Australia and Oceania

Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australia’s fifth PM in eight years

(Reuters) — Australia will have its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday (September 14) voted out Tony Abbott in favour of longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support. Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party chief whip Scott Buchholz told reporters after the meeting in Canberra. Australia is set to hold elections before […]

Australia’s Abbott ousted as Prime Minister by cabinet member Turnbull

      (Eagle News) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party late Monday night Sept. 14,  in a hastily-arranged party leadership ballot where his cabinet minister, Malcolm Turnbull, edged him out by just 10 ballots. Turnbull got 54 votes over Abbott’s 44, making him Australia’s 29th prime minister. The Liberal Party however retained Julie Bishop as deputy leader after she won in ballots with 70 votes over […]

Australia, wary of regional instability, eyes closer U.S. security ties

AUGUST 27 (Reuters) — Australia will seek to broaden and deepen its security alliance with the United States in the decades ahead as the rise of China and other Asia-Pacific powers risks fueling instability in the region, Australia’s defense minister said on Thursday (August 27). Foreshadowing a strategic defense white paper due later this year, Kevin Andrews said world economic and military power was shifting to the Asia-Pacific. “But growth in the region will be […]

Australia unveils new emissions reduction target ahead of Paris talks

(Reuters) — Conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday (August 11) announced cuts to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions that were immediately criticized by environmental groups and opposition politicians for lagging far behind other advanced economies. The world’s largest exporter of coal and iron ore will cut emissions by 26-28 percent of 2005 levels by 2030, Abbott said, a target that will be submitted as part of negotiations on a global climate deal in Paris at […]

Bushfire continues to burn in Australia’s Blue Mountains

  (Reuters) — A bushfire fuelled by strong winds continued to burn in Australia’s Blue Mountains for a second day on Sunday (August 2). Hundreds of fire-fighters were battling the blaze, assisted by helicopters dropping water onto flames that cannot be easily reached by vehicles, local media said. Although no homes are directly threatened, a Watch and Act alert has been issued for residents to monitor if these conditions change, Australian media reported. “Hopefully we […]

Graffiti Catcher

(Reuters) Sydney is deploying a high-tech system that literally sniffs out vandals on its rail network. The CEO of Sydney Trains, Howard Collins, calls the new system Mousetrap. “So our new operation, Mousetrap, is what it says it does. It detects, covertly, people vandalising our trains,” he said. When a graffiti attack is taking place, a sensor in the carriage acts like an electronic nose, detecting the presence of paint fumes. An alarm is sent […]

Australia’s Abbott confident officials acted within the law on asylum seekers’ issue

JUNE 16 (Reuters) — Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott said on Tuesday (June 16) he was confident Australian agencies acted “within the law” as calls grew for an inquiry into reports that officials paid people smugglers thousands of dollars to turn the their boat carrying asylum seekers back to Indonesia. “I am absolutely confident that at all times Australian agencies have acted within the law,” Abbott said. “Does that mean that that did happen?,” asked […]

Man arrested after he flattens house with stolen bulldozer

  JUNE 8 (Reuters) — An Australian man has been arrested after allegedly using a stolen bulldozer to destroy a house in New South Wales with several people inside it, local media reported. SHOWS: TERALBA, AUSTRALIA (JUNE 08, 2015) (NINE NETWORK – NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS/ SMH.COM.AU/NEWS.COM.AU) 1. […]

Crowded Australian koala colony may lead to cull

MAY 29 (Reuters) — An overcrowded colony of about 1,000 koalas in Australia is being assessed this week for possible ill health, in a survey that could lead to a cull, raising objections from animal welfare lobbyists. Australian media reported that the Victorian state government is concerned many of the koalas may be undernourished because the colony at Cape Otway has grown even as the supply of the koalas’ staple diet of manna gum leaves has […]

Australia recalls ambassador to Indonesia after executions

APRIL 29 (Reuters) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday (April 29) he was recalling the nation’s ambassador to Indonesia in protest against the execution of two Australian drug smugglers. Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed by firing squad along with six other drug convicts from several countries shortly after midnight on Wednesday, local media said. “These executions are both cruel and unnecessary. Cruel because both Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran spent some […]

Man bitten by a crocodile on Australian golf course

  A 75-year old man was bitten on the leg by a crocodile while playing golf on Tuesday (April 14) at the Palmer Sea Reef course in Port Douglas in far north Queensland, Australian media said. The man was identified as John Lahiff. The attack happened when he went to retrieve a ball from water on the 11th hole, Australian media added. “I didn’t see the croc sunbaking just on the edge of the water, […]

Rescue efforts fail to save 12 stranded pilot whales in Western Australia

A pod of pilot whales that became stranded on the rocks in Bunbury harbour in Western Australia have died before they could be rescued, local media reported. The pod of 20 long-finned pilot whales was spotted on Monday (March 23) morning, starting a rescue effort involving volunteers and Department of Parks and Wildlife staff lasting several hours, reports said. “Often in these events and these incidents it takes a while to gear up and get […]