SYN News at 4: 21 August 2013

Coming up over the next fifteen minutes.

  • Sarah Cafferkey’s murderer sentenced to life in prison with no minimum term
  • Victorian donor children now able to learn the identity of their parents
  • Three teenagers in court over the death of an Australian baseballer
  • And the AFL releases the charges laid against the Essendon Football Club

 Good afternoon, I’m CHARLIE BARHAM. Welcome to SYN News at 4. Our top story today… The man who murdered 22-year-old Melbourne woman SARAH CAFFERKEY will die in prison, after he was today sentenced to life in jail, without parole. STEVEN JAMES HUNTER, 47, had just finished serving parole for another murder when he stabbed and bashed MS CAFFERKEY at his Bacchus Marsh apartment in November of last year. Supreme Court Justice KEVIN BELL said the murder was “in the worst category of the worst offence on the criminal calendar” and described HUNTER as “a serial violent offender.” Outside court, SARAH’S mother NOELLE DICKSON thanked the judge for the ‘courageous’ sentence, saying faith has been restored in the justice system.                                                                           To politics now, and it’s been another busy day on the campaign trail. EDDIE WILLIAMS has all of todays details. “The Old Twiggster. That’s how Prime Minister KEVIN RUDD referred to mining magnate ANDREW ‘TWIGGY’ FORREST at a press conference in Brisbane this morning. MR RUDD and Opposition Leader TONY ABBOTT are both in the Sunshine State, preparing for the second leader’s debate, which will be held there this evening. MR ABBOTT had a busy day, outlining his manufacturing policy, which includes $50 million in export market development grants, and $50 million for a manufacturing transition fund.He also announced five million dollars for NRL side the Brisbane Broncos. Labor has also pledged three million dollars for playing and training facilities at the Broncos Junior Rugby League Academy.       Fittingly, the Brisbane Broncos’ club will be the venue for tonight’s debate – a people’s forum where voters will ask the questions.    Meanwhile, the Greens announced a 550 million dollar rural mental health plan, and Clive Palmer invoked the ANZAC spirit during a Fairfax Google hangout, criticising the media for not giving his party a fair go.       ‘ANZACs died to give us a democracy … They (the media) won’t give us time, yet we’re standing in more House of Reps seats than either Abbott or Rudd at this election, and we’re the only other party that’s doing so… you don’t hear anything about us, we don’t get equal time.’ Giving Clive Palmer equal time, this is Eddie Williams for SYN News.”  Three teenagers have appeared in court in relation to the murder of Australian baseballer CHRISTOPHER LANE in Oklahoma on Friday. 15 year old JAMES FRANCIS EDWARDS and 16 year old CHANCEY ALLEN LUNA were remanded in custody, facing charges of first degree murder. 17 year old MICHAEL DEWAYNE JONES is charged with the use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon, and accessory to murder after the fact. LANE, who was studying in the US on a baseball scholarship, was out jogging when he was shot in a random attack, and died.The Federal government has begun sending asylum seeker families to Nauru, under a deal reached earlier this month. Seven Iranian families arrived at the tiny Pacific island nation today and will live in temporary marquee accommodation while their asylum claims are processed. Previously, the government had only sent single men to Nauru. The families will be kept separate from the single males, living seven kilometres away.Victorian donor children could soon be able to discover their biological parents. HASHELA KUMARAWANSA reports. “Victorian laws will be changed in a few years to allow donor children born before 1988 to discover the identity of their biological parents – but only if the donor consents. The proposed changes come after a lengthy inquiry which found that children’s rights should take precedence. Under current Victorian laws, the thousands of donor children born prior to 1988 are not entitled to any information about their donor. However, a little less than half of the donors who were contacted by the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority supported the move. HASHELA KUMARAWANSA, SYN News.”Council rangers will have more power to prevent dog attacks with the New South Wales Cabinet’s approval for a new classification of dogs – the “menacing dog”. Local Government Minister Don Page says a dog owner whose animal has been involved in a serious attack could be fined up to $77,000, or jailed for up to 5 years. The issue has been highlighted by the death of a two-year-old boy earlier this month after he was mauled at his grandmother’s home at Deniliquin in the Riverina region.Liberal candidate KEVIN BAKER has quit politics following offensive comments he made on a car web forum. MR BAKER has announced that he is no longer running for the New South Wales seat of Charlton which is currently held by retiring minister, Greg Combet. The web forum, ‘Mini-Mods’ included obscene comments about domestic violence, racism and child abuse. As early voting began on Tuesday, MR BAKER’S name will still appear on the ballot papers.Gaming wizzes around the world are celebrating, after Sony confirmed its much anticipated PlayStation 4 will go on sale in November. Here’s HASHELA KUMARAWANSA again. “The console will be available from November 15 in the US and will hit stores around the rest of the world, including Australia, from November 29. The Playstation 4 is Sony’s first new development in 7 years and has already more than 1 million pre orders worldwide. HASHELA KUMARAWANSA, SYN News.”US soldier BRADLEY MANNING will tonight learn of his sentence for the largest leak of classified documents in American history. MANNING could face up to 90 years in prison, after he provided more than 700,000 US documents to Wikileaks. He will be sentenced at around midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time.A US student who pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats against his school on a Tumblr blog, has been banned from social media for 5 years. 20-year-old CALEB JEMAAL CLEMMONS, a student at a college in Georgia, has spent the past 6 months in prison after his family was unable to pay the $20,000 bond ordered by the judge. After police found that Clemmons had no genuine intention to carry out any terrorist attacks, he was sentenced to 5 years’ probation. He has been ordered to stay off social media during that time.And bars in Denmark could soon run out of beer, due to a labour dispute at a brewery operated by Carlsberg.Carlsberg controls around 70% of the Danish beer market, and all of its draft beer in the country is produced at one brewery.130 brewery workers are currently on strike.———————————————————————————————————Closer to home, and a study conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has found that disadvantaged students are better off at better-performing schools. The study found that only 30% of disadvantaged students had a chance of finishing Year 12 in a low performing school, while completion rates increased to 80% when poor performing students attended schools with a strong educational background. Research general manager, Sue Ferguson, claimed the study proved that students could achieve anything, if their schools pushed them to reach their full potentials.In other news, 10 iconic sounds have been added to the National Film and Sound Archive.The new sounds include songs by RUSSELL MORRIS and indigenous artist ARCHIE ROACH, as well as a lyrebird imitating a video game, and the work of comedians Roy and HG.“Fancy being able to drive to Singapore all the way from Beijing without getting out of your car. Hooley dooley. Talk about a dream coming true.”And now here’s Alex Darling with sport. ALEX: Thanks CHARLIE The AFL has today released a summary of the charges laid against the Essendon Football Club and senior officials relating to its supplements program of last year.The Statement of Grounds of charge, dating back to last Tuesday, details how from August 2011, Essendon was “determined to implement a supplements program to its players” that pushed the legal limits. Other revelations of the charge sheets include that players were to receive 1500 injections of AOD-9604 and Thymosin and more than 16,500 doses of Colostrum, and that the program was implemented without the input of “appropriately qualified people”. AFL boss Andrew Demetriou fronted the media just after 2pm today, explaining why he felt is was appropriate the AFL release the charges. “This is consistent with the views that I’ve expressed in recent weeks: That the charges should be released given the amount of information and speculation which has been for the public domain for the past 6 months.” Coach James Hird, Assistant Mark Thompson, football manager Danny Corcoran, Dr Bruce Reid and the Essendon Club were charged on the grounds of bringing the game into disrepute last week. They were originally meant to face these charges on Monday August 26, but were yesterday granted more time to prepare by the AFL. AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick has also called for a meeting of the 18 AFL Club Presidents for 3pm tomorrow at AFL House. The extent of the charges are expected to be discussed during the meeting. In recent developments Chairman Paul Little and James Hird have just commenced a press conference at South Yarra’s Olsen Hotel, while ASADA has denied advising any party that AOD-9604 was “permitted in sport”, and maintained it is Not approved for human use. In other footy news, St.Kilda forward Ahmed Saad has begun a provisional suspension under the AFL Anti-Doping code. It was learned Saad inadvertently took a banned performance enhancing substance after he delivered an irregular sample to a routine drug test month. In a statement on its website, St.Kilda said Saad was not available for selection in the last two matches of the season, and would continue to co-operate with the AFL and ASADA as necessary. And midfielder Andrew Embley has announced his retirement from AFL.  After 249 games and 15 years with West Coast, Coach John Worsfold said Embley will most likely play the final 2 matches of the year, including his 250th and then a farewell match against Adelaide in the final round. Embley won the Norm Smith medal as the best player in the 2006 AFL Grand Final, when the Eagles last won the premiership. To cricket, and Tasmanian all-rounder James Faulkner is set to make his test debut in the final Ashes at the Oval Wednesday. The 23 year old, who replaces Usman Khawaja, will bat at No.7 under considerable pressure, having never made a first class century in his career.  The Australians are hoping Faulkner can inject some toughness into the Australian side with his left-arm seam bowling. Mitchell Starc also returns in place of Jackson Bird. In the latest reshuffle of the Test team’s batting order, Shane Watson will bat at number 3 and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin at 6. But captain Michael Clarke defended Australia’s rotation policy, saying they’re just trying to win every test they play. Clarke also said Australia’s senior players need to lead by example on-field, so that their younger teammates can start to learn a winning culture. And the two female Russian athletes who kissed during the World Athletics championships in Moscow on Saturday have said their lingering kiss on the medal podium was not a protest against Russia’s recently passed anti-gay law. Russian athletes Ksenia Ryzhova and Yulia Gushchina locked lips after receiving their gold medals for winning the 4×400 metre women’s relay on the final day of the championships, prompting speculation it was an act of defiance of the law in support of LGBT rights.  But Ryzhova insisted on Monday that the kiss was a display of “happiness for our team”, and added that she and Gushchina are nothing more than good friends who are both married. The Championships were seen as a trial for Russia’s hosting of next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, where authorities are expected to enforce the law against “homosexual propaganda”. And CHARLIE, thats sport.CHARLIE: Thanks ALEX. To the Weather Currently it’s 14 degrees in the city, with late showers predicted tonight. We’re headed for an overnight low of 9, before a wet and cold Thursday, a top of just 14 degrees. For those on public transport this afternoon, the South Morang services have been altered. Train services will not stop at Keon Park due to a police request, however, shuttle buses have been ordered and will operate between Reservoir, Keon Park and Thomastown.  Commuters on the Alamein line can also expect delays after the cancellation of several Flinders Street services.Recapping our top stories this afternoon:

  • Political campaigning continues ahead of tonight’s second leader’s debate
  • Australia begins sending asylum seeker families to Nauru
  • Bradley Manning awaits his sentence
  • And Essendon chairman Paul Little and coach James Hird currently addressing the media in South Yarra

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.

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