SYN News

SYN News at 4: 28 October 2013

New fire education debated as more teens are charged with starting blazes around New South Wale
Calls to reform the way alcohol is taxed
Man gets pissed in unconventional sense
And Sebastian Vettel pays up after winning a fourth Formula 1 world championship
Good afternoon, I’m RUSHANI EPA
And I’m EMMA JENSEN. Welcome to SYN News at 4.

EMMA: First today, a survey has found Australian women continue to believe in disproven BREAST CANCER MYTHS and still do not take possible measures to reduce their risk.  CANCER AUSTRALIA released the findings in conjunction with the 20th annual PINK RIBBON BREAKFAST for October’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.  Cancer council CEO, professor HELEN ZORBAS says she is concerned that a large number of women in the survey indicated they believed in the disproved myth that antiperspirant can cause cancer. She went on to say that although genetic and age susceptibility are beyond control, women should not disregard recommendations to make positive lifestyle changes. ZORBAS said: “Evidence shows that being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol intake all significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.”

SHANI: Two teens have been arrested for starting a fire on the north-central coast of New South Wales, after lighting a homemade bomb. Police reported the two 16 year olds lit the explosive device and thrown it into vacant lot, and though the pair tried to extinguish the blaze it quickly spread to the bushland surrounding the town of Port Macquarie. Emergency authorities were called to extinguish the blaze around 1pm on Sunday. The pair have been released while investigations continue, but the third case of teenagers deliberately starting fires in New South Wales in the past week has ignited calls for a new approach to fire education. Mayor of Maitland Peter Blackmore suggested local fire brigades visit schools to teach children how to start fires safely, and Janet Stanley from the Monash Sustainability Institute suggests there is need for more awareness of the consequences of lighting fires by children: “With a child it might just be an accident, you know, it’s fun to watch a fire. You light it and in the circumstances that we’ve got at the moment with climate change it gets away when it probably wasn’t meant to get away.” That audio was courtesy of the ABC, which reports 60 fires are currently burning across New South Wales, 22 of them out of control.

Firefighters are working around the clock to keep fires within containment lines.EMMA: A bus has hit a car and collided with a house in REDLAND BAY, BRISBANE, injuring 11 people this afternoon.  The ABC reports that the bus collided with a BMW at an intersection before driving through an empty block of land and crashing into a house where a mother and daughter were in the backyard.  The 37 year old female resident of the house and the male driver of the BMW  have been transported to PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL with serious head and chest injuries.  The bus driver and seven passengers are also being treated for minor injuries at Redland Bay Hospital.

SHANI: The federal government is being urged to reform the alcohol tax system following a new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia today. The study examined the health and economic implications of modifying taxation of alcohol in Australia, and proposed a number of changes to the current alcohol tax system which would save money and promote better health. Study co-author Professor Chris Doran said changes such as bringing wine under the same tax system as beer and spirits would increase federal government taxation revenue by $1.32 billion, save $820 million in avoidable health care costs, and also reduce alcohol problems in the population.  Meanwhile Todd Harper, Co chair for The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol and CEO of Cancer council Victoria, said many alcohol-related diseases could be prevented through reforms to the Alcohol Tax System.

EMMA: A FORTY-FIVE year old Adelaide primary school teacher has pleaded guilty to two charges of producing child pornography following his arrest in February earlier this year. The District Court was told GRANT GEOFFREY MARTIN pretended to be a teenage girl on an online sex slave chat website and produced written ponographic material about children, including child exploitation material. More than THREE THOUSAND chat logs were found on his computer. Martin’s lawyer STEPHEN EY says Martin “felt he was a young female trapped in a young man’s body” and “didn’t get any sexual gratification from this. It was designed to help him escape the world he was in”. EY also says MARTIN suffers from paranoia, insecurity, obsessive behaviour and did not realise his behaviour was criminal MARTIN will be sentenced in December.

SHANI: New South Wales police have begun to patrol the state’s border with Queensland in an attempt to prevent rebel biker groups from moving interstate following the implementation of new laws that focus on criminal organisations.  Ten officers from STRIKE FORCE RAPTOR have been stationed at TWEED HEADS in co-operation with Queensland law enforcement groups. The Queensland government legislation limits member and associate movement and increase minimum sentences in response to violence, intimidation and criminal activity. Several known biker gangs have reportedly begun closing down their current organisations in Queensland to relocate as far away as Western Australia.

EMMA: Tributes are flowing for rock icon Lou Reed, who died this morning of liver complications, aged 71. Reed became one of the most influential musicians of all time for his work in New York in the late 60’s, fusing art with music with his band The Velvet Underground and collaborating with Andy Warhol. Celebrities around the world took to twitter to express their condolences, with Samuel L Jackson tweeting “R.I.P. Lou Reed. Just met at the GQ Awards. The music of my generation. Still Relevant!”, and Susan Sarandon: “NY lost one of its originals with Lou Reed’s passing. So sad. RIP.” Reed’s passing comes a day after Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie was revealed to undergo cancer treatment, forcing the band to cancel their upcoming Australian tour.

SHANI: The heads of American intelligence bodies believe Europe should be grateful for US spying operations because they keep them safe. New reports by German magazine Der Spiegel say President Barack Obama had known since 2002 that spies were tapping the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel, which the NSA denied today, while the national security council maintained the US was simply gathering the same intelligence as other nations. In response, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence Peter King said Obama should stop apologizing for the spying scandal because the intelligence gathered had saved “thousands” of lives. Meanwhile Dick CHENEY, former US vice president who oversaw intelligence matters during the “War on Terror”, said the US spying on allies was “nothing new”. Associated Press reports the ongoing scandal prompted European leaders last week to demand a new deal with Washington on intelligence gathering that would maintain an essential alliance while keeping the fight against terrorism on track.

EMMA: The UK is bracing for what could be its worst storm in a decade, with heavy rain and winds of up to 130 kilometres an hour predicted to hit SOUTH ENGLAND and WALES. Residents have been told to prepare for widespread flooding, blackouts and damage, and major disruptions to road, rail and airport networks also predicted. The storm has been named “St.Jude” after the patron saint of lost causes, and an exhibition NFL game at Wembley stadium between San Francisco and Jacksonville is set to go on regardless.

SHANI: Tasmanian police say facebook helped to locate a 12 year old Hobart girl who’d been missing since last week. Shenane Walsh was reported missing last Thursday, having last been seen in Richmond, and was found safe and well in the Clarendonvale area just after 2pm today. Police forces in the United States have discovered that Social Networks are extremely useful for information sourcing and keeping the public informed on ongoing crime issues.

EMMA: In science news, a new US study suggests “brain training” exercises don’t help improve people’s problem solving skills. In the study, researchers from the School of Psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology say there is no solid evidence that MENSA or Lumosity-style puzzles improve working memory or intelligence. Instead, study co-author Tyler Harrison told the ABC such exercises only improved the brain’s ability to store data, the equivalent of RAM in a computer.

SHANI: An elderly Spanish man may have found a cheaper solution for our never-ending quest for eternal youth.  NINETY-ONE year old MARK AMBROSE says he owes his youthful appearance and active lifestyle to drinking a tumbler’s worth of urine every day. AMBROSE also believes his urine can aid the healing process, and dabs it on his wounds. He massages the elixir into his skin, targeting his problem areas on the face, arms, legs and even eyelids and ears. And for those who are willing to try the elixir, AMBROSE advises to forget about sipping on the pale stuff, because “if it’s clear, then it’s practically tasteless and useless as a healing agent” and instead opt for a deeper amber colour, which is enriched with nutritional vitamins.SHANI: And now here’s ALEX DARLING with sport.

ALEX: Thanks Shani To the F1’s first and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has copped a $36,000 fine in the wake of his victory celebrations following the Indian GP last night. The German secured his fourth successive World Championship for Red Bull, becoming the youngest driver in F1 history to accomplish the feat. However at the end of his slow-down lap at the Buddh International Circuit, India, Vettel broke F1 rules by continuing on to the pit straight, rather than entering the pitlane and the mandatory parc ferme area, where he completed a number of celebratory smokey spins before getting out and celebrating with the fans.

To the AFL and delisted Gold Coast youngster and promising midfielder Maverick Weller could find himself in St Kilda colours next season after the 21-year-old signalled his interest to move to Seaford in next months pre-season draft.  A fierce competitor with a precise right foot, Weller was a standout junior talent and has earned praise for his running ability and potential as a midfielder who can push forward.Weller said he was disappointed with his season but felt injury had contributed to his demise at the Suns.

New GWS recruit Heath Shaw has admitted that his football career may have only had a couple of years left had he stayed at Collingwood. Shaw, who signed a five-year, $3.5 million deal with GWS in this months trade period, said he was disappointed he couldn’t finish his career with the Pies, who signalled their intentions early in the trade period that they would be looking to offload the fiery backman. Shaw’s departure marks the end of an era: It will be the first time in 40 years there has not been a Shaw at Collingwood. While heartbroken to be leaving the club he and his family have had such a long association with Shaw is convinced the Giants deal will ultimately help him and the Greater Western Sydney.

To cricket the upcoming Ashes series now and England’s arrival on Australian soil has done nothing to alter Stuart Broad’s belief that he was right not to walk in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge earlier this year. The England fast bowler was at the centre of arguably the most controversial moment of the series when he stood his ground despite knowing he had nicked an Ashton Agar delivery to slip. Following the non-call, Broad went on to share in a crucial 138-run partnership partnership with England’s player of the series Ian Bell as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in Nottingham. Said Broad in an interview with former England captain Michael Vaughan to air on BBC Radio 5 Live today; “My first comment on that whole incident is I could name you 18 or 19 players who played in an Ashes series who nicked it and didn’t walk.” Regardless, Broad will certainly be the focus of Australian attention leading up to the Ashes series this Summer, with many aussie fans sure to tell the Englishman exactly what they thought of his decision.  And now back to Emma with the weather.

Thanks Alex, Melbourne reached a top of SEVENTEEN degrees just after TWO pm today. There’s a chance of thunderstorm developing in the northern and eastern suburbs this afternoon, and an overnight low of NINE degrees. Tomorrow we’re expecting a few showers and a top of SEVENTEEN degrees. It’s currently SIXTEEN degrees.

SHANI: For those taking public transport, all lines are in good service. And starting today, extra services will run on Tram Route 96 for RMIT exams at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

EMMA: To recap our top stories this afternoon,

  • Australian women still taken in by Breast Cancer Myths

SHANI:  Two people hospitalized as bus crashes into car and house in Queensland

EMMA: US lawmakers defend spying activities as more European allegations emerge

SHANI: And rock legend Lou Reed takes a walk on the peaceful side, passing away at 71.

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

October 28th 2013
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