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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Australia minister ‘sorry’ for calling alleged rape victim a ‘lying cow’

Australia’s scandal-hit government on Thursday apologized for calling an alleged rape victim a “lying cow,” sparking fresh claims of a “toxic” culture in the country’s corridors of power. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Defense Minister Linda Reynolds “deeply regretted” the slur against her former staffer Brittany Higgins, who last month came forward with claims of […]

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Facebook’s disturbing news blockade shows how tech giants are swallowing the web

When Facebook disabled Australians’ access to news articles on its platform, and blocked sharing of articles from Australian news organizations, the company moved a step closer to killing the World Wide Web – the hyperlink-based system of freely connecting online sites created in 1989 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Though the social media giant has said […]

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Canada launches 58-nation initiative to stop arbitrary detentions

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada on Monday launched a 58-nation initiative to stop countries from detaining foreign citizens for diplomatic leverage, a practice that Ottawa and Washington say China and others are using. Foreign ministers signed a non-binding declaration to denounce what Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau called unacceptable behavior. “Taking people from […]

World’s oldest known cave painting found in Indonesia

Archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known cave painting: a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was made at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia. The finding described in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday provides the earliest evidence of human settlement of the region. Co-author Maxime Aubert of Australia’s Griffith University told AFP […]

Below-average fires in 2020 despite monster blazes: EU

There was a lower-than-average number of wildfires in 2020 despite hotspots such as California and Australia being hit by blazes of unprecedented intensity, the European Union’s satellite monitoring service said Monday. A year of data collected by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) showed that carbon emissions from fires were set to be lower than […]

Far-right groups have used COVID to expand their footprint in Australia

The threat of far-right terrorism has loomed large in Australia this week. An 18-year-old from NSW has been arrested on charges of advocating terrorism and inciting others to violence. According to police, he had not only been sharing white supremacist and neo-Nazi views online, but had expressed support for being involved in a “mass casualty” […]

Trump doesn’t drink — but the vintner-in-chief is now playing in China’s trade war with Australia over wine

The leader of the free world owns a winery outside of Charlottesville, Virginia — even though he does not drink. Whatever motivates his appreciation for vino, however, it is apparently on his mind during the final days of his administration. While the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis have largely been ignored as Trump pushes his […]

Sydney records hottest November night as heatwave sweeps city

Sydney recorded its hottest November night as Australia’s largest city suffered through a weekend heatwave that saw daytime temperatures peak above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The overnight temperature did not drop below 25.3 degrees Celsius Saturday into Sunday in central Sydney, according to the meteorology bureau, making it the hottest November night since […]

Biden reassures Asian allies on defense commitments

US President-elect Joe Biden rang round allies in Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo Thursday, vowing to repair frayed partnerships and reaffirming mutual-defence pacts thrown in doubt by the current White House. A day after Biden’s series of “America is back” calls with European leaders, the former vice president spoke to Australia’s Scott Morrison, South Korea’s Moon […]

Anti-Murdoch petition wins record support in Australia

A petition demanding an inquiry into Rupert Murdoch’s dominance of Australian news media has garnered a record 420,000 signatures, overtaking a previous appeal focused on climate change. The online petition was launched on October 12 by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, a frequent target of newspapers controlled by Murdoch’s News Corp. By Friday, the […]