One of Kevin Rudd's key supporters, Joel Fitzgibbon, has talked down the chances of the former prime minister returning to power, while Julia Gillard's backers are fending off troublemakers within the party.
The fate of new laws cracking down on the skilled foreign worker visa scheme will come down to the wire amid doubts the Gillard government will find enough support from the independent MPs for the measures.
Former federal minister Michael Hodgman, once nicknamed "the mouth from the south" for his outspokenness, has died aged 74.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith has given his strongest indication yet that Australia will keep special forces soldiers for counter-terrorism in Afghanistan beyond the general withdrawal at the end of next year.
More people around the world were forced to flee their homes every day last year than the total number seeking asylum in Australia during the entire 12 months, according to the annual report on global trends by the United Nations refugee agency.
Labor senators Kim Carr and Doug Cameron have openly attacked Julia Gillard in parliament, as leadership tensions continue to plague the government.
The agency in charge of national literacy and numeracy tests has blamed principals and teachers for pressuring students to do well in the controversial exams.
Little-known plan to withhold portion of welfare payments from public housing tenants when they fall significantly behind on rent passed the House of Representatives on Monday night.
The Great Barrier Reef will be listed ''in danger'' by the United Nations unless the government addresses major threats from industrialisation.
Late switch by Labor back to Kevin Rudd could provoke a constitutional crisis forcing Governor-General Quentin Bryce to consider options such as a sudden recall of Parliament to test Labor's majority or even the appointment of Tony Abbott as prime minister.