Beer economy rules in Central Queensland - and more 9am Zedlines:

Beer is good for the economy according to billboards, while it can be its very own economy according to those living in Central Queensland. (Image Source: Flickr creative commons.)

Calls for Dick Smith to honor gift cards already purchased:

An Ipswich councillor is running a petition to force Dick Smith to honour gift cards issued before its collapse.

Paul Tully started the petition after receivers this week said they would not honour vouchers or refund deposits, angering thousands who received the gift cards over Christmas.

Woolworths and Coles have offered to exchange the vouchers bought at their stores.

Beer economy rules in Central Queensland:

The beer economy is not just an Aussie legend any longer with communities in Central Queensland trading in booze rather than cash.

Yeppoon local Clinton Miles has started a Facebook page called the Central Queensland Beer Economy, where the only accepted form of currency is alcohol.

The site was inspired by a similar page originating in Western Australia and deals in favors as well as product sales.

Report finds surplus in removal of the capital gains tax:

The Federal Government could find as much as $46 billion a year by removing the capital gains tax exemption on the family home, more than the defence budget or aged pension spending, a new report says.

Issued by think tank The Australia Institute, the report goes on to suggest over half of the exemption benefits were going to households with incomes in the top 20 per cent.

By axing the exemption only for homes worth more than $2 million, the government could recover $12 billion in revenue over the next four years.

Livestock suffer on stranded live export ship:

Over 30 livestock on board a live export ship have died in Fremantle port after mechanical issues stranded the ship for more than a week.

The ship left for Israel on December 29 but was forced to turn back after experiencing engine trouble.

While the ship was stranded some 30 sheep and three cattle died, the remaining 7,500 sheep have been offloaded to a pre-quarantine feedlot, while 5,000 cattle will be shipped to a buyer in South East Asia.

Muslim woman removed from Trump campaign rally:

A Muslim woman has been removed from a Donald Trump campaign rally after staging a silent protest.

Rose Hamid sat silent amongst the chants of placard waving Trump supporters in a headscarf and a shirt reading ‘Salam. I come in peace’ and says one supporter taunted her about carrying a bomb.

Donald Trump, who currently leads the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, last month called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.

Zentai craze sweeps Japan:

Zentai, the practice of dressing in full-body latex suits is becoming increasingly popular in Japan as a way to escape modern day pressures.

According to experts the craze provides the wearers relief from a society that demands conformity, with one Zentai leader saying the idea is that together, behind the safety of a latex suit people can be someone else for a day, losing identity and enabling one's true self to emerge.

In Tokyo the Zentais are about 3,000 strong ranging from professionals, to office workers, and even pensioners with new members joining daily.