1. A tornado has torn through Oklahoma, reportedly killing at least 51 people. The tornado has destroyed an elementary school, with teachers and pupils trapped inside.
This story is still developing and we will bring you more updates later in the day.
2. A father of four has died after he was allegedly king hit on a Coffs Harbour street. 34-year-old Scott Snodgrass was on his way home when he reportedly became involved in an altercation with a 20-year-old man.
Scott suffered massive head injuries and yesterday his wife made the painful decision to switch off her husband’s life support. ”
He was just a great dad, the kind every kid wants,” she told News Limited. Police are investigating the incident.
3. Kevin Rudd has declared his support for same-sex marriage. “I have come to the conclusion that church and state can have different positions and practices on the question of same sex marriage. I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same sex marriage,” he wrote in a blog post for CLEO magazine.
4. While being interviewed on the Kyle and Jackie O show this morning, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was pressed on whether he will ever change his mind about same sex marriage. Here’s what he said today:
Tony Abbott: Well look, people are entitled to change their mind, Kevin certainly changed his mind in a spectacular way, I have to say Jackie, I know this will disappoint you and some of your listeners… I haven’t changed my mind, I know it’s a difficult issue, I respect people that don’t share my traditional position on this, but each of us comes to this decision in a unique and personal way.
Jackie O: I thought you had changed your position on gay marriage, there was a point there you said you understand it because someone in your family was gay, I thought that meant that you were in support of it?
Tony Abbott: My sister Chris, councillor Christine Forster Sydney City Council, is gay and certainly that whole coming out process was a very testing time for her and for our family…it forces all of us to confront various things in our hearts and good on Chris for her courage in all of this.
Now Chris three or four years ago wasn’t a supporter of gay marriage and now she is, and she and I have polite, respectful, and vigorous discussions on the subject…thus far she hasn’t been able to persuade me and I suspect I will be pretty hard to shift.
5. South Australia has placed a ban on live-odds being shown during sports games and sports coverage. Explaining the move, Premier Jay Weatherill said he didn’t want children to grow up thinking “gambling is a normal part of watching or even playing sport”.
6. A Muslim man who was charged with rioting and resisting arrest during protests in Sydney last year has refused to stand trial before a female judge. Mohammed Issai Issaka said doing so would go against his religious beliefs.
Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge said: “You can tell me where it is in his religion that it says he cannot stand…. I was a magistrate at Bankstown Court for four years and I have never had to deal with such disrespect.”