Tag Archives: Australia

Refugee footballer makes triumphant return to Australia

Refugee footballer makes triumphant return to AustraliaRefugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi made a triumphant return to Australia Tuesday, ending a harrowing two months in Thai detention, as his supporters called for an investigation into why he was arrested in the first place. “I want to thank Australia,” said a smiling Araibi, ending an ordeal that saw him jailed during his honeymoon and threatened with extradition to his native Bahrain. “I don’t have citizenship yet, but my country is Australia.



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Extreme weather: Polar vortex in Midwest, record heat in Australia, weird warmth in Alaska. What's going on?

Extreme weather: Polar vortex in Midwest, record heat in Australia, weird warmth in Alaska. What's going on?Extreme weather has wreaked havoc worldwide this month: As the upper Midwest shivered with record-breaking cold temperatures, wild extremes in weather were reported elsewhere.



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Australia joins growing support for Venezuela's Guaido

Australia joins growing support for Venezuela's GuaidoAustralia on Monday joined other Western nations in backing Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president until fresh elections are held President Nicolas Maduro, 56, is confronting an unprecedented challenge to his authority after Guaido declared himself interim president citing a fraudulent election. “Australia recognizes and supports the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, in assuming the position of interim president, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution and until elections are held,” Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement on the ministry’s website.



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The Latest: Australia accepts Guaido as Venezuela president

The Latest: Australia accepts Guaido as Venezuela presidentCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):



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Australia praises Thai move on Saudi, concerned about player

Australia praises Thai move on Saudi, concerned about playerBANGKOK (AP) — Australia's foreign minister praised Thailand for its handling of a young Saudi woman who fled her family to seek asylum in Australia, but also reminded it of continuing concern about a Bahraini soccer player granted asylum in Australia who remains in Thai detention.



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Saudi woman whose asylum plea went viral might find safety in Australia

Saudi woman whose asylum plea went viral might find safety in AustraliaThe Australian government said it will consider resettlement for a Saudi woman whose plea to seek asylum while escaping her family went viral.



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Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker saga

Australia FM visits Thailand amid Saudi asylum seeker sagaAustralia’s foreign minister Marise Payne met her Thai counterpart Thursday, as her country appeared poised to offer to asylum to a young Saudi woman who fled her family to Thailand in a drama relayed in real-time over Twitter. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s attempt to flee the ultra-conservative kingdom has become a cause celebre for rights groups since the 18-year-old landed in Bangkok from Kuwait over the weekend. Thai authorities had threatened to deport her but with the help of activists, diplomats and a hastily opened Twitter account Qunun launched an impassioned campaign for asylum.



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Australia FM says country assessing resettlement push for Saudi woman in Thailand

Australia FM says country assessing resettlement push for Saudi woman in ThailandAustralia’s foreign minister Thursday declined to say how long it will take to consider a UN request to resettle a young Saudi woman who fled her family, as the 18-year-old’s plight sparked a topless protest in Sydney and debate among Saudis over their country’s restrictive “guardianship” laws. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s attempt to flee the ultra-conservative kingdom has become a cause celebre for rights groups since the 18-year-old landed in Bangkok from Kuwait last weekend. Thai authorities threatened to deport her but with the help of activists, diplomats and a hastily opened Twitter account Qunun launched an impassioned asylum campaign.



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UN asks Australia to consider Saudi teen for 'refugee resettlement'

UN asks Australia to consider Saudi teen for 'refugee resettlement'The UN has said an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family is a legitimate refugee and has asked Australia to resettle her, Canberra said Wednesday, as the Twitter-led campaign to grant her asylum edged towards resolution. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun was stopped by authorities at Bangkok’s main airport as she arrived on a flight from Kuwait at the weekend after running away from her family, who she says subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. Thailand initially said it would deport her at the request of Saudi embassy officials, barring her from travelling on to Australia where Qunun said she had intended to claim asylum.



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Australia will formally consider asylum claim of Saudi woman in Bangkok

Australia will formally consider asylum claim of Saudi woman in BangkokAustralia has said it will formally consider the asylum claim of a Saudi woman fleeing her family after the United Nations assessed her case and ruled that she was a genuine refugee.  Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, took to Twitter on Monday to plead for her life after she was stopped by Saudi officials and Thai immigration officers during a transit through Bangkok airport while on route to Australia, where she wanted to start an asylum process.   Her passport was confiscated and she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room to avoid being deported on a flight to Kuwait. The teenager then gripped the world with her desperate cries for help  via social media.  She claimed she was escaping from her family who had subjected her to physical and psychological abuse and that she feared she would be killed if she was sent home to Saudi Arabia. Her family have not commented on the allegations, although her father travelled to Bangkok to try to speak to her.  Ms al-Qunun’s panicked efforts to escape repatriation generated a global media frenzy and prompted a U-turn by the Thai authorities who allowed her to be taken into the protection of the United Nations office for Refugees (UNHCR).  On behalf of Rahaf we, her friends, thank all of you guys for the tremendous support that Rahaf has never dreamed of. You are the source of her power and she’s asking you “Don’t abandon me yet. I’m not safe yet, hopefully, I will be transferred to a safe country soon” ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️— Rahaf Mohammed رهف محمد القنون (@rahaf84427714) January 8, 2019 The UNHCR initially said it could take days to process her case, but had decided by Wednesday morning that she was a genuine refugee and referred her to Australia for resettlement.  The decision was made public by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, which said it would consider the referral from the UN in the usual way.  In a Twitter update on Wednesday, Ms al-Qunun thanked her 107,000 followers for their “support in my difficult psychological situation” and said that she had “regained my strength” after a dramatic few days.  Her extraordinary use of social media to highlight her plight had managed to spark an international outcry and #SaveRahaf campaign within hours of her detention, attracting human rights activists and diplomats to advocate on her behalf.  “Everybody was watching. When social media works, this is what happens,” Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.  The Saudi embassy in Bangkok has not publicly commented on Ms al-Qunun’s case since it initially claimed on Monday that she had tried to enter Thailand without the right papers, a charge which she denied.  On Tuesday, the Thai immigration office released a video clip of its officials meeting Saudi diplomats to discuss the case.  “When she first arrived in Thailand, she opened a new site (account) and the followers reached about 45,000 within one day,” a Saudi official speaking in Arabic through a translator tells Thai officials in the video.  “I wish you had taken her phone, it would have been better than (taking) her passport,” the official said.



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