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Australian PM: Gammy case is 'an incredibly sad story'

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the case of a six-month old baby abandoned by his Australian parents because he had Down's Syndrome is "an incredibly sad story."

He said it was one of the pitfalls of surrogacy and added: "I hate to think that a child could be abandoned like that."

£100K for Down syndrome baby left with surrogate

Donations of almost £100,000 have come in for a baby boy left with his surrogate mother after his new parents found out he had Down's Syndrome. The couple left him in Thailand but took his twin sister who does not have Downs back to Australia with them.

ITV News reporter Sejal Karia reports:


Australian weightlifter fined for headbutt

An Australian Commonwealth Games weightlifter admitted to headbutting a Welsh athlete and was ordered to pay £400 compensation at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Francois Etoundi admitted to headbutting a Welsh athlete at the Commonwealth Games village. Credit: PA

Francois Etoundi assaulted Gareth Evans, also a weightlifter, in the athletes' village on Wednesday morning, the court heard.

The assault followed an earlier verbal exchange between the pair relating to Evans' athlete girlfriend.

Sheriff Andrew Cubie said Etoundi, 29, had brought "the law of the playground" into the athletes' village, while his behaviour "undermines the concept of the friendly games".

Parents of MH17 victims: 'We live in a hell beyond hell'

The parents of three Australian children who were killed with their grandfather in the MH17 crash said they are living in a "hell beyond hell" in the wake of the disaster.

Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin, aged 12, eight and 10, and their grandfather Nick Norris, 68, were among the 298 people killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was apparently shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17.

Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris said the "people who shot our whole family out of the sky" do not deserve the "intense and relentless" pain they are suffering.

Mo, Otis and Evie Maslin were killed along with their grandfather in the MH17 disaster.

"We live in a hell beyond hell. Our babies are not here with us – we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives," the parents said in a statement.

"No one deserves what we are going through. Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.

"No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other. This is a revelation that gives us some comfort."


Local authority defends decision to prosecute parents

The decision to prosecute a couple who took their children on holiday to Australia during term time has been defended by the local authority.

Our schools follow the guidance set down by the Department for Education in trying to maintain good levels of attendance.

Schools decide whether to authorise leave based on whether they think there are exceptional circumstances.

Penalty notices are issued by the council at the request of schools for various reasons including where the school has felt there were no exceptional circumstances to justify absence.

– Coventry City Council statement

Criminal records for term-time holiday couple 'damaging'

A court decision to hand a couple criminal records for taking their children on holiday during term time has "done a lot of damage to the family", an MP has told ITV News.

John Hemming MP, who heads the group Parents Want a Say which campaigns against rules preventing parents from taking their children on holiday during term time, said the parents "may have to end up accepting this unjust decision" because of financial limitations.

John Hemming MP heads the group Parents Want a Say. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

He said: "It is sad that the courts take the view that a parent doing the best they can for their children in difficult circumstances is guilty of a criminal offence even though the parents got a conditional discharge.

"This case has done a lot of damage to that family and the costs of arguing in court have ended up as prohibitive.

"The difficulty for the mother is that she probably cannot take the financial risk of taking this case to judicial review and may have to end up accepting this unjust decision merely because of the financial limitations.

"The secrecy applied to this case does not to me seem to be justified and seems to be driven by a desire to keep the publicity to a minimum. I will be speaking further to the mother in the days to come."

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