Memorial for local aboriginal resistance fighter Dundalli - plus more 8am zedlines

Aboriginal people light the sacred fire in Post Office Square to commemorate the death of Dundalli. (photo: St Mary's in exile)

Hail storm hits St George cotton farmers hard

A hail storm that took place on Christmas Eve is estimated to have written off roughly $6 million dollars worth of cotton in south-western Queensland.

St George agronomist John Mulholland says the storm has damaged an estimated 1,200 hectares of crops across nine farms in the area, due to thumb-sized hail tearing through the cotton.

Mr Mulholland says most of the growers have crop insurance, and that at least the rainfall will allow the farmers to plant something else in the wake of the hail.

 

Brisbane aboriginal people commemorate Dundalli

Brisbane aboriginal people and supporters gathered yesterday in Post Office Square to commemorate the life and death of aboriginal resistance fighter Dundalli.

Dundalli was a Dalla man who was convicted of two counts of murder. Aboriginal people say the killings were retribution for atrocities done by settlers, including a mass poisoning of up to 60 people at Kilcoy.

Dundalli was hanged on 5th January 1855 outside the then Brisbane Gaol, which today is the site of the General Post Office. His hanging was botched by the executioner and he had to be strangled to death.

 

Opposition calls for Sex Discrimination Commissioner to be appointed

The Australian Labor Party has questioned prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's commitment on addressing discrimination against women, with the position of Sex Discrimination Commissioner still left vacant.

A spokesperson for Senator George Brandis says Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs was acting in the role, and that the recruitment process is underway.

The opposition likened the delay to Mr Turnbull’s handling of the Peter Dutton and Jamie Briggs scandal, saying it was unacceptable that women suffering discrimination have been left with no dedicated advocate for months.

 

Hackers target Thai police websites in protest

Hackers have taken control of police websites in Thailand, apparently in protest against a controversial murder case.

Five Thai police websites had their home pages replaced with a black white screen saying “Failed Law. We want justice” and featuring the hashtag “#BoycottThailand. Up to 14 websites were offline.

The hacking is believed to be in response to the controversial conviction of Burmese men Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin in regards to the murder of two British backpackers in September 2014. The case was controversial, with police failing to secure the crime scene, releasing pictures of suspects who turned out to be innocent, and allegations that they tortured the accused men to gain a confession.

It is alleged that the Thai government rushed to convict somebody so as not to affect the tourism industry and the two Burmese men were made scapegoats.

Bodies of migrants found off Turkish border

Turkish authorities say yesterday they found the bodies of 34 migrants at two locations on the Aegean coast.

The number of refugees and migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe dropped towards the end of 2015 due to the colder weather conditions, however still reached an estimated 1 million people, nearly five times than what it was in 2014.

The migrants died after their boat had apparently capsized in the rough seas. It is not known how many vessels were involved.