News Wrap: Molly Meldrum in hospital after fall

A look back at the week’s news and sport highlights including Friday’s developing story: Molly Meldrum in hospital after suffering a fall.

More after the jump.

Molly Meldrum was fighting for his life in  Alfred Hospital on Friday morning after undergoing surgery overnight to relieve swelling on his brain after he suffered a fall. The 65-year-old, who remains in a critical condition, is believed to have been putting up Christmas decorations at his Richmond home when he fell several metres from the roof, hitting his head on some tiles. It is believed Meldrum’s gardener found him lying unconscious on the ground, not breathing, with swelling to the brain, multiple broken bones and a punctured lung. Meldrum’s neurosurgeon, Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, speaking on Friday said the icon was stable and in intensive care. Meldrum had a pressure monitor installed which has monitored the pressure on his skull overnight, he told press gathered outside the hospital. Meldrum is currently sedated and Rosenfeld is pleased with Meldrum’s progress but warns they cannot predict what will happen. Rosenfeld said Meldrum has been in a coma since sustaining his injuries. He is hopeful Meldrum will remain stable and not require further surgery.

The stepfather of Kiesha Abrahams has had the murder charge against him downgraded to manslaughter and accessory to murder after the fact. Robert Smith, 32, was expected to enter a plea at Penrith Local Court on Friday after the charge was downgraded.

Students in NSW received their HSC marks on Wednesday and university entrance rankings on Thursday.

Paul Peters, the man who allegedly strapped a fake collar bomb to Madeleine Pulver, made his first appearance in a Sydney court on Thursday. Mr Peters appeared via video link when his matter was mentioned at Central Local Court. His next hearing is set down for March.

Aussie pollies were waiting with bated breath on Thursday when the Remuneration Tribunal decision on a pay rise was handed down. Julia Gillard will see her pay rise from an already impressive $366, 000 to $481, 000 while backbenchers base pay now starts at $185, 000 – up from $141, 000.

Finance Minister Penny Wong and her partner, Sophie Allouche, welcomed baby Alexandra on Wednesday. Alexandra, conceived using IVF and sperm from a donor known to the couple but who will not be named, weighed in at 3.23kg, and is cute as a button!

And in sporting news, Michael Clarke is said to be behind a push to reinstate Simon Katich to the Australian Test team, according to a report on Channel Nine on Thursday night. The push comes as Australia seeks to address their batting woes after the humiliating defeat to New Zealand earlier in the week.

AFL players signed off on a $1.144 billion pay deal which includes higher wages, a generous pension plan for retired players and the promise of more if the league’s revenue is above expectations. Under the deal signed off by the AFL and the players’ union on Thursday the average player will earn more than $300,000 a year by 2016.

And, Stephanie Rice will return to the pool just seven days after shoulder surgery in order to get her Olympic swimming trials campaign back on track. Rice underwent arthroscopic surgery in Melbourne on Tuesday to repair a torn tendon in her right shoulder.

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