Sexual abuse survivors fly to Rome to hear George Pell face royal commission and more 10AM Zedlines

No convictions for illegal land clearing in past year.

Illegal land clearing prosecutions by the Queensland Government have not resulted in a single recorded conviction in the past twelve months.

Figures obtained by the ABC show there has only been one successful prosecution in the past year despite more than 200 complaints.

Ending large scale clearing was a major election promise by Annastacia Palaszczuk, and the government now faces criticism for failing to stop the practice.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says the former government’s amendments to the Vegetation Management Act makes prosecuting offenders difficult.

Council claims Defence base contaminated groundwater.

Toowoomba council is seeking financial compensation from the Federal Government for groundwater contamination allegedly caused by a defense base in the region.

The Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade References Committee is currently investigating the extent of contamination from firefighting foam chemicals used at Australian defense force bases.

The council told the committee it had held off maintenance work at its water treatment plant at Oakey because of contamination concerns caused by the nearby base.

Federal Police aim to increase number of women in ranks.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin has proposed gender targets to increase the number of women in Australia’s federal police force.

The targets will aim to increase the proportion of female officers to 50 per cent over the next ten years.

Figures show 35 per cent of all staff are women, yet they comprise fewer than 20 per cent of uniformed positions.

Mr Colvin says the data indicates a need for action.

Sexual abuse survivors fly to Rome to hear Cardinal Pell give evidence in royal commission. 

A group of Australian sexual abuse survivors fly to Rome today to hear Cardinal George Pell give evidence to the child abuse royal commission in person.

A heart condition has prevented Cardinal Pell from leaving the Vatican to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

More than $200,00 has been raised via crowd-funding, including the proceeds of a charity song written by comedian Tim Minchin to help survivors make the journey to Europe.

All sides in Libyan conflict guilty of war crimes, UN says.

The United Nations has accused all sides of the Libyan conflict of war crimes, and is calling for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The report, released on Thursday, documents vast abuses between 2014 and 2015 including by the recognised government in Tobruk.

A six-member team interviewed over 200 victims and witnesses, and found the majority of armed groups in Libya carried out unlawful killings, including the executions of prisoners and the assassination of dissident activists.

The investigation also found widespread forced recruitment of children by extremist groups such as ISIS.

Egyptian artists call for greater freedom of expression.

Egyptian writers, artists and filmmakers are campaigning for greater freedom of creativity and expression following the controversial jailing of author Ahmed Naji.

Mr Naji was sentenced to two years in prison last Saturday for violating public modesty through his writing.

The ruling has provoked criticism from writers and artists who say it violates general and private freedoms.