St John's Cathedral declared asylum seeker sanctuary and more 8am Zedlines.

St John’s Cathedral has been declared a sanctuary for the nearly 300 asylum seekers facing deportation to offshore detention centres. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

St John's Cathedral declared sanctuary for asylum seekers

St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane’s CBD has been declared a sanctuary for the nearly 300 asylum seekers facing deportation to offshore detention centres.

The Anglican Dean of Brisbane offered “sanctuary training” to those willing to stand with him in providing sanctuary for refugees.

Dr Peter Catt said support had grown for the creation of asylum seeker sanctuaries, with churches, lawyers, and numerous others dedicating their time and resources to creating a “national action”.

No guarantees for nickel refinery workers

Federal MP Clive Palmer has no guarantees for the future of the 550 workers at his North Queensland nickel refinery, claiming it could be two months before the plant is able to operate.

Queensland Nickel Sales, owned by Mr Palmer, took management of the Yabulu refinery last week after the plant went into voluntary administration in January but is still waiting for the transfer of 18 approvals, including a major hazards licence, required to legally run the plant.

Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles says the licence transfer process is a straightforward administrative process and not an impediment to rehiring the 550 staff.

Childrens dental program may not make federal budget

Australia’s peak dental body has warned a 2.7 billion dollar dental program that has provided 1 million Australian children with free dental care could be chopped in the upcoming federal budget.

Health Minister Sussan Ley told a meeting of health and dental groups that she didn’t think the scheme was an effective use of funds.

The federal president of the Australian Dental Association Rick Olive says he is very concerned at this potential cut and has urged families to lobby local representatives to keep the scheme.

Fears for Indigenous recognition deadline delay

A labor party initiative to ensure Indigenous recognition in the constitution is likely to be delayed beyond the potential July double dissolution date.

The Federal Government, in consultation with Labor, appointed a referendum council last year with a deadline on change set for June, however it is feared they won’t meet that target.

The potential delay is further unsettling advocates for constitutional change as it is solidifying their original fears that their plight would not be a priority during the election campaign.

Thirty-four killed in Turkish car bombing

At least thirty-four people have been killed, and over one-hundred injured in a car bombing attack in the heart of the Turkish capital Ankara.

An official statement from the provincial governor states that the blast was caused by a vehicle packed with explosives close to Kizilay Square.

A senior security officer said that gunfire was also heard following the blast, which comes just weeks after a suicide bombing that killed 29 people in Ankara.

Gunmen attack Ivory Coast beach resort

At least sixteen people have been killed at a resort town in Ivory Coast after gunmen opened fire on beachgoers, Grand Bassam’s president has confirmed.

Six attackers stormed the beach and killed sixteen people, including fourteen civilians and two soldiers before Ivorian security forces were able “neutralise” the gunmen, officials say.

US-based monitors say that an Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa has claimed responsibility for the attack.