Mosques and churches open doors to asylum seekers - and more 10am Zedlines

Religious communities in Brisbane protest against asylum seekers being returned to offshore detention. Image source: WikiCommons.

Mosques and churches open doors to asylum seekers

Brisbane religious communities united in the city at a protest last night to prevent asylum seekers from being returned to offshore detention.

The Islamic community joined forces with Christian leaders who invoked the church principle of sanctuary, offering just that to the 270 men women and children due to return to detention after receiving medical treatment on the mainland.

A spokesperson for the Islamic Council of Queensland, Ali Kadri, said mosques in the Brisbane area would also welcome and provide resources for asylum seekers.

Staff shortage leads to cancellation of heart surgeries

The Gold Coast University Hospital has had to cancel three days of heart surgeries out of the five scheduled in one week due to a shortage of specialist staff.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the lack of staff means there isn’t anyone with the necessary skills to operate a heart bypass machine with the hospital left short after doctors resigned in 2014 following a dispute with the government.

Patients who needed surgeries were transferred to the John Flynn private hospital and the hospital says it does not expect there will be anymore delays regarding heart surgery.

In national news…

Report finds that racial abuse remains a problem in Australia

A report to be launched today says while there is growing support for reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people, racial discrimination is still a problem in the country.

The State of Reconciliation in Australia shows one third of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have experienced racial abuse in the the last six months.

The organisation said while the support for reconciliation is growing, there is still a long way to go and that the country will not reach its full potential if reconciliation isn’t achieved.

Greens ask PM to consider treaty

The Greens have written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for consideration of a treaty process alongside the push for Indigenous recognition in the constitution.

The letter states there is an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people calling for a treaty or multiple treaties with different Indigenous nations within Australia.

The Federal Government and Opposition have provided bipartisan support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution. A treaty would be a separate formal agreement between the Government and Indigenous people with legal outcomes.

Canada ends Iraq and Syria bombing missions

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Canada will end its bombing missions against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria by pulling out its 6 jets, keeping his election promise to do so.

The missions will end later this month, but two surveillance planes and refuelling aircraft will remain active and the numbers of soldiers training Kurdish troops will triple.

Trudeau said the people being terrorised by ISIL need the country’s help, but a public opinion poll shows Canadians are divided over their country having a military role in fighting against Islamic militants.

White house to donate over a billion dollars to fight Zika virus

The White House says it is seeking over a billion dollars in emergency funding from congress to fight against the Zika virus.

The funds will contribute to creating more mosquito control centres, improving Zika detection, speeding up research for a vaccine and helping countries to reduce transmissions.

President Obama says that compared to the Ebola virus, the good news is that people don’t die and that the link between Zika and microcephaly remains unproven at the time being.