Human Rights

Tunisians vote in first free election

Turnout at Tunisia’s first free election is estimated at above 50 per cent in a vote marking the first democratic transfer of power in the country’s modern history.

Millions of Tunisians have cast their ballots to directly elect their president for the first time since the revolution four years ago that swept away longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Sunday's election was a contest among stalwarts of the deposed regime, members of the once-outlawed parties, as well as a new breed of politicians that has emerged since the 2011 revolution.

Officials estimated the turnout at 53.73 per cent at 4:30pm GMT, half an hour before polls closed.

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Palestinian shot in first death since August ceasefire

Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian farmer near the border in northern Gaza in the first deadly shooting since an August truce ended a 50-day war.

An emergency services spokesman identified the dead man and said the bullet had hit him in the back.

It was the first time a Palestinian from Gaza had been killed by Israeli fire since a seven-week war between Israel and Hamas militants ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on August 26.

The Israeli army did not confirm the man's death and had no comment on reports he was shot in back.

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Sexual assault allegations prompt inquiry into Victoria's disability sector

Victoria's Government and Opposition have both pledged to hold an inquiry into the state's disability sector, amid allegations one of Australia's biggest disability providers failed to act on warnings about carers who went on to sexually assault vulnerable clients.

The pledge comes ahead of a Four Corners program detailing a joint ABC and Fairfax investigation, and days out from the Victorian state election.

The program exposes multiple cases involving sexual assault, harassment and other improper behaviour, along with evidence carers kept working despite warnings they were assaulting clients.

Disability workers, carers and experts have called for a wider national inquiry into what they say is an epidemic of sexual abuse within the sector.

PM joins White Ribbon Day breakfast

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will join police chiefs in speaking out against men's violence towards women at a Canberra breakfast today for White Ribbon Day.

The event is part of a male-led national campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence, sexual abuse and other types of harassment women face.

On average, one Australian woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
Australia's ambassador for women and girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, will also participate.

What can we do about mining in SE Queensland?

What can we do about mining in SE Queensland?

4ZZZ reporter Andrew Messenger spoke to Innes Larkin to get the answer. Innes begins by teling us about the scenic rim area, and the Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic group.

Originally broadcast 20/11/14

Imprisoned mothers face worsening conditions

Australian female prisoners who give birth are facing increasing trauma a spokeswoman from the Sisters Inside group said.

A recent case of a mother in Brisbane’s Women’s Correctional Centre has emerged where the mother of a baby born 16 days ago was unable to provide breast milk for her son and was forced into sleeping on a mattress on the floor. The baby was then removed from the mother, an unusual move as babies are usually allowed to stay with their mothers in special facilities.

This story confirms recent trends outlined by the Sisters Inside group, that explain overcrowding in prisons was leading to a deterioration of conditions for mothers.

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State and federal funding failing to support Aboriginal youth

Northern Territory Indigenous elder David Cole has called the $25 billion injected by state and federal governments into Aboriginal programs a failure.

Mr Cole says this funding has failed to address the high rates of youth suicide and advised the funding be allocated to grass roots Aboriginal organisations.

This comes after a productivity commission report on Aboriginal well-being has found improvements in life expectancy and child health - however it found the rate of suicide and self-harm is increasing. It also found there is an increase in indigenous incarceration.

Protests in Myanmar against education reforms

Hundreds of Myanmar university students marched through the city of Yangon for a third day in a row, in a rare and illegal protest against a new education law they say will curb academic freedom.

Leader of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, Kyaw Ko Ko, said "Students are protesting the National Education Law because it does not represent the interests of the people and the students."

Protesters carried bright red flags emblazoned with a golden fighting peacock, a national symbol since the time of the Burmese monarchy.

Myanmar once had one of the best university systems in South East Asia, but standards plummeted during nearly five decades of military rule.

Community Groups Negotiate the G20 Security Safety Act

The QLD Safety and Security Act that was passed in 2013 has been put in place to secure the safety of delegates assembling for the G20 summit in Brisbane this November. The changes to laws within specific zones directly impact community groups assembling in those zones where out breaks of violence is highly anticipated by planning authorities. The available climate for community members wishing to participate in global and local issues is restrictive and at times hard to negotiate.

Entrenched sexism recognised as factor in widespread domestic violence

Australia’s police commissioners have identified “vulgar and violent attitudes towards women” as a key cultural factor in unacceptably high rates of family violence and say it will not stop until men’s attitudes change.

They have urged victims to report assaults to police, who they say have transformed their own attitudes towards family disputes in recent years.

Most commissioners say police working closely with other agencies involved with family violence is the only practical way to tackle a crime that kills one woman per week in Australia.