Australia intercepts Sri Lankan asylum seekers, turns back most

PERTH - Australia has intercepted a boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers off the coast of Indonesia, handing back all but one to Sri Lankan authorities, who arrested them for breaching immigration laws.

Australia working on new drift modeling for MH370 wreckage

SYDNEY - Australia is working on new drift modeling to expand the geographical area in which wreckage from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 may come ashore, the Australian search coordinator said on Wednesday.

Asia shares climb on U.S. optimism, oil pressured before OPEC

TOKYO - Asian stocks edged up on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. economic growth data calmed investor anxiety over a deteriorating global outlook, while the Australian dollar languished near four-year lows against the dollar.

25 Nov 2014

Australian minister apologizes for submarine firm canoe remark

SYDNEY - Australia's defense minister on Wednesday apologized after saying he would not trust the government-owned submarine firm "to build a canoe", comments that fueled expectations that most work in a A$40 billion ($34 billion) program will go offshore.

World, Japan, Tony Abbott 25 Nov 2014

Australia fears Islamist radicals joining forces with biker gangs

SYDNEY - Australia is confronting what authorities say is a growing threat from homegrown Islamist radicals and fears a new danger is about to rumble over the horizon - would-be militants hooking up with biker gangs.

World, 20 Nov 2014

Australia's Pauline Hanson returns to lead her anti-immigration party

SYDNEY - Controversial Australian former lawmaker Pauline Hanson, who flashed into prominence in the 1990s with populist right-wing policies designed to combat multiculturalism, has returned to lead the "One Nation" party she founded.

World, Tony Abbott 19 Nov 2014

Australia tightens asylum seekers access, leaves refugees in Indonesia

SYDNEY/JAKARTA - Australia's conservative government on Wednesday defended its decision to stop asylum seekers passing through Indonesia from settling in Australia, a move that could leave Indonesia with thousands of refugees from the Middle East.

World, Indonesia, Tony Abbott 19 Nov 2014

Solomon Islands stages first election since end of peacekeeping intervention

SYDNEY - The Solomon Islands went to the polls on Wednesday in the first election since an Australian-led peacekeeping intervention ended in 2013, with officials hoping biometric voter registration will end endemic voter fraud in the South Pacific island nation.

World, 18 Nov 2014

Australian balance-of-power political party mired in internal dispute

SYDNEY - The political party headed by Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, which holds the balance of power in parliament, is in danger of imploding thanks to a public spat among its lawmakers.

World, Tony Abbott 18 Nov 2014

Australia wants new Japan propulsion system for its submarines: sources

TOKYO - Australia wants a new Japanese propulsion system for its next generation of submarines, government officials with direct knowledge of the matter said, bolstering Tokyo's position as the likely builder of the multibillion-dollar fleet.

World, Japan, Tony Abbott 18 Nov 2014

Egyptian court drops case against ex-president Mubarak over 2011 protester deaths

CAIRO - An Egyptian court on Saturday dropped its case against ousted president Hosni Mubarak on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the 2011 revolt that removed him from power.