

Dozens of Hamas targets in the Gaza strip have been struck by the Israeli Air Force in response to rocket fire aimed at southern Israeli communities.

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Hamas had earlier this week warned that waging war on the Gaza Strip would “open the gates of hell” on Israel. 

Mamamia previously reported:

The Israeli army confirmed on Monday evening that search teams had found the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. The trio were abducted, allegedly by Hamas militants, on the 12th of June as they made their way home from their religious school in the Israeli occupied  West Bank.

The search for the missing teenagers comprised Israel’s largest ground operation in the Palestinian territory in over a decade. The rescue operations included raids, house searches, arrests and even deaths. This has flared up tensions between Israelis and Palestinians again, who less than three months ago were in the middle of U.S. brokered peace negotiations.

Today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement.

He said, “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” and added the three teenagers “were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by wild beasts.” 

11. Peter Sharp stands down as Cronulla Sharks coach.

Peter Sharp, the interim Cronulla coach in place of Shane Flanagan, has stood down from his role, effective immediately.

The decision to resign was made on Monday, with Sharp saying it as in his own best interests and the clubs to bow out of the role. The board is now looking for an immediate replacement coach for the remainder of the season.

The Sharks CEO Steve Noyce has said, “While very sad to see him go it was fitting that Peter departs on his own terms, that being on the back of a record-breaking comeback win for the club last Friday night in Brisbane. 

“The club certainly appreciates his efforts in what has been a very difficult season and while he may have expressed a reluctance to take on the role when first handed the reins, once appointed Peter worked exceptionally hard and always acted in the best interests of the players and the club.”

12. Swimming costumes for the 2014 Commonwealth Games revealed.

Sportswear brand Speedo has revealed the swimming costumes that Australia’s top athletes will be wearing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and… Well we’ll let the images speak for themselves.

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What do you think of the swimmers?

13. A 12-year-old girl has died after being forced to travel on the roof of a car.

A 12-year-old girl in America has died after being made to sit on the roof of a moving vehicle.

Octavia Watkins and her five playmates, aged between 18 and 14, had spent the day at the pool — but when they were picked up by Octavia’s mother and her friend Kisha Young, the women did not want the wet children in the car.

Instead, the women made the girls sit on the roof of the car for the ride home. Tragically, four of the girls were thrown off the roof of the car when it went around a corner. The women driving did not notice until a witness flagged them down. It later was revealed that they had been drinking.

Octavia was rendered unconscious by the fall, and died later in hospital after being kept alive by life support.

14. Colleagues and friends remember Renea Lau.

Colleagues and friends of 32-year-old Renea Lau – the Chinese woman who was found dead in Melbourne’s National Botanic Gardens on the weekend – have spoken about their loss, and remembered Ms Lau as a “beautiful friend and colleague”.

She worked at a dessert bar in Melbourne, and co-workers have spoke to The Age about her death.

Steven Kearney told the paper, “I would just like to state with deep sadness that Renea was an employee. She will be terribly missed here. She was…a beautiful friend and colleague. We offer our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends and all our thoughts are with them.”

He said that other colleagues were “grieving and working through this difficult time”.

What news are you talking about today? 

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