Factory explosion in Jakarta and more zedlines...

Two explosions in a fireworks factory in Tangerang, 25 kilometres west of Jakarta, have killed at least 47 people and left dozens injured. Image sourced from Riteshman, Pixabay

Police determined 103 people were working in the factory during the time of the explosions, and are still attempting to locate 60 others.

"The first thing we are going to do after the area has cooled off is a humanitarian effort," Tangerang City Police chief Harry Kurniawan said.

Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the explosions, however police strongly suspect the cause to be an electrical fault.

Parents protest against Somerville House

Parents of Somerville House students have protested this morning in retaliation to the school’s gag order.

The gag order prevents parents from publicly discussing the school’s plans to merge the operations of four Queensland private schools - Somerville House, Brisbane Boys College, Clayfield College, and Sunshine Coast Grammar.

Plans of the merge were discovered by parents through a leaked report, which proposes a model to centralise the operations of the schools.

The security breach has resulted in a number of Somerville staff being forced to resign, including Somerville principal Flo Kearney, who was stood down yesterday and ordered off campus.

Queensland rejects domestic violence disclosure scheme

Queensland has decided to rule out the domestic violence disclosure scheme, which would allow for people at risk of domestic violence to find out if their partner had prior criminal convictions.

Concerns were raised that the scheme could potentially perpetuate attitudes of victim blaming by putting the responsibility on victims.

Discussion of the possible scheme first occurred last December, when a consultation paper released by the Queensland Law Reform Commission considered whether the disclosure of an individual’s history of domestic violence would improve early intervention and prevention strategies by providing those at-risk with information.

This week, however, the Law Reform Commission argued that funding for the scheme would be better spent on frontline services and current reforms to address domestic violence.

Australian Catholic Church liable for $1 billion over child abuse

The Federal government has introduced a bill in which the Australian Catholic Church would owe $1 billion to victims of child abuse.

People who have suffered sexual abuse as a child in the Commonwealth or Tertiary institutions could be compensated up to $150 000.

However, victims of sexual abuse in Church institutions will not be eligible for compensation unless state and territory governments sign up.

An estimated 60 000 people, who were in around 4000 institutions, could be compensated by the Catholic Church if state governments agree to the bill.

Musicians with autism recorded at Sydney Opera House

A Western Sydney initiative named ‘Club Weld’, is assisting musicians with autism to create and record their own music.

One musician, Jerrah Patterson debuted his latest track, ‘Burn Like a Star’ on ABC Radio Sydney on Thursday.

The song was created during a residency at the Sydney Opera House that Jerrah and 13 other musicians participated in as part of Vivid LIVE in June.

Patterson, in collaboration with other musicians in the group, plays the guitar, keyboards, and even the harmonica. The Club Weld tracks will premiere on November 2 on FBi radio.

Cambodia to celebrate Kampot Literary Festival

Cambodia is preparing to celebrate its annual literary festival in the city of Kampot, from 1 - 6 November.

A sister event to Bali’s literary festival held in Ubud each October, the festival shines a light on Kampot’s writers and readers, and helps to revive cultural storytelling within Cambodia.

It is estimated that more than 90% of artists in the country died under the Khmer Rouge, and while fine arts, dance and music are flourishing again, the Cambodian literature scene has been struggling.

Now in its third year, the literary festival provides a platform for young writers to discuss their work, and to be involved with other celebrated authors.