SYN News at 4: 26 July 2013

Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:

  • The United Nations is troubled by Labor’s P-N-G proposal
  • Police hold grave fears for a child taken by knifepoint in Sydney
  • A train driver has been taken into custody in Spain after a crash that killed 80 people
  • And former Hey Dad Star has had his trial date set

 Good afternoon, I’m Jordyn ButlerAnd I’m Victoria Knauf. Welcome to SYN News at 4. The top story on SYN today, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it is troubled with Australia’s decision to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea.The U-N warns the deal could be in breach of International Law. A week after the P-N-G solution announcement, the U-N-H-C-R issued an assessment saying Australia was neglecting its responsibilities under the refugee convention. Almost 700 asylum seekers are eligible to be processed for resettlement in PNG. The U-N-H-C-R based the assessment on recent visits to P-N-G, saying there are significant shortcomings in the legal framework to humanely process asylum seekers.The report also highlights the socio-economic and cultural issues involved in integrating refugees into PNG. Helicopters have now been called in to help locate a baby boy stolen by his father at knifepoint in Sydney’s west last night.The child was taken from his home on Kent-hurst Place in Chester Hill around 8:30.The twenty-four year old father put the eight month old boy and sixteen year old mother into his 2007 black toyota camry. The mother was released from the car around 10 P-M on the Hume Highway, after he punched her in the face. The child was still in the car when he drove off.The man is of caucasian appearance, and around  one-hundred-and-seventy centimetres tall.Police are urging anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers. Video footage has been released of the train crash in Spain which killed at least 80 people while 94 remain in hospital.The clip depicts the train going into a sharp bend at high speed to then fall off the rails and smash into a wall next to the tracks.The impact caused one of the carriages to flow several metres into the air and land on the other side of a concrete barrier.Police took the train driver into custody in hospital on Thursday. According to the Galicia region supreme court, he is under formal investigation.The Spanish Prime Minister who is from the same town, extended his condolences to the families and those who had perished. “For a native from Santiago like me, believe me this is the saddest saints day of my entire life. In my name, in the name of the government of Spain, and in the name of all those Spaniards who might feel represented by what I am going to say, I want to offer my condolences to all families and friends of the people who died, of whom unfortunately there are too many.” A trial date has been set for former Hey Dad! star Robert Hughes, who has been accused of child sex offences. The actor made a brief appearance at Sydney’s Downing Centre district court this morning, where the trial has been set for February 11 next year. He is defending eleven charges involving five girls. Hughes played the lead role of Martin Kelly in the popular television series from 1987 to 1994. THE Victoria Police is in mourning today, after one of its celebrated Police dogs had to be put down due to a skin disease. The eight-year-old rottweiler, christened ‘Nat’, was regarded as one of the force’s most successful dogs, credited with saving numerous lives and stopping a would-be burglar at a factory in Thomastown. The dog’s handler, leading senior constable Matt Steele, said ‘unfortunately that’s the way it is with dogs, they don’t live long enough.’ Nat is believed to have been the last rottweiler serving on any police force in the country.Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey says he does not the trust pre-election budget update.The pre-election fiscal outlook, is going to be made public about 10 days into the official election campaign. But Mr Hockey says the Coalition will not be relying on the information provided by the government. Treasurer Chris Bowen is preparing an economic statement for next week, saying the Government is committed to returning the budget to surplus. Moreland City Council Mayor Oscar Yildiz wants to build a memorial for murdered woman Jill Meagher in Brunswick, ensuring her memory lives on.Mr Yildiz is leaving for Ireland as a tribute to Ms Meagher, who was murdered last year in an inner-city laneway.This comes after a roadside stone memorial, near where Ms Meagher was found, was removed by the local council in Gisborne South. Ms Meagher’s Husband, Tom Meagher, is now considering leaving Melbourne to return to Ireland. Heading overseas now:Thousands of protesters are on the streets in Cambodia ahead of this weekend’s election.Election monitors have been employed all across the country to ensure fair and free votes. Director of Comfrel Cambodia’s Committee for Free and Fair elections Koul Panha [KOOL PANYA] spoke to told ABC Newsline that media regulation is one of the key issues in the election process. “The ruling party control all the mainstream media, especially the TV and radio. Only there remain few independent radio that will allow many political party opinion.”TO the states now, and the only non-white juror on a panel of six women who acquitted George Zimmerman of killing an un-armed teenager, has said ‘he got away with murder’.But in an exclusive interview for Good Morning America, the Puerto Rican woman says she “could not find Zimmerman guilty of murder under the law as she understood it.”Zimmermen admitted to shooting Trayvon Martin, but insisted it was in self defence. And still in the United States, where the town of Chattanooga , Tennessee has been announced as America’s first ‘gig city’. Residents have access to internet speeds of one gigabyte per second, one hundred times faster than anywhere else in the country. Once considered America’s dirtiest city, the internet speeds have attracted companies such as Volkswagon and Amazon, who are now bringing investments and jobs to the town. Mayor Andy Berke says this is the next phase of the internet: “When you think about the gig, you think about the next phase of the internet, where we are headed, the gig has bought all that to our city”Closer to home, and one of the world’s largest viruses has been discovered in a La Trobe University pond.The virus named ‘Pandoravirus’ was discovered by a team of French researchers. The discovery has lead to the creation of a new virus family.The new virus has been named after Pandora’s Box because of its scientific possibilities. With almost two million D-N-A bases and over a thousand genes, with AIDS and influenza having 10 genes or less.  Queensland Rescue teams have freed a whale trapped in a shark net, just off the coast of Noosa’s main beach. The nine-metre humpback was spotted early this morning by surfers, with the rescue starting shortly after.The operation was a success with the whale heading back out to sea.Residents say is not uncommon for whales to come so close to the shore. A new superhero is set to make her debut on Pakistani television next month, fighting for girls right to education.  A  school teacher by day and the Burka Avenger at night, the superhero uses her powers to battle local gangsters trying to close down girl schools.  The fictional world of the Burka Avenger is similar for girls living in Pakistan, where Taliban militants have attacked activists campaigning for girls rights to education.  According to the U-N and government statistics published last year, nearly three quarters of young Pakistani girls are not enrolled in primary school.  And now here’s EDDIE WILLIAMS with sport. Thanks VICTORIA. Swimming’s governing body says it will hold mixed gender relays at official events, beginning later this year.FINA executive director CORNEL MARCULESCU says it will be a popular and interesting event, with plenty of tactics involved.Mixed events could feature at the 2015 world championships, or the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.The world’s fastest man, Jamaican sprinter USAIN BOLT, insists that he is a clean athlete, after high profile runners TYSON GAY and ASAFA POWELL recently failed drug tests.BOLT, who will race at the Diamond League in London today, told a press conference that he has been given a natural gift and has never taken drugs.Being modest as usual, BOLT also said that he was “made to inspire people.” In cricket, Pakistani-born leg-spinner FAWAD AHMED is continuing to press for an Ashes call-up, after taking two wickets in two balls for Australia A overnight.South Africa A is currently trailing by 198 runs, after Australia A posted a first innings score of five for 474.Australian hockey star DES ABBOTT has retired at just 26 years of age.ABBOTT scored 61 goals in 111 games for Australia, but has recently struggled with a knee injury.Coach RIC CHARLESWORTH has told Fairfax that ABBOTT was a “player of the highest quality” and will be hard to replace.In rugby union, QUADE COOPER has been recalled to the Wallabies squad, for the first time since September 2012.The forty-man squad includes a host of new names, but will be cut to thirty in August, ahead of a Test against the All-Blacks.To the AFL, and Richmond forward JACK RIEWOLDT has re-signed with the club for three years. And Finally my tips for round 18:Essendon v Hawthorn, Etihad StadiumGold Coast v Carlton, Metricon StadiumMelbourne v North Melbourne, EtihadCollingwood v GWS, MCGGeelong v St Kilda, Kardinia ParkFremantle v Adelaide, SubiacoPort Adelaide v Brisbane, AAMI StadiumWestern Bulldogs v West Coast, EtihadSydney v Richmond, SCGAnd now back to JORDAN with the weather. Thanks EddieTo the weather, And right now in the city, it’s fourteen degrees. We’re headed for an overnight low of 6, with a top tomorrow of 15 degreesSunday will be a chance of rain, 16 degrees.Monday: Partly cloudy and 17.And Tuesday there will be a chance of rain, and 15 degrees.And for those on public transport, the Frankston outbound train line is having delays with paramedics attending to an ill commuter. For trams, the disruption on Route 72 has been cleared.To recap our top stories this afternoon:

  • The United Nations is troubled by Labor’s PNG proposal
  • Police hold grave fears for a child taken by knifepoint in Sydney
  • A train driver has been taken into custody in Spain after a crash that killed 80 people
  • And former Hey Dad! Star trial date has been set

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 26th 2013
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