Regional

Australian leaders focus on undecided voters in final campaign push

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s political leaders raced to get their message out to undecided voters in marginal seats on Thursday, two days before a general election, with economic problems dominating the last stretch of a...

Oceans are hotter, higher and more acidic, climate report warns

(Reuters) – The world’s oceans in 2021 grew to their warmest and most acidic levels on record, while melting ice sheets helped push sea levels to new heights, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday. Oceans saw the most striking extremes as the WMO detailed a range of turmoil wrought by climate change in...

18th May

Australian PM touts fiscal discipline in final election campaign lap

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s ruling coalition on Tuesday pledged to fund A$2.3 billion ($1.60 billion) worth of its election promises by curbing public sector spending over the next four years, which it said would also further reduce the budget deficit. With the national election just four days away on Saturday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said...

16th May

Australia PM, trailing in election polls, announces housing policy

(Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a housing policy on Sunday aimed at boosting home ownership and curbing high prices, as his government lags the opposition Labor Party days before a general election. Australians will vote for a government on Saturday, with recent polls showing Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition on track to lose to...

15th May

Fiji exports $3.4m worth of kava to Australia in five months

Fiji has already exported around 30.4 metric tonnes of kava to Australia earning around $3.4million in five months after commercial kava export was allowed again to the Land Down Under. Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy revealed this in parliament this week saying this was a substantial gain for Fiji. He says there are 146...

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID

(Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday. She will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but “travel arrangements for her trade mission to the United States are unaffected...

Fiji’s Fisheries Ministry in discussions with advanced bilateral partners to secure tuna

Fiji’s Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau says there is ongoing work being carried out with advanced and developed bilateral partners for fishing fleet to meet PAFCO’s albacore demands. “Once Fiji gains access to PNA (Parties to Nauru Agreement) waters, we will need to have a fleet that has the capacity to secure raw materials,” Mr...

Australia’s Morrison vows more empathy if re-elected PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised on Saturday to be more empathetic if he wins re-election, as his government continues to trail the opposition Labor Party a week before a general election. Australians go to the voting booths on May 21, with recent polls showing Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition on track to lose...

Australia says Chinese spy ship did not breach law of the sea

SYDNEY (Reuters) -A Chinese intelligence ship tracked off Australia’s west coast within 50 nautical miles of a sensitive defence facility did not breach international maritime laws, Australia said on Saturday. Australia tracked the spy ship over the past week as it sailed past the Harold E Holt naval communications station at Exmouth, in Western Australia,...

14th May

Prince William and wife Kate take over UK airwaves to fight loneliness

LONDON (Reuters) – Prince William and his wife Kate took over the airwaves of every radio station in the United Kingdom on Friday to deliver a message encouraging the British public to look out for anyone who might be feeling lonely. The “Mental Health Minute”, featuring the two royals, was played out on more than...

Russian blockade hits exports of Ukrainian agricultural products

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine can export no more than 1.5 million tonnes of agricultural products a month because of a Russian blockade of its ports, First Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotskiy said on Friday. He was quoted by Interfax Ukraine news agency as saying that before the blockade Ukraine could export more than 5 million...

Queen Elizabeth visits horse show after missing parliament opening

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, who was forced to miss the traditional formal opening on parliament earlier this week, appeared in public on Friday to attend a horse show close to her home. Elizabeth, 96, missed the grand set-piece ceremony at parliament on Tuesday because of what Buckingham Palace described as “episodic mobility problems”. She...

Tuvalu, sinking in the Pacific, fears becoming a superpower ‘pawn’

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Tuvalu fears that climate change, an existential threat to the Pacific nation, is being forgotten and it worries that fellow island nations could become “pawns” in a global competition between China and the United States, its foreign minister said. Simon Kofe told Reuters the superpower competition was a concern, distracting attention from...

Australia says Chinese spy ship’s presence off west coast ‘concerning’

SYDNEY (Reuters) -A Chinese intelligence ship was tracked off Australia’s west coast within 50 nautical miles of a sensitive defence facility, Australia said on Friday, raising concern amid an election campaign about China’s behaviour in the region. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Chinese navy vessel was not in Australian territorial waters but its presence...

13th May

Oil up more than 5%, as Russia-EU energy quarrel intensifies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 5% on Wednesday after flows of Russian gas to Europe fell and Russia sanctioned some European gas companies, adding to uncertainty in world energy markets. Oil and gas prices have risen since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February and the United States and allies subsequently imposed heavy...

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