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World's first death caused by a meteorite? - and more 11am Zedlines
Queensland LNP will not support Labor’s pledge to resettle 270 asylum seekers
Queensland opposition leader Lawrence Springborg says the Liberal National Party would not support the Palaszczuk Government’s promise to resettle asylum seekers who may be forced to return to offshore detention.
Mr Springborg said he would not go against the High Court decision to deport the men, women and children back to Nauru.
Queensland stands with the Labor governments of Victoria and South Australia in lobbying the Federal Government not to send 270 asylum seekers back to detention.
Soldier to serve jail time over animal cruelty
A 23 year old Queensland soldier who bashed a possum in his Townsville barracks and sent pictures of its brutalised body to friends will serve a two month jail sentence for the act.
RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty says the term handed down reflects the severity of the incident.
The possum fled after Sapper Hayden Peter Archer slammed it against the concrete floor, it is not known whether the animal survived.
Senate committee hears case for Alcoa’s foreign workforce aboard, MV portland cargo ship
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) was aware an Australian crew would be removed from the cargo ship MV Portland three weeks before they were escorted off and replaced with foreign workers, a Senate committee has heard.
AMSA CEO Mr Kinley told the committee he assumed AMSA would have notified the Infrastructure and Regional Development Department at the time, but he took the question on notice to check.
The workers were replaced with a foreign crew last month, ending a lengthy standoff with the ship's operator, Alcoa.
Earlier, officials from the department told the committee they were not aware of the Australian workers being removed from MV Portland until it was reported in the media in January.
Prime minister urges former small business minister not to resign
The Prime Minister has urged former small business manager Bruce Billson not to leave Parliament and held open the possibility of a return to the ministry.
Between Christmas and New Year, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke with Mr Billson and told him to reconsider his decision to quit politics in the wake of his demotion.
The Prime Minister reflected on his own about face from leaving politics in 2010, and held open the possibility that 50-year-old Mr Billson had time to work his way back into Cabinet.
’Meteorite’ kills man in India
Indian authorities have said that a man in India’s Tamil Nadu has been killed by a meteorite which shattered window panes and killed him as he walked past.
The meteorite created a crater of nearly 2 metres and weighed a mere 11 grams but experts are saying that further tests need to be conducted to prove that the object is indeed what it appears to be.
A spokesperson from the Indian Astrophysics Institute says it could be rocket debris, but if it is proven to be a meteorite then it will be the first meteorite-causing death in history.
Beijing air pollution improves but may halt economic growth
New data shows the quality of air in Beijing has improved by 16 percent, with small factories being forced to close in a campaign to prevent their contribution to pollution.
The Beijing government says 2,500 factories will be closed this year, resulting in the loss of jobs.
The aim is to reduce pollution by 40 percent by 2020 and more than three trillion dollars has been invested in environmental protection for the state.