Ukraine bans Communist Party - and more 8am Zedlines

A tugboat harbour has not been planned for the Abbot point expansion, which conservationists say the QLD government failed to inform the federal government about. Image Source: WikiCommons

No tugboat facilities planned for Abbot Point expansion

Conservationists are claiming the Queensland government has failed to inform the Federal government about the lack of tug boat facilities in the Abbot Point expansion plan.

North Queensland Conservation Council campaigner Jeremy Tager said it is a serious omission and there are significant dredging impacts involved with the project.

The Queensland government says a tug harbour proposal was not relevant to the first phase of the expansion and they have no intention on building one.

Brisbane restaurant builds Queensland's biggest gingerbread house for charity

Staff at Brisbane restaurant Bacchus have taken on the task of building Queensland’s largest gingerbread house as a part of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal.

Pastry chef Tammy Cole and head chef Mark Penna built the house from 170 kilograms of gingerbread tiles and made the icing from 120 kilograms of sugar, creating a two-meter tall structure.

Salvation Army member Major Neil Dickson said this week is the busiest time for their appeal and encourages anyone who wishes to donate to not wait too long.

Acquire Learning CEO accused of unconscionable conduct

Former AFL CEO and businessman Andrew Demetriou’s vocational education company has been accused of false or misleading behaviour and unconscionable conduct in the Federal Court.

Acquire Learning sold tens of thousands of expensive courses to vulnerable job-seekers after buying their details from job websites, leaving many unemployed with enormous debts.

Fairfax Media uncovered that only 7% or fewer out of those enrolled actually completed their courses.

Adoption rates at all time low

A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has shown adoption rates in Australia are at a record low, with a decline of 8% between 2014 and 2015.

The report outlined reasons for the drop, including a reduction in fertility rates and parents waiting longer to have children.

Prospective adoptive parents are said to be looking overseas for younger children, although they must often wait up to five years to complete the process.

Chinese economist predicts mining companies will go bankrupt

A prominent Chinese economist has predicted that more mining companies will go bankrupt in 2016 as that country’s economy slows and commodity prices fall.

Andy Xie said many mines in China are in trouble as debt-laden local governments withdraw financial support.

Mr Xie also said Australian mining companies won’t benefit from the reduced Chinese supply and those companies with infrastructure debts will be in deep trouble due to stagnant or falling iron ore prices.

Ukrainian court bans Communist Party

A Ukrainian court has banned the country’s Communist Party in a move that human rights organisations say sets a dangerous precedent.

The ban comes a week after Russia’s UN representative accused Ukrainian authorities of following ideologies of Neo-Nazism and aggressive nationalism.

It also comes shortly after US Vice President Joe Biden visited the country calling on leaders to build a united, democratic Ukraine.