Australia bans climbing of Uluru
SYDNEY • Climbing the world's largest monolith Uluru has been banned amid concerns it was becoming a "theme park", undermining the giant red rock's deep cultural significance. The ban will come into force in October 2019.
Scrambling up the symbol of the Outback, also known as Ayers Rock, is seen by many tourists as a must-do on their visit to Australia. But they do so against the wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners, the Anangu, to whom the site is sacred.
Hamas hands over control of Gaza borders
RAFAH (Palestinian Territories) • Hamas handed over control of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel to the Palestinian Authority yesterday, in the first key test of a landmark reconciliation accord agreed last month.
The handover signals that Islamist movement Hamas remains firmly committed to a deal that would see it give up full control of the Gaza Strip and bring an end to a 10-year rift with its rival, Fatah.
Another lawmaker with dual citizenship
SYDNEY • A citizenship crisis that robbed Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of his one-seat majority is set to claim another politician, with Senate president, Mr Stephen Parry, saying he will resign after being told that, along with his Australian citizenship, he also holds British citizenship. Under Australia's Constitution, a politician must hold only Australian citizenship to be eligible for election to the national Parliament.
Mr Parry's resignation follows last week's High Court ruling that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four other legislators were ineligible to hold office as they have dual citizenship.