Australia and Oceania

Three die, others missing in fierce Australia storms

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Wild weather which smashed into Australia’s east coast and whipped up giant waves on Sydney beaches has left at least three people dead and others missing, police said Monday as the clean-up began. Ferocious storms pounded the coast over the weekend, causing flooding in New South Wales state. Huge seas eroded the shoreline, in one instance sweeping the in-ground swimming pool of a beachside home onto the beach. “This storm, which […]

East Australian coast lashed by freak storm

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The east coast of Australia, including Sydney, was battered by a freak storm on Sunday with trees uprooted and thousands left without power. The wild storm struck New South Wales after wreaking havoc in Queensland state on Saturday, with an intense low-pressure system bringing heavy rains, gales and rough seas. Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes across NSW and motorists trapped on roads had to be rescued as floodwaters rose, […]

Woman killed by shark ‘bigger than boat’ in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A woman was fatally mauled by a huge shark — described by witnesses as larger than their boat — near the western Australian city of Perth on Sunday. The attack on the woman off the northern Perth suburb of Mindarie comes just two days after a surfer died after having his leg bitten off by a shark along the same coastline. Western Australia state police said the woman — reported to […]

Vietnam war dead return to Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The remains of Australian troops killed in the Vietnam War and their families were returned to Sydney Thursday in a formal military ceremony, half a century after being buried in Malaysia and Singapore. Thirty-three bodies, interred in Malaysia’s Terendak Cemetery and Singapore’s Kranji War Cemetery, were brought home in flag-drapped coffins on two Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Almost 60,000 Australian military personnel fought alongside the United States in […]

Latest Ebola outbreak in Guinea is over: WHO

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The latest outbreak of Ebola in Guinea has ended, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning that a recurrence of the killer tropical disease remained a threat. The last known Ebola patient in the west African country was discharged from hospital in April. WHO declares the end to an outbreak, also known as the end to viral transmission, 42 days after the last known patient tests negative for the second time. […]

Fallen Australian soldiers repatriated from Malaysia

  (Reuters) — The remains of 32 fallen Australian soldiers, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam war, were repatriated from Malaysia on Tuesday (May 31) in one of the largest such exercises in Australia’s history. The remains of Australian servicemen buried at Malaysia’s Terendak Military Cemetery were handed over to Australian officials during a repatriation ceremony held at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base in Subang. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission […]

Australian killed fighting IS in Syria: reports

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — An Australian man has been killed in Syria fighting Islamic State jihadists, the country’s third national thought to have died alongside Kurdish forces, reports said Monday. Former Australian soldier Jamie Bright, in his 40s, was named on social media as having been “martyred” in recent days. The Kurdish People’s Protection Unit said on its Facebook page that Bright died alongside three other Kurdish fighters. “He was shot about three or four […]

Crocodile takes woman during night swim in Australia

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A woman is feared dead after being taken by a crocodile following a late night swim with a friend at a beach in northern Australia, police said Monday. The women, both aged in their 40s, went for a stroll on Thornton Beach Sunday evening in the far north of Queensland state before making a fateful decision to go for a dip in an area known to be infested with crocodiles. “The […]

Over 100 firefighters needed to tackle Australian factory fire

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) — Over 100 firefighters were needed to tackle a fire at a Sydney car dismantling yard on Wednesday (May 25) that sent plumes of smoke over the city. Fire crews were quick to respond but the blaze spread quickly fueled by the flammable materials inside the car yard. “Very ferocious blaze, we had car tyres, LPG, petrol, upholstery and numerous cars,” New South Wales Commissioner of Fire and Rescue, Greg Mullins told […]

Teen arrested over alleged Sydney terror plot

SYDNEY , Australia (AFP) — An 18-year-old man was arrested in Sydney on Tuesday over an alleged “imminent” terror plot, as police raided properties in Melbourne in a separate counter-terrorism operation, officials said. Australian Federal Police claimed the teenager was scouting possible sites in Sydney to undertake an attack while at the same time trying to acquire a firearm. In February he had been stopped at Sydney airport as he attempted to leave for Syria, […]

Tourists jump for lives from burning Australia boat

SYDNEY , Australia (AFP) — More than 40 tourists, many of them elderly Chinese, were recovering Thursday after jumping into life rafts when the catamaran they were aboard caught fire in Australia. The Spirit of 1770 got into trouble 10 nautical miles off the coastal town of 1770 following a day-trip to Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef, apparently when a fire started in the engine room. The Island on the Great Barrier Reef,said […]

Australia holds five suspected of plotting sailing trip to join Islamic State

  (Reuters) — Australian police have detained five men suspected of planning to sail a small boat from the far north of the country on to Indonesia and the Philippines and finally to Syria to join Islamic State, officials said on Wednesday (May 11). The men were held on Tuesday (May 10) after towing the seven-meter boat almost 3,000 km (1,865 miles) from Melbourne to Cairns in Queensland state, police said. “There have been reports that […]