Good Morning Bendigo! 24.12.13

Good morning Bendigo. One more sleep until Christmas!

TODAY'S WEATHER

Max 28. Sunny. 

For more detailed weather news go here.

TRAINS

No reported delays. 

NEWS OVERNIGHT

Spate of suicides linked to drug debts as methylamphetamine abuse spreads through Mildura

A spate of suicides in the Indigenous community in the remote north-west of Victoria has been linked to large debts racked up over the drug known as ice. 

People in the town of Mildura claim a number of young Aboriginal men have killed themselves after falling into debt to drug dealers.

A parliamentary committee holding hearings into the impact of ice - also known as methylamphetamine - recently sat in Mildura.

- ABC

Premiums to rise by 6.2%

The Abbott government has approved the biggest rise in private health insurance premiums in almost a decade, as it walks away from any early implementation of its election promise to scrap the means testing of the 30 per cent rebate for health fund members.

In a pre-Christmas whammy for Australians grappling with rising health costs, the average family policy including ancillaries such as dental is likely to rise by more than $200 a year because of the average 6.2 per cent increase for 2014 endorsed by Health Minister Peter Dutton.

- The Age 

THE HIT LIST

MEGA GALLERY: Community Carols

GALLERY: Festive Season Christmas Lunch

Home owners put Christmas spirit up in lights

'Two bodies, one soul'

GALLERY: Baby Evie is home for Christmas

THE DAILY QUIZ

1. Tibia and fibula are names of what?

2. In a pack of cards what is the Queen of Spades often known as?

3. What does Costa Blanca actually mean?

4. In which country was the first Marathon race run?

5. What are the minimum number of notes needed to produce a chord?

BIRTHDAYS

If today is your big day, happy birthday. 

You share a birthday with American author Stephenie Meyer and AFL coach Kevin Sheedy. 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

1953 - Train crashes into river at Tangiwai, New Zealand, killing 151 people.

1979 - An estimated 80,000 Soviet soldiers invade Afghanistan to oust Communist party leader Hafizullah Amin and replace him with the pro-Moscow Babrak Karmal. The European Space Agency launches its first Ariane rocket from French Guiana.

1994 - Muslim militants seize a French jetliner in Algiers and take 239 people hostage.

1996 - A woman detonates two hand grenades at a Christmas Eve church service in Frankfurt, Germany, killing herself and two other women.

1999 - Ivory Coast, long a bastion of stability in a region wracked by war, is riven by a coup d'etat. The nation's longtime ruling party later allies with the coup leaders.

2011 - Troops commanded by relatives of Yemen's outgoing president attack a crowd of more than 100,000 protesters peacefully marching into the capital, killing at least nine and driving the president to promise to leave the country.

2012 - An Afghan policewoman walks into a high-security compounded in Kabul and kills an American contractor with a single bullet to the chest, the first such shooting by a woman in a spate of insider attacks by Afghans against their foreign allies.

DID YOU KNOW?

A newborn kangaroo is about 1 inch in tall. 

JOKE OF THE DAY

What do elves learn in school? The Elf-abet!

Got another joke? Any tips on what we should be heading out to today? Email merran.reed@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

Have a great day, 

Merran 

Daily quiz answers: 1. Bones  2. The Black Lady  3. White Coast  4. Greece  5. Two

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