Doctors call for sweet drink levy to tackle obesity in Australia

The Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, representing bodies including the Royal Australian College of GPs, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, has developed a six-point obesity action plan to tackle what it calls the most pressing public health issue.

Professor Nick Talley, head of the Committee of the Presidents of Medical Colleges, said urgent definitive action was needed.

"We need leadership, not just telling people to lose weight," he said.

Australia flies a sixth refugee from Nauru to Cambodia

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Syrian man who arrived last Sunday was being cared for by the International Organisation for Migration, which has received millions of dollars from Australia to care for refugees in Cambodia.

But only one of the five other refugees who agreed to take a one-way flight from Nauru since the deal was signed two years ago remains in Cambodia.

Concerns in Fiji over Australian visa-free hoax

Fijivillage reported that the Commission says it is a major concern because more than 50 cases of misleading and deceptive trade practices by various travel agents have been recorded in the past year.

The Australian High Commission said it was aware of a scam circulating on social media but said Canberra has made no changes to the entry requirements for Fiji citizens.

It said any suspected fraud should be reported to the police, the Commerce Commission or the Australian High Commission in Suva.


Provocative 'tourism ad' stirs mixed feelings in Australia

The logo quickly made headlines - it was dubbed "the wildest tourism slogan ever" by one news outlet - with critics variously hailing it as hilarious or distasteful.

It bellows "See You in the Northern Territories", but uses acronyms throughout.

"Well this is a bold strategy for a travel campaign," one person tweeted.

But despite appearances, it is not an official campaign - as the actual NT tourism authority soon made clear.

Australia senate stops gay marriage vote

The government said a non-binding ballot, or plebiscite, was the quickest way to amend the Marriage Act..

Same-sex couples can have civil unions or registered relationships in most Australian states but they are not considered married under national law

Opinion polls indicate that most Australians support same-sex marriage.

However opposition parties and many supporters of same-sex marriage argued a plebiscite would be expensive and could unleash a divisive campaign.

Instead, they say parliament should make the decision itself.

Kangaroos v Kiwis: Five key points

Usain Bolt to race in Australia

The greatest track and field athlete of all time is likely to earn upwards of a million dollars as the star attraction in the inaugural edition of the Nitro Summer Series in Melbourne in the week of Feburary 5-11.

The series will involve up to eight teams representing countries and regions.

With the meets taking place so early in the year, the 30-year-old Bolt is likely to only contest relays.

But his signing is still a massive coup for Athletics Australia (AA) and the Victorian government.

Amnesty says NZ silence over Australian abuses deafening

The human rights group is one of many which has publicised abuses happening at the Australian run detention camps on Nauru and at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Amnesty said recent research it has conducted shows the vast majority of New Zealanders want Prime Minister John Key and his government to challenge Australia over the abuses.

Its executive director, Grant Bayldon, said the silence has been deafening, given New Zealand's willingness to point to human rights abuses in other countries.

UNHCR concerned about Australia's ban

UNHCR's regional representative Thomas Albrecht said Australia should offer protection and respect to people arriving by boat.

He said the basic human right of every person to seek asylum from persecution is not diminished by their mode of arrival.

Mr Albrecht said those forced to flee persecution need and deserve conducive conditions of protection, and a sustainable long-term solution.

Meanwhile, the Australia-based Human Rights Law Centre says Canberra's proposed ban could affect 320 refugees already living there.

One change to Kiwis team

Forward Greg Eastwood is the only change to the 19-man squad named to face the home nation, replacing Canberra back rower Joseph Tapine.

"It's no secret this game is going to be won up front," says Kidwell. "Both teams have strong forward packs and we need our middle men to lead the way."

Kidwell and his coaching staff have put the full squad through their paces since arriving in England last Thursday.

"I'm really happy with how the boys have trained. We understand the challenge that's ahead of us and we need to be at our best," he says.