Friday’s news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest news from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Surrogate twins sexually abused by father.

The twins were born in Asia in March, 2014, using a donor egg from the Ukraine. Image via AFP

An Australian man has admitted sexually abusing his twin surrogate daughters who he had conceived in order to abuse.

Fairfax Media reports that the man was already abusing his nieces when he spent $44,000 to have the twins conceived overseas using a donor egg with the clear intention of sexually exploiting the children.

The abuse went on for seven months and was documented and shared online, where the 49-year-old bragged about his crimes and encouraged those who commented on his posts.

The 49-year-old will become only the second person in Australian history convicted of the federal offence of child trafficking.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to 37 charges, including the production of almost 17,000 images and videos of child abuse, and upskirt material taken of women on V/Line trains, between 2009 and 2014.

Images, numbering in the hundreds and videos featured the twin girls were seized by police.

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The twins were born in Asia in March, 2014, using a donor egg from the Ukraine.

The court heard that the AFP said man's wife was unaware of the abuse and took no part in it. She had an abortion at his urging in the 1990s, and it was only after he began abusing his nieces that he appeared to become interested in having children.

The AFP was alerted to the man's crimes when a photo of an unidentified victim – that turned out to be his niece - was sent to them in November 2014. He often had his nieces to his home to stay, on the pretence of looking after them

The twins were abused while the man was feeding, bathing and changing them - all unknown to his now estranged wife.

Federal prosecutor Krista Breckweg made an application for Judge Susan Cohen to view some of the child abuse material the man produced before sentencing him.

"Seeing and listening provides a more realistic example of the depravity and the harm caused by this offending," she said.

The man is awaiting sentencing.

The twins are now in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services.

For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid's Helpline: 1800 55 1800. DV and Sexual Abuse hotline 27/4: 1800 737 732 Men's helpline: 1300 78 99 78

2. Prince - dead at the age of 57.

Legendary performer Prince has died today at his compound in Minnesota, at the age of 57.

The Grammy and Oscar winner was sick, last week he had been taken to hospital with a bad bout of influenza.

It is reported he was found dead slumped in a lift.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning," said his spokeswoman, Yvette Noel-Schure.

For more read this post here. 

 

3. Horror crash as car carrying pregnant mum and kids is hit by a train.

A toddler is in an induced coma and her older sister with suspected spinal injuries after a freight train hit a car north of Taree in NSW.

Vanessa Anne Carlson, 30, who is pregnant was driving three of her children back from visiting her partner’s mother at Moorland, north of Taree, when her car collided with a freight train.

The impact sent her car rolling more than 30m into a paddock about 11am reports The Daily Telegraph.

It is reported that she screamed "the lights didn’t turn on” as her three children were injured in the crash.

Maddison, 2 and Shaylah, 7, were flown to John Hunter Hospital with serious head wounds and with Shaylah also suffering suspected spinal injuries and a broken leg.

A third sister, aged six, was not as severely injured.

A local, who rushed to the scene told The Daily Telegraph that Ms Carlson’s first words were “the lights didn’t turn on’

“I told her there were no lights at this crossing,” Tony Buttsworth said.

“A couple of kilometres up the road there’s another crossing where there are lights.”

There are indications that the young mum tried to stop when she saw the train. Police crash investigators said skid marks leading up the crossing, indicated Ms Carlson probably tried to brake.

4. 60 Minutes crew arrive home.

Channel Nine reporter Tara Brown and her crew have finally arrived home. The journalist said she was “relieved to be home” as she, producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment landed at Sydney airport late last night.

The group had flown business class with Emirates and landed approximately around 10pm.

They were confronted by a large pack of media desperate to speak with the team.

Last night it was reported that bank documents allegedly showing transfers of almost $70,000 from Nine Network to a child abduction firm.

Both Fairfax and News Limited have obtained a bank receipt dated January 22, 2016 allegedly showing cash transfers of $69,000 which was paid from the Nine Network directly to a child abduction firm.

Meanwhile Sally Faulkner has stayed behind in Beirut to say goodbye to her children.

For more go here.

5. Police charge man over sex attack on two young children in Perth.

Western Australian police have confirmed a 52-year-old man has been charged over the alleged assault of two children in North Perth.

The man was arrested a day after two children were allegedly lured from a Perth holiday care centre and taken to an undisclosed location were they were sexually assaulted.

A woman found the distressed children in the park's playground about an hour later and was the first to raise the alarm as the centre had not noticed they were missing.

The North Perth man has been charged with three counts of sexual penetration of a child 13 years of age and two counts of deprivation of liberty.

Police Commander Kylie Whitely told a media conference the families of the children had been informed of developments.

“I am aware that the family is really pleased and they're working with us daily,” she said.

“It's just comforting for us and the community to know that someone has been charged.”

The man remains in custody and will not be granted bail, while a court date has not been set.

According to the ABC, a member of the care program's committee said staff were “shattered and overwhelmed” by what had happened, the centre closed two days early.

6. Cathy McGowan won’t deny Sophie Mirabella pushed her.

Federal independent MP Cathy McGowan has refused to deny she was pushed by former MP Sophie Mirabella at an event last Friday.

Ms Mirabella is contesting the seat of Indi at the upcoming federal election, after narrowly losing to Ms McGowan in 2013.

Local newspaper, The Benalla Ensign, reported Ms Mirabella and Ms McGowan both attended the opening of a new wing of an aged care facility in Benalla last week and while having a photograph taken with Liberal MP Ken Wyatt, Ms Mirabella "very publicly pushed Ms McGowan out of the way to obstruct the photo being taken".

Ms Mirabella took to Twitter to deny the report.

In a statement she commented further saying it was "extremely disappointing that the journalist at no time sought to contact me or check the facts or seek a right of reply".

"I am currently investigating my legal remedies and those available through the Australian Press Council," she added.

"The article represents a new low and a sad return to nasty tactics from my opponents."

But the editor of The Benalla Ensign Libby Price, stands by the story telling the ABC the incident was witnessed by a number of people and she independently confirmed it took place with four sources.

"I was hesitant to report it but felt it was in the public interest for people to know this sort of unacceptable behaviour had occurred," Ms Price said.

Last night on Sky News Ms McGowan refused to deny it happened. "My sense is that I don't think we want to talk about it publicly," Ms McGowan said to Sky News.

Ms Mirabella said the accusation that she had "committed assault" had gutted her.

"I think people deserve to know what happened, let's bring it out into the open because my integrity has been abused," Ms Mirabella said

7. Forensic experts claim Oscar Pistorius beat Reeva Steenkamp with cricket bat.

There are claims that Oscar Pistorius physically attacked Reeva Steenkamp with a cricket bat before shooting her.

A new book, Oscar vs The Truth claims that a review of forensic evidence shows the injuries.

Calvin and Thomas Mollett undertook a detailed review of forensic evidence in the Steenkamp case and conducted their own tests, according to The Sun.

The brothers claim two injuries on Reeva Steenkamp's back match the tip of a cricket bat.

Marks on the ripped and twisted handle also suggest there was a struggle between the pair.

“One gets the impression that police arrived on the scene and thought they had an open-and-shut case against Oscar,” the authors write. “They knew he pulled the trigger, and had statements from the neighbours who heard a woman scream – why bother doing a proper forensic investigation.”

They claim that two oval bruises on the model’s back, previously attributed to her falling on a magazine rack as she was shot, could have been made by the corner of the cricket bat Pistorius told the court he used to break down the lavatory door.

8. The Queen celebrates 90th birthday.

The Queen has celebrated her 90th birthday by greeting huge crowds of well-wishers outside Windsor Castle.

Celebrations are taking place across the UK in honour of the longest-serving monarch.

The Queen greeted well-wishers during a walk-about outside Windsor Castle. Royal fans cheered her and presented her with flowers.

ITV reports that well wishers couldn't come to a consensus on what to call her. Half of the crowd appeared to chant "happy birthday Mrs Windsor" while others appeared to call her "the Queen".

David Cameron has wished the Queen "health and happiness" on her 90th birthday as he paid tribute to her "extraordinary service".

"We are uniquely blessed in our country. Her Majesty's service is extraordinary and it is a joy for us all to celebrate, to cherish and to honour."

Happy Birthday Your Majesty.

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