By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will transfer 157 Tamil asylum seekers it has been holding at sea for nearly a month to a mainland detention center, the immigration minister said on Friday, in an apparent setback for the government's policies. Australia has provided little information about the asylum seekers, detained by customs after setting sail from India. Their case was due to be heard by the High Court next month. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison struck a combative tone, refusing to answer questions about the condition of the asylum seekers or the potential impact the move could have on policy. He insisted, however, that the government was not backing down from a regime that he says prevented the thousands of boat arrivals per month the country experienced during much of 2013 and the resultant spike in deaths at sea. "They will not be resettled in Australia. That is the policy of the Australian government and there is no change to our policy on any front and more importantly there is no change to our resolve," he said. Australia uses offshore detention centers in Papua New Guinea and the tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru to process would-be refugees trying to reach the country, often in unsafe boats after paying people smugglers in Indonesia. A government source who spoke under the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter said that this group of asylum seekers would be transferred to the remote Curtin Detention Center in outback Western Australia. Under a tough policy brought in by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party, no one attempting to arrive in Australia by boat to claim asylum can ever be settled in the country, regardless of the final status they get. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the opposition Greens Party blasted Morrison over the announcement, dismissed the move in a statement as "illegal" and a "debacle". "The Immigration Minister is a spectacular failure by his own measure, as well as the measure of the international community and decent, caring Australians," she said. DEAL WITH INDIA Morrison said a deal had been reached with India during a visit there this week to grant consular access detention center with the goal of identifying Indian nationals who could then be returned to their home country. "The Minister for Home Affairs has confirmed to the Australian government that in addition to India's standing policy of receiving returns of any Indian citizens, he indicated to me at our meeting that they will also consider the return of those who may be Sri Lankan nationals," Morrison said. In New Delhi, India's interior ministry denied any offer had been made to take in Sri Lankan nationals. "This is not true at all. We have only asked for consular access to those who might be Indians. We have not offered to take Sri Lankan nationals," said Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, spokesman at the ministry of home affairs. Abbott's government has boasted of its success in deterring asylum seekers from taking the journey, issuing updates on how long it has been since the last boat arrival in Australia. About 16,000 asylum seekers came on 220 boats to Australia in the first seven months of last year, but the government says there have been no illegal boat arrivals since December 2013. But the policies have been facing growing international scrutiny from rights groups, The New York Times editorial board and the United Nations, as well as legal challenges in Australia's courts. Another 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers picked up from a separate boat were handed to Sri Lanka in a secret operation last month, igniting fresh criticism from rights groups. That led the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to express "profound concern" about the policy, which it said might place Australia in violation of international laws barring the return of a person to a country where he or she had a well-founded fear of persecution. [ID:nL4N0PF175] It was not immediately clear if their case would still proceed to the High Court for a hearing scheduled for next week. (Reporting by Matt Siegel, Additional reporting by Nita Bhalla in NEW DELHI; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Ron Popeski)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- CBS News
The discovery came after a weeks-long manhunt following the death of Gabby Petito.
Lawyer for Brian Laundrie's family addresses speculation about how easily his dad found his belongings, saying the public 'doesn't understand simplicity'
Brian Laundrie's parents could not have planted his remains or had special knowledge about where they were, the family lawyer said.
- USA TODAY Sports
Tempers boiled over on the Lakers bench when Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard got into a brief physical altercation during a timeout.
- LA Times
At least one of the camera operators complained last weekend to production managers about gun safety on the set.
- The Daily Beast
Max Mumby/Indigo/GettyNow that it has been revealed—24 hours after the event—that Queen Elizabeth II has spent a night in hospital and was not, as the palace press corps were informed, “resting” at Windsor Castle, there are complaints that, once again, the messaging is bad and making the situation worse. For sure, trying to conceal the hospital visit just raises the question: what else is not being revealed? And, inevitably, it renews speculation about whether the Queen will finally have to give
- Idaho Statesman
With six No. 1 country songs to tap, this concert should be a crowd pleaser.
Collin Morikawa has already won two majors in his fledgling pro career, but the 24-year-old American managed a new first at the PGA Tour's Zozo Championship on Saturday.
Her majesty has a long list of future successors.
- Atlanta Black Star
‘Income Earned During the Marriage Are His Separate Property’: Robert De Niro Won’t Be Splitting His $500 Million Fortune with Estranged Wife In Divorce Settlement, Court Decides
Robert De Niro won’t be breaking the bank as his long-standing divorce proceedings come to a close. The Hollywood A-lister can release a sigh of […]
- Touchdown Wire
Arch Manning with a long run for a TD in front of Georgia coach Kirby Smart
Peter Scolari, the prolific television and stage actor who found instant fame and a lifelong friendship with Tom Hanks when the two co-starred in the hit 1980 TV comedy Bosom Buddies, died early Friday morning following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 66. His death was announced by Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment. […]
Road rage bubbled as the track temperature rose in the second practice session for United States Grand Prix on Friday as Max Verstappen called title rival Lewis Hamilton a "stupid idiot".
From natural-looking coverage to subtle tricks that make the eyes pop, legendary makeup artist Sandy Linter’s guide to age-defying beauty.
- Business Insider
A Frontier Airlines pilot accused of secretly recording a Florida student with a spy camera has been arrested, police say
A Florida college student, who was allegedly recorded by a Frontier pilot, told WKMG she saw a flashing light and discovered a camera recording her.
Poulter is preparing to play a Marvel superhero in the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."
- Business Insider
'I've lost my joy': Anti-vax Republican, who worked for the Trump campaign and embraced QAnon, says she has COVID-19
Lauren Witzke, the 2020 GOP candidate for US Senate in Delaware, told followers she had "lost all of my senses."
- Atlanta Black Star
A 4-foot-8 Black Woman Was Accosted By Group of Boys, Minutes Later a Louisiana Deputy Was Flinging Her By Her Hair In Shocking Video; Investigation Launched
An investigation has been launched in a New Orleans suburb after a video captured a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy flinging a 4-foot-8 Black woman […]
- Business Insider
A Nevada man said a ballot cast in his dead wife's name 'lent some credence' to voter fraud claims. Now officials say he's the one who did it.
His dead wife's ballot was sent in with a signature that matched county records. Hartle had claimed the ballot was never delivered to their house.
- The Daily Beast
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via GettyWith a hint of confusion in his eyes and a whiff of failure in the air around him, Joe Biden is watching his approval ratings continue to plummet to the point where just 42 percent of Americans approve of his job performance.Which makes sense, since at least so far Biden really doesn’t seem very good at this whole being president thing despite dreaming of and preparing for it for decades. With his staff trying to hide him from the press, and his pencha
- NBC Sports
Max Verstappen hurled an insult and an obscene gesture at Lewis Hamilton after the drivers nearly collided in F1 practice at COTA.