Friday's news in 5 minutes.


1. Australian schoolgirl “lured to the US for sex” by a convicted killer.

An American man accused of meeting a 16-year-old Australian girl on Snapchat and enticing her to the US for sex is behind bars in a New York jail.

Sean Price, a 39-year-old with a long criminal history and who lived with his mother in the New York borough of Queens, is charged with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, AAP reports.

Price’s bail bid in a Brooklyn court on Wednesday failed.

US prosecutors allege Price met the girl – from Sydney’s upper north shore – on the Snapchat app in October last year and later transferred $US1500 ($A2011) to her in Australia. It is alleged he was also soliciting explicit images of the teenager.

Last month the girl, described in court documents as “Jane Doe”, vanished from home and flew to Los Angeles while Price flew to LA from New York to meet her, according to authorities.

Homeland Security Investigations said they allegedly hired a car and drove across the US and that the man was aware of the teenager’s age.

Agents received a tip-off from Australian authorities on May 11 the girl, who had been reported missing by her parents, was believed to be in Queens.

Last week NYPD officers went to Price’s home and while his mother answered the front door Price and the girl allegedly attempted to flee out a back door, but when they were spotted they attempted to hide in the basement.

Price reportedly has 11 prior convictions including criminally negligent homicide for the death of a passenger in a car crash.

2. Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died by suicide, medical report confirms.

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell took his own life at the age of 52, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office has announced.


Cornell was found dead in his Detroit hotel bathroom on Wednesday night after playing a concert in the city with the grunge band.

“The cause of death has been determined as suicide …A full autopsy report has not yet been completed,” the Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement after conducting an initial autopsy, AAP reports.

Cornell’s publicist Brian Bumbery said earlier that the singer’s death was “sudden and unexpected.”

Detroit police spokesman Dan Donakowski said that officers were called to Cornell’s hotel around midnight by a friend of the musician and found Cornell “laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away.”

Anyone affected by this story should please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

3. New York driver ploughs into pedestrians at Time Square, killing one and injuring 22 more.

A former US Navy veteran who appeared intoxicated has driven his car the wrong way up a Times Square and ploughed into pedestrians on the footpath, killing a teenager and injuring 22 other people, authorities and witnesses said.

The driver, Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx resident, was taken into custody and is being tested for alcohol.

The 18-year-old killed at the scene has been identified and witnesses have come forward to describe their horror. READ MORE: CLICK HERE.

4. Sydney patients screened for TB after man’s diagnosis.

Nearly two dozen patients at two Sydney hospitals are being screened for tuberculosis after they were potentially exposed to the disease.

It comes after a man in his 30s was recently diagnosed with TB after attending Royal Prince Alfred and St Vincent’s Public hospitals between February and April.


His symptoms were not typical of TB when he presented to doctors, the NSW Health Department said on Thursday, AAP reports.

Twenty-two people in the same ward as the man are being screened as a precaution.

The department’s director of health protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty, sought to reassure the public and said TB was not easily spread from person to person.

5. Ben Cousins has been assaulted by fellow prison inmates in Perth.

Fallen AFL star Ben Cousins has reportedly been set upon by other inmates at a Western Australian jail for refusing to take part in a football match.

The 38-year-old former West Coast Eagles captain was allegedly assaulted by a group of men inside the jail in Perth after he said he would not join in the game, the Nine Network’s Footy Show said on Thursday night.

But a lawyer for Cousins – who is serving a one-year prison sentence after repeatedly breaching a violence restraining order – said he was not assaulted for refusing to play, Seven News reported on Friday.

6. Centrelink’s controversial debt recovery program will expand.

Centrelink is pushing on with plans to expand its controversial automated debt recovery program from July, despite renewed calls for the welfare agency to halt its scheme while apparent flaws are fixed.

A Senate inquiry into the so-called robo-debt scandal has wrapped up after hearings across the country over the past three months, AAP reports.

Labor Senator Murray Watt says while adjustments have been made to the automated system, “deep flaws and very grave doubts about the validity of the system” remain.


More than 200,000 people have so far been snared by the system and at least one in five debt notices have been wrong.

The welfare agency has so far used the automated system to examine people’s wages declared to the tax office but from July 1, also intends examining income from assets and investments.

The looming expansion is expected to generate $980 million over three years.

Senator Watt fears aged pensioners will be caught up in the widened scheme.

6. Court ruling on Brisbane chef who killed and cooked his girlfriend in murder-suicide.

Queensland’s coroner is due to hand down his findings into the death of a Brisbane chef who took his own life after killing and cooking his Indonesian partner, AAP reports.

Marcus Volke murdered transgender escort Mayang Prasetyo at their upmarket inner-city unit on October 2, 2014.

The Brisbane Coroners Court earlier this week heard that Volke left the Teneriffe flat several times to buy a cleaver and cleaning products including bleach, scrubbing brushes and garbage bags.

He fled and took his own life after police knocked on his door to investigate reports of a foul smell.

State Coroner Terry Ryan is expected to rule on Friday as to whether the officers involved in trying to find and detain Volke shortly before his death adhered to Queensland Police Service policy and procedure.

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