Potentially disastrous consequences of climate change for Australia...and more Zedlines

(image: Aftermath of 2016 Tasmanian bushfire. Source: Wikimedia) Military and climate experts have told a senate inquiry that Australia faces potential “disastrous consequences” from climate change, including forced migration of millions across the region and constant natural disasters that would overwhelm security forces and the government.

Former defence force chief Admiral Chris Barrie, says Australia’s ability to respond and mitigate impacts of climate change had been corrupted by political timidity and flux.

Barrie said that the security thread of climate change is comparable to nuclear war, and that Australia would be the most affected, including new, extreme weather patterns and substantial damage to coastal communities.

The inquiry has heard from Australia’s leading climate scientists, who warn the security threats of climate change have been underestimated, with other experts counselling against such ‘alarmist’ predictions, saying the focus of the response should be those most acutely affected, instead of security concerns of developed countries like Australia.

Four Queensland coal mines face closure over dust monitoring shortfalls

Four coal mines from around Queensland could face closure after failing to meet dust monitoring obligations designed to protect workers' health.

Glencore's Oaky North and Oaky No. 1 and Anglo's Moranbah North and Grosvenor coal mines have all allegedly failed to meet the dust monitoring obligations during the second quarter of this year.

The allegations have arisen after the re-emergence of black lung in Queensland, which prompted a wide ranging inquiry into dust diseases, and 23 confirmed cases.

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham says he has been advised the levels of non-compliance vary, but states any failure to meet safety and health obligation is not acceptable.

Unlicensed operators targeted in waste border blitz

The Queensland government is seeking federal help in an attempt to rescue the state from becoming New South Wale's dumping ground, as it launches a crackdown on NSW rubbish trucks dumping waste over the border.

Heavy vehicles who cross the border from NSW to dump rubbish in Queensland will now be targeted by police as well as transport and main roads.

The joint agency checks were launched yesterday after allegations were made showcasing waste management companies are dumping rubbish in Queensland to avoid interstate levies.

Turkey seeks arrest of dozens of journalists

At least nine media professionals have been arrested and 35 warrants have been issued by Turkish authorities in a widespread crackdown on journalists who are critical of President Erdogan's government.

Authorities are claiming the detainee journalists have ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, a Turkish preacher, writer and political figure has been accused of attempting a coup in 2016 against President Erdogan, but has repeatedly denied any involvement.

160 journalists are currently in jail in Turkey, including German citizen Deniz Yucel, a writer for Die Welt newspaper, and Burak Ekici, who runs a secular left-wing newspaper in Turkey called Birgun.

Nepal criminalises banishment of women during menstruation

Nepal has passed a law criminalising the ancient practice of banishing women to solitary huts during their menstrual period.

Despite being banned by the Supreme Court in 2005, the prevalence of the ancient Hindu practice that confines women to animal sheds during menstruation to keep “impurity” out of the home has remained, with recent deaths renewing calls to criminalise it.

The law is introduced as part of a bill that aims to improve safety of women in Nepal that also criminalises acid attacks and marriage dowries, and will see anyone enforcing the custom be sentenced to a three-month jail sentence and a fine of 3000 Nepalese rupees, which is around $35 Australian.

The ban will be introduced after a series of social campaigns over the next year that aim to change behaviour and attitudes through education.