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Thursday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Genuine ‘vampires’ too afraid to tell doctors of blood-sucking habits for fear of stereotyping, study finds.

People who identify as vampires and believe they need to ingest blood for energy don’t seek support from doctors for fear of ridicule and a possible mental health diagnosis, a study has found.

Idaho State University sociologist Dr D.J. Williams found ‘genuine vampires’, who seek out others’ blood to gain energy (as opposed to ‘lifestyle vampires’, who wear black and fake fangs), did not disclose their habits to physicians due to expected negative reactions, Reuters reports.

Dr Williams has studied self-identifying vampires for close to a decade and says they come from every walk of life, including doctors, lawyers and candlestick makers.

vampires fear stereotyping
Image via Facebook.

He said they are “successful, ordinary people”, but always feel very tired.

The study – based on responses of 11 self-identifying vampires – found fatigue is the main reason they find a consenting adult to cut and ingest blood from.

“The real vampire community seems to be a conscientious and ethical one,” Dr Williams said.

“Most vampires believe they were born that way; they don’t choose this.”

There are believed to be thousands of self-identifying vampires globally.

2. Consumer authorities try to shut down a ‘rip-off’ toy website

Authorities have issued an official public warning about a toy website in response to complaints from furious customers who haven’t received the toys they paid for.

The investigation into Toy Palace, or toypalaceaustralia.com.au, has been led by Consumer Affairs Victoria on behalf of fair trading bodies around Australia, news.com.au reports.

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3. The driver who caused the fatal Ravenshoe café explosion ‘heartbroken’ after learning of the tragedy.

The 60-year-old ute driver who crashed into Queensland’s Ravenshoe café was heartbroken when his family told him about the tragedy, his son says.

Mr Scutt reportedly has no memory of the blast, with the Courier Mail reporting it remains unclear if he had some form of a heart attack or a stroke just before the crash.

Last month, Brian Scutt lost control of his car, which hit a gas bottle at the café and caused an explosion that injured 20 people and killed two, cafe manager Nicole Nyholt and Margaret Clark, 82.

James Scutt says his father, who remains in a serious condition, was “pretty much heartbroken”, the ABC reports.

vampires fear stereotyping

“He was crying – he’s got no idea.”

James said his father had thought he was in hospital for a kidney transplant he had years ago.

“We’ve informed him what’s happened and he’s taken it about as well as you can imagine,” he said.

“He’s obviously very upset that it’s affected everyone and we’ve told him that people have passed away. We haven’t informed him who yet because we just want him to focus on getting better at the moment.”

“I know no-one’s really blaming him but mentally it’d be pretty tough to walk back there.”

4. Hotels secretly film guests having sex with hidden cameras and sell the recordings.

Zimbabwean resorts are using hidden cameras to secretly film guests having sex and then selling the recordings, an ex-employee claims.

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“The idea is being engineered by Nigerian business people who install the equipment in the rooms and capture unsuspecting clients in the act,” the man told myzimbabwe.co.zw.

vampires fear stereotyping
Zimbabwean resorts are using hidden cameras to secretly film guests having sex .

He said sometimes the owners of the accommodation are unaware of the dodgy dealings as crooked staff members allow the criminals, who pay them up to USD$1000 per week.

Sex workers are also allegedly in on the ploy and take clients to the rooms where cameras are hidden.

The man says tourists around Bulawayo should avoid rooms with light curtains or with ‘broken’ light switches that cannot turn off – all signs that the lighting has enhanced for filming.

5. Bill Shorten failed to declare a $40,000 election donation from 2007 until a few days ago.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has denied waiting to see whether a 2007 donation of his election campaign manager’s $40,000 salary would be raised in the trade union royal commission before declaring it this week.

While giving evidence yesterday, Mr Shorten said he submitted the documents “within the last 144 hours” after seeing papers provided by the Royal Commission, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The commission heard Mr Shorten – then Victorian and national secretary of the Australian Workers Union – had his 2007 campaign manager paid for by a Victorian labour hire company called Unibuilt.

vampires fear stereotyping
The commission heard Mr Shorten had his 2007 campaign manager paid for by a Victorian labour hire company called Unibuilt.
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But Mr Shorten did not declare the salary as a donation until recent days.

Not declaring an election donation is a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of a year’s jail.

He said he notified the Australian Electoral Commission “within the last 144 hours or last Friday or Monday or Tuesday. What I did, once I’d seen all the Royal Commission papers, I’ve gone back, or sought advice, I worked out what needed to be done and I’ve now completed that.

“I would also say, and it’s not in the matter of an excuse, but periodically campaigns do update their information and political parties do.”

6. Down Syndrome woman becomes the face of an activewear brand.

Aussie model Madeline Stuart has landed a deal as the face of American activewear brand ‘Manifesta‘.

Maddy — who has down syndrome — hit headlines last year when she started a campaign for diverse models.

madeline stuart
Madeline Stuart for Manifesta. Image: Facebook.
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Now, Mail Online reports the 18-year-old from Brisbane has caught the eye of the international market.

“For years Madeline has fought against the struggles, both internal and external, that go along with Down syndrome,” the Manifesta website states.

“Through dance, swimming, and cheerleading she has worked to strengthen her heart and body.

“And through her modeling career, she has forced many to reconsider the conventional standards of beauty.”

7. WA slammed for its treatment of homeless people.

People have slammed a WA arts centre for using sprinklers to deter homeless people seeking shelter around the building.

The WA Department of Culture and the Arts has taken responsibility for the decision to use motion-sensor sprinklers outside the King Street Arts Centre in Perth.

channel nine homeless sprinklers in perth
Outside the King Street Arts Centre in Perth. The sprinklers rain down on this area. Image: Channel Nine.

However, today The Guardian has reported that Western Australian police minister Liza Harvey said the presence of homeless people is a result of charities not “doing their jobs properly.”

“The accommodation is there, the support services are there, the not-for-profit groups are there, the money’s flowing into the system,” she said.

“Clearly if there’s homeless people sleeping on King Street, those people aren’t doing their jobs properly.”

Watch today’s news in 90 seconds:

Video via ABC News

Do you have a news tip? Email us at [email protected].
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