The former finance minister won a ballot amongst Liberal Party lawmakers after his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull decided not to contest. Australia has had half a dozen PMs in a decade due to leadership challenges within the political parties.
An Australian court dismissed the former Vatican treasurer's appeal to have his convictions overturned. However, the decision doesn't necessarily mark the end of Cardinal Pell's legal battle to reverse the ruling.
Fiji has told Australia its refusal to shift from coal to renewable energy sources amounts to an "existential threat" to Pacific islands. Neighboring low-lying Tuvalu is about to host an 18-nation regional forum.
China has said it "strongly deplores" remarks by a prominent Australian lawmaker that compared Beijing to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has been picked to replace Malcolm Turnbull as Australia's new prime minister. Turnbull was forced to step down following a week-long revolt by Liberal Party lawmakers.
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