Sabine Atlaoui, the wife of death-row prisoner Sergei Atlaoui of France, arrives with other relatives at Wijayapura port for a visit to Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap. Sergei Atlaoui along with Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil, Australian Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are facing execution by firing squad in Nusakambangan. Photograph: Mast Irham/EPA 1:10

Indonesia rejected on Thursday an Australian proposal for a prisoner swap made in an 11th hour effort to save the lives of two Australian drug smuggle(...)

Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott:   poll ratings have languished since last May’s budget, which was widely criticised as unfair to the lower and middles classes. Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott is a very fit man, and is regularly filmed on a pre-dawn cycle around Canberra or his constituency in Sydney.(...)

Party critics of Australian prime minister Tony Abbott have launched a dramatic bid to unseat the conservative leader after less than 18 months in office, but he vowed to fight on. Photograph: Saeed Khansaeed/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Embattled Australian prime minister Tony Abbott will face a vote on his leadership at a party-room meeting next week after disgruntled government lawm(...)

Billionaire Clive Palmer accused the “communist Chinese government” of trying to steal Australia’s natural resources. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

One of the more lively verbal spats in the region last week was sparked by the Australian legislator and mining magnate, Clive Palmer, who went on tel(...)

Head of Australian Federal Police mission Commander Brian McDonald (L), Alexander Hug (C), deputy head for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) monitoring mission in Ukraine and Dutch police officer Kuijs arrive back from the site where the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 crashed.

Four-way talks on Ukraine’s conflict have resumed, after international investigators returned to the crash site of Flight MH17 and the nation’s par(...)

Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans at Kharkiv airport in Ukraine yesterday: “I have the impression that the separatists may have finally got the message that it is a matter of common humanity to allow all the human remains to be removed.” Photograph: EPA/Sergei Kozlov

A decision is to be made this weekend on whether Dutch special forces will be sent to eastern Ukraine to protect unarmed military police and forens(...)

A piece of the wreckage is seen at a crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the village of Petropavlivka (, Donetsk region. Photograph: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

The Netherlands is sending 40 unarmed military police to eastern Ukraine as part of an increased effort to find the last victims of the downed Malaysi(...)

Peter Greste: the Australian journalist stands inside the court cage during the sentencing session yesterday. Photograp: EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

International outrage at Egypt’s crackdown on dissent intensified yesterday after three journalists for al-Jazeera English were sentenced to seven yea(...)

A shopper stands in front of a mock tank made by university students, imitating those used during the military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, during an exhibition in Hong Kong. China has defended the crackdown ahead of the 25th anniversary. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters.

China defended the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square today, the eve of the 25th anniversary, s(...)

Australia’s then foreign minister Bob Carr talking to reporters after a news conference in Jakarta on April 3rd, 2013. In his just-launched book, “Diary of a Foreign Minister”, Carr says he had “more energy than 16 gladiators”. Photograph: Reuters

It’s not often that a former foreign minister gets called a “tosser” in a newspaper headline, but not many former foreign ministers publish dia(...)