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Australia + 3 others
Australia's treatment of child asylum-seekers 'abuse': churches

07/30/2014 07:08 GMT

by Glenda KWEK

SYDNEY, July 30, 2014 (AFP) - The Australian government Wednesday rejected a report from church leaders describing its treatment of child asylum-seekers as "state-sanctioned abuse", saying such claims were "offensive".

The report by a coalition of leaders from Christian churches criticises how unaccompanied asylum-seeker children are kept in immigration detention.

Agence France-Presse:

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Australian humanitarian assistance for Gaza

The Australian Government is deeply concerned about the continuing conflict between Israel and militant groups in Gaza, the growing number of casualties and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. Many Palestinian civilians have lost their lives along with a number of Israeli soldiers and civilians. Large numbers of people have been displaced from their homes, buildings and essential services damaged, and livelihoods jeopardised.

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Australia + 1 other
Asylum-seekers held on high seas to be taken to Australia

07/27/2014 14:43 GMT

SYDNEY, July 27, 2014 (AFP) - The first group of 157 asylum-seekers who attempted to enter Australia by boat arrived on the country's mainland Sunday, after being held at sea for weeks.

Eighty-one asylum-seekers arrived at the remote Curtin Immigration Detention Centre in Western Australia, a spokesman for the facility said, after they were reportedly flown there by the government from the remote atoll of Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Agence France-Presse:

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Children suffering in Australian asylum-seeker camp

07/24/2014 04:34 GMT

SYDNEY, July 24, 2014 (AFP) - Australia's human rights commissioner on Thursday said conditions at an asylum-seeker camp on Christmas Island have "significantly deteriorated" with children plagued by despair and suffering symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gillian Triggs and leading paediatrician Elizabeth Elliott visited the centre last week as part of a national inquiry into the mandatory detention of children seeking asylum in Australia.

Agence France-Presse:

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World + 4 others
Australia reinforces its commitment in fight against AIDS

Bobby Ramakant, Citizen News Service (CNS)

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Philippines + 1 other
Australia responds to Typhoon Rammasun

The Australian Government is providing urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of the Philippines following Typhoon Rammasun, known locally as ‘Glenda’.

Australia again stands with the Philippines, our close friend and partner, at this difficult time and extend our sympathy to those affected by this natural disaster.

Typhoon Rammasun struck the Philippines on 15 July, just eight months after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the country in November 2013.

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Philippines + 4 others
Pacific Partnership delivers on promises

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have improved the lives of thousands of people in Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines as part of the largest annual multilateral humanitarian and civic assistance mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.

Exercise Pacific Partnership 14 has delivered medical, dental, veterinary and engineering aid while strengthening international relationships with partner and host nations.

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Philippines + 1 other
Post-typhoon clean up begins in Philippines

A clean up is under way in the Philippines after the battering inflicted by Typhoon Rammasun.

It was the most powerful storm to hit the country this year, passing just south of the capital Manila as it carved a path across the main island of Luzon.

Unlike last year, when Super Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands, the death toll this time has been put at around 20.

Australia is among those to have offered emergency relief supplies.

Presenter: Sen Lam

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Philippines + 2 others
Typhoon Rammasun heads for China after lashing Philippines, killing at least 38

China's southern regions are bracing for a powerful typhoon that has ripped through the Philippines, killing dozens and forcing more than 400,000 people to flee their homes.

The official death toll from Typhoon Rammasun has climbed to 38, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said on Thursday.

Ten people have been injured and eight are missing.

Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in the Philippines on Tuesday, just eight months after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the country in November 2013.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

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Australia + 1 other
Lawyers for detained asylum seekers say 153 Sri Lankans being held 'behind locked doors'

Lawyers representing 153 asylum seekers on an Australian Customs ship say the men, women and children are being held against their will and "behind locked doors".

According to court documents lodged in the High Court, the Sri Lankans "do not have freedom of movement", are living in rooms with no windows, and families on the ship have been split up, with the women and children separated from their husbands and fathers.

The documents form part of a High Court challenge against the Government's powers to hold the asylum seekers at sea.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

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Government of Australia Supports Refugee Healthcare in Iran

Tehran, 15 July 2014– A recent generous 47.2 billion Iranian Rial donation ( 2 million AUD) by the Government of Australia, will help vulnerable refugees living in Iran benefit from health insurance coverage and provide them with essential basic needs assistance, in line with the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR)- a strategy to assist both refugees and host countries.

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Australia + 1 other
Father of 3yo asylum seeker fears family will be 'wiped out' if returned to Sri Lanka

The father of a three-year-old asylum seeker being held on a Customs vessel at sea fears his family would be "wiped out" if returned to Sri Lanka.

The girl is among a group of 153 Tamils who left India last month in a boat for Australia, and could be held for weeks while the High Court decides their fate.

They face an uncertain future, as Sri Lanka has indicated it will not take them back and India has confirmed it is not in negotiations to take them.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Australia + 1 other
Press briefing note on Australia

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani

Location: Geneva

Date: 8 July 2014

Subject: Australia

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Sri Lanka + 1 other
Sri Lankan migrant mistreatment claims 'offensive': Australia

07/09/2014 10:18 GMT

by Amal JAYASINGHE

COLOMBO, July 9, 2014 (AFP) - Australia's immigration minister reacted angrily Wednesday to claims by Sri Lankan migrants that they were abused and mistreated by Australian officials while being forced home in a controversial mid-sea operation.

Attending a ceremony in Colombo harbour, Scott Morrison said the claims by some of the 41 returned asylum-seekers were offensive.

Agence France-Presse:

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Sri Lanka + 1 other
Returned Sri Lanka migrants vent fury at Australia

07/08/2014 14:43 GMT

by Amal JAYASINGHE

GALLE, July 8, 2014 (AFP) - Sri Lankan migrants aboard a boat that was controversially turned back mid-sea by Australia slammed Canberra on Tuesday, claiming they were abused, given little food and treated "worse than dogs".

The group of 41 migrants, including four women and nine children, appeared in a court in the southern Sri Lankan port city of Galle, where most were granted bail on charges of illegally leaving the country.

Agence France-Presse:

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Australia + 1 other
Returns to Sri Lanka of individuals intercepted at sea

UNHCR is deeply concerned by Australia’s announcement today that it has returned some 41 asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka after having intercepted them at sea, as well as the fate of a further 153 asylum-seekers of Sri Lankan origin who are now subject to an Australian High Court injunction on their return.

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Australia + 1 other
High Court injunction blocks handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka

The High Court has granted an interim injunction to block the handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, just hours after the Government confirmed another vessel has been returned.

On Monday the court heard an urgent claim from barristers seeking to protect the group, which includes 32 women and 37 children and is believed to be under the Government's control at sea.

"We argued that the asylum seekers are entitled to have their allegations - claims against the Sri Lankan government - heard and processed in accordance with the law," solicitor George Newhouse said.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

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Myanmar + 2 others
Education focus in Burma and Laos

During my visit to Burma and Laos I announced that the Australian Government will focus on increasing educational opportunities for primary and tertiary students, and improving teacher quality.

In Burma about half of the country’s five million school aged children do not complete primary school. In some districts of Laos only one quarter of girls complete primary school.

The Australian Government will provide $86 million over four years for education in Laos to help around 450,000 children achieve literacy, numeracy and other life skills for a better future.

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Myanmar + 1 other
Australia’s support for peace and prosperity in Burma

Today I announce the Australian Government will provide further support to boost economic growth, stability and development in Burma. This follows my constructive discussion with senior Myanmar Government figures, including President Thein Sein and Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin. Our support will assist Burma in its period of unprecedented change and development.

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Australia + 1 other
Australia hands asylum-seekers back to Sri Lanka

07/07/2014 03:18 GMT

by Martin PARRY

SYDNEY, July 7, 2014 (AFP) - Canberra confirmed Monday that a boatload of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who attempted to reach Australia have been handed back to Colombo, sparking sharp criticism after a week of secrecy.

Concern had been mounting over the fate of two boats reportedly intercepted by the Australian navy in Australian waters late last month.

Agence France-Presse:

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