Latest Australia government News

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2017, file photo a member of the Aboriginal community takes part in a traditional smoking ceremony that is performed as part of Australia Day celebration in Sydney. Cricket Australia has run afoul of the country's prime minister for refusing to refer to the national holiday in the marketing of three matches on Jan. 26 after a recommendation from its Indigenous advisory committee. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

Australian PM rebuffs Cricket Australia over Jan 26 plans

Jan. 21, 2021 12:53 AM EST

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Cricket Australia has run afoul of the country’s prime minister for refusing to refer to the national holiday in the marketing of three matches on Jan. 26 after a recommendation from its Indigenous advisory committee. Australia Day is held annually on Jan. 26, the...

A Sri Lankan airport worker stands next to a thermal scanner inside a terminal at the Katunayake International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Sri Lanka's tourism minister said that the airports in the country will be reopened for tourists according to health guidelines from Jan.21. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The Latest: Sri Lanka reopens tourism after 10-month closing

Jan. 20, 2021 11:56 PM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka is welcoming tourists again after keeping the doors closed to visitors for nearly 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government’s action Thursday is seen as an effort to revive the island nation’s tourism industry, which has been badly hit by the...

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2021, file image made from video, a pigeon with a blue leg band stands on a rooftop in Melbourne, Australia. A U.S. bird organization said the leg band identifying the bird as a U.S. racing pigeon was counterfeit, which may save the bird from strict Australian biosecurity policies that would call for a U.S. pigeon to be killed. (Channel 9 via AP, File)

Fake US leg band gets pigeon a reprieve in Australia

Jan. 15, 2021 7:49 AM EST

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A pigeon that Australia declared a biosecurity risk has received a reprieve after a U.S. bird organization declared its identifying leg band was fake. The band suggested the bird found in a Melbourne backyard on Dec. 26 was a racing pigeon that had left the U.S. state of Oregon,...

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack listens during question time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra on Dec. 7, 2020. Acting prime minister McCormack on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 defended his comments comparing the attack on the U.S. Capitol building with Black Lives Matter protests despite criticism from Indigenous and human rights groups. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

Australia acting PM equates Capitol attack with BLM protests

Jan. 12, 2021 1:35 AM EST

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s acting prime minister on Tuesday defended his comments comparing the attack on the U.S. Capitol building with Black Lives Matter protests despite criticism from Indigenous and human rights groups. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is acting as the...

Former Democratic Party legislators Andrew Wan, left, Lam Cheuk-ting, second left, and Helena Wong, right, attend a press conference after being released on bail in Hong Kong, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Some former Hong Kong legislators and pro-democracy activists were released on bail late Thursday, after being arrested under Hong Kong's national security law as part of Wednesday's mass arrests of 53 people. The Chinese in the background reads

Australia, US, UK, Canada criticize Hong Kong mass arrests

Jan. 10, 2021 3:14 AM EST

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The foreign ministers of Australia, the United States, Great Britain and Canada issued a joint statement Sunday expressing “serious concern” about the arrest of 55 democracy activists and supporters in Hong Kong last week. The arrests were by far the largest such...

A woman wearing mask to help protect herself from the coronavirus stands in the sun as she walks her dogs in Beijing on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. With next month's Lunar New Year travel rush looming, the government is telling people to stay put as much as possible and not travel to or from the capital Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The Latest: 2 Chinese cities urge people to stay at home

Jan. 9, 2021 12:33 AM EST

BEIJING — Chinese authorities are asking residents in two cities south of Beijing to stay home for seven days as they try to stamp out a coronavirus outbreak in which more than 300 people have tested positive in the past week. According to official notices on social media, the cities of Shijiazhuang and...

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus walk through an upscale shopping mall in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control China's most serious recent outbreak of infections. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Asia Today: China city offers cash for tip on test evaders

Jan. 8, 2021 6:40 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and its surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to...

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical staff in a protective suit prepares to take a swab from a child near a residential area in Shijiazhuang in north China's Hebei province on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Lockdown measures were being imposed in a northern Chinese province where coronavirus cases more than doubled in the region near Beijing that's due to host some events in next year's Winter Olympics. (Mu Yu/Xinhua via AP)

The Latest: China city offers rewards to root out untested

Jan. 7, 2021 11:07 PM EST

BEIJING — A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test. The offer from the government of Nangong comes as millions in the city and the surrounding province of Hebei are being tested as part of efforts to control...

Shoppers wear masks as they walk around a shopping precinct in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Masks have been made mandatory in shopping centers, on public transport, in entertainment venues such as a cinema, and fines will come into effect on Monday as the state government responds to the COVID-19 outbreak on Sydney's northern beaches, which is suspected to have also caused new cases in neighboring Victoria state. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Latest: Australia moves up vaccination start to February

Jan. 6, 2021 11:38 PM EST

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is advancing the start of its coronavirus vaccination program to mid-February, with plans to inoculate 15% of the population by late March. The government had argued there was no reason for an emergency rollout that cut short usual regulatory processes as has occurred in the...

Migrant workers and their families ride in the back of a truck as they wait to be admitted to a field hospital for COVID-19 patents, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Samut Sakhon, South of Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand reported on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, over 500 new coronavirus cases, most of them migrant workers who already were isolated, and the government said it was tightening movements of people around the country. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Asia Today: Thailand counts more virus cases, limits travel

Jan. 5, 2021 8:34 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand reported 527 new coronavirus cases, most of them migrant workers who already were isolated, and the government said it was tightening movements of people around the country. Thailand has been struggling with a sudden virus surge after months of hardly any cases of domestic...