News in 5: Sydney sex abuse victims' courage; Uber hacking scandal; Victoria to legalise euthanasia.

1. Sisters praised for bravery after paedophile sentenced to 32 years in jail.

Convicted paedophile Timothy James Stewart. Image via Channel Seven.

Two sisters have been applauded for their bravery after speaking out against the paedophile who sexually assaulted them when they were aged 11 to 15.

Judge Paul Conlon in Sydney labelled the abuse the sisters suffered "simply incomprehensible". He also named and shamed their abuser, convicted paedophile Timothy James Stewart, before sentencing the 45-year-old to 32 years prison with a non-parole period of 24 years.

"I'm really happy with the sentencing," the eldest daughter said following the sentencing, Channel Seven reports. "I didn't expect 32 years."

Stewart, who represented himself at trial earlier this year, had insisted the abuse was consensual because he and the eldest girl "acted like husband and wife". However, dozens of SD memory cards documenting his actions proved the true extent of his deprivation.

Stewart pleaded guilty to 99 charges relating to the abuse which occurred when the eldest girl was aged between 12 and 15. A jury in July found him guilty of a further 28 offences, including drugging the girl and her mother and indecently assaulting her younger sister when she was about 11.

Judge Paul Conlon said Stewart's grooming of the older sibling was "total, complete and overwhelming" and that the girl was "virtually reduced to an inanimate object" when she was drugged.

Prosecutors on Wednesday told the court the victims consented to Stewart's name being published. He immediately objected from the dock.

"I'm already at high risk ... of violence (in prison)," he protested, AAP reports.


Judge Conlon replied: "You are in that category as a result of these matters."

The mother of Stewart's victims praised her daughters for having the strength to speak out.

"I hope their strength and this outcome gives some comfort to other survivors of sexual abuse," she said.

"Abuse of any kind is not acceptable ... paedophiles have no place in society."

2. Uber paid hackers $100,000 to cover-up privacy breach.

Uber faces a fresh regulatory crackdown after disclosing it paid hackers $US100,000 ($A140,000) to keep secret a massive breach last year that exposed personal data from around 57 million accounts, AAP reports.

Discovery of the US company's cover-up of the incident resulted in the firing of two employees responsible for its response to the hack, said Dara Khosrowshahi, who replaced co-founder Travis Kalanick as chief executive in August.

"None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it," Khosrowshahi said in a blog post.

Britain's data protection authority said on Wednesday that concealment of the data breach raises "huge concerns" about Uber's data policies and ethics.

"Deliberately concealing breaches from regulators and citizens could attract higher fines for companies," James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner of the UK Information Commissioner's Office, said in a statement, AAP reports. Current British law carries a maximum penalty of STG 500,000 pounds ($870,000) for failing to notify users and regulators when data breaches occur.


The stolen information included names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of Uber users around the world, and the names and licence numbers of 600,000 US drivers, Khosrowshahi said. Uber declined to say what other countries may be affected.

The breach occurred in October 2016 but Khosrowshahi said he had only recently found out about it.

3. Victoria will be the first state in the country to legalise euthanasia.

Victoria will enact the only legal voluntary assisted-dying scheme in the country in a move met with mixed emotion.

Labor Government-proposed legislation won narrow support in the state's upper house on Wednesday after 28 hours of continuous debate and the second of two overnight sittings, AAP reports.

"Today is all about emotion and it's all about compassion," Premier Daniel Andrews said after the vote. "This is Victoria at its best, leading our nation."

Voluntary assisted-dying will only be accessibly to terminally ill Victorian adults with less than six months to live.

The bill wasn't without its opponents and Labor only attracted the support it needed by conceding a number of amendments, including halving the initial life-expectancy of 12 months.

The legislation returns to the lower house next week where the amendments need ratification in what is considered a formality, allowing the scheme to be operational by June 2019.


4. Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter responds to rape accusations.

Former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has responded to sexual assault allegations after Melissa Schuman, a member of the 2000s girl group Dream, accused him of rape.

"This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later," the statement from Carter reads, as reported by AAP.

"It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm."

Schuman claimed in a blog post on Tuesday that Carter raped her in his Santa Monica apartment during an off day from shooting The Hollow in 2002, when she was 18 and Carter was 22.

According to her post, Carter invited Schuman and a friend of hers back to his apartment, where they had drinks when the rape allegedly happened.

She said she had considered pressing charges at the time, but that she feared the effect it may have on her career. After seeing a similar report, however, she decided to come forward.

"I feel I have an obligation now to come forward with the hope and intention to inspire and encourage other victims to tell their story. We are stronger in numbers. If you are reading this and you have been assaulted, know you don't have to be silent and you are not alone. I know it's scary. I'm scared."

"I believe you. I stand with you and together I hope we can bring light to things that have been lost in the darkness for so long."


5. Indonesian army in trouble for demanding female applicants undergo 'virginity' tests.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the continuation of virginity tests for female applicants at the Indonesian army and police.

The virginity test, also called two-finger test, was first denounced by HRW in 2014 for the first time as cruel, humiliating and discriminatory, although some military and police officers justify it for moral and mental health reasons, according to the NGO.

"The Indonesian government's continuing tolerance for abusive 'virginity tests' by the security forces reflects an appalling lack of political will to protect the rights of Indonesian women," Nisha Varia, HRW women's rights advocacy director said in a statement.

According to the New York-based organisation, several armed forces officers also believe that the test can determine if the potential recruits are pregnant, AAP reports.

HRW urged Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, to intervene to abolish the practice, as it violates article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 16 of the Convention against Torture, both of which Indonesia has ratified.

6. Kids who drink energy drinks "four to five times more likely" to have dental problems.


Energy and diet drinks are more strongly associated to dental problems than traditional soft drinks, an Australian study has found.

Researchers at the University of Sydney examined the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) on oral health among more than 3,500 teens from 84 schools, AAP reports.

The findings, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, found one quarter drank one to two cups of sugary drinks daily. One in seven drank more than two cups.

'New generation' energy drinks were the most popular sweetened drink of choice, with one in five (19.4 per cent) drinking at least one cup every day.

In total, 4.1 per cent had a frequent toothache; and 4.7 per cent avoided eating some foods because of problems with their teeth or mouth in the past 12 months.

Frequent toothache was more common among the 50 per cent of teens who drank at least one cup of sugary drink per day.

This link was strongest for energy and sport drinks, diet soft drinks and flavoured water.

According to the study, teens who consumed these drinks daily were at a a "four to five-fold" increased risk of poor oral health.

While the reason for this is not clear, the findings are concerning and warrant further research, say the authors.

"The clear and consistent associations between diet and new generation soft drinks and oral health impacts is of concern, because these beverages are marketed and promoted as an alternative beverage choice for adolescents, and adolescents perceive these beverages as healthy," the authors wrote.

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