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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Hanson’s ‘Battler Bus’ Takes the Anti-Immigrant Road in Australia

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Hanson’s ‘Battler Bus’ Takes the Anti-Immigrant Road in Australia

To Australia’s most prominent right-wing nationalist it’s not about joining a global populist push; it’s that the rest of the world is finally catching up.

“I was espousing a lot of this 20 years ago,” Hanson told Reuters in the sunny tropical town of Townsville, a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef marine park.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Has Set Up Showdown With Conservative MPs Over Same-Sex Marriage

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Has Set Up Showdown With Conservative MPs Over Same-Sex Marriage

A gay marriage bill proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith came under ­attack yesterday after it received the written endorsement of Labor Senate leader Penny Wong and Greens leader Richard Di Natale under a process approved by Mr Turnbull.

Speaking in Manila, Mr Turnbull said it was “up to the parliament” to resolve the shape of any same-sex marriage legislation and repudiated stronger protections for service providers with conscientious objections to gay weddings as having “virtually no prospect” of passing the parliament.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: PNG to Refugees: Leave Shuttered Australian Camp Now Or Be Forced

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: PNG to Refugees: Leave Shuttered Australian Camp Now Or Be Forced

PNG Immigration Minister Petrus Thomas said in a statement on Sunday that the remaining refugees have until Monday to leave “so that they can have access to basic necessities such as food, water, medical care and security and that the work on decommissioning of the facility can be completed for the PNG defense force to take complete control of their land and property,” Reuters and The Guardian reported.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: John Alexander Resigns Over Dual Citizenship, Turnbull Said No General Election

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: John Alexander Resigns Over Dual Citizenship, Turnbull Said No General Election

“It is my obligation that I must resign,” John Alexander told a news conference. “That’s what I will do. I think there is a great need for certainty, to clarify the situation and to do so as expeditiously as possible.”

Alexander had been waiting for Britain’s Home Office to clarify whether he held British citizenship by descent. It is not known whether they responded.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Drop ‘Protection Racket’, Refer John Alexander to High Court: Federal Opposition Says

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Drop ‘Protection Racket’, Refer John Alexander to High Court: Federal Opposition Says

Senator Wong said Mr Turnbull’s proposal was “not good enough” and should not be used to cover up Mr Alexander’s woes.

“John Alexander needs to be referred to the High Court,” she said. “Mr Turnbull should not allow the House of Representatives to turn into a protection racket for John Alexander and anyone else simply because Mr Turnbull doesn’t want to risk his numbers on the floor of the House.”

Mr Alexander’s case will loom large over Mr Turnbull’s talks with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on Wednesday, as the pair meet in Melbourne to discuss the Coalition’s plan to end the crisis with new citizenship disclosure rules for all MPs.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull to Force Lawmakers to Declare Citizenship to End Political Crisis

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull to Force Lawmakers to Declare Citizenship to End Political Crisis

Turnbull said his plan, unlike an audit, would put the onus on lawmakers to check their own situation and anybody found to have made a false declaration would be in contempt of parliament. Lawmakers will be required to produce documents to prove any second citizenship has been renounced.

“Members and senators have been put squarely on notice now and so they will be turning their mind to their own affairs and the issues of citizenship,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia Rejects New Zealand Offer to Take Asylum Seekers Barricaded Inside Camp

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia Rejects New Zealand Offer to Take Asylum Seekers Barricaded Inside Camp

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday her country was willing to take 150 asylum seekers from among those held on Manus island and another camp on the tiny Pacific nation of Nauru.

Her Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, however said Canberra preferred to work through an existing refugee swap deal he negotiated with former U.S. President Barack Obama last year. Under that deal, up to 1,250 asylum seekers could be sent to the United States and Australia will in turn accept refugees from Central America.

“We want to pursue those, conclude those arrangements, and then in the wake of that obviously we can consider other ones,” Turnbull told Ardern during a media conference in Sydney.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australians Stand Shoulder-to-Shoulder With Refugees on Manus

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australians Stand Shoulder-to-Shoulder With Refugees on Manus

“We are pleading the international community to rescue us,” said asylum seeker Abdul Azziz Adam in a video message from the camp in Papua New Guinea. “What is going on on Manus Island at the moment is a humanitarian crisis and no one will help us.” The men have resorted to drinking rain water and have dug their own wells in order to survive. The UN has called the crisis an “unfolding humanitarian emergency”.

“We are begging the New Zealand government to rescue us because New Zealand is the only country today, they have been fighting again and again and again, they want to get us out of detention centre,” Adam said in the video message.

“I think the situation on Manus Island is completely and utterly deplorable,” a young, male demonstrator told Al Jazeera. “I think it’s really important that the government takes a stand … so we can bring these men who are scared and suffering to Australia.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tension Rises as Australia Starts to Dismantle Papua New Guinea Detention Center

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tension Rises as Australia Starts to Dismantle Papua New Guinea Detention Center

The Manus center has been a key part of Australia’s controversial “Sovereign Borders” immigration policy. The country refuses to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores, detaining them in camps in Papua New Guinea PNG and Nauru in the South Pacific.

Lawyers for some of the 600 men filed a last-minute lawsuit in PNG to prevent the camp’s closure and allow the men to be relocated to a third country. A ruling is expected on Wednesday.

The detainees were left alone for the first time in more than four years after camp staff all left on Tuesday morning, Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz told Reuters.

“The water and electricity are still on but we are vulnerable now after the staff left us all alone,” Aziz said.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Expulsion of Ministers Cast Doubt Over More than 100 Government Decisions: opposition Labor

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Expulsion of Ministers Cast Doubt Over More than 100 Government Decisions: opposition Labor

The ruling has cast doubt over the validity of parliamentary votes Joyce and Nash have cast, said Tanya Plibersek, acting leader of the Australian Labor Party

“We’re going to look at all of our options,” Plibersek said on Monday in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“We are very concerned about the fact that Barnaby Joyce has been voting at a time when he shouldn’t have been in the Federal Parliament and we narrowly lost votes because of that.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Puts Julie Bishop in Charge Amid Government Crisis

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Puts Julie Bishop in Charge Amid Government Crisis

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, a member of Turnbull’s Liberal Party, would instead be acting prime minister when he travels to Israel on Monday, three days behind schedule.

“Government goes on, good government goes on,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney, dismissing suggestions that the inability to agree on a deputy indicated tensions within the coalition. “When times get tough, that’s when you put your arms around your mates.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Here’s Magda Szubanski’s Hilarious Hypothetical Comparison to Same Sex Marriage Debate

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Here’s Magda Szubanski’s Hilarious Hypothetical Comparison to Same Sex Marriage Debate

“You’re sending a very clear message of equal but different. Believe me, this is coming on the tail end of the oppressions that we’ve been through and I don’t want to come across as a whinger but we have to acknowledge the history of this,” Ms Magda Szubanski said.

“What it would mean to us to be fully acknowledged, I don’t know if you can really understand after the bashings, the discriminations, the murders. This isn’t just out of the blue. It comes within an historical contex.

“How would you feel if Sri Lankan people were told that you can’t be married?”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Peter Cosgrove, Lynn Cosgrove Visit Lebanon

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Peter Cosgrove, Lynn Cosgrove Visit Lebanon

“After the official retreat, the Lebanese and Australian delegations will join the talks, followed by a joint press conference,” Baabda palace added, saying that “Governor-General Cosgrove will sign the register of honor after that.”

Then, Mrs. Aoun and Lady Cosgrove will join President Aoun and Sir Cosgrove at Baabda Palace where Aoun holds lunch in honor of his guest at 1 p.m., the statement mentions.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Citizenship Bill Dead

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Citizenship Bill Dead

The proposal would have required applicants to live in Australia for four years on permanent residency visas and demonstrate “competence” in English. Mr Dutton had sought to apply the changes to all people who applied from April 20, but he could not secure support from the Senate.

NXT senator Stirling Griff rejected Mr Dutton’s 11th-hour attempt at compromise, “The Government did not need legislation to impose the freeze on citizenship applications and it most certainly does not need legislation to lift it.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia Elected to UN Human Rights Council, Vows to Punish Countries With ‘Appalling’ Human Rights Records

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia Elected to UN Human Rights Council, Vows to Punish Countries With ‘Appalling’ Human Rights Records

Australia’s election will attract criticism from human rights groups who point to the country’s poor record on Indigenous deaths in custody and on the detention of asylum seekers.

Last month, the UN’s refugee agency slammed Australia for removing services and visas for 400 refugees and asylum seekers transferred to Australia for medical purposes.

It was “a blatant attempt to coerce the most vulnerable to return to Papua New Guinea, Nauru, or their countries of origin” and would leave “people at serious risk of destitution in Australia,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ regional representation in Canberra said in a statement.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: $1m Taxpayer Funds Sex Change Surgeries, Gender Dysphoria Treatment Justified: Payne Says

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: $1m Taxpayer Funds Sex Change Surgeries, Gender Dysphoria Treatment Justified: Payne Says

“What Defence provides is comprehensive healthcare that is clinically necessary for the management of health conditions, of illnesses and injuries,” Senator Payne said.

“Gender dysphoria, in that context, is managed in accordance with current best practice clinical guidelines under the same principles as any other health condition.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Biggest Clampdown on Federal Lobbying Takes Center Stage

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Biggest Clampdown on Federal Lobbying Takes Center Stage

“I am seeing people in my office like Stephen Conroy, or there’s Martin Ferguson representing the mining industry, Adam Giles representing Gina Rinehart – these are doyens of the labor movement suddenly spruiking for big business, it’s surreal,” he said.

“There should be a far bigger firebreak between what they did and what they start to do again.”

However, Senator Hinch questioned whether five years was too long: “My gut says two years is enough to break the nexus. “The way information is spread so fast these days, if you have been out of the loop for two years, well, you’re pretty much out of the loop.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: North Korea Just Sent Chilling Threat to Australia for Joining US, South Korea

“Should Australia continue to follow the US in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster,” Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned.

The warning comes after Ms Bishop pledged solidarity with South Korea in the face of the North’s ongoing nuclear threat.

“We stand united with (South Korea) against the provocative and threatening behaviour of North Korea,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told reporters.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis Not Guaranteed: High Court Says

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Speedy Ruling on Citizenship Crisis Not Guaranteed: High Court Says

“The court is aware of the need for a speedy decision, but it is not always possible to do so immediately,” said chief justice, Susan Kiefel.

The court’s decision will determine whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can maintain his shaky grip on power. Should the court rule that Joyce, the sole lower house lawmaker caught up in the crisis, is ineligible, Turnbull will need to win the support of one of three independent lawmakers to keep his minority government.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tony Abbott Talks Climate Change in London

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tony Abbott Talks Climate Change in London

Now freed from any belief he will be prime minister again, Mr Abbott claims virtue in saying it as he sees it. Even if it is from the fringe.

The prospect of a bipartisan peace on climate policy with Labor, however unlikely, is now impossible. Mr Abbott will not be satisfied even by orthodox expressions of environmentalism. The Clean Energy Target, once tentatively embraced by Mr Turnbull, is already facing major surgery. It is the only one of Dr Finkel’s recommendations not to have been formally endorsed.

Abandonment of the Clean Energy Target would, in Mr Abbott’s mind, be his victory.

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