Thursday's news in 5 minutes.

1. A 15-year-old girl allegedly murdered her own mother, enlisted a friend to help cover up the crime.

A 15-year-old girl has been charged with murder after she allegedly shot and killed her deaf mother, before setting the family home on fire to destroy the evidence, the New York Post reports.

According to police reports, Anna Schroeder waited for her mother, 53-year-old Peggy Schroeder, to come home from work last Thursday, before asking her to “put a towel over her face”.

According to testimony from sheriff’s Detective David Molina, Anna then shot her mother in the forehead, before she text her friend about what she had done.

When her friend, Rachel Helm, also 15, didn’t believe her, Anna reportedly sent her a photo of her mother’s body.

The girls then spent the next day cleaning blood out of the carpet, before they moved Peggy’s body from the living room into her bedroom and covered her with a sheet.

On Saturday, the girls set the home on fire in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

According to The Sauk Valley News, the same night, Anna wrote a message on her mother’s Facebook page.

“I don’t even know if you can see me right now but if you can I just want you to know you were my best friend,” she wrote.

“There were so many things I wanted to say and do with you. I wasn’t always the best daughter and I’m so sorry. I love you so much mom I just want you to know and I’ll never forget you.”

Anna was arrested after Rachel revealed her part in the crime to her mother and was taken to the police department for questioning.

Anna confessed to the crime, admitting to investigators she had researched children who murdered their parents in the lead up to her mother’s death.

She has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, concealment of homicidal death and arson.


Rachel has not been charged. The duo are scheduled to appear in court on August 8.

2. An Australian tourist has died in a parasailing accident in Thailand while his wife filmed.

An Australian man holidaying in Thailand has fallen to his death while parasailing in waters off the resort island of Phuket, with his wife reportedly filming the fatal fall

Thai media reports Roger John Hussey, 71, plunged more than 30 metres into the sea after his harness apparently failed shortly after lifting off from the Kata Beach, 860 kilometres south from Bangkok, on Wednesday.

The video, posted on Facebook and reportedly filmed by his wife Budsabong Thongsangka, shows Mr Hussey on shore smiling as he is strapped into safety gear, AAP reports.

He and another man, who is not wearing a harness, are then pulled by boat, their parachute lifting them into the air above the water.

About 13 seconds into the flight Hussey is seen falling from the air into the sea.

Beachgoers rushed to help the Australian, who was reportedly having difficulty breathing after he was pulled from the sea.

He died a short time later Karon Police Station duty officer Police Lieutenant Suwisit Khirirak told local media.

Thai police reportedly charged the boat operator and driver Monthian Jandaeng of reckless driving causing death.

The couple had been holidaying in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai before travelling to Phuket. They were reportedly scheduled to travel back to Australia on Friday.

Fairfax reports Mr Hussey was a well known Perth businessman.

The latest tragedy follows a jet ski accident in February when 20-year-old Australian woman Emily Collie died.


Her boyfriend Thomas Keating later pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data lists Thailand as one of the most dangerous destination for Australian visitors.

Over 320 Australians were injured or died in Thailand in 2016, ahead of the Philippines and Indonesia.

3. A ‘cure’ for the common cold and flus could be just around the corner.

Imagine if you could reach for a nasal spray and reduce your raging winter flu to a slight sniffle and a mild cough. It’s a scenario that may no longer be pure fantasy.

Australian and international scientists have developed a prototype drug that’s had a staggering effect on sickness levels in mice infected with cold and flu viruses.

“With this test drug, we were able to almost abolish the load of the virus in the lung tissue, compared to an uninfected control,” says one of the drug’s developers, Dr Stavros Selemidis, from Melbourne’s RMIT University.

“It was a staggering reduction of over 90 per cent in the viral load, or burden, of the virus. Lung inflammation was down by over 80 per cent.”

The scientists’ work has just been published in the prestigious scientific and medical journal Nature Communications.

Tests on human cells have been equally promising, leaving Dr Selemidis and his colleagues excited about what lies ahead.

The drug was developed after the scientists from universities in Australia, the United States and Ireland identified a crucial protein that’s activated when cells become infected with a virus.

The protein – Nox2 oxidase – suppresses the body’s immune response to infection, allowing the virus to take hold and prosper.

“Essentially this protein, when activated by a virus, dampens the ability of the immune system to clear that virus,” Dr Selemidis says.


“This drug blocks that protein, putting the host in a better position to clear it.”

The drug is a modification of one that was developed about 15 years ago. With the help of chemists, it’s been tweaked so it can be delivered to the site in each cell where the protein is expressed.

Dr Selemidis says much work remains to be done to discover the drug’s full potential.

But it’s believed it might also be able to help people infected with dengue and HIV, because those viruses also activate the same protein.

The scientists are yet to find an industry partner to further research and develop the drug.

4. 30-year-old woman becomes second person charged over murder of 15-year-old Sydney boy.

A woman will face court charged with murder after becoming the second person arrested over the killing of Sydney teenager Brayden Dillon.

The 30-year-old was apprehended at Blacktown, in the city’s west, on Wednesday afternoon – Brayden’s birthday, AAP reports.

It came a day after homicide detectives charged 26-year-old Conrad Craig with the teen’s murder in the first major breakthrough since the incident in April.

The 15-year-old was allegedly shot at close range in his bed after a masked intruder smashed his way into the family’s Glenfield home.

The woman will face Blacktown Local Court on Thursday, while Crag’s matter was on Tuesday adjourned until August 23.

The second arrest came as Brayden’s family and friends prepared to mark what would have been his 16th birthday at a well-known footbridge in East Hills.

They sang Happy Birthday and released helium balloons on the bridge, which has become an unofficial meeting spot for those struggling to come to terms with the sudden death.


Photos, flowers, balloons and messages of support now cover sections of the bridge.

5. An iceberg four times the size of ACT has snapped away from Antarctica.

One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up, AAP reports.

The one trillion tonne iceberg, measuring 5800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, said scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey.

The iceberg has been close to breaking off for a few months. Throughout the Antarctic winter, scientists monitored the progress of the rift in the ice shelf using the European Space Agency satellites.

“The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is difficult to predict,” said Adrian Luckman, professor at Swansea University and lead investigator of Project MIDAS, which has been monitoring the ice shelf for years.

“It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments. Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters,” he added.

The ice will add to risks for ships now it has broken off. The peninsula is outside major trade routes but the main destination for cruise ships visiting from South America.

In 2009, more than 150 passengers and crew were evacuated when the MTV Explorer sank after striking an iceberg off the Antarctic peninsula.

The iceberg, which is likely to be named A68, was already floating before it broke away so there is no immediate impact on sea levels, but the calving has left the Larsen C ice shelf reduced in area by more than 12 per cent.

The Larsen A and B ice shelves, which were situated further north on the Antarctic Peninsula, collapsed in 1995 and 2002, respectively.


“This resulted in the dramatic acceleration of the glaciers behind them, with larger volumes of ice entering the ocean and contributing to sea-level rise,” said David Vaughan, glaciologist and director of science at British Antarctic Survey.

“If Larsen C now starts to retreat significantly and eventually collapses, then we will see another contribution to sea level rise,” he added.

Big icebergs break off Antarctica naturally, meaning scientists are not linking the rift to manmade climate change. The ice, however, is a part of the Antarctic peninsula that has warmed fast in recent decades.

6. New search sparked by ‘possible breakthrough’ in investigation into Karen Ristevski’s death.

A possible breakthrough in the investigation of Karen Ristevski’s death has sparked further searches of the Mount Macedon area outside of Melbourne.

Ms Ristevski, 47, was reported missing on June 30, 2016 after her husband Borce Ristevski last saw her at their Avondale Heights home.

Her body was discovered in bushland in Macedon Regional Park in February.

Information given to investigators in recent days confirms the sighting of Ms Ristevski’s black Mercedes-Benz in the vicinity of Childers Road and Mount Macedon Road at about midday on the day she went missing.

A witness saw a lone male near the car, and police stressed it was reported this before the body was discovered, about 1.5km away.

On Thursday police said the importance of this information could not be overstated.

A fresh search of the route they believe Ms Ristevski’s car drove will begin on Thursday.

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