Australia and Oceania

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

  by Holly Robertson  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, stepping up pressure on Beijing days after Canberra co-signed a letter denouncing its treatment of the Muslim minority. China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in the tightly-controlled region of Xinjiang in the country’s northwest. Canberra […]

Strong 6.6 quake hits off northwest Australia: USGS

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off northwest Australia Sunday, shaking buildings over a wide area but causing no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The shallow quake hit early Sunday afternoon 10 kilometres under the Indian Ocean 203 kilometres (126 miles) west of the West Australian beach resort of Broome, the US Geological Survey said. No tsunami alert was issued. Sergeant Neil Gordon of the Broome police department said the […]

New Zealanders give up weapons after mosque killings

  CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — Dozens of New Zealanders handed in their firearms Saturday as a gun buyback scheme went into operation aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks. The first of more than 250 collections to be held nationwide was in Christchurch, where 51 Muslim worshippers were gunned down while at prayer less than four months ago. The government, with support from opposition parties, […]

PHL Embassy in New Zealand, POLO in Australia conduct consultations on OFW welfare

-Consultations in preparation for establishment of PHL overseas labor office in New Zealand   EBC New Zealand correspondent Greg Basa reports about the consultations with overseas Filipino workers conducted by the Philippine embassy in New Zealand, with the help of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Australia. Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Domingo said that the Philippine embassy in New Zealand is working to have a Philippine  overseas labor office (POLO) to be established […]

Australian student detained in North Korea ‘released, safe’

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A 29-year-old Australian student detained in North Korea surfaced in Beijing airport on Thursday, saying he was in “very good” spirits after being released. Alek Sigley — one of a handful of Westerners living and studying in North Korea — disappeared without a trace around June 23, prompting a week of deep concern and frantic speculation about his fate. For days Sigley’s family received no word about his whereabouts or […]

Papua New Guinea deploys army to help volcano emergency

KOKOPO, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Troops have been sent to help thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption on a remote archipelago in Papua New Guinea, the prime minister said Friday, as a second volcano erupted. Lava and ash flows from Mount Ulawun — one of the world’s most hazardous volcanoes — have subsided, but between 7,000 and 13,000 people are believed to have been displaced and a state of emergency has been […]

Thousands flee erupting Papua New Guinea volcano

KOKOPO, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — An erupting volcano in Papua New Guinea that has blanketed a town in ash has forced around 5,000 people from their homes, officials said Thursday. Mount Ulawun — one of the world’s most hazardous volcanoes — began spewing lava and smoke high into the air on Wednesday. Chris Lagisa, a community elder, said people had gathered at a church hall to flee on lorries, trucks and 4x4s, clutching sacks […]

“Collateral damage” from US-China trade spats hurting smaller countries, says Australian PM

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday warned that “collateral damage” from trade spats between China and the United States were hurting smaller countries and threatening the global economy. In an unusually public warning to allies in Washington, Morrison said the “world’s most important bilateral relationship –- the US-China relationship” had become “strained”. “Trade tensions have escalated. The collateral damage is spreading. The global trading system is under real pressure. […]

Powerful 7.3 magnitude Indonesian quake felt in Australia

  JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck remote eastern Indonesia on Monday, forcing people to flee office buildings as far away as the northern Australian city of Darwin, officials and reports said. The deep and powerful earthquake sent shockwaves around the region, with people on the tourist island of Bali as well as in East Timor reporting feeling the tremor. Indonesia was the epicentre of the Asian tsunami in 2004 that killed more […]

Two Filipinos killed, three others injured after car, train crash in New Zealand

(Eagle News) — Two Filipinos were killed and three others were injured in a train and car accident in New Zealand on Wednesday, June 19. Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Domingo did not reveal the identities of the dead and those injured in the incident in the Bay of Plenty along Pongakawa School Road near Te Puke town, but told Eagle News New Zealand bureau that they were carpenters who had just arrived in the country […]

Magnitude 6.4 quake hits New Zealand

  (Eagle News) – A magnitude 6.4 quake struck New Zealand, with the epicenter traced at 140 kilometers northeast of L’Esperance Rock, Wednesday, 3 p.m. Manila time. According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake had a depth of 10 kilometers. The quake was around 909 kilometers from Ngunguru, Northland, New Zealand. It was recorded at 7:01 a.m. UTC time (Coordinated Universal Time). L’Esperance Rock is the southernmost islet in the Kermadec Islands, to […]

Anger erupts with NZ mosque shooting suspect’s demeanor as lawyers enter “not guilty” plea for him

  THE lawyers of the man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks entered not guilty pleas for their client to charges of terrorism, multiple murder and attempted murder in a hearing attended by survivors of the March 15 attack. Brenton Tarrant’s barrister told Christchurch High Court his client was pleading not guilty to all charges, prompting anger from survivors and relatives of those killed in the March 15 attacks. […]