A new tool for diagnosing foetal alcohol spectrum disorder has been developed in Australia.
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a condition that is caused by mothers consuming alcohol while pregnant. Up to 500,000 Australians suffer from FASD and specialists say the condition doesn’t receive as much attention as it deserves. FASD can cause serious developmental delays, disabilities, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.
The new tool, adapted from Canadian methodology, combines in-depth assessments on the individual’s health, psychology and language skills to deliver a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of severity. Paediatricians and FASD specialists have been developing the tool with federal funding since a national inquiry called for it in 2012.
Malcolm Turnbull rules out Kevin Rudd’s run for UN role
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out supporting Kevin Rudd’s bid for secretary-general of the United Nations. Mr Turnbull told a press conference that the decision was not political but related to Mr Rudd’s suitability for the role. “The threshold question here is when the Australian government nominates a person for a job … is do we believe the person we would be nominating is well suited for the position. My judgment is Mr Rudd is not.” Mr Turnbull said he had explained to Mr Rudd the reasons for this decision.
NT Government counter-sues boys tear-gassed at Don Dale
The Northern Territory Government is counter-suing two boys who were tear-gassed by prison guards at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. The boys affected are seeking damages for mistreatment at the hands of staff at the facility, documented in a recent Four Corners episode. In response, the NT Government are counter-suing the two boys, seeking damages for an escape attempt. The NT Government claims that the two boys caused over $85,000 in damages when they escaped the centre. The NT Government are hoping to gain damages with interest and payment of legal costs.
Royal Commission: NT Indigenous groups not consulted
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has failed Indigenous Australians, according to three Northern Territory organisations, by disregarding their requests to be consulted. The requests were made when the terms of reference for the royal commission into abuse in the juvenile system were defined by the Prime Minister. Deputy chairwoman of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT), Olga Havnen says the organisations, including the Northern Land Council, the Central Land Council and AMSANT have concerns over the “speedy development” of the royal commission’s terms of reference. “Our objective is to provide a united voice, to be able to provide a key point of contact for government and for others to be able to deal with us and consult with us,” she said.
Baby gas death inquiry to commence
An investigation into the death of a newborn baby boy at a Sydney hospital will begin today. The baby was given an accidental dose of nitrous oxide gas instead of oxygen and died just minutes after he was born on July 13. The same incident occurred a month earlier after an incident involving a newborn girl, who has been left with suspected brain damage. The investigation of the death will be led by obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Michael Nicholl, who heads a division within the Northern Sydney Health District. NSW Health minister Jillian Skinner confirmed that the parents affected will receive compensation.
Karl Stefanovic apologises for transphobic comments
Karl Stefanovic has made an on-air apology after making jokes about transgender people on yesterday’s segment of the Today Show. The comments were made during a live cross with reporter Christine Ahern in Rio de Janeiro after she and her cameraman had a close call with thieves. Stefanovic continually made references to the thieves as “trannies” during the live cross and today made a formal apology, saying he was an “ignorant tool”. “I used the word, a word I’ll never use again. To anyone who found the segment funny, please now understand why it was the exact opposite,” Stefanovic said on this morning’s Today Show. – Compiled from online sources by Ben Owusu and Vivien Wickham
Photo of alcohol bottles by James Mott.