Australia

Nauru assaults and illness covered up by government, lawyers group says

This is showing the Australian federal government is aiding a "cover-up" of alarming conditions at the Nauru detention camp, a lawyers group says.

Data released under freedom of information laws to the Australian Lawyers Alliance shows serious incidents uncovered by the damning Moss review, and others detailed to a Senate inquiry, were not reported to Comcare, the nation's work safety regulator.

Torres-PNG border checks must be bolstered: Warren Entsch

Entsch, whose far north Queensland electorate takes in the Torres Strait, will today take Health Minister Sussan Ley and Attorney-General George Brandis to one of Australia’s most northerly points, the remote ­Saibai Island, to push his case for a greater government presence on the porous border.

Eye on UNSC seat, India woos Pacific islands with investments

Hosting the first regional summit of the NDA government, India was stitching a positive relationship with the Pacific Islands even as the India-Pakistan NSA talks were coming apart. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary East in MEA, told journalists there was widespread support by the Pacific Islands for India's candidature in the UNSC.

Cooks' PM criticises NZ on climate change

The New Zealand government has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below the level of 2005 by 2030.

The Australian government has a similar target, with plans to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.

When asked about New Zealand and Australia's emissions targets, Henry Puna said it's up to New Zealand and Australia to decide what is good for them.

He says the important thing is that they come together regularly to talk about those difficult issues.

Making our way in the world through Australian diplomacy

Four years from now, we should celebrate our debut on the world diplomatic stage, 100 years after Prime Minister Billy Hughes, deputy Prime Minister Joseph Cook and attorney-general Robert Garran represented Australia at the Paris Peace Conference at Versailles during the first half of 1919.

It's time for a stocktake of Australia's diplomatic interests, capabilities and strategies.

Balibo widow angry over implicated Indonesian spy chief

Almost 40 years since the killing of the five journalists in Timor-Leste, Shirley Shackleton fears the appointment of retired lieutenant-general Sutiyoso has dashed hopes of her husband's remains ever being returned.

The 70-year-old Sutiyoso, who President Joko Widodo named in June as the new chief of the Indonesian Intelligence Agency (BIN), was an army captain in charge of a special forces unit in East Timor when the newsmen were killed on October 16, 1975.

Australia, PNG to seek Kokoda heritage listing

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said this would help to build tourism and economic development opportunities for local people and provide a high level of protection for the natural and cultural values of the area.

Hunt, who visited the Kokoda Track with PNG environment minister John Pundari on Monday, said the listing was an important objective under the Kokoda Initiative, launched in 2008 to protect and manage this important area.

Meanwhile, Australia is helping fund a floating medical training and healthcare ship for remote coastal villages in Papua New Guinea.

Tony Abbott rules out same-sex marriage vote on election day

After a special Coalition party-room meeting on Tuesday rejected proposals to give members a free vote on the issue, the prime minister pledged to take it to the people, through a plebiscite or referendum.

On Sunday, he ruled out holding a public poll at the same time as the federal election.

Asylum seekers: Andrew Wilkie takes Australia to international criminal court

The independent Tasmanian MP has sent the application, naming the prime minister, Tony Abbott, and his 19-member cabinet, including the immigration minister, Scott Morrison.

“In my application I have particularly named crimes against humanity, such as the forced relocation of people, obviously to the Republic of Nauru or Papua New Guinea,” Wilkie said.

He also claims that the government’s hardline immigration policies contravene the Refugee Convention, Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Canberra to host 2016 Oceania Judo Championships

The event, scheduled for April 8 to 10 next year, will see the continent’s top judokas battle it out for medals and will be followed by a week-long training camp from April 11 to 17.

Australia were the dominant nation at this year’s Oceania Judo Championships, winning eight of 10 gold medals available in the junior and cadet competitions on the opening day at the Arena de Paita in Nouméa, New Caledonia.