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News in 5: Transgender girl's plea to PM; How Cranberries singer died; Trump is not happy.

1. One child’s impassioned pleas to Scott Morrison on The Project.


Scott Morrison was forced to defend his “let kids be kids” statement on The Project last night when he was confronted by a 13-year-old transgender student.

Evie told the Prime Minister in a pre-recorded clip her childhood was “stolen” by attitudes similar to the one Mr Morrison appeared to display on Wednesday.

On the topic of teachers being trained to identify potentially gender diverse children, the PM tweeted: “We do not need ‘gender whisperers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.”

Evie said that she and others had been “disrespected” in these comments.

“I’m Evie, I’m 13, and I’m a transgender kid, and this is what I want to say to the Prime Minister,” she began.

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“There are thousands of kids in Australia that are gender diverse. We don’t deserve to be disrespected like that through tweets from our Prime Minister.”

Evie then explained that she had been emotionally affected by bigoted attitudes.

“I went to a Christian school where I had to pretend to be a boy and spend weeks in conversion therapy,” she said.

“We get one childhood and mine was stolen from me by attitudes like this.”

Mr Morrison was asked to respond, saying, “I love all Australians, whatever the background they come from.”

He defended his earlier comments by attempting to explain that by “let kids be kids” he actually meant let parents be parents and that teachers shouldn’t be asked to interfere in these matters.

“I don’t think teachers get to take the place of parents and the choices that families make. They’re the choices that families should make together,” he said.

“There is a place for clinical advice, there is a place for clinical counselling, but at the end of the day in our schools I don’t want to see teachers taking on the role of parents.”

When Carrie Bickmore challenged the politician, asking wouldn’t help in this area just be “allowing kids to be themselves?” he reiterated that he didn’t think teachers should be involved.

“I believe in family as we all do. It’s a common value across Australia. I don’t think parents should be supplanted by teachers.”

Meanwhile, those on Twitter moved by Evie’s message were shocked the PM didn’t take the opportunity to denounce conversion therapy or show sympathy to her.

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2. Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan’s cause of death determined.

A coroner has recorded a verdict of accidental death on Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of Irish rock group The Cranberries, after hearing she had died by drowning due to alcohol intoxication.

The 46-year-old singer was found submerged in the bathtub in her London hotel room in January after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, expert witnesses told Westminster Coroner’s Court, Ireland’s RTE television and Britain’s Sky News reported on Thursday.

O’Riordan, whose distinctive and powerful voice underpinned the group’s rapid rise in the early 1990s, had been in London on a recording trip ahead of a planned tour.

O’Riordan, whose hits with The Cranberries such as Linger and Zombie catapulted her to fame as a shy 22-year-old, was the voice of her generation, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in January.

3. Anti-feminist who defaced Eurydice Dixon’s memorial spared jail.

An anti-feminist Melbourne blogger admits he defaced a memorial to slain comedian Eurydice Dixon with lewd graffiti in a bid to make a “political statement” and to be on the news.

Andrew Nolch, 29, pleaded guilty on Thursday to criminal damage for painting a 25-metre long penis at the Princes Park memorial in June, days after Ms Dixon was raped and murdered.

Nolch, who hosts a Scientology podcast and holds anti-feminist and anti-vaccine beliefs, wore gloves and switched off his phone that night to avoid police detection.

He did it because he believed feminists and the media had “hijacked” Ms Dixon’s death and “turned it into a women’s rights issue”, a court has heard.

Defence lawyer Glenn Thexton says Nolch’s views are held by “many others” in society.

“His main focus was to make a political statement in respect of what he felt was all men being depicted as bad,” Mr Thexton told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Mr Thexton suggested if Nolch had drawn a flower on the grass it would not have had the same impact.

“There’s quite a lot of symbolism in what he’s drawn on the grass.”

Ms Dixon, 22, was raped and killed as she walked home through the Carlton North park after performing a comedy gig on June 13.

Flowers soon piled up on the field where her body was found and the memorial was visited by thousands.

Nolch defaced the memorial the night before a public vigil was held for Ms Dixon.

Nolch, who has a maintenance business, was ordered to pay more than $19,500 in restitution for the damage.

He will be assessed for a community corrections order.

A man, 19, was charged with Ms Dixon’s rape and murder.

4. More banks raise home loan interest rates.

Commonwealth Bank and ANZ have become the latest major banks to lift their home loan interest rates, with both institutions blaming rising international borrowing costs.

ANZ announced on Thursday that it will hike its standard variable rate by 0.16 percentage points, citing higher funding costs but saying the increase will not apply to drought-affected regional customers.

CBA followed soon after with a 0.15 percentage point increase to its standard variable rate.

The banks’ move follows Westpac announcing a lift in its home loan rate on August 29.

ANZ’s higher rates will take effect from September 27, the bank said, and will take its residential principal-and-interest rate to 5.36 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank’s increase will take effect on October 4 with the standard rate for owner-occupier borrowers rising to 5.37 per cent a year.

UBS analysts said ANZ is putting up rates twice as much as needed to cover its wholesale funding costs.

“If wholesale funding costs remain at current levels we estimate it will cost ANZ approximately $150 million pre-tax,” the UBS team said in a research note.

“However, we estimate ANZ’s mortgage repricing is almost twice that large at around $300 million pre-tax.

5. Donald Trump lashes out after senior official writes opinion piece in New York Times.

US President Donald Trump has lashed out against the anonymous senior official who wrote a New York Times opinion piece claiming to be part of a “resistance” working “from within” to thwart his most dangerous impulses.

Swift denials of involvement in the opinion piece came on Thursday from top administration officials, including from Vice President Mike Pence’s office, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and from Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, and other Cabinet members.

Trump was furious, tweeting on Thursday morning that “The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do.”

On Wednesday night, Trump tweeted a demand that if “the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the “coward” who wrote the piece to “do the right thing and resign.”

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate on Trump’s call for the writer to be turned over to the government.

Trump has demanded that aides identify the leaker, according to two people familiar with the matter, though it was unclear how they might go about doing so.

The anonymous author, claiming to be part of the “resistance” to Trump “working diligently from within” his administration, said: “Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room,” the author said.

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