Saturday’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. Record numbers gather at ANZAC Day dawn services across Australia and around the world.

A record crowd of 120,000 have gathered for the Anzac Day dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

Seating was full at the parade ground by 5:00am, with tens of thousands of people packing in to view the solemn service.

An Indigenous sailor broke the silence and begun the service playing the didgeridoo in commemoration of the Anzac sacrifice.

The sound of Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Alan Paaterson’s didgeridoo split the dawn and echoed across the parade ground on a mild Canberra morning.

Today marks 100 years since Australian and New Zealand troops launched a bloody attack on the Gallipoli peninsula.


(Post continues after gallery…)

Chief of the Army Lieutenant General David Morrison gave an emotive address on the value of the Anzac soldiers in Australia’s national history.

He paid tribute to the generation that served in World War I. “They were through fate and bloody circumstance Anzacs by name, but more essentially, men and woman changed by war,” he said.

General Morrison told of how their record of events had shaped the views of Australians.

“Their letters and their diary entries in copper plate handwriting more formal in expression to our modern idiom adds a layer to the sense that they were somehow different,” he said.

“Their world, their hopes, their aspirations and fears are removed from ours by more than just the passage of 100 years.

“They are a generation seemingly set apart.”

Anzac Day dawn services
Image via Twitter @rosaellen.

Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson said the crowd of 120,000 was an increase of more than 80,000 on last year.

“Certainly anecdotally I know that we have had people that have driven from Townsville, from Adelaide, and from Melbourne,” he said.

“Some very elderly people that have been brought here by sons, grandsons and granddaughters.

“And there are people who would not normally come to a dawn service that made it their business and priority to be here.”

A version of this story was originally published on ABC.

2. Daniel Morcombe’s killer says his appeal judge is biased.

Brett Peter Cowan, who was convicted of the murder of 13-year-old schoolboy Daniel Morcombe could be released from prison early.

Cowan, 45, received a life sentence last year for murdering, indecently dealing and dumping the teenager’s body in 2003.

On Friday, Cowan’s lawyers indicated that they would file an application to have Chief Justice Tim Carmody removed from hearing any matter to do with Cowan.

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13-year-old schoolboy Daniel Morcombe.

The Daily Mail reports, that this application has come after Justice Carmody met with child protection advocate and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston. The pair also shared an email, in which she referred to him as ‘Tim’ and included a smiley face.

Cowan’s barrister, Peter Davis, said Bravehearts’ interests were contrary to Cowan’s case, and this has created an obvious conflict.

Mr Davis said, “It’s not suggested for a moment that Bravehearts is a dubious organisation, however it’s a lobby group and Mr Cowan is someone who has been directly targeted by that very lobby group.”

Justice Carmody has assured the court that Cowan’s case was not discussed during this meeting.

“None of these meetings impede my neutrality or impartial discharge of my judicial function,” he said.

“Ms Johnston and I do not have a relevant, close and continuing relationship that would impact on the impartiality of my decisions or processes.”

3. The Irish man who punched his brother and left him in a coma won’t serve any time in prison.

An Irish tourist has been given a 13-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting his brother in Sydney’s Kings Cross.

Barry Lyttle pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm after punching his younger brother Patrick during a night out.

The 33-year-old was not charged under new one-punch laws, which have mandatory sentences for alcohol-fuelled assaults.

Patrick Lyttle was in a coma after hitting his head on the ground but has made a full recovery.

In Downing Centre Local Court, Magistrate Graeme Curran gave Barry Lyttle a 13-month suspended jail sentence and a good behaviour bond.

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Brothers Patrick and Barry Lyttle.

The magistrate said he had shown sincere remorse and was unlikely to reoffend.

“The family is a close one,” the magistrate said, noting that Barry Lyttle had many character references.

He said Barry Lyttle’s remorse was “obviously sincere” and was immediate.

Mr Curran also noted Barry Lyttle was unlikely to reoffend and had good prospects of rehabilitation.

A version of this story was originally published on ABC.

4. Accused rapist is suing his university over ‘mattress’ anti-rape protest that was seen around the world.

Paul Nungesser, a German citizen has filed a lawsuit against Columbia University, saying it failed to adequately protect him against the harassment of a female student who publicly named him as a “serial rapist.”

The lawsuit said, “Columbia University’s effective sponsorship of the gender-based harassment and defamation of Paul resulted in an intimidating, hostile, demeaning … learning and living environment.”

The female student, Emma Sulkowicz, alleges that she was raped at ivy-league Columbia University in 2012.

Sulkowicz reported the alleged crime to the university and to police but, her case was subsequently disregarded.

In response to this, Sulkowicz pledged to protest the university’s sexual assault policy by carrying a dorm mattress with her everywhere, including her graduation ceremony in statement.

“Day-to-day life is unbearably stressful, as Emma and her mattress parade around campus each and every day,” the suit said.

anzac day dawn service
Emma Sulkowicz’ mattress pledge went viral, making her the accidental face of an anti-rape movements everywhere.

The lawsuit said, Mr Nungesser, “has been subjected to severe, pervasive … and threatening behaviour by other Columbia students, believing that Paul is a ‘serial rapist,’ whenever Paul has appeared at university activities.”

Ms Sulkowicz told that, “It’s ridiculous that he would read it as a ‘bullying strategy,’ especially given his continued public attempts to smear my reputation, when really it’s just an artistic expression of the personal trauma I’ve experienced at Columbia.”

Columbia University is yet to make a statement.

5. The Chinese Government cracks down on funeral strippers who attract mourners to funerals.

In rural China, many believe that a large funeral attendance is a sign of an honour for the deceased. This belief has resulted in many hiring strippers to attract mourners.

However, this practice has now been outlawed by the ministry of culture as Xinhua news agency reports that the presence of strippers has now been deemed “uncivilized”.

This move has given police officers the power to halt funerals where strippers perform.

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Beijing cracks down on ‘uncivilised’ use of exotic dancers to attract mourners to ceremonies in rural China. Image via YouTube.

The crackdown follows the recent case of one funeral in Hebei province where two strippers, “wearing revealing clothes danced on a stage at a public square in our village at night,” the Independent reports.

“They first danced passionately and then took off their clothes piece by piece. Behind them, an electronic screen was displaying a picture of the deceased with elegiac couplets on either side.”

The ministry will now tighten its control over rural culture, where the funeral strip shows have gained popularity because of a perceived lack of other cultural events.

6. Bali Nine: Julie Bishop requests formal talks with Indonesian counterpart after execution preparations ordered.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has requested formal talks with her Indonesian counterpart after prosecutors ordered preparations to begin for the executions of drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Indonesian officials yesterday told foreign embassies to send representatives to the prison island Nusakambangan.

It is feared the official 72 hours notice of execution may be delivered at the meeting.

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has requested formal talks with her Indonesian counterpart.

A spokesperson for Ms Bishop said attempts to contact her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi had so far been unsuccessful.

Ms Bishop has been informed that Ms Marsudi is attending the Asia-Africa Conference and is unavailable to speak with her.

The spokesperson said the Australian Embassy in Jakarta had lodged a formal request for talks with Ms Marsudi.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Friday that officials in Indonesia were gathering information on the development and Australia maintained its strong opposition to the planned executions.

“Our position obviously hasn’t changed,” Mr Truss said.

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Lawyers for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran say the legal process challenging their execution has not been exhausted.

“We are appealing and will continue to appeal to the Indonesian government not to proceed with these executions.

“We abhor the drug trade but the death penalty is also unacceptable to Australians.

“That is a message we have conveyed in the past and will continue to do so as long as there’s hope.”

Mr Truss said Australian officials and citizens would do everything possible to stop the executions.

A version of this story was originally published on ABC.

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