Australia


Is Australia Next? Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

As Australia prepares for federal elections on May 18, it probably looks to outsiders like an oasis of stability and sanity among Western democracies that have gone haywire. There are no widespread populist revolts, no “yellow vests” or agitators calling for a Brexit-style retreat from the..

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Typo on Aussie $50 brings blushes for central bank Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

SYDNEY (AFP): Red-faced bank bosses in Australia admitted to an embarrassing error Thursday, revealing their state-of-the-art $50 note had a typo. The yellow and green note, which is worth around US$35, came into circulation last October. It has multiple security features -- including microprint..

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Armed N.Zealand police to deploy for Anzac day, royal visit Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

WELLINGTON, (AFP) - Armed police will patrol Anzac Day services across New Zealand Thursday in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, as thousands honour the country's war dead and Britain's Prince William arrives on a visit. Frontline officers have historically been unarmed in New Zealand,..

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Permissible Influences: Israel and the Australian Elections Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

So much hullabaloo; so much pent-up anger and, let’s face it, so much opportunity for the political classes of Australia. The theme since 2016 is electoral interference; the object: whichever power so happens to afford an opportunity to gather support against. Demonising the Chinese has been a..

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Champion Australia mare Winx wins final race for 33 in a row Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Sydney (AFP): Champion Australian mare Winx bid farewell Saturday by winning her 33rd race in a row, ending her glittering career on a high with an amazing four-year unbeaten streak. The world's top-rated turf horse sprinted home to claim her third consecutive Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2000m, in..

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Absence of Proof: The Approval Process for Adani Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Much hot air is coming out from the public relations unit of Adani, and the language used is that of a hostage taker seeking to earn a rich and ill-deserved ransom. With the date for the Australian federal election looming, the Indian mining giant received a boost in its flagging fortunes. And..

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Tens of thousands march in Australia for higher wages Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

MELBOURNE, (AFP) - Tens of thousands marched for better work conditions and higher wages in Australia Wednesday, bringing the city of Melbourne to a standstill, ahead of national elections in May. The opposition Labor party wants to make stagnant wages a focus of its election campaign, with its..

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Australia could jail social media execs for showing violence Thursday, April 4th, 2019

ROD McGUIRK, CANBERRA, Australia, (AP) - Australia's Parliament passed legislation on Thursday that could imprison social media executives if their platforms stream real violence such as the New Zealand mosque shootings. Critics warn that some of the most restrictive laws about online..

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Australian senator censured for blaming Muslim victims Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

By ROD McGUIRK, CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian senator was censured by his colleagues on Wednesday for seeking to blame the victims of last month’s mosque shootings and vilify Muslims. Sen. Fraser Anning was the target of widespread condemnation for blaming the attack in New Zealand..

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A Fancy Hypocrisy: China, Australia and Coal Mania Sunday, March 10th, 2019

Fear them for their technology; fear them for their ideology and their authoritarianism. But embrace interference and involvement in the economy if it involves coal. This is the fancy hypocrisy of Australian politics, one driven to lunacy and inconsistency by that dark and dirty love. The contrast..

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The Cardinal Can Do No Wrong: George Pell’s Defenders Thursday, March 7th, 2019

The powerful have always had defenders. Power seeps into the system, corrupts, controls and, ultimately, assumes an authority that does wonders to destroy an appraisal of fairness. To be there is to assume that matters are natural, a habit. As David Hume made clear, such an instance creates the..

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Embattled Australian PM loses two more ministers Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

SYDNEY, (AFP) - Australia's defence minister and his deputy both announced they were quitting politics on Saturday, bringing to five the number of cabinet members retiring as Prime Minister Scott Morrison heads into a fraught election. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, the most moderate remaining..

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Australian Cardinal Pell convicted of molesting 2 choirboys Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

By ROD McGUIRK, MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic hierarchy’s credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and..

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Turning Screws: China’s Australian Coal Ban Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Overly reliant economies are dangerously fragile things. As it takes two parties, often more, to play the game, the absence of interest, or its withdrawal by one, can spell doom. The Australian economy has been talked up – by Australian economists and those more inclined to look at policy through..

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The Most Selfish of Virtues: Alan Bennett’s Lady in the Van Thursday, February 21st, 2019

It does seem specific. A middle class concern centred on a man and an elderly woman, a sort of surrogate, irritating mother type of indulgent wisdom and uncertain past, seemingly irritating yet, on some level, fulfilling. Alan Bennett writes prose that moves gracefully, a sort of tender glaze of..

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NC calls for rescuing Nepali students in trouble in Australia Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

KATHMANDU: The main opposition party, Nepali Congress, has urged the government to immediately take necessary initiatives with the Australian government for rescuing more than 1,000 Nepali students who are in difficult circumstances after going to Australia for higher studies, and for appropriate..

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The Global Consequences of a Sino-American Cold War Monday, May 20th, 2019

A few years ago, as part of a Western delegation to China, I met President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. When addressing us, Xi argued that..