Latest National news

Army of Star Wars fans to raise funds for charity

Nicky Phillips 12:13 AM   On May 4, International Star Wars Day, you can expect to see legions of people dressed as stormtroopers and other Star Wars characters participating in "May the fourth be with you"-themed events.

William Tyrrell's abductor remains free as police focus on Bill Spedding says son

Vanished from his grandmother's Kendall home seven months ago: William Tyrrell.

Emma Partridge 11:24 PM   Rodney Spedding says there is no way his father abducted toddler William Tyrrell and while police continue to focus on him, the real perpetrator remains free.

Medical journal editor sacked and editorial committee resigns

MJA's editorial board have written to Australian Medical Journal president Brian Owler to review the decision to appoint Elsevier.

Anna Patty 11:03 PM   All but one member of the editorial advisory committee for Australia's top medical journal have resigned following the sacking of its eminent editor who raised concerns about a decision to outsource its production to controversial global publisher, Elsevier.

Woman poisoned from smoking hookah

Worries: Health experts are concerned hookah use is increasing among the young.

Amy Corderoy 12:00 AM   A 20-year-old woman has developed carbon monoxide poisoning after smoking a hookah waterpipe, leading doctors to warn that smoking the traditional pipes could be dangerous.

Puppy factories: Disease, cruelty, squalor

Dogs at a puppy farm in Northern NSW

Eamonn Duff 9:55 PM   An internal RSPCA veterinarian report chronicles, in graphic detail, the cruelty being repeated in puppy factories throughout the state.

The 30-year fight for chimps' rights

Lifelong campaign: Nonhuman Rights Project president Steven Wise talks during the 2015  Animal Law Lecture Series.

Steve Jacobs 9:40 PM   Steven Wise has spent much of his life trying to convince a sceptical world that chimpanzees should have legal rights, such as the right to be free.

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CFA holds memorial in Ballarat, but small group gathers at Fiskville

Memorial service for fallen firefighters at the CFA training facilities in Fiskville.

Allison Worrall 8:26 PM   For the first time since the Memorial Wall was built in Fiskville in 1986, the annual service that pays tribute to fallen firefighters was not held on the site.

Abbott acted against Defence advice on subs

A RAN Collins class submarine.

Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie 12:15 AM   Tony Abbott acted against the direct advice of the Defence department when he talked up the possibility that Japan should win the $20 billion "Future Submarines" contract.

Preschoolers get $840m budget boost

Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

7:15 PM   Australian four-year-olds will be guaranteed 15 hours at preschool thanks to a $840 million program.

More children going to rehab for ice addictions

Crystal methamphetamine or Ice

Jane Lee 6:56 PM   The number of children going to rehab and seeking other treatments for their ice addictions is increasing and has trebled in the last 18 months at Victoria's largest youth drug and alcohol network.

Abbott pays tribute to Jewish diggers

Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid tribute to Jewish soldiers in World War I at the Great Synagogue in Sydney.

6:55 PM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended a Jewish Anzac commemoration in Sydney.

Australia's fattest and fittest areas revealed

People need to be empowered to stop obesity, according to policy makers.

Dan Harrison 12:15 AM   The Darling Downs region in Queensland's south-east is known for producing exquisitely marbled beef, and stats show human inhabitants are similarly far from lean.

Elderly drivers as dangerous as young hoons

Elderly drivers cause as many accidents as young drivers, says geriatrician David Lussier.

Julia Medew Health Editor 6:19 PM   Poor judgment and the use of prescription drugs have been pinpointed as risk factors for elderly drivers who are having as many car accidents as young reckless road users.

Australia's digital future not bright

The National Broadband Network is crucial to Australia's future as a modern economy, says the Ernst and Young report.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Slow internet and ponderous public service are keeping Australia in the digital slow lane.

Discount electricity not such a great deal


Marc Moncrief 12:15 AM   It's a classic case of a honey trap. You buy in to a cut-rate electricity contract for a fixed term, thinking you've got a great deal. Then, once you're locked in, the electricity company hikes up the prices.

Dumped boss of Parliament Carol Mills to face another Senate hearing

Carol Mills, Department of Parliamentary Services Secretary, during an earlier estimates hearing.

Heath Aston 11:07 AM   The sacked boss of Parliament House, Carol Mills, will make a surprise return to the political stage in Canberra to face a Senate committee that helped end her career.

Meet the citizen detectives and professionals helping police solve crimes

Gable Tostee was jailed in February over a chase that occurred when he left Byron Bay's Splendour in the Grass festival in July.

Mark White 10:39 AM   Dozens of experts, including doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, teachers and prison officers are going online to help law enforcement piece together vital information to solve crimes.

'There is no hope for those animals': call for puppy factory ban

Breeding: Conditions inside puppy farms can be squalid and confined.

Eamonn Duff 7:39 AM   Cute puppies for sale in online classifieds and pet shop windows are being bred in confined and cruel conditions.

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Third of NSW primary school students taught in multi-age classes

New-age learning: St Monica's Primary School students Nazanin Abdolllahihagh, Lachlan Roberts, Jackson Basha, and Salama Kunambi working together in a composite class and open study area.

Alexandra Smith   A NSW Department of Education audit reveals it's the teacher, not the type of class, that makes a difference to students.

Female entrepreneurs create rival to the boys club

Natasha Rawlings.

Kirsty Needham   Group was formed by women in venture capital who wanted to know why no women were asking for their money.

Australian woman raped in Cambodian beach party town

Otres Beach, south of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Chloe Booker   Two Cambodian men charged with the multiple rape of an Australian woman after allegedly finding her asleep on a beach.

'They can't go forward and they can't go back'

Dr Rhys Gray, wife Janice, middle, and their friend Jenny Khalfan (front) on a trek in Europe two years ago. They are all stranded in Nepal.

Jim Gainsford    Australian orthopedic surgeon Rhys Gray and his wife Janice are trapped in a village in the north of Nepal awaiting evacuation by helicopter one week after the 7.8 earthquake hit the mountain country. 

Burch denies learning assistants let go as nurses return

ACT Education Minister Joy Burch said there had been no job losses following the ACT Health's nurses decision.

Matthew Raggatt   ACT Education Minister Joy Burch has denied union claims three learning assistants were told not to return to work after nurses were reinstated at a Canberra special school. 

When nap time becomes a problem

Long naps during the day might not be good for some children, according to new research.

Amy Corderoy   Children who are forced to have long naps at preschool could develop sleeping problems later on, new research indicates.

The other Australians on death row

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, 51, arrives at the Magistrate Court in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur on December 19, 2014.

Nick Ralston   While the plight of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran has received national and international attention, a lot less is known about the three other Australians languishing on death row in Asian prisons.

'I know she didn't want to die'

Happier times: Imogen with her dogs in 2009.

Amy Corderoy   Imogen Cunningham did not realise she was slowly poisoning herself with her addiction to over-the-counter pain pills.

Bali nine executions: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran's bodies arrive in Australia

Andrew Chan's wife Febyanti Herewila arrives in Sydney.

Tim Barlass, Patrick Begley   The bodies of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have arrived home in Australia, more than 10 years after the pair left for Bali.

School of the Air sends art into space

Bailey Brooks with her winning picture that will be painted across the rocket that delivers the satellite into outer space

Eryk Bagshaw   Access to fast internet is set to transform the learning experience of isolated children.

Once were warriors


Michael Bachelard, Mark Forbes    Early on, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran​ did everything wrong.

New money to counter budding jihadists

Future in doubt: The leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was reportedly paralysed by a US air strike in Iraq on March 18.

Mark Kenny   Mosques and multicultural youth services will get their share of an extra $1.6 million in funding to help them redirect young people away from radical groups such as Islamic State.