Friday's news in 5 minutes.

1. ‘Slapping therapist’ behind bars in Sydney over death of six-year-old diabetic boy.

A Chinese “slapping therapist” extradited to Australia and charged with the manslaughter of a six-year-old diabetic boy has been refused bail in a Sydney court.

Hong Chi Xiao, 54, is accused of having an influence on the boy’s death by allegedly advising his parents to stop giving him medication during a south Sydney self-healing conference in 2015, AAP reports.

It’s alleged that advice ultimately led to the boy’s death.

The six-year-old, a type-1 diabetic, was found unconscious in a Hurstville hotel after his parents took him to the self-healing conference conducted by Xiao.

Ambulance paramedics attempted CPR but he couldn’t be revived.

Court papers allege Xiao “did feloniously slay” the boy on the night of April 27, 2015.

The boy’s 56-year-old father, 41-year-old mother and 64-year-old grandmother were arrested earlier this year and granted conditional bail after also being charged with manslaughter.

Xiao, a Chinese national and American citizen, arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning four months after he was arrested in London.

He appeared via audio-visual link at Central Local Court on Thursday afternoon where his lawyer applied for bail but it was formally refused by magistrate Les Mabbutt.

Xiao will remain behind bars until he is due to return to court on October 24.

2. At least 12 killed as van hits crowd in Barcelona terror attack.


A van has ploughed into crowds in the heart of Barcelona and Spanish media report at least 12 people have been killed and 80 injured in what police are treating as a terrorist attack.

Media reports said the van had zigzagged at speed down the famous Las Ramblas avenue, a magnet for tourists.

“I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that,” eyewitness Tom Gueller told the BBC.


“It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas.”

Two people have so far been arrested.


3. Police launching a “massive” search for missing woman Tanja Ebert in SA.

A comprehensive search of a Mannahill pastoral property is set to start today in a bid to find missing mother of two Tanja Ebert, 23, who is believed murdered.


Detective Superintendent Des Bray says the search will cover the 410 square hectare property in South Australia’s northeast, and it will begin at the house and radiate out.

“It’s a massive task. Well do our best to find her but there’re no guarantees,” Supt Bray told reporters at the scene, AAP reports.

Supt Bray said Ms Ebert’s husband Michael Burdon, 41, made no admissions and offered no clues as to the whereabouts of his wife before he took his own life at the property on Wednesday. He remains the only suspect in the suspected murder of the mother of two.

4. Deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash may be British citizen.

The Federal Government’s woes are deepening with a third cabinet minister to be referred to the High Court over dual citizenship.

Deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash has received advice from the UK Home Office that she may be a British citizen by descent through her Scottish-born father.

She joins the queue at the High Court behind Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who earlier this week renounced his New Zealand citizenship, and Matt Canavan, who stood aside as resources minister in July after learning he has Italian citizenship.

Senator Nash said based on the advice of the solicitor-general, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had advised, that like Mr Joyce, there is no need for her to step down from her leadership role or resign from cabinet.


The Senate will be asked to refer Senator Nash’s case to the High Court when parliament returns on September 4.

The government had failed to explain why Senator Canavan has stood aside from cabinet while Mr Joyce had not.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, as well as former Greens senators Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam, have also been referred to the High Court over dual citizenship.

5. Mother of Charlottesville victim honours daughter’s legacy at memorial ceremony.


With tears and defiant tributes, hundreds of purple-clad people have packed a Charlottesville theatre to remember the woman who was killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into anti-racist demonstrators.

Heather Heyer, 32, a paralegal whom colleagues said was devoted to social justice, was killed after clashes on Saturday between white nationalists attending a “Unite the Right” gathering and counter-protesters.

James Fields, a 20-year-old Ohio man, has been charged with her murder.

“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her,” Heyer’s mother Susan Bro told the crowd, AAP reports.

“I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die. This is just the beginning of Heather’s legacy.”

It comes as US President Donald Trump says it’s “sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart” with the removal of Confederate statues and monuments around the country.

Local and state officials have renewed pushes to remove Confederate imagery from public property since the violence in Charlottesville over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

Trump in a Thursday tweet called them “our beautiful statues and monuments”.

6. Ford Focus recall: Thousands of cars at potential fire risk.


Ford Focus models made between April 12, 2011 and September 29, 2015 are being recalled due to a fault in their carbon canisters, which means they can be blocked by dust. Nearly 43,000 models are thought to be affected.

“If this condition is not corrected, the fuel tank may crack, resulting in a fuel leak,” the product recall states. “A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can lead to a fire.”

Ford will write to individual owners, but anyone worried about their vehicle is urged to contact their local dealer to arrange an inspection.