Australia’s Liberal National coalition government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison has won a historic victory, taking his party for a third term in government against all expectations. It is still unknown if Morrison will form a majority or minority government, but swings to the coalition across large Australian states, especially Queensland, have ensured he will remain prime minister. In a triumphant speech Saturday night, Morrison said he had “always believed in miracles.” After losing an election which many analysts described as “unlosable,” Labor leader Bill Shorten conceded and announced he would be stepping down as head of the party.
Australia’s latest A$50 note comes with a big blunder hidden in the small print – a somewhat embarrassing typo. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) spelled “responsibility” as “responsibilty” on millions of the new yellow notes. The RBA confirmed the typo on Thursday and said the error would be fixed in future print runs. But for now, around 46 million of the new notes are in use across the country. The A$50 note is the most widely circulated in Australia, and the most commonly given out by cash machines.
A father has saved his son from a dingo attack after the toddler was dragged from a campervan at an Australian tourist island, say officials. The 14-month-old boy was sleeping inside the vehicle on a remote area of Fraser Island in Queensland when the wild dog entered and bit his neck. The father immediately ran out and snatched him from the dingo’s jaws. The toddler suffered two deep cuts to the top of his neck and minor cuts to his scalp in Thursday’s incident. He was airlifted to hospital for treatment.
Australians will head to the polls on May 18, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday. The vote could deliver the country its seventh leader in just over a decade. Morrison, a former Tourism Australia director, and his center-right Liberal National Coalition government are seeking re-election on a platform of tax cuts and economic stability. The prime minister, who came to office following a bruising intra-party putsch in August last year, faces a fierce challenge from the opposition Labor Party, led by former union leader Bill Shorten.
Australia is set to introduce new laws that could imprison social media executives if they allow violence to be streamed on their platforms, following the New Zealand terror attack. The bills have been proposed in response to the 15 March mosque attacks in Christchurch, which were livestreamed on Facebook. Executives of platforms that do not remove “abhorrent violent material” quickly could face three years in prison. Companies could face a fine of A$10.5m (£5.6m) or 10% of the site’s annual turnover – whichever is larger. Abhorrent violent material is defined as acts of terrorism, murder, attempted murder, torture, rape and kidnapping.
Boeing Co. grappled with more groundings of its most important airliner as operators from Brazil to South Korea idled the 737 Max following a second deadly crash, throwing the U.S. manufacturer deeper into crisis. Singapore barred all 737 Max service in and out of the city-state, a move that was followed by Australia and Malaysia. Elsewhere in Asia, a South Korean carrier suspended its 737 Max planes, while two airlines in Latin American also halted operations of the jet, which entered service just a few years ago and has become Boeing’s fastest-selling aircraft, with nearly 4,700 orders.
An Australian man who drove a car into dozens of pedestrians on a busy shopping street in central Melbourne in 2017, killing six, has been jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 46 years, the Victorian state Supreme Court said on Friday. James Gargasoulas, 29, was handed a life sentence for each of the murders, whose victims included a baby and a 10-year-old girl. The incident was one of Australia’s worst mass killings since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on the southern island state of Tasmania, in which 35 people were gunned down.
Australia’s main political parties and parliament were hit by a “malicious intrusion” on their computer networks, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. The cyber-attack revealed two weeks ago was carried out by a “sophisticated state actor”, he said. But he added there was “no evidence of any electoral interference”. The nation will hold an election within months. The Australian government has faced a number of cyber-attacks in recent years, some of which have been attributed in local media to nations such as China.
A refugee soccer player was freed by Thailand and left on a flight to Australia early Tuesday after prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to Bahrain in a case that has drawn worldwide attention. Thailand had come under great pressure from Australia’s government, sporting bodies and human rights groups to send Hakeem al-Araibi back to Australia, where he has refugee status and plays semi-professional soccer. Thai prosecutors on Monday submitted a request to a court to withdraw the case to extradite al-Araibi to Bahrain, where he faces a 10-year prison sentence for an arson attack that damaged a police station. He has denied those charges and says the case is politically motivated.
China says it is investigating a Chinese-Australian writer for alleged “involvement in criminal activities endangering China’s national security”. Yang Hengjun’s detention in China was earlier disclosed by Australia – days after he went missing. The 53-year-old former Chinese diplomat has been held since flying from New York to Guangzhou on Saturday. Mr Yang was being held in “residential surveillance” in Beijing, Australian officials said. The term is often used when Chinese investigators hold a suspect at a secret location.