Australia and Oceania

Australia sees second year of Barrier Reef bleaching

by Glenda KWEK Agence France Presse SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing an unprecedented second straight year of mass coral bleaching, scientists said Friday, warning many species would struggle to fully recover. The 2,300-kilometre (1,400-mile) reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record last year due to warming sea temperatures during March and April. Bleaching is once again occurring, the government’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said after an aerial […]

6.5-magnitude quake hits off PNG, no tsunami

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, officials said, but no Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued. The tremor hit at a depth of 28 kilometres (17 miles) near sparsely populated New Britain island, 450 kilometres northeast of the capital Port Moresby, the United States Geological Survey said. The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center ruled out a widespread tsunami. “Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is […]

Australia-Indonesia restore full military ties

  SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia and Indonesia announced the full restoration of military ties Sunday as the countries’ leaders held talks following a brief spat over teaching material deemed offensive to Jakarta. Indonesia had reported the suspension of all military cooperation with Australia from December before clarifying that only language training had been put on hold. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after two hours of talks that he and Indonesian President Joko Widodo had […]

Five dead as plane crashes into Melbourne shopping center

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — A light aircraft exploded Tuesday in a “massive fireball” with police saying none of the five people aboard survived as it smashed into a shopping center near the Australian city of Melbourne. The Beechcraft plane veered just after take-off into the shopping center, that was still closed, next to Essendon Fields airport. “Five on the aircraft and looks like no-one has survived the crash,” said Victoria police assistant commissioner Stephen Leane. […]

Several die as plane crashes in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — Several people died aboard a light aircraft that smashed into a shopping center near the Australian city of Melbourne, the state premier said. “A number of people have died as a result of what is the worst civil aviation accident that our state has seen for 30 years,” Victoria  premier Daniel Andrews said. The Beechcraft private charter veered just after take-off into the shopping center, which had yet to open, next to Essendon Fields airport, […]

Storms in Queensland after record-breaking heatwaves

  By Rheamae David and Emmi B. Capili-Tarroja EBC Australia Bureau QUEENSLAND, Australia (Eagle News) – Following the record-breaking heatwaves across Australia, Queensland experienced storms around the south-east regions of the state early this week The first signs of the storm were seen on Monday afternoon when the rain started to set in following the drop in temperatures to 14 degrees Celsius. Queensland had past experiences of storms, tornadoes and floods, thus urging the state […]

N. Zealand part of sunken ‘lost continent’: scientists

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — New Zealand sits atop a previously unknown continent — mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific — that should be recognized with the name Zealandia, scientists said Friday. Researchers said Zealandia was a distinct geological entity and met all the criteria applied to Earth’s seven other continents — elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor. In […]

Yahoo fined after news story aborts Australia murder trial

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australian-US media outlet Yahoo7 was Friday found in contempt and fined over an online story that saw a murder trial aborted, with a judge slamming the website for prioritizing profit above oversight. A Sydney-based Yahoo7 journalist, Krystal Johnson, and the company were hauled before court last year over a report about a Melbourne murder trial that contained prejudicial information not heard by the jury. The jury was discharged and the trial […]

Triple Olympic swimming champion arrested

  GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) —  Australian long-distance swimming great Grant Hackett was arrested and detained by police in the Gold Coast on Wednesday after a “breakdown” at his parents’ home, local media reported. The troubled triple Olympic champion’s father Neville Hackett told local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin, that he had called the police so his 36-year-old son could be given help. “He just became abusive and aggressive. When I say aggressive, verbally, and […]

Australia heatwave

Australia on Saturday experienced an extreme heatwave and catastrophic fire conditions and are projected to affect the region. Eagle News Service Australia Bureau, Tricia Lyn Calderon

Fire tornado in Western Australia captured on camera

Reuters (Reuters) — Amateur video shot on Monday (February 6) shows a fire tornado forming during a bushfire near Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Danny Robinson, who works at Giralia Station recorded the fire and smoke tornado which was about six kilometers away from his location. Robinson told Reuters in an email that the bushfire started around 16:00 p.m. (0800 GMT) last Sunday (February 5). “The upward forces of the fire tornado managed to rip […]

Sinkhole opens up near Australian Prime Minister’s Sydney home

SYDNEY,  Australia (Reuters) — A sinkhole has opened up near Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s home in the exclusive Sydney suburb of Point Piper on Wednesday (February 8). Sydney suffered heavy rain on Tuesday (February 7) with reports of flash flooding in its eastern suburbs. According to local media, police were called after reports that the sinkhole had appeared on Wednesday morning. The street was then cordoned off with the sinkhole less than a kilometer […]