PM - Individual Items

PM - Individual Items

Australia

ABC radio news and current affairs afternoon program reporting on Australia and the world.

Episodes

Majority of Dili residents fear eviction in next five years  

A survey of households in Timor-Leste has found most people in the country's capital fear they'll be evicted from their land in the next five years. The report says questions around land conflict and dispossession are looming large. Timor Leste's parliament has been debating draft land laws ahead of the country's election in July.

Bicycle symbol causes fued between father and son aspiring to political top job  

India's election commission has stepped in to end a bitter feud between a father and son, over a bicycle. The commission's decision to award the bicycle to the son could clear his path to eventually challenge Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the top job. It's not a real bike, but a symbol - this week election officials gave the chief minister of India's most populous state the right to use that bike in a forthcoming poll - a decision with potentially far-reaching consequences.

Women-only ridesharing company set to launch  

The directors of a ridesharing company are making no apologies for excluding men. The company only employs female drivers and only accepts women or children as passengers. It says it's offering a safer alternative to taxis and Uber cars.

More foreigners speak out after losing life savings to a Brisbane education agency  

More young foreigners have spoken out after losing their life savings to a Brisbane-based international education agency. They say they paid for English language courses and accommodation but both the money and the agents have disappeared. The largely South American-based victims have called on the Australian Government and the education industry for help, but they say little can be done for those offshore. However, The World Today has obtained a letter from the Education Minister, urging English colleges to assist students to avoid damage to Australia's international reputation.

Lap banding surgery for obese teens has significant benefits  

It's a controversial use of the surgery, but lap banding has significant benefits for severely obese teenagers. That's according to a new study which found both weight and body mass index improved in a group of adolescents, in the months and years after lap band surgery. Researchers say it should be considered as a management tool for obese teens, but other options should be exhausted before they go under the knife.

Young people warned off unnecessary health cover  

Consumer advocacy group Choice has launched an online calculator to help people answer one of modern life's great questions - should I pay for health insurance? With premiums rising by almost half since 2009, the question becomes more pressing each year. Choice warns young people especially are vulnerable to being sold policies they do not need.

Economy isn't creating enough jobs: economists  

Economists have expressed concern about the economy's ability to generate new jobs, as Australia's unemployment rate rises to its highest level in six months. Analysts say the economy and the jobs market seem to have stalled, making it harder for the long-term unemployed to find work.

Who will be the next premier of New South Wales?  

Phones are running hot at Sydney's Macquarie Street this evening as Coalition MPs sound out who could be the next premier of New South Wales. Current leader Mike Baird announced his resignation from politics this morning, catching a number of politicians off-guard, including his deputy Premier. Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian has already put her hand up for the job, but one veteran state political reporter says there's a "virtual army of misogynists" in the Liberal Party, and he's not sure she'll succeed. Crikey journalist Alex Mitchell speaks to PM.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announces surprise resignation  

The Premier of New South Wales, Mike Baird has announced his resignation to spend more time with his family. Mr Baird, the son of former state and federal minister Bruce Baird, made the surprise announcement after nearly a decade in politics and six years in government. The last three years of his political career, he was premier. He said that it was his wish to spend more time with his wife and children as well as his elderly parents and sister that forced his hand in standing down.

NT Government's proposed abortion reforms don't go far enough: lawyers  

Lawyers pushing for abortion reforms in the Northern Territory say the Government's proposed changes don't go far enough. Increased access to the abortion drug RU486 and to safe-zones at abortion clinics are amongst the changes flagged in a Government discussion paper. But critics say there's nothing in the paper about later-term abortions and women could be forced to carry a foetus with fatal abnormalities to term.

Senior Palestinian official labels Australia's position on Middle East peace process 'extreme'  

A senior Palestinian official has labelled Australia's position on the Middle East peace process as 'extreme' after the Turnbull Government distanced itself from the final statement of the Paris peace conference, a statement which reaffirmed a commitment to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The criticism comes after Australia criticised last month's UN Security Council resolution, which condemned Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

Universities defend course drop-out rate  

New figures today show that fewer than two thirds of students finish their university degrees after six years. And after nine years, the figures aren't much better, with a quarter of students still not completing their courses. The Education Minister says when students don't complete degrees, it's a waste of their money and the taxpayers'. But the peak body representing universities disputes that the attrition rate is too high.

Record numbers of millennials choosing share ownership over home ownership  

Owning property may be out of reach for many young Australians, but now there's new evidence that millennials are taking matters into their own hands, choosing share ownership over home ownership. Some in the sharemarket say they're seeing record numbers of Australians under 35 trying their hand at shares. Instead of discouraging what's normally regarded as a risky investment, experts say they'd like to see more younger Australians choosing shares over property.

Calls to improve access to disability pension for vulnerable and traumatised refugees  

The family and psychologist of a Bhutanese refugee who committed suicide before Christmas are appealing to the Federal Government to better manage welfare assessments for vulnerable people. They say the woman, who was in her '60s, felt stressed and depressed because of pressure from both Centrelink and a job agency to secure employment in order to keep her Newstart payments.

Aviation writer says search for MH370 crucial to long haul flight safety  

The decision to suspend the search for missing Malaysia airlines flight MH370 has devastated the families of those on board. But prominent aviation writer Geoffrey Thomas warns it's also a blow for the wider flying public. He says it remains vital to know why MH370 went down, given it was an aircraft thousands of people fly around the world on every day.

Barack Obama commutes prison sentences of several inmates  

In the final hours of his administration, US President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentences of a number of inmates, including some very high-profile cases. Oscar Lopez Rivera, sometimes called the 'Latin American Mandela', will walk free on May the 17th. Also due for release the same day is Chelsea Manning, who as a former US army intelligence analyst leaked hundreds of thousands of classified military logs to Julian Assange's WikiLeaks website. PM speaks to ANU professor of law Don Rothwell, who says there are still questions around whether incoming President Donald Trump will honour the changes.

Victoria apologises for 'serious' breach of gun data  

The Victorian Government is apologising to gun owners whose data has been accidentally released. The state's Environment Department accidentally emailed out lists of people with gun licences. The Government says it's confident no data will be misused, but the Shooters and Fishers Party is concerned it could go to criminals.

Cancelled Australia Day billboard ad featuring Muslim girls set to return  

The Australia Day ad featuring two young girls in hijabs is about to have a second life, after being pulled yesterday because of online threats. The electronic billboard at Cranbourne, in Melbourne's south-east, was part of a Victorian Government campaign to promote Australia Day events in the city. Threats and abuse, fuelled by far-right groups, led the billboard's operator to remove the ad yesterday. But its disappearance is likely to be brief, as a crowdfunding push has bought new billboards in major cities and ads in tomorrow's newspaper.

New ministry delights some, disappoints other  

The incoming Health Minister Greg Hunt says his new portfolio is an issue of personal importance. Greg Hunt has vowed to protect Medicare, and with health seen as a weak spot for the Government, he'll be on the front line to meet attacks from the Opposition. The Prime Minister today announced his new frontbench after Sussan Ley's resignation last week following the expenses scandal. There's changes to the Cabinet and the outer ministry, but not everyone in the Government is satisfied with the new appointments. Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz says he's deeply disappointed that there's no Tasmanians on the frontbench, although he's singled out incoming Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar for praise.

Prosecution of three vets over hendra virus cases discouraging younger vets  

Equine Veterinarians Australia says the prosecution of three Queensland vets over how they handled cases of hendra virus has discouraged younger vets from specialising in the field. As Kallee Buchanan reports, vets have been shocked by the court cases.

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