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Australia sees long haul as hunt for MH370 goes on

There was no let-up in the air and sea search for the missing Malaysian airliner off Australia on Saturday as Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned that locating Flight MH370 would still likely take a long time. Abbott appeared to step back from his comments Friday when he voiced great confidence that signals from the black box had been detected -- his most upbeat assessment so far that triggered speculation that a breakthrough was imminent.

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.

Australia defends security deal with Japan

Closer defence ties between Japan and Australia should not raise concerns in regional superpower China, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday, after sealing a major free trade and security deal with Tokyo. Canberra and Tokyo struck the agreement Monday to enhance trade and security ties, including joint development of defence equipment, elevating the bilateral relationship to a new level.

Australia's Abbott faces tough mission on 'trifecta of trade' in Asia

By Maggie Lu Yueyang SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to finalize a free trade agreement with Japan on his forthcoming North Asia trip, but will have to walk a fine line between Tokyo and Beijing over geopolitical tensions in the region. Abbott leaves for Japan on Saturday, kicking off a tour that also includes South Korea and China. China is Australia's top export market, followed by Japan and South Korea.

Australia's Abbott faces tough mission on 'trifecta of trade' in Asia

By Maggie Lu Yueyang SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to finalize a free trade agreement with Japan on his forthcoming North Asia trip, but will have to walk a fine line between Tokyo and Beijing over geopolitical tensions in the region. Abbott leaves for Japan on Saturday, kicking off a tour that also includes South Korea and China. China is Australia's top export market, followed by Japan and South Korea.

Australia to lead southern search for MH370

Australia will take responsibility for the "southern vector" of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with 25 countries now involved in a huge operation to locate the plane, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday. The Malaysian government has revealed an investigation indicates the jet 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.

Australia falls short on Aboriginal welfare targets

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday admitted Australia has failed to meet important targets on Aboriginal welfare and vowed to work to ensure all indigenous children went through school. In delivering his first "Closing the Gap" report to parliament, which aims to improve the lives of the Aboriginal population by bridging the divide with non-indigenous Australians, Abbott said outcomes so far were mixed.

Australia falls short on Aboriginal welfare targets

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday admitted Australia has failed to meet important targets on Aboriginal life expectancy, education and employment, but insisted progress has been made in other areas. In delivering his first "Closing the Gap" report to parliament, which aims to improve the lives of the indigenous population by bridging the divide with non-indigenous Australians, Abbott said results were decidedly mixed.

Australia's Abbott vows to promote free trade as G20 chair

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott vowed on Thursday to use his country's presidency of the G20 this year to promote free trade, and called on the group of leading economies to undo protectionist measures. "I want to make this very clear: As a trading nation Australia will make the most of its G20 presidency to promote free trade," he said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos. "This year's G20 must be more than a talk fest".

Australia PM slams Sydney booze violence

A "violent binge drinking culture" has turned parts of Sydney into "almost war zones", Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday, condemning a rise in alcohol-fuelled incidents rocking Sydney. Debate has raged for weeks in Sydney about the prevalence of booze-driven violence as the city enjoys the summer festive season, with several incidents of young men being severely injured after being "king-hit" on nights out.
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