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Aussie PM Abbott could win country’s award for ‘most constant’ sexism

“Vicious” commentary about Australia’s first female leader Julia Gillard dominates entries for the annual “Ernie” awards for sexism with Prime Minister Tony Abbott the “most constant” offender, organisers said Tuesday. There were more than 100 entries for the 2013 gong, which will be decided by the traditional “boo-off” at a…

Australian lawmaker knocked for remark on party mate’s ‘sex appeal’

Australia’s opposition leader, accused last year of misogyny in a blistering speech by then-prime minister Julia Gillard, was under fire Tuesday after touting the “sex appeal” of an election candidate. Tony Abbott, currently the frontrunner to become next prime minister in September 7 polls, made the remark while campaigning with…

Julian Assange runs for Australia Senate as ‘libertarian’

SYDNEY — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday vowed to be a “libertarian” and campaign for more openness in government if he is successful in gaining a seat in the Australian Senate. Assange, who is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on…

Australia’s Foreign Minister Rudd resigns amid leadership speculation

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Wednesday resigned, saying he could not continue without Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s support amid speculation he will challenge her for the leadership. “The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I don’t have Prime Minister Gillard’s support,” he said…

Police ‘rescue’ Australian PM from Aboriginal rights protesters

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday had to be bundled out of a Canberra restaurant by security service agents after it was surrounded by furious Aboriginal rights protesters. Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott were stranded in The Lobby restaurant as dozens of demonstrators from a protest against Australia Day,…

Australia’s ruling Labor Party backs gay marriage

Australia’s ruling Labor Party agreed to support gay marriage, but consented to lawmakers voting with their conscience on the issue should a same-sex marriage bill come to parliament. After passionate and emotional speeches from both sides of the debate at the Australian Labor Party conference in Sydney on Saturday, delegates…

Obama ‘deeply concerned’ at Europe market turmoil

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was “deeply concerned” at the turmoil in the eurozone that has spooked global markets amid growing fears about Europe’s debt crisis and anaemic growth. “I am deeply concerned and I have been deeply concerned. I suspect I will be deeply concerned tomorrow and…

Australia passes controversial carbon pollution tax

Australia’s parliament approved a controversial pollution tax on Tuesday, after years of bitter debate over the reform which is aimed at lowering carbon emissions blamed for climate change. Cheers and applause broke out as the upper house Senate passed the Clean Energy Act, requiring Australia’s coal-fired power stations and other major emitters to “pay…

Nobel winner thought prize call was ‘student joke’

When a Swedish voice came down the line informing him he had a “very important call” Tuesday night, Australia’s newest Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt assumed it was an elaborate undergraduate joke. “My first thought was ‘Geez my students have done a pretty good job on this accent’,” the Australian-American astronomer said Wednesday. “She asked…

Pregnancy reignites Australia gay marriage debate

Australia’s Finance Minister Penny Wong Tuesday announced her female partner was expecting their first child, sparking renewed debate on the country’s ban on gay marriage. Wong said her long-term partner Sophie Allouache was pregnant, in a statement that also thanked the child’s biological father “for giving us the opportunity to raise…

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