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News in 5: Australian model's brutal dog attack; Maryland shooting; New food terrorism laws

-WithAAP

1. Australian model Suzel Mackintosh opens up about the brutal dog attack that changed her life.

Just before the midnight countdown on New Year’s Eve, Suzel Mackintosh went to grab a bag from a friend’s car.

The Australian model had returned to Western Australia from London to celebrate the New Year with her friends near Pembleton.

When she opened the car door she was viciously attacked by her friend’s dog while rummaging through the car it was in.

“It jumped on my face and just shook me a like a rag doll and that’s when I could feel all the holes in my face and my nose hanging off to one side,” Mackintosh told ABC’s 7.30.

“You can see through my cheek to my teeth. That’s when I realised that my whole life was going to change.”

Mackintosh received emergency surgery but was unable to lift her upper lip due to muscle damage. She spent a week in hospital and needed plastic surgery.

The damage is not just physical, with Mackintosh emotionally scarred from the attack.

“I used to be quite confident and now I’m really insecure about how I look,” she said.

“I don’t see myself in the mirror anymore, I find it quite hard to get work as a model, now I’m working two jobs trying to make ends meet to cover all my costs and save up for future surgery.”

She has documented her recovery online and is hoping to restart her modelling career, while campaigning for changes to dog ownership laws.

She wants “dangerous” breeds like the Staffordshire-cross which attacked her to be banned.

7.30 reported the most recent data shows two people die and around 13,000 end up in hospital each year from dog attacks.

Liz Walker, chief executive of the Victorian RSPCA, said banning dogs did not work and the answer to dog attacks was better training.

2. Female shooter dead after killing 3 at US pharmacy distribution centre.

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A 26-year-old woman suspected of killing three people in a shooting attack at a US pharmacy distribution centre in Maryland is dead after shooting herself.

Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R Gahler says the woman, a temporary employee at the Rite Aid distribution centre, shot herself in the head on Thursday.

He said seven people were wounded altogether in the attack, and four of the seven died, including the suspect.

A Baltimore hospital received four patients with gunshot wounds after the shooting.

Earlier Gahler said the suspect was taken into custody and was in critical condition.

It appeared a handgun was used in the attack, he said.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support or beyondblue at 1300 22 4636.

3. Federal government passes tough new penalties for ‘food terrorists’.

As the hunt for those responsible for sticking needles in Australian strawberries continues, the federal government has ramped up penalties for so-called “food terrorists”.

Food tamperers could spent 10 to 15 years behind bars under draft laws passed by the government on Thursday.

The changes were rushed through parliament in less than four hours, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for tough sanctions.

“I’m just focused on making sure no idiot goes into a supermarket this weekend and does something ridiculous,” Mr Morrison said.

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Labor has called for a review of the changes in 12 months to deal with any unintended consequences, particularly the inclusion of “providing the public with food” in the revised definition of “public infrastructure”.

This new definition ties food contamination to national security.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said there had been very “little time to fully consider what the consequences of this legislation might be”.

More than 100 reports of tampered fruit are being investigated by police across the country, many of which are thought to be fake or copycat cases.

One young boy in NSW has already been arrested over behaviour that “could be called a prank”, police said, and he would be dealt with under the youth cautioning system.

Anyone who tampers with food could soon face up to 15 years in prison, in line with child pornography and terror-financing offences.

There will also be a new offence of being reckless in causing harm, which will carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The most serious cases with national security implications will be covered by sabotage offences, with penalties ranging from seven to 25 years.

4. The bodies of 5400 genocide victims have been found in mass graves in Rwanda.

New mass graves have been found in Rwanda that authorities say contain 5400 bodies of genocide victims, nearly a quarter of a century after the 1994 bloodshed.

Executive secretary of genocide survivors’ organization Ibuka, Naphtal Ahishakiye, said the bodies were exhumed from 26 mass graves in the capital Kigali’s Kicukiro district.

He said the discovery followed a tip from a man who heard about the graves as a child.

Other mass graves were found in April.

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The discoveries have been called the most significant in years in this east African nation still recovering from the killings of more than 800,000 people.

Many Rwandans are shocked and saddened that community residents have kept quiet about the graves for so long. Houses had been built on top of them.

Ibuka officials say the bodies will be given a decent burial.

5. Sydney man accused of international lizard trafficking.

A 23-year-old Sydney man is accused of trying to post five live gidgee skinks and another unidentified lizard overseas in plastic chip tubes.

The reptiles were discovered at a Sydney post office earlier this week when the Department of Environment and Energy intercepted a package destined for Hong Kong as part of an investigation into illicit wildlife trading.

The department says the lizards were inside the chip tubes, wrapped in paper towel and with their legs wrapped in brown paper.

The accused was nabbed outside the post office before being charged with 11 counts of attempting to export a regulated native specimen.

His matter is next due to be mentioned in the NSW District Court on October 2.

The department says he’s the second alleged wildlife trafficker to face a NSW court in the past four weeks.

An Australian Border Force spokesman said wildlife smuggling of local animals was a lucrative trade, particularly in Asia.

“This arrest should send a strong message to anyone considering smuggling wildlife, that the ABF and our partner agencies are working closely to detect and prevent the exploitation of native Australian wildlife,” the spokesman said.

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