Over 300 remain in Manus Island detention centre and more zedlines

Papua New Guinean paramilitary forces made a forceful attempt yesterday to remove the remaining Manus Island refugees, destroying property and food in the process. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Reports from Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian-born journalist detained at Manus Island, revealed the police have ‘ransacked’ the centre, and they are ‘under attack’.

Video footage from the incursion show Papua New Guinean police using metal batons to beat refugees as they corral them onto busses.

This followed after promises from the PNG government no force would be used.

While the detention centre officially closed on October 30, over 300 detainees are refusing to move into the nearby town of Lorengau because of safety fears.

Cattle station accused of illegal logging

A north Queensland cattle station is being accused of illegally logging about 60 hectares of forest in the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Drone footage and satellite imagery show clearing occurred last month, allegedly in areas not approved to clear under federal law.

Wombinoo Station is still awaiting approval to clear more than 500 hectares of land after an environmental assessment was completed in 2016.

This assessment found the area was home to a population of Greater Gliders, koalas and other threatened or endangered species.

Turnbull dined with Chinese donor days after $40k Queensland LNP donation

Prime Minister Turnbull had an exclusive dinner with wealthy businessman, Liu Xiaodong, four days after one of his companies donated $40,000 to the Queensland Liberal National Party.

The news broke amidst growing debates on Chinese companies attempting to exert influence on local politics through donations and lobbying.

It’s understood Prime Minister Turnbull had not heard of Mr Liu until last Sunday's dinner in Brisbane, where he was seated next to him.

Queensland LNP state director, Michael O'Dwyer, said the party accepted donations from all Australian registered companies, and the $40,000 had been disclosed in accordance with the Electoral Commission of Queensland’s guidelines.

Pine Gap Pilgrims await jury decision

Members of the Pine Gap Pilgrims, a peace organisation protesting the joint US-Australian army base at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, are currently awaiting a jury decision which could see them face up to seven years of jail time.

The court proceedings have come after six of the protesters entered the army base in 2016 to pray for peace, and were subsequently arrested.

Pine Gap is a joint US-Australian army base which provides military intelligence to US operations in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The Peace Pilgrims held a solidarity vigil at King George Square earlier today at 8am.

For more information, head to: www.facebook.com/peaceconvergence

71-year-old Costco worker wins right to sit while working

After being told to stand up on his feet or go home, 71-year-old Costco sample server, Claude Gourdeau, won the right to use a workbench.

He and his colleagues at the subscription chain's store in Sainte-Foy in Canada's Quebec City, all aged between 60 and 75, were banned from sitting and drinking water whilst serving food.

After taking his case to upper management, he is now one of 15 workers granted to use a bench.

Gourdeau said he hopes these work conditions will change and the public will support him and his colleagues.

Spanish parliament petition calls for ban on hate groups

A petition signed by over 200,000 Spaniards was filed in the country’s parliament today, requesting the government to ban the National Francisco Franco Foundation, which glorifies Spain’s former dictator.

The group that filed the petition include some descendants of the victims of the Franco regime from 1939 to 1975, and said foundations paying tribute to dictators such as Hitler or Mussolini is unthinkable.

In accordance with Spanish law, when the petition reaches 500,000 signatures, the lower house of parliament will consider drafting a bill.