Australia

Cardinal Pell granted final chance to challenge sexual abuse convictions

Pell was granted leave to appeal the verdict in the High Court of Australia.

The ex-Vatican treasurer, 78, is currently serving a six-year jail term for abusing two boys in a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.

He lost his first challenge against his convictions in August and has consistently maintained his innocence.

Pell is the most high-ranking Catholic official in the world to be convicted of child sexual abuse.

Australian bushfires reach Sydney's suburbs

Scores of fires are still burning in New South Wales amid temperatures of 35C (95F) and winds of 80km/h (50mph).

A feared southerly wind change has now occurred but the "catastrophic" day feared has largely been avoided.

No deaths were reported on Tuesday but fire chiefs warned that conditions meant the dangers facing the state were far from over.

About six million people live in New South Wales (NSW) state.

The number of fires still afflicting NSW ranged from 100 to 300 in Australian media reports.

Australian states declare state of emergency over 'catastrophic' threat from bushfires

At least three people are dead and thousands have been displaced by three days of dangerous weather conditions in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland.

But officials say the worst danger will come on Tuesday for areas around Sydney, the nation's largest city.

More than 120 bushfires are burning across the two states.

In NSW, the blazes have scorched 970,000 hectares of land and destroyed 150 houses. Nine homes have been razed in Queensland.

Australia eases kava restrictions

The announcement of a kava pilot programme was made as Australia's prime minister, Scott Morrison, visited Fiji on Friday.

Mr Morrison said the amount of kava that can be imported for personal consumption will be doubled from two to four kilograms by the end of the year.

A pilot programme for commercial kava imports will also be implemented by the end of 2020.

 

     

Ponga, Moses named for WC Nines

The Newcastle Knights' Ponga and Parramatta Eels' Moses are yet to represent Australia, but are set to play their parts in Sydney on October 18-19.

Moses' Eels team-mate Clint Gutherson and the Brisbane Broncos' David Fifita are also part of the squad.

Australia head coach Mal Meninga is excited by the players he has at his disposal for the tournament.

Congrats to Eels Clint Gutherson, Mitch Moses and Nathan Brown who have been named in Australia’s Nines squad!

Australian supermarket shoppers brawl over milk formula

Tins of formula have become objects of desire among enterprising amateur salespeople keen to get into China's black market for safe baby formula. 

The melamine scandal of 2008, in which six babies died after being fed formula that contained a dangerous chemical, created lingering mistrust in Chinese baby products.

International brands can sell for twice as much as local Chinese formula. It's become a lucrative business for many living in the West, bulk-buying tins and selling them for a mark-up. 

Australia reach semi-finals

The Boomers sealed a sixth consecutive victory in the tournament to make history at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center on Wednesday.

Australia took charge in the third quarter, outscoring the Czechs by 30 points to 18 to seize control and went on to set up a last-four showdown with Spain in Beijing on Friday.

Mills, Chris Goulding and Andrew Bogut played key roles for Andrej Lemanis' side, scoring 48 points between them to ensure a brilliant performance from Tomas Satoransky was in vain.

Australia confident despite Headingley defeat, insists Khawaja

Ben Stokes' inspired display kept the five-Test series alive as hosts England amassed their highest ever fourth-innings run chase in Leeds, where the hosts prevailed by one wicket last week.

Australia, however, will be able to welcome talisman Steve Smith back to the fold for the Old Trafford Test after the star batsman missed the Headingley clash due to a concussion sustained at Lord's.

Smith will play a three-day tour match against Derbyshire, with Khawaja captaining an Australia side which also includes Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft and Marnus Labuschagne.

Diamonds beat Silver Ferns in cliffhanger

Australia have dominated New Zealand in recent times, winning seven of eight clashes since the start of 2018.

But the Silver Ferns are a new-look unit and refused to give up after being down by as many as nine goals at one point.

Coach Noeline Taurua started with her strongest line-up, with Maria Folau at GS and Ameliaranne Ekenasio at GA.

It was fairly evenly poised early on but the Diamonds ended the first quarter with a burst, leading 13-10 at the first break.

Australia sets new record in men’s 400 metres

Australia’s Steven Solomon has broken a 22-year-old Pacific Games record in the men’s 400 metres after he came first with a time of 45.62seconds.

The previous record of 46.42 was set by Fiji’s, Koloveni Koroi back in 1997.

Papua New Guinea’s Daniel Baul came second in 47.31 and team mate Benjamin Aliel finished third in 47.63.

PNG continued to be favourites after Toea Wisil sprinted to her 13th Pacific Games gold medal.

The newly crowned 100m champion, who first competed at the Pacific Games in Samoa in 2007, earned the women’s 400m title in 53.90.