Australia and Oceania

Cardinal Pell appeal ruling to be announced August 21: court

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The ruling in Australian Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction on historical child sex abuse charges will be handed down on August 21, court officials announced Thursday. Pell, 78, the former Vatican number three, was sentenced …

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Woman stabbed in central Sydney knife rampage

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A man stabbed a woman and attempted to stab several other people in central Sydney Tuesday before being pinned down by members of the public and detained by police, eyewitnesses and officials said. Images broadcast by …

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New Zealand cocaine haul believed drifted 2,100 km from Australia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — A multi-million dollar haul of cocaine washed up on a New Zealand beach this week is believed to have drifted more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles) across the Tasman Sea from Australia, police said Friday. …

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Powerful quake strikes off Vanuatu, no tsunami warning

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck near the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu Thursday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued. USGS said the quake hit about 178 kilometers (110 miles) northwest …

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Papua New Guinea deploys army to help volcano emergency

KOKOPO, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Troops have been sent to help thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption on a remote archipelago in Papua New Guinea, the prime minister said Friday, as a second volcano erupted. Lava and …

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Wife voices ‘concern’ for Australian missing in N. Korea

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The wife of an Australian man who has gone missing and is feared detained in North Korea said she had no hint that anything was wrong before his disappearance. Japanese Yuka Morinaga, 26, told Australia’s News …

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Thousands flee erupting Papua New Guinea volcano

KOKOPO, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — An erupting volcano in Papua New Guinea that has blanketed a town in ash has forced around 5,000 people from their homes, officials said Thursday. Mount Ulawun — one of the world’s most hazardous …

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Anger erupts with NZ mosque shooting suspect’s demeanor as lawyers enter “not guilty” plea for him

  THE lawyers of the man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks entered not guilty pleas for their client to charges of terrorism, multiple murder and attempted murder in a hearing attended by survivors …

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Anger as Christchurch mosque accused pleads not guilty

by Chris FOLEY CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AFP) — The man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks in March smiled Friday as his lawyers entered not guilty pleas to multiple murder and terrorism charges. Brenton …

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Chinese warships cause surprise in Sydney Harbour

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australians enjoying a sunny winter morning were surprised by the sight of three Chinese warships steaming into to Sydney Harbour Monday, forcing the prime minister to reassure jittery residents. Amid heightened concern about Beijing’s growing clout …

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Fiery new Papua New Guinea PM questions vast Exxon, Total gas deal

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Former finance minister James Marape was elected Papua New Guinea’s new prime minister Thursday and immediately issued a fiery nationalistic address that put foreign resource companies on notice. The former finance minister threatened …

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US marine dies in Australia training accident

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A United States marine has died in Australia after succumbing to injuries received during a training accident, the force’s commanding officer said Wednesday. Lance Corporal Hans Sandoval-Pereyra was injured during a vehicle accident during the drill …

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