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October, 24, 2016

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Asia > Australia
Oz prime minister makes July 2 election official
Australia's prime minister on Sunday officially called a July 2 election and put economic management at the forefront of his campaign to win a second three-year term for his conservative coalition during an era of extraordinary volatility in the country's politics.
Australia said Friday it had offered compensation to Save the Children staff after "regretting" relying on allegations the charity had encouraged asylum seekers held on the Pacific island of Nauru to harm themselves.
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright, the man who came forward this week as bitcoin's founder, is backtracking. He wrote in a blog post that he does not "have the courage" to publish additional proof, as promised, that he is the elusive creator of the internet currency.
Australia's current government will never sell its largest cattle empire to foreigners, the treasurer said on Wednesday after blocking a takeover by a Chinese-led consortium.
Refugee sets herself alight at Australia's Nauru camp
A refugee who set herself on fire on the Pacific island of Nauru after being sent there by Australia was in a critical condition Tuesday, just days after an Iranian man died in a similar act of self-harm.
Large parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef could be dead within 20 years as climate change drives mass coral bleaching, scientists warned Friday.
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A major earthquake hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu early Friday, briefly prompting a tsunami warning that was cancelled after locals reported no significant damage.
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An Iranian refugee who set himself on fire during a visit by the United Nations to Nauru has died, officials said Friday, with advocates blaming his "senseless death" on Australia's hard-line immigration policy.
An Australian woman working for a charity in Afghanistan has been kidnapped, the country's foreign minister said Friday.
Australia marked 20 years since its last mass shooting Thursday as campaigners warned its gun laws, which were severely tightened after the massacre, are being eroded.
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