The Australian Defence Force takes responsibility for anti malarial drug side effects - and more 9am zedlines:

The Australian Defence Force has, for the first time, taken responsibility for the side effects seen in soldiers who used anti-malarial drugs. (Image source: Flickr)

Calls for amnesty from family for Ashley Dyball:

The family of a Brisbane man who has returned from fighting in a Kurdish military campaign against the Islamic State has appealed for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to grant their son amnesty.

Ashley Dyball was arrested in Germany this week while on break from fighting and was questioned for several hours by Australian Federal Police officers upon landing in Melbourne last night.

Mr Dyball was released without charge pending further enquiry and his lawyer says he is confident they will be able to defend any potential charges in the future.

Queensland voters to participate in a referendum:

Queenslanders have been called to vote on a referendum to approve fixed, four year parliamentary terms.

Both Labor and the LNP have passed laws that will extend the current three year terms, and fix an October election date if the referendum is successful.

The referendum, to be held in March, coinciding with the local council elections, is expected to pass due to both parties supporting it.

Plans to boost innovation:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today unveil a 1 billion dollar plan to boost innovation across 11 Government portfolios.

The plans will support areas such as tax, research infrastructure, and education, particularly education relating to science, technology, engineering, and maths in hopes to foster a more innovative society.

A relaxation of bankruptcy laws, and changes to the 457 visa scheme are also expected.

The Australian Defence Force takes responsibility for anti malarial drug side effects:

The Australian Defence Force has admitted both current and former members have displayed severe side effects to anti-malarial drugs.

Members have previously said defence had not taken reports seriously, with this being the first time responsibility has been taken.

Side effects to Lariam have included permanent psychological damage, including anxiety attacks, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, and hallucinations.

French far-right National Front party leading in elections:

France’s far-right National Front party appear to lead in the first round of regional elections in the country according to early estimates.

Party leader Marine Le Pen has campaigned on an anti-immigration and Islamophobic platform.

Polling projections show the National Front has between 27.2 and 30.8 per cent of the national vote.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Republican party and its allies are projected to come second, while President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party are in third place.

Myanmar's former military chef accepts Aung San Suu Kyi as the leader:

Myanmar's former military chief General Than Shwe has accepted Aung San Suu Kyi as "the leader" of the south-east Asian country, his grandson has said.

General Than Shwe ruled Myanmar from 1992 to 2001 and kept Ms Suu Kyi under house arrest for most of his 19 years in power.

The comment came two days after Than Shwe met Ms Suu Kyi, who led her National League for Democracy party to victory last month.

In 1990, Ms Suu Kyi's party also swept the election, but the outcome was ignored by the military government, which put her under house arrest for a total of 15 years.

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