Zedlines, Tuesday Feb 15th


Telstra has announced upgrades to its wireless service which may put it in direct competition with the government’s planned National Broadband Network.

Liberal Party spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said the move undermines the need for a federal broadband system.

However NBNCo, the company behind the NBN, said the network will ensure a single internet provider will not monopolise the country.

Funeral ceremonies for victims of December’s boat wreck off Christmas Island will be held today in Sydney.

The Federal Government has organized the services, which will include both Christian and Muslim ceremonies.

Some families are upset traditional Muslim rituals will not be followed. The Federal Government deemed it inappropriate for the bodies and that to explain why would be traumatic for the victims’ families.

Leaked documents have revealed three of Britain’s largest energy companies have hired private investigators to monitor activist organisations.

This comes after it was revealed last month an undercover police officer spent seven years as an undercover environmental activist.

A spokeswoman for one of the security firms denied spying on any group, saying all the information gathered came from public sources, such as group emails and announcements.

A statewide fishing ban will come into effect today and run until the end of March, in a government effort to regenerate snapper numbers.

The government is also consulting with the industry to introduce more concrete laws in the future to ensure long-term sustainability.

The ban does not apply to traditional owners catching fish for personal consumption.

The Bligh government has approved a petition to lower the Wivenhoe Dam levels to seventy five per cent over the next month to avoid future flooding.

However, concerns have been raised over the effect the release may have on the Brisbane River.

No state predictions for how the move will affect Queensland water ways have yet been released.

A Syrian blogger has been sentenced to 5 years in prison, charged with spying for a foreign country. Tal al-Mallohi has been held since December 2009, after allegedly leaking state secrets.

It is uncertain whether her arrest was associated with her blog, which focuses on Palestinian suffering.

Both the United States and international human rights groups have called for her immediate release.

Dozens of Iranian protesters have been arrested in Tehran for participating in a banned rally supporting the recent uprisings in Egypt, despite government support for the Egyptian revolt.

Police in riot gear fired teargas at thousands of protestors, while security militia surrounded the houses of opposition leaders, preventing them from joining the march.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the Iranian regime as being hypocritical and said the US supports universal rights for Iranian people.

Australian wool exports have hit a twenty year high, following a strong global demand.

Recent economic factors have led many farmers to switch to meat production, but shortages are expected to increase suppliers.

Currently, Queensland only produces roughly seven percent of Australia’s total wool exports.

The Australian Human Rights Commission have found long-term detention in remote facilities may have a particularly bad effect on children.

A report released today focuses on the Leonora immigration detention centre in Western Australia and highlights effects to mental health and other specialised medical needs of detainees.

The Commission is urging governments to begin the use of community detention as quickly as possible.

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