1. The three boys accused of the murder of Australian baseballer Chris Lane have appeared in court in Oklahoma. Two of them – 15-year-old James Alan Edwards and 16-year-old Chancey Luna – have been charged with first degree murder.
They face life in prison without parole if convicted. 17-year-old Michael Jones has been charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree. The court heard that Edwards had a ‘‘cold and callous’ attitude toward the murder.
2. Self-harm amongst young women is on the rise in Australia. According to shocking new statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the number of women aged between 15 and 24 who have self-harmed so badly that they require hospital treatment has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past decade.
3. A plan for female Indonesian high school students to undergo virginity tests has been dismissed by government officials. The plan was proposed by an education official, in an attempt to discourage premarital sex and protect young people from entering a life of prostitution. Happily, he’s been met with protest from other officials, who say that such a policy is discriminatory and violates human rights.
4. Tennis champion Maria Sharapova is seeking permission to change her name for a fortnight during the US Open to ‘Sugarpova’. The athlete approached the Supreme Court of Florida, and asked that she be able to change her name, because she wants to endorse her lolly brand Sugarpova while playing on television. Sharapova has reportedly invested $US500,000 into the novelty lolly brand and plans to expand into fashion and cosmetic items.
5. An Iranian woman has been disqualified from her position on the city council in the Qazvin province, because her colleagues considered her to be “too attractive”.
27-year-old Nina Siahkali Moradi won an alternate seat in election, but her colleagues have fired her on the basis that they “don’t want a catwalk model on the council.”
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has released a statement saying that, “according to reports, the reason for her disqualification has been stated as ‘non-observance of Islamic codes.’ It is said that her election campaign posters are the basis of her disqualification’.”
6. The Liberal Party has ended a preference deal in the upcoming election with the Christian Democratic Party, after a CDP candidate described homosexual men as having a “lower life span” than straight men.
The CDP’s Andrew Green was running in the seat of Lindsay, whose Liberal Party candidate Fiona Scott was described last week as having “sex appeal” by Tony Abbott.
7. There has been a new record set for the most-tweeted moment of all time. The reason is one that might surprise you: It was a screening of the 1986 anime film Castle in the Sky on Japanese television. Apparently, fans of the film all planned to tweet the word “balse” at the same time that the word is said in the movie – resulting in 143,199 tweets in one second. The previous record was just 33,388.
8. A pair of 83-year-old German twin sisters, Anna and Maria, have died on the same day at the same nursing home. Apparently at 5am on August 10, Anna died from liver cancer. Maria cried out in her sleep when her sister died, then also died several hours later, without ever waking up to learn of her sister’s death.
9. A woman in Florida must have been embarrassed recently when she called the police, thinking she had been sent a bomb in the mail because her parcel was vibrating. In actual fact, the package contained a pink dildo – which had switched itself on. A sheriff spokeswoman revealed to the press: “It was a pink plastic adult novelty item, with some type of a plastic rabbit attached to it … The recipient says she did not order it.”
Have you seen anything else that’s making news, which you’d like to talk about?