Friday's news in under 5 minutes.

1. Woman set alight by partner speaks in court.

A Tasmanian woman who was doused in petrol and set alight by her partner says she will forever remember the smell of her own burning flesh.

Leesa Jacobs was hospitalised with burns to 20 per cent of her face and upper body after her partner of 18 months, Michael John Price, set her alight in the garage of their Austins Ferry home last June.

Price is currently being sentenced, having plead guilty to committing an unlawful act intended to cause grievous bodily harm and three counts of assault.

In a victim impact statement read by the prosecutor, Jacobs said: “The memory of the falling flesh will never leave me … the smell of burning hair and flesh … my daughter trying to save me from him … and my clothes melting into my flesh.”

The court also heard that Price had previously choked Jacobs, hit her across the face and broken her wrist in the months before setting her alight.

He will be sentenced next month.

2. Calls for Senator Arthur Sinodinos to resign following Free Enterprise Foundation scandal.

Labor has called for NSW Senator Arthur Sinodinos to walk away from politics for his connections to the 2011 election donor scandal.

According to the NSW Electoral Commission, donations hidden through Canberra’s Free Enterprise Foundation were in breach of state electoral laws. The corruption watchdog is refusing to pay the Liberals the $4.4 million in funding until the party provides details of where – and who – the money came from.

The Liberal’s NSW division has been waiting to hear findings from the hearing since 2014, and has said they will comply with the commission’s instructions.

“I have written to the commission this afternoon seeking their assistance in resolving any areas of uncertainty about the legal status of donors in the 2010/2011 period,” said a spokeswoman on Thursday night.

“The NSW division has already publicly acknowledged and apologised to the people of NSW for these matters.”

NSW Premier Mike Baird has also publicly condemned the party members, but is calling for people to move on from the debacle.

“They (the NSW Liberals) have done the wrong thing. It is unacceptable,” Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney.

“We have to cop it on the chin, and we need to get on with it.”

3. The hunt is on for the second bomber at Brussel’s Maelbeek metro station.

Police believe a second suspect was involved in the bombings that shook Maelbeek metro station earlier this week. According to Belgain broadcaster RTBF, police are closing in on their hunt.

“According to our sources, there was a second man in the suicide attack in the metro,” RTBF reported.

“We already knew that Khalid El Bakraoui blew himself up in the metro at Maelbeek station. RTBF has learnt this morning that another man is suspected of having taken part in the deadly attack.

“He was spotted on security cameras carrying a large bag. His identity isn’t known at the moment. Did he die or is he on the run? The question remains open.”

You can watch one of the survivors of the Brussels attacks speak about her experience below (post continues after video).


Video via BBC

4. Debris almost certainly a piece of MH370.

Image via Australian Transport Safety Bureau/Blaine Gibson.

Australia’s Transport Minister Darren Chester has confirmed that two pieces of aeroplane debris that washed ashore in Mozambique “almost certainly” belong to missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Both segments were found by members of the public before being flown to Australia for analysis earlier this week, almost two years after the Boeing 777 disappeared.

“That such debris has been found on the east coast of Africa is consistent with drift modelling performed by CSIRO, and further affirms our search efforts in the southern Indian Ocean,” said Mr Chester.

Australian-led search vessels have been combing the region since late 2014, but have so far failed to locate the wreckage or remains of any of the 239 passengers on board.


A further 25,000 square kilometres are still to be scoured before the search effort is called off in July.

5. Australian bishop calls for colleagues who failed to address child sexual abuse to resign.

Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffery Robinson, from Australia, has called on Pope Francis to request resignations from every bishop who has failed to properly address cases of child sexual abuse.

The now-retired priest said there needs to be “death and resurrection” and that the church must act if it is to restore trust and credibility. The suggestion, if enacted by the Pope, would signal the resignations of hundreds of bishops worldwide.

robinson priest abc news
Image: Screenshot via ABC News.

“Every bishop who has ever been responsible for the abuse of a child, because he did not do what he should have done, should be asked to resign,” Bishop Robinson said in an interview with ABC Radio religion specialist Noel Debien.

“The church has lost almost all credibility,” he said.

“It has got to be seen to be confronting anything and everything which has contributed.”

Bishop Robinson, a progressive in his field, also recommends the church “get rid of obligatory celibacy” and a shift in the role of women .

“Women must be brought into every level of the church in a far, far greater way than they are,” he said.

Bishop Robinson was a key component in the church’s response to child sexual abuse by priests between 1994 and 2003.

6. New Zealand votes to keep its current flag with a British Union Jack as opposed to a native silver fern.

Whether New Zealand should change its national flag been hotly debated within the nation for years. Now, the results are in.

A nationwide poll has revealed 57 per cent of the population prefer to keep the current British Union Jack, which has been the national symbol since 1902, rather than replace it with a native silver fern.

The proposed silver fern design was selected from more than 10,000 entries submitted by members of the public. Interestingly, support for the current flag was strongest in Maori electorates, receiving 78.5 per cent of the votes in Te Tai Tokerau and 77,5 per cent in Tamaki Makaurau.

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