SYN News at 4: 9 August 2013

Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:

  • News Corp Australia CEO resigns
  • Tensions rise over the Melbourne East-West Link
  • Calls for a Queensland jail watchdog
  • and Tom Waterhouse sells his online betting company

 Good afternoon, I’m Victoria KnaufAnd I’m Kirrily Schwarz. Welcome to SYN News at 4. The top story on SYN this afternoon:News Corp Australia has today announced Chief Executive Kim Williams has resigned.  Sarah Maunder has the story.  After less than 2 years as the CEO of News Corp Australia, Kim Williams has resigned, with Julian Clarke set to take over the Chief Executive role on Monday. In a statement published on the ASX website, Rupert Murdoch thanked Mr Williams for his service, loyalty and friendship. In a separate statement made by News Corp, it was announced that Julian Clarke, former chairman of the Herald and Weekly times had been appointed to replace Mr. Williams.   Mr Williams was appointed the Chief Executive role back in 2011, taking over from long serving News Limited head John Hartigan.  Mr Williams says he is confident he is leaving the company in a strong position, with good foundations for the future. [VICTORIA]  It’s been a very vocal day for the state government as tensions remain high over the controversial Melbourne East West Link. The tunnel is being opposed by a number of groups, including the City of Yarra, who is accusing the government of hiding key information. Planning Minister Matthew Guy launched a sca[y]thing attack on the Council today, accusing the City of Yarra of running what he calls an ‘inappropriate political campaign’ and warning them to focus on ‘issues that matter’. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle also expressed concerns.  He says that although he supports the project overall, he is worried about access to local roads during the process. The project was devised by the Liberal Party, and will connect the Eastern Freeway with the Western Ring Road through a tunnel.  Approximately 100 homes will be acquired by the government to make way for construction. The government also commenced a series of online advertisements today which attack the state Labor Party, who soundly oppose the project.[KIRRILY] A Queensland prison worker is being accused of rape, sexual assault and abuse of office, raising concerns for the safety of inmates at Brisbane’s Women’s Correctional Centre. The alleged offences are renewing calls for an independent prison watchdog to protect the human rights of prisoners. Debbie Kilroy from the prisoner support group ‘Sisters Inside’ says it’s rare that abuse cases actually make it to court, and that most people would be shocked to find out the extent of rights abuses in the prison system. Currently, correctional centres are subject to a complaints-based system.  However, Ben Schokma from the Human Rights Law Centre says “there’s no point having a complaints-based system about correction staff, when you have to complain to those very correction staff”. He says independent monitoring will increase the transparency of the system and keep authorities accountable for preventing abuse. The Queensland State Government is said to be discussing possible improvements to the corrections system at the moment.[VICTORIA] Tom Waterhouse has sold his online betting company to William Hill, a British gambling giant. The sale is said to be worth approximately $34 million initially with around $70 million still to come, depending on the performance of the company. In Australia, William Hill now owns both Tom Waterhouse dot com and Sportingbet, one of its biggest competitors. Mr Waterhouse will retain a position as managing director of the company.[KIRRILY] A 42-year old UK man fell to his death from an escalator at Brisbane airport last night. The man had flown in from Biloela [BILLO-ELLA] in Queensland and was meant to catch an international flight. According to Police, the man fell over the railing of an escalator at about 7pm. CCTV footage depicts the fall as not suspicious. Police are now investigating whether alcohol was involved.[VICTORIA] Victoria Police say a 34-year-old Melbourne woman has been sexually assaulted by a man she met through an online dating website.  The woman, from St Kilda, arranged to meet the man at a cinema complex in Morwell on Tuesday. The man then drove the woman to a nearby caravan park where he assaulted her.  Police say the suspect is caucasian, aged in his early thirties, and balding. Anyone who may have information is urged to call Crime Stoppers. [KIRRILY]   Tyre icon Bob Jane lost a $2.9 million court case against his son today. Mr Jane loaned the money to the Bob Jane Corporation, a company run by his son Rodney Jane, in 2006, but he argued that his son cheated him out of the money after a stroke left him in poor health. Rodney Jane successfully argued that part of the money was a gift, and the rest was a loan that has since been repaid.  Mr Jane was supported by his family, and said there was little chance of reconciliation between him and his son.  [VICTORIA] Two students from Kazakhstan are indicted on obstruction of justice charges over the Boston Marathon bombings.According to ABC news, the 19-year-olds were friends with surviving bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev.They allegedly removed a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s room. The incident happened after the FBI released pictures of the suspect and his older brother Tamerlan, in an attempt to find their names. The teenagers are facing up to 20 years in prison in addition to five years if they can be found guilty of conspiracy.Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shoot-out with police four days after the bombings. Dzokhar is yet awaiting his sentence in federal custody.[KIRRILY] Two British teenage girls are suffering from an acid attack on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.Two men on a moped threw acid over 18-year olds Nicky Ghee and Rochelle Trup who were on their way to dinner at the time.The girls are aid workers at a local school.In recent months, the school experienced deadly protests by an Islamist group. Police do not link the attack with the rising tensions between Muslims and Christians on the island.[VICTORIA] To Japan now, and the city of Nagasaki has marked the sixty-eighth anniversary of the Atomic Bombing by the United States during World War Two. Tens of thousands gathered to remember the seventy-thousand people who died instantly, as well as those who suffered from after effects in the following years.The ceremony is held near the spot where the US military dropped its bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man”.The bombing of Nagasaki came three days after the first-ever atomic blast at Hiroshima. Hiroshima held its own remembrance ceremonies earlier this week.[KIRRILY] To the US and president Barack Obama has awarded talk show host Oprah Winfrey and former president Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Created 50 years ago by John F Kennedy, the prize is America’s highest civilian honour.  In a statement about the 50th anniversary of the medal, Obama said the medal goes to people who have “dedicated their own lives to enriching ours.” Other recipients include Mother Theresa, Walt Disney and former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard._________________________________________  [VICTORIA] Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered that liking statuses on Facebook can foster a herd mentality.  They have found that when someone ‘likes’ a positive status on facebook, other people are more likely to give the comment a thumbs up too, suggesting we are swayed by what people think. However negative comments do not have the same influence. Scientists also found that positive comments on social media can change people’s opinion on a news item.[KIRRILY] And Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced the price of Vegemite will increase by more than fifty cents per jar, if the GST rate is increased.  Mr. Rudd was today warning Australians that an Abbott led government would mean a rise on the GST of food. The opposition has denied it is planning to raise or extend the scope of the GST.However, if the opposition wins government, Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey suggested that a planned broad-ranging tax review could take a closer look at the GST.[VICTORIA]  The body of a metre-long shark was found on a New York metro train. The dead animal, which is believed to be a Mustelus Canis Shark or a smooth dogfish, was lying on the floor of a carriage on a night train to Queens.  The incident sent social media site twitter into a frenzy, with witnesses uploading photos of the shark. They were suspicions the shark was part of Discovery Channel’s marketing for their shark week. But the claims were rejected by a spokeswoman for Discovery Channel. Sharks and all other animals are prohibited on board the New York City subway. [VICTORIA]: And now here’s MICHAEL with sport. Thanks Victoria. Brisbane forward Dayne Zorko has embrace the challenge Brisbane have when they challenge 5th place Richmond at the MCG tomorrow afternoon. Richmond have won 7 out of the last 10 at the MCG and with Brisbane travelling to the ground tomorrow for the first time this season, Zorko believes that the young Lions can stay valiant without Captain Jonathan Brown. Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says the AFL needs to make an example of Essendon like the Major League Baseball did with superstar Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Malthouse says the Essendon issue could not just be ‘pushed under some mat’, the AFL is expected to announce it’s penalty to the Bombers within the coming days. Melbourne Heart have signed Dutch International Orlando Engelaar to the team for the upcoming A-League season. Engelaar has played with some of the big names in Soccer including Dutch side FC Twente and Bundesliga powerhouse FC Schalke. Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has kept promising uncapped five eighth Matt Toomua and Bernard Foley in a 30 men team for the upcoming Bledisloe cup test. Foley and Qwade Cooper are still battling for the number 10 jersey for the opening test against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium next saturday night. Sam Stosur’s magical run at the Toronto Masters has come to an abrupt end when former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat her in straight sets to go through to the Quarter Finals. Kvitova beat the 12th seed 6-3, 6-3 and sets up a match against Romanian Sorana Cirstea as she knocked out 15th seed Serb Jelena Jankovic. Finally, Sydney FC have completed an upset in their pre-season Italian tour as they upset Series A giants Udinese 5-3 moments ago. Sydney scored through Mitch Malia and Joel Chianese, this is Sydney’s first victory on their pre-season Italian Tour. And to my tips for Round 20 of the AFLHawthorn by 55 over St. Kilda tonight at the MCGRichmond by 30 over the LionsGeelong by 48 over Port AdelaideCarlton by 15 points over the Western BulldogsSydney by 26 points over CollingwoodGold Coast by 33 over MelbourneEssendon to beat the Eagles by 20 pointsAdelaide by 12 over Northand Fremantle by 130 over GWSAnd now back to KIRRILY with the weather. Thanks Michael.To the weather, And right now in the city, it’s nine degrees. We’re headed for an overnight low of 8, with a top tomorrow of 16 degrees Sunday will be partly cloudy, a top of 17 degrees.Monday: Chance of rain, top of 15.And Tuesday will be partly cloudy, a top of 14 degrees.[VICTORIA] For those on public transport this afternoon, there are minor delays on the Werribee, Sunbury, Craigieburn and Upfield lines due to a point fault,  And trams in the CBD may be affected tonight due to a rally taking place around 5:30pm. Yarra Trams has advised people to keep an eye on service updates throughout the evening. [KIRRILY] To recap our top stories this afternoon: 

  • [VICTORIA] News Corp Australia C-E-O resigns after less than two years
  • [KIRRILY] Tensions over the Melbourne East-West Link
  • [VICTORIA] Calls for a Queensland jail watchdog
  • [KIRRILY] and Tom Waterhouse sells his online betting company

[KIRRILY] 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.

August 9th 2013
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