Medical breakthrough could be saviour for premature babies and more Zedlines

Medical professionals at the University of Sydney have made a breakthrough in the fight to lower premature baby mortality rates.

Doctors found waiting 60 seconds before clipping the umbilical cord of premature babies could reduce death rates by one third.

The delay is already in practice for full-term babies, being linked to helping babies to adapt to life outside the womb better.

Man claims bank altered documents to approve loan

A Queensland farmer claims his bank altered important documents to approve loans he should have never received.

Ron Feierabend bought a Bundaberg sugarcane farm in early 2012 but has been hit time and time again by natural disasters forcing him to borrow more money to stay afloat.

Mr Feierabend has told the Senate Select Committee on Lending to Primary Production Customers that during a refinancing application with Suncorp bank he noticed discrepancies in the budget, which showed there wouldn’t be sufficient money for the next 12 months.

Mr Feierabend takes full responsibility for the borrowing but believes the bank has failed its duty of care.

Flood-affected farmers preparing for long-term income woes

Farmers of the Monto district were recently hit by a downpour of over 400mm, with large amounts of ready to harvest crops being destroyed by the downpour.

Agronomist Kendall Muller said the downpour had wiped out all of the area’s crops with many farmers now facing 18 straight months of no income following recent natural disasters over the past year.

Local resident Wayne Smith worries the flow-on effects could be detrimental to the town following the impact natural disasters have had on income.

Drones deployed to investigate the mystery of whale weight loss

Murdoch University’s Fredrick Christiansen and Kate Sprogis head a research endeavour using drones to investigate the body condition of female humpbacks.

The researchers are seeking to assess why the whales lose so much weight on their year-long migration from Antarctica to the WA coast, which commences in Antarctica over the summer.

In June, the researchers spent three weeks photographing the whales using drones to hopefully deduce exactly how much weight females lose and the energy they expend on the migration.

Christiansen says limited and dated records of whales exist, so the drone method will revolutionise the research field, particularly in terms of understanding the physiology of whales.

Nigeria to pay US$288 million to civil war victims

A court has ordered Nigeria to pay $88 billion nairas in damages to victims of the 1967 civil war for failure to fully de-mine the land of other weaponry after the hostilities ended.

The court has ruled the government will have to pay $50 billion nairas directly to war victims across 11 states and put the remaining amount towards de-mining and the construction of schools, courts, churches and mosques.

A judge for the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice ruled there still remains many live bombs depriving communities of farmland since the end of the civil war.

Syrian kindergarten forced to flee

Classrooms of Syrian children have been forced to flee from their kindergarten after it was allegedly bombed by government forces.

Video footage has emerged, showing the panicked and crying children running from the site near the town of Kfar Ghouta, while adults usher them to find a safe place to hide before investigating the area.

Activists claim several civilians have been injured in the attack, but there have been no reports of fatalities so far.