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AP PHOTOS: Rohingya Muslims await chance to enter Bangladesh

By Associated Press
Published: 04:15 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:56 EDT, 2 November 2017
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By Associated Press

Published: 04:15 EDT, 2 November 2017 | Updated: 05:56 EDT, 2 November 2017

PALONG KHALI, Bangladesh (AP) – The scene has played out with heartbreaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh: terrified knots of men, women and children crossing the swollen Naf River and waiting along the border for permission to cross.

On Thursday, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh border guards to let them enter. They have been waiting for two days and while they were given packets of food by aid groups, permission to enter eluded them.

So they waited, crouched in the muddy fields. The children carried younger siblings. The elderly were helped along by relatives. Without enough drinking water to go around, many people drank from the muddy canals around the fields.

An exhausted Rohingya lies on the muddy ground after crossing over from the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

An exhausted Rohingya lies on the muddy ground after crossing over from the Myanmar border into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Most of the refugees had walked for as many as 10 days before they were able to cross the river. Along the way, they said, they were robbed multiple times by Myanmar soldiers of what little cash they had and even belongings like plastic sheets.

All of them were hungry and exhausted. Some collapsed. Others wept as they clung to their children.

The exodus of Rohingya Muslims started Aug. 25 when insurgents attacked dozens of police posts in Myanmar.

The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal.

Hundreds of Rohingya villages in Rakhine state have been set on fire. Fleeing Rohingya have told stories of arson and rape and shootings by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs.

The violence, which the U.N. describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.

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Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims help another after crossing the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya women carry children and belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their belongings and cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims carry their young children and belongings after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Groups of Rohingya Muslims cross the Naf river at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river and waited along the border for permission to cross. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim helps an elderly as they cross over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. The exodus of Rohingya Muslims, long persecuted in Myanmar, started Aug. 25 when a group of insurgents attacked dozens of police posts. The retribution from Myanmar's authorities was swift and brutal. The violence, which the UN describes as ethnic cleansing, has pushed more than 600,000 Rohingya towards Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya wade through the Naf river after having just crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya boy carries a younger child, as others carry their belongings and walk after having just crossed the Naf river near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1 2017. On Wednesday at least 2,000 exhausted and starving people waited in rice paddy fields at one border crossing for Bangladesh's border guards to let them enter. It's a scene that's played out over and over again with heartbeaking regularity as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to neighboring Bangladesh. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya child sleeps inside a basket in which he was carried as a group of Rohingya fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslim children stay close to elders as they cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim woman carries an infant child and walks with a group after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims crowd an embankment after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries his belongings and cross over with a group from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A group of Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A Rohingya Muslim carries an elderly woman through water after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Rohingya Muslims cross over the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar, near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. In a scene that's played out over and over again, at least 2,000 exhausted and starving Rohingya crossed the swollen Naf river on Wednesday and waited along the Bangladesh border for permission to cross, fleeing persecution in Myanmar. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

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Australia

Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Australia

Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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Grace Tame says caller ‘threatened’ against criticising PM

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An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a “threatening” call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.

Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she’d been called by a “senior member of a government-funded organisation”.

She added she was asked to promise not to say anything “damning” about Scott Morrison.

The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate.

On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office.

Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament’s culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed.

Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.

On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: “if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech”.

But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named.

She said the caller had described her as an “influential figure” and that Mr Morrison would “have a fear” about what she might say “with an election coming soon”. Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May.

“Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me,” Ms Tame said, before drawing a comparison with her former abuser – a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent.

Mr Morrison’s office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame’s speech, adding “the individual should apologise”.

“The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable,” a spokesperson said.

But Ms Tame said launching a probe “misses the point entirely”.

“Stop deflecting, Scott. It’s not about the person who made the call. It’s the fact they felt like they had to do it at all,” she tweeted.

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