More Brisbane City Council election initiatives - and other 11am Zedlines

The Labor Party’s candidate for Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Rod Harding, has pledged to establish a bicycle users advisory panel, and has committed funds for the building of a separated or protected bikeway along Sylvan Road at Toowong

More Brisbane City Council election initiatives

The Labor Party’s candidate for Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Rod Harding, has pledged to establish a bicycle users advisory panel, and has committed funds for the building of a separated or protected bikeway along Sylvan Road at Toowong.

Local cycling groups have long advocated for a safe cycling route in the area to link the bikeway which runs alongside Coronation Drive with the Western Freeway Bikeway, and both Labor and the Greens have now committed to funding for projects to make this happen.

 

World Science Festival gets underway in Brisbane

The World Science Festival opens in Brisbane tonight with a theatrical performance exploring Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The five day long event will also feature artwork using bioluminous bacteria, a film on science and Islam, an examination of the future of the Great Barrier Reef, and an exploration of the emerging field of the moral framework used by robots.

 

Border Force denies sinking asylum seeker boat

The Australian Border Force (ABF) has denied sinking an asylum seeker boat earlier this week.

It has been reported that a group of six Bangladeshi men was taken aboard an Australian ship on Monday, before the Indonesian vessel they were travelling on was scuttled.

Indonesian police official Teddy JS Marbun says the men had claimed their documents, including passports, were drowned along with the boat, which was sunk by the Australians.

ABF chief Roman Quaedvlieg has denied the scuttling claim.

 

Cambodia refugee plan under criticism

Refugee advocates say Australia's program to resettle refugees in Cambodia is not working, after an Iranian couple decided to instead return home, leaving only two people in Australia's multi-million-dollar resettlement program.

Australia has sent more than 400 asylum seekers to Nauru, but only five took up the offer to move to Cambodia last year, a deal which included Australia offering the Cambodian Government $40 million in aid money if it agreed to take on refugees.

Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles says the situation is an "expensive joke". But the Australian Government is standing by its resettlement policy.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, says even for the refugees who agreed to go to Cambodia, they have made it clear to him they never want to permanently resettle there.

 

Witness to killing of Honduran Indigenous leader detained

A day after the funeral of Indigenous and environmental leader and activist, Berta Cáceres, who was assassinated in Honduras, fears are growing for another well-known environmental campaigner who is being detained by the Honduran government.  

Gustavo Castro Soto, coordinator of Friends of the Earth Mexico, is a witness to the killing of Ms Caceres, sustaining two gunshot wounds in the attack.

He is being held without charge and is being refused permission to return to his own country. Reports say at least one hundred and ten environmental or land defenders have been killed in Honduras since 2010 in the wake of a U.S.-supported coup.

 

Talks aim to end Yemen war

A delegation from Yemen’s Houthi faction are in Saudi Arabia for talks aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen after two years and 6,000 deaths.

The meeting is at the invitation of Saudi officials, and has been described as “surprising” given the antagonism between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-back Yemen government.

At the same time though, Iranian military officials have indicated the country could send military advisors to assist the Houthis, which could escalate regional tensions and prolong the civil war.