Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status at risk

After years of climate-worsened damage to its vibrant corals, Australia’s vast Great Barrier Reef could this week be added to UNESCO’s list of endangered World Heritage sites. Along with six other sites globally that are grappling with issues like ecological damage, overdevelopment, overtourism or security concerns, the reef’s fate is being considered at a meeting […]

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Gene editing ‘blocks virus transmission’ in human cells

Scientists have used CRISPR gene-editing technology to successfully block the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in infected human cells, according to research released Tuesday that could pave the way for Covid-19 treatments. Writing in the journal Nature Communications, researchers in Australia said the tool was effective against viral transmissions in lab tests, adding that they […]

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From bleached corals to overtourism: UN World Heritage sites in danger

From Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the city of Budapest and the watery wonderland that is Venice, several beauty spots risk losing their treasured UN World Heritage status because of environmental damage, excess development or overtourism. In a draft report released ahead of a key meeting next month, the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization […]

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G7 showed that post-Trump, the world has shifted

What a difference a year makes in international diplomacy. A year ago, then-US President Donald Trump was obliged to abandon his plans for a G7 summit at the presidential retreat of Camp David outside Washington. Various excuses were advanced by participants, including the inadvisability of travelling across the world in the midst of a pandemic. […]

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Australian blogger on trial in China worried political tensions may impact outcome

By Kirsty Needham SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australian blogger Yang Hengjun, facing trial in Beijing on espionage charges that he denies, asked the judge to exclude evidence obtained in interrogations where he says he was tortured, according to a message conveyed to family and friends. In his first comments since Thursday’s court hearing, which was closed to […]

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‘Appointed by God’: Samoan leader defiant after vote

Defying election results and court rulings, Samoa’s veteran leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi is determined to cling to power, convinced only divine intervention can end his 22-year rule of the Pacific island nation. Malielegaoi is not accustomed to losing — until recently the 76-year-old’s authority was virtually absolute in a devoutly Christian nation of 220,000 where […]

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Australia to close Kabul embassy in days as troops prepare withdrawal

Australian Prime Minister Question Time in Canberra – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives to attend House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House. Australia will close its embassy in Kabul this week as the country’s troops prepare to leave in line with the international withdrawal from Afghanistan, Canberra said Tuesday. – Lukas Coch/AAP/dpa Australia […]

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Sean Paul Gives Tutorial For The #TemperatureChallenge On TikTok

Sean Paul kicks off his #TemperatureChallenge on TikTok as his classic hit went viral. It’s quite understandable why TikTok challenges have grown in popularity since the arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Social distancing coupled with tight curfews has seemingly resulted in a resurfacing of just about everything, from old songs to dance moves. It […]

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Australia, largely free of COVID-19, in no hurry to reopen borders – PM

By Lidia Kelly MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia is no hurry to reopen its international borders and risk the country’s nearly coronavirus-free lifestyle, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday. Australia closed its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents in March 2020 and has been permitting only limited international arrivals in recent months, mainly its citizens […]

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Australia enjoys Easter with no new local coronavirus cases

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australians were celebrating Easter Sunday in a relatively unrestricted manner as the country reported no new locally acquired coronavirus cases. Queensland, the epicentre of a recent, small COVID-19 community outbreak, has had only one infection in the past three days. The state has the tightest restrictions on public gatherings. Elsewhere, Australians flocked […]

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Some Australians return home as others evacuated in floods crisis

By Renju Jose SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australians hit by devastating floodwaters began returning to their homes on Thursday as skies cleared and authorities accelerated clean-up efforts, though fresh evacuation orders were issued in some areas where water levels were still rising. Relentless rains for five straight days – the worst downpour in more than half a […]

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Thousands evacuated in Australia’s worst flooding in almost half a century

By Jonathan Barrett and Renju Jose SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian authorities issued fresh flood warnings and evacuation orders on Tuesday as torrential rains again pummelled several parts of the country, sweeping away homes, roads and livestock in the worst downpour in more than half a century. The national weather agency has posted severe weather warnings […]

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‘Disgraceful’ parliament sex acts rock Australia’s government

Leaked videos of staff from Australia’s conservative government performing sex acts in parliament, including one man masturbating over a female MP’s desk, left Scott Morrison’s administration facing yet another sex scandal Tuesday. The prime minister — already under pressure for his handling of allegations including that a female government adviser was raped by a colleague […]

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China dominates Pentagon chief’s first India visit

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin praised India’s growing ties with “like-minded partners” as he held talks in New Delhi Saturday dominated by shared alarm about China. India is a vital US partner in the Asia-Pacific region as Washington seeks to take on Beijing, and Austin’s two-day trip is New Delhi’s first face-to-face meeting with President Joe […]

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