Raqqa taken off Australian travel ban list
(Translation of the news appears in Arabic section)
Canberra: Australians can now travel to Raqqah in Syria without facing criminal charges but have been warned the area is still a war zone.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed on Wednesday coalition forces, including Australian troops, have taken back Raqqa city from Islamic State, which she described as an important milestone in the fight against the extremist group.
'This means that Australian citizens who travel to al-Raqqah will no longer be subject to the criminal code defences that made it an offence to travel to al-Raqqah without legitimate purpose,' she told reporters in Canberra,
'Failure of leadership': Coalition tensions boil as MP attacks Turnbull
Canberra:Nationals backbencher Andrew Broad has openly accused Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of a failure of leadership, in another sign of growing tensions inside the federal Coalition.
Mr Broad's attack on the Prime Minister over his handling of same-sex marriage comes as Nationals MPs agitate for a commission of inquiry into the banking sector, a move that would risk destabilising the Turnbull government, which continues to resist the move.
Mr Broad argued a "lack of leadership from the Coalition, the executive of the Coalition, and the Prime Minister has let down many Australians," and said there was disappointment on the backbench.
Same-sex marriage passes historic hurdle
Canberra:The legalisation of same-sex marriage has moved a step closer after the Senate effectively passed a same-sex marriage bill for the first time in Australian history on Tuesday.
The bill breezed through its second-reading stage, and every amendment from Coalition senators was defeated in a debate that lasted late into the night.
The Attorney-General says legalising same-sex marriage will be as momentous an event as when homosexual acts between consenting males were decriminalised.
The universities and degrees with the best outcomes revealed
Sydney: Three Sydney universities are among the best in the country for their six-year degree completion rates, but the national graduation rate has fallen to its lowest level recorded.
Overall, the six-year university completion rate has dropped to the lowest levels recorded since the Department of Education began collating the data, with only 66 per cent of students who started their degree in 2010 finishing by 2015.
The national graduation rate has fallen to its lowest level recorded.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said universities could do more to improve outcomes for students.
A dismal decade in Aust politics: ex-leaders
Sydney: Former Prime Ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd have blamed 'immature careerists' for what they describe as a 'dismal decade' in Australian politics.
On the tenth anniversary of Kevin Rudd's election as Prime Minister, he and John Howard have hit-out at the current factionalism within the major parties.
They say the political infighting is causing voters to lose faith in the major parties and the parliamentary system.
Both former leaders blame this for the swing towards more extreme minor parties.
Meanwhile, former federal treasurer Wayne Swan says issues that led to Labor's 2007 election defeat of John Howard's government still echo today.