Invasion Day rallies to highlight counter-narrative to First Fleet arrival - and other 8AM Zedlines

Invasion Day rallies will be held in Brisbane today.

In local news…

Invasion Day rallies to highlight counter-narrative to First Fleet arrival

Invasion Day rallies will be held in major cities across the country today with Brisbane marches kicking off at 9am at the Inala Civic Centre and 11am outside Parliament House.

Organisers said the action will call to attention continuing injustice rooted in the First Fleet arriving on this day in 1788 and the ensuing genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Protesters will also be highlighting Aboriginal deaths in custody, funding certainty for remote communities, a greater stake in Commonwealth funding and debating constitutional recognition.

Ipswich Mayor’s office warns community groups about donations; says council must be re-elected

The ABC said it has obtained an email from Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale’s office in which community groups are warned they may miss out on donations from the council if the Mayor and current serving councillors do not seek re-election.

Recipients were told they had received the email because they are still on the database for a pending donation from the office and that such a donation can only be pledged if the Mayor and current councillors are re-elected.

Jim Lindsay, the Ipswich Council chief executive, said the mayor knows nothing about the email and that it shouldn’t’ve been sent and that whoever is responsible for writing it will be disciplined.

In national news…

Political leaders challenged by doctor over ‘torture-like conditions’ of detention centres

Professor David Isaacs, a paediatrician who visited Nauru in late 2014, has challenged Malcolm Turnbull and other political leaders to prosecute him for talking about the torture-like conditions of detention centres.

He says the centres are causing long-term mental health problems and are illegal under international law as they come under the definition of torture, adding medical professionals have a moral duty to speak out about the conditions which he likened to concentration camps.

Professor Isaacs has written to the Prime Minister, Bill Shorten and Peter Dutton and challenged them either prosecute him under the Act or repeal legislation.

Gender gap evident in Australia Day honours

The 2016 Australian Day honours recipients have dropped to the lowest representation of women since 2007.

Although the Council of the Order of Australia who are in charge of the decision are limited by the nominations they receive, just 30% of the recipients were women this year.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet are responsible for the honours system and told the ABC this year they advertised the awards more widely in a bid to address the gender gap.

In international news…

Potential Zika virus outbreak throughout Americas

The World Health Organisation have said that the Zika virus, which is linked to microcephaly in Brazil, may potentially spread throughout parts of north and south America.

Recently there have been nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly reported by Brazil and the disease has already started spreading throughout the Americas since May of last year.

WHO says the spread is due to a lack of immunity and the presence of a mosquito which carries the virus, and pregnant women who will be travelling to regions where Zika is active have been advised to see their doctor before and after travelling.

United Nations attempt at Syrian peace talks off to rocky start

The United Nations will attempt to commence peace talks to end the Syrian Civil War this week, despite trouble already brewing with anti-government groups refusing to participate unless Russia and other government allies halt air strikes.

The talks were due to commence yesterday, however have stalled over confusion surrounding who should represent the various opposition factions.

The aim of the peace negotiations is to agree to a ceasefire with a view to achieving a formal political settlement.

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