Tuesday Zedlines, 12th April

Queensland Bureau of Meteorology director Jim Davidson will testify in Brisbane today as part of the Flood Inquiry hearings.

In a written submission, Davidson has stated that forecasters had warned authorities of excessive rain over the wet season.

Yesterday the Inquiry heard engineers at Wivenhoe Dam based their operations on a prediction of no further rainfall, claiming forecasted rainfalls were volatile and unreliable.

Tasmanian Heritage Minister Brian Wightman has approved the construction of a bridge over the discovery site of forty-thousand year old Indigenous artefacts.

The bridge will be built over the Jordan river, north of Hobart. Strong local opposition to the project arose when over 3 million Aboriginal finds were discovered during planning.

A spokesman from the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources said he would meet with the community before construction starts. Protesters at the site have said they won’t move.

Libyan rebels have rejected a peace plan from the African Union, saying they will not agree to any proposition that leaves Moamar Gaddafi in power.

The African Union, led by South African President Jacob Zuma, have tried to broker peace to end a two-month civil war.

Mr. Gaddafi had already agreed to the plan, which would have seen immediate ceasefire, suspension of NATO air strikes and an effort on democratic reforms.

The Gillard government has ordered the removal of bans in the Australian Defence Force preventing women from applying from the most elite and dangerous of defence jobs.

Defence Minster Stephen Smith is at odds with his ministry after scandals of sexual abuse and suicide, and has ordered a series of reviews and inquiries.

The announcement has been backed by the head of the defence force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who says as long as women can meet the tough physical requirements they should be allowed to serve.

A violent mob has looted and set fire to buildings on a rampage through a Papua New Guinean town.

The mob was reacting to claims police bashed a young man in custody who later died.

Two policeman have been arrested and charged with murder. The protesters managed to torch police cars and burn the district Treasury to the ground.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has said Australia’s economic growth will be challenged by natural disasters and global economic instability, particularly in north Africa and Europe.

However, the Treasurer also expects emerging economies will underpin growth in the Australian resource markets.

Quoting a recent report from the International Monetary Fund, Mr Swan predicted a growth of three percent for 2011.

The Greens have criticised Campbell Newman for moving Ray Hopper to the back bench in his shadow ministry.

Mr Hopper was a vocal opponent of coal-seam gas mining. The Greens said this indicates the Liberal National Party plan to focus on a pro-mine stance in the next election.

Mr Newman said his new front bench had a strong commitment to rural and regional Queensland.

Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may be elected to a seat in the New South Wales Upper House today.

Ms Hanson, who ran as an independent, is ahead by over six thousand cotes to her nearest competitor, Greens candidate Jeremy Buckingham.

Final votes will be counted by twelve o’clock today.

A suspected terrorist attack in Minsk, Belarus, has left 11 dead and at least a hundred more injured.

The explosion occurred at Mink’s busiest underground station in the middle of the evening peak hour.

President Alexander Lukashenko condemned the attack as an effort to undermine security in the region.


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