Warnings about El Nino weather system - plus more 10am zedlines

Scientists warn that our current El Nino system could be as bad as the catastrophic 1997-98 system (image:creative commons)

Young Queenslanders at risk of skin cancer

The Cancer Council of Queensland has issued an urgent warning for under 35’s, with latest figures showing that melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young Queenslanders.

CCQ spokesperson Katie Cliff says these figures reinforce the urgency for young people to take sun exposure seriously.

Ms Clift says it is concerning to see so many cases diagnosed in young people, and stressed that young people should take the time to examine themselves for any signs of change in the skin such as moles.

Ms Clift says those that notice changes in their skin should visit their GP immediately.

Qld government promises toughening of liquor licence laws

The Queensland Government has renewed its push to introduce tough new liquor licensing laws to prevent alcohol-fueled violence.

This news comes after the death of teenager Cole Miller, who was allegedly attacked in the Fortitude Valley.

The laws propose bringing last drinks forward to 2am for most clubs and pubs.

Acting premier Jackie Trad says the government is determined to introduce law changes that will have an impact on alcohol fueled violence in Queensland.

Missing light aircraft found in South Australia

A light aircraft carrying two people that went missing in South Australia’s far north has been found earlier today.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority co-ordinated the search earlier this morning to locate the missing men and the aircraft.

South Australian police confirmed that the plane had been found and the two men rescued were being transported to Marre.

Protest against healthcare cuts to pap smears and pathology services

Protest is building against healthcare cuts that from July will mean pap smears, blood tests, urine tests and imaging services are no longer covered by government bulk billing payments.

Health professionals like Sonic Healthcare CEO Colin Goldschmidt have called the cuts “co-payment by stealth”, because costs will have to be passed on to customers.

Health minister Sussan Ley has been criticised for announcing the cuts just before Christmas when there was less media attention. A petition on change.org against the cuts was set up yesterday and already has over 12,000 signatures.

Rail workers on strike in Belgium

Trade unions in Brussels and southern Belgium have begun a 48-hour rail strike which is set to disrupt national and international connections.

The strike is in protest to planned government reforms aimed at streamlining services, which unions claim will cost thousands of jobs.

Unions across Belgium originally planned a five-day rail strike, but faced with consumer outrage, which caused northern Belgium to withdraw from the strike.

Current El Nino could be as bad as 1997-98, scientists warn

NASA scientists are claiming that the El Nino weather system we are currently experiencing will potentially be as bad as the 1997-98 El Nino that caused an estimated 23,000 deaths and killed 16% of the world’s coral reefs.

NASA says that satellite images of our current El Nino system “bear a striking resemblance” to those of 1997. Already there have been a series of droughts, storms and floods around the world; and aid NGO Oxfam say that the weather could put unprecedented strain on the world’s humanitarian system.

The term El Nino describes a situation of prolonged warming of Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures. While it is not caused directly by climate change, scientists say that climate change increases the intensity of the weather event.