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Asylum Seekers in Limbo as Australia’s Abbott Defends Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott defended his government’s refugee policy amid a High Court challenge to Australia intercepting 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers at sea and seeking to return them home.

Australia won’t be held “over a moral barrel” on the issue, Abbott told Channel Nine television today in an interview. The government will comply with its legal obligations and the asylum seekers, held on a customs vessel, are safe, he said.