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An independent review of Australia’s environmental legislation, released Thursday, found a need for “fundamental reforms,” citing “a decline of iconic places.” The long-awaited government-commissioned review by Professor Graeme Samuel AC makes 38 recommendations for reform. In particular, it focuses on the centerpiece of Australia’s environmental legislative framework, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. [...]

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The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) Monday launched a legal challenge against the Western Australia State Government’s approval of the new Burrup Hub petroleum gas development. The environmental group is challenging Woodside Petroleum’s expansion because it was not given proper environmental assessment prior to approval. In a press release, the group describes the development [...]

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An Australian parliamentary committee investigating Rio Tinto’s blasting of a highly significant ancient rock shelter in the state of Western Australia released a scathing interim report Wednesday, describing “a ‘don’t care culture’ that infected Rio Tinto from the top down” and a “completely inadequate” legislative framework for Indigenous heritage protection. Juurkan Gorge, in Western Australias [...]

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Australia’s parliament on Thursday approved a law giving the federal government powers to void foreign agreements entered into by state governments, local councils and universities. The law establishes a public register of foreign agreements and empowers the foreign minister to review them and determine whether they are “inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy objectives.” The Australian [...]

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A Venezuelan court Thursday convicted six American oil executives of wide-ranging corruption offenses. The six US nationals include the former president and former vice-presidents of Citgo refining company, a US-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil corporation Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). The offenses include criminal association, money laundering and willful embezzlement. Five of them were [...]

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A landmark report into the conduct of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan was released Thursday, concluding that there is “credible information to substantiate 23 incidents of alleged unlawful killing of 39 people by 25 Australian Special Forces personnel, predominantly from the Special Air Service Regiment.” The closed-door inquiry, headed by Major General Justice Paul Brereton, had [...]

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