Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Australians Voice Free Speech Concerns over Laws to Prevent Chinese Political Meddling

Australia rolled out a sweeping package of laws designed to counteract espionage and foreign political influence in December, but criticism of the laws prompted a parliamentary review beginning on Tuesday. In essence, the critics fear Australia has gone too far and jeopardized free speech rights, as well as creating legal pitfalls for international institutions, including media organizations and the Catholic Church.

Labor senator Sam Dastyari told the Chinese media in September 2016 that Australia shouldn’t interfere with China’s activities in the South China Sea, contradicting his own party’s policy. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

Turnbull Announces Overhaul of Australian Intelligence After Chinese Influence Scandal

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced new legislation on Tuesday designed to implement the most extensive overhaul his nation’s intelligence and espionage services have seen in decades. The move is driven by what Australia’s ABC News describes as “growing concerns within the intelligence community about the influence of Chinese Government agents and political donations.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 05: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends a press conference at Kirribilli House on November 5, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. The new New Zealand Prime Minister is on a one-day visit to Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

WWI Australian Battle of Beersheba re-Enacted in Israel on Centennial

BEERSHEBA, Israel — A century to the day after Australian troops broke through Ottoman defenses in a daring World War I victory, nearly 200 horsemen — including descendants of the soldiers — paraded through streets of an Israeli city in a memorial to those killed in a battle that helped turn the tide of the war and shape the modern Middle East.

beersheba