NSW premier wants to cut immigration
SYDNEY • Sydney and its surrounds need to slash immigration by half to counter worsening congestion in Australia's most populous state, State Premier Gladys Berejiklian - herself the daughter of Armenian migrants - said yesterday.
The number of foreigners arriving in New South Wales annually has ballooned from about 45,000 in the early 2000s to nearly 100,000 today, she noted.
Ms Berejiklian's call came a day after the federal government said it was drawing up plans to require foreign migrants to temporarily settle in rural and regional areas to ease congestion in big cities.
Thai cave to remain closed
BANGKOK • There are no plans yet to reopen Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province, where 12 young footballers and their deputy coach were trapped by rising flood waters in late June, a senior official at the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department said.
But in December, the public will be allowed to visit the areas surrounding the cave, located inside the Tham Luang-Khun Nam Nang Non Forest Park, according to the department's deputy director-general Chongklai Worapongsathorn on Tuesday.
The 12 footballers and their deputy coach, who were rescued from the cave in a massive international operation, were in Buenos Aires this week to attend the Youth Olympics as special guests of the International Olympic Committee.
THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Pope likens abortion to hiring 'hit man'
VATICAN CITY • Pope Francis yesterday compared having an abortion to hiring a "hit man" to eliminate a problematic person, in comments expected to be welcomed by conservative Catholics who have accused the pontiff of not speaking out enough on "cultural war" issues.
The Pope made his comments on abortion, some of his toughest to date, in an address to tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter's Square for his weekly general audience.