1. The nation’s parliament has passed new legislation that will excise the entire Australian mainland from the migration zone.
This means that asylum seekers who come by boat and reach Australia can (and will) be sent offshore for processing rather than allowed to live in the Australian community while they wait for a determination.
Labor had previously opposed this policy while in Opposition but were joined by the Coalition yesterday to pass the law.
2. In his Budget Reply speech last night, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced $4 billion a year in new savings. He also said that Australian families will be $600 a year better off under a Coalition Government because he would scrap the carbon tax, while keeping the financial assistance for households. Mr Abbott will not proceed with Labor’s promised education reforms.
3. A new anti-teen pregnancy campaign from the Chicago Department of Health aims to teach young men that pregnancy is their responsibility too. The department has released a series of billboards – that feature pictures of pregnant men – with the aim of reducing the rates of teen pregnancy.
4. Hong Kong’s Security Minister has been criticised for suggesting women drink less to avoid rape. At a presentation about crime rates in the country, Lai Tung-kwo said:”All of these (rape) cases happened between those who know each other. They are either friends, close friends or they just met a few hours ago… Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much.”
5. A Melbourne man is reportedly suing the airline Qatar after he was hit by the drinks trolley during a flight from Melbourne to Doho in 2011. John Karatzaferis alleges that he suffered “pain, tenderness and limitation of movement” in his knee after the incident and that he’s also suffered from depression and anxiety as a result. His case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Victoria and it’s not known how much he is suing for.
6. AFL chief Andrew Demetriou has revealed there’s been a rise in the number of AFL played taking illicit substances. Yesterday he announced that 26 players from multiple clubs had tested positive to illicit substances in 2012 – with cocaine being the most widely used. “You may think that a significant increase is devastating, but from our perspective it means we have identified more people that we can shift their behaviours,” he said.
7. The Government of Swaziland has placed a ban on witches flying their broomsticks above 150 metres above the ground. (And no, we’re not joking.) The African country takes witchcraft very seriously. The rules states that any witch caught flying above the limit will be fined R500,000.
8. David Beckham has announced his retirement from soccer. He’ll hang up his boots at the end of the season. And just because we can…. Happy Friday!