Skewed approval processes slammed in the Gold Coast - and more 8am Zedlines

The Gold Coast is being slammed with claims the approval process for high rise buildings is skewed. (Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Skewed approval processes slammed in the Gold Coast:

A former Gold Coast architect has alleged the approval process for high rises in the city has become skewed.

Philip Follent has questioned why an 88-storey tower was approved on the site of the former IIuka building at Surfers Paradise stating the gross floor area of the new tower would be 40 times the size of the land.

Mr Follent feared the city was becoming lazy in relation to tall building development being the only form of high density development now possible.

Abandonment peaks in Northern Queensland:

Drought conditions in Northern Queensland are being blamed for the increasing number of curlews abandoning their chicks.

Sarah Luke, a wildlife carer and member of NQ Wildlife, says she has never seen so many of the animals into her home and suggests food scarcity driven by dry conditions is forcing the adult birds to abandon their young.

The thrill of seeing the birds released was the reason she continued to care for them, she says.

Australian couple kidnapped:

An Australian couple have been kidnapped by extremists in Burkina Faso and are now allegedly in the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists.

The pair, originally from Perth, run a medical clinic in the area.

News of the kidnapping came as a jihadist assault hit an upmarket hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital leaving at least 29 people dead, including many foreigners.

They are believed to be alive and it is alleged the kidnappers plan to take them towards Mali.

Malcolm Turnbull surprises troops:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a surprise visit to Australian troops in Iraq is his first trip to the country since taking office.

The Prime Minister toured the Australian embassy in Baghdad and the nearby Taji military base, before being mobbed for selfies at Camp Baird, Australia’s national command and support base for the Middle East region.

Mr Turnbull used the trip to hold talks with his Iraqi counterpart, Haider al-Abadi, saying Iraqis need to win back their own country and urging European nations to step up with stronger help against Islamic State troops.

Restoring virginity to women held captive by IS:

A non-government organisation in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region is pairing up with local gynaecologists to help restore the physical virginity of women who have escaped from the Islamic State terrorist group.

Over a year ago Islamic State militants stormed northern Iraq, kidnapping some 7,000 ethnic Yazidi women and forcing them into sexual slavery.

Many have escaped only to face persecution in their deeply conservative communities where it is an offence punishable by death to lose your virginity out of wedlock.

Therefore, non-government organisation Wadi has paired with local gynaecologists to restore the women's physical virginity through controversial surgical means.

Sanctions lifted on Iran:

Both the United States and the European Union have lifted long-standing sanctions on Iran after the implementation of the Tehran nuclear deal in a move hailed as historic by both parties.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have criticised the deal, which will see Iran able to resume valuable oil exports and open up business within the country, as not doing enough to ensure it never acquires a nuclear bomb.

The announcement followed earlier news of a prisoner swap between the two countries, with US President Barack Obama adding he was hopeful the events signalled a chance for Iran to work more cooperatively with the rest of the world.