The Indigenous Man Who Declared His Own Country

MILLN REEF, Australia — Murrumu of Walubara and his son, Thoyo of Walubara, paddled in the clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef, among corals of electric purple and burnt orange, trumpetfish, sea cucumbers and giant clams. They were 35 miles off the coast of Australia — or, as Mr. Walubara says, what most people refer to as Australia. To […]

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How Australia is changing – in 11 charts

Australia will go to the polls on 18 May at a time when many Australians have big questions about their country and who leads it. Here’s a visual look at some key issues and themes which could shape the outcome. Who’s in charge? It’s only a mild overstatement to suggest that Australia has adopted a “hot desking” approach to running […]

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Early Australian bushfires ‘an omen for summer’

More than 100 bushfires across two Australian states are raging in hot and windy conditions that officials warn are unprecedented this early in spring. In Queensland more than 50 fires were burning on Sunday. Forecasters say there is no sign of an end to strong winds that have fanned the flames. One blaze in neighbouring New South Wales has burned […]

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‘I feel like a weight has been lifted’

Harrowing stories from survivors shaped a landmark Australian inquiry into child sexual abuse. The royal commission held more than 8,000 private sessions with victims and gathered about 1,300 written accounts. After revealing their experiences, survivors were invited to write about the process of coming forward. More than 1,000 anonymous contributions were released in a book on Thursday to mark the […]

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The woman who became 2,500 people to survive

There was only one woman in the witness stand that day but out of her came six people prepared to testify about the extreme abuse she had suffered. “I walked into court, I sat down, I made the oath, and then a few hours later I got back into my body and walked out,” Jeni Haynes told the BBC. As […]

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Magpie ‘monster’ shot dead in Sydney after attacks

A notorious magpie whose habit of swooping on passers-by in Sydney led to dozens of complaints was shot dead, prompting an outcry from magpie lovers. The local council defended shooting the “particularly aggressive” bird, saying the decision was “not taken lightly”. The magpie had attacked people in the Hills Shire area of the city, sending some to hospital, local media […]

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This little-known inventor has probably saved your life

On Friday 19 October, 1934, the passenger plane Miss Hobart fell from the sky to the sea. Eight men, three women and a baby boy fell with her, swallowed – it’s believed – by the waters of the Bass Strait that lies between Tasmania and mainland Australia. The plane’s wreckage was never found. One of those on board was a […]

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Australian jailed for comedian’s ‘evil’ killing

A man who raped and killed Australian comedian Eurydice Dixon as she walked home at night has been jailed for life. Jaymes Todd, 20, pleaded guilty last year to the violent attack on the 22-year-old woman, in a case which sparked widespread anger. On Monday, a judge described his crimes as “totally and categorically evil”. Todd had stalked his victim […]

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Australian Writer Yang Hengjun Charged with Spying in China

SYDNEY, Australia — Yang Hengjun, a well-known Australian writer and democracy activist detained by the Chinese authorities in January, has been formally charged with spying, Australian officials said Tuesday, intensifying tensions over Beijing’s treatment of its critics. Mr. Hengjun’s lawyer, Rob Stary, said that his client had been charged with “a single act of espionage,” but that no details were […]

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Australian writer faces spying charges in China

Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been formally arrested on espionage charges in China, Australian officials have confirmed. The Australian citizen has been held in Beijing since January under “harsh conditions”, said the foreign ministry. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia was “very concerned and disappointed” to learn of the arrest. “We have serious concerns for Dr Yang’s welfare, and about […]

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