Aust Minister for Pacific on first visit to Samoa

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, officially welcomed Minister Ciobo at his office in Apia yesterday, before joining him at the APTC (Australia-Pacific Technical College) To Work Forum at the National University of Samoa.

Pacific Island nations accuse Australia of failing to 'bat for neighbours'

President Anote Tong is among leaders of some of the world's most vulnerable islands calling for big polluting nations to stand up at the United Nations summit and ensure their survival.

As the richest country in the region, Australia faces Pacific calls to push for a strong deal that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees.

But so far, Tong hasn't seen evidence of that from the Australians.

“They've not been doing any batting at the moment for us,” he told AAP in Paris on Tuesday.

Chris Brown cancels NZ concert

He has also scrapped four Australian tour dates.

Brown caused a stir when he announced plans to visit New Zealand, with anti-violence groups speaking out against his trip because of his conviction for assaulting a former partner. But he gained the support of several high-profile Maori women.

He was due to perform in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth from 9 December as part of his 'One Hell of a Nite' tour and in Auckland on 18 December.

UN leader asks Australia to reconsider asylum seeker policies

The secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, met Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Malaysia on Sunday.

Ban also raised concerns about conditions in Australia's detention centres in Nauru and on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

Japan, Australia seen boosting support for Pacific nations

The aim of the strategy is to check China’s advances in the region through infrastructure and other improvements.

Australia set for scorching temperatures

Temperatures are predicted to rise from today in all states except Tasmania, caused by a large high pressure system moving east across the country from Western Australia.

Severe heatwave conditions are first predicted for the western Top End on Tuesday, rising to severe in some parts on Wednesday.

Australia under fire over offshore processing at UN

Australia has come under global fire for its boat turnback and offshore detention policies at a UN Human Rights Council performance review in Geneva.

Country after country at the review session raised the issue of Canberra's controversial asylum seeker policies.

Many like Germany highlighted the detention of children as a main issue.

"To remove children and their families and other individuals at risk in particular survivors of torture and trauma from immigration detention centres."

Australia to support Pacific at COP 21 in Paris

Australia has announced that it will support the Pacific in its quest to have a legally binding agreement at the United Nations Climate Change (COP21) talks in France later this month.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steven Ciobo, made the revelation while launching the Tide Gauge system in Niue Wednesday.

The announcement is good news for the region as pleas from Pacific Islands to Australia in the past to reduce its greenhouse emissions fell on deaf ears.

New Zealand beat Australia to retain Rugby World Cup

Wonderful tries from Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma'a Nonu had given the All Blacks a 21-3 lead early in the second half before David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani struck back.

With 15 minutes to go there were just four points in it, but a nerveless long-distance drop-goal and penalty from Dan Carter snatched back control.

And when replacement Beauden Barrett sprinted away on to Ben Smith's clearing kick at the death history was made, with New Zealand also becoming the first three-time champions of the world.

Craig Joubert treatment unfair - Cheika

The governing body issued a statement on Monday saying the South African had not made the "appropriate decision".

Cheika, whose side won Sunday's match 35-34, said: "No other referee has had this stuff put out there like that.

"I would have liked my mates to back me up a little more."

Former top referee Jonathan Kaplan, who has mentored Joubert during his career, questioned whether World Rugby should be "criticising one if its own assets".