Feb 8, 2016

Controversial minister to become Australia's rights envoy

The former Australian immigration minister who began the widely condemned policy of sending asylum seekers to Pacific island detention camps will become Australia’s first special envoy for human rights, the government said Monday. During his 1996-2003 tenure as immigration minister, Philip Ruddock, the second-longest-serving ...

Feb 6, 2016

Australian state premier offers 267 asylum seekers refuge

The premier of an Australian state offered on Saturday to look after a group of asylum seekers facing repatriation to a camp on a remote Pacific island, adding to opposition to the federal government’s policy of offshore detention. Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria state, ...

Feb 6, 2016

Australia to step up Zika testing as two new cases reported

Australia will intensify testing for the Zika virus in Queensland state where Aedes mosquitoes are found, authorities said on Saturday, adding that two new cases among local residents were the result of travel to affected countries. Queensland’s government has earmarked 400,000 Australian dollars ($283,000) ...

'Humans caused extinction' of huge bird 50,000 years ago

Jan 31, 2016

'Humans caused extinction' of huge bird 50,000 years ago

The mystery behind the extinction of a huge flightless bird called Genyornis that flourished in the grasslands and woodlands of prehistoric Australia may have been solved, with burned eggshells as the clue and people as the culprits. Scientists said Friday burn patterns detected on ...

Jan 31, 2016

Top Islamic State recruiter in Australia reportedly dead

Australia’s most senior recruiter for the Islamic State group in Syria, who was reportedly linked to an alleged plot to attack ANZAC Day commemorations, has been killed, local media said Sunday. News of Neil Prakash’s death was posted on secure communications app Telegram, Melbourne’s ...

Tasmanian bush fires raze ancient World Heritage forests

Jan 31, 2016

Tasmanian bush fires raze ancient World Heritage forests

World Heritage-listed forests whose origins predate the age of the dinosaurs are being destroyed by raging Australian bush fires, with conservationists increasingly fearful they could be lost forever. Firefighters in Tasmania — an island state south of the mainland known for its cooler temperatures ...

Jan 28, 2016

Australian teen accused of planning a kangaroo bomb against police

A teenage suspect discussed with a British accomplice packing a kangaroo with explosives before setting it loose on Australian police officers, prosecutors alleged on Thursday. Sevdet Ramadan Besim was ordered in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday to stand trial in the Victoria state ...