Investigative journalists display a no-surprise world web of tax evasion

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A group of 86 journalists in 46 countries has spent 15 months sifting through a massive pile of offshore banking data, which Speigel Online says “is believed to be the largest data leak in history”, reportedly 160 times the size of the 2010 WikiLeaks data. The anonymous data donor provided the International […]

Arms sales world treaty passes strongly – but debate over what it means

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Three countries voted against it – Iran, North Korea and Syria – but with 154 countries backing it, the new international treaty to regulate the estimated $70-80 billion in world arms trade passed in the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday 2 April. There was widespread rejoicing that the long-debated treaty is finally […]

Endangered bilbies lose crucial babies to feral cats

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Elephants, rhinos and tigers are getting a lot of attention this week as Cites meets in Thailand over the next steps to take to help endangered species, but an endangered and beloved little Australian bandicoot has just suffered a dramatic loss in Australia’s Queensland. The big-eared, long-snouted marsupial has been protected from […]

Australian PM warns of climate change with fires

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned that the country could see more extreme weather in the future due to climate changes, as dozens of wildfires burn in south-eastern regions. Gillard visited areas of Tasmania devastated by the fires Monday 7 January and said that the state of New South Wales could also […]

Australia, NZ running short of baby formula brand as tourists swoop

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A popular brand of baby formula, Karicare, is reportedly in short supply in Australia and New Zealand, with Chinese visitors and other foreign tourists buying large stocks to take home. Aljazeerareports that Nutricia, the formula manufacturer, has quadrupled production in the past year to meet the demand. Its reporter in Sydney notes […]

The world loves an Australian water spout

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A giant waterspout at Batesmans Bay in New South Wales Australia caught the world’s eye Monday 16 November. The funnel of condensation, which formed when warm water met cold air as temperatures suddenly dropped, lasted about 15 minutes in real time, several hours in viral digital time as videos and photos of […]

2nd ship accident in week brings Australian asylum debate to head

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A ship loaded with asylum seekers has sunk 107 nautical miles north of Christmas Island, Australia, and rescue workers are looking for 19 missing people while helping the 120-136 survivors (there are conflicting reports on numbers). The accident is the second in Australian waters in one week, with six people dead and […]

The dingo did it: Australia’s Chamberlain case

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – An Australian coroner has ruled that nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain was dragged from her family’s tent near Ayer’s Rock by a dingo and was killed by the Australian wild dog in 1980, ending more than three decades of legal wrangling. the baby ‘s mother, Lindy Chamberlain, was convicted of murder in 1982 and […]

WHO slams tobacco industry’s

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Australia, Norway and Uganda cited as countries where industry is taking gov’ts to court GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The World Health Organization (WHO), on the eve of World No Tobacco Day 31 May came down hard on the tobacco industry’s insidious actions to undermine government efforts to reduce tobacco use. “In recent years, multinational tobacco companies […]

Syria at “tipping point” says Annan, as Swiss sends ambassador home

BERN, SWITZERLAND – Kofi Annan’s peace plan for Syria still has the backing of the Swiss government, but it joined another 9 countries Tuesday in calling the Syrian ambassador, Lamia Chakkour, persona non grata. Chakkour is based in Paris and France expelled her Tuesday, in response to the atrocities over the weekend in El Hourah, […]