Australia

India defeat Australia in ODI decider

Set 231 to win Friday's decider, India chased their target with four balls to spare to claim a 2-1 series victory and cap off a summer of unprecedented triumph.

Superstar veteran Dhoni again steered India to victory, scoring an unbeaten 87 off 114 balls - his third fifty from as many games - to repeat his match-winning heroics in Adelaide.

In a gripping finish, Dhoni was dropped on 74 by Aaron Finch at mid-off, then partner Kedar Jadhav (61 not out) barely survived a run-out attempt at the non- striker's end.

Australia's Foreign Ministry appoints new head of Pacific office

Ewen McDonald, who is currently Australia's High Commissioner to New Zealand the Cook Islands and Niue, will take up the role.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the office, which was announced in November, will help Australia to better engage with the Pacific.

"This will build on our already deep relationship with the region and support the delivery of the Australian Government's package of innovative new initiatives in the Pacific, including labour mobility and infrastructure financing," Ms Payne said in a statement.

 

     

How one heatwave killed 'a third' of a bat species in Australia

The animals, also known as spectacled fruit bats, were unable to survive in temperatures which exceeded 42C.

In the city of Cairns, locals saw bats toppling from trees into backyards, swimming pools and other locations.

Wildlife rescuers found surviving animals clumped together, usually on branches closer to the ground.

"It was totally depressing," one rescuer, David White, told the BBC.

Last week, researchers from Western Sydney University finalised their conclusion that about 23,000 spectacled flying foxes died in the event on 26 and 27 November.

4 nations join PNG’s electrification initiative

As a result, PNG has invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States to work together to support its enhanced connectivity and the goal of connecting 70 percent of its population to electricity by 2030.

Currently, only about 13 percent of PNG’s population have reliable access to electricity.

In a joint media conference today, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, along with his counterparts from Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the US said electricity lifts the living standards of communities in cities, towns and remote villages.

US, Aust, Japan commit to Indo-Pacific region

On 12 November, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) signed a Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to operationalize the Trilateral Partnership for Infrastructure Investment in the Indo-Pacific, announced in Washington, D.C., on 30 July. 

Australia to expand labour scheme to all Pacific countries

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and foreign minister Marise Payne say the current cap of 2-thousand places will be lifted, although the new limit is not a given.

Talks to allow Papua New Guinea to join the scheme have also been confirmed.

Australia will also establish a new Pacific office within its foreign ministry.

Australia to increase military and police cooperation in Pacific

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a new foreign policy strategy for the Pacific region, including increased military cooperation.

But Defence Minister Christopher Pyne told Fairfax Media this strategy also includes a new vessel to operate semi-permanently in the south west Pacific.

He said the ship could assist with preparation for and response to natural disasters and other resilience support.

Australia will also strengthen its links with police forces in the Pacific.

Australia lifting Pacific work scheme numbers

The assistant minister for international development and the Pacific, Anne Ruston, said under Australia's pledge to step up its relationship with Pacific nations it recognised that labour mobility was a key issue for them.

This was reflected in the 40 percent annual growth of the seasonal worker scheme, while a new Pacific labour scheme would also bring in 2000 workers over the next year, she said.

Pakistan cruise to series whitewash over Australia

Having dominated throughout Australia's tour of the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan inflicted more misery on Aaron Finch's side to complete a 3-0 success with five balls to spare.

Babar Azam starred again at the top of the order with his second half century of the series as Pakistan made a superb start under the lights, the hosts racing to 93-0 in the 13th over.

Babar's 50 came off just 40 balls and included a superbly executed upper cut for six off Nathan Coulter-Nile, the bowler only able to watch on as the ball sailed over the third-man boundary.

Better health services for PNGeans

In partnership with the National Department of Health, Australia is supporting Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) and Anglicare to widen the health services offered at standalone sexual and reproductive health clinics across 18 provinces.

This is a true partnership, with Australia funding staff salaries and operations of facilities, PNG Government paying for medicines and the Catholic Church Health Services providing facilities.