Italy rallies in support of gay rights - and more 9am Zedlines

Italy is still the only country in Europe that does not recognise civil unions or gay marriage, but for how much longer? (Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons)

Legionella at Mater Hospital

The Mater Private Hospital has released a statement confirming a patient has tested positive for Legionella bacterial infection.

The hospital is unsure whether the infection was acquired at the hospital but it is working with independent agencies to determine the source.

Queensland Health was advised and the hospital is currently conducting water tests, and additional disinfection measures. 

The patient is in a stable condition and is responding well to antibiotics.

Protesting Brisbane high-rise development

Brisbane residents took to the steps of the heritage-listed Customs House on Saturday, in protest over the controversial 47-storey building approved for the neighbouring site.

Residents are angered over the absence of community consultation before the development’s approval, which they say contradicts the city’s own planning scheme, and concerned about the potential for damage to the historic site, concerns backed by Labor’s Brisbane lord mayoral candidate Rod Harding.

The University of Queensland, which owns the site, is taking the Brisbane City Council to the Planning and Environment Court over the approval, with the case to be heard on January 29.

Australia rallies behind regional defence:

Justice Minister Michael Keenan has expressed the Australian will to seek cooperation in fighting violent extremism in the region following the attack in Jakarta two weeks ago.

With the attacks circling closer to home the Minister has said the region is experiencing the same threats as the rest of the globe and Australia was prepared to stand ready to share its expertise with regional governments.

Australia has since updated its travel warnings for Indonesia but has not yet changed the threat level.

An app aimed at taking the stress out of cancer:

A new phone app released by an Australian charity is helping cancer patients to better deal with their diagnosis.

The app, called Can.Recall and launched by Rare Cancers Australia, is intended for use at the first specialist meeting and allows patients to record the conversation with the aid of prompted questions from psych-oncologist professor Phyllis Butrow.

Rare Cancers Australia director Richard Vines says people are often overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive in these consultations and struggle to relay the information to friends and family, adding that the app was designed to help take some of the stress out of cancer.         

Donald Trump at it again:

US Republican front-runner Donald Trump has praised the loyalty of his  voters with one very controversial sentiment.

Mr Trump believes he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and still not lose any voters and he made it common knowledge by expressing these sentiments in a speech in the city of Sioux Centre.

The comments came a day after 22 conservatives banded together and denounced him as crazy and a glib egomaniac, and it’s hard to see how this response will change those sentiments.

Italy rallies in support of gay rights:

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have rallied across Italy in support of gay rights as concerns mount for a proposal to legalise civil unions.

The Italian senate will begin debating the legislation on Thursday though it is unclear whether prime minister Matteo Renzi’s government has enough support to pass the ballot through the upper chamber.

Italy is currently the only country in western Europe that does not recognise civil unions or gay marriage.