Iranian takes hostages in Sydney cafe; five escape

Dec 16, 2014

Iranian takes hostages in Sydney cafe; five escape

An Iranian refugee convicted of sexual assault and known for sending hate letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed overseas is the armed man holding an unknown number of hostages in a Sydney cafe, a police source said on Tuesday. On Monday, the ...

Dec 15, 2014

Uber in damage control mode after Sydney siege price hike

Popular web-based taxi firm Uber went into damage control mode Monday, offering free rides to passengers fleeing an armed siege in Sydney after earlier hiking prices upwards of AUS$100 ($82). The company said it would also refund fares after initially launching “surge pricing,” which ...

Dec 12, 2014

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to abuse

The Catholic Church in Australia on Friday conceded that obligatory celibacy may have contributed to priests abusing children and said clergy should be given “psychosexual” training. In a landmark report, an Australian Catholic Church body dealing with the legacy of child sex abuse added ...

Abbott's 'shirtfront' is Australia's word of the year

Dec 10, 2014

Abbott's 'shirtfront' is Australia's word of the year

“Shirtfront,” an aggressive Australian sports term used by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to challenge Russia’s Vladimir Putin, was picked Wednesday as the National Dictionary Centre’s word of the year, beating “man-bun.” Abbott vowed in October to “shirtfront” the Russian president — an Australian Rules ...

Australia pledges $165 million to U.N. climate fund

Dec 10, 2014

Australia pledges $165 million to U.N. climate fund

Australia bowed to international pressure and pledged 200 million Australian dollars ($165 million) to the U.N.-backed Green Climate Fund on Wednesday to mitigate the impact of global warming on poor countries. With its use of coal-fired power and relatively small population of 23 million, ...

Dec 5, 2014

Australia creates temporary visas for refugees

Australia’s Senate on Friday narrowly passed a law that creates a new class of temporary visas for refugees, allowing them to stay and work in the country for three to five years but preventing them from making Australia their permanent home. Emotional debate ended ...

Shark 'photo-bombs' competition for surfing mothers in Australia

Dec 3, 2014

Shark 'photo-bombs' competition for surfing mothers in Australia

A jumping shark has “photo-bombed” a surfing competition off an Australian beach. Amateur photographer Steph Bellamy captured the image of the shark with her smartphone on Sunday as she was photographing mothers and their children paddling on their surfboards off a beach in the ...