1. Italian gossip magazine Chi has published photos of (pregnant) Kate Middleton in a bikini. The Duchess of Cambridge is shown in a bright blue bikini on the cover of the magazine. St. James’s Palace said that the photos were a “clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy.” British media is refusing to publish the controversial pictures, and we’re taking the same stance.
2. “Prisoner X” – a prisoner whose identity was kept a secret after dying in a jail in Israel in 2010 – has been identified as an Australian. 34-year-old Ben Zygier moved from Melbourne to Israel in 2000 and committed suicide in a high-security jail in 2010 after being kept in isolation for a long period of time. It has been reported that Zygier had been recruited by the Israeli spy agency, Mossad. His crimes are unknown.
3. Kevin Rudd has said that Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard must bear the responsibility for Labor’s mining tax. The former prime minister said Mr Swan had come up with the initial design of the tax and blamed the Treasurer for its near non-existent revenue. “No government should ever take a backwards step in pursuit of the national interest,” Mr Rudd told Sky News.
4. In Syria, rebels have overrun a military air base and captured war planes, gaining ground in northern Syria. The conflict in Syria has been going for 23 months and has killed nearly 70,000 people in that time, according to UN rights chief Navi Pillay.
5. North Korea has conducted its third nuclear test, taking the country one step closer to a nuclear weapon that could be a threat to other countries such as the US or Australia. US president Barack Obama said that the test was a “threat to regional stability” that warranted swift and credible action by the international community.
6. A coroner in New Zealand has ruled that a woman died as a result of drinking too much Coke. Mother-of-eight Natasha Harris, who drank up to ten litres of the soft drink per day, died age 30 in 2010. The coroner has recommended that health authorities and Coca-Cola consider issuing warnings on soft drinks.
7. Since the Pope’s resignation yesterday, Australians have been chatting about Cardinal George Pell‘s chances for becoming the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. The bookies currently have him at $66, while Cardinal Marc Quellet from Canada is at $2.50 and Cardinal Francis Arinze from Nigeria is at $3. That said, observers have noted that Pell is “not without a chance” to replace 85-year-old Benedict XVI.
8. 5,000 people in Thailand have set a new world record in hula hooping. The contestants hula hooped simultaneously for seven minutes, without interruption, at an open air stadium in Bangkok on Tuesday.
9. Employment Minister Bill Shorten has announced changes to workplace laws that will make it easier for mums-to-be to get time off work before their child is born and to keep them safe while in the workplace.