» Air Australia ceased operations abruptly Thursday, stranding 500 to 600 passengers in Hawaii. The bankrupt carrier had been planning to add 79,170 air-seats to Hawaii from Melbourne and Brisbane this year.
» Faulty wiring sparked a fire Sunday that destroyed an old wooden building at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s lower campus used to store financial records for the 10-campus system. UH said backup copies of the records are stored elsewhere.
» The Mountain West Conference and Conference USA announced Monday they will merge to form an 18- to 24-school league in 2013. Hawaii joins the MWC this summer as a football-only member.
» The state charged former state boating official Wesley Choi on Monday with stealing more than $20,000 from the government through forged procurement documents.
» Commercial tours, kayak vendors and other businesses would be banned from two popular Kailua beaches during most weekend hours under a bill approved Wednesday by the City Council.
» Hawaii County would gain a fourth state Senate seat while Oahu would lose one under revamped political boundary maps unveiled Wednesday by the state Reapportionment Commission.
» The Bishop Museum laid off 13 administrative and management employees — 6 percent of its workforce — after losing $2.2 million in federal funding, it said Tuesday.
» The family of a Maui man, Bronson Nunuha, who was killed by fellow inmates at a privately operated prison in Arizona in 2010, filed suit Wednesday against Corrections Corp. of America and the state of Hawaii, which contracted with CCA to house prisoners.
» President Barack Obama submitted the last budget request of his term Monday. The blueprint reflects his agenda for a desired second term, with tax increases on the wealthy and cuts in spending, especially from the military, both to reduce deficits and to pay for priorities like education, public works, research and clean energy.
» With each party claiming that it had pocketed an election-year victory, Congress voted Friday to extend payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits. The bill would maintain a 2 percentage-point payroll tax cut for 160 million working Americans, provide added unemployment benefits for millions and protect doctors who accept Medicare from a large cut in reimbursements.
» Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, convicted of trying to detonate a bomb aboard a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear, was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
» More than 650 people have died during a record-breaking cold snap in Eastern Europe, authorities said Wednesday. Since the end of January, the region has been pummeled by the deep freeze and the heaviest blizzards in recent memory.
» In a powerful rebuke to Syria’s government, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a resolution that condemned President Bashar Assad’s unbridled crackdown on an 11-month-old uprising and called for his resignation under an Arab League peace proposal to resolve the conflict.
>> Tuesday: The state Board of Education will discuss performance-based compensation, teacher and principal performance evaluations and other items, 1:30 p.m., Queen Liliuokalani Building, 1390 Miller St., room 404.
>> Tuesday-Wednesday: The state Reapportionment Commission will hold public meetings on its revised political maps, Tuesday at Hawaii County Council offices in Hilo and Kailua-Kona, and Wednesday at state Capitol room 329. All meetings begin at 6 p.m.
>> Thursday: The University of Hawaii Board of Regents will discuss supplemental funding for Clarence T.C. Ching Field, mandatory student transportation fee, UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo dormitory fee increase and other items, 9:15 a.m., Windward Community College, Hale Akoakoa 101.
>> Tuesday: Jeff Beck, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, B.B. King and Keb’ Mo’ are among the scheduled performers at a White House celebration of blues music.