Saturday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Prestigious Sydney private boys’ school rocked by sexual abuse. 

Trinity Grammar School has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse amongst Year One boys, after a six year old boy was removed from the school, and eight others offered counselling.

The abuses allegedly involved the boys removing their clothes and performing sex acts on each other in the toilets and the playground while they were supposed to be supervised. It is alleged that the instigator encouraged three other boys to engage in sex acts with at least four other victims.

Parents of Year One students were only made aware of the shocking events after the school holiday period began through an email from the Head Master, Mr Milton Cujes. Parents were therefore ineligible for a refund of their $18,000 school fees if they removed their sons for the new year after hearing the news.

The school contacted the Department of Family and Community Services after being contacted by a parents in mid-November. While an investigation was underway, the instigator was allowed to remain at school.

These recent allegations are not the first for the private school. In 2001, Year 10 borders were charged for sexual assault on younger boys using a wooden dildo. Just last year, former teacher Neil Futcher was charged with multiple offences including the indecent assault of students as young as 11.

2. French drug trial leaves one brain dead, five hospitalised. 

The French Health Ministry is investigating what it calls a “serious accident”, following an early stage clinical trial that has left one participant brain dead and five others hospitalised.

At least four of the patients may be permanently disabled with neurological damage, while one victim does not have symptoms, but remains under medical surveillance.

The company conducting the trial, Biotrial International, said on its website that it was administered “in full compliance with the international regulations and Biotrial’s procedures were followed at every stage throughout the trial.” It says it was “in close and regular contact with the Health Authorities and Ministry in France.”

The first patients to fall ill began showing symptoms on Sunday and were hospitalised in the city of Rennes. The testing has now been stopped, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said at a news conference on Friday. Health authorities have also been reaching out to the rest of the volunteers to let them know about these adverse effects. There is no known antidote.

The drug is a painkiller that is supposed to treat anxiety and motor disorders. Earlier testing involved animals, and while animals can react similarly to humans, their bodies can process substances differently.


Such extreme adverse reactions to drugs in these early phases of drug trials are incredibly rare.

3. Indonesian police raid homes of terror suspects.

Indonesian police have raided the homes of two men allegedly linked to the horrific terror attacks in Jakarta that left seven people dead, while an international manhunt is underway for the Islamic State militant believed to be behind the gun and suicide bomb attacks.

Five extremists launched the assault in the Indonesian capital, detonating explosives and shooting at people in a district packed with malls, embassies and United Nations offices.

Police have named Bahrun Naim as their key suspect.

Naim was arrested in 2011 for illegal possession of arms and was jailed for three years. Police say he then emerged as a key player in militant networks that have emerged across Java.

Islamic State have also claimed the attack.

4. High rate of self-harm in Australian detention centres.

Asylum seekers in Australian detention centres are self-harming at alarming levels.

In the 12 months leading to July last year, there were 706 acts of self-harm in Australia’s onshore detention centres, and over 240 incidents of self-harm among asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.

The incidents included asylum seekers swallowing poisons such as insect repellent, Fairfax reports.

Others bashed their heads on walls and doused their bodies with boiling water.

At a Senate inquiry in August, Transfield, the company contracted to run the centres, reported 253 incidents of self-harm on Nauru between September 2012 and April 2015.

5. NSW Greens MP stopped at LAX airport. 

NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi was stopped and interrogated at LAX airport by immigration officials, before being permitted to enter the country.

Dr Faruqi was travelling to the US to investigate drug law reform. She says she and her husband were passing through immigration control when they were stopped as they handed over their passports.

“[M]y husband and I were questioned about how ‘we got’ our Aussie passports, then sent off to the interview room and interrogated separately about why we were in the US and my links to Pakistan,” Dr Faruqi said via a statement.

Born in Pakistan, Dr Faruqi migrated to Australia in 1992 with her young family. She has called this incident as a case of ‘racial profiling’.


6. Sean Penn breaks silence on his interview with El Chapo.

Hollywood actor Sean Penn has opened up about his trip to Mexico to conduct his infamous interview with drug kingpin El Chapo.

The cartel leader was recaptured last week, and Penn made headlines when Rolling Stone published his account of visiting the kingpin in hiding last October, sparking rumours the interview had led to El Chapo’s recapture.

Penn told CBS that his visit had nothing to do with Guzman’s recapture.

“There is this myth about the visit that we made, my colleagues and I with El Chapo, that it was — as the Attorney General of Mexico is quoted — ‘essential’ to his capture,” Penn said. “We had met with him many weeks earlier … on October 2nd, in a place nowhere near where he was captured.”

In an email exchange with the Associated Press about his meeting with Guzman, Penn said, “I’ve got nothin’ to hide.” But he told CBS he has “a terrible regret.”

“I have a regret that the entire discussion about this article ignores its purpose, which was to try to contribute to this discussion about the policy in the War on Drugs,” Penn said.

7. Joy ride rampage in Victoria. 

30 cars were smashed in a 40 minute joy ride as a man allegedly drove erratically across Melbourne’s north-east and inner-north on Thursday afternoon.

Police received a deluge of triple zero calls between 4.30pm and 5.10pm across the city.

Police believe the white Holden Astra crashed into dozens of parked cars, as well as cars stopped in traffic

A 23-year-old man from Wonga Park was arrested in Princes Park, Fitzroy North. He was interviewed, but released pending further inquiries.

8. Chris Gayle launches legal fight against Fairfax. 

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has launched three separate defamation actions agains Fairfax Media over claims he exposed himself to women, which he strongly denies.

His lawyers are suing The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Canberra Times over one page splashes “falsely claiming he acted indecently during the 2015 World Cup”.

The proceedings are listed for directions at the NSW Supreme Court on February 26.

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