Chief Correspondent, Sydney
Michael's Feed
Oct 26, 2011

Human rights to test Commonwealth leaders

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) – A proposal to appoint a Commonwealth human rights commissioner to steer a more proactive rights agenda looks set to test a leaders’ summit this week, with host Australia backing the plan but India and South Africa reported to oppose it.

Sri Lanka also rejects outside interference in its human rights issues, which are set to divide the summit starting on Friday. U.N. and human rights groups call for an independent inquiry into allegations of war crimes during its war with Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in 2009.

Oct 25, 2011

Commonwealth small island states call for climate action

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) – African, Caribbean and South Pacific states on Tuesday said big greenhouse gas emitters China and the United States were dragging their feet on tackling climate change and urged a Commonwealth leaders summit this week to call for urgent action at global climate talks in November.

“The scientific evidence available to us says we ought to act now,” said Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi after a meeting of 48 small island and developing nations in Perth.

Oct 25, 2011

Australia mounts pressure on Sri Lanka over war crimes

PERTH (Reuters) – Australia joined Canada on Tuesday calling for Sri Lanka to address allegations of human rights abuses during its war against Tamil Tiger separatists, adding pressure on President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of a Commonwealth leaders summit.

A Sri Lankan-born Australian also filed court papers seeking war crime charges against Rajapaksa, who is due to arrive in Perth for the summit on Tuesday, although the government said it would not agree to the request, citing diplomatic immunity.

Oct 24, 2011

Sri Lankan Tamils press for justice

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) – Meena Krishnamurthy still remembers the coloured slippers littered in the dirt around a bombed-out orphanage in Sri Lanka and a legless teenage girl unable to leave her dirt bunker, begging for a drink of nearby contaminated water.

Then there were the bodies, too many to count, including her own stillborn baby which she was forced to bury in a bucket before hastily retreating as Sri Lankan troops advanced.

Oct 14, 2011

New iPhone on sale, fans buy in tribute to Jobs

SYDNEY/TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s new
iPhone went on sale in stores across the globe on Friday, with
fans snapping up the final gadget unveiled during Steve Jobs’
lifetime, many buying the phone as a tribute to the former Apple
boss.

Hundreds queued around city blocks in Sydney and Tokyo to
get their hands on the iPhone 4S, ahead of store sales in
Germany, France, Britain and North America.

Oct 14, 2011

New iPhone goes on sale, fans say tribute to Jobs

SYDNEY/TOKYO (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s latest iPhone went on sale in stores across the globe on Friday, with fans snapping up the final gadget unveiled during Steve Jobs’ lifetime, many buying the phone as a tribute to the former Apple boss.

Hundreds of fans queued around city blocks in Sydney and Tokyo to be the first to get their hands on the iPhone 4S, which looks similar to the previous iPhone 4 but has a better camera, faster processor and well-received voice activated software.

Oct 13, 2011

Apple’s iPhone 4S goes on sale, fans say tribute to Jobs

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s iPhone 4S finally went on sale in stores around the globe on Friday, with fans snapping up the final gadget unveiled during Steve Jobs’ lifetime, many buying the phone as a tribute to the former Apple boss.

“I think a lot of people are going to buy the iPhone 4S because it was the last iPhone Steve worked on,” said Wil Batterham, 15, who with his school friend Tom Mosca were the first to buy the new phone in Sydney’s Apple store.

Oct 11, 2011

Queen’s visit leaves Australian republic a distant dream

SYDNEY (Reuters) – When Britain’s Queen Elizabeth arrives in Australia next week, protocol says she should be addressed as Queen of Australia — something that will grate with republicans who want to sever ties with Britain and appoint an Australian president.

The royal tour, possibly the queen’s last to Australia given her 85 years and the long distance from Buckingham Palace, will reignite debate on whether the nation should become a republic.

Aug 5, 2011

Australia says has ammunition to deal with global uncertainty

SYDNEY, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Australia is well equipped to take
steps to bolster its economy should global market turmoil see a
re-run of the 2009 financial crisis, Treasurer Wayne Swan said
on Friday, one of the first leaders to comment on such a step in
the current sell-off.

Asian stocks dropped 3 to 4 percent on Friday after panic
triggered the worst sell-off on Wall Street since the global
financial crisis, sending investors slashing positions and
scrambling for cash and government bonds.

Aug 2, 2011

Australia uses YouTube to deter boatpeople

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will film boatpeople being sent to Malaysia under a new refugee swap deal and post the video on YouTube in an effort to deter future boatpeople, the immigration department said on Tuesday.

The 54 boatpeople, intercepted last week and the first to be sent to Malaysia, will be filmed arriving at Australia’s Christmas Island detention center, boarding a plane to Malaysia and arriving in camps in Kuala Lumpur for processing.