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Australian PM 'very confident' signals are from MH370

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday he was "very confident" that signals detected in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 were from the aircraft's black box. "We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box," Abbott said from China. Australia has been leading the search for the Boeing 777 aircraft, which went missing on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, ever since the operation was moved to the Indian Ocean.

'Increasing hope' of solving MH370 mystery: Australian PM

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott voiced increasing hope Sunday of discovering the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the 239 people on board after unidentified debris was sighted in the search zone. "It's still too early to be definite, but obviously we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope -- no more than hope, no more than hope -- that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft," Abbott said.

No sign missing Malaysia plane neared Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday said he had no information that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have come close to Australia, but conceded the incident was "deeply mysterious". The Malaysian government has revealed the investigation into the missing jet indicates it was deliberately diverted and flew for several hours after leaving its scheduled flight path -- either north towards Central Asia, or towards the southern Indian Ocean.

Australian government takes step toward relaxing foreign ownership restrictions on Qantas

CANBERRA, Australia - The Australian government took a step toward relaxing foreign ownership restrictions on Qantas Airways on Thursday by passing legislation through parliament's lower house. But the opposition Labor Party and Greens party plan to use their majority in the Senate to keep the national carrier in Australian ownership.

Australia says spying 'for the benefit of our friends'

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday his government used intelligence material "for the benefit of our friends" and "to uphold our values" following fresh reports it spied on Indonesia. Relations between the neighbours plunged to their lowest ebb in years in November after reports that Australia tried to tap the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009.

Australia ex-PM Gillard to lead schooling-for-poor group

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was named Monday chair of the Global Partnership for Education, which fights to bring education to the world's poorest children. Gillard, prime minister from 2010 to 2013 and before that Australia's education minister, takes on the job at a time when the GPE is seeking to replenish its funding from governments, businesses and civil society groups that back its mission.

Australian PM unmoved by fresh refugee abuse claims

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was unmoved by new reports Friday of asylum-seeker abuse and claims a group was turned back to Indonesia in a lifeboat, saying his harsh policies were "working". He rebuffed suggestions the military should release official video of their "Operation Sovereign Borders" missions after an asylum-seeker told Fairfax Media three men on his boat allegedly had their hands held against hot engine pipes by navy personnel to punish them for protesting.

Australia denies asylum-seeker harm as boats turned back

Australia on Friday denied fresh claims of asylum-seeker abuse by its navy as "completely unsubstantiated" while confirming for the first time that it was turning boats back to Indonesia. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison broke with months of secrecy over the government's military-led Operation Sovereign Borders people-smuggling crackdown to concede that boats were being turned around.

Australian minister turns on PM over ABC attack

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Thursday came under pressure from his own communications minister over his criticism of the national broadcaster, with Malcolm Turnbull saying the ABC must not be accountable to politicians. Abbott on Wednesday accused the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of being unpatriotic by taking "everyone's side but Australia's" in its coverage of asylum-seekers and the leaks by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden.

Australia PM blasts national broadcaster as unpatriotic

Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a scathing attack on national broadcaster ABC on Wednesday, accusing it of taking "everyone's side but Australia's" in coverage of asylum-seekers and the Edward Snowden leaks. His comments follow government criticism of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late last year after it broke a story about Australian spying on Indonesia, which sparked a major diplomatic crisis.
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