Australia

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s Fairfax Media reports that China and Vanuatu are in preliminary discussions on a Chinese military base in the South Pacific. Like several other island nations, Vanuatu receives millions in loans from China and Beijing may now want a payback. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

World Cricket / Flickr

Major League Baseball is underway with a new season, but another game with bats and balls has captured attention around the Asia-Pacific. A cricket scandal involving Australia’s national team is the topic of news and social media from Sydney to New Delhi. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Newtown grafitti / Flickr

New figures out this week show that homelessness is a growing problem in Australia. The latest information shows the country’s homeless population has jumped by about 14-percent in the five years leading up to the latest survey. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jarod Hodge / U.S. Navy

On Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party announced that presidents will no longer be limited to two terms, clearing the way for Xi Jinping to remain in office for the foreseeable future. The news comes as the U.S. and its Indo-Pacific allies reconsider an old idea – an informal alliance called the "Quad."  We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Luke Brindley / Wikimedia Commons

Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Track is open again, after local landowners ended a protest that closed the famous trail for three weeks. According to RNZ Pacific, the government agreed to review the joint aid program with Australia, which manages the track. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Cory Doctorow / Flickr

The Prime Minister of Australia is in Washington today and meeting with President Trump. While the topic of mass shootings and guns continue to dominate news in the U.S., Australia has had a very different experience. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

The Prime Minister of Australia is heading to the United States next week. Malcolm Turnbull is scheduled to meet President Trump at the White House a week from today. But the prime minister’s coalition government has been hit with a public fight over a personal matter. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Kolmel / U.S. Navy

The long-rumored nomination of Admiral Harry Harris as the next U.S. Ambassador to Australia is now official. Admiral Harris is about to retire after three years as the head of U.S. Pacific Command where he became known for criticism of China’s military expansion into the South China Sea. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Jakob Montrasio / Flickr

China is changing its recycling policy, and the impacts are being felt all around the world. That includes Hawai‘i because some shipments of recycled material that used to go to China will no longer be accepted. But China’s new policy is already having an immediate effect in a number of places—including Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

58 refugees from Manus Island in Papua New Guinea are on their way to new homes in the United States. The men have been held in Australian-run detention camps, many for more than four years. Another group of 154 men, women and children are expected to follow in February from Australia’s other-off shore camp in Nauru. We have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Sarah_Ackerman / Wikimedia Commons
Sarah_Ackerman / Wikimedia Commons

The government of Australia plans to spend nearly 50 million U.S. dollars over the next year and a half to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef. But most of the spending is going off-shore. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The diplomatic dispute between Australia and China continues to seethe. This week, an Australian minister said that Beijing is trying to win influence in the Pacific with loans to build useless buildings and roads to nowhere. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Broesis / Pixabay
Broesis / Pixabay

While temperatures remain frigid across much of the mainland United States this week, it’s another story entirely in many parts of the Asia Pacific. That includes Australia—where some cities are seeing their hottest temperatures in decades. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

One of the world’s biggest mining companies may pull out of several industry lobbying groups. The issue is a difference in approach to climate change. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Israel Defense Forces / Flickr
Israel Defense Forces / Flickr

More details have emerged about the Korean-born man arrested over the weekend in Australia. While Choi Han Chan faces charges that he tried to sell missile parts for North Korea, he’s also been described as a nice, polite hospital cleaner from a suburb of Sydney. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

QuinceMedia / Pixabay
QuinceMedia / Pixabay

Last week, we reported on the controversy in Australia over Chinese influence on politics there. Further details on the extent of that influence emerged yesterday when a senator once considered a rising star of the Australian Labor Party resigned over his ties to a Chinese-born billionaire. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Australian government introduced a series of bills this week, designed to prevent foreign interference in politics. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cited “disturbing reports about Chinese influence,” but also said the measures are not directed at any one country. As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, China is not buying that.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Six months of chaos over dual nationality comes to a head in Australia this week. After several senators and MPs were disqualified for office under an obscure law, all of them have to file proof of citizenship this week. But, as we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, confusion is likely to persist for some time.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Australia has produced a foreign policy “white paper,” laying out policy priorities for the government. And while it doesn’t mention the U.S. president by name, his thinking was clearly an influence. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Australia appears to be on its way to becoming the next country to officially recognize same-sex marriage. That follows the results of a nationwide vote spread out over two months. But the process is still not over. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

As you may have heard, the indigenous council that manages Uluru has voted to ban climbing on Australia’s most iconic rock, starting in 2019. The sandstone butte, also known as Ayers Rock, is sacred to the Anangu people.

But that milestone for Australia’s indigenous peoples comes just after the government in Canberra rejected a proposal that emerged from an historic gathering of community leaders at Uluru last May. We have more from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Voters in Australia are surprising a lot of so-called “political experts.” Over the past several weeks, a voluntary nationwide ballot has been underway on legalizing same sex marriage. And it’s already produced some unexpected results. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Utility companies around the world are trying to manage a transition to more use of renewable energy. But they are moving at different speeds, and sometimes with different goals. Under a law passed a couple of years ago, the state of Hawai‘i is committed to 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2045. In Australia, the policy debate has taken a different turn. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s detention center on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is set to close at the end of this month, but most of the refugees there refuse to leave. Now Canberra is offering an alternative - the detention center in Nauru. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

More than 6,200 electric vehicles are now registered in the state of Hawai‘i—up from about 4,000 in early 2016. That’s according to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which tracks the numbers.  While the use of electric cars is growing in the Aloha State, a different kind of alternative energy vehicle is in focus this week down under. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Limbo has finally ended for at least some of the refugees held in Australia’s offshore detention camps. The State Department announced that 54 have been cleared for relocation to the United States and could arrive as soon the end of this week. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

A national vote is getting underway this week in Australia. Ballots have gone out by mail in a campaign that will last nearly two months. The results will not be binding, but might lead to another vote. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The American south is not the only location where statues are the focus of controversy. Here in Hawai‘i, some activists are re-launching a petition to change the name of McKinley High School, and remove the statue of President William McKinley from its lawn. In Australia, another statue is drawing attention—one with links to Hawai‘i. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Last month, when two members of the Australian Greens (Greens, plural, is correct) Party resigned because they suddenly learned that they held dual citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce declared that “Ignorance is no excuse.” But now Joyce himself has been caught up in the controversy and the ruling coalition’s razor thin majority in parliament is at risk…we have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Simple Wikipedia
Simple Wikipedia

More than two dozen countries around the world recognize marriage between members of the same sex. Australia appears to be moving in that direction, but there are some twists and turns along the way. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

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