No Jab, No Play crackdown

Victorian children will no longer be able to use an exemption letter from doctors, excusing them of immunisation as the Government puts into place it's No jab, No Play laws (Image:Max Pixel).

This means only statements from the Australian Immunisation Register will be accepted and it must show evidence of the child’s medical history which prevents them from receiving immunisation.

Victorian Minister For Families and Children Jenny Mikakos says this change is in response to a few dodgy doctors who have been providing people with letters of exemptions and putting the community’s health at risk.

Queenslanders speak out in support of smoke-free places

Cancer Council Queensland’s CEO Chris McMillan has called on the State Government to implement more smoke-free laws to protect against effects of secondhand smoke.

Ms. McMillan's comments come after a survey by the Cancer Council, Heart Foundation and Asthma Australia found 76% per cent of people reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.

Respondents were in favour of proposed smoke free bans with more than 90 per cent of people supporting a ban in places such as markets, tertiary education institutions and town squares.

Ms. McMillan believes that support for smoke-free legislation through strong public communication and enforcement is vital to maintaining the smoke-free environments and protect the community.

Rheumatoid arthritis vaccine trials begin in Brisbane

UQ researchers have developed a groundbreaking treatment for rheumatoid.

arthritis, which is being trialed on patients in Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra hospital.

The vaccine-style treatment will target the underlying cause of the autoimmune disease, rather than just treating symptoms.

Professor Ranjeny Thomas, who led the UQ Diamantina Institute’s research team, explained that the new drug ‘re-educated’ the body’s immune system to switch off, instead of reacting to self-antigens.

UQ Advancement Director of Development and Philanthropy, Andrew Pentland, says Arthritis Queensland have been generous supporters of UQ’s research and provided essential funding for research projects.

Can a computer mark NAPLAN essays better than a teacher could?

Essays, written by students during the NAPLAN testing could be marked by a computer for the first time in 2018.

The move towards automated essay scoring would allow scores to be returned within three weeks rather than the current three months period allowing teachers more time to respond to students’ learning needs sooner.

Some teachers and technology experts have expressed concerns however stating a computer did not mark essays in the conscious manner that a human can.

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority states trials which have been conducted show computers are just as good as humans if not better.

New Zealand to give $NZ3 million to Manus Island and Nauru Refugees

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will spend $NZ3 million to provide services to refugees on Manus Island and Nauru while also putting pressure on Australia to resettle 150 people.

This comes after a second conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the Australian Government’s handling of the issue.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has urged Mr Turnbull to reconsider, having spoke to Ms Ardern about the offer.

This offer has strong support from within the parliament, with The Senate urging Mr Turnbull to accept New Zealand’s offer.

The Rohingya refugee crisi

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar.

The Commons International Development Committee has accused Myanmar Government of crimes against humanity.

The UK Director of Human RIghts Watch, David Mepham has called on Britain to do more to save these innocent people's lives with more than 250 Rohingya villages and tens of thousands homes destroyed.

Mr Mepham has called for help from international Governments to help fight against the mistreatment of Rohingya civilians.

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