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Australia thwarts Christmas Day bombing plot

Police in Australia have detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in the heart of the country’s second-largest city, officials said Friday. The suspects had been inspired by ISIS and planned attacks on Melbourne’s Flinders Street train station, neighbouring Federation Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said. The arrests came after someone hijacked ...

Chinese suspects charged after $60m cocaine shipment seized off Australia

Ten Chinese nationals have been charged with drug smuggling in Australia after officials said they found a stash of cocaine worth more than $60m on their ship. Last week, the Australian defence force intercepted the 50m former research vessel off the coast of Tasmania and escorted the boat to Hobart. During a subsequent search, police found 186kg of cocaine on ...

Australia’s 10 most dangerous stretches of highway revealed

Three parts of Queensland’s Pacific Motorway have been ranked among the 10 most dangerous stretches of highway in Australia. The Australian Automobile Association released its Australian road assessment program report on Wednesday, pinpointing the locations of crashes that led to 15,339 casualties and more than 900 deaths on Australian highways between 2010 and 2014. Nine of the 10 most dangerous ...

Are Australian Housing Prices Finally Starting to Cool?

Growth in price levels in Sydney and Melbourne has slowed considerably. After years of continuous increases, the latest official data from Australia suggests that home prices in the country’s biggest cities are finally beginning to slow. The house price index for Sydney rose by only 3.2% year-on-year up to September, reports Bloomberg—the slowest growth since 2012, following two years of ...

Cash in hand: how big is Australia’s black economy?

The Australian government has announced a taskforce to “crack down on the black economy”, with a panel reportedly to consider measures such as removing the $100 note from circulation and limiting cash transactions above a certain limit. So what is the “black economy”, and what is it composed of? In her press release, the minister for revenue and financial services, ...

Second Sydney airport critical, says Tourism Australia boss

Sydney’s long-awaited second airport at Badgerys Creek is critical to the nation’s economy and tourism industry, Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan says. “Its hugely important because of the fact that airports are our gateways, not only for international traffic but also domestic traffic,” Mr O’Sullivan said on the sidelines of a tourism industry event in Sydney. “They create jobs, ...

Crown backflips over China strategy, pulls back to Australia

James Packer’s Crown Resorts has dramatically scaled back its international ambitions, beating a hasty retreat from China after agreeing to sell most of its shares in Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment, and declaring it will concentrate on its strong Australian casinos business. Crown has agreed to sell a portion in Melco Crown to joint venture partner Lawrence Ho for ...

Majority of MPs support Australia becoming a Republic

Every Monday to Friday I’ll be delivering a personally-curated newsletter. Call it the double espresso of news – the morning news kickstart for busy people who want to know what they need to know before they get going. 1. Majority Republic support Well this is a story I did not expect to read. The majority of Parliament supports Australia becoming ...

Australia still committed to one-China policy despite Donald Trump’s remarks

DEFENCE Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has contradicted US president-elect Donald Trump on China, saying Australia had not changed its one-China policy. Mr Trump has offended fellow superpower China by saying he didn’t “necessarily” think America should have to stick with its one-China policy unless Beijing and Washington struck a new deal. The comment was significant, as most countries including Australia ...

Fremantle has bowed to pressure from the federal government and agreed to reinstate its citizenship ceremony on Australia Day. The federal government and the Western Australian city council have been embroiled in a public spat over the latter’s plans to hold its citizenship ceremonies on its “culturally inclusive alternative” to Australia Day, which Fremantle named One Day. Fremantle council had ...