1. Pregnant asylum seekers will be forced to give birth in Nauru under the Abbott Government’s “no exemptions” policy of offshore detention. The policy is being reintroduced after regulations surrounding pregnant asylum seekers were relaxed in 2004.
Fairfax are reporting that a woman in Nauru carrying twins will be one of the first asylum seekers to be affected by the policy.
2. Prime Minister Tony Abbott will miss out on meeting Barack Obama after the US President pulled out of two Asian summits next week. US Secretary of State, John Kenny, will attend the APEC and East Asia summits in Obama’s place, as the President has decided that he should remain in the US to deal with the continuing government shutdown.
3. Schapelle Corby has continued to deny any knowledge of the drugs found in her luggage upon arrival in Bali in her parole application. The Australian former-beautician, who was arrested in 2004, will return to Australia in September 2017 if she is granted parole.
4. The Pope has criticised the Italian Government’s management of refugees and asylum seekers calling the recent tragedy off the country’s south coast a “disgrace.” Hundreds are still feared dead after a ship carrying African refugees caught fire and capsized off the coast of the island of Lampedusa. The current confirmed death toll is at 133.
6. An American research team believe they are one step closer to finding a cure for Down Syndrome. The team at John Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore have developed an injection that reverses Down Syndrome in newborn mice. The compound in the injection acts to enhance cerebellum growth. However, the team are unsure if the injection could be developed for human use, given the possible adverse affects on increasing the size of the human brain.
7. Prince Harry has arrived in Australia. The royal has been attending the Naval Fleet Review in Sydney, as part of the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Australian Navy. This marks the Prince’s first official visit to Australia, after taking a gap year here in 2003.
8. For just $3000 a night (plus $99/head) you could have your office Christmas party in the Big Brother house. Dreamworld, who rents out the house each year for functions, told Fairfax that demand has been particularly strong this year with hairdressers, real estate agents and retailers the most common workplaces choosing to end the year with a stay in the Big Brother house.