Australia to create national anti-corruption watchdog

SYDNEY – Australia’s government said on Tuesday it will introduce legislation to create a National Anti-Corruption Commission, after years of debate over the need for an independent watchdog for politicians. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said in a statement the move would “restore trust and integrity in politics”, and funding of A$262 […]

‘You cannot survive’: Inflation bites as Thai election looms

BANGKOK – Sheltering from rain near Bangkok’s Grand Palace, scores of unemployed Thais queue alongside homeless people waiting for free meals as 14-year-high inflation sends living costs soaring, causing a headache for the government ahead of a looming general election. The leadership came to power eight years ago under Mr Prayut Chan-o-cha, promising to provide stability […]

Colombian govt, dissident FARC explore potential peace talks

This handout picture released by Colombian President Gustavo Petro's twitter account shows Colombian High Commissioner for Peace Danilo Rueda (in white t-shirt) during a meeting with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Caqueta, Colombia, on Sept 17, 2022. (GUSTAVO PETRO'S OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT / AFP) Colombian government representatives have met with members […]

Sweden’s PM resigns after election defeat

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson speaks during a press conference after she presented her resignation to the speaker of the Swedish Parliament on Sept 15, 2022, in Stockholm. (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP) STOCKHOLM – Sweden's outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has handed in her resignation to the speaker of parliament, she said on Thursday, paving […]

Japan unveils near-term steps to offset hit from rising prices

TOKYO – Japan’s government on Friday unveiled near-term stimulus steps to soften the economic blow of high food and energy prices on low-income households, businesses and farmers. The move by the government to roll out new and extend existing policies highlights Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s resolve to tackle the impact of rising cost pressures by […]

Japan probes possible involvement of pro-Russian group in cyberattacks

TOKYO – Japan said on Wednesday it is investigating the possible involvement of a pro-Russian group after multiple government websites suffered disruptions a day earlier. The pro-Russian group Killnet was quoted by media as saying it was responsible for attacks on the government websites. Japan’s government is looking into whether problems with accessing more than 20 websites […]

Australia offers to fund elections in Solomon Islands to avoid delay

CANBERRA – Australia has offered to fund elections in the Solomon Islands after the Pacific nation’s prime minister introduced legislation to delay the vote until 2024, arguing his country couldn’t afford to hold both the election and the 2023 Pacific Games. Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the […]

Japan PM says govt panel on inflation and wages to meet on Friday

TOKYO – A Japanese government panel tasked with tackling rising prices and wage issues will meet on Friday and consider additional policy measures that should be taken, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Sunday. Speaking to reporters in northern Japan’s Niigata prefecture, Kishida said the government should consider reviewing and raising subsidies for regional revitalisation […]

Ethiopian, Eritrean forces clash with Tigrayan forces in north

A young man walks past a tank said to have belonged to Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels near Debre Tabor, on Dec 6, 2021. (SOLAN KOLLI / AFP) NAIROBI – Ethiopian and Eritrean government forces launched an attack in Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray on Thursday, targeting Tigrayan forces, a Tigrayan military spokesperson said, […]

Colombia’s ambassador-designate to renormalize ties with Venezuela

Pedestrians use the Simon Bolivar International Bridge to cross between San Antonio, Venezuela (behind) and Cucuta, Colombia at sunrise on Aug 8, 2022, along the border which Venezuela partially closed in 2015. (MATIAS DELACROIX / AP) CARACAS – Colombia's new ambassador-designate to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, arrived here on Sunday for normalizing diplomatic relations between the […]