7 Monday news bites (Sep 5)

Julia Gillard with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen

1. Solicitor-General rules out offshore processing of asylum seekers in PNG, Nauru

The Gillard government faces a choice between doing a deal with Tony Abbott to bring back the Pacific solution or bowing to the demands of its now noisy Left faction and scrapping the overseas processing of asylum seekers altogether. The stark contrast emerged yesterday after the government released its written legal advice, which says last week’s High Court decision that ruled the Malaysia plan invalid also rules out the Pacific solution locations of Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Abbott offered to help pass legislation amending the Migration Act to circumvent the High Court ruling and allow processing on Manus Island and Nauru. The government is torn over what to do and cabinet will discuss options today.

2.Gillard’s daddy bonus

New fathers will get about $1180 to wet the baby’s head when the Gillard government introduces paid paternity leave from January 2013. The government used Father’s Day to announce the extension to the national paid parental leave scheme. Fathers or partners will get cheques paid over two weeks at the national minimum wage – now $590 a week before tax – to give them time off work to help mothers care for their newborns.

3. At least 20 dead, more missing after typhoon hits Japan

A typhoon has pummelled western Japan leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 50 missing after swollen rivers swept away buildings and landslides crushed houses. In scenes that rekindled memories of the March 11 tsunami disaster, thousands of people were left stranded.








Alissandra Moore

4. Australia’s Next Top Model controversy – size 8 model told she is too fat

UPDATE: As many of you have noted, Alex Perry apparently did not say these comments in relation to the model’s body but instead in relation to her pose for one particular segment on ANTM.

Judge Alex Perry openly criticised 18-year-old Alissandra Moone likening her to “overstuffed luggage” in a photo shoot. Moone is a size eight and weighs 57 kg.

Moone said yesterday that “it’s a very bad message to be sending to young girls who watch the show.”

“It’s harsh. It’s stupid. And it’s out of touch. I understand it’s a reality of the industry but this is a TV show and they should have a responsibility to censor that kind of thing.

5. DIY renovations linked to increase in asbestos related cancers in women

Researchers in Western Australia have found exposure to toxic asbestos materials during home renovations is now the main cause of malignant mesothelioma (MM) in women. While there have been more men than women diagnosed with the fatal disease caused by exposure to asbestos-based building products during home renovations, the rise in cases has been sharper among women during the past decade.


The number of home renovation cases soared from five per cent of all MM cases in women during the 1990s to more than 35 per cent between 2005 and 2008.

Could you eat this for dinner?

6. Insects soon to be on the menu in London

Experts in Brussels believe that insects could be a vital source of nutrition that will not only solve food shortages but also help save the environment. They have launched a €3 million ($3.99 million) project to promote the eating of insects.

Proponents of entomophagy – insect eating – argue that bugs are a low-cholesterol, low-fat, protein-rich food source. According to one study, small grasshoppers offer 20 per cent protein and just 6 per cent fat, to lean ground beef’s 24 per cent protein and 18 per cent fat.

The European Commission is offering the money to the research institute with the best proposal for investigating ”insects as novel sources of proteins”. It wants research into quality and safety, including potential allergic reactions and the sort of proteins consumed.

Professor Marcel Dicke, leading a team at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, which is applying for the research grant, said: ”By 2020, you will be buying insects in supermarkets. We will be amazed that in 2011 people didn’t think it was going to happen.

Would you eat insects?

7. Happy Feet gets lost again

So, after being shoved mercilessly into the Ocean and set free, Happy Feet the wayward Penguin was supposed to head for Antarctica. But a tracking device shows he is heading back to New Zealand. D’oh!

Below we’ve included a gallery of how Beyonce hid her baby bump before it was revealed at the MTV VMA awards last week. Enjoy!

These news bites were brought to you by Nat.