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Australia

RUSH HOUR: Sharehouse’s wild application

8:30am

Migrants fast-tracked to regional Australia

Skilled migrants will have their visa applications accelerated if they move to regional Australia, under a $19.4 million plan revealed by the Federal Government.

Immigration Minister David Coleman says the funding will be used over four years and Department of Home Affairs officials will travel to regional areas to help local businesses get more skilled workers.

“There are a number of regions outside Sydney, Melbourne and southeast Queensland who are calling out for skilled migrants,” he said in a statement.

“These regional initiatives will help these communities and local business attract migrants where they are needed most.”

Under the plan, there will be priority processing for visas sponsored by employers in regional Australia, as well as agreements where local councils are able to recruit workers from overseas.

The Designated Area Migration Agreements allow employers to sponsor overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with locals.

8:00am

Victoria Police seize largest ever ice shipment bound for Australia

Authorities have stopped the largest-ever seizure of ice bound for Australia, carrying an estimated street value of $1.29 billion.

The seizure of 1.7 tonnes of the drug in the US — also the biggest ever domestic seizure of the drug there — has led to six arrests in Victoria and NSW.

The seizure could have resulted in more than 17 million drug deals, with an estimated street value of approximately $1.29 billion, police say.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police arrested six people on Thursday, allegedly involved with the US-based organised syndicate investigated over the shipment.

Authorities from the AFP, Victoria Police and Australian Border Force will address the media on Friday morning.

7:30am

Craig McLachlan to face court

Australian actor Craig McLachlan is due to face court in Melbourne on a raft of indecent assault charges, believed to stem from allegations raised by colleagues.

The screen and stage star, 53, was charged on summons in January with eight counts of indecent assault, one of common assault and attempted indecent assault.

At the time, a spokesman for McLachlan said “Craig is innocent of these charges which will be vigorously defended”.

The Gold Logie winner is scheduled to face Melbourne Magistrates Court today, when it will be his first appearance over the charges.

Craig McLachlan will front court today.Source:News Corp Australia

McLachlan became a household name for his roles on Neighbours and Home and Away, and more recently he has led the Ballarat-filmed TV series Doctor Blake Mysteries.

He faced allegations of misconduct by fellow cast members in the Rocky Horror Show stage production, in which he played Dr Frank-N-Furter in 2014.

The actor strongly denied the allegations and launched defamation action in NSW last year, suing Fairfax Media, the ABC and former co-star Christie Whelan Browne.

McLachlan is seeking $6.5 million in special damages in the defamation case, which has been delayed until after his criminal proceedings in Victoria.

— AAP

7:00am

Lengthy application asks how candidate would react to nude housemates

Applying for a house in Sydney is already a nightmare but one home in the inner west has kicked things up a notch with its lengthy list of questions.

In a Facebook ad, potential candidates looking for a spot in the home were asked everything from “what about your life intensely excites you” to “why do you feel drawn to living in a share house of five”.

Perhaps the most intense question of the 18 the sharehouse asked came in the form of nudity.

“How would you react to a housemate walking back from the bathroom nude?”

The sharehouse also asked what sort of “self care” the potential roommate engaged in and what their “relationship to food” was.

The list of demanding questions for a Sydney sharehouse.

The list of demanding questions for a Sydney sharehouse.Source:Facebook

The application also offered a few anecodates about the housemates the potential candidate could live with.

“(Housemate 1) really enjoys contact improv dance, bettering democracy, non violent communication, time in nature and honest, vibrant connection,” it read.

“(Housemate 2) really enjoys improvised dance, adventures in nature, whimsy and honest conversations.”

“(Housemate 3) really enjoys eastern poetry, road trips that include wild nature and country op-shop ceramic hunts, insects that camouflage as flowers, and deep conversations.”

6:30am

‘Drinkable’ chips bashed online

A snack company in Japan has come up with a solution to an issue that has plagued humanity since the dawn of the iPhone: How do you snack and scroll?

The Tokyo-based Koike-ya has developed a packet of chips designed to be “sipped” rather than eaten subsequently allowing the diner to keep one hand free.

The company developed One Hand Chips — a handheld snack that comes in a variety of flavours and is splintered into smaller pieces so the consumer can essentially “drink” the product.

Though the company told The Wall Street Journal the intention was not necessarily to save Millennials from greasy phones. It actually originated from wanting to “make it easier” for customers to eat the potato chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

“What we said is, ‘Why don’t we make it easier for them to do that?’” said Kohei Shimosaka.

— Read more on Fox News

6:15am

‘You just need to do it’: Judgment Day for suicide text girlfriend

Michelle Carter, the teenager who encouraged her boyfriend he “just needed to do it” after he texted her in the middle of a suicide attempt, will learn her fate today.

On July 13, 2014, Carter’s boyfriend Conrad Roy sent out one last cry for help via text message.

“You can’t think about it,” she texted back.

“You just need to do it Conrad. The more you push it off, the more it will eat at you.

“No more waiting. If you want it as bad as you say you do, it’s time to do it today.”

After the teen’s death, Carter texted a classmate. “It’s my fault,” she wrote. “I could have stopped him but I told him to get back in the car.”

Carter, who has not yet served any jail time, was told by judges of Massachusetts’ highest court that her conviction would stand despite an appeal. They criticised her for failing to intervene.

Today’s ruling was likely the end of the road for Carter who has been on bail while pursuing her appeals. Her lawyers said they may consider taking her case to the US Supreme Court.

Michelle Carter will hear the verdict today. Picture: Charles Krupa

Michelle Carter will hear the verdict today. Picture: Charles KrupaSource:AP

If you are experiencing mental health issues or suicidal feelings contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call triple-0.

— Read More

6:00am

Drought-stricken farmers crippled by ‘three years of rain in 10 days’

Drought-ravaged Queensland graziers could lose half their herds after a once-in- a-century monsoon dumped three years of rain in just ten days.

Flood waters have swamped properties from Mount Isa to Charters Towers and south to Longreach.

The deluge has killed cattle in their thousands and left entire herds isolated and facing possible starvation.

Grazier Jamie Zammit at Wyreema Downs, south of Julia Creek, said it was too boggy to inspect his 12,000-hectare station but in the paddocks he can get to he’s found stock losses at 50 per cent.

“It’s pretty sh*tful. I can’t see anything but rain and dead animals,” he told AAP.

“At the end of the day it’s pretty much a disaster, everyone battled through the drought then got three years of rain in 10 days.”

“This country can’t handle rain like that, there are creeks where there were never creeks and we’ve never had rain like this in a 100 years of records.”

The swollen Broughton River has isolated grazing families from the town.

The swollen Broughton River has isolated grazing families from the town.Source:Supplied

Rural Aid chief executive Charles Alder says hundreds of farmers are facing a dire situation, with up to 300,000 head of cattle affected.

“For these farmers who’ve been battling drought for five and six years it’s just crippling,” he told AAP.

Mr Alder said it was a race against time to get food to the surviving cattle.

He estimates the cattle industry could be facing stock losses of up to $100 million.

“It’s going to be a big issue for banks because farmers aren’t going to be able to restock very quickly and they’re going to need to have cashflow to pay their bills,” he said.

— AAP

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