Wednesday’s news in 5 minutes.

Video via Channel 7

1. 23-year-old woman charged with raping a cab driver at knifepoint.

Brittany Carter, a 23-year-old from Ohio in the United States, has been charged with raping a taxi driver at knifepoint, BBC World News reports.

Police say she performed a sex act on the 29-year-old while a 20-year-old man, Corey Jackson, held a knife to the driver’s throat on January 28 this year, at around 4:24 am.

Police allege the duo then stole AU$42 from the victim before fleeing the scene.

“We don’t know why she did it,” police Lieutenant Robert Ring told reporters, adding that the sex act could have been used as a “distraction” to steal money from the man.

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Carter, who was arrested after the driver reported the incident, now faces first-degree felony rape and aggravated robbery charges. She is also accused of heroin possession.

Her alleged accomplice is still at large and there is a warrant out for his arrest. He is facing charges of two first-degree felonies: aggravated robbery and complicity to commit rape.

2. Infamous killer and rapist ‘willing to take testosterone-lowering meds’ in order to be free.

A man who has spent more than 30 years in a Queensland jail is so desperate for freedom he is willing to take medication to “reduce the intensity of his sexual impulses”, The Courier Mail reports.

Mark Richard Lawrence was convicted of manslaughter in 1991 for the murder of Julie Ann Muirhead on Boxing Day 1983, a crime that was described as an “enactment” of his rape and murder fantasies.

He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, and was given extra time after he raped a fellow prisoner.

The Brisbane Supreme Court was told yesterday that Lawrence was willing to undergo testosterone-lowering treatments to aid in his release.

The court was told that Lawrence first began using the medication in 1991, but stopped a year later after he “started to grow breasts”.

“I was turning into a female,” he told the court, before adding that he was :”happy to take these medications and abide by the law” if it was going to make “everyone safe”.

The court heard that Lawrence should begin treatment while still behind bars, after being assessed for his suitability for the medication.

3. President Donald Trump has put North Korea “clearly on notice”.

President Donald Trump has put North Korea “clearly on notice” that he will not tolerate certain actions but will not telegraph US moves in advance, a White House spokesman says.

Spokesman Sean Spicer was responding on Tuesday to a question about a Trump Twitter post earlier in the day that read: “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! USA”.

“The president is not one to go out there and telegraph his response…,” Spicer told a news briefing, AAP reports.

“He has made it clear with respect to North Korea that … their actions with respect to missile launches is not tolerable. The last thing we want to see is a nuclear North Korea that threatens the coast of the United States or for that matter … any other country.”

Tensions have escalated sharply on the Korean peninsula, with talk of military action by the United States gaining traction following its strikes last week against Syria, while there are concerns the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.

North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States.

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the US invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the US mainland,” it said.

Trump’s tweet came after he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Florida last week and Trump pressed Xi to do more to rein in North Korea.

 

4. A British DJ just hosted the ‘highest party on Earth’ on Mount Everest.

A British DJ has successfully hosted the ‘highest party on Earth’ when he played for 100 climbers decked out in full climbing gear at Everest base camp, The Guardian reports.

Paul Oakenfold, a three-time Grammy nominated artist, pulled the stunt to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his famed trip to Ibiza that sparked a huge revolution in British youth culture.

Oakenfold, 53, trekked for 10 days to reach the base camp, which lies at an altitude of 5,380 metres above sea level, before mixing his beats on a makeshift stone stage.

“It was truly amazing,” the DJ told AFP of his experience.

“I feel very lucky to have played here. We did a wonderful event and had people from all over the world. I feel very blessed.”

The 53-year-old had never trekked before the trip, and trained for four months before he arrived in Nepal for the record-breaking gig.

Funds raised from his performance will help survivors of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, which killed nearly 9000 people.

5. Sydney baker jailed after he sexually assaulted two women looking for jobs.

A Sydney baker, once known for baking the best bread in Western Sydney, has been jailed for six years after he used his business to lure women and sexually assault them.

9 News reports 40-year-old Habibullah Afghan-Baig sexually assaulted one woman and indecently assaulted another in July and August of 2015.

The father-of-two met the women after they applied to advertisements online seeking work.

The baker lured the women to his business promising good pay and work conditions before he sexually assaulted them.

During his trial, the court was told one attack was captured on CCTV from his store and lasted 30 minutes.

He was arrested in August 2015 and charged with four counts of indecent assault and three counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

6. Three platypuses decapitated in ‘despicable act of cruelty’ in Albury.

Three platypuses have been deliberately killed in the past five weeks in a “despicable act of cruelty” in the NSW-Victorian border town of Albury.

The dead native animals were found by workers at the town’s Botanic Gardens, a Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service spokeswoman told AAP.

“It’s a bit of a mystery at this stage,” she said.

“They’re (platypuses) quite elusive and they’re also incredibly hard to catch, so we’re really nonplussed about how anyone could have even captured them to begin with let alone harm them.”

WIRES Murray River secretary Hazel Cook told The Border Mail two of the platypuses were found decapitated, “with a sharp object appearing to have been used”.

“You could see were (sic) it was cut, where the spine was cut,” she said.

“You can actually see where they’ve tried to cut into the vertebrae.”

National Parks and Wildlife Service is investigating the incidents and is appealing for information.

“These animals appear to have been deliberately killed in a despicable act of cruelty to one of Australia’s most loved animals,” it said in a statement.

It’s believed the platypuses were dumped in the Gardens because they’re not normally found in the waters there, a spokeswoman said.

Harming native animals is an office under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and carries penalties including an $11,000 fine and six-months imprisonment.

7. Police find body of a man in a ute at a Townsville servo.

Townsville police have discovered the body of a man, believed to be aged in his 50s, in a ute parked at a service station in Queensland’s north, The Townsville Bulletin reports.

It’s believed the man had been dead for “a day or two” before he was found lying in the back of his ute.

District duty officer Scot Warwick said it appeared the man had been “travelling and sleeping” in his car, and authorities are currently working to identify him.

Police are still working to determine what led to his death.

The body has been transported to Townsville Hospital where a Coroner’s report is expected to be prepared.

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