Chief Correspondent, Sydney
Michael's Feed
Jan 10, 2011

Flash floods hit Australia’s third largest city

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Residents of low-lying parts of Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane, sandbagged their homes against rising waters Monday as torrential rain exacerbated record floods that have paralyzed the coal industry in the northeast and now threaten tourism.

Weather officials issued a severe weather alert, warning of flash flooding and worsening river floods in Queensland state’s heavily populated southeast and the center of the country’s lucrative Gold Coast tourist strip.

Dec 31, 2010

Floods cover vast area of Australia’s northeast

SYDNEY, Dec 31 (Reuters) – Floodwater rose across a vast
area in Australia’s northeast on Friday, inundating 22 towns,
forcing 200,000 residents out of their homes, and closing a
major sugar export ports.

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

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.