Australian officials are divided over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

By Yan Zhuang A rift has emerged between Australia’s federal government, state leaders and medical groups over vaccination advice, with several officials issuing public objections to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to make the AstraZeneca vaccine available to those under 40. Australia’s vaccine advisory body has recommended that people under 60 should be vaccinated with the Pfizer shot because the […]

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Why Are Australian Homes So Cold?

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. The past few weeks has found me either wrapped in thermals and a blanket or working from my bed with my laptop balanced on my lap because it’s really cold in my apartment. It’s not so much a new realization as it […]

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Tackling Vaccine Complacency Close to Home

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to nudge my parents into getting the vaccine. They’ve been eligible since the beginning of May and can book an appointment through their G.P. whenever they want. They’re going to get it. They’ve just […]

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The Criminals Thought the Devices Were Secure. But the Seller Was the F.B.I.

MELBOURNE, Australia — The devices, procured on the black market, performed only a single function hidden behind a calculator app: sending encrypted messages and photos. For years, organized crime figures around the globe relied on the devices to orchestrate international drug shipments, coordinate arms and explosives trafficking, and discuss contract killings, law enforcement officials said. Users trusted the devices’ security […]

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A lockdown in Victoria State, Australia, follows a variant-fueled outbreak.

The state of Victoria, Australia, announced a seven-day lockdown beginning Thursday night to stem a coronavirus outbreak in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the country’s second-most populous city, after Sydney. After nearly three months without a new infection, state health officials have detected 26 cases in the Melbourne-area cluster. The outbreak is believed to have begun when a man became […]

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Australia Exhumes the Somerton Man, and His 70-Year Mystery

No one knows how the so-called Somerton man, found well-dressed and dead with a half-smoked cigarette on his lapel, wound up on the beach in South Australia where he was found. No one knows what he was doing there, or even how he died. This week, after he had spent decades puzzling investigators in Australia and amateur sleuths around the […]

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What is Australian Food? A New Cookbook Provides Some Answers.

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. What is Australian food? Is there even such a thing? These are questions I’ve been asked so many times, and I admit to finding them incredibly frustrating. It doesn’t help that the answers are not simple ones. This week in the United […]

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Without Backpackers to Pick Them, Crops Rot by the Ton in Australia

The pandemic has exposed the shaky labor foundation of the country’s agriculture industry, spurring calls for an immigration overhaul. By Yan Zhuang SHEPPARTON, Australia — Peter Hall ran a hand over the Gala apples sitting in a wooden crate on his orchard in southeastern Australia, lamenting the yellow tinge of fruit that would ideally be crisp red and green. With […]

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