Saturday's news in 2 minutes.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.






1. Former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has broken her silence since being ousted from the Prime Ministership in June.

In a column written for The Guardian, Australia’s first female Prime Minister has reflected on the shortcomings of both her own, and the new government, focussing on notions of power.

Gillard was particularly critical of Tony Abbott’s plan to axe the Carbon Tax, saying: “Climate change is real. Carbon should be priced. Community concern about carbon pricing did abate after its introduction. Tony Abbott does not have a viable alternative.”

On the future of the Labor Party, Gillard said that it would be a process of grieving and rebuilding for her former colleagues. She wrote:

“I know that my colleagues are feeling all this now. Those who lost, those who remain.

We have some grieving to do together.

But ultimately it has to be grieving for the biggest thing lost, the power to change our nation for the better. To protect those who need us to shield them. To empower through opportunity. To decide what future we want for all our nation’s children and then build it.

And when the grieving is done, that’s our purpose.”

2. Australian use of paid surrogacy is on the rise, despite attempts the criminalise the activity. According to documents obtained by Fairfax, there has been a sharp rise in the number of Australian children born in India in the past year, a statistic that surrogacy advocates say demonstrates the ineffectiveness of current legislation.

julia Gillard writes for The Guardian.

3. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, has said that the evidence that chemical weapons are being used against citizens in Syria is “overwhelming.” Ki-Moon confirmed that the UN report on the matter will be finalised this weekend, although he refused to state who was responsible for the attack, failing to confirm the current position of the Obama Administration, that the chemical attacks were performed by the Assad Government against its own people. 

4. Four men convicted of the rape and murder of a woman on a New Delhi bus have been sentenced to death. The murder of the 23-year-old woman in December 2012 caused widespread anger about violence against women in India, prompting the Indian government to fast-track the trial, as well as introduce anti-rape law reforms.

5. Thirty seven people have died in a fire at a psychiatric hospital in Russia’s north-west. The fire is the second tragedy to occur in the country’s psychiatric hospitals this year, with 38 people dying in a fire at a similar facility in April. In both instances the patients were being housed in Soviet-era wooden buildings.

6. World champion surfer, Cori Schumacher, has called for Roxy’s new ads featuring Australian surfer, Stephanie Gilmore, to be pulled. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Schumacher described the ads as “all sex, no surf.” Click here to watch the controversial campaign.

7. A Canadian man has sparked confusion after finding a message in a bottle, but refusing to open it. Steve Thurber found the bottle while walking along a beach, but does not want to open the bottle, because he wants the message to be preserved for as long as possible. From the outside of the bottle, the date ‘September 29, 1906’ is visible, making it the oldest message in a bottle ever discovered.