Australian towns battle fire and flood back-to-back

Bushfires have been burning in Victoria's Gippsland region and New South Wales' South Coast this week - both areas were hit hard by Australia's Black Summer bushfires four years ago.

Rain is now offering some reprieve, but it has also triggered flood warnings.

The country has reeled from disaster to disaster in recent years, as it feels the effects of climate change.

"This is one of the reasons why my government... [is] determined to act on climate change," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said when speaking about the situation on Wednesday.

Air Vanuatu resumes New Zealand and Australia flights as 737 returns to service

The airline said in a statement it has been operating all regular international schedules since Saturday, after a replacement mechanical part for the Boeing 737 was sourced.

Final mechanical work would take place later this month to replace the loan auxiliary power unit that was currently fitted. This work would be conducted overnight, so it was not expected to affect any flights.

The airline said the backlog of stranded customers had been resolved through recovery flights and assistance from other airlines, including Solomon Airlines, Nauru Airlines and Fiji Airways.

Qantas' new CEO apologises for airline's recent scandals

Vanessa Hudson took over the top job earlier this month after former CEO Alan Joyce stood down following 15 years as one of the country's highest-paid executives.

In a video message released on Friday, Hudson apologised to customers for the airline's recent performance.

"I know that we have let you down in many ways and for that, I am sorry," she said.

"We haven't delivered the way we should have. And we've often been hard to deal with.

"We understand why you're frustrated and why some of you have lost trust in us."

Australia to require AI-made child abuse material be removed from search results

A new code drafted by the industry giants at the government's request would require search engines to ensure that such content was not returned in search results, e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said in a statement.

It would also require that AI functions built into search engines could not produce synthetic versions of the same material, she said. Synthetic versions of the material are also known as deepfakes.

"The use of generative AI has grown so quickly that I think it's caught the whole world off guard to a certain degree," Inman Grant said.

US marines killed in Australia identified

The MV-22B Osprey came down on a remote island north of Darwin on Sunday.

Captain Eleanor LeBeau, 29, Corporal Spencer Collart, 21, and Major Tobin Lewis, 37, were killed and the 20 other people on board - all US marines - were injured.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

In a statement on Tuesday, the commanding officer of the Marine Rotational Force Darwin said the force was "deeply saddened" by the loss of such "respected and beloved" marines.

Three US marines killed in Australia helicopter crash

The MV-22B Osprey came down on its way to the remote Tiwi islands north of Darwin. Five of the marines are said to be in a serious condition.

They were taking part in Predators Run, involving 2,500 troops from the US, Australia, the Philippines, East Timor and Indonesia.

Only US personnel were on board the aircraft.

The incident took place on Melville Island north of the Northern Territory capital Darwin on Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the incident as tragic and said every assistance would be given to the injured.

Australia blitz Canada to seal place in World Cup knockouts

In front of a febrile crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Raso struck in the ninth minute with a low, right-footed shot and doubled down in the 39th from a goalmouth scramble as unused captain Sam Kerr cheered by the touchline.

Fowler made sure of the win with a deft touch in the 58th minute that pinged in off the right post, before stand-in skipper Steph Catley slotted a penalty in stoppage time as a relieved nation celebrated the co-hosts' advance.

Australia had needed three points from the match to advance after their shock 3-2 defeat by Nigeria.

Australia announces further support to Solomon Islands’ 2024 General Elections

Around $US16.5 million has been given to help the Electoral Office with its preparations.

These include biometric voter registration and polling activities.


Vanuatu unveils plans to increase kava exports to Australia

Australia is three-quarters of the way through its trial of allowing the commercial importation of kava.

Figures from last October showed 147 tonnes of kava had arrived in Australia, with 70 tonnes from Tonga and 44 tonnes from Fiji.

Vanuatu came in third with just under 20 tonnes.

However, earlier this month a trade delegation from Vanuatu visited Brisbane to look at ways to boost the country's exports.


PwC Australia: Accounting giant splits business after tax leak scandal

The accounting giant has also announced the appointment of a new chief executive in the country.

The move will allow the firm "to move forward with predictability and focus," PwC Australia said in a statement.

In January, it emerged that a former PwC Australia partner had leaked the classified information.

The ex-partner, who was advising the Australian government, had shared drafts of corporate tax avoidance laws with colleagues, who used it to pitch to potential clients. The leaks occurred between 2014 and 2017.