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Latest John Howard Stories

2006-06-22 20:29:13

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Friday it would be inappropriate to apologize to Iraq yet for the killing of an Iraqi government bodyguard by Australian troops in a shooting mishap in Baghdad. Australia is trying to negotiate new wheat deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars but Iraqi Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudany has called for an apology for the shooting and threatened to reconsider trade deals with Australia. Australian soldiers...

2006-06-15 06:05:01

By James Grubel CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard wrote to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday to protest the decision to free a hardline Islamic cleric jailed over links to the 2002 Bali bombings. The criticism comes ahead of a planned summit between Howard and Yudhoyono set for June 26 in Indonesia. That summit had been expected to cap an improvement in ties after a flap over Australia granting asylum to 42 people from Indonesia's...

2006-05-16 13:21:31

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Tuesday praised Australia's John Howard as a staunch ally in the war in Iraq, and suggested that he expected the four-term prime minister to run once more for re-election. At a joint news conference with Howard, Bush did nothing to deter speculation in Australia that Howard might run again next year instead of retiring. He has won four straight elections and been in power for 10 years. "Well, I suspect he's going to...

2006-05-02 02:05:21

CANBERRA (Reuters) - The first Australian soldier killed on active duty in Iraq was buried with full military honors on Tuesday amid confusion over the cause of death and a bungle which saw the wrong body initially sent home from Baghdad. Prime Minister John Howard attended the funeral of Jake Kovco as authorities cleared the body of a Bosnian man to be sent back to his family after it was wrongly shipped to Australia. Kovco, 25, a sniper deployed to provide security for Australian...

2006-04-26 02:39:07

By Michelle Nichols CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard unveiled plans on Wednesday to introduce a national health and welfare access card after the government decided against creating a compulsory full-scale identity card. Howard said the card would replace 17 existing cards and save the government at least A$3 billion ($2.2 billion) annually, as well as reducing fraud by incorporating security features including a biometric photograph. It will not carry...

2006-04-13 01:21:32

By Michael Byrnes SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday his government was misled by the country's wheat exporter about its oil-for-food deals in Iraq, which a U.N. report said involved multi-million dollar kickbacks. Testifying at an official inquiry into reports wheat exporter AWB Ltd. allegedly paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime, Howard said he was aware U.N. sanctions were broken, but he did not know at the time that any Australian...

2006-04-12 22:42:51

By Michael Byrnes SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday he was aware Saddam Hussein had broken sanctions in U.N. oil-for-food deals, but he did not know that any Australian company was involved. Howard was testifying to an official inquiry into reports the country's monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd. had allegedly paid multi-million-dollar kickbacks to Saddam's Iraqi regime. A 2005 U.N. report alleged that AWB was one of more than 2,000 firms that...

2006-04-12 21:25:22

By Michael Byrnes SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday he was aware Saddam Hussein had broken sanctions in U.N. oil-for-food deals, but he did not know whether any Australian company was involved. Howard was giving evidence into an official inquiry into reports the country's monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd. allegedly paid multi-million dollar kickbacks to Saddam's Iraqi regime. A 2005 U.N. report alleged AWB was one of more than 2,000 firms that...

2006-04-10 23:58:35

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian review of how it grants visas to asylum seekers could undermine the integrity and credibility of its refugee process, human rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday. Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Friday that the system was under review after a recent Immigration Department decision to grant asylum to 42 boat people from Indonesia's Papua province strained ties between Canberra and Jakarta. The government is considering...

2006-04-07 01:52:02

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia will review how it grants visas to asylum seekers, Prime Minister John Howard said on Friday, after Indonesia complained it was not consulted over Canberra's decision to give 42 Papuans protection visas. Australia's Immigration Department recognized the 42 boat people from Indonesia's troubled Papua province as refugees last month after they sailed from their homeland in a traditional outrigger with a banner accusing Indonesia of genocide. Jakarta...