Coming up in the next fifteen minutes:
- Calls to make child poverty in Australia a national priority
- Northern Territory teachers vow to continue action against planned staff cuts
- Abbott blames Indonesia for boat arrivals
- And Billy Slater opens up about the Manchester nightclub incident.
WILL: Good afternoon, I’m WILL HIGGINBOTHAM.
BRIANNA: And I’m BRIANNA PIAZZA. Welcome to SYN News at 4.
The official death toll from the Haiyan Tsunami has reached more than 1700 people, however it’s expected the death toll could climb to above 10,000.
Aid agencies are struggling to providing those affected with medical and food supplies in the aftermath of the tsunami.
The typhoon, which hit the Philippines before heading towards Vietnam, is one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded.
Wayne Gum from Oxfam describes the situation on the ground in the Philippines:
“In the main centre where the typhoon went through there’s no telephone communications, roads are down, airports remain closed and the only way in and out is through helicopters or special transport planes.”
Panorama will have more on that story at 4.30.
WILL: A protest in Melbourne’s inner-west has caused disruption to traffic in Yarraville this morning, as residents called on the government to ban trucks from Somerville Road and around the local primary school, during school times.
The area sits close to Melbourne’s industrial areas including the Port of Melbourne, and currently has a curfew on trucks overnight.
The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group organised the protest, with president Samantha McArthur telling Network News that most vehicles use the local road as a shortcut, to avoided congested main roads.
BRI: All eyes have been on Canberra today with the opening of the 44th Parliament of Australia. Forty-two new members have been sworn in and the House of Representatives has a new speaker.
Chris Eales with this report…
CHRIS: After 26 years in politics, Sydney MP Bronwyn Bishop has been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 44th Parliament of Australia, which opened in Canberra today.
Upon her election, Mr Abbott said he couldn’t think of “anyone more likely to deal with all of the other formidable characters [in Parliament] without fear or favour”.
Forty-two MPs are taking their seat in parliament for the first time today, including the new member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer.
“I’m coming to Parliament, to represent the 97% of Australian’s who can’t afford to have lobbyists here, who can’t afford to join political parties, but are Australians like all of us and need to be represented.”
Mr Palmer has declared he has retired from business to become a full time MP – but he refused to commit to attending every sitting of Parliament.
The new government has two bills before Parliament today – the first to repeal the carbon tax, the other to increase the debt ceiling by $200billion dollars, bringing Australia’s borrowing limit to half a trillion dollars.
In his opening address, Mr Abbott said the Parliament would get to work on balancing the budget and strengthening the Australian economy.
CHRIS EALES, SYN News.
BRI: And as parliament opens today, UNICEF and Community welfare organisations are urging the Federal Government to make child poverty in Australia a national priority.
It comes after the Australian Council of Social Service released a report revealing nearly 600,000 children in Australia are living in poverty.
That’s more than 17 percent of children in Australia today.
CEO of the National Council for Single Mothers, Terese Edwards, spoke to ABC News.
“It’s an impossible concept to grasp unless you know someone personally or unless you are one of the children living in one of these families. Just because we don’t acknowledge it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.”
WILL: Teachers in the Northern Territory have vowed to continue striking until the Territory government backs down from plans to cut staff.
The Education Unions announcement comes after 1500 teachers went on strike, forcing the closure of 26 schools.
Education Minister, Peter Chandler, last month announced the territory governments plan to scrap 71 teaching positions and transfer 85 others to regional centres.
Teachers will meet next month to vote on future industrial actions.
BRI: A study from the University of South Australia has revealed some of the psychological effects prostate cancer has on men.
The study, which was conducted across five countries, found that men were significantly less likely to speak about the physical and emotional effects that prostate cancer had on them.
It indicates men without partners are most at risk from developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Also, single men were most at risk of suicide.
Anybody experiencing personal issues or having suicidal thoughts is urged to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
WILL: The government has approved the sale of another Australian business to foreign owners.
Chris Eales reports…
CHRIS: Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced he will allow Canadian business Saputo to buy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter.
The Warrnambool-based company is one of south-west Victoria’s largest employers.
Managing Director, David Lord, told ABC Rural this morning the takeover was in the best interests of shareholders and that the sale would begin within days.
“It clears the way now for shareholders to make their decision in relation to the future ownership of WCB.”
In a statement Mr Hockey said Australia welcomes foreign investment when it is not contrary to the national interest.
CHRIS EALES, SYN NEWS.
BRI: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has blamed Indonesia for some of the recent Asylum Seeker boat arrivals in Australia.
In a press conference this afternoon, Mr Abbott said the Indonesian Government was not adequately managing its search-and-rescue zone.
“As things stand, we have had a stronger naval and customs presence in much of their search and rescue zone than they have themselves, which is why inevitably in a whole range of search and rescue situations people have ended up on Australian boats.”
BRI: You are listening to SYN News. It’s nine past four.
WILL: Heading overseas now and…
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is urging the Syrian government to lift restrictions that have been hampering relief efforts to provide millions of Syrians with aid.
The ‘severe restrictions’ imposed by the government have left some 9 million Syrians without adequate aid.
The Syrian Government won’t allow aid agencies to deliver medical supplies to areas controlled by the opposition.
World Health Organisation representative, Elizabeth Hoff, says aid deliveries were “almost at a standstill” at the end of June.
BRI: The Democratic Republic of CONGO has refusing to sign a peace treaty with the M23 rebel group.
Today’s intended deal would have brought about a ceasefire, 20 months after the rebels began their campaign.
The government and the Congolese revolutionary army were meant to sign the peace deal today with Ugandan and UN officials present.
But a Ugandan government spokesperson announced the Congolese government backed down, asking for a revision of the agreement.
It’s unclear when the two parties will meet to discuss the future of the agreement.
WILL: Up to 100 people are feared dead after a tropical cyclone wreaked havoc in Somalia’s north eastern region of Puntland.
The storm slammed the Puntland coast, washing away houses and livestock and leaving residents without access to food, water and medical care.
Puntland President Abdurahman Mohamed Farole declared a ‘state of emergency’ in the worst-hit areas and is urging international aid agencies to assist in the recovery.
Mr Farole warns the death toll will increase unless a recovery effort occurs soon.
The storm is expected to continue moving inland and will continue until Wednesday.
BRI: Juvenile offenders in Queensland could move into a youth boot-camp facility in Northern Queensland by the start of next year.
However, Attorney General Jarrod Blijie said he could not give a start date, despite saying that youths would be in the centre by October of this year.
Mr Bleijie said the facility, located North-West of Townsville will be monitored by staff during the day and extra staff at night.
The facility will also include security alarms and sensors to reduce the risk of offenders escaping.
WILL: Queensland scientists have identified an important molecule that indicates whether a woman’s breast cancer will spread and how quickly.
Researchers from QIMR Berhofer says doctors now have another useful diagnostic tool, after discovering the molecule disappears with the most aggressive forms of cancers.
QIMR spokesperson Dr Nicole Cloonan says the discovery could be crucial to ensuring more women survive breast cancer.
She also hopes the discovery will lead to better treatments for other aggressive cancers.
“It’s a little fragment of a gene. Twenty years ago we used to think these little fragments were just degraded junk, genetic junk in the genome, and now actually we found that they’re actually important drivers in cancer.”
WILL: A convicted murderer has been sworn in to serve as a council member in the United States city of Michigan.
Wantwaz Davis, won the Fifth Ward seat of Flint City Council by 71 votes, despite serving 19 years in prison for a second-degree murder in 1991.
Residents were not made aware of his conviction until after voting at the polls.
Mr Wantwaz says he served 17 years in prison after shooting a man who he believed was about to kill him.
Since being released he has studied politics while trying to find ways to give back to the community
And now here’s NICK DUXSON with sport…
NICK: Thanks WILL.
First, to cricket, Tasmanian batsman George Bailey is set to become Australia’s 435th Test debutant in the First Ashes Test starting next Thursday in Brisbane.
Australia’s in-form limited overs captain was selected in a 12-man squad today, ahead of fellow middle-order batting contenders Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh.
The squad features no surprises, with fast bowler Mitchell Johnson recalled and all-rounder James Faulkner earning selection, both on the back of successful one-day showings in India.
Australia’s chairman of selectors John Inverarity says the 31-year-old Bailey deserves his chance in the baggy green.
“I mean, George Bailey has been….. deserving of his opportunity.”
Meanwhile, England are sweating on injuries to star players Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior.
Pietersen was quick to tweet followers to play down concerns over a niggling knee injury, but Prior’s left calf tear could open the door for stand-in wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
In Rugby League, Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater has broken his silence after being attacked outside a Manchester nightclub.
Representing the Kangaroos at the Rugby League World Cup, Slater was celebrating a win with teammates, before being assaulted outside Mojo’s nightclub.
The full-back said it was a “wake-up call” and told Fox Sports he is hoping to put the incident behind him.
In AFL news, Sydney champion Adam Goodes has put star recruit Lance Franklin on notice.
The former Hawk isn’t expected at Sydney’s pre-season training until December 9, but has been seen enjoying himself at the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Goodes told a News Limited paper one of the first things he will be doing is looking at how fit Franklin is at his first Sydney training session.
Buddy has tough footsteps to follow in, after the impressive pre-season completed by the Swans’ star recruit last season, Kurt Tippett.
Finally, to soccer news, and four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi will miss the next six to eight weeks, following a third leg injury this season.
The Barcelona maestro tore his left hamstring in his club’s 4-1 win over Real Betis, and is likely to miss the remainder of 2013.
Despite his injuries, the 26-year-old striker has scored a respectable 14 goals from 16 games this season.
But the injury could hamper Argentina’s 2014 World Cup preparations.
That’s all for sport. Now here’s BRIANNA with the forecast.
BRI: Thanks NICK. We’re heading for an overnight low of 13 with showers later this evening. Tomorrow we can expect rain with scattered showers in the afternoon – a minimum of 12 and a top of 16. Thursday’s cloudy with isolated showers and a top of 18. And Friday will be mostly cloudy, with a possible morning shower and a top of 19. Right now in the city, it’s 14 degrees.
WILL: And for those on public transport, there are no delays currently this afternoon with all trams and trains running smoothly. However if you live on the Lilydale line, there are track works scheduled for this evening, with busses to replace trains after 8:25pm between Ringwood and Lilydale.
And there are roadworks on the Monash freeway after 9:30 tonight, with some lanes closed in either direction between Tooronga Road and High St.
To recap our top stories this afternoon,
- 1700 people are confirmed to have died in the Philippines – however the toll is expected to reach 10,000
- The UN urges Syria to lift restrictions that are hampering the relief effort
- Bronwyn Bishop has been elected Speaker of the House as the 44th Parliament opens
- And Tasmania’s George Bailey will make his Ashes Cricket test debut next Thursday.
WILL: 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.
BRI: Panorama’s coming up at 4.30 and we’ll be back with an update at 5pm.