Top Asian News 3:04 a.m. GMT

Australia and New Zealand sending planes to evacuate nationals from New Caledonia's unrest

SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian and New Zealand governments announced Tuesday they were sending planes to evacuate their nationals from violence-wracked New Caledonia. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed Australia had received clearance from French authorities for two flights to evacuate citizens and other tourists from New Caledonia amid violent unrest that has beset the French Pacific archipelago where indigenous people have long sought independence from France. “We continue to work on further flights,” Wong wrote on the social media platform X on Tuesday. The Department of Foreign Affairs said 300 Australians were in New Caledonia. New Zealand also announced it was sending a plane Tuesday to evacuate 50 of its nationals from Noumea, the Pacific island's capital, in the first in a series of proposed flights to bring its citizens home.