Australia’s ex-PM ‘secretly held ministry portfolios’

Australian PM Anthony Albanese says he will investigate reports that his predecessor, Scott Morrison, secretly assumed three roles in the ministry. Mr Morrison became joint minister for the health, finance and resources portfolios in the two years before he lost power in May, local media report. Mr Albanese said he would seek legal advice about the decisions, calling them “unacceptable” and “just weird”. On Monday, Governor-General David Hurley – the Queen’s representative in Australia – confirmed he had signed an “administrative instrument” that had allowed Mr Morrison to secretly assume the portfolios. It was “consistent with section 64 of the … Continue reading Australia’s ex-PM ‘secretly held ministry portfolios’

Gunman charged over Australian airport shooting

A 63-year-old man has been charged with firearm offences after firing shots inside Australia’s Canberra airport on Sunday afternoon. Police said the man, from New South Wales, sat on seats in a check-in area before shooting a number times into the building’s windows. No-one was injured in the incident, which sent passengers running in fear. Gun violence is rare in Australia, which has some of the toughest firearms laws in the world. The suspect was quickly detained, and a gun recovered, however police say his motives are still unclear. The capital’s airport was evacuated as a precaution and several flights … Continue reading Gunman charged over Australian airport shooting

Cats to be freed from special lockdown in German town

Cat owners in one German town will be allowed to let their pets out for the first time in three months when the authorities lift a special lockdown. People in Walldorf, in the south-west, were ordered in May to keep their cats indoors to protect an endangered bird. Cats were only allowed to venture outside if they were kept on a leash no more than two metres (6ft) in length. But the animals will again be allowed to roam free from 00:01 local time on Monday. If a cat escaped while the lockdown was in force, owners were told to … Continue reading Cats to be freed from special lockdown in German town

Leaders meet to try to pass a UN treaty to protect oceans

World leaders will meet at the UN in New York later for more talks to save the world’s oceans from overexploitation. The UN High Seas Treaty has been through 10 years of negotiations but has yet to be signed. If agreed, it would put 30% of the world’s oceans into conservation areas by 2030. Campaigners hope it will protect marine life from overfishing and other human activities. Two-thirds of the world’s oceans are currently considered international waters, which mean all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research there. But only 1.2% of this high seas, as they are … Continue reading Leaders meet to try to pass a UN treaty to protect oceans

Tragic: Dozens dead in Giza Coptic church

Dozens of people have died after a fire broke out at a church in Egypt, many of them crushed during a desperate scramble to escape. Officials say the number of dead is at least 41, with dozens injured. Children are believed to be among the dead. An electrical fire broke out as 5,000 worshippers gathered for Mass at the Coptic Abu Sifin church in Giza, security sources told Reuters. The fire blocked an entrance, causing a stampede, they said. Citing hospital records, CNN reported that some 18 children, aged between 3 to 16 years old, were killed. Fire services said … Continue reading Tragic: Dozens dead in Giza Coptic church

Zambia’s Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya wins BBC News Komla Dumor award

Zambian TV and radio presenter Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya has won the 2022 BBC News Komla Dumor Award. At 25, Buyoya is the youngest recipient of the award, launched in 2015, and the first of the seven winners so far from southern Africa. He is currently a TV host and reporter with Diamond Television in Zambia, where he started work five years ago. The award was created to honour Komla Dumor, a presenter for BBC World News, who died suddenly aged 41 in 2014. Buyoya follows in the footsteps of Victoria Rubadiri, Solomon Serwanjja, Waihiga Mwaura, Amina Yuguda, Didi Akinyelure and … Continue reading Zambia’s Dingindaba Jonah Buyoya wins BBC News Komla Dumor award

Oil giant Saudi Aramco breaks own record with $48.4bn quarterly profit

Saudi oil giant Aramco has broken its own record with a $48.4bn (£39.8bn) profit for the second quarter of 2022. It is a 90% year-on-year increase and marks the biggest earnings for the world’s largest energy exporter since its public listing three years ago. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen oil and gas prices skyrocket. Russia is one of the world’s biggest exporters but Western nations have pledged to curb their dependence on the country for their energy needs. According to Bloomberg, the Saudi oil giant’s figure represent “the biggest quarterly adjusted profit of any listed company”. As well as the … Continue reading Oil giant Saudi Aramco breaks own record with $48.4bn quarterly profit

5 people dead in blast blamed on organized crime in Ecuador

Government officials in Ecuador have blamed a deadly explosion in the port city of Guayaquil on organized crime. At least five people were killed and 26 more injured in the blast on Sunday. Ecuador’s interior minister said it was a “declaration of war” by criminal gangs against the government. The Andean country, which is used as a cocaine smuggling route from neighbouring Peru and Colombia, has seen a sharp rise in murders and gang-related crime recently. A state of emergency has been declared in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s most populous city and an important trade hub. It is the fourth emergency to … Continue reading 5 people dead in blast blamed on organized crime in Ecuador

Walrus Freya who became attraction in Norway’s Oslo Fjord put down

A walrus that had become a popular attraction in the Oslo Fjord has been put down out of concern for the safety of the public, Norwegian officials say. The walrus, nicknamed Freya, rose to fame after clambering on to boats to sunbathe – sometimes sinking them. People refused warnings not to get too close to the 1,300lb (600kg) animal, putting her and themselves at risk. On one occasion, police blocked off a bathing area after the walrus chased a woman into the water, local media say. Last week, Norway’s fisheries ministry issued a photograph of a large group of people, … Continue reading Walrus Freya who became attraction in Norway’s Oslo Fjord put down

The Marshall Islands records surging cases of Covid-19

Covid-19 infection numbers have surged in the Marshall Islands, just days after the Pacific nation recorded its first local spread of the virus. In the capital city of Majuro, total cases have nearly doubled since Friday. These latest figures mean one in ten of the city’s residents have been infected in recent days. On Sunday, Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal said about 75% of tests across the country were returning positive results. A number of Pacific islands had success with keeping coronavirus at bay early in the pandemic through stringent restrictions. The Marshall Islands, which has a population of 59,000, was … Continue reading The Marshall Islands records surging cases of Covid-19

Two more swimmers bitten by a dolphin in Japan

A dolphin has bitten two more swimmers on the arm, in what is believed to be the latest in a string of attacks on a Japanese beach. According to local media, at least one man was taken to hospital on Thursday after encountering the sea mammal. Japanese officials believe the same dolphin is responsible for at least six related attacks so far this summer. While dolphins are not usually aggressive to humans, hostility towards swimmers is not unheard of. Local media reported that one man was bitten on both his arms on Thursday morning, which was followed by another attack the … Continue reading Two more swimmers bitten by a dolphin in Japan

Update: Lebanon man hailed a ‘hero’ for holding Beirut bank hostage

An armed man who held a bank hostage for more than six hours in Beirut because he could not withdraw savings has been hailed a hero by the public. Banks in Lebanon have put tight rules on how much money people can access, amid a deep economic crisis. The suspect entered the bank with a rifle, poured petrol and demanded his money for hospital bills, AFP reported. His actions captured public support, with cheering crowds gathering outside and chanting: “You are a hero.” The stand-off eventually ended peacefully with no injuries, after negotiators struck an agreement allowing the suspect to … Continue reading Update: Lebanon man hailed a ‘hero’ for holding Beirut bank hostage