Monday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Shorten preferred PM

Bill Shorten preferred PM according to poll.




The news keeps getting worse for the Prime Minister with a poll out this morning by Fairfax showing Labor leader Bill Shorten well ahead of Tony Abbott as the nation’s preferred leader.

Only four weeks ago, the two were level on 41% each but now the Labor leader is out performing the Prime Minister by 47 to 39 percent.

On a two-party preferred basis the Ipsos poll shows Labor leading the Coalition 53 to 47%.

Fairfax reports that the poll shows Mr Shorten holds a “statistically significant lead” over Tony Abbott on six of 11 key attributes including competence, enjoying the support of his party, being open to ideas, being trustworthy and having a firm grasp of social policy.

 2. Baby boy struck by forklift undergoes surgery


Our thoughts are with the baby’s family.

A nine-month old boy who was struck by a forklift driven by his father remains in a critical condition in hospital in Melbourne.

The baby was initially taken to Geelong Hospital, but then transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The accident occurred about 6.20pm Saturday at the Blackley Automotive business on the Bellarine Highway in Geelong, where the father was an employee.

Police told The Age that they had spoken to the father about the “tragic accident” but were respecting the family’s wishes to be with their son.


“Initially we spoke to him at the time but he was pretty distressed,” said Sergeant Chamberlain.

“He’s got more important things going on than answering our questions. We just want [the family] focusing on the care and attention of the young child.”

3. AFP’s role in Australian pair’s ice arrest

It has been reported that the Australian Federal Police may have had a role in the arrest of Penrith woman Kalynda Davis, 22, in the Chinese city of Guangzhou last month.

As Mamamia previously reported Kalynda Davis faces possible execution after being accused of smuggling methamphetamine. She is due to face court in the next few days.

News Limited report today that the AFP who has a number of officers in Guangzhou have been working closely with Chinese authorities on drug smuggling for several years.

 4. Prince William’s letter of condolence to family of Jacintha Saldanha.

“We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha”

 The Mail on Sunday reports that Prince William wrote to the family of Jacintha Saldanha the nurse at a London hospital who committed suicide after a prank call by two Australian radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian.

The letter, dated New Year’s Day 2013 says “It is unbelievably sad and (Kate I) both extend to and your family our deepest condolences.

“We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha and have been thinking about her a lot recently. Many of the nurses spoke highly of her and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was.

“Jacintha and her colleagues looked after us extremely well and I am just so sorry that someone who cared for others so much found themselves in such a desperate situation.”


 5. Philippines clean up

The Typhoon, known locally as Typhoon Ruby hit with gusts of 210 kilometres an hour.

The official death toll stands at two, but that is expected to rise.

Aid agencies said they were relieved the powerful typhoon was not as devastating at Haiyan.

“When Ruby first made landfall, we did see high winds, a lot of rain, but not the wind speeds that we saw during Haiyan,” Jacqui Symonds, the senior program officer for Emergencies for Care Australia, told the ABC .

“What we’re seeing in the case of Ruby is it’s a lot smaller and it’s much more manageable for the authorities here.”

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 6. Children seeking suicide instructions online

Children seeking suicide instructions online.

Extremely concerning news this morning from the Commission for Children and Young People in Queensland with a submission to Federal Parliament saying that young people are seeking suicide instructions online.

Last week National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell told federal parliament that a child is lost to suicide every week, with another 50 to 60 admitted to hospital for self-harm.

Today The Australian reports that a Facebook memorial page for a dead teenager triggered a copycat suicide, after receiving more than 2000 members, five times the number who would normally be exposed to a suicide death in the community.


The Australian reports that most of the Facebook group members did not even know the person who had died.

The Commission for Children and Young People in Queensland says in their submission “several” teenagers have killed themselves after looking up instructions on the internet.

They say that social media had amplified children’s exposure to suicide, under­mining attempts to stifle coverage in mainstream media.

For help call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

 7. Nick Xenophon to launch new national political party


Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has announced he will launch a new national political party with candidates in all states and territories at the next federal election.

The party will be called NXT – Nick Xenophon Team.

Senator Xenophon was elected to the Senate in 2007 and has a strong voter base in South Australia where he secured almost 25 per cent of the Upper House votes in the 2013 federal election.

Prior to that he was elected in South Australia on a No Pokies ticket in 1997.

Senator Xenophon said the move was motivated by the electorate’s lack of trust in politics and voter disillusionment.

“More and more Australians are incredibly disillusioned,” he said.


“I think there needs to be an alternative voice from the sensible centre of politics. We’re not getting that at the moment.

“We’re getting political gridlock, we’re getting a very toxic nature of partisan politics.

“I just want to be an alternative voice, being able to put up candidates in other states and let the people decide.”

However Senator Xenophon would not name any of his potential running mates at this stage.

“We’re going to have a process,” he said.

A version of this story was originally published on ABC and has been republished with full permission

8. Australia Zoo keeper provoked Tiger

A report into what caused a keeper at Australia Zoo to be mauled by a Tiger in November 2013 has found that the keeper deliberately excited the animal to put on a better show.

The Courier Mail reports that a Workplace Health and Safety investigation found Dave Styles sustained a crushed carotid artery, nicked jugular, paralysis to the left larynx and nerve damage to the left eye when the Bengal Sumatran tiger, got “over excited” during a routine show.

“Mr Styles admitted that he overly excited Charlie on this occasion which encouraged the tiger to play rougher than usual,” said the report.

9. Parents require signage reminding them to watch their kids

An Adelaide council has released plans to roll out signage to warn parents to watch their children.


The Advertiser reports that Port Adelaide Enfield Council will spend thousands of dollars erecting warning signs at its 120 public playgrounds.

The signs are to remind parents and other adults to closely supervise their children at all times.

Mamamia reported a few weeks about one-year old Ella Brooks who suffered bad burns after being exposed to a hot merry-go-round at a playground at Semaphore Esplanade. Her case is thought to have inspired the signage.

10. Pete Evans doesn’t drink tap water

Pete Evans does not drink tap water.

Celebrity Chef Pete Evans is back in the news after he revealed that he does not allow his family to drink tap water.

Evans posted on a Facebook page. “I realise there’s plenty of controversy around alkalised water, but I would rather choose this option over drinking tap water or bottled water, as it works out cheaper in the long run, and is environmentally friendly.

Australian Medical Association Victorian president Tony Bartone hit back telling The Daily Mail that fluoridation is an important public health initiative backed by the World Health Organisation, and by the Australian Dental Association.

“Celebrity chefs should stick to their knitting and stay out of the debate – his comments belong back in the Stone Age.” He said.

“People like this are using their fame and influence in areas that they have no expertise – obviously a top class chef but when it comes to scientific research and understanding – they are lacking.”


 11. Ban Santa from allowing kids to sit on his knee

What do you think? Should it be banned?

A call for shopping centres to ban children from sitting on Santa’s knee has gone out this weekend.

Hetty Johnson of Bravehearts sent social media into a spin this weekend after telling The Courier Mail that there should be a re-think about the long held practice.

Hetty Johnson said that children should feel safe and not feel pressured to sit on Santa’s knee.

She said that shopping centres should update their child protection policies, with children only sitting on Santa’s knee if parents specifically request it.

For more read this post here.

 12. Should young girls be taught about porn?

An interesting debate has broken out in the UK with the leader of the girl guides calling for young girls to be taught about pornography.

It comes after a study has shown that girls as young as seven say they are subjected to sexual taunts in the playground.

Julie Bentley, the leader of GirlGuidingUK has told the BBC that young girls should be informed about the myths surrounding sex.

“When I was a teenager, I wasn’t aware of pornography.“ she said.

“Today, regretfully, pornography is so accessible on social media that my view on this is that it isn’t going to help them by pretending it’s not there.

“If they’re accessing it and seeing it, then we have the responsibility of telling them that isn’t a true representation of a relationship between two people,” reports The Telegraph.


13. Sean Abbott set to return to cricket for NSW for first time since Phillip Hughes’s death


Sean Abbott has been named in a 12-man New South Wales squad for tomorrow’s Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Abbott has not played since hitting Phillip Hughes with a short ball at the same ground two weeks ago.

Returning ... New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott. (Image via AAP: Lukas Coch, file photo)
Returning … New South Wales bowler Sean Abbott. (Image via AAP: Lukas Coch, file photo)

Hughes was rushed to St Vincent’s Hospital and died two days later from what doctors described as a freakish accident.


Abbott received an outpouring of support after the accident and Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said he was “incredibly impressed” by the 22-year-old’s maturity.

He has been named alongside Test bowlers Mitchell Starc and Steve O’Keefe.

Former Test all-rounder Moises Henriques will captain the side after admitting he struggled while playing Sydney grade cricket for St George on the weekend.

“I started yelling out all sorts of stuff for no particular reason, obviously just high on emotion,” he told Sky Sports Radio.

“A few more games and hopefully I’ll get back to some sort of level path.

“I was yelling at myself.

“I turned around basically and (was) trudging back to my mark yelling at myself.

“I think everyone at Petersham Oval was probably looking at me thinking, ‘what a goose that bloke is’.”

Henriques said Abbott is doing well but he and his team-mates do not want Abbott’s name associated with Hughes’s passing.

“He’s coping pretty well,” Henriques said.

“I guess from our point of view as fellow players, we’re trying to expel his name from the tragedy a little bit, because in my opinion I don’t think he’s any more at fault than any other fast bowler who’s ever bowled a bouncer in his career.


“We’re actually trying to remove his name from everything that’s happened, and just treat him as another one of the players.

Three of Phillip Hughes’s team-mates have opted not to take part in this week’s Sheffield Shield match in Hobart.

The match against Tasmania starts tomorrow after being rescheduled to allow people to grieve.

Fast bowlers Kane Richardson and Daniel Worrall and leg-spinner Adam Zampa are all not travelling to Hobart for the match.

The Redbacks are bringing an extended 13-man squad to Hobart, including five players who were not in the team for the match against New South Wales where Hughes was hit by a ball.

A version of this post first appeared on the ABC and this post has been republished with full permission.

14. Suspicious egg-shaped ‘bomb’ that closed Federal Courthouse was actually a vibrator

A courthouse in the US has been evacuated after reports of a suspected bomb — that turned out to be a vibrator.

Jezebel reports the Edward J. Schwarz United States Courthouse in San Diego was evacuated Thursday morning after reports of a suspicious-looking egg-shaped electronic device. Once the area was closed off and investigations began, the bomb squad realised the device was probably a sex toy.

The area was re-opened to the public within an hour and unsurprisingly, the toy was never claimed.

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