The United States, Pakistani, Swiss, Indian, South Korean and New Zealand consulates in Melbourne are among a number of foreign diplomatic headquarters across the city and in Canberra targeted with suspicious packages. The deliveries on Wednesday sparked an emergency “hazardous material” response and, in some cases, evacuation. Victoria police issued a statement saying it was aware of “a number of consulate offices in Melbourne today receiving suspicious packages”. “At this time we believe the matter is targeted and not impacting the general community,” the statement said.
Vast numbers of bluebottle jellyfish have been pushed ashore in Queensland, Australia, stinging thousands of people and forcing the closure of swim spots. Surf Life Saving Queensland said over 2,600 people received treatment at the weekend. Bluebottle stings are painful but typically not life-threatening. Unusually strong winds pushed the jellyfish colonies towards beaches. About 13,000 stings were recorded in the past week – three times more than in the corresponding period last year.
Australia’s largest city Sydney was hit with torrential downpours and strong winds on Wednesday causing flooding, loss of electricity, and chaos for commuters. At least two deaths were caused by the storm. This is the heaviest November rain the city has experienced since 1984. Over 100 flights were canceled or delayed at the international airport.
Michael Rogers, known as Australia’s homeless ‘Trolley Man,’ tried to stop a man from stabbing two police officers by ramming him with a shopping carriage. Footage of Rogers’ effort spread online and nearly $72 thousand was raised in support. An Australian court charged a woman with using needles to contaminate strawberries after nearly 200 complaints.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a national apology to the victims of child sexual abuse throughout the country on Monday. The apology comes after a five-year investigation by the Royal Commission which uncovered that tens of thousands of children had suffered sexual abuse in institutions including churches, schools, and sports clubs over the years.
A bill condemning ‘anti-white racism’ was defeated in the Australian Senate by just three votes. Australia’s far-right One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson asked for backing for her ‘it is OK to be white’ motion. Australian Prime Minister flagged moving the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following US President Trump’s move.
Scott Morrison was sworn in as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia on Friday morning after Malcolm Turnbull was ousted by party rivals in an intense leadership contest. Former Treasurer Morrison beat Turnbull’s most vocal opponent, former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for the position. Turnbull is the fourth Australian PM ousted by colleagues.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues to fight back against calls for his resignation amid an escalating leadership crisis causing the parliament to be suspended on Thursday. Turnbull is attempting to retain his position as rivals in the Liberal Party push to replace him. A party meeting will be held to gauge support for Turnbull.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won a challenge to his leadership by Peter Dutton on Tuesday after calling the surprise vote himself amid speculation his leadership was under threat. Turnbull abandoned a proposal to reduce carbon emissions on Monday in response to opposition within his coalition party. Turnbull called for unity following the leadership vote.
The entire Australian state of New South Wales (NWS) is now affected by what is being called the worst drought in living memory. Less than 10 millimeters of rain has been recorded during the past month in areas of NSW. The State Government has announced more than $1 billion in drought relief measures.