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Clinton: Grounds for Optimism in Burma

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 8:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says there are grounds for optimism about Burma, where the new government is promising democratic reforms. Clinton met in San Francisco Thursday with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. She said Burmese leaders have made “welcome gestures,” including talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and allowing her to […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Australia Approves New Gender Choice on Passports

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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Australians will now have a third choice besides male and female when they identify their gender on passport applications. Under new guidelines announced Thursday, applicants will also be able to check a box marked “indeterminate.” Officials say the purpose of the change is to end discrimination against transgendered or intersex individuals. Applicants taking advantage of […]

US, Australia to Announce Cyber Warfare Cooperation Pact

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 12:07 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. and Australian officials will announce Thursday that a mutual defense treaty will be expanded to include cooperation on cyber warfare. The announcement, at a meeting of the two countries’ foreign and defense ministers in San Francisco, marks the first time Washington has established a cyber warfare partnership outside of NATO. Speaking to reporters Wednesday […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Australian Lawmaker Names Catholic Priest as Accused Sex Abuser

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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An Australian lawmaker has angered the Catholic Church by naming a prominent clergyman as a suspect in a 40-year-old sexual assault. Senator Nick Xenophon revealed in parliament Tuesday that Monsignor Ian Dempsey is the previously unnamed priest accused of repeatedly raping Archbishop John Hepworth in the 1960s. At the time, Dempsey was a seminary student […]

Australian FM, Back From Heart Surgery, Heads to US

Posted September 14th, 2011 at 12:45 am (UTC-5)
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Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is heading to the United States on his first diplomatic mission since undergoing major heart surgery last month. Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith left Canberra Wednesday for two days of talks in San Francisco with their U.S. counterparts, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta. Rudd will also attend the United […]

Australian Collar Bomb Suspect to Drop Extradition Fight

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 11:20 pm (UTC-5)
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An Australian fugitive suspected of terrorizing a teenage girl with a fake collar bomb has decided to agree to return to Australia from the United States to face charges. Paul Douglas Peters is set to appear Wednesday in a court in Kentucky, where he is expected to announce his decision. His lawyer declined to comment […]

Unpopular Carbon Tax Plan Goes to Australia’s Parliament

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 2:40 am (UTC-5)
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Australia’s government has formally introduced legislation for a controversial carbon tax that has deeply damaged the ruling party’s popularity. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday her government is committed to pushing through the law, which would force major polluters to pay a tax on carbon emissions. A similar plan was twice rejected by parliament in […]

Australia Announces Media Probe Amid Murdoch Scandal

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 2:20 am (UTC-5)
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Officials are promising a formal inquiry into press ownership in Australia, where news baron Rupert Murdoch controls about two-thirds of newspapers as well as major broadcasting properties. The Labor Party-led government has been under pressure to open a probe since July, when a scandal over illegal wiretapping in Britain prompted Murdoch’s News Corporation to close […]

Obama to Visit Australia in November

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House says President Barack Obama will travel to Australia in November to mark this year’s 60th anniversary of the security alliance between the United States and Australia. The trip is the middle part of a three-legged journey during which Mr. Obama will host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Hawaii and join […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Gillard Wins Support for New Immigration Bill

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 3:50 am (UTC-5)
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Australia’s governing Labor party agreed Monday to propose legislation that would enable the government to go ahead with a planned refugee swap with Malaysia. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the legislation, approved in a closed meeting of the party’s legislators, would amend the nation’s immigration law in response to a High Court ruling last month […]

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