Australia's Prime Minister Morrison announces Cabinet reshuffle, Australia/NZ News & Top Stories

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison extended greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Holi.

Mr Porter announced he was going on mental health leave at a press conference on March 3, in which he vehemently denied a historical claim that he raped a 16-year-old girl. Linda Reynolds would leave the role of defence minister and would be replaced by Peter Dutton, previously home affairs minister.

Attorney-General Christian Porter lost his role to Senator Michaelia Cash.

The former Liberal Party staffer has alleged she was raped at Parliament House in Defence Minister Linda Reynolds' ministerial office by a colleague.

Mr Porter will now take on the portfolio for industry, science and technology. Earlier this month it emerged she'd called Ms Higgins a "lying cow" in reference to certain elements of her story detailed in national media.

"Getting these results for Australian women will be achieved through collaboration, it will be achieved through listening, they will be achieved by acting together", Morrison said.

Tugs, dredgers still struggle to free ship blocking Suez Canal
The 193-km long canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and provides the shortest sea link between Asia and Europe. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.

Mr Morrison is allowing Mr Porter to remain in the Cabinet while pursuing a defamation action against ABC journalist Louise Milligan following an article published on 26 February which Mr Porter says made false allegations against him in relation to a person he met when he was a teenager.

"But it's not just about the size of the female contingent in my Cabinet; it's the skills and the experience, it's the perspective, and it's the collaboration they bring to our nation's most hard tasks", Mr. Morrison said.

The Australian parliament has been engulfed by allegations of sexual abuse, discrimination against women and misconduct.

The Morrison government has been under renewed pressure since the publication last week of "disgusting" images and videos of male senior government staff performing sex acts in Parliament House.

"She is a woman of great talent, great experience and great practicality", Mr Morrison said.

The PM has acknowledged a "traumatic month" in Australia's parliament since Higgins' rape allegations and said he was considering the issue of consent education in schools and greater funding for rape crisis centres. "But I think what we are announcing today has gone further than that", Morrison told reporters in Canberra. "That will slow us down, that will not get the outcomes".

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