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Australian PM likens people-smuggling crackdown to war

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday likened the fight against people-smugglers to war, while defending the detention centres asylum-seekers are held in as effective and humanely run. Indonesian officials say the Australian navy has turned back at least one boat carrying asylum-seekers to its shores, although The Australian newspaper said as many as five have been secretly returned.

Australian PM defends secrecy over border protection

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended his government's secrecy over its border protection policy Thursday after reports that boats had been turned back to Indonesia and asylum-seekers mistreated. Under the conservative government's hardline Operation Sovereign Borders programme, officials refuse to discuss "operational matters". This has meant reports that at least one boat was forcibly turned or towed back to Indonesia, and that members of the Australian navy subjected those on board to verbal and physical mistreatment, have not been addressed in detail.

Australian PM defends secrecy over border protection

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended the government's secrecy over its border protection policy Thursday after reports that boats had been turned back to Indonesia and asylum-seekers mistreated. Under the conservative government's hardline Operation Sovereign Borders, officials refuse to discuss "operational matters". This has meant reports that at least one boat was forcibly turned or towed back to Indonesia, and that members of the Australian navy subjected those on board to verbal and physical mistreatment, have not been addressed in detail.

Australian PM defends secrecy over border protection

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended the government's secrecy over its border protection polices Thursday after reports that boats had been turned back to Indonesia and asylum-seekers mistreated. Under the conservative government's hardline Operation Sovereign Borders, officials refuse to discuss "operational matters". This has meant reports that at least one boat has been forcibly turned or towed back to Indonesia and that members of the Australian navy subjected those on board to verbal and physical mistreatment have not been addressed.

Australian PM defends secrecy over border protection

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended the government's secrecy over its border protection policy Thursday after reports that boats had been turned back to Indonesia and asylum-seekers mistreated. Under the conservative government's hardline Operation Sovereign Borders, officials refuse to discuss "operational matters". This has meant reports that at least one boat was forcibly turned or towed back to Indonesia, and that members of the Australian navy subjected those on board to verbal and physical mistreatment, have not been addressed.

Australia PM stands firm against 'corporate welfare'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned struggling Australian companies Wednesday to get their house in order, refusing to indulge in "corporate welfare" subsidies despite car giant Holden's decision to shut local plants. The manufacturing sector has battled rising costs and a strong Australian dollar, with General Motors subsidiary Holden saying last week it would stop making cars in Australia by 2017, seven months after Ford announced its exit.

Honeymoon fades for Australia's new PM Abbott

Australia's new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has lost the lead which swept him to power in September, with voters unconvinced by his response on asylum-seekers and climate, a poll showed Monday. The first Nielsen poll since the September 7 election, published in Fairfax newspapers, puts the opposition Labor Party ahead of Abbott's Liberal/National coalition by 52 percent to 48 percent. The Sydney Morning Herald said it was the first time in more than three years that Labor was in front.

Abbott declares end of Australia's longest war

Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared Australia's longest war at an end during a surprise visit to Afghanistan, with more than 1,000 troops to return home before Christmas in a "bitter-sweet" withdrawal. "Australia's longest war is ending, not with victory, not with defeat, but with, we hope, an Afghanistan that's better for our presence here," Abbott said. He flew to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) mission in remote Uruzgan province on Monday to make the announcement on the withdrawal which he said was a "bitter-sweet moment for Australia".

Australian wildfires put heat on climate change skeptic Abbott

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A long, hot summer looms for Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as devastating wildfires near Sydney fuel opposition to his plans to repeal a carbon emissions tax, one of his basic campaign pledges in the election he won a month ago. The links between the blazes and climate change caused by carbon emissions are complex and as the driest inhabited landmass on earth, deadly wildfires have been a perennial problem for Australia.

Australia PM announces terror attack compensation in Bali

Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday announced a scheme to compensate Australian victims of overseas terror attacks and their families as he laid a wreath at the site of the 2002 Bali bombings. Flanked by his wife Margie and Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika, Abbott bowed his head during the solemn ceremony at a stone monument that honours the 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, who died in the attacks.
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