Wednesday'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. Father of Reeva Steenkamp tells court Pistorius must pay for his crime.

Barry Steenkamp, the father of Reeva Steenkamp, has told a court he and his wife June forgive Oscar Pistorius for killing his daughter, but he must pay for his crime.

Pistorius initially received a five-year jail term for culpable homicide – the South African equivalent of manslaughter – and was released from prison after just a year behind bars.

Barry Steenkamp told the court his wife felt forgiveness towards their daughter’s murderer.

“June (Reeva’s mother) is a Christian, so am I but I don’t really go to church. June has forgiven. She feels it’s right in her heart to forgive Oscar,” he said.

“But…forgiving like that, it still does not exonerate you from the crime that you committed. He has to pay for that.

“It’s been very difficult for me to forgive. But I feel the same, that Oscar has to pay for what he did. He has to pay for it. And that’s all I can say.

Mr Steenkamp said that at some time in the future he wanted to talk to the 28-year-old.

“Most probably the time will come when I want to talk to Oscar, in private, not now, at a later stage, I would like to talk to him, yes.”

Oscar Pistorius is being sentenced for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was released from prison last October after just a year behind bars.

Pistorius was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his uncle’s home.

But the conviction was upgraded to murder after an appeal by prosecutors.

2. Muslim cleric who called for gay people to be killed leaves Australia after public outcry.

A Muslim cleric who has previously suggested the death sentence for gay people has left Australia following a public outcry at his entry into the country for a speaking tour.

Sheik Farrokh Sekaleshfar, who is British born made the anti-homosexual comments at the University of Michigan three years ago. The comments have been reportedly linked to the recent massacre in Orlando, but the ABC reports he denies any link.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday ordered an urgent review of the Sheikh’s visa saying Australia had a “zero tolerance for people who come to Australia to preach hatred”

The Sheikh appeared on Lateline where he denied any link to the Orlando shooting.

“No speech, especially when you’re not inciting any hatred and it was given three years ago, that would never lead to such a massacre,” the Sheikh said.

“That animal, they are connecting me to him [Omar Mateen]. Not at all. He was an ISIS sympathiser, a follower of Baghdadi, these people are criminals.”

But he did say he advocated death for homosexuals who have sex in public in nations that observe Islamic law.

“When does this question of death theoretically arise? It arises in particular scenario and it’s such a small probability that I’ve never even heard of such a scenario arising, where in such a country, with such a mandate, where the rule of law is Islam, there where homosexual couples … commit anal copulation in public — no one does that,” he said.

3. Owner of Pulse nightclub vows to reopen.

The owner of the nightclub in Orlando that was the scene of America’s most tragic mass shooting has vowed to reopen saying that she originally opened the nightclub to honour her brother who lost his battle with AIDS in 1991.


Speaking to Today Barbara Poma said she had wanted to give the gay community in Orlando a safe haven where people could socialise and be themselves.

“It was a safe, fun place to come and be who you are, simple as that,” she told Today. “It was supposed to be a safe place.”

Ms Poma, who was not there when the shooting began, said she learned of the attack via a phone call from the bar’s manager on Sunday morning.

“It was the most surreal phone call I’ve ever received … you can’t wrap your brain around that, you just can’t,” she said.

She vowed to honour the dead by reopening.

“We just welcome those families into our family and we just have to move forward and find a way to keep their hearts beating and keep our spirit alive,” she said of those who have lost loved ones in the terror attack. “We’re not going to let someone take this away from us.

“I have to go back to that club.”

4. Omar Mateen was “gay” but “in the closet” reports say.

Yesterday it was revealed that Orlando shooter  Omar Mateen was a regular visitor to the Pulse nightclub and that Mateen used gay social dating apps to message men.

The Palm Beach Post writes today that former classmates of Mateen have come forward saying Mateen had asked them out on dates.

A classmate said that he, Mateen and other classmates would often go to gay nightclubs, after classes at the Indian River Community College police academy. He said Mateen asked him out romantically.

“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate said.

He believed Mateen was gay, but not open about it. Mateen was awkward.

“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”

5. Australian anti-vaccination doctor arrested overseas.

Australian anti-vaccination campaigner, Chris Savage, who was carrying out radical detox treatments with no medical training, has been arrested in New Zealand reports News Limited and will face court later this month on a charge of assault with a weapon.

Since his arrest Savage has been publicly appealing for help to pay his legal fees by selling ancient magnesium oil.

Savage has claimed that his intravenous infusions of magnesium and a chemical called DMSO that he sells for $250 per IV bag can cure children of autism and cancer.

The Queensland Health Ombudsman is also investigating a complaint by Melbourne woman Rebecca Coombs.

Ms Coombes, who suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis Complex which causes tumours to grow in her body was treated by Savage earlier this year.

News Limited reports that when she was treated by Savage in his home there was no sterile environment, no nurse, no alcohol wipes and he struggled to even insert the needle.

Ms Coombs became violently ill with vomiting and sweating and then developed a severe pain in the back of her head.

“Chris said it was my body detoxing from vaccination ingredients and that clearly the ingredients must have been sitting in my brain for a long time for it to be causing this much grief,” Ms Coombs said in her complaint to the Qld Health Ombudsman.


News Limited writes that Savage was arrested on May 30 at Auckland International Airport as he was allegedly attempting to leave the country.

6. Australia Post says it did deliver passports of the kids left home alone by their stepmother.

Australia Post has hit back at the woman who blamed them for the reason she left her children aged four and six home alone for two days while she flew to Bali.

The 28-year-old accused flew to Bali last Tuesday to renew her visa while the children’s father was also overseas.

She told the Nine Network their passports had been lost by Australia Post.

“If you’re really concerned about my children can you please help me sort out this post office and locate the passports? Without passports my children will not be legal here.”

But Australia Post has said they were successfully dispatched on December 15 to China reports WA Today.

“Delivery of this item in China is the responsibility of China Post once the item has been cleared by Chinese border authorities” a spokesman said.

7. Labor pledges $80m type 1 diabetes testing technology.

Federal Labor has committed $80m to help people with type 1 diabetes access glucose testing technology Bill Shorten has announced.

The $79.4 million investment over four years will fully subsidize CGM technology for these groups, making it available to those who need it most.

More than 6,000 Australians with Type 1 diabetes are expected to benefit from Labor’s investment.

The funding would be provided to children and young adults up to the age of 21 and people aged 21 and over who have severe hypoglycaemia, or low blood glucose, who have limited awareness of the warning signs of impending hypoglycaemia.

Opposition health spokeswoman Catherine King said the devices are saving lives.

“This new technology really has been revolutionising the lives of young people with type 1 diabetes,” Ms King said.

“For the children as well it means that they can have that lessened anxiety and really be able to manage their conditions much better.”

8. Second East Coast low to batter Sydney’s coast.

Weather forecasters are predicting a strong chance of another “significant weather event” as a result of a low pressure system building over inland NSW that will impact Sydney’s coastline this weekend.

Weatherwatch meteorologist Don White said two of the major weather models predicted a low system forming inland,

“The situation bears watching,” he told News Limited “It has a range of potential problems.”

Collaroy residents say it’s the last thing they need and have told News Limited they are in a race against time to bulwark their homes.

“Some properties are just hanging in there by a thread, so to have another storm would be an absolute disaster,” said Zaza Silk, whose property has lost 25m and whose pool was featured across the world collapsed on the beachfront.

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