1. The first victims of the Florida school shooting have been named, including a hero teacher who died shielding students.
The first victims of yesterday’s massacre at a Florida high school have been identified through social media.
Teenage student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Jaime Guttenberg, who attended the school alongside her brother Jesse, was fatally injured when the gunman opened fire yesterday afternoon, shortly before school ended.
Posting to Facebook, her father Fred Guttenberg said his “heart is broken”.
“Yesterday, Jennifer Bloom Guttenberg and I lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school. We lost our daughter and my son Jesse Guttenberg lost his sister. I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this. Hugs to all and hold your children tight.”
Another student, Alyssa Alhadeff, has also been reported dead after her cousin, Melissa Dibble, appealed for help locating her on social media.
“If anyone has a connection with an ER Doctor at any of the hospitals near the shooting- please have them look for our cousin. Her name is Alyssa Alhadeff and we have family members at each hospital. Prayers needed,” the plea for help read, alongside a picture of Alyssa with her grandfather.
Shortly after, an update from Alyssa’s family on social media said she had died, with another cousin Ariella Del Quaglio saying she’s “at a loss for words”.
As well as this, a message from Alyssa’s soccer club read: “To Alyssa’s friends, honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa!”
The school’s aquatic team is mourning the death of student Nicholas Dworet and released a statement saying: “It’s with a heavy heart that we have to announce that our family member, teammate, TS Aquatics swimmer Nick Dworet has passed away.”
His girlfriend, Daria Chiarella, also shared a photograph of Nicholas to social media.
The school’s assistant American Football coach, Aaron Feis, was reportedly killed when he dived in front of a pupil to shield the child from the gunman’s bullets.
According to the school’s head football coach Willis May, a student said Feis jumped between her and the attacker while pushing her through a doorway to safety, BBC reports. Another student said Feis “took several bullets to cover for other students”.
“He died a hero,” the football team wrote to social media.
Can everyone please take a second to pray for my coach today he took serval bullets covering other students at Douglas . pic.twitter.com/8AMG7t6tpH
— Charlie Rothkopf (@RothkopfCharlie) February 14, 2018
Another teacher, Chris Hixon, was reportedly killed in the shooting and praised by Broward County schools superintendent Rob Runcie for his heroism, also.
“He gave his life for our kids and probably helped prevent this from being a worse tragedy,” Runcie said, CNN reports.
There are 17 people confirmed dead following the shooting. Of the victims, the Broward County Sheriff said 12 had been identified, News Corp reports.
“I’m absolutely sick to my stomach to see children who go to school with backpacks and pencils lose their lives,” Sherriff Scott Israel said. “We will not be releasing the names of any victims until every family and every parent is notified accordingly.”
There are still bodies left in the school, CNN reports, and another 15 people are receiving treatment after being injured in the attack.
2. “If anyone was going to do it, it was going to be him.” Florida shooting suspect posted disturbing content online.
Florida shooting: Teachers ‘were warned’ about Nikolas Cruz https://t.co/2kWoNOM9ve
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 15, 2018
The suspect in the deadly rampage at the Florida high school is a troubled teenager who posted disturbing material on social media before the shooting.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who is being held on 17 counts of murder, had been expelled a year ago from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for “disciplinary reasons”, AAP reports.
“I don’t know the specifics,” the sheriff said.
However, Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior, said Cruz was expelled last school year after a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. She said Cruz had been abusive to his girlfriend.
“I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him,” Olvera said.
Daniel Huerfano, a student who fled Wednesday’s attack, said he recognised Cruz from an Instagram photo in which Cruz posed with a gun in front of his face.
Dakota Mentcher, a 17-year-old junior, said he used to be close friends with Cruz but hadn’t seen him in more than a year following his expulsion from school. He recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he had talked about doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.
“He started progressively getting a little more weird,” Mentcher said. “He started going after one of my friends, threatening her, and I cut him off from there,” Mentcher said.
Jim Gard, a maths teacher who said Cruz had been in his class last year, said he believes the school had sent out an email warning teachers that Cruz shouldn’t be allowed on campus with a backpack.
“There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus,” Gard said.
3. PM enforces sex ban for ministers and staff, saying it “probably should have happened a long time ago”.
.@MsFionaScott: The standard you walk is the standard you accept. What Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm is saying here is a manager having sexual relations with a staff member is inappropriate behaviour.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 15, 2018
Ministers have been banned from having sex with staff members after a strident Malcolm Turnbull made changes to the ministerial code of conduct, AAP reports.
The Prime Minister said Barnaby Joyce’s “shocking error of judgment” in having an affair with his former staffer Vikki Campion and ensuing scandal had prompted the move.
“I have today added to the standards the very clear and unequivocal provision that ministers, regardless of whether they are married or single, must not engage in sexual relations with a staff member,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
“Ministers should be very conscious that their spouses and children sacrifice a great deal so they can carry on their political career and their families deserve honour and respect,” he said.
The Prime Minister said sexual relationships with staff was “very bad workplace practice”.
“You know what attitudes in the corporate world and elsewhere are to this kind of thing. It is about time that this change was made. Probably should have been made a long time ago,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister is taking leave and Mr Turnbull told Mr Joyce to consider his position after his affair.
“He has set off a world of woe for those women (his family) and appalled all of us,” Mr Turnbull said.
4. “Hey cancer, f**k you.” Julia Louis-Dreyfus responding well to cancer treatment.
Hoorah! Great doctors, great results, feeling happy and ready to rock after surgery. Hey cancer, “Fuck you!” Here’s my first post op photo. pic.twitter.com/5LPlbzpiI3
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) February 14, 2018
Julia Louis-Dreyfus says she is “ready to rock” following her recent breast cancer surgery.
On Wednesday, Louis-Dreyfus posted her “first post-op photo” on Instagram and Twitter, saying “Hoorah! Great doctors, great results, feeling happy and ready to rock after surgery. Hey cancer, ‘f- you!'”
The Seinfeld and Veep actress announced in September that she had been diagnosed with cancer and has been giving updates on her health via social media for the past six months.
Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay and Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba were among the stars offering their support for her post-op photo in the Instagram comments.
Louis-Dreyfus, who recently broke the record for the most Emmy wins in the same category, after snagging her sixth trophy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for Veep, has also used her diagnosis as an opportunity to advocate for universal healthcare in the US.
5. Guilty verdict for rapist who said his victim had “implied consent” by kissing him.
Courtney Lakay has been found guilty of raping a 24 -year-old woman as she slept beside him in bed after they met hours earlier and kissed on the dance floor of a Perth nightclub. https://t.co/8DkprsvvJI
— The West Australian (@westaustralian) February 15, 2018
A man has been found guilty of raping a woman as she slept beside him in bed after they met hours earlier and kissed on the dance floor of a Perth nightclub.
Courtney Donald Lakay had been on trial in the WA District Court, charged with sexual penetration without consent over the May 2015 incident.
Lakay, then aged 30, raped the 24-year-old woman as she slept beside him in the spare room of her friend’s Doubleview unit.
He had argued the woman gave consent, but the jury returned a guilty verdict on Wednesday night, AAP reports.
The victim cried while testifying during the trial in a pre-recorded video played to the jury.
The woman explained she went out with a female friend to Northbridge, then they met up with her friend’s boyfriend at a nightclub in Burswood where he was out with a group of male friends, including Lakay.
At the end of the night, the four of them returned to her friend’s home and she told Lakay he could sleep next to her.
She said Lakay gave her a “peck” on the lips but she pulled away and fell asleep in the foetal position, waking up later to find Lakay raping her.
The woman said she remained still and closed her eyes because she “didn’t know how to react”.
6. Queensland MP Brittany Lauga takes daughter into parliament, paves the way for all MP parents to follow.
Qld Parli resolve to ignore rule that officially forbids children on the floor after @BrittanyLauga becomes first MP to breastfeed in parli #qldpol Follow QT rolling coverage here: https://t.co/oDTyDo6Frs
— The Courier-Mail (@couriermail) February 15, 2018
Breastfeeding and caring for young children will be allowed in Queensland Parliament after new Speaker Curtis Pitt opted to ignore rules preventing non-MPs on the floor.
Mr Pitt said parliament would simply judge on a case-by-case basis, and use common sense, rather than overturning the existing standing orders.
“I believe there is a collective will that this standing order not be enforced so as to enable very small children to be in the chamber when their parent is on the floor and care is needed, so long as there is no disruption to the house,” Mr Pitt told parliament on Thursday, AAP reports.
The issue was sparked when Labor MP Brittany Lauga brought her infant daughter onto the floor of parliament on Tuesday during the swearing-in ceremony, which was technically a breach of the standing orders.
“I’m happy with the fact that I can now take my baby into the chamber to feed her when she needs to,” Ms Lauga told reporters on Thursday.
“I think that today’s ruling says that in our parliament that we’re prepared to make sure that young children can be fed.”