Youth smoking at all time low in Australia - and more 9am Zedlines

Youth smoking has dropped more than 70% in the last 20 years in Australia. Image Source: Flickr

Graffiti artist charged in Brisbane

Queensland street artist Anthony Lister has been found guilty of one charge of wilful damage by graffiti after painting five sites across Brisbane.

Mr Lister’s lawyer told the court his client had offered to pay $5000 to cover the cost of painting over his works and to promote street art in the city in accordance with the council’s priorities.

Former deputy mayor David Hinchliffe said Brisbane City Council has caused more wilful damage in the city than Mr Lister, with bad public work projects like the Brunswick Street Mall and China Town Mall developments, as well as the absence of greenery in King George Square.

Labor to announce Cairns special school construction

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt will today announce work will begin on a special school in Cairns, one of Labor’s election promises.

Cairns MP Rob Pyne said the project is a must for the special needs children and young adults in Cairns.

The school is to be built at Woree in Cairns’ south, which will provide for the estimated 800 to 1000 children and young adults in Cairns with special needs.

Youth smoking rates at all time low

Rates of smoking in Australians aged 12 to 17 has dropped to an all-time low, with University of Sydney tobacco expert Professor Simon Chapman attributing massively increased awareness to the Every Cigarette is Doing You Damage television ad campaign.

Public Health Research and Practice data shows smoking rates in youths has dropped more than 70% in the last twenty years due to increased prices, public education and plain packaging.

The National Heart Foundation tobacco control spokesperson Maurice Swanson said the drop in youth smoking will have a significant impact on tobacco sales as companies rely on new smokers buying products as older smokers quit or die as a result of smoking.

Public sex offender registry may be revived in NT

A proposed online sex offender registry may be revived in the Northern Territory despite promises to ditch the registry for support of an independent in a no-confidence motion.

The Northern Territory state government last year survived a no-confidence motion with the support of independent Gerry Wood on the premise the government would withdraw Daniel’s Law.

Mr Wood said there is already a non-public registry and a public registry just increases the instances of vigilantism and the Northern Territory already has legislation to monitor and deal with sex offenders.

Sweden to reject up to 80,000 asylum seeker applications

Sweden is to reject up to 80,000 people who applied for asylum in the country last year.

Sweden’s interior minister has called on police and migration authorities to prepare for mass deportations and to begin arranging charter flights to send refused asylum seekers to their country of origin.

Other Scandinavian countries have followed suit in a shift in refugee policy, including Norway’s deportation of refugees to Russia and Denmark’s policy of taking valuables and excess cash from those seeking asylum.

France approves terminal sedation law

France’s parliament has approved a bill allowing doctors to sedate terminally ill patients until death.

The bill is a result of a long compromise between socialist and conservative lawmakers, with the law stopping just short of legalising euthanasia.

The new bill also forces doctors to follow instructions regarding terminal sedation and stopping treatments, whether they are expressed by the individual or written in advance.