Australia & Pacifics

Fears as Chinese investment in Australia falls

21 May 2019; AFP: Chinese investment in Australia has fallen to its lowest level in five years, new research shows, sparking calls for the newly re-elected conservative government to improve its rocky relationship with Beijing.

After hitting a peak of Aus$15.8 billion (US$10.4 billion) in 2016, Chinese firms invested Aus$4.8 billion in the country last year, the Australian National University said Monday.

Christchurch mosque attacker charged with terrorism

21 May 2019; DW: The man accused of gunning down 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch has been formally charged with terrorism. The charge is a first for New Zealand and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

New Zealand police said Tuesday they had filed a terrorism charge against the Australian national accused of killing 51 worshippers in attacks on Christchurch mosques in March. 

Morrison thanks Australians for surprise election victory

SYDNEY (AP) — A jubilant Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday vowed to get straight back to work after a shock general election victory, which delivered the country three more years of conservative government.

The opposition Labor Party, meanwhile, began another bout of post-election soul searching while starting the task of finding a new leader, after Bill Shorten stood down on Saturday night following an emphatic defeat in a poll many saw as unlosable for his party.

Bill Shorten concedes Labor's defeat in Australian federal election

CANBERRA, May 18 (Xinhua): Bill Shorten conceded Labor's defeat in the Australian federal election on Saturday evening.

He also stepped down as leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

Before the announcement, chief election analyst of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Antony Green had predicted that the Liberal-National Party Coalition (LNP), led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, would win the election.

India: All Malegaon blast accused asked to appear in court once a week

Mumbai, May 17 (PTI) A special court here conducting trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Friday directed all the seven accused, including BJP's Bhopal Lok Sabha candidate Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, to appear before it once a week.

Upset over the frequent absence of the accused during the trial, NIA court judge Vinod Padalkar gave this direction.

He also directed that exemption sought without cogent reasons will be rejected.

Counting starts in Australian poll with opposition confident

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Votes were being counted in Australia’s general election on Saturday, with senior opposition lawmakers gaining confidence that they will form a center-left government with a focus on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

A Galaxy exit poll found that the opposition Labor Party could win as many as 82 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form government.

Australia remembers WWII with D-Day exhibition

CANBERRA, May 17 (Xinhua): Australia commemorates World War II with an exhibition at the Australian War Memorial.

The exhibition, "D-Day: the Australian story" which will run until September, explores the history of Australians fighting in Western Europe 75 years ago with a selection of items from the National Collection, including: textiles, photographs, diaries, letters, models, artwork, and digital displays.

Policy differences at stake in Australian federal election

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The policy differences between the two major political parties vying for power at Australian elections on Saturday have been described as the widest divide at a federal contest in 26 years.

The center-left opposition Labor Party is regarded as pursuing a “big target strategy” with a diverse range of policies aimed at creating a more equitable society under the slogan “A Fair Go for Australia.” To give someone “a fair go” is an Australian colloquialism for providing justice.

Potential new treatment targets root cause of asthma

SYDNEY, May 17 (Xinhua): Asthma sufferers can breathe a little easier with a potential new treatment revealed on Friday, targeting the underlying cause of the disease rather than the symptoms.

A study by Australia's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research has shown in preclinical trials that by inhibiting the enzyme Ezh2 they can "switch off" and reverse the uncontrolled inflammation associated with asthma.

UN chief concerned over US nuclear 'coffin' leaking in Pacific

16 May 2019; AFP: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised concerns Thursday that a concrete dome built last century to contain waste from atomic bomb tests is leaking radioactive material into the Pacific.

Speaking to students in Fiji, Guterres described the structure on Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands as "a kind of coffin" and said it was a legacy of Cold War-era nuclear tests in the Pacific

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