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May, 30, 2016

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Asia > Australia
Christmas wildfire claims more than 100 homes in Australia
MELBOURNE - A bushfire which flared on Christmas Day has destroyed more than 100 homes in southern Australia, officials said Saturday, as they warned the losses could have been worse.
 
Australia police discover locked-up boy during drug raid
Australian police voiced shock Thursday after discovering an 8-year-old boy locked up in a shed with only a mattress and a bucket at an elaborate underground drug-growing compound.
 
The Australian government on Wednesday caved in and granted visas to the mother and brother of a dying Pakistani man after being accused of "a callous decision" condemning him to a lonely death.
 
Australia's federal government formally approved a plan on Tuesday to dredge vast swathes of seabed sediment from an area near the Great Barrier Reef as part of a major coal port expansion, after rejecting arguments by environmentalists that it will hurt the area's fragile ecosystem.
 
An Australian surfer had a close encounter with a shark off Sydney's Bondi Beach on Tuesday when it jumped onto his board, giving him a huge fright in a near-miss witnessed by lifeguards.
 
A man accused of killing a woman whose bones were found in a forest was charged on Tuesday with the slaying of the woman's 2-year-old daughter, whose body was discovered dumped in a suitcase 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) away from her mother's remains.
 
A Melbourne teenager alleged to have bomb-making materials pleaded guilty Monday to preparing for a terror act, reports said.
 
Mainland China's industrial production
Minor scuffles broke out between anti-Islam and anti-racism protesters as hundreds of people and police congregated at a Sydney beach Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of modern Australia's worst race riots.
 
Five people, including a 15-year-old boy, were charged Thursday in Sydney over a terror plot targeting a government building, with authorities expressing alarm at the age of those being radicalized.
 
Deposed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared Wednesday "cultures are not all equal" and the West should proclaim its superiority over Islam, sparking accusations he is trying to "Trumpify" the nation's politics.
 
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