A Sea of White Faces in Australia’s ‘Party of Multiculturalism’

MELBOURNE, Australia — She seemed an ideal political candidate in a country that likes to call itself the world’s “most successful multicultural nation.” Tu Le, a young Australian lawyer who is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, was set to become the opposition Labor Party’s candidate for Parliament in one of Sydney’s most diverse districts. She grew up nearby, works as […]

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Battling Delta, New Zealand Abandons Its Zero-Covid Ambitions

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — For a year and a half, New Zealand has pursued a strategy of “Covid zero,” closing its borders and quickly enforcing lockdowns to keep the coronavirus in check, a policy it maintained even as other Asia-Pacific countries transitioned to coexisting with the viral threat. On Monday, New Zealand gave up the ghost. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern […]

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Australia accelerates its plans to allow international travel.

Australia will lift its bans on international travel in November under a plan that Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined on Friday. It is the second time in 10 days that officials have accelerated the country’s plans to ease travel restrictions. Until last month, Australia was poised to keep its borders closed into 2022. The tourism minister, Dan Tehan, then said […]

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Why Diversity Seems Easier Said Than Done in Politics

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. Recently, I’ve been reporting on the controversy over Labor’s pick to represent Fowler, where Tu Le, a young lawyer and the daughter of Vietnamese migrants, was passed over, with the party instead choosing Kristina Keneally, a party leader and white woman. I’ve […]

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Construction workers in Melbourne protest mandatory vaccinations.

Construction workers in Melbourne, Australia, clashed violently with the police for the second day in a row on Tuesday in a dispute over mandatory vaccinations. Up to 2,000 protesters descended into the city’s central business district, the police said. Videos posted to social media showed workers hurling bottles at the police and setting off flares, while officers in riot gear […]

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Looking Longingly Out Someone Else’s Window

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. This week, I’ve looked out of the window of a high-rise apartment in Tyumen, Russia, through a skylight in Trorod, Denmark, and out a balcony in Toulouse, France. Not physically, unfortunately. A few lockdowns ago, a friend introduced me to a website […]

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New Zealand’s Homegrown Hero

LETTER 222 Can the celebrity civil servant steering New Zealand through its lockdown succeed again? By Natasha Frost The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email. Last October, I attended a rock concert by Don McGlashan, a veteran New Zealand singer-songwriter, in Wellington. Halfway through, he paused the show to […]

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Australian Man to Be Charged in Parliament House Rape Case

MELBOURNE, Australia — Months after a former Australian government employee said she had been raped in Parliament House, the police announced on Friday that they intended to charge a man with sexual assault in the case. The former government employee, Brittany Higgins, 26, sent shock waves through the country when she said earlier this year that she had been attacked […]

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