Australia

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Death of Diver Led Cops to Staggering Cocaine Haul

Australian police fear drugs from total shipment worth $84M have already reached the public

(Newser) - The death of a diver on the side of a coastal river in Australia led authorities to at least 220 pounds of cocaine—and that's apparently just the tip of the white powder iceberg. A man in high-end diving equipment was found unconscious near the Hunter River in Newcastle,...

'I Pushed a Bloke. He Went Over the Edge'

Australian court hears confession in 1988 murder of American Scott Johnson

(Newser) - A man told police he killed American mathematician Scott Johnson in 1988 by pushing the 27-year-old off a Sydney cliff in what prosecutors describe as a gay hate crime, a court heard on Monday. Scott White, 51, appeared in the New South Wales state Supreme Court for a sentencing hearing...

Qantas Announces Big Move Against 'Tyranny of Distance'

Airline will offer direct flights from Sydney to London, New York starting in 2025

(Newser) - The journey from Sydney to London once took nearly 60 hours and consisted of seven stops along the way. Now, an update from Qantas on that front, via what it calls its "Project Sunrise." Australia's flagship airline announced Monday that in 2025 it will debut a nonstop...

On Endangered Koalas, Scientists Hit on 'Way to Bring Them Back'

Freezing koala sperm would require fewer koalas in captivity, improve genetic diversity: report

(Newser) - Two months after Australia declared koalas as endangered across much of the country's east coast, researchers are hoping to stock up on frozen koala sperm. Scientists at the University of Newcastle in the southeastern state of New South Wales have proposed the creation of a lab to store that...

'Catch Me if You Can,' Australian Style

Jody Harris was bold and brazen, but ultimately undone by love

(Newser) - Alysha Searle, “an underslept, overcaffeinated barista,” was pulled over during her commute on Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway in 2006. The female officer berated Searle for running a red light and demanded to see her license. A moment later, the officer got an emergency call and told Searle to...

At Great Barrier Reef, a 'Heart-Breaking' Scene

4th mass bleaching event in 6 years is confirmed

(Newser) - The Great Barrier Reef, thought to have been in recovery after three mass coral bleaching events in quick succession, has been devastated for a fourth time in six years. The Marine Park Authority has confirmed a new mass bleaching event through aerial surveys of 750 separate reefs across the 1,...

'Island Within an Island' Ends 696-Day Border Closure

Western Australia is welcoming visitors again

(Newser) - Australia is now fully open to vaccinated travelers. On Thursday, Western Australia became the last state to lift border restrictions. The state, which covers one third of the nation’s land area, closed its borders to most international and interstate travelers on April 5, 2020, to slow the spread of...

Elderly Sweethearts Sought in Manhunt Die 48 Hours Apart

Ralph 'Terry' Gibbs said he abducted his sweetheart from nursing home out of love

(Newser) - An elderly couple's love story, which included an escape from a nursing home and a mad dash across Australia, has come to a sad end—and not just with a conviction for unlawfully detaining a mentally ill person. Ralph "Terry" Gibbs, 80, pleaded guilty to deprivation of liberty...

Australia Accuses China of 'Bullying' at Sea

Chinese warship shone a laser at Australian military pilot

(Newser) - Australia and China are sniping at each other over an incident at sea. Australian authorities say a Chinese warship shone a military-grade laser at an Australian military jet, reports Reuters . But China says it was the Australian pilot who was in the wrong during the incident, which took place last...

Australia Busts Out Toy Koalas, Welcomes Back Tourists

After a 2-year hiatus, fully vaccinated travelers are now welcome

(Newser) - International tourists and business travelers began arriving in Australia with few restrictions on Monday, bringing together families in tearful reunions after separations of two years or longer forced by some of the most draconian pandemic measures of any democracy in the world, reports the AP . Australia closed its borders to...

'Human Remains' in Water After Sydney Shark Attack
Victim of Brutal
Shark Attack
Is Identified
UPDATED

Victim of Brutal Shark Attack Is Identified

It was the first fatal attack in Sydney, Australia, since 1963

(Newser) - Update: The victim of Sydney's first fatal shark attack in nearly 60 years has been identified as 35-year-old diving instructor Simon Nellist. ABC notes Nellist's "social media is filled with underwater pictures, showing him as an avid ocean lover." It's thought Nellist, who the BBC...

Koalas Now Endangered After 'Shockingly Fast Decline'

Conservationists say they could end up extinct if habitat loss continues

(Newser) - One of Australia's most iconic animals is now an endangered species in much of its range. The country's federal government has declared the koala endangered in New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory after a steep decline in numbers. The marsupial was declared vulnerable in those...

Captain Cook's Legendary Ship May Be Found

Researchers bicker over confirmation of wreck off Rhode Island

(Newser) - The long-lost Endeavour, which Capt. James Cook used to sail the South Pacific while claiming New Zealand and Australia for Great Britain in 1770, has reportedly been found. Kevin Sumption, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, announced Thursday that "the final resting place of one of the most...

This 90-Year-Old Fish Likes Belly Rubs

Australian lungfish Methuselah is believed to be world's oldest aquarium fish

(Newser) - Meet Methuselah, the fish that likes to eat fresh figs, get belly rubs, and is believed to be the oldest living aquarium fish in the world. In the Bible, Methuselah was Noah's grandfather and was said to have lived to be 969 years old. Methuselah the fish isn't...

Aussie PM's Idea Involving Kids, Forklifts Doesn't Go Over Well

Scott Morrison has nixed the proposal to alleviate labor shortage after backlash

(Newser) - In the US, we've got teens driving big rigs . On the other side of the world, the Australian government briefly mulled having more teens do their part by operating forklifts—a suggestion that's since been walked back after backlash from local leaders. Per ABC Australia , Prime Minister Scott...

He Plunged From Cliff in 1988. 34 Years Later, an Admission

Australia's Scott White confesses in court to killing American Scott Johnson

(Newser) - Update: An Australian man has admitted to murdering an American mathematician who fell to his death from a cliff in Sydney in 1988, reports the AP . Scott White admitted in court that he killed Scott Johnson, whose death was initially ruled a suicide. The 27-year-old Johnson was gay, and prosecutors...

Judges Reveal Reasons for Djokovic's Deportation

They backed idea that 'he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment'

(Newser) - Amid uproar in Serbia , the three Australian judges who allowed Novak Djokovic to be deported from the country on the eve of the Australian Open are now sharing their reasoning: Essentially, they backed the idea that the presence of the top-ranked men's tennis player, unvaccinated against COVID-19, would set...

Djokovic: Yes, I Tested Positive, Then Went to Interview

He admits not isolating was an 'error'

(Newser) - Novak Djokovic knew he'd tested positive for COVID-19 when he attended a newspaper interview and photo shoot in Serbia last month, saying Wednesday he made an "error of judgment" and should have immediately gone into isolation. In a statement posted to his social media accounts regarding "continuing...

Judge Makes Decision in Novak Djokovic Case
Novak Djokovic Runs
Into Another Problem
UPDATED

Novak Djokovic Runs Into Another Problem

Tennis star may have submitted false information on travel declaration before entering Australia

(Newser) - Update: The Novak Djokovic saga continues. Australian officials are now investigating whether the tennis star submitted a bogus travel declaration before entering the country. Djokovic declared he hadn't traveled in the 14 days prior to arriving in Australia, but social media posts suggest he was in Spain and Serbia...

New Details Emerge in Djokovic's Detention Case

Serbian tennis star, facing deportation in Australia, had COVID last month, lawyers say in court filing

(Newser) - The mystery of whether or not Novak Djokovic has actually received the coronavirus vaccine has now been cleared up, and we now also know more about his experiences with COVID. On Saturday, his lawyers submitted court documents that revealed the 34-year-old Serbian tennis star had had COVID in December and...

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