{FD} Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

An Australian inquiry into child abuse has recommended that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and clarify the extent that the seal of the confession applies to evidence of child abuse.

{FD} Australian bank faces more charges from financial watchdog

Australia’s financial crime intelligence agency has widened its allegations against the country’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, of failing to comply with measures to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.

{FD} Pedophile stopped at Sydney Airport by anti-sex tourism law

A convicted child molester has been prevented from flying overseas from Sydney Airport under new laws aimed at keeping Australian pedophiles out of Southeast Asian sex tourist markets.

{FD} New Zealand space launch scrubbed from remote launch site

A space launch was scrubbed Tuesday from a remote launch site in New Zealand after an engine glitch caused engineers to abort the flight.

{FD} Australian lawmaker quits over Chinese political links

An influential Australian opposition lawmaker under fire over his close links to wealthy Chinese political donors has announced he is quitting the Senate for the good of his party as the government moves against foreign interference in politics.

{FD} American man on the run after escaping Bali prison

The search continues for an American man who escaped an Indonesian jail early Monday morning.

{FD} Australian city of Melbourne to test terrorism alarm system

Melbourne will test a terrorism alarm system this month after police thwarted two alleged plots targeting Christmas-New Year crowds and a lone driver killed six pedestrians in the last year in Australia’s second-largest city.

{FD} China accuses Australian leader of undermining trust

China says Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is undermining mutual trust with remarks accusing foreign powers of seeking to influence the country’s political process.

{FD} Gay marriage becomes law in Australia; weddings start in Jan

Gay marriage in Australia became a law Friday as the prime minister gained a final signature on a bill hours after it was overwhelming endorsed by Parliament, and the nation started planning weddings that can take place in a month.

{FD} 2 Australians jailed in brutal slaying of Aboriginal woman

A judge has sentenced a man to at least 14 years in prison for the slaying of an Aboriginal woman who bled to death from a violent sexual assault on a remote beach.

{FD} The Latest: Australian Parliament OKs same-sex marriage

The Latest on Australia’s vote to allow same-sex marriage (all times local): 5 p.m.

{FD} Gay marriage advocates celebrate ahead of Australian vote

Gay rights advocates celebrated outside Australia’s Parliament House on Thursday in anticipation of same-sex marriage being legalized within hours.

{FD} China scolds Australia over plan to ban foreign interference

China has scolded Australia over its plan to ban foreign interference in politics — an effort motivated in part because of China’s global political influence.

{FD} US flies B-1B over South in show of force against N. Korea

The United States flew a B-1B supersonic bomber over South Korea on Wednesday in part of a massive combined aerial exercise involving hundreds of warplanes, a clear warning after North Korea last week tested its biggest and most powerful missile yet.

{FD} New Zealand’s governor general pays visit to Malaysia

Malaysia rolled out the red carpet Wednesday for New Zealand’s governor general, who is marking 60 years of diplomatic ties between the countries.

{FD} Australian lawmaker says uncertainty won’t stop gay marriage

A leading opponent of marriage equality says Australia’s Parliament will legalize gay marriage this week despite some lawmakers’ concerns about whether Australian cake makers should have to cater for same-sex weddings.

{FD} 2 kiwi birds are rare bright spot in grim extinction report

Two types of New Zealand kiwi birds are rare bright spots in a mostly grim assessment of global species at risk of extinction.

{FD} Australia to ban foreign interference in politics

Australia will ban foreign interference in its politics, motivated largely by Russia’s alleged involvement in last year’s U.S. election and China’s growing influence on world politics.

{FD} Australian Parliament resumes gay marriage reform debate

Australia’s Parliament has started debating a bill that could legalize gay marriage across the country, with one lawmaker taking the opportunity to propose to his gay partner.

{FD} Australia re-elects deputy leader and bolsters government

Australia’s government has tightened its tenuous grip on power with the former deputy prime minister’s re-election to Parliament five weeks after he was thrown out for breaching the constitution.