1. Findings from the United Nations say that Australia has violated refugees’ human rights. Australia has been found guilty of nearly 150 human rights violations according to international law, regarding the indefinite detention of refugees. The UN has ordered that the 46 refugees in question – who have been held in detention for over four years – be released and provided with rehabilitation and compensation.
The UN found that the detention of the refugees was in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and “cumulatively inflicting serious psychological harm”. Australia has 180 days to act upon the recommendations provided by the UN and to say that similar violations will not occur in the future.
2. Hundreds of people have been killed in Syria overnight, in what appears to have been a gas attack. Rebels are claiming that the government used chemical weapons on rebel-held parts of eastern Damascus. Some have estimated that the death toll is between 200 and 500, but others are saying that it is as much as 1,400. The death toll includes several children.
The Syrian Government has denied using chemical weapons during the attack but have taken responsibility for launching the major offensive in rebel-held districts. If this was a gas attack, it would be the most significant use of chemical weapons worldwide in 25 years.
3. In last night’s election debate in which the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader were asked questions from an audience of voters, the soundbite which will undoubtedly be replayed over and over today was the moment when Tony Abbott asked whether the Kevin Rudd would “shut up”.
While the PM was pursuing a line of questioning in regards to paid parental leave costings, Abbott asked the audience in exasperation, “Does this guy ever shut up?” Abbott later defended his comment, saying that Kevin Rudd was being confrontational in his style during the debate as well.