SYN News at 4: 14 August 2013

Coming up over the next fifteen minutes.

  • Abbott says majority is sick of minority
  • A man claims he strangled a sex-worker to death “by-accident”
  • An Indonesian University grants scholarships to detained Afghani asylum seekers
  • And D-Day looms for the Dons

 Good afternoon, I’m CHARLIE BARHAM. Welcome to SYN News at 4. To politics first…The Greens are hopeful that they can retain the seat of Melbourne, despite Tony Abbott’s decision to preference the party behind Labor in every lower house seat. EDDIE WILLIAMS explains. Tony Abbott believes Australians are sick of minority government. “I think the Australian people have come to a very firm conclusion that minority government was an experiment that failed, and the last thing that they want, and that you the people want, is another hung parliament and another minority government.” That’s one of the reasons why the Liberal Party has jumped off the Bandt-wagon and decided to preference the ALP ahead of the Greens. “I have today instructed the Liberal Party organisation right around Australia that we should put the Greens last.” Greens MP ADAM BANDT won the seat of Melbourne in 2010 off the back of Liberal Party preferences, and today’s announcement puts his re-election campaign in jeopardy. But MR BANDT isn’t fazed, telling SYN’s Panorama that he can still win the seat against Labor’s candidate CATH BOWTELL. “It’s unsurprising, we expected that Labor and Liberal would do a preference deal in an attempt to try and get us out of the seat, and we’ve been planning our campaign to win in our own right, and it won’t matter what they do on preferences.” Voters are in no way obliged to follow the How-to-vote card given out by candidates on election day. Meanwhile, Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD has followed MR ABBOTT, promising that he will not form a coalition government with minority parties or independents.      EDDIE WILLIAMS, SYN News.         And Thanks to the ABC for some of the audio in that report.       For more of that interview with Adam Bandt, stay tuned to SYN for Panorama at 4.30. Well, as preferences rule electoral chatter today, Nobel Prize recipient Brian Schmidt is calling on both political parties to make a stronger commitment to science investment. “Australians are looking to be inspired. Science is inspiring. And I would encourage the political parties to inspire us in the coming three and a half weeks before the election, and science would be a good place to do it, because in the end Australia would win if we do that.” Professor Schmidt spoke to SYN News earlier today, saying that Australia should invest 2.2 per cent of its GDP into science. He also called for governments to take a long-term approach to scientific investment. “Because science and innovation is really a ten or a twenty year project, rather than having things happen on a three-year election cycle, we really need a longer-term five or ten year approach.” Professor Schmidt won the Nobel Prize for physics in 2011, for discovering the universe is expanding in size at an increasing rate.The man accused of murdering Melbourne woman Johanna Martin has told the Supreme Court he choked her by accident during sex.Steve Constantinou is pleading not guilty to murdering sex worker MS MARTIN, better known as Jazzy O, by strangling her. MR CONSTANTINOU told the court today that MS MARTIN was wearing a thick dog dollar when she collapsed. His lawyers don’t dispute that he dumped her body and pawned the gold jewellery she was wearing.The six month long Essendon supplements scandal came to a head last night. Following last Friday’s release of the AFL-ASADA investigation into the clubs’ supplements program, coach James Hird, assistant Mark Thompson, Doctor Bruce Reid, Danny Corcoran and the club itself were charged by the AFL for bringing the game into disrepute. AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon described the charges at a press conference last night: “They were all charged with engaging in conduct which is unbecoming, or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL, or to bring the game of football into disrepute.” The hearing for these charges has been scheduled for August 26, the Monday before the last round of the home and away season, and Essendon chairman Paul Little quickly assured supporters and those involved at the club they will “vigorously defend the charges” via a video message. All four charged will remain at their positions at Essendon in the lead up to the hearing. No players have currently been issued infraction notices, and club captain Jobe Watson said the playing group felt vindicated in their belief they had not done anything wrong. But the case is far from closed. Today, ASADA said the Essendon investigation will continue and the AFL says further charges may be laid if more information emerges. Police are refusing to comment on claims that a man was arrested over the case of missing Boronia girl Siriyakorn “Bung” Siriboon.Channel 10 reported that a man was taken into custody but released soon after.Police are continuing the search for clues about the case at Old Joes Creek Reserve in Boronia.Today is the third day police and SES volunteers have scoured the large site after receiving new information in the 26-month investigation.Homicide squad head detective John Potter says nothing related to the case has been uncovered yet.Moreland mayor Oscar Yildiz says the husband of murdered Brunswick woman Jill Meagher is returning to Ireland. MR YILDIZ says TOM MEAGHER will return to Ireland at the end of the month to touch base with his family. MR MEAGHER will meet with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine this week to discuss the concerns about the parole system.A former junior basketball coach has been sentenced to eight years in jail for sexually abusing four girls between 1999 and 2000. 37-year-old SHANNON FRANCIS pleaded guilty to the charges, and will serve a non-parole period of five years.Gun advocates have attacked a proposal by the Greens to ban imports and possession of semi-automatic handguns. RACHAEL ADAMS from the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia says the plan won’t work. “The Greens’ plan that they have put out today where they’re saying that they will ban semi-automatic handguns and that will in turn reduce firearm related theft and violent crime, only targets licensed firearm owners. We’re not talking about license firearm owners when we’re talking about thefts and violent crimes. We’re talking about criminals with illegal firearms who are performing crimes.” The Greens’ plan also includes a 12-month gun buyback scheme. And you can hear more of the interview with RACHAEL ADAMS on Panorama after 4.30.————————————————————————–An Indian submarine carrying 18 sailors has sunk after catching fire near a Mumbai port. A rescue operation has begun, but the cause of the explosion which sparked the fire is not yet known. There are no reports of casualties. The sixteen year old submarine had recently returned from Russia, where it had undergone repairs.In a surprising announcement an Indonesian University has granted scholarships to two young Afghan asylum seekers who have been living in immigration detention.  Sajjad 18 years old, and AMAR 19 years old have managed to complete their schooling,  achieving outstanding marks during their 2 year stay in the North Sulawesi detention centre.  The two students are said to be planning studies in Agriculture and IT.Norway’s main intelligence agency has stopped Apple from taking aerial photos of Oslo for its maps app. The Norwegian National Security Authority says the level of detail in photos of restricted zones poses a risk to national security. Apple is yet to respond to an offer from the body to buy lower quality photos from the Norwegian map authorities.An airport in Chicago has hired a team of goats, sheep, donkeys and llamas to help keep the grass short. Long grass has been a problem for the airport, as it attracts small rodents, which thereby leads to birds of prey hunting in the area. Airport commissioner Rosemarie Andolino has told AFP that “birds and planes don’t mix.” The herd of grass-cutting animals will cost $19,000 over two years.And now here’s Alex Darling with sport. ALEX: Thanks CHARLIE First to AFL: Brisbane has confirmed Paul Roos is a front runner to be the club’s new coach, after it was learned yesterday the club planned not to extend the contract of current coach Michael Voss beyond this year. At a press conference explaining the decision to sack Voss earlier today, club chairman Angus Johnson confirmed the club had approached Roos six weeks ago about his interest in the job Roos coached Sydney to a premiership in 2005. Johnson also said the club would appoint a new coach by the end of the week, though Brisbane assistant Mark Harvey has been named the interim coach of Brisbane for the rest of 2013. Voss’ sacking ends his 4 years as coach of Brisbane, prior to which he captained the club to 3 consecutive premierships in the early 2000’s. And finally in footy news,  The management of Hawthorn superstar Lance Franklin have confirmed his Instagram account was hacked last night, while ABC reported the same fate of Dale Thomas’ twitter account just after 3:30pm today. The logo of the Greater Western Sydney giants appeared on Franklin’s account next to the post “My soon to be new home”, prompting online speculation that the free agent Franklin had accepted an offer to play at the club worth up to $12 million over 6 years. The post included the hashtags moneyoverloyalty and sozhawks, and this comes barely a week after Franklin publicly stated he wanted to stay at Hawthorn though had not put pen to paper. Meanwhile, the ABC reported “Thomas’s account tweeted on Wednesday: “thanks for the good times pies, decieded (sic) today that im not going to be here next year #futureandbeyond #carnnorrff #oobars”But a club spokesman said: “Daisy (Thomas) knew nothing about it. He’s been hacked.” ”Both Franklin and Thomas are expected to play in Friday night’s match against Hawthorn and Collingwood. In cricket, the Australian womens’ side is having the same difficulty as their male counterparts in the parallel Ashes test match, with a draw the most likely outcome heading into the fourth and final day today. The Southern stars were on track to win having knocked 331 and reduced England to 6-172 in the first innings.  But a record 7th wicket partnership by English batsmen Heather Knight and Laura Marsh drew the home side to within 17 runs of Australia before the final wicket fell. Australia go into the final day with an 81 run lead and 9 wickets in hand, needing to post a respectable total and take 10 wickets of their own to win. In other sports news, at the world athletic championships in Moscow overnight, Zoe Buckman has become the first Australian ever to make the final of the women’s 1500 metres, to be run tomorrow night. Athletics Australia dubbed Buckman’s performance “stunning”, though the crowd was more amazed by American 400 metres runner LaShawn Merritt, who took out the final of the event in 43 seconds. And boxer Anthony Mundine announced today that he will fight American “Sugar” Shane Mosely in Sydney this October, with more details to follow. Mundine declared the fight to be a “huge and defining moment” via facebook. And now back to CHARLIE with the weather. CHARLIE: Thanks ALEX, and quickly if you’re into sport journalism I’d recommend tuning into GET CEREAL on Monday morning, as the best in the business, Tony Jones from Nine News will be joining Taylor, Rez and Charlie, live in the studio. To the Weather At the moment it’s 9 degrees in the city, with scattered showers predicted to develop tonight. We’re headed for an overnight low of 7, before a fine Tuesday with patches of Sun, a top of 17 degrees. For those on public transport this afternoonAnd in particular those on the Sunbury line wondering why there are long delays, Train services were stopped in both directions due to a police request at a quarter past 3 this afternoon. Trains have since been given the all clear, Metro predicted delays of up to 25 minutes.To recap our top stories this afternoon:

  • A Nobel prize winner asks the Major parties to invest more in Science
  • Reports of an arrest over the case of a missing Boronia girl still unconfirmed
  • A Chicago airport brings in Llamas to help the goats to catch the rodents to stop the birds
  • And AFL stars grapple with hacked twitter accounts

That’s all for our bulletin this afternoon. But when we’re off air, you can keep up with the news by following us on twitter at News SYN. Panorama’s coming up at 4.30 and we’ll be back with an update at 5pm. 

August 14th 2013
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