No pride in Nauru - and more 8am Zedlines:

Over the weekend Sydney came to life for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, however, one float in particular drew attention to the plight of refugees beaten in alleged homophobic attacks on Nauru. (Image Source - Flickr Creative Commons)

South Bank turns pink:

Around 10,000 people painted the town pink on Sunday morning for the annual International Women’s Day Fun Run to help breast cancer support services.

The five-kilometer event is in its 25th year and raises funds for services, including mastectomy bras, wigs, and art therapy programs for women undergoing treatment at the Mater Hospital in South Brisbane.

The event continues to grow and there are high hopes for its ongoing success.

Sand mining clousre spells chaos:

A report commissioned by the state government has found other industries will fail to replace many of the mining jobs lost when the proposed closure of the Sibelco sand mine on North Stradbroke Island occurs by 2019.

In the report by Deloitte Access Economics, the transition strategy was found to create up to 151 jobs to replace the 95 residents employed by the mine, though Colin Battersby of the North Stradbroke Island Chamber of Commerce says this will not cover the employment sustained indirectly from the mine.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has bookmarked the end of sand mining on the island eight years earlier than the former Newman government.

No pride in Nauru:

Over the weekend Sydney came to life for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, however, one float in particular drew attention to the plight of refugees beaten in alleged homophobic attacks on Nauru.

The No Pride in Detention float was accompanied by about 200 campaigners calling for the government to allow two Iranian men to settle in Australia after attacks proved it was not safe for them on Nauru, with them only leaving their room under escort to buy groceries.

The men were persecuted in their homeland and fled to Australia believing it was a safe place to be openly gay, however they now await processing in a place where they will face continued prejudice.

Plebiscite still not pledged:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office has refused to back a same-sex marriage plebiscite deadline before the end of the year

Attorney-General George Brandis revealed yesterday the timing for the public vote with legislation to follow this year if the public were in favour of change, though a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s office declined to back the time frame.

Labor has pledged to call the vote on same-sex marriage within 100 days if elected.

Iranian billionaire sentenced to death:

An Iranian tycoon has been sentenced to death for corruption following a long trial in which he was accused of fraudulently securing $3.76 billion.

Babak Zanjani became notorious for finding ways to channel hard currency from oil sales to Tehran despite financial sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic’s banks.

He was convicted of fraud and economic crimes, and as well as facing the death penalty he must repay money to the state.

Islamic State militants attack Iraqi police checkpoint:

Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for an attack on an Iraqi police checkpoint in Hilla, south of Baghdad, with an explosive-filled truck which killed at least 47 people and injured 70 others.

The head of the provincial security committee says it was the largest bombing to date in the predominantly Shiite province, where IS has not had fixed positions since the allied fightback began in 2014.

The US envoy to a coalition fighting IS says the militant group is losing the battle against coalition forces in Iraq and Syria.