Australia & Pacifics

Qantas completes longest non-stop New York-Sydney flight

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s Qantas on Sunday completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York to Sydney, which was used to run a series of tests to assess the effects of ultra long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetlag.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney early Sunday morning after a flight of 19 hours and 16 minutes — the world’s longest.

New Zealand introduces armed patrols after Christchurch mosque terror

WELLINGTON, Oct 18 (NNN-AGENCIES) — New Zealand police on Friday announced the introduction of armed patrols in response to the Christchurch mosques massacre in which 51 Muslim worshippers were killed.

The force prides itself on operating largely as an unarmed service, but Commissioner Mike Bush said changes needed to be implemented after the worst mass shooting in modern New Zealand history in March.

Australia wants trade deals with Hong Kong, Indonesia, Peru

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia wants bilateral free trade deals with Hong Kong, Indonesia and Peru to take effect early next year, the trade minister said Wednesday, adding that the Hong Kong treaty supports its unique status within China.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham introduced legislation into Parliament that would lead to Australia ratifying the three trade treaties.

Australia, Fiji to deploy peacekeeping troops to Middle East

CANBERRA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Australia and Fiji will send troops to the Middle East on a peacekeeping mission within weeks.

According to The Australian on Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that the troops will be deployed to the Golan Heights.

Morrison made the announcement while watching the PM's XIII rugby league match in Fiji, where he arrived for a two-day official visit on Friday.

Australia, Fiji To Deploy Peacekeeping Troops To Middle East

CANBERRA, Oct 12 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Australia and Fiji will send troops to the Middle East on a peacekeeping mission within weeks.

According to The Australian on Saturday, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, revealed that the troops will be deployed to the Golan Heights.

Morrison made the announcement while watching the PM’s XIII rugby league match in Fiji, where he arrived for a two-day official visit on Friday.

Iran releases two Australian citizens

6 Oct 2019; MEMO: Two Australian-British travel bloggers are released from an Iranian prison on Saturday after three months of arrest over flying drone without permit in the capital Tehran, reports Anadolu Agency.

All charges against the social media phenomenons, Mark Firkin and Jolie King, have been dropped, according to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Saturday.

Australia denies extradition of Iranian academic to U.S.

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia will not extradite an Iranian academic to the United States, Australia’s attorney-general said over the weekend, following a 13-month detention of the researcher for allegedly exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the academic, Reza Dehbashi Kivi, should not be extradited.

Medical data breach puts details of a million New Zealanders at risk

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Nearly a million New Zealanders face the risk that their medical data has been accessed illegally after a cyber attack on the website of Tū Ora Compass Health, the company said on Saturday.

The website was hacked in August, but investigations also uncovered previous attacks dating from 2016 to March 2019, the health firm, which collects and analyses patient information from medical centers, said in a statement.

Australian couple released in Iran after 3 months

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Australian foreign minister said Saturday an Australian-British blogger and her fiancé were released in Iran after three months of detention.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that the couple, Jolie King and Mark Firkin, were on their way home and in “good health and in good spirits.”

She said all charges against them had been dropped.

“For Jolie and for Mark, the ordeal they have been through is now over, they are being reunited with their loved ones, which is a source of great relief and joy to everyone,” Payne said.

Killer Japanese fungus found in Australia

3 October 2019; AFP: One of the world's deadliest fungi has been discovered in Australia's far north for the first time -- thousands of miles from its native habitat in the mountains of Japan and Korea.

The Poison Fire Coral fungus was discovered in a suburb of Cairns by a local photographer and subsequently identified by scientists, James Cook University announced Thursday.

Subscribe to Australia & Pacifics