news

Monday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest stories from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Doctors call for reduction in blood-alcohol limits and an increase to the drinking age.

A proposal by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to a Senate inquiry on alcohol fuelled violence has called for a radical rethink of liquor laws, taxes and sales.

The group has urged the drinking age to be raised, but has not suggested an age, and they are calling for the legal age for buying takeaway alcohol to be raised immediately.

They have said that the blood-alcohol limit for all drivers should decrease from .05 to .02 and then to zero.

Fairfax Media report that the group want state governments to ramp up last drinks and early closing laws similar to those implemented in NSW, including shorter trading hours for bottle shops and bars.

They also call for alcohol packaging to carry warning labels, akin to cigarettes, under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and they urge governments to consider increasing taxes on alcoholic drinks with higher health risks.

ACP president Nicholas Talley told Fairfax Media it was imperative the government adopt the recommendations to “bring about a shift in the Australian drinking culture”.

“Australians have a culture of alcohol – that’s fine, but we also have a problem with alcohol,” he said.

RACP President Nicholas Talley wrote in a letter to inquiry chairman Glenn Lazarus: “It is imperative that all measures to reduce the harms of alcohol be enabled via a comprehensive national strategy which employs a range of measures to bring about a shift in the Australian drinking culture and a reduction in alcohol-related harms.”

The recommendations are mirrored in submissions from other groups such as the Victorian Alcohol & Drug Association, the Police Federation and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.

2. Half the cases of child sex abuse are committed by other children.

ADVERTISEMENT
More than 800 children each year are reported for causing serious sexual harm to other children in NSW. Image via IStock.

Children are responsible up to half of all sexual abuse an expert has told Fairfax Media.

More than 800 children each year are reported for causing serious sexual harm to other children in New South Wales.

Dale Tolliday, a clinical advisor the public rehabilitation service New Street told Fairfax Media “we would be terrified if society knew the real rates of harm.”

“It's almost unbelievable for the average person, to think children would be capable of doing something like this.” He said.

He said that many of the offenders have been sexually abused themselves or exposed to violent pornography.

Most of his clients are around the age of 13, and most abuse younger children.

The greatest risk factor he said is witnessing domestic violence between parents.

“Most of these boys are carrying quite strong misogynistic, heterosexual stereotypes about entitlement and sexual behaviour,”

Ian Nisbet, a forensic psychologist said international and Australian research estimates children commit 30 to 50 per cent of child sexual abuse and 14 is a peak age.

Mr Tolliday has called for more clinics to prevent physiological damage to victims.

For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid's Helpline: 1800 55 1800. DV and Sexual Abuse hotline 27/4: 1800 737 732 Men's helpline: 1300 78 99 78 

3. Calls for sex offenders to be tagged.

The Victorian Commissioner for Victims of Crime Greg Davies has called for GPS technology to be used to monitor all serious sex offenders  “until they can prove they pose no threat to the community”.

His statement comes in the wake of the revelations that pedophiles are  increasingly being caught loitering near schools, parks and childcare centres

“It should be up to them to prove themselves, not the community to welcome them with open arms and nothing but their promise that they’ve reformed,” Mr Davies told The Herald Sun.

In Victoria predators were caught around child heavy areas, like schools and playgrounds 35 times last year.

The national head of programs for child abuse prevention organisation Child Wise, Penelope McEncroe told The Herald Sun that while they don't support a public sex offenders register because, she says, we know from overseas studies it can incite vigilante behaviour she believes that parents had a right to know where such incidents were taking place.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We know sex offenders are recidivist,” Ms McEncroe said.

“Given we know that data, we need to be much more proactive.We shouldn’t wait for them to reoffend."

“But if someone is a recidivist offender and is living in the community, then I think parents need to be armed with as much information as possible to prevent their child having any interaction with that person,” she said.

4. Journalist and playwright Bob Ellis dies.

Journalist, writer and former Labor speechwriter Bob Ellis has died at his home in Sydney at the age of 73.

He had been suffering from cancer.

Mr Ellis was a political commentator, author, screenwriter and playwright, he wrote speeches for Labor leaders including Paul Keating and Kim Beazley.

Bill Shorten paid tribute to him last night saying Mr Ellis “blessed Australia with more than four decades of brilliant phrases.”

“Bob's writing moved people to tears and drove others to litigation. At every turn he confounded and delighted, he shocked and awed,' Mr Shorten said in a statement on Sunday night.”

“There was truly no such thing as a dispassionate Ellis piece. With Bob, it was always personal, it was always emotional, it was never dull.”

5. Turnbull opposes Trump's idea of urging Japan and South Korea to take up nuclear weapons.

Speaking yesterday the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has opposed US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's idea of urging Japan and South Korea to take up nuclear weapons.

“I noticed that Mr Trump has said that he believes Japan and South Korea should be encouraged to acquire nuclear weapons,” Mr Turnbull told Sky News.

“Well that is absolutely not the view of Australia as Julie Bishop has already said.

“And I repeat here, we are opposed to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. That is the view of the global community.

“It would add considerably to the tensions and the risk of conflict in the region.”

Last week, Trump said he would like to see Japan and South Korea enabled to protect themselves with nuclear weapons.

The frontrunner for the Republican party said the U.S. cannot afford to be the policeman of the world.

"I would rather have them not armed, but I'm not going to continue to lose this tremendous amount of money," Trump said during a rally.

"And frankly, the case could be made that...let them protect themselves against North Korea. They'd probably wipe 'em out pretty quick."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump says it would be "terrible" if the parties mentioned fought with nuclear weapons.

"Good luck, folks," Trump said. "Enjoy yourselves. If they fight, that would be terrible, right? But if they do, they do!"

6. Muslim woman mown down in hit-and-run during in Brussels.

A Muslim woman has been injured in a hit-and-run when a car ploughed through a police line during a tense standoff over rival demonstrations in Brussels.

Video has emerged of the horrific moment when a white car broke through a police line as a woman crossed the road.

The car then sped away driving over her legs as she lay in the road.

The incident occurred as a standoff developed over plans by a far-right group to hold a demonstration in Molenbeek, a largely Muslim neighbourhood, in Brussels.

An anti-racist group had called for a counter-demonstration. Both protests were banned by local authorities.

7. Mass grave of IS victims found in Palmyra.

A mass grave containing the bodies of 42 civilians and soldiers killed by the so-called Islamic State has been found in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

The victims, including three children, were executed "either by beheading or shooting", a military source told AFP.

It was discovered after the Syrian army recaptured Palmyra and its Unesco-listed ruins last week.

The city offered some of the world's most extensive and best preserved ancient Roman ruins before IS took control of it in May 2015.

8. Woman gives birth to five babies in half an hour.

A 25-year-old woman in India has given birth to five premature babies, leaving even doctors surprised.

According to The Mirror, Manita Singh, 25, believed she was pregnant with just one baby when she went into premature labour.

But just over half an hour later, she gave birth to five healthy, but tiny girls, the report said.

The babies weighed 1.5 kg each.

Her husband Mahesh Singh, 26, said: "I am extremely grateful to God for blessing us with not one but five children.

"We were heartbroken when we lost our first child, a son, immediately after birth two years ago. I believe God has compensated the loss.

"I only hope that they all survive and I can give them a wonderful life."

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]

00:00 / ???