Australian firefighters contend with pet crocodile

DARWIN, Australia (AP) -- Firefighters who fought a blaze at a house in the tropical Australian city of Darwin on Thursday contended with the added distraction of being watched by a 4-meter (13-foot) pet crocodile. The fire destroyed the two-story house in the upscale suburb of Fannie Bay but did not harm the huge reptile, a female named Albert, which lives in a backyard enclosure, firefighter Bill Gleeson said.

Australia warns gas companies they risk export restrictions

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's prime minister warned energy companies on Thursday that they would be restricted from exporting gas if Australians are not also provided with adequate supplies at internationally competitive prices. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was unacceptable that Australia was about to overtake Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquid natural gas yet domestic gas users face shortages and sky-rocketing prices.

Cambage returns to Australia's WNBL with Melbourne Boomers

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Australia center Liz Cambage has signed for the Melbourne Boomers and is set to play in the domestic WNBL season starting in October. Cambage, the star of the national team and the first woman to dunk in the Olympic women's basketball competition, has played for mainly for clubs in the U.S. WNBA and in China since winning the Most Valuable Player award and the WNBL title with the Boomers in 2011.

The Latest: Trump makes brief stop in North Korea meeting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local): 5:10 p.m. The White House says President Donald Trump did not attend the entire meeting with senators who gathered to discuss the crisis in North Korea. An administration official says Trump attended only the first five minutes of the meeting. He delivered opening remarks before handing it over to his national security team.

Australian Olympic staffer steps down pending investigation

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Australian Olympic Committee's media director has stood down pending an investigation into allegations of bullying that have surfaced during an acrimonious contest for the organization's presidency. Longtime media and communications director Mike Tancred has denied the allegations made by former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong but said Wednesday he would step aside until the matter has been resolved.

Trump, Australia prime minister to meet next month in NYC

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump plans to mark the 75th anniversary of a World War II naval battle by visiting the USS Intrepid. White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump will also meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the floating museum in New York City on May 4. U.S. and Australian naval and air forces fought the Japanese during the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought May 4-8, 1942.

Australian Olympic chief says campaign is malicious

SYDNEY (AP) -- An increasingly bitter Olympic election in Australia has intensified with IOC Vice President John Coates describing the campaign as malicious and designed to damage him personally. Coates is facing his first challenge as president of the Australian Olympic Committee in 27 years, with 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche running against him in a May 6 ballot.

Elon Musk steps out in Australia with Amber Heard

Billionaire Elon Musk is getting close with actress Amber Heard. The pair is shown in paparazzi photos zip-lining in Australia, where Heard is filming "Aquaman." Both Musk and Heard posted pictures to their Instagram accounts Monday showing Musk with lipstick on his cheek left behind from a kiss. Musk wrote on his post that he and Heard were dining with "Aquaman" director James Wan and producer Rob Cowan on Australia's Gold Coast.

Police stop 12-year-old boy from driving across Australia

SYDNEY (AP) -- Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. The unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from his home in Kendall on the east coast when he was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the remote mining town of Broken Hill.

Amid North Korea crisis, Pence becomes Trump emissary abroad

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) -- As tensions rose on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who has President Donald Trump's trust but little diplomatic experience to go with it, became the top American official headed to the region after North Korea again failed to successfully launch a ballistic missile.

Pence embraces US-Australia partnership after Trump spat

SYDNEY (AP) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Australia's prime minister swept aside any lingering tensions Saturday over an Obama era agreement on the resettlement of refugees, joining forces to urge China to take a greater role in pressuring North Korea to scuttle its nuclear weapons and missile program.

The Latest: Pence, Turnbull urge China to pressure N. Korea

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Asia and Australia (all times local): 12:35 p.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are joining forces in urging China to do more to pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

Chevron loses appeal against $260 million Australia tax bill

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- An Australian subsidiary of U.S. energy giant Chevron Corp. lost a court appeal on Friday against a 340 million Australian dollar ($260 million) tax bill in a ruling with ramification for how multinational corporations transfer money. Three judges of the Australian Federal Court unanimously rejected Chevron Australia's appeal against tax assessments for five years ending in 2008.

Global stocks mixed ahead of French vote

BEIJING (AP) -- European stocks declined while most Asian markets rose Friday ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election. KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 retreated 0.6 percent to 5,043.53 and London's FTSE-100 shed just under 0.1 percent to 7,124.36. Germany's DAX was little-changed at 12,023.01. On Wall Street, the future for the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.

In wake of tense Trump call, Pence aims to soothe Australia

SYDNEY (AP) -- More than two months after President Donald Trump got into a spat with the leader of Australia, Vice President Mike Pence will be working to smooth over any lingering hard feelings. Pence will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday as part of his 10-day, four-country trip to Asia. His agenda includes reassuring Turnbull about the state of the unusually strained U.S.

The Latest: Champs-Elysees reopening after gun attack

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on the shootings of two police officers in Paris (all times local): ___ 6:45 a.m. Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard is reopen and picking up its usual early morning routine Friday after a gunman opened fire on police, killing one officer and wounding three people before police shot and killed him. Municipal workers in white hygiene suits washed down the sidewalk where Thursday night's attack took place.

Asian stocks advance after US markets rally

BEIJING (AP) -- Asian stocks rose Friday ahead of the first round of voting in France's closely watched presidential election, after Wall Street rallied on strong corporate earnings. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 percent to 18,585.31 and the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent to 3,174.74. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.3 percent to 24,145.52 and Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 0.7 percent to 5,861.50. Seoul's Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,168.

The Latest: Pence to visit mosque in Indonesian capital

TOKYO (AP) -- The Latest on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's trip to Asia (all times local): 5:55 p.m. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on Thursday as part of his visit to Indonesia. The vice president's office says he will be touring the largest mosque in Indonesia and participating in a dialogue with interfaith religious leaders.