Australia may intervene in surrogate baby case

Pattaramon-ChanbuaCanberra: Australia's government is considering intervening in the case of a baby with Down syndrome who was left with a Thai surrogate mother by his Australian biological parents, with a minister saying today that the child might be entitled to Australian citizenship.

Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old food vendor in Thailand's seaside town of Sri Racha, is taking care of her 7-month-old surrogate baby, named Gammy, who also has a congenital heart condition.

The parents, who have not been identified in the media, took Gammy's healthy twin sister back to their home in Western Australia state.

Australian PM congratulates Modi

Tony-AbbottCanberra, May 16 : Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott congratulated Narendra Modi Friday for leading the BJP to victory in the Indian general elections.

"I've spoken to @narendramodi and congratulated him on his success. I look forward to strengthening ties between India and Australia," Abbott tweeted Friday in his official PM account.

According to Radio Australia, Abbott has invited Modi to visit Australia for the G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November. (IANS)

Female birds rival males in song: Study

Female birds rival males in song: StudyCanberra, March 5 - A team of international researchers has found that bird song is almost as common in female birds as in males, overturning theories that it was an exclusively male trait.

The findings, released by the Australian National University (ANU) Wednesday, challenge assumptions about sexual selection in birds, and pose new questions about Darwin's theory of sexual selection and the evolution of elaborate bird song, reports Xinhua.

Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd retires from politics

Kevin-RuddCanberra, Nov 13 : Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, who has served as the member for Griffith in the House of Representatives since 1998, Wednesday night announced his retirement from politics with a speech in the House of Representatives.

According to Rudd, he will leave parliament at the end of this week.

"For our family, recent statements since the September election (in Australia) have been particularly hurtful," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

Australia to establish Indonesia study centre

Tony-abbottCanberra, Oct 1 : Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Tuesday said an Australian Centre for Indonesia Studies will be established with government and private funding in Australia.

The centre's mandate will be to strengthen and deepen Australia-Indonesia business, cultural, educational, research and community links.

The centre would also promote greater understanding of contemporary Indonesia and its growing importance to Australia, Xinhua quoted Abbott as saying in Indonesian capital Jakarta.

Australia to boost offshore oil exploration

Gary-GrayCanberra, June 17 : Australia has announced the grant of 13 new offshore petroleum exploration permits as part of round one of the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray said in a statement Monday.

The award of these permits will see an estimated 180 million AU dollars ($172.2 million) in new investment in waters off Western Australia and Tasmania over the next three years, reported Xinhua.

Australia to withdraw most troops from Afghanistan

Stephen-SmithCanberra, March 26 : Most Australian troops in Afghanistan will return home and their main military base at Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan will be closed by the end of 2013, it was announced Tuesday.

Australia has some 1,550 troops in Afghanistan now, mostly in Uruzgan province. At least 1,000 will return to Australia by the end of this year, Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced here on Tuesday.

Xinhua quoted him as saying that the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force had made the decision to close the Tarin Kowt base.

Australia increases aid to Myanmar

U-Thien-SeinCanberra, March 18 : Australia announced Monday that it will increase aid to Myanmar.

The announcement came during the visit by Myanmar President U Thien Sein in Canberra, the first visit by Myanmar president to Australia since 1974. U Thien Sein met Prime Minister Julia Gillard for a wide range of talks, reported Xinhua.

At a joint press conference with Gillard, U Thien Sein said he recognised human rights concerns but his country was making the "transition to peace".

Sammy laments West Indies' shortcomings

Darren-SammyCanberra, Feb 7 : Captain Darren Sammy has lamented the failure of the West Indies to exploit potential match-winning moments in their current One Day International series against Australia.

Sammy was reacting after Australia took a winning 3-0 lead in the five-match series Wednesday, following their 39-run win at Manuka Oval.

Windies hopes of erasing the home side's mammoth 329 were kept alive by a third wicket stand of 114 by the Bravo brothers, Darren and Dwayne until seamer James Faulkner turned the tables with a four-wicket haul.

Australian tourism continues to grow

Australian-tourismCanberra, Feb 6 : Australia's overseas arrivals have continued to grow strongly through the end of the year, recording seven percent growth in December 2012 to reach 6.1 million visitors in 2012, data released Wednesday showed.

The latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), showed significant growth of inbound arrivals from almost all the major source markets with many Asian markets leading the way, reported Xinhua.

According to the figures, in 2012, the number of international visitor increased by 270,500 - an increase of almost five per cent on 2011 arrivals.

Australian PM unveils first national security strategy

Julia-GillardCanberra, Jan 23 : Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Wednesday unveiled Australia's first national security strategy, saying Australia's primary national security focus will be on the Asian region in a post
9/11 era.

Launching the national security strategy at the Australian National University in Canberra, Gillard said this strategy was released "as Australia enters a new era of national security imperatives" after the anti-terrorism war achieved many successes such as the killing of Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, reported Xinhua.

Ex-Oz PM signed off on secret US plan to fire missiles at Australia, documents reveal

Malcolm-FraseCanberra, Jan 1 : Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser signed off on a secret US plan to test MX missiles by firing them from California to the coast of Australia, it has emerged.

Details of the extraordinary plan, signed off by the most senior members of the Federal Government, have been revealed in Cabinet papers released by the National Archives.

Titled "United States Proposal Regarding Test Launch of MX Missiles", the file was marked "SECRET" and was presented to Cabinet by the defence minister James Killen.

Facebook tracks what you do online even when you’re logged out

Facebook tracks what you do online even when you’re logged outCanberra, Sept 26 : An Australian technologist has claimed that Facebook can track the web pages you visit, even when you are logged out of the social networking giant.

According to Wollongong-based Nik Cubrilovic, when the user is logged out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies, the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify its users.

India’s GVK to pay $1.26bn for acquiring majority stake in Australian mines

 India’s GVK to pay $1.26bn for acquiring majority stake in Australian minesCanberra, Sept 19 : Indian infrastructure giant GVK will pay 1.26 billion dollars to acquire a majority stake in coal assets owned by Australia''s Hancock Group.

Hyderabad-based GVK will take a 79 percent stake in two mines and own a third, as well as a port and rail project, the BBC reports.

GVK, which is controlled by Indian billionaire GV Krishna Reddy, currently owns airports, power plants and other infrastructure projects in India.

India’s ‘non-violent’ anti-corruption hero Anna Hazare no ‘Gandhi’, says Oz journo

 India’s ‘non-violent’ anti-corruption hero Anna Hazare no ‘Gandhi’, says Oz journoCanberra, Aug 30 : Anna Hazare, India's first anti-corruption crusader who pressurized the government to enact the Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen Ombudsman Bill) in a `peaceful and non-violent' manner, did an impressive job of transforming his native village as well, but surprisingly, he did so in an entirely `autocratic, violent way,' reveals the Sydney Morning Herald''s international editor Peter Hartcher.

Australian MP’s to present petition opposing same sex marriages

 Australian MP’s to present petition opposing same sex marriages Canberra, August 24 : Federal lawmakers in Australia will present a petition to the parliament today opposing gay marriages. Lawmakers are divided on the issue of same sex marriage, with the Greens claiming nine in ten people support it, but Liberal and some Labour politicians claim only a minority of Australians are in favour of the idea.

Charity thief sentenced to one month jail

Canberra-jailIn Canberra, a 32 year old man has sentenced to jail for one month for stealing a charity tin. Brendan Dickson, who lives in Waramanga, was accused of taking the charity tin and put it into his clothes, when he went to a Canberra restaurant, Zambrero, last January. He was caught on CCTV, while stealing the charity tin from service counter.

The charity tin was decorated with Christmas wrapping, with a smiling photo of the boy. Also it had a notice that the donation gathered, will be used to help the family of the five-year-old who is suffering from stem cell tumor and it had the words, Dylan Cook Appeal.

There are more giant feral pigs than humans in Australia

Canberra, Feb. 7 : The Giant feral pigs have outnumbered humans in Australia, with 24 million of the beasts compared to a human population of about 21 million - a phenomenon that is ruining city drinking water and triggering an official cull.

According to the Herald Sun, parasites from pig excrement have been found in surface-water catchments, and it is likely to cost millions of dollars to treat and purify the water.

“We rely on our surface water. It''s an important part of our water supply. The feral pig issue is something we don''t want to get worse,” Water Department director John Ruprecht said.

Oz PM angers Muslims with his `right to leave'' remark

Oz PM angers Muslims with his `right to leave'' remarkCanberra (Australia), Dec. 2 : Muslim representative bodies across the world, and particularly in Australia, have reacted angrily to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd''s `adjust or leave Australia'' remark, saying the comment was prejudicial to their community and uncalled for.

Rudd had said that Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia.

Separately, Rudd angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation''s mosques.

Despite racist attacks on Indian students, Oz education sector strikes gold

Despite racist attacks on Indian students, Oz education sector strikes goldCanberra, Nov. 30 : Despite a string of racial attacks on Indian students, Australia’s education sector grew by 22.6 percent this year, generating earnings of 9.5 billion dollars from international students against last year’s 1.3 billion dollars.

According to figures for international trade from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only coal, iron and gold performed better nationally than education, which generated a record 16.6 billion dollars for Australia in the past financial year.

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