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Australia just delivered a blow to its far-right populists. Here’s how we did it.

Richard Glover is an Australian writer and broadcaster. In the world of 2017, is there any stopping the ascendancy of right-wing populist politicians? From Trump to Brexit, from Martine Le Pen to Geert Wilders, it’s a journalistic cliche to list their successes and to suggest there’s no stopping their rise. Here, though, is some news from Down Under. The Australian ...

Sailors rescued from ‘enormous seas’ off Australia

A couple has told of facing “waves the size of buildings” when their yacht broke in remote seas off Australia. Irishman Nick Dwyer, 55, and Frenchwoman Barbara Heftman, 44, were sailing from New Zealand to Australia. Australian police rescued the pair 210 nautical miles (390km) off Sydney amid 6m swells and gale-force winds. The sailors, on a circumnavigation of the ...

Malcolm Turnbull warns Australia is in an ‘energy crisis’

Declaring that Australia is in the midst of an energy crisis, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will call together the chief executives of east coast gas companies to address the threat to their customers. Mr Turnbull told delegates to a conference hosted by The Australian Financial Review that he was concerned by Wednesday’s report by the Australian Energy ...

Australia seizes record 1.4 tonnes of cocaine on yacht

SYDNEY: Australian law enforcement agencies seized a record 1.4 tonnes of cocaine worth AUS$312 million (US$390 million) from an Australia-bound yacht during a covert midnight operation last week, the authorities said on Monday. Six men, including five Australians, have been charged with the conspiracy to import drugs and could face life imprisonment, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Immigration Minister Peter ...

Malcolm Turnbull says Trump phone call worked in Australia’s favour

Malcolm Turnbull says his infamous phone call with US president Donald Trumplast week has worked in Australia’s favour, because it inspired “dozens and dozens” of US congressmen to publicly support the Australia-US alliance. He has also admitted the Liberal party has been in serious financial trouble for a number of years, saying that is why he donated $1.75m to the ...

Donald Trump has no better friend than Australia

He provides cover for Australian politicians – of all stripes – to dog-whistle on protectionism, to grand-stand on border protection, and even, in the case of Fred Nile, to grasp at relevance after years of political obscurity. But while Australian politicians try to ape him, Trump seems indifferent to our interests. The US State Department sent us a “Happy Australia Day” ...

‘Australia first’ is opportunism – and politicians should be careful where it leads

Donald Trump’s “America first” inaugural speech found strange echoes in Australia this week. After the newly sworn-in president had pissed on his government’s chips by killing off the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Scott Morrison promised to pursue an “Australia first” economic policy. It was difficult to tell how his prescriptions differed from the longstanding orthodoxies held by both major parties in recent ...

US officials visit Manus Island as Australia’s refugee deal set to proceed

The deal to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention islands to the US appears to be proceeding in the early days of the Trump administration, with US officials visiting Manus Island to speak to refugees. A US official, accompanied by Australian immigration officers, visited the detention centre on Friday – just hours before Trump’s inauguration – and told refugees that ...

Melbourne car deaths: Four killed as driver strikes pedestrians

KALAHAN DENG Four people, including a young child, have died after a car deliberately hit pedestrians in central Melbourne, police say. At least 29 people were injured, among them a baby who is in a critical condition after the car hit a pram. Police say they rammed the car, shot the driver in the arm and arrested him. They say ...

Malcolm Turnbull says Australia must put ‘safety first’ when asked about burqa ban

Malcolm Turnbull said there were certain environments in which people’s faces shouldn’t be covered when asked about a call to ban the burqa in public buildings – but he insists it is a matter of “safety first” and is unrelated to religion. The comments came in an interview with 4BC Radio in which Turnbull also refused to be drawn about ...