Victoria is facing a constitutional crisis with a hung parliament as the likely result of the state election. Ted Baillieu's Coalition stood closest to claiming victory with 44 seats won -just one short of the majority required to form government. Premier John Brumby's hopes of leading Labor to a record fourth term of Victorian Government rested with winning both undecided seats to force a hung parliament - following a cliffhanger state election that might not be decided for several days. A huge swing against the Labor Government and the loss of at least 11 seats has forced the contest wide open.
Finance Minister Penny Wong has broken her silence on gay marriage, promising to campaign to change Labor's national platform to allow marriage between same-sex couples. In comments that will place further pressure on Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Ms Wong told delegates at the South Australia state Labor convention that she would be ''advocating for our party to support equality including in relation to marriage for same-sex couples''.
The Greens’ hopes of claiming their first lower house seat in the Victorian parliament appear to have been dashed, with the ALP likely to retain four key inner Melbourne seats.
The death sentence on Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan, for blasphemy has set off a storm of debate about her fate. It started as nothing more than a petty squabble: a group of Muslim women refused to sup from a bucket of water fetched by a Christian co-worker as they picked berries on a farm. But within days the spat had escalated into a deadly storm, as imams whipped up an angry crowd accusing Aasia Bibi of badmouthing the Prophet Muhammad. Today the mother-of-five is on death row, the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to hang for blasphemy.
Easterfest chief executive officer Isaac Moody yesterday announced the addition of 115 international and national artists to the Toowoomba Christian music festival line-up. The 2011 festival will have the biggest line-up seen in Toowoomba, with 15 headline artists already announced, 115 additional artists announced yesterday and the remaining 60 artists to be announced in the coming weeks. “Of the 1100 individual performers, 900 of them will be tourists to the region including 100 international performers from places such as Canada, New York, Los Angeles and Nashville,” Mr Moody said.
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