Australia to support activists threatened by Hong Kong

Australia expresses concern over Hong Kong bounties on activists, vows support for those residing in Australia.

Australia authorises MDMA, magic mushrooms for medical treatment

In a move to address certain mental health conditions, Australia becomes one of the world’s first countries to authorize the medical use of MDMA and magic mushrooms (psilocybin). From July 1, prescribed usage is permitted for treating post-traumatic stress disorder and some forms of depression.

Australia’s minimum wage to rise by 5.75% , affecting nearly a quarter of workers

Australia’s Fair Work Commission has decided to raise the minimum wage by 5.75%, affecting about 2.67 million workers. This hike increases the hourly wage from $21.38 to $22.61, equivalent to a rise from $14.11 to $14.92 in U.S. dollars. The decision, which does not align with the current inflation rate, defies market expectations and has been met with varied responses from unions and business groups.

Magnitude 7.7 quake hits near New Caledonia triggering tsunami warning

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck Friday in the Pacific Ocean southeast of New Caledonia, triggering a tsunami warning

Five Aussie universities ban Indian students after surge in fraudulent student visa applications

Several Australian universities are cracking down on fraudulent student visa applications from India. Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University are among the universities that have implemented bans on Indian students from certain states to preempt potential government restrictions. The Australian government applies ratings to countries it considers a higher risk of visa fraud, and many students from these countries have been found to work illegally after arriving in Australia. Education agencies that recruit international students in exchange for commissions have been accused of misleading conduct.

Australian finance company refuses hackers’ ransom demand

Australian consumer lending company, Latitude Financial, announced that it will not pay a ransom to hackers who stole millions of records of around 14 million Australian and New Zealand customers. The company received a ransom threat from the group behind the cyber attack but ignored it in line with government advice. The stolen data includes 7.9 million Australian and New Zealand driving licenses and 53,000 passport numbers, as well as other personal information such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers. The Australian government has warned that paying a ransom only encourages further extortion attempts.

Singapore Govt-owned telco giant Optus accused of making illegal donations to Australian political parties

Investigative news outlet Klaxon has uncovered a scandal involving Optus, a majority Singaporean Government-owned telco giant operating in Australia, that allegedly made almost AUD 70,000 in illegal political donations to Australian political parties, which is prohibited under Australian law. Singtel, which fully owns Optus, is itself 52% owned by Temasek Holdings, a company that is 100% owned and controlled by the Singaporean Government, meaning Optus appears to meet all five criteria under Section 70.1 of the Criminal Code, which defines a “foreign public enterprise”.

Scandal-hit Australia to get corruption watchdog

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Rising corruption and plummeting trust spurred Australia to pass…

Did hacked-Optus deploy its global cybersecurity giant to protect its Australian customers?

AUSTRALIA — Investigative news outlet, Klaxon raises questions about whether Optus, the second-largest…