China is deepening its spat with Australia, refusing to apologize after a government official posted an altered image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to a young Afghan boy’s throat. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had asked for an apology; instead, a Chinese government representative excoriated Australia for its troops’ alleged brutality in Afghanistan. Australia’s prime minister called the tweet repugnant, outrageous and offensive.
South Australia’s drastic six-day coronavirus lockdown was triggered by a “lie” to contact tracers from a man who tested positive and restrictions across the state are set to be lifted much sooner than first planned, authorities said on Friday. The shock announcement came just two days after the state government ordered people to stay at home and shut many businesses to combat what was considered a highly contagious outbreak of coronavirus.
Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians, in some cases executing prisoners to “blood” junior soldiers before inventing cover stories and planting weapons on corpses, a major report has found. The findings of Brereton’s report, released on Thursday, are confronting and damning. Brereton describes the special forces’ actions as “disgraceful and a profound betrayal” of the Australian Defence Force.
Australia on Thursday announced a new investigative agency to build criminal cases against Australian special forces suspected of committing war crimes in Afghanistan. The Office of the Special Investigator is to be formed after a four-year investigation into allegations and rumors surrounding the behavior of some soldiers in Special Air Service and Commando Regiments in Afghanistan from 2005 and 2016.
Scientists discovered a massive detached coral reef larger than the Empire State Building off the coast of northeastern Australia, the Schmidt Ocean Institute announced. Rising about 550 yards in the Great Barrier Reef, it’s the first to be discovered in more than a century. A team of scientists discovered it Oct. 20 while mapping the seafloor of the northern Great Barrier Reef.
Australia on Monday condemned Qatar authorities’ treatment of female passengers on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to internal examinations after a newborn baby was found abandoned at a Doha airport. The women, including 13 Australians, were examined at Hamad International Airport on Oct. 2 after Qatar Airways Flight 908 to Sydney was delayed. Australia’s foreign affairs department described the treatment of the women as inappropriate.
Australian rescuers were hoping to save 20 more pilot whales stranded off the coast of the island of Tasmania on Thursday after 70 were successfully returned to the ocean. Tasmania’s largest mass stranding has seen 470 whales trapped on a sandbank on the island’s west coast this week. While the final rescue efforts are underway, crews are also left to remove the carcasses of 380 whales that died.
A rescue operation is underway to save any surviving pilot whales among the 500 or so stranded along the coast of the Australian island of Tasmania on Wednesday. An estimated 270 whales were first found trapped on a sandbar on Monday. At least a third of them have already died while 25 were successfully refloated by rescuers. Another 200 were discovered Wednesday in a bay just under six miles from where the first pod was discovered.
Rio Tinto (RIO) CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques has resigned under pressure from investors over the company’s destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Indigenous site in Australia to expand an iron ore mine. Jacques will leave once his successor is chosen or at the end of next March. The destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves went ahead on May 24 despite a seven-year battle by the local custodians of the land.
Two Australian foreign correspondents were flown out of China for their safety, helped by Australian consular officials after being questioned by China’s state security ministry, the Australian government said on Tuesday. The Australian government had earlier warned the two men to leave China, as tension escalated over the detention of another Australian citizen, Chinese state television anchor Cheng Lei.