Latest Australia news

  • Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug - convict executions
    Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug - convict executions Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Jane Wardell CILACAP, Indonesia/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia said the execution of nine drug traffickers would go ahead this week, rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals and ignoring a decision by the Constitutional Court to hear a final challenge. Australia began the day with a plea for a stay in the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to be investigated. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said allegations that judges requested money to commute the death sentences were "very serious" and called into question the integrity of the process. Indonesian President Joko Widodo brushed that off, telling reporters that such concerns should have been conveyed a decade ago when the case when through the courts. More »

  • Top Asian News at 8:30 a.m. GMT Mon, Apr 27, 2015

    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The death toll from Nepal's earthquake soared past 3,700 Monday, and how much higher it would rise depended largely on the condition of vulnerable mountain villages that rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster. Reports received so far by the government and aid groups suggest that many communities perched on mountainsides are devastated or struggling to cope. Udav Prashad Timalsina, the top official for the Gorkha district, near the epicenter of Saturday's quake, said he was in desperate need of help. More »

  • Thousands remember Anzac heroism on Gallipoli centenary
    Thousands remember Anzac heroism on Gallipoli centenary Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders on Saturday thronged the beaches of Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula to remember the heroism and sacrifice of their forefathers in the World War I campaign against the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago. More »

  • Chiefs beat 14-man Western Force 35-27 in Super Rugby Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    The Chiefs became provisional leaders in Super Rugby after beating a 14-man Western Force 35-27 on Friday. More »

  • For asylum seekers, a novel (and odd) solution: Cambodia
    For asylum seekers, a novel (and odd) solution: Cambodia Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    BANGKOK (AP) — Still haunted by the Vietnam War next door and the 1970s genocide that followed, Cambodia is not exactly the place that the world's refugees dream of reaching. More »

  • The Tipperary anthropologist nicknamed ‘grandmother’ by Indigenous Australi …
    The Tipperary anthropologist nicknamed ‘grandmother’ by Indigenous Australi … Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    Today considered quite a controversial figure in anthropology, Daisy May Bates dedicated her life’s work to observing the native people of Australia. More »

  • Super Rugby: Former champions under pressure in round 11 Thu, Apr 23, 2015

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former champions face critical matches in the 11th round of Super Rugby as they struggle to keep title hopes alive and to head off the elevation of a new victor. More »

  • Stopping migrant boats Australia style
    Stopping migrant boats Australia style Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    Australian PM Abbott urges the EU to take a tougher stance on migrants after hundreds drown in the Mediterranean. More »

  • Dutch lawmaker tells migrants not to come to Netherlands Wed, Apr 22, 2015

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch anti-Islam opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders has copied part of Australia's approach to stopping boat migrants by making a video telling would-be asylum seekers considering making the treacherous boat crossing from North Africa to Europe: "You will not make the Netherlands home." More »

  • How countries cope with migrants arriving by boat
    How countries cope with migrants arriving by boat Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    Two recent shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea believed to have taken the lives of as many as 1,300 asylum seekers and migrants highlight the growing number of people fleeing persecution, war and economic difficulties in their homelands. More »

  • Australia: EU needs tough border control after boat tragedy
    Australia: EU needs tough border control after boat tragedy Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's prime minister urged European leaders on Tuesday to adopt tougher border control measures in the wake of the feared drowning of as many as 900 asylum seekers whose boat capsized off the coast of Libya. More »

  • Top Asian News at 2:30 a.m. GMT Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's prime minister has offered to resign amid a bribery scandal about two months after he took up the country's No. 2 post. Lee Wan Koo has been at the center of a corruption scandal that flared after a businessman killed himself earlier this month with a memo listing the names of high-profile figures he claimed to have bribed. More »

  • UN refugee agency says Australia rejected Vietnamese at sea Tue, Apr 21, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday that it had raised concerns with Australian authorities that a boatload of Vietnamese asylum seekers had their refugee applications rejected at sea before the Australian navy secretly returned them to Vietnam. More »

  • Australia and Iran agree to share ISIL intelligence
    Australia and Iran agree to share ISIL intelligence Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Countries agree to share intelligence on group in Iraq, particularly foreign fighters from Australia who join it. More »

  • Advocate: 5 asylum seekers on Nauru set to go to Cambodia Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Five asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Iran have agreed to be among the first to leave the Pacific island nation of Nauru for Cambodia under a deal that allows refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the Southeast Asian country, a refugee advocate said Monday. More »

  • Australia brokers intelligence-sharing deal with Iran
    Australia brokers intelligence-sharing deal with Iran Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Australia and Iran will share intelligence to track foreign fighters working with the Islamic State group in Iraq, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Monday, as lawmakers urged caution. More »

  • Iran, Australia pledge cooperation on Islamic State Mon, Apr 20, 2015

    Australia and Iran have reached a tentative intelligence sharing agreement to combat Islamic State militants fighting in the Middle East, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Monday. Australia has sent hundreds of soldiers to Iraq to help train forces fighting the Islamic State group, heightening concerns about reprisal attacks at home. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this week became the first top diplomat from Australia to visit Iran in a decade. More »

  • Waratahs end Hurricanes' unbeaten run in Super Rugby Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    The defending champion New South Wales Waratahs ended the Hurricanes' seven-match unbeaten start to Super Rugby on Saturday, winning 29-24 to close the gap on the standings leaders. More »

  • Prince Harry gets airborne and into Australia's Outback
    Prince Harry gets airborne and into Australia's Outback Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    Prince Harry completes the first two weeks of a stint with the Australian Army on Sunday, training in bush survival skills, spending time on helicopter duties and playing wheelchair Aussie Rules football. More »

  • China says using young, educated anti-graft officials as 'fox hunters&# …
    China says using young, educated anti-graft officials as 'fox hunters&# … Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    China's team charged with hunting down officials suspected of corruption who have fled overseas is aged 30 on average, speaks foreign languages and is well educated, a Chinese official said, giving rare details of a secretive operation. The government launched Operation Fox Hunt last year to go after suspects who have left China to try and seek refuge abroad, often taking large sums with them, though little information about the project has been made public. President Xi Jinping has vowed to hunt down powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" in his campaign to stamp out corruption, which he has warned is so bad it could threaten the ruling Communist Party's grip on power. Liu Dong, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security's economic crimes division, told the official Xinhua news agency this week that his team was highly intelligent, tough and nimble, with backgrounds in economics, law, foreign languages and business management. More »

  • Australia foils alleged terror attack for Gallipoli centenary Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    By Christopher McCall and Matt Siegel MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Hundreds of Australian police on Saturday arrested five teens planning an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack next week at an event to mark the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli during World War One, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said. More than 200 police were involved in a series of raids in the southern city of Melbourne in the early hours of Saturday, police said, following a month-long sting operation. The run-up to this year's centenary - a major holiday in Australia and New Zealand - has been marked by numerous television programmes and commemorations, sparking concerns that radicals may target the celebrations for a high-profile attack. Five people were arrested," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters. More »

  • Australia 'returning asylum-seekers to Vietnam'
    Australia 'returning asylum-seekers to Vietnam' Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Australia is returning almost 50 Vietnamese asylum-seekers using a warship currently off the Asian nation's coast after intercepting them at sea, a report said Friday, as Canberra enforces a tough immigration policy. More »

  • Australian FM to tackle Iran on nuclear and asylum seekers
    Australian FM to tackle Iran on nuclear and asylum seekers Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visits Iran at the weekend looking for Tehran to take back failed asylum seekers, but the rare trip also has deeper significance as the West seeks to seal a deal to rein in the Islamic state's nuclear ambitions. More »

  • Top Asian News at 10:30 p.m. GMT Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — China should not be concerned if the U.S. deploys an advanced missile defense system in South Korea to counter the threat from a nuclear North Korea, a U.S. military commander said Thursday. Commander of U.S. forces in Korea, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, told a congressional hearing that if employed, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system would be focused on the defense of the Korean Peninsula and would not have "any influence beyond that." More »

  • Australia will soon pay refugees to resettle in Cambodia Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia who are being held on the Pacific atoll of Nauru after being rejected by Australia could soon be paid to resettle in impoverished Cambodia in an arrangement by the Australian government that has been condemned by human rights activists as inhumane and potentially dangerous. More »

  • Australia says Nauru refugees will soon be sent to Cambodia Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Refugees rejected by Australia will soon fly from the Pacific atoll of Nauru to be resettled in Cambodia, the Australian government said Thursday. More »

  • Australian supermarket shuts website in Veterans' Day furor Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's biggest supermarket chain on Wednesday apologized and pulled down a website that has been widely criticized of commercializing the centenary of the country's Veterans' Day. More »

  • Australia to withhold payments from parents against vaccine
    Australia to withhold payments from parents against vaccine Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The Australian government has ramped up pressure on parents who oppose vaccination by threatening to withhold child care and other payments from families that fail to immunize their children. The government ... More »

  • Australia deploys 330 more troops to Iraq in training mission
    Australia deploys 330 more troops to Iraq in training mission Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Australia said Tuesday 330 troops were heading to Iraq for two years to train local soldiers fighting jihadists including the Islamic State group, joining an aerial and special forces contingent in the region. More »

  • Australian treasurer rules out raising taxes in May budget Mon, Apr 13, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's treasurer said Monday that the low iron ore price was shaving billions of dollars off government revenue forecasts, but he would not increase taxes to make up the shortfall. More »

  • Australia says Iran should take back failed asylum-seekers
    Australia says Iran should take back failed asylum-seekers Sat, Apr 11, 2015

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Saturday that Iran should take back its citizens who failed in their bids for refugee status, confirming his government will lobby Tehran on the issue. More »

  • Australian bank wins appeal against court decision on fees Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's ANZ Banking Group Ltd. has won an appeal against a court decision that late payment fees charged on credit cards were exorbitant and unlawful. More »

  • Australia approves engineering firm sale to Chinese company Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    The Australian government on Wednesday approved the sale of one of the nation's largest construction companies, John Holland Group Pty. Ltd., to state-owned giant China Communications Construction Company ... More »

  • Australia creates new task force to fight ice scourge Wed, Apr 8, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government on Wednesday announced a task force to create a new national response to the rapidly growing problem of addiction to ice, also known as crystal meth, across the country. More »

  • Prince Harry 'not on traditional royal tour' as Captain Wales joins …
    Prince Harry 'not on traditional royal tour' as Captain Wales joins … Tue, Apr 7, 2015

    The Commanding Officer of Darwin's 1st Brigade told reporters that the UK's Prince Harry was "not on a traditional royal tour", as the Prince started his month-long secondment with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he is referred to in the British Army, started his secondment with the ADF with the 1st Brigade in Darwin on 6 April, after arriving in Canberra and flying to Darwin later that day to report for duty at Robertson Barracks. More »