Chief Correspondent, Sydney
Michael's Feed
Dec 31, 2010

Australia floods cover area the size of France/Germany

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Flood water rose across Australia’s northeast on Friday, covering an area bigger than France and Germany combined, inundating 22 towns and stranding 200,000 people, and closing one of the country’s major sugar export ports.

Flooding has already shut major coal mines in Queensland state and its biggest coal export port, forcing a long list of miners such as Anglo American and Rio Tinto to slow or halt operations.

Dec 16, 2010

Asylum seeker deaths pressure Australia to change

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The death of 28 asylum seekers who drowned when their boat was smashed on rocks on Christmas Island has renewed pressure on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to soften Australia’s asylum policy and may strain her one-seat minority government.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, whose support won Gillard’s Labor a second term in August, has demanded the prime minister explain why the Indonesian timber boat, carrying Iraqis, was not intercepted on Wednesday, like other asylum boats, in open seas.

Dec 16, 2010

Asylum seeker deaths pressure Australia to change policy

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The death of 28 asylum seekers who drowned when their boat was smashed on rocks on Christmas Island has renewed pressure on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to soften Australia’s asylum policy and may strain her one-seat minority government.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, whose support won Gillard’s Labor a second term in August, has demanded the prime minister explain why the Indonesian timber boat, carrying Iraqis, was not intercepted on Wednesday, like other asylum boats, in open seas.

Dec 13, 2010

Australia: Iran not rogue, nuke programme “deterrent” – cables

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a “rogue state” and its nuclear weapons programme is for deterrence, not attack, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.

The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australia’s top security organisation believes Tehran sees a “grand bargain” with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.

Dec 13, 2010

Australia: Iran not rogue state, nuke programme “deterrent” – cables

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a “rogue state” and its nuclear weapons programme is for deterrence, not attack, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.

The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australia’s top security organisation believes Tehran sees a “grand bargain” with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.

Dec 13, 2010

Iran not a rogue state: Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia is at odds with its major security ally the United States over Iran, saying it is not a “rogue state” and its nuclear weapons program is for deterrence, not attack, according to U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks.

The documents, published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, also reveal that Australia’s top security organization believes Tehran sees a “grand bargain” with the United States as its best way to ensure national security.

Dec 2, 2010

China’s UN influence rising,West should be cautious – report

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China’s engagement with the United Nations is on the rise as its economic power grows, but the West should be cautious with calls for it to act as a responsible world leader, as Beijing’s goals may not be the same as the West’s, said a new report on Friday.

Beijing is wielding greater influence at the United Nations,

especially in the Security Council, but its pluralist foreign policy means its remains defensive, continues to protect pariah states Iran and North Korea, and defines its interests narrowly.

Dec 2, 2010

China’s U.N. influence rising, West should be careful: institute

SYDNEY (Reuters) – China’s engagement with the United Nations is on the rise as its economic power grows, but the West should be cautious with calls for it to act as a responsible world leader, as Beijing’s goals may not be the same as the West’s, said a new report on Friday.

Beijing is wielding greater influence at the United Nations, especially in the Security Council, but its pluralist foreign policy means its remains defensive, continues to protect pariah states Iran and North Korea, and defines its interests narrowly.

Nov 26, 2010

Rio to nearly triple 2011 capital spending

LONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research) (RIO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) is to nearly triple capital spending to $11 billion (7 billion pounds) next year as it expands its lucrative iron ore mines in Australia, where it uncovered 2 billion tonnes more deposits.

The heavy spending on new mines outlined on Friday shows confidence by the Anglo-Australian miner that strong Chinese metals demand will keep metal prices buoyant.

Nov 26, 2010

Rio to ramp up 2011 capex, finds more iron ore

LONDON/SYDNEY, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
(RIO.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) is to nearly triple capital spending to $11 billion
next year as it expands lucrative iron ore mines in Australia,
where it has found a further 2 billion tonnes of deposits.

The heavy spending on new mines outlined on Friday shows the
Anglo-Australian miner is confident strong Chinese demand will
keep metals prices buoyant.