Oregon occupation ends after 41 days, and more 10am Zedlines

The occupation of the Oregon wildlife refuge by armed militants has come to an end after 41 days. Source: Wikicommons

First cyclone of the season forms off Mackay

The first cyclone of the season has formed off the Queensland coast and could cause higher swells off the Southern Coast from Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology says Cyclone Tatiana could strengthen to a category two system by early Saturday.

The cyclone has formed 1080 (one-thousand-and-eighty) kilometres north-east of Mackay and is expected to continue moving further away from the coast.

Senate committee to investigate Black Lung

A new Queensland senate committee will investigate the reappearance of the coal miners’ disease known as Black Lung.

The disease was thought to have been eliminated in Australia until late last year when a number of new cases emerged.

The Senate select committee will hold public hearings next month in Brisbane and Mackay.

Greens support Senate voting changes

The Federal coalition has secured the support of independent Nick Xenophon and The Greens for changes to Senate voting that will allow voters to number six groups of candidates above the line on the ballot paper.

The Greens had earlier rejected an initial proposal to allow voters to number only one box above the line amid concerns it unfairly favoured the two major parties.

The Senate report containing the recommendation also contained a proposal to increase political party registration minimum requirements from 500 to 1500 members, a suggestion the Greens have opposed saying it would harm smaller parties.

Modeling finds GST increase won't improve economic growth

Economic modelling released by the Turnbull government has shown an increase in the GST to 15 percent would not improve economic growth.

The modelling took into account broadening the tax to cover water and sewerage and funding 30 billion dollars worth of tax cuts weighted towards high and middle income earners.

The modelling also showed a negative impact for Australians who receive government family, welfare or pension payments, leaving half of all households worse-off.

North Korea calls South's sanctions "act of war"

North Korean officials have called South Korea’s suspension of a decade-long joint industrial park initiative an act of war.

South Korea has begun pulling out of the shared industrial zone in protest at the North’s recent hydrogen bomb test and satellite launch.

South Korea has claimed the satellite launch was actually a ballistic missile test in violation of UN resolutions, and joined Japan and the US in calling for tougher sanctions.

Oregon occupation ends after 41 days

The occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon by a group of armed militias has come to a close after 41 days.

The remaining four occupiers surrendered to FBI officials about five hours ago, with the last of the occupiers, David Fry, remaining by himself in the refuge for an hour threatening violence and suicide before surrendering.

Leaders of the local Native American Paiute tribe expressed concerns about their ancestral land being desecrated and the potential destruction of artifacts dating back thousands of years.