Thursday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Rosetta Comet Landing

A 10 year journey to this .historic landing




Huge celebrations as the Rosetta spacecraft landed a probe on the surface of a comet overnight after a ten-year journey.

The probe called Philae has already started sending back signals from the comet.

Scientists had predicted the chances of success were only around 50 per cent. It is the first time anyone has attempted to land a spacecraft on a comet.

The probe has already sent out several tweets from the comet one saying “I’m on the surface but my harpoons did not fire. My team is hard at work now trying to determine why. #CometLanding”

When the scientists realised their mission had been a success huge cheers went out.

 2. Woman accused of murder claims to be victim of domestic abuse

A woman accused of the violent stabbing death of her former partner had been the victim of years of “savage, cruel and degrading” domestic abuse, a court has heard.

24-year-old Jessica Silva faced court yesterday accused of repeatedly stabbing her ex, James Polkinghorne, 28, on the street outside her parents’ home in Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, in March 2012.

Fairfax Media reports that prosecutors say James Polkinghorne had threatened to kill Silva many, many times by physically assaulting her – punching her in the face, head-butting her, and even wishing gang rape upon her.


They say the history of abuse is undeniable.

Ms Silva is reported to have said she would stab Polkinghorne in a phone call just hours before the murder.

Silva has pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming she was acting in self-defence.

 Fairfax Media writes that the case “will test how far a victim of domestic violence can be pushed before she can kill in self defence.”

If you or someone you know are affected by domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence Helpline in 1800 800 098 24 hours, 7 days a week

 3. Prime Minister meets Aung San Suu Kyi

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in Myanmar where he has met with Aung San Suu Kyi Myanmar’s popular opposition leader.

The PM arrived yesterday in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, where he will also attend the ASEAN-hosted East Asia Summit today before heading home for the weekend’s G20.

 4. Car crash devastates country town

Savanah Jade Lang

A step-mother and daughter have died in a car crash in Molong, near Orange in western NSW.

The 16-year-old daughter, Savanah Jade Lang, was being given a driving lesson by her mother, Kelly Sheree Landers, 39.

They collided with a car driven by a 38-year-old woman with a 1-year-old and newborn baby – these occupants were uninjured.


Savanah and Ms Landers were killed instantly.

Family members told News Limited that they were too upset to talk about the tragedy.

 5. US/ China Climate Change deal

The US and China have announced a climate change agreement that will aim to cut both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades.

Speaking at the end of the APEC Summit in China President Obama said that he hopes the announcement will spur other nations to tackle climate change.

The deal will mean the US will cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% by 2025 reports CNN.

China would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and will aim to increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.

The deal has been seen as embarrassing for Australia with Prime Minister Abbott’s lack of action on climate change and the issue a glaring omission from the G20.

6. Russian Warships headed towards Australia

Abbott met Putin at APEC.

The presence of Russian warships north of Australian waters is being seen as a deliberate show of strength after diplomatic tensions between Russian and Australia as Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the G20 in Brisbane this weekend.

The ships are being monitored by the Australian Defense Force who have put out a statement saying,

“Defense have been monitoring the Russian vessels.

“Defense regularly undertakes maritime surveillance patrols in the approaches to Australia.”


The Australian reports that Russian naval vessels had previously been deployed in conjunction with major international summits.

A Russian vessel was even was sent to the APEC meeting in Singapore in 2009.

According to reports the ships left Vladivostok on October 23.

7. Family battle over circumcision

Chase is aware of the court case.

A court battle is being played out over whether a four-year-old boy should be circumcised, with the mother saying she fears her son’s death over the procedure.

Now Hollywood star Russell Crowe has entered the debate in support of the mother.

For more read this post here.

 8. Man burns and eats flesh of ex-partner

A shocking case of domestic violence is before the courts where a NSW man allegedly violently attacked his partner raping her and burning and eating her flesh. He also allegedly carved noughts and crosses on her back.

Ninemsn reports that the woman has finally brought her attacker to court eight years after the violence. He pleaded guilty last week to a string of charges, including sexual assault and kidnap, and will be sentenced in a Sydney court next year.

If you or someone you know are affected by domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence Helpline in 1800 800 098 24 hours, 7 days a week

9. NRL takes action over domestic violence

News Limited reports that the NRL have taken action – finally- against a Rabbitohs player who viciously assaulted his partner.


Kirisome Auva has been banning from attending a training camp in the United States.

Auva had pleaded guilty to charges of recklessly causing injury and assault to his partner and two counts of criminal damage.

A News Limited journalist has been campaigning for the NRL to take action.

For more on this read this post here.

 10. More Sterilization deaths

Another tragic death in India.

Another woman has died in India and 15 others are in hospital after being sterilized at a state-run camp in the state of Chhattisgarh.

It follows the deaths of 13 women, who were sterilized at another camp in the state on Saturday.

The BBC reports that more than 60 women remain in hospital, many in a critical condition, following tubectomy operations.

For more first sterilization deaths read this post here.

 11. Teachers not trained for subjects

A report by the Australian Council for Educational Research has shown that 1/3 of teachers are actively teaching subjects that they were not trained to do and 36 per cent said they were not properly taught how to teach the classes they were now giving.

News Limited reports that ACER director of educational monitoring and research Sue Thomson said “Once you get into a school you’re asked to teach in other areas as well … that you may not be as prepared to teach in,”


 12. Christmas now starts in August

You can’t escape me!

It turns out that you are right when you say Christmas starts earlier each year with a study showing that people now beginning preparations for the festive season in August.

The Daily Mail reports that the Royal Statistical Society did a study  which showed internet searches for terms such as ‘Santa Claus’, ‘elf and ‘presents’ begin in August.

Back in 2007 Christmas planning did not start till November…

Now it is precisely August 19.

Ho Ho Ho.

13. Window washers rescued

Dramatic scenes in the US with window washers at the newly opened One World Trade Center being rescued – and the rescue broadcast live on TV after scaffolding  collapsed on the tower.

The two window washers were trapped outside the 69th floor of the skyscraper in Downtown Manhattan.

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly

Rescuers smashed a nearby window to save them.

14. Gail Kelly steps down

Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly has announced her retirement. She will step down from the role early next year.

Ms Kelly was appointed chief executive as the global financial crisis was unfolding, and also  led the bank’s merger with St George, the ABC reports.

Brian Hartzer, head of Westpac’s Australian Financial Services group, will take over Ms Kelly’s position.

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