SYN News at 4: 15 July 2013

Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:National diabetes week and the disease that could be a key election issue,The safety of Australia’s airspace in question,The world pays tribute to deceased Glee actor Cory Monteith,,And Apple demanded to pay up after a Chinese woman electrocutes herself while using her iPhone Good afternoon, I’m CHRISTINE LI. And I’m ALEX DARLING. Welcome to SYN News at 4. The top story on SYN today,   National Diabetes Week kicked off yesterday. Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a media statement about a study which found that around 1 million Australians have been diagnosed with diabetes. The study is to be released in 3 weeks, but statistics published by Diabetes Australia suggest the number of people with diabetes who have not been diagnosed pushes the total number up to 1.7 million. Add to this the number of people with pre-diabetes, and the number swells to 3.2 million, over one-eighth of Australia’s total population.  Australia continues to feel the effects of type 2 diabetes. An estimated 290 people develop the chronic disease every day, it is the 6th leading cause of death in Australia, and the total financial cost of the disease to the health system is over $14 billion. It’s for these reasons that Nicola Stokes, CEO of the Australian diabetes Council predicts diabetes to be a key issue at this year’s federal election. “Research from the Australian Diabetes Council shows that Diabetes is a core issue for Australians living in key electoral battlegrounds, with 1 in 2 people saying the government isn’t doing enough to help them manage the disease and its complications. The government needs to heed this cry for help from the 1.16 million voting age Australians diagnosed with diabetes: they are looking for the tools to help them manage their disease. This is an urgent issue and we need to act now: We expect the number of people with diagnosable diabetes to reach 2.65 million people by 2018.”Diabetes Australia launched its “Face of Diabetes campaign” on Sunday, aimed at raising awareness of diabetes and emphasising the human face of the disease. A sufferer of type 1 diabetes herself, peer support co-ordinator at Diabetes Australia Kelly Rossman has this to say of the campaign. “I think it will definitely formulate a plan and get people to take action, because sometimes if you don’t have any plan put in place, it’s really hard to take those steps in doing something about it. So it would definitely help in that regard.” And you can hear that full interview on Panorama at 4:30pmCHRISTINE:The Federal Government announced on Sunday its plans to scrap the carbon tax and rebrand it as an Emissions Trading Scheme next year. The move to float the carbon price is part of the original emissions reductions timeframe but will go ahead a year early. It’s expected to save households who spend $200,000 on electricity a year up to $150, depending on how low the new price drops. Labor’s current scheme prices carbon emissions at about $24 a tonne. The change will mean a drop in this price to between six and 10 dollars a tonne, and will mainly be subject to fluctuations in the carbon trading market. Treasurer CHRIS BOWEN spoke to the ABC: “Were responding to two things. We’re responding to the change in the Australian economy, the rapid transition away from the mining boom, and the need to stimulate non-mining investment, we’re responding to that, and we’re responding to people’s concerned to the cost of living” Most businesses have welcomed the plan. A survey done by the Australian Industry Group shows that 70 per cent of businesses have been unable to pass costs of the carbon tax onto customers. The policy turnaround has taken opposition MPs by surprise, with TONY ABBOTT calling the switch “a con job”. Greens Leader CHRISTINE MILNE has accused PM KEVIN RUDD for trading serious climate change policy in for political votes.ALEX:A report into Australia’s air traffic control system has revealed serious safety problems with the way Australia’s airspace is controlled.   Australia’s air safety regulator the CIVIL AVIATION AND SAFETY AUTHORITY, or CASA, has found a number of problems with Australia’s major provider of air traffic control, AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA. CASA has become increasingly concerned with the operation of government owned AIRSERVICES in recent years, with hundreds of incidents reported, a significant number of these resulting from  poorly trained staff.  While CASA has vowed to audit AIRSERVICES on a regular basis, it says it wants more power to impose fines or take enforcement actions to force the provider to clean up its act.   Australian and International Pilots Association vice president CAPTAIN RICHARD WOODWARD says the report is concerning.“It’s not nice to see the Australian system has that many faults. But when you read it closely you find there’s been a bunch of management issues that have brought this about, but also a lack of trained controllers”In a written statement, AIRSERVICES says it’s continuing to implement all of the 35 recommendations made to it by CASA.   ALEX: In breaking news; Michael Allen Jacobs has become the first man ever to be sentenced to life in prison under NSW’s new mandatory sentence for murdering a police officer. Just after 3pm today, Jacobs was found guilty of shooting Senior Constable David Rixon when Rixon pulled him over for a breath test near Tamworth in 2012.CHRISTINE:Student debt and poverty rates have hit a record high according to a report released today by Universities Australia. The report indicates two-thirds of students have reported incomes below the poverty line.  Student debt has also soared by around 30 per cent in the last six years. It comes after the federal government cut $1.2 billion from higher education as well as converting start-up scholarships into loans.  Greens Higher Education spokesperson Senator LEE RHIANNON says it’s disappointing an increasing number of students are going without food or other necessities. She says due to the chronic underfunding, many universities have resorted to charging students extra money for textbooks and increasing on campus accommodation costs. New tertiary education minister KIM CARR says the door remains open to reconsidering the cuts made to university funding. ALEX:In other news, thousands of commuters are missing out on unclaimed compensation for late services.  The Victorian opposition says rail commuters are more than $1 million out-of-pocket, with about 300,000 people eligible for compensation last year.  Commuters can request to be compensated if less than 88 per cent of trains run on time in one month.  The opposition says commuters need to apply online but the process should be simplified.  President of the Public Transport Users Association TONY MORTON says it appears the online scheme is a cost saving measure for the government. CHRISTINE:The daughter of born-again PM Kevin Rudd has likened Australian Parliament to Mean Girls. In an article for Cleo magazine, Jessica Rudd expressed her frustration with the political vitriol of lower house, comparing it to the 2004 film about bitchy American high school girls starring Lindsay Lohan. “Wednesday nights are party night, Thursdays are for gossip – who hooked up with who, who got so blotto they were barely awake for question time.” part of the article reads. Ms Rudd is currently a novelist residing in Beijing, and became a Cleo columnist at the start of this year. ALEX: Tributes from friends and fellow stars continue to pour in for drug-affected Glee actor CORY MONTEITH, who died on Saturday at the age of 31. MONTEITH’S body was found by hotel staff in his hotel room in Canada shortly after midday local time.  Police confirmed the actor’s death soon after,but the Acting Police Chief of Vancouver said the cause of death wasn’t immediately apparent and there were no signs of foul play. DEMI LOVATO and JUSTIN BIEBER were among the stars who took to Twitter to offer their condolences for both Monteith and Glee co-star and fiancee LEA MICHELE, while Glee director ADAM SHANKMAN told CNN he was similarly devastated by what had happened, especially considering he had heard from Montieth himself he was “doing amazing” only the day before. MONTEITH completed voluntary treatment for substance abuse in April, and had experienced drug problems from the age of 19.CHRISTINE: Two separate studies in the UK and New Zealand have linked a high-sugar diet and alcohol to cancer. The NZ report, commissioned by the ALCOHOL ADVISORY COUNCIL and researched by OTAGO UNIVERSITY in Dunedin, concluded that of 35 health conditions related to drinking, breast cancer is the leading cause of death amongst women in New Zealand. In a media release by Otago University,general manager of the NZ health promotion agency DR ANDREW HEARN said the results were a valuable addition to existing evidence about the impact of alcohol on people’s health. Meanwhile in Scotland, scientists of EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY have published a study that links a high-sugar, high-fat diet with bowel cancer.  The study identified fizzy drinks and high energy snacks as new risk factors for the disease, while a professor of the university said more research was required before it could be proven that poor diet caused colorectal cancer. Other risk factors for bowel cancer are tobacco, family history and low exercise.ALEX:  At the end of bullfighting season in Pamplona, Spain, and a 23 year old Australian woman has been wounded as a spectator during a trampling scene on Saturday described as a ‘human pile-up’. The nine day fiesta involves releasing six bulls into the city’s narrow streets, and has sent 50 people to hospital for injuries of varying severity this year. Fifteen people have been killed since the yearly celebration began in 1911.CHRISTINE: A girl in northern China has died of electrocution after answering a call on her iPhone while it was charging. Her family, which resides in Xinjiang province, has demanded compensation from manufacturer Apple. However it has yet to be confirmed whether the electric discharge was caused primarily by the mobile phone. Apple has released a statement expressing condolences to the victim’s family._________________________________________________________________ ALEX: Harry Potter author J.K. ROWLING posed as and published a book under the pseudonym of ROBERT GALBRAITH, supposedly a former undercover investigator. The crime novel titled The Cuckoo’s Calling was hailed as one of the best debut detective novels of recent years before the author’s real identity, Rowling, was outed by the Sunday Times. While the novel initially sold 1,500 copies, it has quickly shot to bestsellers’ charts since the revelation. ROWLING said anonymous publication was ‘a liberating experience’. And now here’s CHRISTOPHER TYLER with sport. CHRIS: Thanks ALEX Well it was a controversial end to what was largely considered a controversial Test Match, with England dismissing Australian wicket Brad Haddin through deferral of the DRS to take the First Test in Trent Bridge by only 14 Runs. The task ahead for Australia heading into Day 5 was simple: score 137 more runs without losing four more wickets and you take an important one test lead in the series. After newly dubbed Aussie sensation Ashton Agar was dismissed for 14, with Mitchell Starc and Victorian Peter Siddle to follow, Australia looked in dire straits and in need for another dose of tenth wicket luck. Last wicket pair Haddin and Pattinson got within 14 Runs and set for a famous victory, before a well-pitched-up delivery from England quick Jimmy Anderson forced a sweep shot by Haddin, clipping the bottom of his bat and sailing through to wicket keeper Matt Prior. The ball however, was not called out by umpire Aleem Dar until England captain Alistair Cook decided to use their remaining DRS Challenge to challenge the call to which the third umpire gave a wicket for the final, controversial wicket of the opening test. The second test will be in Lords this Thursday.To the AFL and Geelong’s Stevie Johnson and Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich will both have nervous waits after their weekend victories, as they stand to find out their fate at the MRP Tribunal following two separate incidents over the weekend.Johnson was involved in an unsightly incident where he appeared to drop his knee to the upper body of an unexpecting Nathan Jones in the second quarter. Johnson has a historically bad record with the MRP and still has 70 Carryover points from previous incidents.Pavlich, in his second game back from long-term injury, was reported after making high contact with Eagles defender Mitch Brown. A suspension would sideline him for his team’s big clash with Richmond at the MCG on Sunday. Fremantle Coach Ross Lyon said that he had not seen the incident.Hawthorn forward and out-of-contract superstar Lance Franklin says he expects to play against the Western Bulldogs this weekend after having scans on his injured knee on Monday. Franklin missed the game against Port Adelaide in Adelaide over the weekend but said that one week on the sidelines will be enough.The Melbourne Storm would be glad that Origin period is just about all over after a devastating 39-0 loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs in a 2012 Grand Final replay. It was the first time the Storm had lost and failed to score since the 2008 Grand Final, and the fifth biggest loss in club history. The Storm fielded a very inexperienced side, with four players having ten games of experience or less. Storm Coach Craig Bellamy said his side was disappointed and embarrassed by their performance. The Storm have a bye next week.Australian Lleyton Hewitt has missed out on claiming his first ATP title in over three years after going down 5-7 7-5 6-3 to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in the final of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Sunday. Former world No.1 and Wimbledon and US Open Champion Hewitt is seeking his 29th title and the first since he won on grass at Halle in 2010.In what is a great coup for Australian Baseball, Sydney-born Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour has been named to play in this week’s MLB All-Stars game, becoming only the second Australian to play in the exhibition match since Dave Nilsson in 1999. Balfour, who turns 36 this December, currently holds a franchise-record 43 consecutive saves for Oakland dating back to April 29 last year. He has notched 25 straight saves this season and has been an integral part of the A’s surge to the top of the American League West.CHRIS: And now back to CHRISTINE with the weatherCHRISTINE: Thanks Chris. Melbourne reached a top of 17 degrees just after 2pm today. At the moment it’s 11 degrees. We’re headed for an early morning low of 9 before a partly cloudy day on Tuesday with a top of 18 degrees.ALEX: If you’re taking the train this afternoon you can expect good service across all metropolitan lines.To recap our top stories this afternoon:Carbon tax to be dumped a year earlyMillions of dollars in unclaimed compensation for late trains,Statistics show Student poverty and debt rates at record highs in AustraliaAnd Australia’s suffers a hart-breaking loss in the first Ashes TestCHRISTINE: 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. 

July 15th 2013
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