Too Close to Call


Counting is continuing today to decide three seats up for grabs in Tasmania's Legislative Council Elections. The Police, Education and Children's Minister Lin Thorp is ahead on primary votes after yesterday's Legislative Council elections but could still lose her Upper House seat of Rumney.

Dr Philip Nitschke: try me over suicide pact

Herald Sun

AUSTRALIA'S highest-profile pro-euthanasia advocate has challenged police to charge him over his involvement in an elderly couple's suicide pact. Dr Philip Nitschke has revealed Don and Iris Flounders ended their lives together in their Warragul home on April 28 with the drug Nembutal, which they had hidden under the house for three years.

Malaysia may look to expand refugee deal


Malaysia has hinted it may want Australia to accept even more refugees if a one-off, four-year exchange deal proves successful. But critics maintain the yet-to-be-signed deal should be stopped altogether, citing Malaysia's "dire" track record when it comes to the treatment of detainees.

Bob Brown slams detention policy

The Age

The Gillard government is in a race to the bottom with the opposition when it comes to the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says. The prime minister wants 800 asylum seekers who try to make their way to Australia by boat taken immediately to Malaysia for processing.

Carbon tax 'just the start' 

The Age

A CARBON tax alone won't deliver Australia a low-pollution future, according to a new climate-change coalition. The Southern Cross Climate Coalition, comprising unions and environment and research groups, called for a multi-faceted approach when it released its policy paper in Melbourne yesterday.

Charities face profits being taxed in budget


THE federal budget will put a lid on the practice of so-called charities using their tax-free status to generate business income for no charitable purpose whatsoever. In changes to be announced in the federal budget on Tuesday, not-for-profit organisations will have to pay tax on profits that are kept for commercial purposes and not redirected towards the organisation's altruistic purpose.

Britain says No

The Economist

BRITAIN is to continue electing its Parliament with the first-past-the-post voting system. A change to the alternative vote (AV) was offered in a national referendum, only the second in British history, on May 5th, but was rejected by a landslide. The counting is yet to finish but the No campaign is on course to secure over two-thirds of the votes cast. Cambridge and some London boroughs were among the very few electoral districts which voted in favour of AV. Turnout is estimated to be 41%, higher than many expected.

Gay judge revelation clouds same-sex marriage ruling


SHORTLY after he retired, the federal judge who struck down California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage acknowledged publicly what had been rumoured for months: he is gay and in a long-term relationship with another man. Same-sex marriage opponents seized on Vaughn Walker's revelation and filed a motion last week to have his ruling on Proposition 8 vacated, arguing that he could benefit personally from his decision if he wanted to marry his partner.