World Briefs: Australia in $63m effort to help reef

Australia in $63m effort to help reef

SYDNEY • The Australian government has unveiled a A$60 million (S$63 million) campaign to curb pollution and the predatory crown-of-thorns starfish devouring the Great Barrier Reef in a push to preserve the World Heritage-listed ecosystem.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said just over half of the new funding would be spent on incentives for farmers to prevent agricultural pollutants from running into the reef.


Amazon's automated grocery store opens

SEATTLE • Online retail giant Amazon opened its checkout-free grocery store to shoppers yesterday, the company said.

The move comes after more than a year of testing, and advances an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.

The store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous as customers are billed after leaving the store, using credit cards on file.


Saudi-led coalition's $1.5b aid for Yemen

RIYADH • A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia yesterday said it would commit US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion) in new humanitarian aid for Yemen where it is supporting the internationally recognised government against Iran-aligned Houthis in a three-year-old civil war.

The US-backed alliance, which also includes the United Arab Emirates, said in a statement it would operate an air bridge to Marib, set up 17 overland corridors for aid deliveries and lead the expansion of additional Yemeni ports to receive humanitarian and essential cargo.


Turkey ups assault on Kurdish targets

HASSA (Turkey) • Ankara yesterday intensified its offensive against Kurdish militia targets in Syria as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed there would be no stepping back in a campaign that has stoked concern among Turkey's allies and neighbours.

The Turkish military last Saturday launched operation "Olive Branch", its second major incursion into Syrian territory during the seven-year civil war.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe