World Mental Health Day
Today is World Mental Health Day (WMHD), coinciding with National Mental Health Week (WMHD), which started on Sunday and ends this weekend. The day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. The 2014 WMHD campaign encourages people to take personal ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing by making a simple, personal mental health promise on their website or social media.
Australian Ebola scare a false alarm
A Cairns nurse has been cleared of the deadly Ebola virus after returning from treating patients in Africa. Sue Ellen Kovack was suspected of having contracted the deadly EVD virus after developing a low-grade fever. She was rushed to Cairns Hospital yesterday for blood tests but tested negative. She recently returned from working in the Ebola-ravaged Sierra Leone in West Africa. Queensland Health has announced that she will be kept in quarantine for at least the next 24 hours.
Mass brawl apparently organised on Facebook
A 41-year-old father and his 20-year-old son were stabbed in a mass brawl reportedly organised on social media at Rouse Hill. Emergency services were called to a shopping centre on White Hart Drive just after 8pm last night where they found two men with stab wounds. The father received multiple stab wounds to the abdomen and arm, while the son received a stab wound to the stomach. Both men were taken to Westmead Hospital where they underwent emergency surgery, they remain in a stable condition. Police arrested five men shortly after in a nearby suburb, but are yet to determine what the Facebook feud was about. The arrested men were taken to Mt Druitt police station where three have been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and affray.
Maitland man jailed for girlfriend murder
George Robert Ballantyne has been sentenced to 19 years jail for murdering and dumping the body of 23-year-old mother, Clare Weston, near Maitland in March last year. Justice Robert Hulme gave Ballantyne a non-parole period of 14 years and three months in Newcastle’s Supreme Court. Ballantyne, 31, pleaded guilty to choking Ms Weston to death and leaving her naked body on the side of a river. The victim’s mother, Christine Weston, was present for the sentencing and fought back tears.
Out-of-the-box bluebottle photo wins Picture of the Year
Matthew Smith, a mechanical designer by trade, has won the 2014 Australian Geographic ANZANG Nature Photographer of the Year competition. Smith snapped a stunning picture of a bluebottle floating in Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour, NSW, which he called Physalia Physalis. “I felt shocked and surprised then humbled and honoured,” Mr Smith said, “Especially when you consider the high standard of photography from my peers in this year’s competition.”
Teacher escapes jail for sex offence
A Hamilton, Victoria, teacher who sought sex from a 10-year-old student will not serve time in jail, a court has ruled. Diane Brimble, 47-year-old mother of eight, was sentenced to a two-year community correction order and 200 hours of community service by County Court Judge Mark Taft yesterday. Brimble, who tattooed the student’s name with an infinity sign across her chest, will be named on a sex offenders’ register for eight years. – Louis Dillon and Jessica Ankomah
Top photo by Daniel Walker.