Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Reuters Investigates:
By Rebekah Kebede
You wouldn't think you'd have to make hotel reservations months ahead of time in Karratha, a small, dusty town on the edge of the Outback a 16-hour drive from Perth, the nearest city. But with Australia’s commodities boom, Karratha is bursting at the seams and nowhere is it more apparent than when trying to find a place to stay.
(Above photo: A kangaroo stands atop iron ore rocks outside the remote outback town of Karattha in Western Australia. Reuters/Daniel Munoz)
About two weeks ahead of my trip up to Karratha, to do a special report on Australia's hunt for foreign labour, all hotel rooms within a 60-km radius were fully booked and after more than 20 calls, the travel agent was still coming up empty.
A few more desperate calls turned up a couple of rooms in a town called Roebourne, about 30 minutes away from Karratha at the Ieramugadu Inn, an old motel, which like many others in the area, had become worker accommodations as Karratha struggles to house the influx of labour into town. The bill came to over $200 a night—just shy of what it costs to book a room with a view of the Opera House in Sydney. The amenities at the Ieramugadu were somewhat different: a complimentary can of bug repellent, tin-foil covered windows to keep out the light for those on night shift, and a view of a truck parking lot through a hole in the tin foil.
from Tales from the Trail:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would like the world to know: the United States is not about wearing bikinis and wrestling all day.
Clinton took her personal diplomacy to Australia's airwaves, braving a popular radio comedy team who grilled her on potato chips, reality tv and the diplomacy of barbecues.
from Environment Forum:
Ever wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world's seas and oceans? Now there's an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It's not fish. It's not mammals. It's crustaceans!
A mammoth Census of Marine Life has revealed that nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all the marine species known to humans are crustaceans -- crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles and others far too numerous to mention here. The census didn't count the actual numbers of animals beneath the waves -- that would have been impossible -- but it did count up the number of species in 25 marine areas. The aim is to set down a biodiversity baseline for future use.
The trial of four Rio Tinto employees began early on a chilly, gray Monday morning in Shanghai, when four police vans in a convoy led by a cruiser with flashing lights swept the defendants to the courthouse well before 7 am.
Quick glimpses from outside the modern courthouse are all that most outsiders will get.
On the surface, Australia’s opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull won the endorsement of his party when he put his job on the line over his bipartisan support for the PM’s carbon trade plan. ‘Turnbull wins the day’, was the headline on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
But, dig a little deeper, and the picture is in fact quite bleak for the Liberal Party with around 12 months to go before a national election. Within hours of the vote the obituaries for Turnbull’s political career started to appear.
The huge outback dust storm that swept across eastern Australia on Sept. 23 smothering Sydney in red dirt was a stark reminder that after 221 years of white settlement Australians still only cling to the edge of this harsh island continent.
Australians love to promote the idea that they live in a sunburnt country, of rugged outback cattlemen and ancient Aboriginal culture, but for most Australians it’s a myth.
As the U.S. Congress roils over use of the word “liar” against President Barack Obama, Australia
is in uproar over the prime minister’s use of the F-word.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, once a diplomat, was this week forced to defend his “robust” language used against a group of unhappy junior lawmakers in his own centre-left Labor Party while slashing back their official pay entitlements.
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan will take questions from Thomson Reuters clients on how Australia managed to avoid recession and where the economy goes from here, at 9:15 am AEST on Tuesday (7:30 pm on Monday, EST).
The so-called “lucky country” dodged recession partly because of massive government stimulus, a conservative banking sector and strong Chinese demand for its resources exports, but there are concerns its luck may eventually run out. While other rich nations grapple with record high unemployment, Australia is starting to worry about inflation, a possible housing bubble and an over-reliance on China.
With the Rudd Labor government now in power for just over a year, it’s worth looking what at has changed in the country’s foreign policy and its security implications for the region. Is the region, particularly Southeast Asia, ready for Australia’s new advances?
Howard’s pragmatism and ‘forward defence’ doctrine over the previous dozen years was unashamedly aimed at garnering an image of being a “considerable power and significant country” (Downer, 2006). Howard’s loyalty to the United States, no-matter-what, was also aimed at banking up some credit with Washington on the security front. Given the concerns of the time over terrorism (in particular the attack on Bali which killed dozens of Australians), one could argue his staunchly pro-American policy was well founded. Moreover, Downer was quite dismissive of past Labor policy on developing a closer relationship with its immediate neighbours. In 2006, he said of Labor: “In effect, they argue for a retreat to regionalism.”