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Aussies Cut Benefits for Anti-Vax Parents

New rules nixing childcare payments take effect Jan. 1

(Newser) - Parents in Australia who don't have their children immunized by Jan. 1 will soon find themselves embroiled in what the country calls its "no jab, no pay" laws—meaning if they don't take their kids for vaccinations by then, they'll lose childcare benefits, rebates, and a... More »

Australia Blocks Huge China Land Buy

1.3% of nation's land mass had been up for sale

(Newser) - To the dismay of Australia's biggest private landowner, the government has decided that the sale of an area the size of Kentucky to Chinese investors is not in the national interest. The Australian government has blocked the $350 million sale of parcels of land totaling almost 40,000 square... More »

Why Australians Talk Funny: Drunk Forefathers?

Professor makes his case

(Newser) - A communications professor in Australia has caused quite a stir Down Under with a public complaint that almost everyone there talks like drunks. In tracing the origins of the Australian accent in the Age , Dean Frenkel of Victoria University describes its Aboriginal, English, Irish, and German roots. So far, so... More »

Simpsons Joke Inspires Man's Drive to Rename Aussie Money

'Millions of people around the world' will want some of this funny money: petitioner

(Newser) - Malcolm Turnbull has been Australia's prime minister for just over a month, but he's already got a tall order before him. "If the leaders of this great nation have any common sense at all, they will introduce legislation to parliament to change the name of our currency... More »

Australia, Celebs Battle Over Future of Murderous Feral Cats

'This animal genocide is inhumane and ridiculous'

(Newser) - The lesser bilby. The crescent nailtail wallaby. The desert bandicoot. The large-eared hopping mouse. These are just four of the adorably named animal species that are now extinct thanks largely to the approximately 20 million feral cats currently populating Australia, the New York Times reports. This week, the Australian government... More »

Camel Hunter Lost in Outback Survived on Ants

Reg Foggerdy found 'extremely dehydrated' after 6 days in desert

(Newser) - Police searching for a 62-year-old man who disappeared in Australia's Outback on Wednesday say the grandfather has miraculously been found alive. Reg Foggerdy had been last seen near a campsite on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia while on a hunting trip with his brother,... More »

15-Year-Old Terrorist in UK Gets Life Sentence

But British teen will have the chance of parole in 5 years

(Newser) - A 15-year-old British boy was sentenced Friday to at least five years in custody for organizing a terrorist plot to kill police officers in Australia. Judge John Saunders said the teenager, who can't be named because of his age, would be released only when he was no longer a... More »

One Nation Now Offering Abortions by Phone

Foundation in Australia lets women call in for a kit

(Newser) - Women in one country will soon be getting abortions by phone, with no need to see a pharmacist or a doctor. Their only outside visits will be to medical clinics for ultrasounds and blood tests, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Tabbot Foundation in Australia is offering to assess women... More »

Chris Brown Might Not Be Allowed Down Under

'You are not of the character that we expect,' says minister

(Newser) - Chris Brown has had his fair share of travel troubles. In July, he was stranded in the Philippines for three days over a contract dispute. Before that, he was barred from entering both Canada and the UK . Now, Australia may follow the lead of its Commonwealth partners and refuse to... More »

Ousted Aussie Leader Blames 'Treachery'

Malcolm Turnbull has been officially sworn in as prime minister

(Newser) - Australia has a new prime minister, but only due to backstabbing and "treachery," according to the man who's been thrown from the top job . In a final statement that boasted "a fair amount of anger," per the Telegraph , outgoing PM Tony Abbott attacked "a... More »

Want Satisfaction? Have at Least 4 Children

Parents with big families report being happiest

(Newser) - Parents with lots of kids running around doing God knows what, be thankful—you're the lucky ones. According to a new study in Australia, parents with at least four children get the most satisfaction out of life despite the chaos and higher expenses, the Daily Signal reports. "With... More »

Why Australians Are Putting Onions Outside

So long, Prime Minister Tony Abbott

(Newser) - This is no trick about keeping veggies fresher: Australians are putting their onions outside—and snapping photos of them—to pay tribute to their prime minister, who will soon be prime minister no longer. Tony Abbott, who ousted Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull in 2009, has now been ousted by... More »

Unsheared Sheep So Wooly He Nearly Died

Overgrown Aussie sheep wouldn't have survived summer

(Newser) - It was the most massively overgrown sheep anybody had ever seen—and the biggest challenge of Ian Elkins' career. When animal authorities in Canberra found and rescued the wandering sheep, they called for help and the four-time Australian Shearing Championship winner answered, the Guardian reports. Elkins says he sheared a... More »

Scientists Discover Incredible Coral Reef

In Australia, it rivals that nation's Great Barrier Reef

(Newser) - Australia already has at least one of the natural wonders of the world in the Great Barrier Reef, but it may have just added another one more than 300 feet under the sea on the other side of the continent, Mashable reports. According to a Parks Victoria announcement yesterday, scientists... More »

Sandy SOS Saves Hapless Brit From Aussie Outback

Geoff Keys feels 'stupid but lucky' after ordeal

(Newser) - The message in the sand—"HELP 2807," followed by an arrow pointing—was brief, but it was enough to get a lost British tourist rescued from Jardine National Park in Queensland, Australia, last month. After Geoff Keys, 63, took a wrong turn, he spent two days in the... More »

Man, 91, May Have Become an Unwitting Drug Mule

Online 'friends' gave him soap filled with drugs before flight, say police

(Newser) - A 91-year-old retired surgeon has been charged with importing cocaine hidden in soap into Australia, prompting police to warn travelers to beware they are not tricked into becoming drug mules. Victor Twartz of Sydney was released on bail when he appeared in Sydney's Downing Center Local Court, charged with... More »

'Precursor to Misery:' Aussie Pol Wants Vegemite Crackdown

Minister says Vegemite is being used to make moonshine in some communities

(Newser) - In news that may prompt reanalysis of Men at Work lyrics , an Australian politician is trying to crack down on Vegemite, which the Washington Post calls "the beloved breakfast spread with an aftertaste of sadness." Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion wants to restrict access to Vegemite because aboriginal... More »

France Clashes With Malaysia: What New Plane Debris?

Conflicting information from France, Malaysia, Australia brings confusion

(Newser) - France and Malaysia are butting heads over the Reunion Island debris thought to be linked to MH370 as the French government kicks off a new search for items using a military plane, helicopter, boats, and people on the ground. In addition to a wing piece Malaysia says is definitely from... More »

Cops Hunt Runaway Groom Who Skipped Bail

Man becomes husband and fugitive in same weekend

(Newser) - Police, and likely an angry wife, are looking for an Australian man who jumped bail last week. Murat Shomshe was released from Port Phillip Prison in Victoria to attend his wedding July 25, then sneaked out of his house two days later, reports the Herald Sun . The 33-year-old was incarcerated... More »

Bones Found in Australia Not Madeleine McCann's

She has been 'totally excluded as a potential victim'

(Newser) - Australian authorities had set expectations low regarding the possibility that bones recently found in South Australia belonged to Madeleine McCann. They're now at zero. "Madeleine McCann has been totally excluded as a potential victim," said Detective Superintendent Des Bray today, per NBC News . The BBC reports police... More »

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