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Australia

Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne has claimed his Twitter account was 'hacked' after it 'liked' a hardcore gay porn video overnight. 

The explicit video, which shows two men engaged in a number of sex acts, was 'liked' by the account of the Defence Industries minister shortly after 2am on Thursday.

It is not clear how the tweet, posted by an apparently Mexican porn website, came to be 'liked' by Mr Pyne's account, but it had been removed by around 6.45am.

At around the same time Mr Payne told his Twitter followers his account had been 'hacked'.  dailymail.co.uk
The Australian vote to legalize same-sex marriage by a substantial majority, overcoming a well-organized religious campaign against it, triggered elation in major cities Wednesday.

A nonbinding referendum conducted by mail found 61.6 percent of Australians in favor of allowing gay couples to wed.

Even though the measure was expected to be approved, the size of the win and the unusually large participation of 12.7 million Australians out of the 16 million eligible voters added to its political legitimacy.

Though the vote isn’t binding, all major political party leaders have promised to implement the decision, which would make Australia one of about two dozen countries that allow gay couples to wed.

“The people of Australia have spoken, and I intend to make their wish the law of the land by Christmas,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

“This is an overwhelming call for marriage equality.” washingtonpost.com
Australia is set to legalize same-sex marriage before the end of the year after voters emphatically backed the move in a nationwide survey.

“We must respect the voice of the people,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in Canberra on Wednesday after the country’s statistics office revealed 61.6 percent of respondents support marriage equality, with 38.4 percent opposed.

“It is unequivocal. It is overwhelming.”

Turnbull’s call to have the legislation passed by Christmas is supported by business, including Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., which says marriage equality would add A$650 million ($496 million) to the economy in the first year alone.

But the right-leaning coalition government remains divided on the issue, with lawmakers arguing whether to let celebrants and other service providers opt out of marrying gay couples on religious grounds. bloomberg.com
Five teenagers from Michigan have been charged with second-degree murder after being accused of throwing a rock off an overpass that killed a man, according to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Kenneth White, 32, was a passenger in a van that was traveling along I-75 near Flint, Michigan, on the night of October 18, when a 6-pound rock smashed through the windshield of the vehicle, fatally injuring him.

White was struck in the face and head, and the rock ricocheted to his chest, causing him to lose consciousness, according to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.

The driver told police he had to pass four other vehicles, which were disabled on the side of the road because of rocks, before he could pull over to get help for his friend.

Pickell and David Leyton, the county prosecutor, announced on Monday that the teens, ages 15-17, are being charged as adults with one count of second-degree murder each.

They are also being charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six felony counts each of malicious destruction of property and two other lesser charges. cnn.com
By combining data on the cat population, hunting rates and spatial distribution, we calculate that they kill 377 million birds a year.

Rates are highest in Australia's dry interior, suggesting that feral cats pose a serious and largely unseen threat to native bird species.

This has been a contentious issue for more than 100 years, since the spread of feral cats encompassed the entire Australian mainland.

In 1906 the ornithologist AJ Campbell noted that the arrival of feral cats in a location often immediately preceded the decline of many native bird species, and he campaigned vigorously for action:

"Undoubtedly, if many of our highly interesting and beautiful birds, especially ground-loving species, are to be preserved from total extinction, we must as a bird-lovers' union, at no distant date face squarely a wildcat destruction scheme."

His call produced little response, and there has been no successful and enduring reduction in cat numbers since – nor, until now, has there been a concerted effort to find out exactly how many birds are being killed by cats. abc.net.au
When confronted with news about America’s latest deadliest mass shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Monday, Australian news anchors on channel ABC24 reacted with exasperation.

“Here we are again, same sort of thing we’ve already seen Orlando, we’ve seen Virginia Tech — Sandy Hook is the one that rings out in my mind — and yet again we’re sitting here this morning talking about yet another one,” one said.

“It always seems to be these major events in States where we talk about it and we want action and we want something on gun laws.”

Australians have repeatedly expressed frustration with America’s apparent inability to deal with repeated mass shootings.

In 2010, after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left 10 people dead, the Sydney Morning Herald ran an editorial blasting the U.S. for failing to take basic actions to save lives. thinkprogress.org
Last night Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi asked No supporters to be "vigilant" at an event launching the Coalition for Marriage's campaign at the Sydney Convention Centre.

A new TV ad was played at the event and has been posted online, and this morning Sydneysiders could not miss "Vote No" sprawled across the sky.

"We are under assault because we are on the right side of legal and moral history," Senator Bernardi told an audience of more than 1,000 people.

"If the state redefines marriage it also redefines how you can speak, think, advocate, and believe about marriage," Senator Bernardi said.

Mr Shelton, head of the Australian Christian Lobby and spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage, said the Coalition for Marriage did not organise the skywriter and he was not sure who had paid for it.

The sky message attracted a lot of attention on social media both for and against the No campaign. abc.net.au
Girls at public schools across the state of Western Australia will be allowed to wear pants and shorts to class, no longer restricted to only dresses, skirts or skorts.

The Education Department, in response to a complaint from an 11-year-old student, announced last week that it would amend a statewide dress code to offer girls more uniform options.

Students and parents have long voiced complaints about the policy, but the pushback has gained renewed momentum.

After Krystina Myhre, of Perth, discovered that her 11-year-old, Sofia, could not wear shorts to school, they wrote to the state’s education minister, Sue Ellery, calling for a change.

“My daughter and her friends have been quite unhappy about it for some time,” said Ms. Myhre, who is also a representative of Girls’ Uniform Agenda, a group that campaigns for girls to have the option of wearing shorts and pants.

The rule restricted their movement, she said, making them worry about their body and space. nytimes.com