– Rui Arajo announced as East Timor’s new PM
– SA opposition attacks government’s mental health plan
– Russia, Egypt to collaborate on Egyptian nuclear plants
– Tunisian smugglers protest police brutality
– ‘Judas camels’ culling herds
– Tasmanian mental health system “chronically underfunded”
– Modern India sees increase in female abortion
– Fake snow leopard attempts zoo escape
– Cell discovery could change the face of cancer research
– Qld election has record number of informal votes
Cell discovery could change the face of cancer research
Researchers at Griffith University on the Gold Coast and the Malaghan Institute in New Zealand have made a breakthrough in cell research, it was announced yesterday.
It was found that cells are more permeable than previously thought, with cell centres – mitochondria – found to move through cell walls into tumour cells.
The discovery – which may change the entire field of cellular biology – would explain why some cancers return, after they’ve been neutralised.
Qld election has record number of informal votes
This year’s state election saw a record number of informal votes, as counting continues for dozens of marginal seats.
The latest figures show over 56,000 Queenslanders voted informally, a figure that is expected to grow as counting continues.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland has formally declared the result in 35 of Queensland’s 89 electorates, and are hoping to declare another 30 seats by this evening.
Greens call on Abbott to stop corporate tax avoidance
The senate has endorsed a Greens motion calling on the Abbott government to crack down on corporate tax avoidance.
Greens Leader Christine Milne says that Australians don’t need to be gouged for taxes by the government, when enforcing current corporate tax laws would supply the need revenue.
She says the Liberals are running a “protection racket for big business, at the expense of the community”.
The Greens have promised to support the government’s proposed two-tiered corporate tax rates, if their motion is acted on.
NSW trade hall on UNESCO shortlist
A trade hall in Broken Hill in outback New South Wales is in the running to be included on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The building dates back to the 1890s and is one of three Australian union buildings on the shortlist for a new UNESCO list celebrating the international labour movement.
The Broken Hill building is already on the national heritage list, and supporters are hopeful this will add to the building’s chances.
The other two Australian candidates for the UNESCO list are union halls in Sydney and Melbourne.
Defibrillators heading for Aussie schools
A three-year campaign to introduce defibrillators into sporting clubs around Australia is now headed for the nation’s schools.
The initiative – known as Project Defib – provides schools and sporting clubs with a grant to help purchase a defibrillator and provide training.
Anthony Cameron from the Red Cross says defibrillators can be life-saving wherever large groups of people gather.
Frenchman fronting court over alleged Picasso thefts
A Frenchman who kept nearly 300 original Picassos hidden in his garage will face court over the alleged thefts.
The retired electrician said he was hired to work on Picasso’s home before the artist died in 1973, becoming close friends with the man and his wife.
He says Jacqueline Picasso gifted him the nearly 300 drawings and sketches when he finished job, but the Picasso administration says it’s likely the works were stolen.
Administration lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer says “If someone gives you 271 Picasso works, you remember that.”
The trial is expected to last three days.
Rocket attacks mar Ukraine peace talks
Nearly 40 people have been killed, as fighting intensifies in the lead up to Ukraine’s peace summit today.
The attack seemed to target a Ukrainian military base in Kramatorsk, killing and wounding dozens of civilians. The deaths add to the 5,400 dead since April.
The four-way peace talks between the Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France are scheduled to be held in Minsk today.
Fake snow leopard attempts zoo escape
Visitors to Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo were surprised this morning by a zoo employee attempting to escape the grounds, while dressed as a snow leopard.
The event happens each year at various zoos across Tokyo, to remind staff members how to respond to a real animal escape.
The fake snow leopard mimed maiming a fellow employee, who was taken away in an ambulance, before succumbing to a fake tranquiliser gun.
Previous animal costumes used as part of the drill have included zebra, rhino, lion and orangutan outfits.
Palmer calls for Hockey to be sacked
Clive Palmer has called for Treasurer Joe Hockey to be sacked, as LNP popularity continues to fall.
Mr Palmer says that Hockey’s renewed commitment to medicare and higher education changes shows he does not understand how to stimulate the economy.
The call comes as Malcolm Turnbull reveals he was offered the position of Treasurer even before the LNP leadership spill.
Advocates call for more action on Closing the Gap
As Prime Minister Abbott concludes his second annual Closing the Gap speech, community advocates are demanding he do more than give speeches about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Researcher Gerry Georgatos says Closing the Gap indicators are misleading, and in reality the divide has widened, and continues to do so.
He warns that unless real change is implemented, by 2020 the gap will have “entrenched catastrophic impacts”.
Australia has the widest divide between its First Peoples and the rest of the population throughout the globe.
Modern India sees increase in female abortion
New research shows that technology is making gendered abortion increasingly common in India.
The research comes after a court case filed by the Centre for Women’s Development, who argued that internet ads for sex tests in India breached advertising regulations.
Fetal sex tests are illegal in India, but Sabu George of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies says the country’s elite are increasingly turning to them.
Census data shows the rate of girls being born is dropping dramatically compared to boys, equating to millions of fetuses being aborted because of their gender.
Tasmanian mental health system “chronically underfunded”
Tasmania’s Health Minister Michael Ferguson has today confirmed the state’s adolescent mental health system is chronically underfunded.
Health union delegate and social worker Ben McGregor said delays due to inadequate staff numbers were making mental health problems worse.
Industrial action has been taken by a group of health workers, citing the case of a nine-year-old child waiting more than a year for mental health treatment.
Health Minister Ferguson said the State Government’s green paper process on reforming the health system would chart a way forward.
‘Judas camels’ culling herds
Researchers at Murdoch University have discovered that fitting camels with tracking devices can lead them to herds of feral camels that need to be culled.
The camels, dubbed by researchers as ‘judas camels’, shift from one herd to another, rather than staying in family groups, allowing a single animal to lead shooters to multiple feral herds.
Dr Peter Spencer says the technique could be effective in controlling Australia’s feral camels, which remained surprisingly elusive despite their massive population.
Tunisian smugglers protest police brutality
Residents of southern Tunisia have staged mass strikes following deadly clashes between police and demonstrators over the seizure of contraband fuel.
Much of southern Tunisia lives largely off illegal cross-border trade, with Libyan oil providing the majority of profits.
Unions are demanding job creation schemes, the lifting of an export tax imposed on goods, the easing of border controls and an inquiry into the “excessive use of force” by the police.
Russia, Egypt to collaborate on Egyptian nuclear plant
The presidents of Russia and Egypt have announced a plan to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant together.
The deal included promises of further trade between the two countries, including boosting the natural gas trade.
The plant would be built at the existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast west of the port city of Alexandria, where a research reactor has stood for years.
The visit comes amid new tensions between Russia and the US and the European Union over Moscow’s backing of armed separatist rebels in Ukraine.
Government warned indecision will harm Reef
The Queensland Resources Council is warning the state government that their inaction is jeopardising deliberations over the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
The World Heritage Committee is assessing whether the reef should be listed as “in danger” in a report due at the end of the month.
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the report recommendation would depend on whether or not the government would sign off on new legislation, which commits to restricting port development for the next 10 years.
SA opposition attacks government’s mental health plan
The South Australian opposition are accusing the state government of failing in its commitment to improve the mental health system.
Opposition Health Spokesman Stephen Wade says the Government’s new Transforming Health consultation paper, which failed to include provisions for mental health, demonstrated a lack of commitment to the problem.
Mr Wade says “until our mental system is working properly, South Australia’s hospital system will not work properly.”
Rui Arajo picked as East Timor’s new PM
Former health minister Rui Arajo has been chosen by East Timor’s president as the new prime minister of the country.
Mr Araujo replaces former PM Xanana Gusmao, who stepped down last week.
Mr Araujo is expected to be sworn in this week as East Timor’s fifth prime minister since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.
East Timor expert Damian Kingsbury said Mr Araujo was “very, very popular” and regarded as “one of the young generation”.
New papaya treatment to save Qld growers thousands
Researchers are trialling a hot water treatment which they say could stop up to 60 per cent of of losses experienced by Australian papaya growers.
The technique involves dipping fruit into tubs of heated water, with the best results achieved when papaya is submerged in 52 degree water for five minutes.
About a third of Queensland’s wet season papaya crop is lost to post-harvest diseases, costing farmers thousands of dollars in lost production.
The treatment is not yet available in Australia, but local growers are reportedly very interested.