Thursday'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. Man jailed after abusing children at childcare.

Warning: This item deals with sexual abuse of children.

The husband of a family day carer in Victoria has been jailed for six years and three months after abusing four young children at a family day care centre run by his wife.

The man, 62, was found guilty by a jury in two separate trials of 16 charges of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.

His victims were three girls, aged 3, 4, and 8, and a boy aged 9 reports The Age.

The judge spoke of the guilt that the parents of the four children felt at the abuse that took place while they believed their children were being cared for.

The man’s wife had been the registered operator of a family day care centre being run out of the family home. She cared for pre-school children throughout the year, and for primary school children during school holidays.

The man was unemployed and had access to the children.

In jailing him the judge said that the man “used that access” and “exploited the trust of the parents and your wife to offend against them,”

“Each of the parents speak at their profound sense of betrayal that you could have done this, that this could happen in the family day care centre where each of them had for so long entrusted their children to your wife’s care, and that you could be allowed access to them, unsupervised, contrary to the conditions of registration of the family day care centre.

“All parents expressed deep grief and guilt about this happening to their children, about their not knowing it and about their being unable to protect their children or prevent it.”


The judge spoke of the guilt that the parents of the four children felt at the abuse that took place while they believed their children were being cared for.

“All mothers expressed the conflicted feelings they had about not being home to look after their children, because they were working, studying, or seeking much needed respite to look after their own mental health needs.

“The fathers spoke of their anger and shame that they had somehow failed to protect their children. Many spoke of others blaming them for placing their children in day care: as if that was a failure of proper parenting, or a failure to take proper care.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. These were gorgeous, happy, loved and well cared for children.”

The judge said the parents were in no way to blame for what happened.

“No parent has any rational basis for feeling guilty about placing their children in care in what was a vetted and licensed family day care centre, and one about which each of them had conducted their own careful and thorough inquiries.

“Having said that, I appreciate that, for parents, guilt, blame and a sense of responsibility about matters affecting their children, even those outside their control, can sometimes seem to be just part of burden of responsibility that goes with being a good parent.”

The Victorian man was jailed for six years and three months with a non-parole period of four years and nine months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.


 For sexual assault support 24/7, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). 


2. Further arrests over terror plot to attack Sydney navy base.


Police have arrested two more men over an alleged terror plot conspiring to attack police buildings and a naval base in Sydney.

Yesterday Mohamed Rashad Almaouie, 20, and Abdullah Salihy, 24 were denied bail over their role in the alleged plot.

Police said they join five other men charged over the plot.

When they were arrested police found a notepad full of scribbled plans, mobile phone photos of foreign fighters and an Islamic flag in a family home.

Fairfax Media reports that officers found a black “shahada” flag, similar to the one mistakenly used by Lindt Cafe gunman Man Haron Monis instead of an Islamic State flag, wrapped up near a motorbike.

Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn revealed yesterday that the notes also mentioned the Garden Island naval base in Woolloomooloo.

“There was a group of people who came together with the idea, with the intent to do something, and they started to make preparations to carry out a terrorist act,” Ms Burn said.

The Australian reports that several of the wider group identified by police as praying together at the mosque were charged earlier this year over their alleged involvement in Oct­ober’s killing of NSW police employee Curtis Cheng by a 15-year-old, Farhad Jabar.



3. Woman takes Google to court for defamation and wins.

An Adelaide businesswoman who took Google to court after Google’s algorithm connected her name to websites claiming she was dishonest.

The action came about after Dr Janice Duffy’s name was linked to a shaming platform that includes sites like

The site allows anyone to post reports about people whom they suspect are behaving in a criminal or dishonest manner, regardless of its factual accuracy.

Dr Duffy claimed that for two years Google refused her written requests to remove the material.

Google denied any wrongdoing, claiming it had disseminated the material “innocently”, was not its publisher, was justified, and protected by both qualified privilege and contextual truth.

News Limited reports that the court rejected Google’s arguments and found it had defamed Dr Duffy due to the way the company’s patented algorithm operated.

Justice Malcolm Blue found the search results either published, republished or directed users toward comments harmful to her reputation.

Dr Duffy was awarded damages of $100,000 and a $15,000 lump sum to cover interest.

She told The Advertiser “I wish it hadn’t happened, but I beat the bastards,”

“Would we be here if they had helped when I asked? Absolutely not … I think they thought they could just make me go away, but I’m stubborn.”


4. 29-year-old Australian woman dies falling off cliff in NZ.

An Australian climber has died after falling 300 metres down Footstool mountain on New Zealand’s South Island reports local media in NZ.

Local police inspector Dave Gaskin said the 29-year-old woman fell near the 2,764-metre peak onto the Eugenie Glacier in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

The woman, who has not been named was airlifted to a rescue base after a locator beacon was set off by members of her climbing party, but she died shortly after.

5. Parents forking out for childcare on Christmas Day.

“Childcare workers are ­entitled to be paid for public holidays.”

Angry parents are taking to social media to complain about having to pay childcare fees for Christmas Day and the other public holidays while their centres remain shut.

The Daily Telegraph reports that many centres even continue to charge parents during a two week shutdown leaving parents angry they are having to pay while trying to find alternative childcare arrangements.

Blue Mountains mother-of-two Louisa Forrest told the newspaper that her daughter’s centre shuts at noon today and would remain closed until January 4, but she is still paying the $86 daily rate.

Community Childcare Co-operative CEO Leanne Gibbs told News Limited that childcare workers still needed to be paid for the public holidays as per industrial legislation.

“Parents are aware of these fee policies when they enroll so none of that will come as a surprise to them,” she said. “It’s important for parents to look at the fee policies and be aware of them.”

The federal Department of Education says: “Some childcare service providers may charge for public holidays because, like most other employees, childcare workers are ­entitled to be paid for public holidays when they would otherwise be at work,” it states to parents.


6. Christmas Day fire threat for South Australia.

Tomorrow is set to be as one of the worst fire danger days on Christmas Day in South Australia for three decades.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast high temperatures, including a top of 37C in Adelaide, before “very gusty strong southerly winds” move across the state in the afternoon and evening on Christmas Day.

Up to 10 of the state’s fire districts will have total bans, with the South East facing the worst conditions.

CFS State Coordinator Leigh Miller said there was a “real threat” of fires on Christmas Day.

“I can’t remember a Christmas Day that’s been as bad as this since I’ve been with the CFS … (and that’s) 29 years,” he said.

“We don’t need to have catastrophic conditions for bad fires to start he told The Advertiser.

7. Melbourne woman’s life saved by police.

Senior Constable Dean Turner and Constable Thomas O’Dwyer with Levalda Adams.

Police in Melbourne have saved the life of a 60-year-old woman after she suffered a hypoglycaemic attack on the day doctors found a kidney match that would save her life.

Levalda Adams had been waiting for a new kidney for 19 months when doctors at the Royal Melbourne Hospital finally called earlier this month to say she needed to come to hospital but when they couldn’t reach her police were sent to her home to check on her.

Senior Constable Dean Turner and Constable Thomas O’Dwyer knocked on all the doors for 15 minutes before speaking to neighbours Victoria Police say but they could not get an answer. They decided to give it one last try, thinking that perhaps she had made her own way to hospital.


“We were almost convinced she wasn’t there and maybe had gotten onto a tram to the hospital,” Senior Constable Turner said.

But they spoke to one more neighbour, who had Ms Adams’ mobile phone number.

Eventually Ms Adams roused from her sleep answered and crawled to the door, soaking wet, to let them in.

“I’d had a hypoglycaemic attack in my sleep that night and I heard the knocking on the door, but I couldn’t respond,’ a shaken Ms Adams told reporters.

‘But police persisted and knocked and knocked, and my neighbour heard the commotion and spoke to police and called my mobile phone, and I could reach it.

“I crawled to the front door, I managed to open the door … I was soaking wet because the fluid from the (dialysis) machine had soaked me.”

Officers took her to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for an immediate transfusion.

“They stayed with me and wheeled me right to the theatre. They were so good to me” Ms Adams said.

“I am eternally grateful to them.”

8. Girl calls police in a panic over Elf on the Shelf.

To her, it was an emergency when she touched the elf, and she’s going to ruin Christmas, so that was her emergency.

A little girl has called police after she touched her Elf on the Shelf worried that she might make Santa angry.

Police say 7-year-old Isabelle LaPeruta of New Jersey in the US was worried because, according to the book, the magic of Christmas goes away if the elf is touched.


WNBC-TV reports the girl told the 911 operator not to come to her house because she had meant to call her dad.

However, police are required to check 911 calls and an officer found the child in tears.

Her mother, Lynanne, says she awoke from a nap to find her daughter trying to shoo an officer out of the house. She says the girl panicked after the elf fell on the floor when she threw a ball.

A local officer told media “To her, it was an emergency when she touched the elf, and she’s going to ruin Christmas, so that was her emergency,” said Police Lt. Joseph Mandola. “In her mind, she did right, and it was fine with us.”

9. Men spend more on their partner’s pressies than women.

Men spend more on their partner’s pressies than women.

A study into our spending habits at Christmas has shown that men spend more than women on their partner’s present – and we even buy a gift for our pets.

The study shows that Aussies spend the most on their partners at Christmas, with an average of $221 spent on their present. Men are the biggest spenders, spending on average $248 on their partner’s gift, compared to women who spend $193. Girls also fair better than boys, with the average spend on daughters being $149 compared to $128 on sons.

And we don’t forget our pets with an average of $18 per pet spent.

Have a safe and happy Christmas from all of us at Mamamia News.