Baby Asha advocate blocked from seeing family - and more 8am Zedlines

Protests and support for the doctors at Lady Cilento Hospital have been ongoing for weeks, with a rally continuing tonight. Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Baby Asha advocate blocked from access to family

The advocate for Asha, the baby daughter of refugees who doctors at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital refuse to discharge amid safety concerns, has been denied access to the family.

Natasha Blucher, an advocacy coordinator from the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network, said a Serco guard working on orders from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection yesterday denied her access to the baby and her parents.

A Department spokesman said visitation decisions are being made in the best interests of the child and family for good reasons

International students among QLD's top exports

International students are now among the top five exports in Queensland, with public schools being the main contributor to the growth.

Queensland’s public schools are making more than 30 million dollars a year in tuition fees alone from international students, with the average cost at about 12,000 dollars a year for each student.

Education Minister Kate Jones said education is a key export for the state and it allows students to better understand cultural diversity.

Uber announces 20% fare cut in SE QLD

Ride sharing giant Uber has announced that it will reduce fares in Southeast Queensland by 20 percent in a bid to introduce new passengers to the service.

Uber’s Queensland general manager Sam Bool said the move was not about being more competitive with taxis and would allow drivers to earn more in fares.

Uber will be discussed in parliament this month and MP Bob Katter has introduced a bill that would see Uber drivers lose demerit points.

Shenhua applies for renewed exploration license

Shenhua has applied for an extension to their exploration license for their proposed coal mine in the Liverpool plains in New South Wales, raising doubts about the future of the project.

Shenhua’s original exploration license was granted for 300 million dollars in 2008 by former New South Wales Labor minister Ian Macdonald and was due to expire this month.

The New South Wales land and environmental court will sit today to hear a case brought by the Upper Mooki Landcare Group in regards to Shenhua’s responsibility for koala populations in the area which could see the company having to restart the approval process.

Erdogan blames Kurdish YPG for Ankara bombing

Turkey’s Prime Minister has blamed Wednesday’s deadly bomb attack that killed 28 people on a Kurdish fighter with alleged links to the YPG People’s Protection Units.

The YPG has denied any connection to the attack, claiming that Turkey is fabricating blame to justify an intensification of its military campaign against Kurdish autonomy.

The attack comes amid ongoing escalation of Turkish attacks against Kurdish regions in Syria and a crackdown on Kurdish organisations inside Turkey.

MSF reports more than 60 facilities destroyed in Syria last year

Medecins Sans Frontiers has reported more than 60 of their supported facilities in Syria were targeted in attacks last year, with a dozen being destroyed.

This report comes after an airstrike destroyed a hospital in the Idlib province of Syria, killing twenty five people.

MSF President Joanne Liu says the attacks can only be considered deliberate and believes they are being carried out by the Syrian government-led coalition.