Australia will stop conducting airstrikes against Daesh (IS) targets in Iraq and Syria.
Six Hornet fighter jets will be redeployed back to Australia, while refueling and surveillance aircraft will stay put at Iraq’s request.
Australia has been a part of an international coalition against Daesh, conducting airstrikes and other military assistance for more than two years.
Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Iraq’s recent declaration of victory over IS led to the decision.
Ms Payne also said Iraq and other members of the coalition had been informed and consulted on the decision.
Australia has deployed about 780 military personnel as part of the United States-led coalition against the terrorist group.
“Given the success that has been achieved on the battlefield by the Iraqi security forces, Australia’s contribution is now at a transition point,” Payne said.
“Following discussions with Iraq and members of the international coalition, the Australian government has determined we will bring home our six Super Hornet strike aircraft from the Middle East,” she added.
The minister thanked the Australians who served in the campaign against Daesh, while also describing the campaign as long and brutal.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spoke at a press conference in Baghdad that Iraqi military had a complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border.
More details to follow. Image 1 of Marise Payne from The Courier. ■
Authorities call for ban on Australian music festival
Madison Furness| Life
The New South Wales Premier vows to ban Defqon.1, after two suspected overdoses at Australian hard dance music festival.
NSW police reported over 700 people needed medical attention at the music festival for drug related issues, while 13 others have gone to Nepean hospital. Three remain in critical condition.
A 23-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman died in Nepean Hospital after they had collapsed at the festival around 9:00 P.M. The two casualties have not been fully identified.
There have been two other deaths in recent years. One being, Nigel Pauljevic, 26, he was found unconscious in a tent at the festival in 2015. He later died in hospital.
Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of NSW vowed to ban the event in her statement “I never want to see this event held in Sydney or New South Wales ever again — we will do everything we can to shut this down…” she said.
Following the event, ten people were charged with drug supply offences while 69 people were found to be in possession of drugs. Drugs such as GHB and MDMA were being carried in commercial quantity.
Two 17-year-old girls were charged with supplying 120 capsules of a prohibited drug into the festival.
Defqon.1 Weekend Music Festival is an annual event that takes place in Sydney Australia, The Netherlands and Chile. The festival plays hardstyle as well as other related genres such as, hardcore techno, hard house and hard trance.
About 30,000 people attended this year’s event.
Featured image by We Rave You ■
Australia investigating persecution of white farmers in South Africa
Australia’s immigration department has begun investigating the persecution of white farmers in South Africa as the country prepares to take in a wave of refugees.
Jacob Argintaru | The Avro Post
Australia’s immigration department has begun investigating the persecution of white farmers in South Africa as the country prepares to take in a wave of refugees, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said in an interview with Sky News Australia Tuesday morning.
.@PeterDutton_MP: the Immigration Department is looking into ‘several cases’ of white South African farmers who claim they are being persecuted in their home country.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 3, 2018
Last month, Dutton told The Daily Telegraph that the immigration department plans on issuing special fast-track visas to South African farmers fleeing their country due to ongoing racially-driven persecution by their government.
Whites have been the ongoing victims of racially-motivated rape, murder, torture, and destruction of property in post-apartheid South Africa. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently pledged to seize white-owned farmlands without compensation.
Australia’s decision to take in white refugees fleeing South Africa comes shortly after Brisbane’s “March for South Africa,” where thousands of Australian citizens and South African immigrants rallied in support of their government recognizing the crisis.
For more on South Africa, check out “Farmlands,” a documentary series about the situation produced by Canadian journalist Lauren Southern.
More details to follow | Image of Australian MP Peter Dutton from The Guardian.
Dust storm hit small town in Australia
A dust storm hit Charleville, a town in south-west Queensland, covering the remote community in orange dust.
The storm swept through the small Australian town on Tuesday, knocking down several trees and causing minor damage.
Authorities said recent weather conditions had allowed strong winds to pick and spread dirt from the region.
“We do see a fair few dust events through the western parts of Queensland because it is such a dry and hot place, but it’s definitely one of the more impressive events of the last few years,” Harry Clark from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology estimated the dust storm was about 124 miles wide and it recorded winds of up to 60 mph, while visibility at the local airport was reduced to about 200 m.
“We heard thunder, so we went outside and we turned around and there was this big red dust storm coming along,” Paige Donald told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Another resident in the remote town of about 3,300 people wrote on Facebook that it had been a wild few hours.
“I didn’t close the bedroom window before I went to work this morning! Nothing that the washing machine won’t fix,” wrote Sonja Street, while posting a photo showing a bed covered in dust.
Police said the storm lasted a few hours and caused some minor damage to houses and signs in the town.
The security official said the storm lasted for a few hours and inflicted some minor damage to houses and signs in the town.
More details to follow. Image 1 of the storm dust from Evening Standard. ■
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