The Newsroom reviews this week’s top stories
Australia to take detainees from US?
The Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, has said the Australian government has plenty of time to make a deal about the transfer of detainees from offshore detention centres before Donald Trump takes office. A deal to resettle 1800 refugees and asylum seekers is almost certain. The United States will accept the detainees and Australia has agreed to take Central American refugees held in Costa Rican camps. The Australian government has denied the swap in the past, but it has been reported the Obama administration will announce the deal as soon as Saturday or Sunday. Malcolm Turnbull has declined to discuss any announcement or deal. The proposed lifetime ban on resettling refugees passed the House of Representatives on Thursday and will be considered in the Senate – but is expected to be challenged by the Labor Party.
Michael Atkins aids in the search for Matthew Leveson
Michael Atkins has agreed to cooperate with police in the search for Matthew Leveson’s body after being given immunity from prosecution. Police have now launched a search of the Royal National Park, south of Sydney. Mr Atkins was acquitted of murdering Matthew Leveson in 2009 and refused to give evidence for fear of incriminating himself. Mr Leveson was last seen leaving a nightclub in Surry Hills on September 23, 2007. Mr Leveson’s parents backed the decision of the Deputy State Coroner to grant immunity.
Calls for sugar tax
A coalition of influential Australian doctors groups have called for a tax on sugar sweetened drinks and for obesity to be reclassified as a chronic disease. The Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges have developed a six-point plan to tackle obesity in Australia. The plan includes reclassifying obesity, introducing the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, advocating better alternatives to treating obesity, targeted training for medical and health professionals, prompting an active lifestyle and encouraging Australians to monitor their weight. In the past, the World Health Organisation has encouraged countries to tax sugary drinks to lower the consumption of sugars and reduce obesity and tooth decay.
‘Australian legend’ facing $9000 fine
A man described by Karl Stefanovic as a “God damn Australian legend” could face a $9000 fine for flying a drone to get a sausage sandwich from Bunnings. Despite getting international recognition and appreciation, the group behind the video violated civil aviation safety regulations. A video posted to Facebook showed a drone with a bag and note attached flying to Bunnings to collect a sausage sandwich which was then delivered to a young man relaxing in a spa. – Compiled from online sources by Ash Cant
Screengrab of Christopher Pyne in Federal Parliament from YouTube video of Question Time.