Latest Australia news

  • Australia rejects Vietnamese refugee claims in 40 minutes 55 minutes ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia secretly held a group of 46 Vietnamese asylum seekers on a warship at sea for almost a month and rejected their refugee claims during interviews that took as little as 40 minutes before returning them all to Vietnam last month, officials said. More »

  • Depp Faces 10 Years In Jail Over Dogs: Report
    Depp Faces 10 Years In Jail Over Dogs: Report 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    Johnny Depp could face 10 years in prison for illegally taking his two dogs into Australia, government officials have reportedly warned. The Hollywood actor hit the headlines after he and his wife Amber Heard flew into the country this month with his Yorkshire terriers , Pistol and Boo. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that a Senate committee hearing was told Depp could be sentenced to up to a decade behind bars, or a maximum fine of AU$340,000 (£172,000). More »

  • Top Asian News at 11:30 a.m. GMT 14 hours ago

    WANG KELIAN, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities said Monday a cluster of abandoned jungle camps used by human traffickers contained 139 suspected graves as well as barbed-wire pens likely used to cage migrants, shedding more light on a regional trade that preyed on some of Southeast Asia's most desperate people. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said forensics experts were exhuming the suspected graves found at 28 vacated camps in the hilly jungle area on the border with Thailand where trafficking syndicates were known to operate. More »

  • Australia appoints 2 new counterterrorism coordinators 20 hours ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia on Monday moved to increase cooperation between its security agencies against the threat of Islamic State group militants by appointing two new counterterrorism coordinators. More »

  • Australia to bring home bodies of 25 who died in Vietnam War 23 hours ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia announced Monday that it will repatriate the remains of up to 25 Australian soldiers killed about 50 years ago during the Vietnam War. More »

  • Top Asian News at 9:30 a.m. GMT Sat, May 23, 2015

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged Southeast Asian nations to deal with the causes behind a growing humanitarian crisis that has forced thousands of Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshi migrants to flee by sea, leaving many still stranded in boats. Ban said he has been discussing the emergency with regional leaders in Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand, among others, and urged them to provide search and rescue operations and options for resettlement and reintegration. More »

  • Australia in Europe's Song Contest? In a word, yes.
    Australia in Europe's Song Contest? In a word, yes. Fri, May 22, 2015

    VIENNA (AP) — For the first time in its 60-year history, the Eurovision Song Contest may be won by — Australia. More »

  • Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT Fri, May 22, 2015

    BANGKOK (AP) — Attention turned Friday to the seas off Southeast Asia's west coast as Malaysian naval vessels searched for stranded boat people and the U.S. military prepared air patrols to step up its involvement. Thousands of Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar are believed to be trapped on crowded boats with little food or water — some after being pushed back by the navies of at least three countries — and the international community has warned that time to save them is running out. More »

  • Cambodia accepts 4 refugees under Australia agreement Fri, May 22, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Four refugees rejected by Australia who have agreed to resettle in Cambodia will likely become examples that other refugees will follow, an Australian minister said Friday. More »

  • Australia to revoke citizenship of Australian-born jihadis Thu, May 21, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia plans to strip citizenship from Australian-born children of immigrants who become Islamic State fighters in its crackdown on homegrown jihadis, a minister said on Thursday. More »

  • Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT Thu, May 21, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's prime minister said Thursday he has ordered the navy and the coast guard to comb the sea to look for stranded migrants, the first country to announce it will search for the refugees in desperate need of help instead of waiting for them to wash up on Southeast Asia's shores. As the region's migrant crisis enters its fourth week, it remains unclear how many vulnerable people are adrift at sea but aid groups and the U.N. say there could be thousands and time is running out to save them. More »

  • The Latest on Rohingya: Australia won't take in migrants
  • Vatican finance minister denies Australian bribe allegation Thu, May 21, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Pope Francis' finance minister has denied an allegation that he offered a bribe to a victim of clergy abuse to protect a pedophile priest. More »

  • From middle-class Australian to Islamic State bride Thu, May 21, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Quietly — almost secretly — Zehra Duman morphed from private school student to Islamic State bride and online recruiter for the movement. Her family did not see it coming. More »

  • Exoplanet Puzzle: How Is This Giant Alien Planet Too Big for Its Star?
    Exoplanet Puzzle: How Is This Giant Alien Planet Too Big for Its Star? Wed, May 20, 2015

    The Magellan Telescope and Australian National University's 2.3-meter telescope revealed that HATS-6b has an orbit just 10 percent as wide as that of Mercury, completing an orbit around its star every 3.3 days. HATS-6 is one of the smallest stars to host a hot Jupiter, and only two known exoplanets orbit closer to their stars than HATS-6b, researchers said. "HATS-6b is a relatively big planet that orbits a very small star," study co-author George Zhou, an astronomer at Australian National University in Canberra, told Space.com. More »

  • Australia leader talks down hopes of repatriating terrorists Tue, May 19, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister on Tuesday talked down the possibility of homesick Australian foreign fighters returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, warning that they could pose a threat at home. More »

  • Japan to join bidding to sell Australia stealth submarine fleet
    Japan to join bidding to sell Australia stealth submarine fleet Mon, May 18, 2015

    Japan will join competitive bidding to sell Australia a fleet of stealth submarines, the government said on Monday, a move expected to require Tokyo to supply Canberra with classified data. The development comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moves to strengthen security ties with ally the United States and some countries in the region including Australia in the face of China's rapid military modernisation and maritime expansion. "We have decided to participate" in the bidding to replace Australia's ageing fleet, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. The "competitive assessment" will see Germany's ThyssenKrupp and France's state-controlled naval contractor DCNS separately competing with a Japanese government-led bid for such contractors as Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Japan had been the front runner in the planned sale of around 12 vessels, for as much as $40 billion, to replace Australia's ageing Collins class submarines, sources have said, until Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened up the bidding under pressure from opposition and ruling party lawmakers. More »

  • Inquiry threat into Australian iron ore industry
    Inquiry threat into Australian iron ore industry Mon, May 18, 2015

    Steel-making commodity is the nation's largest export with Australia accounting for 60% of the world's sea-borne supply More »

  • Prince Harry ends New Zealand, Australia visit on winning note
    Prince Harry ends New Zealand, Australia visit on winning note Sat, May 16, 2015

    Britain's Prince Harry wrapped up a visit to New Zealand and Australia on Saturday by scoring the winning goal in a football match and proving he can help capture a crocodile. More »

  • Prince Harry in snap encounter with Australian crocodile
    Prince Harry in snap encounter with Australian crocodile Sat, May 16, 2015

    Britain's Prince Harry had a close encounter with a ferocious crocodile during his recent trip in Australia, with officials revealing Saturday he helped capture a 3.1 metre predator. More »

  • U.S. official misspoke on deployment of bombers to Australia - PM Abbott
    U.S. official misspoke on deployment of bombers to Australia - PM Abbott Fri, May 15, 2015

    SYDNEY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Australia said on Friday a senior U.S. defence official misspoke when he told U.S. lawmakers the Pentagon planned to send B-1 bombers to Australia, while a Pentagon spokesman said future military rotations to Australia were not finalised. Assistant Defense Secretary David Shear told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday the deployment of B-1 strategic bombers to security ally Australia was part of the Defense Department's effort to ensure it had enough military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific. More »

  • Top Asian News at 2:00 a.m. GMT Fri, May 15, 2015

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An audacious Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse that left 14 people dead, including nine foreigners, underscores the difficulties President Ashraf Ghani faces in providing even basic security following the withdrawal of international combat troops from Afghanistan. The hourslong siege, which ended early Thursday, was the deadliest in Kabul since the insurgents launched their annual "spring offensive" against Ghani's administration in late April, sparking fierce battles that have forced the government to concentrate resources on security at the expense of desperately needed reforms. More »

  • Australia to Depp: Fly your dogs out or we'll put them down
    Australia to Depp: Fly your dogs out or we'll put them down Thu, May 14, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian quarantine authorities have ordered Johnny Depp to fly his dogs Pistol and Boo out of the country by Saturday or they will be put down. More »

  • U.S. Marines look to nurture integrated Asia-Pacific amphibious forces, China …
    U.S. Marines look to nurture integrated Asia-Pacific amphibious forces, China … Thu, May 14, 2015

    By Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine Corps is bringing together foreign commanders from amphibious forces deployed mostly in the Asia-Pacific for a conference aimed at taking steps to integrate operations, with China excluded from the event, according to officials and planning documents. More than half the nations attending are from Asia, including some embroiled in territorial disputes with China such as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. On the agenda will be amphibious assault tactics, including ship-to-shore assaults, and a demonstration of shore landing tactics, said a USMC spokesman in Hawaii.     A planning document prepared by a consultant to the U.S. military and reviewed by Reuters notes that China should "not be invited" because it's a "competitor" to the United States and some of the countries attending. Washington has grown increasingly critical of China's assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea, especially its land reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly chain. More »

  • Search for missing Malaysia plane yields uncharted shipwreck
    Search for missing Malaysia plane yields uncharted shipwreck Wed, May 13, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Search crews hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the desolate ocean waters off western Australia have discovered an old shipwreck, officials said Wednesday. More »

  • Australia PM rules out early election as budget sell begins
    Australia PM rules out early election as budget sell begins Wed, May 13, 2015

    Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during a press conference in Canberra, on February 9, 2015 More »

  • Australian PM rules out early election as budget sell begins
    Australian PM rules out early election as budget sell begins Wed, May 13, 2015

    Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks during a press conference in Canberra, on February 9, 2015 More »

  • Australia unveils budget to counter hit from commodities
    Australia unveils budget to counter hit from commodities Tue, May 12, 2015

    Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C-front), seen with Treasurer Joe Hockey (L), Deputy PM Warren Truss (C) and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, at Parliament House in Canberra, on February 23, 2015... More »

  • Australian foreign aid cuts would hit Indonesia deepest Tue, May 12, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Indonesia will suffer the deepest cut from Australia's plans to slash foreign aid by almost 20 percent in the next fiscal year. More »

  • Australia targets 30 multinationals in tax crackdown
    Australia targets 30 multinationals in tax crackdown Tue, May 12, 2015

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday proposed new legislation to tighten tax loopholes that the conservative government says have allowed around 30 of the world's largest multinational companies to avoid paying taxes. Under the proposals, released as part of Australia's 2015/16 federal budget, companies with more than A$1 billion (£508.5 million) in global revenues that are found to have intentionally avoided paying tax in Australia could be pursued for lost taxes. With the new measures Australia will join Britain in leading a crackdown on companies such as global tech giants , Apple and Microsoft , focussing particularly on their alleged shifting of profits from high-tax countries to low or no tax regimes. "We have identified 30 large multinational companies that may have diverted profits away from Australia to avoid paying their fair share of tax in Australia," Treasurer Joe Hockey told parliament. More »

  • Australia plans to cut business tax and balance books Tue, May 12, 2015

    Australia announced cuts to foreign aid, lower taxes for small businesses and cheaper child care in an annual budget that tries to balance paying off debt with energizing an economy that's being sapped ... More »

  • Australian conservatives seek to restore faith with no surprises budget Tue, May 12, 2015

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA, May 12 (Reuters) - - Australia's conservative government on Tuesday followed through on its pledge to deliver a "no surprises" budget, handing down a document light on radical reform but heavy on pledges to return to surplus despite a plunge in commodities prices. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey were savaged in 2014 for handing down an unpopular budget that slashed spending on social welfare programs in order to rein in spiralling deficits. Major changes to the education and healthcare systems in last year's budget were knocked back by an unruly upper house senate following a public outcry that saw the government's approval ratings dip to record lows. This budget instead focussed on popular items such as tax breaks for small businesses, increased childcare subsidies and legislation allowing for a crackdown on tax evasion by big multinational companies. More »

  • Australia looks to avoid voter backlash with 'fair' budget
    Australia looks to avoid voter backlash with 'fair' budget Tue, May 12, 2015

    Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C-front), seen with Treasurer Joe Hockey (L), Deputy PM Warren Truss (C) and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, at Parliament House in Canberra, on February 23, 2015... More »

  • Australian treasurer aims for budget surplus in 5 years Tue, May 12, 2015

    Australia's chief finance minister said Tuesday that his budget blueprint for the next fiscal year will maintain a credible path to an eventual surplus despite China's slowing economy and weak commodity ... More »

  • Top Asian News at 10:30 p.m. GMT Mon, May 11, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Hundreds of migrants abandoned at sea by smugglers in Southeast Asia have reached land and relative safety in the past two days. But an estimated 6,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar remain trapped in crowded, wooden boats, migrant officials and activists said. With food and clean water running low, some could be in grave danger. One vessel that reached Indonesian waters early Monday, was stopped by the Navy and given food, water and directions to Malaysia. More »