Australia

Australian paper calls for new refugee policy

The policies of turning back boats and processing asylum seekers abroad has for years enjoyed the support of both the ruling coalition and the opposition Labor Party.

The Age says asylum seekers have not broken any laws, but the government continues to use the most despicable tactics to deter them, which it says has brought Australia into disrepute around the world.

More homes lost to Australian bushfire

At Wye River, 98 homes were destroyed, while 18 were lost at Separation Creek. Fire officials said the majority of the properties lost were holiday homes.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates the losses to be worth $AU38 million and it is expected that number will increase as claims are made.

Pacific Island nations accuse Australia of failing to 'bat for neighbours'

President Anote Tong is among leaders of some of the world's most vulnerable islands calling for big polluting nations to stand up at the United Nations summit and ensure their survival.

As the richest country in the region, Australia faces Pacific calls to push for a strong deal that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees.

But so far, Tong hasn't seen evidence of that from the Australians.

“They've not been doing any batting at the moment for us,” he told AAP in Paris on Tuesday.

Chris Brown cancels NZ concert

He has also scrapped four Australian tour dates.

Brown caused a stir when he announced plans to visit New Zealand, with anti-violence groups speaking out against his trip because of his conviction for assaulting a former partner. But he gained the support of several high-profile Maori women.

He was due to perform in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth from 9 December as part of his 'One Hell of a Nite' tour and in Auckland on 18 December.

UN leader asks Australia to reconsider asylum seeker policies

The secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, met Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Malaysia on Sunday.

Ban also raised concerns about conditions in Australia's detention centres in Nauru and on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Japan, Australia seen boosting support for Pacific nations

The aim of the strategy is to check China’s advances in the region through infrastructure and other improvements.

Tonga Police Development Programme receives assistance from Australian Government

The Tongan Government will receive AUD $725,728.30 as the Australian Government’s contribution for the 2015- 16 financial year to the Tonga Police Deve

Australia set for scorching temperatures

Temperatures are predicted to rise from today in all states except Tasmania, caused by a large high pressure system moving east across the country from Western Australia.

Severe heatwave conditions are first predicted for the western Top End on Tuesday, rising to severe in some parts on Wednesday.

Australia under fire over offshore processing at UN

Australia has come under global fire for its boat turnback and offshore detention policies at a UN Human Rights Council performance review in Geneva.

Country after country at the review session raised the issue of Canberra's controversial asylum seeker policies.

Many like Germany highlighted the detention of children as a main issue.

"To remove children and their families and other individuals at risk in particular survivors of torture and trauma from immigration detention centres."

Australia to support Pacific at COP 21 in Paris

Australia has announced that it will support the Pacific in its quest to have a legally binding agreement at the United Nations Climate Change (COP21) talks in France later this month.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steven Ciobo, made the revelation while launching the Tide Gauge system in Niue Wednesday.

The announcement is good news for the region as pleas from Pacific Islands to Australia in the past to reduce its greenhouse emissions fell on deaf ears.