Australasia

Australian dollar hits six-year low on back of poor retail figures

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Aussie dollar at fair value, say economists Australia’s dollar dropped to a six-year low on signs of sluggish consumer spending and after iron ore prices slid the most in two months. The Aussie fell for a third day against the US dollar, the longest streak in a month, as data showed retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in May from ... Read More »

Victorian Transport Department drops myki court challenge after QC takes case

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Victoria’s Transport Department has again refused to defend its embattled myki ticketing system in court after prominent human rights barrister Julian Burnside QC took a personal interest in defending a commuter. The Age - Rania Spooner and Cameron Houston The department suddenly withdrew an allegation of fare evasion against Melbourne woman Lindy Muto when it learnt of the involvement of Mr Burnside at ... Read More »

It’s the principle that stops refugees from facing harm. So why is it absent from Labor’s platform?

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Shorten hardens language on asylum seekers But it is still unclear whether a Labor government would order boats to be turned back.  Video The Sydney Morning Herald - James Massola, Political correspondent Labor edges towards adopting Coalition policy Deaths and injuries at immigration detention centres revealed Analysis: Labor’s draft policy avoids the hard calls Comment: Boats policy sinks to new ... Read More »

Son of mafia boss did work experience at Australian embassy, investigation claims

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Investigation claims mafia links to senior Australian politicians The Independent – Siobhan Fenton   A number of links have existed between the Italian mafia and senior Australian politicians, it has been alleged. The relationship between the two groups was so close that the son of a “key mafia figure” completed work experience at the Australian embassy in Rome, despite the same ... Read More »

$24 million payment for Fairbridge Farm abuse victims

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Comment: we must change the way child abuse claims are handled Adults who were physically and sexually assaulted as children at the notorious Fairbridge Farm School in central western NSW have been awarded $24 million in the largest compensation payment for survivors of institutional child abuse in Australian legal history. The Canberra Times - Rachel Browne, Social Affairs Reporter More ... Read More »

US Ambassador John Berry welcomes same-sex marriage Supreme Court decision

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US Supreme Court enshrines same-sex marriage An elated US Ambassador to Australia John Berry declared it a proud day to be an American and lauded Australia’s leadership on equality after the US Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states. The Canberra Times - Matthew Raggatt, Reporter at The Canberra Times The first openly gay US Ambassador ... Read More »

Boat turn-back payment to people smugglers the first of its kind

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The recent payment of thousands of dollars to people smugglers to return to Indonesia was the first time that such a transaction has been made specifically for a turn-back, Fairfax Media has learnt. The Sydney Morning Herald – Sarah Whyte, David Wroe and Jewel Topsfield It is understood that while payments have been made in the past for other reasons involving disrupting ... Read More »

Legal challenge to Australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers goes ahead

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A high court case over whether constitution permits offshore processing is still on, despite the passing of rushed legislation to head it off this week The Guardian – Shalailah Medhora A high court challenge to the Australian government’s offshore processing regime is still on the cards for later this year, despite the passing of rushed legislation through both houses of ... Read More »