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Australian budget 2018: what to expect from Scott Morrison

The Turnbull government is shifting itself on to a pre-election footing, declaring that next week’s budget will demonstrate the Coalition’s economic plan is working and also highlight the risks of a change to a Labor government. The treasurer, Scott Morrison, and the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, have emphasised that message before next week’s economic statement, which is expected to deliver ...

Mahmoud Abbas apologises for Holocaust speech

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has apologised after he was accused of antisemitism following a speech in which he suggested that historical persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct, not by their religion. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had condemned Abbas after he claimed past massacres including the Holocaust were related to the “social function” of Jews in banking. “Once ...

Egypt Says Sending Arab Troops to Syria a Possibility

CAIRO (REUTERS) – Sending Arab troops to Syria is a possibility that is being discussed by officials from various countries, Egypt’s foreign minister was quoted on Friday as saying. But a foreign ministry spokesman said Sameh Shoukry, who was speaking at a function on Wednesday night, was not raising the possibility that Egypt itself might be ready to send forces to ...

Australia ball-tampering scandal a reality check, says Pakistan’s coach

Mickey Arthur hopes that Australia’s recent ball-tampering scandal will be “a reality check for world cricket” that makes everybody “sit back and take stock”. Arthur, who was the head coach of Australia between 2011 and 2013 and is now in charge of Pakistan, spoke on Wednesday about his disappointment with the team but also said he felt “really sorry” for the ...

Australia has neglected its relationship with the Pacific – but that can change

Australia’s responsibility to the Pacific is unique – besides our historical ties with the UK, it is the only relationship specifically mentioned in the constitution. And for 10 of the more than dozen island nations in the region, unquestionably their most important bilateral relationship is with our country. Two things we often forget. But for the last half decade or so ...

Anzac Day: Australia and France pay tribute to foreign world of bloodshed

It was 100 years ago to the place, the year and the hour. The dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux on a landscape of peace was a foreign world to the bloodshed on the same site a century ago. Anzac Day 2018 commemor­ated the successful Australian ­counter-attack that saved the town, left an enduring Franco-Australian bond and elevated ­Villers-Bretonneux as the ultimate ...

Syria and Russia accuse Israel of missile attack on Assad airbase

Israeli warplanes bombed a Syrian regime airbase east of the city of Homs, the Russian and Syrian militaries have said. The Russian military said two Israeli F-15 jets carried out the strikes from Lebanese airspace, and that Syrian air defence systems shot down five of eight missiles fired. Asked about the Russian statement, an Israeli military spokesman said he had ...

Trump Lauds Potential North Korea Summit as ‘Very Exciting for the World’

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he will meet with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, in May or early June, setting a timeline for the historic summit between the American president and the mercurial North Korean strongman. Last month, Mr. Trump abruptly accepted an invitation to meet with Mr. Kim after South Korean officials delivered the message that ...

Egypt, Jordan stress ‘Jerusalem is untouchable’

CAIRO – 1 April 2018: Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed Sunday with his Jordanian counterpart the recent developments in the Palestinian territory and Syria. The two foreign ministers stressed the importance of the Arab unity behind the Egyptian leadership which engaged in a war against terrorism, stressing that the Qatari policies do not agree with the Arab unified vision. ...

Sisi’s Control of Egypt Is Absolute

While his election victory came as no surprise, consolidating further political control while addressing economic and security challenges could be a challenge.  It would be a significant stretch to call Egypt’s recent election competitive. There were only two candidates on the ballot: current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and one of Sisi’s supporters. It would also be difficult to describe the environment ...

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