- Abbott moves to have burka restrictions in Parliament overturned
The Prime Minister is calling for the Speaker to back down on plans to ban women who cover their faces from sitting in Parliament's main public galleries.
The Speaker and the Senate President will still make the final decision about security arrangements.
But the ABC understands Mr Abbott will tell Bronwyn Bishop that "common sense should prevail" and that if people have been appropriately screened on the way into Parliament, then they should be allowed to go about the public areas like anyone else.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the debate was allowed to drag on for too long because of the Prime Minister's silence.
- Julie Bishop vows to fight cuts to foreign aid
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has made it clear to her senior colleagues she will fight any attempt to cut the foreign aid budget.
The Australian newspaper reported this morning that a two-year pause in future aid increases was the leading option to cover the cost of the fight against terrorism.
On Thursday morning Ms Bishop said there had been no discussion in Cabinet about aid cuts.
She then went to a meeting with other senior Cabinet figures and asked which minister was talking to the media about her portfolio without consulting her.
- Surfer has arm, hand torn off in WA shark attack
A 23-year-old surfer has lost an arm and his other hand in a shark attack at a beach near Esperance in southern Western Australia.
The attack happened at Wylie Bay Beach about 11:30am (AWST).
Police have named the man as Sean Pollard from Bunbury.
He has been transferred to the Royal Perth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The Department of Fisheries has confirmed it has caught a white shark between three and 4.5 metres in length in the vicinity of the attack.
- Tobacco giant in push to make e-cigarettes 'medicine'
Tobacco giant British American has been lobbying the Therapeutic Goods Administration to introduce an electronic cigarette into Australia, describing it as a "medicine".
- Massive red-bellied black snake surprises wrangler
A massive red-bellied black snake surprises a NSW wrangler called in to remove it who says it's the biggest he's ever seen.
- NSW farmer who shot environment officer 'cracked': wife
The wife of a farmer accused of murdering an environment officer near Moree says her husband told her he didn't mean to kill him.
- $3b cut from welfare as Labor backs stripped-down bill
Family payments are set to be cut and young people on disability support pensions will have their cases reviewed, after Labor voted to pass more than $3 billion in budget savings.
That figure is significantly less than the Government had hoped when it handed down its May budget, but it was unable to win enough support for its welfare overhaul.
Labor has described the legislation as a victory for pensioners and other welfare recipients.
"It has taken the Prime Minister more than four months to realise that this unfair budget wasn't going to wash with Australians," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said.
- James Hird's future as Essendon coach undecided
James Hird's future remains unclear with the Essendon board due to meet next week.
- Chloe Valentine lived with registered sex offender
An inquest has heard Chloe Valentine was exposed to domestic violence and lived with a registered sex offender, yet Families SA found "no grounds for removal".
The four-year-old died in January 2012 and her mother and former partner have been jailed for her manslaughter.
More than 20 notifications were made to government agency Families SA about Chloe's care and her mother's drug use before the girl died.
Despite the fact Chloe was exposed to the violence and was living with a perpetrator, the inquest has heard senior social worker Leanne Stewart, who handled the case at Families SA in 2009, wrote on a report there was no grounds for removal.
- Students issue midnight ultimatum to Hong Kong's leader
Students have surrounded the entrance to Hong Kong's main government building calling for the city's leader CY Leung to stand down by midnight.
They have issued an ultimatum to the city's chief executive to stand aside by midnight, otherwise they will move in, and occupy the government offices.
The Hong Kong government urged protesters to immediately end their blockade and warned protesters not to block or charge at government buildings.
Now in their fifth day of protesting, demonstrators want a resolution and greater voting rights at the 2017 election.
- Indi voters to be investigated by Federal Police
Voters in independent MP Cathy McGowan's electorate of Indi will be investigated by the Australian Federal Police after the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) found a number of laws may have been breached.
- US girl kidnapped 12 years ago found in Mexico
A girl abducted by her mother more than 12 years ago has been reunited with her father after being found in Mexico.