Your speedy update on all the day’s big stories Tuesday, April 15 2014
Fears for a whooping cough mutation
Experts are concerned the current whooping cough vaccine may be deemed ineffective, after a study by NSW researchers found the bacteria that causes whooping cough has mutated. The study revealed up to 80% of whooping cough cases were caused by mutated bacteria, which has stopped producing partactin – one of the proteins targeted by the current vaccine. It’s now even more important for babies to be immunised so they don’t become exposed to the mutated bacteria. Peter McIntyre, an author of the study, said that, “Immunisation is still the best and only way to protect against the most extreme cases of the disease … but the effectiveness is waning and the bug mutation could be contributing to the vaccine wearing off faster.”
The British author behind the popular children's book series 'Horrible Histories' has revealed he placed messages to kids inside his books to warn them that school is a 'waste of time.' Despite selling over 25 million books based on history, Terry Deary told the Sunday Times he's been purposefully "poisoning the minds of children." Deary says his dislike of school comes from the days of his own education: "[T]he teachers put my back up. They kick conformity into children. Teachers are just bullies and schools are a waste of time. They're an ancient Greek idea that the Victorians borrowed to get kids off the street. It's fundamentally wrong." Deary believes children should be educated through mentor programs that are designed to suit their specific needs and skills.
If you look up to the moon tonight you will notice it bearing a deep red/orange colour. This is due to a syzygy: the perfect alignment of the sun, earth and moon. According to National Geographic the moon appears red because sunlight passes through the earth's atmosphere causing it to refract and seem red. The eclipse only occurs every few years and will be most visible tonight (though those in Perth will miss out). The best times to catch the blood moon will be between 5:48pm- 7.03pm in Adelaide, 5:27 -7:33 pm in Brisbane, 6:41-7:33 pm in Darwin, 5:33-7:33 pm in Hobart, 5:49-7:33 pm in Melbourne and 5:38 and 7:33 pm in Sydney.
A young mum has been accused of running a multimillion-dollar drug business while on maternity leave. Sarah Hannan, 27, was reportedly controlling the finances for the business, which runs off underground cannabis plantations, and if found guilty will be the first woman to be convicted for running this kind of get-rich scheme. Mrs Hannan and her alleged drug-dealing husband Ben own a $1.1 million mansion on the Gold Coast and seemed to be normal parents. Police, however, report the Hannans filled 17 accounts with over $1 million over the past two years to paint an impression of a family business. Mrs Hannan reportedly worked the accounts while Mr Hannan worked the hydroponic crops in the hidden plantations.
Pharrel cries happy tears with Oprah
Awarded singer and producer, Pharrel Williams, has broken down crying during an interview with Oprah Winfrey over the success of his song 'Happy.' Pharrel teared up as he watched fan-made videos of his song. The 41-year-old Grammy winner was overwhelmed by the videos and also by how the world has embraced a song he wasn't sure he should believe in. Watch Pharrel finally realise that his hard work has paid off...