Tuesday's news in 5 minutes.

1. Melbourne storm causes unprecedented “thunderstorm asthma.”

A wild storm that ripped through Melbourne at around 6pm last night left hundreds of people desperately ill with asthma.

The unprecedented “thunderstorm asthma” caused a huge spike in calls to Ambulance Victoria in the space of just a few hours.

Nine News reports that the storm brought with it a mix of pollen, dust and other irritants in the air, causing ambulance calls to spike.

Melbourne Storm via Matthew Wu/ Twitter.

"I think a spike in calls would be the understatement of a century. These were quite sick patients," Mr Holman said.

Most jobs were code ones or top priority emergencies.

Mr Holman said it was "unprecedented".

"It's something in my 40 years I've never seen before," he added.

In 2010, a large outbreak of Thunderstorm asthma saw saw a tenfold increase in patients presenting with acute asthma attacks to emergency in the 24-hour period following the storm.

2. Police search for woman who drove into Yarra River.

Police divers have located a car that was driven into the Yarra River near Batman Avenue last night.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Rodger said police believed a woman was in the car when it drove into the river about 11pm.

“It’s come along and just driven in and floated down the river,” Sen Sgt Rodger said.

He told media that witnesses had tried to talk to the woman but she just said “I’m not getting out”.

For help: Lifeline on 131 114, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

3. Police to investigate father over boy’s jet ski death.

Police are investigating the father of the boy who died in a jet ski accident over the incident.

Tobi, the 9-year-old son of Shane Parkes, 34, died at Lake Moondarra just outside of Mount Isa on Saturday.

The Courier-Mail reports that Mr Parkes was on bail at the time of the incident after recently fronting court over alleged involvement in a serious ice trafficking ring between Cairns and Mount Isa.

Police are investigating whether Mr Parkes was trying to spray water at Tobi who was standing in knee-deep water beside the shore of the dam.

Tobi’s brother Dylan, who was on the jet ski at the time, was also injured.

“As with any fatal crash, we will conduct a thorough investigation,” Superintendent Kev Guteridge said.

“We have a lot of statements to go through and we haven’t spoken to the father involved in the incident yet.”

4. Tiahleigh Palmer’s foster mother pleads guilty.

Julene Thorburn, 54, and her son Josh, 20, will face Beenleigh District Court at a date to be set after pleading guilty to one count each of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice over the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer.

Julene Thorburn's husband, Rick, has been charged with 12-year-old Tiahleigh's murder.

Her other foster brother, Trent, is facing charges of incest and attempting to pervert the course of justice.


5. Couple sue Bacchus Marsh hospital after baby death.

A Victorian couple are suing Barcus Marsh hospital.

Stacey Nadarajah, 34, and Ross Caldera, 35, have lodged a writ in the County Court claiming Djerriwarrh Health Services’ negligence caused the death of their baby and psychological injury to them in 2013.

The Herald Sun reports the 2013 stillborn death was investigated among the original cluster of 11 suspect deaths at the hospital. Authorities classed it as “unavoidable”.

Mr Caldera said though his baby’s death had changed him.

“It is frightening. I don’t even want to go and see a doctor any more. I just don’t trust them.”

The couple’s claim said Ms Nadarajah went to the service when she had concerns but that the staff could not operate the ultrasound machine.

Mr Caldera said his wife was told everything was OK and was sent home.

“About seven different people came in to try and use the ultrasound machine, but they didn’t know how to operate it,” he said. “They even pulled out the manual in front of us."

“Then they told us to come back the next day for the C-section.”

When they returned for the birth a different clinician used the ultrasound machine but could not detect a heartbeat.

6. Pope gives priests power to forgive the “sin of abortion."

Pope Francis has announced that Catholic priests can grant forgiveness to a woman who has previously had an abortion.

The move was announced in a letter to mark the end of the Vatican’s holy year of mercy. During this year Francis said that priests could forgive the sin of having an abortion.

In his lengthy letter marking the end of that year on Sunday, he said he would extend that option in perpetuity, beyond the special year.

“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must [state] that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”

7. Woman walks free on probation after having sex with her dog.

A young Brisbane woman, described by a judge as "repugnant" who pleaded guilty to having sex with her dog has walked free from court.

Judge Terry Martin sentenced Jenna Louise Driscoll, 27, to two-and-a-half years' probation for three counts of bestiality, and a wholly suspended two-and-a-half year jail term for trafficking.

Driscoll must undergo psychological and psychiatric treatment during her probationary period.

The Courier-Mail reports that the court heard Driscoll had been encouraged by her then-partner to have sex with her dog, film it and send him the footage.

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