Wednesday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. ISIS beheads US journalist

A video showing Steven Sotloff being beheaded was released overnight.



The Islamic militant group ISIS has beheaded another American journalist – Steven Joel Sotloff, a freelance journalist who was abducted a year ago in Syria.

In a video, made public overnight by a jihadist monitoring organisation, a masked man describes the act he is about to commit as retribution for the US air strikes.

“I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State… despite our serious warnings,” the man says.

The White House said it couldn’t confirm the authenticity of the Sotloff video.

His family have said that they are aware of its existence and are grieving.

For more, read this post.

2. Ashya’s parents not to be prosecuted.

Brett and Naghemeh King will be released soon.

In a startling development, the British Crown Prosecution Service has withdrawn a threat which enabled the Spanish police to detain Brett and Naghemeh King.

Ashya’s parents were detained in a Spanish jail after taking their sick son out of hospital last week against medical advice.

A CPS spokesman said it had “urgently reviewed the case” and found “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for any criminal offence”.

“We have therefore decided to stop the criminal proceedings” the spokesperson said.

The Telegraph reports British PM, David Cameron, whose own son died in 2009 after suffering cerebral palsy and epilepsy, was reminded of his son while watching footage of Ashya King.


David Cameron said he recalled Ivan, his son “endlessly sitting on (his) lap” as he fed through a tube while he and his wife, Samantha, “struggled to deal with the difficulties of having a desperately ill child.”

In a tweet, Mr Cameron said: “I welcome the prosecution against #AshyaKing’s parents being dropped. “It’s important this little boy gets treatment & the love of his family.”

3. Gang rape in Melbourne.

Police CCTV of two men they wish to speak with.


Updated: 6am: Five men have handed themselves into police after an alleged gang rape in Melbourne’s east.

Three 20-year-olds and a 19-year-old from Bentleigh and a 21-year-old from Dandenong handed themselves into police about 9pm last night.

The woman was restrained with masking tape after she was approached by two men on Chapel St and taken into nearby Snowball Lane about 4.15am on Sunday.

The 47-year-old victim told detectives all five men involved allegedly raped her. Police said the woman escaped and ran naked to Chapel St where she was assisted by passers-by.

Police released CCTV of two men they believed could assist in their inquiries last night.

4. Mining tax deal struck

The Mining tax repeal was passed in the Senate yesterday after the government signed a deal with the Palmer United Party and Senator Ricky Muir.

The deal will see the retention of the school kids bonus – but now means-tested – and delays to superannuation increases for workers, putting them on hold until 2021.


Treasurer Joe Hockey said it was not his preferred deal, but that it was good for the Australian public.

 5. Hacker on the run

The hacker responsible for the celebrity nude photo scandal is reportedly on the run, according to News Limited.

The user, called “Original guy,” was said to have thanked those who helped him hack the celebrity pics.

“Guys, just to let you know I didn’t do this by myself,” he reportedly said.

“This is the result of several months of long and hard work by all involved. We appreciate your donations and applaud your excitement.”

According to News Limited, the writer then said he was on the run from the FBI.

6. Not your average playground fight

The mother called police when he lifted her daughter off the swing.

Police were called to a Sydney playground yesterday after a father lifted another child off a swing when she was taking too long to give his child a turn.

The mother of the child was upset the man had touched her daughter and called the police.

Police confirmed the incident took place. As News Limited reports: “Police attended the scene, there was a dispute over one child staying on the swing longer than reasonable. The police spoke to both parties, and no offence was detected by the police.”

A mother who witnessed it took to Facebook to report the incident.

Elaine Stack posted this to her Facebook page, asking the question:


“Discussion to be had … I was just at the park & the police arrived. Seemingly a Mother was pushing her little girl on a swing when a Father approached & said he was also waiting for the swing. The Mother replied that they would be another 5 minutes or so. The Father proceeded to stop the swing in motion & tried to lift the daughter out! The Mother was very upset & called the police. Another parent in the park thought this was a little over board. What would you do?!? Would you call the police?”

Comments across social media to the story ranged from those who thought it was too much “Great example to show your kids, just like parents at soccer or football games, pathetic behaviour.”

To those who agree saying they would ring the police too “Yep I would! How dare he touch another person’s child! And teaching his child disgusting manners and how to be impatient and RUDE!!”

7. Inquest into death at daycare

A pre-inquest hearing into the death of a five-month-old baby at family daycare will hear evidence as to whether electronic baby monitors should be mandated in daycare facilities.

News Limited reports that mum Emma Hicks dropped her five-month-old Indianna at the home of Tracey Cross, who operated a family day care facility on the Sunshine Coast on July 20, 2012.

The inquest heard evidence that the carer placed Indianna on her back to sleep at 1pm and checked on her several times. However, when she went back at 2.15pm she found the baby on her stomach.

Counsel assisting the coroner Emily Cooper told the court: “It was possible that Indianna had freed her arms from the rug she was wrapped in and rolled over on to her stomach, thus putting herself into a dangerous position for sleeping”.

News Limited reports the inquest will be hear from Professor Jeanine Young of the national scientific advisory group SIDS and Kids, who will discuss electronic baby monitors “and whether the use of electronic baby monitors should be considered as a mandatory requirement for family daycare facilities.”


8. School bans cartwheels

OUTLAWED: Cartwheels.

Just when you think there are no more playground activities left to ban, this pearler comes along.

A Sunshine Coast state school has told parents that due to “safety issues,” cartwheels, handstands or any other types of gymnastic move at school have been banned.

Peregian Springs State School told parents in a newsletter that all gymnastic moves in the playground must be “properly supervised by a trained PE teacher”.

It cited “safety issues involved with these types of moves”.

The Sunshine Coast Daily reports the Deputy Principal Sandy Cathcart reminded parents to tell their children of the new rules.

9. First home buyer numbers drop

Figures show that first home buyer numbers have dropped to their lowest levels in four years.

Australian Finance Group numbers on first home buyer home loans processed show that the booming housing market is pricing most young people out of the market.

The Herald Sun reports NSW was the hardest hit, with only 3.5% of its loans from first-home buyers – a massive change from 21.1% in October 2011.

In Queensland, only 5.5% of home loans were for first-home buyers, Victoria 9.4%, SA 9.8 % NT 13.9 % and WA%.

10. Mum warns of dangers of energy drinks

Mick Clarke

The mother of a man who died after consuming energy drinks has warned of the dangers of consuming more than the recommended amount.

Shani Clarke’s 35-year-old year old son Mick was a keen runner and never smoked, but he drank up to four energy drinks a day.


The ABC reports the coroner’s ruling on his cause of death was caffeine toxicity.

Shani Clarke has started a Facebook page called Caffeine Toxicity Death Awareness to highlight the dangers associated with the drinks. She is calling for the drinks to be banned for people under the age of 18.

11. Student faces six years in jail

An Indonesian student who criticised the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta on the social media site Path faces up to six years jail.

The 26-year-old law student was angry at being criticised for trying to cut in front of people at a petrol station.

“Jogja is poor, idiotic, uncivilized. Friends from Jakarta and Bandung, don’t stay in Jogja” she wrote.

According to The Jakarta Post her message went viral and she was arrested for allegedly breaching the Criminal Code and the 2008 Electronic Transactions and Information Law (ITE), inciting hatred and defamation.

 The Daily Mail report that she has been released by police pending trial.

12. Stop splitting up kids in daycare by their age

Moving under-3’s at day care can cause “long-term psychological problems”.

Experts in UK say the practice of splitting up kids in childcare according to age is harmful for kids.

 The Telegraph reports a leading charity that campaigns for the rights of under-threes said when children are “moved up” into the older class, it breaks the vital bonds they’ve formed with a specially-assigned member of staff in the baby room.


They claim the split was as traumatic for young children as being separated from their mother for the first time and often caused long-term psychological problems.

Sarah Heale from What about the Children said the group wanted to see daycare centres, or nurseries “making more effort to minimise key person changes for under-threes”.

“This means putting in place a structure which puts children’s needs first instead of the one which is easiest to administer from a managerial point of view,” she said.

13. Mum pleads guilty to first-degree child abuse

A woman accused of trying to kill her teenage daughter has pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse.

Kelli Stapleton, 46, was once a prominent autism blogger and advocate — but a year ago, she allegedly drove her 15-year-old daughter Isabelle, who has severe autism, to a lake and an attempted murder-suicide by carbon monoxide in her car.

Isabelle remained in a coma for days after the incident but has since recovered, NBC News reports.

Stapleton’s attempted murder charge will now be dropped, as her guilty plea was part of a plea bargain — but she still faces up to life in prison.

NBC reports that Stapleton’s ex-husband, 42-year-old Matt Stapleton, said: “”It would appear to me Kelli was not in the right frame of mind.”

“It is not rational to decide to take the life of your child,” he said, speaking before Kelli entered her plea.


14. Hobard Method gives hope to premmie babies

A new revolutionary “Hobart method” is providing hope to premmie babies with breathing problems.

The method involves a catheter instead of a breathing tube, and it’s part of a global trial that will involve 11 countries, the ABC reports.

The treatment has had positive results so far, and researchers hope it will be adopted as the standard method used to care for premature babies worldwide.

15. Shock new findings: Do double mastectomies boost survival rates?

New research has suggested that women with breast cancer who have a double mastectomy to beat the disease do not increase their chances of survival.

The Guardian reports that the study, which involved 189,734 women in California with breast cancer and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found having both breasts removed did not extend patients’ lives any more than having cancerous lumps removed, followed by radiotherapy.

“We can now say that the average breast cancer patient who has bilateral mastectomy will have no better survival than the average patient who has lumpectomy plus radiation,” the study’s lead scientist Dr Allison Kurian from Stanford University said.

The study found that 10 years after having both breasts removed, 18.8 percent of women had died — compared to 16.8 percent of women who had a lumpectomy then radiation.

What news are you talking about today?

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