Adani Group abandons share offer as crisis triggered by fraud claims escalates

Relentless selling triggers questions about how Indian conglomerate – which denies allegations – will meet its loan obligations

Beleaguered Indian conglomerate Adani Group has abandoned a much-vaunted share offer in an escalating crisis triggered by fraud claims that has cut more than US$90bn in value from the power-to-ports empire and raised the prospect of forced asset sales.

The relentless selling has also triggered questions about how Adani, which runs Australia’s contentious Carmichael coalmine and rail project in Queensland, will meet its loan obligations as banks weigh up their exposure.

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China winds back online study ban after students left scrambling to get to Australia

Students can seek exemption from rule if they cannot get a flight or a visa in time, Chinese government says

The Chinese government has wound back its snap ban on recognising online degrees obtained from foreign institutions after tens of thousands of students were left scrambling for flights.

The ban, announced on Saturday, required all Chinese students enrolled to study online with overseas providers to be on campus for semester one – due to start in a matter of weeks in Australia.

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Toyah Cordingley killing: Rajwinder Singh to be extradited from India to Australia

The 38-year-old appeared in court in Delhi by video link and will now face trial over the alleged murder of the 24-year-old Queenslander

An Indian court has approved the extradition of Rajwinder Singh, the man accused of murdering Toyah Cordingley on a beach in Queensland, paving the way for him to return to Australia to face trial.

Singh, 38, who is an Australian national of Indian origin, had waived his right to challenge the request by the Australian authorities for him to be extradited to face trial for the killing of Cordingley.

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‘Red flags’ raised over scheme to allow families of Pacific Island workers to join them in Australia

Families who relocate under federal scheme would not have access to Medicare, or relocation or housing costs, making move unviable for many, experts warn

Guest workers from Pacific Island countries will soon be able to relocate their families to Australia, but there are already concerns over “red flags” in the current design of the scheme that may make it unviable.

The federal scheme will pilot bringing up to 200 families on one- to four-year contracts starting this year, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said. This comes after years of the workers – who fill the gaps in Australia’s agriculture, meat-works and aged care workforces under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme – being separated from their families.

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‘He’s become a friend’: Jacinda Ardern alerted Australian PM Albanese of resignation before public announcement

Retiring New Zealand PM gave Australian counterpart advance warning before announcing her surprise resignation

The retiring New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has revealed she gave her Australian counterpart a heads-up before her shock announcement on Thursday.

Ardern dropped the bombshell of her impending resignation at lunchtime on Thursday, after warning Anthony Albanese it was coming.

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Australian justice appointed to Hong Kong court argues foreign judges shouldn’t ‘vacate the field’

Exclusive: Some legal figures have raised concerns about message his appointment sends in light of Beijing’s crackdown on freedom in Hong Kong

The former Australian high court judge Patrick Keane has dismissed criticism of his appointment to a top Hong Kong court, saying he weighed up the role carefully but believed foreign judges should not “vacate the field”.

Legal figures have noted Keane’s eminent record, but some raised concerns about the message his appointment sends in light of Beijing’s increasing crackdown on rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.

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One Afghan refugee’s stunning photographs of the country’s ‘many stories that need to be told’

When Hazara photographer Muzafar Ali fled, he smuggled a hard drive of 13,000 photos out with him in a sleeping bag. They show an Afghanistan that disappeared when the Taliban took power

Muzafar Ali, who lives in Adelaide, grew up as a refugee in Pakistan after his family fled Afghanistan in the mid-1980s. As a child, the only pictures he saw of his birth country were through Taliban-issued jihadi calendars and the occasional news report.

Ali is Hazara, a long-persecuted ethnic group who faced extreme violence from the Taliban after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan in 1989.

“This man was using a box camera to be photographed, which Afghan people still relied on then. I shot this picture in 2006 when this village was secure and peaceful but later this village fell to the Taliban and it was impossible to visit.”

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Australia and Papua New Guinea pledge new security pact saying interests are ‘intertwined’

In contrast with security deal between China and Solomon Islands, the Australia-PNG agreement will be ‘public and transparent’, prime ministers vow

Australia and Papua New Guinea have pledged to clinch a new security treaty within four months, declaring the deal will also tackle the threat of climate change.

The security interests of both countries are “intertwined” and the agreement would help protect their “independence, sovereignty and resilience”, according to a statement issued by the two parties on Thursday.

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Anthony Albanese to push ‘family-first’ security treaty in address to Papua New Guinea parliament

Australian PM to call for ‘a swift conclusion to negotiations’ to treaty and say both countries should ‘work as equals with our fellow Pacific states’

Anthony Albanese will seek progress on a new security treaty during a visit to Papua New Guinea, pushing a “family-first approach” amid increasing competition with China for influence in the Pacific.

On Thursday the Australian prime minister will become the first foreign government leader to address PNG’s parliament and will say he sees the relationship as “a bond between equals”.

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Travel between China and Australia tipped to rebound rapidly as Chinese airlines ramp up flights

Industry hopes China’s reopening might bring wider benefits for travellers with more airfare price competition

Chinese airlines are ramping up flights to Australia as Covid restrictions ease, boosting the prospects for a rapid rebound in travel between the two nations.

Airports said the market was dynamic with carriers large and small restarting routes dormant during the pandemic years, with more flights likely to be added as demand picks up.

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China raises Australia’s hopes over detained pair and trade disputes amid thaw in relations

Chinese envoy in Canberra largely positive about enhancing ties between countries while stepping up criticism of Aukus security deal

China’s ambassador to Australia has offered a glimmer of hope about the cases of two Australians detained in China, saying he wants a “solution” to be found as quickly as possible as Canberra continues to push for their release.

Xiao Qian also revealed that Chinese and Australian officials were in talks in Geneva about resolving their trade disputes, and he held open the possibility of resuming two-way talks about human rights.

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Australia news live: flooded Kimberley bridge looks like ‘a big bomb dropped on it’; Indonesia earthquake felt in Darwin

The Bureau of Meteorology says there is no tsunami threat for Australia. Follow the day’s news live

Over 80% of Australian council areas declared disasters in the past four years: Watt

However, Watt was hesitant to attribute the individual disaster in the Kimberley to climate change, unlike his colleague Chris Bowen. But he said the overall pattern of increasing disasters was “undoubtedly climate change”:

I don’t think that you can point to one particular event and say it’s due to climate change, but there is no doubt that we are seeing before our eyes is climate change happening. We know from all the scientists that we’re going to be facing more of these intense events more frequently.

I was actually advised yesterday by our agency that just in the last 12 months, we’ve seen 316 of Australia’s 537 council areas disaster-declared: that’s about 60% of the council areas in the country. And if you go back four years to the black summer, 438 council areas in Australia have been disaster-declared, which is over 80%.

A lot of people aren’t aware but the wet season in northern Western Australia … generally doesn’t begin until later this month. So their wettest months actually tend to be February and March rather than starting as early as January. So to have this amount of water come through the system this early in the wet season is a concern.

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Toyah Cordingley killing: Rajwinder Singh waives right to challenge extradition from India

‘I did not kill the woman,’ suspect says outside Delhi hearing, adding that he wants to reveal all to a court in Australia

The man accused of murdering 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley on a Queensland beach four years ago has told an Indian court he wants to return to Australia as soon as possible to face trial.

Rajwinder Singh, 38, swore in a “willingness statement” submitted to a Delhi court magistrate that he wished to formally waive his right to challenge extradition.

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Australia should back new search for MH370, says top official who led first effort

Search for Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared with 239 people on board should resume now that new equipment and data is available, expert says

The Australian government should get behind a new search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the man who headed up the initial search says, now that new equipment and data is available.

Peter Foley was the program director for the international effort, led by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, to find the plane. MH370 went down on 8 March 2014, with 239 people on board. The disappearance of the plane is one of the world’s greatest enduring mysteries.

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Labor flags wastewater tests on inbound planes as mandatory Covid checks for China arrivals resumes

Health minister defends country-specific testing as necessary due to ‘absence of comprehensive information’ on Covid’s spread in China

Australia is planning to introduce wastewater testing for incoming flights in an attempt to gather more information about the possible entry of new Covid variants.

The health minister, Mark Butler, announced the measure on Monday in a round of interviews defending the decision to reimpose pre-flight Covid testing for passengers from China as necessary because of a “absence of comprehensive information” about the disease in China.

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