Colin Packham
Colin Packham
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Australia urges EU to send 1 million COVID-19 vaccines for PNG amid fresh outbreak

Australia urges EU to send 1 million COVID-19 vaccines for PNG amid fresh outbreak

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia said on Wednesday it will ask the European Union to release 1 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to help Papua New Guinea (PNG) battle a dangerous outbreak that authorities fear could spread to other parts of the region.The request could inflame existing tensions between Canberra and Brussels amid claims of vaccine nationalism after the EU recently blocked an Australia-bound shipment of the doses.Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday said the vaccines were contracted to Australia and were now badly needed to contain a surge in coronavirus cases in the...

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Colin Packham
Mar 16
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Thousands to rally outside Australian parliament as pressure grows on PM

Thousands to rally outside Australian parliament as pressure grows on PM

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Australia’s capital on Monday when the country’s parliament resumes as part of nationwide demonstrations, intensifying pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison.Spurred by rape allegations against Attorney-General Christian Porter and a former employee of Morrison’s Liberal party, 43 protests are planned across the country on Monday to demand equality and justice for women.Porter denies the allegation, which surfaced recently, of the alleged 1988 rape.A March4Justice rally is expected to gather several thousand...

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Colin Packham
Mar 14
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Australia asks EU to review block of AstraZeneca vaccine

Australia asks EU to review block of AstraZeneca vaccine

By , , CANBERRA/TOKYO/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Australia has asked the European Commission to review its decision to block a shipment of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, as countries importing EU-made shots fear a potential impact on supplies.The EU executive backed Italy’s decision to block a shipment of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia, European officials said, in the first refusal of an export request since a mechanism to monitor vaccine flows was established in late January.The move was a reaction to AstraZeneca’s delays in delivering vaccines to the EU. The company has...

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Colin Packham
+1
Mar 5
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Australia's antitrust chief claims victory after Facebook standoff

Australia's antitrust chief claims victory after Facebook standoff

By , CANBERRA (Reuters) - The architect of Australia’s laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay media companies for content claimed victory on Wednesday, though critics said last-minute changes to appease Facebook favoured Big Tech over smaller news outlets.After tense negotiations prompted Facebook to cut off news in the country last week, Australia offered a host of technical concessions and the social media giant said it would restore news as the revamped bill looked set to become law this week.While Facebook said its concerns had been met and opposition lawmakers warned that smaller...

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Colin Packham
Feb 24
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Facebook 'refriends' Australia after changes to media laws

Facebook 'refriends' Australia after changes to media laws

By , CANBERRA (Reuters) - Facebook said on Tuesday it will restore Australian news pages after negotiating changes with the government to a proposed law that forces tech giants to pay for media content displayed on their platforms.Australia and the social media group have been locked in a standoff for more than a week after the government introduced legislation that challenged Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google’s dominance in the news content market.Facebook last week blocked Australian users from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform, drawing criticism from...

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Colin Packham
Feb 23
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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency...

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Colin Packham
Feb 22
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Australia urges calm over AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after South Africa suspends use

Australia urges calm over AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after South Africa suspends use

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia on Monday moved to reassure its citizens over the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after South Africa suspended use of the shot because data showed it offered limited protection against a new strain of the virus.Slideshow Citing data that showed the AstraZeneca vaccine reduced mild-to-moderate COVID-19 by 22%, South Africa said on Sunday it would put on hold the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.But Australia’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the vaccine is effective in its primary objective.“There is currently no evidence to indicate a...

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Colin Packham
Feb 8
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Google opens paid-for Australia news platform in drive to undercut Canberra's content payment law

Google opens paid-for Australia news platform in drive to undercut Canberra's content payment law

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Tech giant Google on Friday launched a platform in Australia offering news it has paid for, striking its own content deals with publishers in a drive to show legislation proposed by Canberra to enforce payments, a world first, is unnecessary.Only rolled out previously in Brazil and Germany, the News Showcase platform was originally slated for launch last June. But Alphabet Inc-owned Google delayed plans when Canberra moved to make it a legal requirement for Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for content, unprecedented anywhere else in the world.The...

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Colin Packham
Feb 5
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Australia says Indonesia must ensure cleric is not a threat after release

Australia says Indonesia must ensure cleric is not a threat after release

By CANBERRA (Reuters) - Indonesia must ensure a radical cleric and suspected mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings does not incite more violence when he is released from jail this week, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said on Tuesday.Abu Bakar Bashir was jailed in 2011 for links to militant training camps in the Indonesian province of Aceh. He is considered the spiritual leader of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah (JI) network, which was accused of orchestrating the bombings of nightclubs on the holiday island of Bali.“Our embassy in Jakarta has made clear our concerns...

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Colin Packham
Jan 5
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UN irks Australia by recommending that Great Barrier Reef be listed 'in danger'

UN irks Australia by recommending that Great Barrier Reef be listed 'in danger'

Welcome to the Reuters.com BETA. Read our Editor's note on how we're helping professionals make smart decisions.CANBERRA, June 22 (Reuters) - The Great Barrier Reef should be added to a list of World Heritage Sites that are "in danger", a United Nations panel said on Tuesday, drawing an angry response from Australia, which called the recommendation politically motivated.Australia has lobbied furiously for years to stay off the endangered list as it could lead to the world's biggest coral reef ecosystem losing the U.N. heritage status, taking some of the shine off its attraction for...

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Colin Packham
Jun 22
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