Report card on aboriginal Australians paints bleak picture


SYDNEY Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said that the government was failing to meet a number of goals aimed at improving the lot of its embattled aboriginal population as he released its tenth annual report card on indigenous issues.

Australian woman freed by al Qaeda says her husband is still alive

OUAGADOUGOU An Australian woman who was freed by al Qaeda after three weeks in captivity said on Monday her husband who was seized with her in Burkina Faso was still alive and she hoped he too would be released soon.

World, 08 Feb 2016

Some Australian asylum seekers to be deported have cancer, terminal illnesses

SYDNEY Some of the 267 asylum seekers Australia wants to deport to an offshore immigration center following a court ruling are suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses, a senior government official said on Monday.

World, United Nations, 08 Feb 2016

Australia pledges aid to help Tonga, Pacific with Zika

PERTH Australia pledged up to A$500,000 ($354,000) in aid for its Pacific island neighbors on Sunday to help combat the spread of the Zika virus after an outbreak in Tonga last week raised concern in the region.

Health, 07 Feb 2016

Australian woman freed after kidnap by al Qaeda in Burkina Faso

NIAMEY An elderly Australian woman kidnapped with her husband in Burkina Faso by a group affiliated to al Qaeda has been freed, neighboring Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Saturday.

World, 06 Feb 2016

Australian state premier offers 267 asylum seekers refuge

PERTH 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.

World, United Nations, 06 Feb 2016

China faces diplomatic 'crisis' over missing Hong Kong booksellers

HONG KONG/GUANGZHOU, China For years Gui Minhai, a China-born publisher of tabloid books on China's leaders, had believed he could live and work overseas on a Swedish passport without fear of persecution by Chinese authorities, which ban such works on the mainland.

World, China, Germany, Japan 05 Feb 2016

Al Qaeda group claims kidnapping of Australians in Burkina Faso

CAIRO The militant group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two Australians near Burkina Faso's border with Mali on Jan. 15, according to an audio statement on Friday.

World, Africa, Mali, 05 Feb 2016

Australian foreign minister met Assange lawyers, offers consular assistance

SYDNEY Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has met with lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and offered consular assistance for the Australian, after a U.N. panel ruled he had been arbitrarily detained for almost four years.

World, WikiLeaks 05 Feb 2016

Travel to Australian child abuse inquiry a health risk for Vatican treasurer: lawyer

SYDNEY The Vatican's Australian-born finance controller has a heart condition and travel to Australia to give evidence at an inquiry into child abuse presents a serious health risk, lawyers for Catholic Cardinal George Pell said on Friday.

World, 04 Feb 2016

Russia, pressed to end Syria bombing, proposes March truce

UNITED NATIONS/DAMASCUS/ONCUPINAR, Turkey World powers pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing around Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city and a Western official said Moscow had presented a proposal envisaging a truce in three weeks' time.