Sep 20, 2021

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German election front-runner faces questioning over searches

  • Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in Germany’s upcoming election, faces questions from lawmakers over an investigation of a unit of the country’s customs service that resulted in a recent police search at his ministry
  • BERLIN -- Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, the frontrunner in Germany's upcoming election, faced questions from lawmakers on Monday over an investigation of a unit of the country's customs service that resulted in a recent police search at his ministry.
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Afghan women outraged by new Taliban restrictions on work

  • The Taliban's effective ban on women working sank in on Monday, sparking rage over the dramatic loss of rights after millions of female teachers and girls were barred from secondary school education.
  • That came after the education ministry ordered male teachers and students back to secondary school at the weekend, but made no mention of the country's millions of women educators and girl pupils.
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New Zealand grapples with Delta – and Tucker Carlson

  • One month after imposing the snap lockdown, New Zealand has bent the curve and may be able to eliminate an outbreak of the potent Delta variant of COVID-19 – though it is no sure thing.
  • Or perhaps soaring global demand amid the pandemic, Pfizer’s finite ability to supply vaccines to a vast suite of countries and New Zealand’s limited purchasing power and largely COVID-free status explains the “delay”.
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Lincoln Project says ad attacking Greg Abbott pulled from Texas football game

By Richard Luscombe
  • A group of disgruntled Republicans has questioned if the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, used political influence to pull a TV ad criticising his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The 60-second slot, which the Lincoln Project said cost $25,000 and was approved by ESPN lawyers, blames the Republican governor for more than 60,000 Covid deaths in the state, against a backdrop of images of the US southern border wall.
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US-China cold war could split world in two, UN chief Antonio Guterres says

Warning of a potential new cold war, the head of the United Nations implored China and the United States to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship before problems between the two large and deeply influential countries spill over even further into the rest of the planet.UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made the comments before this week’s annual United Nations gathering of world leaders – a convening blemished by Covid-19, climate concerns and contentiousness across the planet […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Indonesia clings to coal despite green vision for economy and growing climate concerns

  • Even as Indonesia wins cautious praise from some green groups for ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions, the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal shows no sign of weaning itself off the polluting fuel any time soon.
  • Coal power generation is Indonesia's second-biggest emissions source after deforestation, contributing 35 per cent of its 1,262 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent a year, government data showed.
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France cancels defense summit with UK over submarine row

By Liv Klingert, Cristina Gallardo
  • France has canceled a Franco-British defense ministers’ summit, which was due to take place this week, after Australia ditched a submarine contract with Paris and instead made a deal with Washington and London, AFP reported on Sunday evening.
  • Paris is furious after Australia scrapped a troubled contract for new diesel submarines with a French contractor opting instead for a nuclear-powered alternative following secret negotiations with Washington and London.
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Coronavirus: Hong Kong to extend walk-ins at vaccination centres to all residents in bid to raise Covid-19 jab rates

By Elizabeth Cheung
All Hongkongers will be able to get a Covid-19 vaccine at most community inoculation centres without booking from Wednesday, a move designed to encourage more people to get the jabs.The measure was announced on Monday as the city confirmed five new Covid-19 cases, all of which were imported and involved two arrivals from the United States, and one each from Myanmar, the Philippines and Kenya. Fewer than five people tested preliminary-positive.The city’s total number of confirmed cases rose to […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Veteran Labor senator demands Senate inquiry into AUKUS submarines pact

By Rob Harris
  • Senator Carr said if the goal of attaining sovereign capability in naval shipbuilding had been quietly set aside, it meant the government had abandoned supposedly solid commitments to workers in Adelaide and their unions about creating jobs and expanding Australia’s skills base.
  • Reuters reported that Ms Parly personally took the decision to drop the bilateral meeting with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
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Sept. 20: ‘Canada’s exclusion from this security pact should be seen as an undeniable evaluation of the country’s status.’ Readers react as Canada caught off guard by agreement between U.S., Australia and Britain, plus other letters to the editor

  • Re Canada Caught Off Guard By Exclusion From Security Pact (Sept.
  • 17): The pandemic has highlighted the pitfalls of having the federal government “pass the buck” and allow each province to mandate its own response, particularly in Alberta.
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Canada 2021 election: what’s happened, what’s at stake

By Reuters
Canadians are voting in an election that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called two years early, seeking to turn public approval for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic into a fresh, four-year mandate.Voting across Canada’s six time zones was scheduled to wrap up in westernmost British Columbia at 7pm on Monday (10am Hong Kong time Tuesday).An estimated 27 million Canadians were eligible to cast a ballot to select 338 members of parliament. To keep his job, Trudeau’s Liberals must win a […]Read more >Similar articles >

COA mulls WTO appeal over China import ban

  • 20 (CNA) The Council of Agriculture (COA) on Monday said it is considering an appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over a Chinese ban on imports of Taiwanese wax apples and custard apples that took effect on the same day.
  • COA chief Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) also added that the council would consider appealing to the WTO if China does not further explain its decision by the end of September.
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Navalny allies accuse Telegram and other platforms of censorship

  • Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s allies are accusing YouTube and Telegram of censorship after the video platform and messaging app restricted access to their anti-government voting recommendations for Russia’s parliamentary election.
  • The latest accusations came on Saturday, one day after Navalny’s allies had already accused Alphabet’s Google and Apple of buckling under Kremlin pressure after the companies removed an app from their stores that the activists had hoped to use against the ruling party in the election.
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How to start losing weight – top tips to get fit and stay trim in 2021

By Joel Snape
  • So while fat loss still comes down to calories in vs calories out, the argument goes, eating the wrong foods makes the "calories out" bit much more difficult – even if you exercise and watch your food intake, your body will secretly skimp on energy expenditure elsewhere, down-regulating your metabolism or forcing you to subconsciously fidget less.
  • To start with the absolute basics: you need to be in a calorie deficit, or eating fewer calories than your body is burning, to lose weight.
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Production stalls at Taiwan factories in Vietnam due to COVID outbreak

  • 20 (CNA) Several Taiwanese manufacturers in Vietnam have been struggling to with production problems over the past weeks, as the southern part of the country remains in lockdown due to the latest wave of COVID-19 cases there.
  • Pou Chen Corp., an original design manufacturer for international footwear brands such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Timberland and Salomon, said recently that production at its factory in the southern Vietnam city of Ho Chi Minh City has ground to halt.
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Domestic violence murder of ‘happy, gorgeous’ woman motivated by jealousy, court told

By Georgina Mitchell
  • Mr Carr said Newson made “false representations” about Ms McBride being missing, which were designed for “no other purpose” than to distance himself from what he had done.
  • “The evidence that was placed before the jury disclosed a significant degree of violence that was visited upon the deceased … some 23 fractures to the head and 13 to other areas of the body, predominantly the ribs and the back,” Mr Carr said.
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China’s Evergrande’s shares pummelled on fear of debt default – Al Jazeera English

  • Shares of Evergrande on Monday plunged as much as 19 percent to their lowest in more than 11 years, extending losses as investors take a dim view of its business prospects with a fast approaching deadline for payment obligations this week.
  • The 8.25 percent March 2022 dollar bond was traded at 29.156 on Monday afternoon, yielding more than 500 percent, compared with about 13.7 percent at the beginning of the year.
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Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks review – the collective trauma of a continent

By Stephanie Merritt

The second novel in the author’s Austrian trilogy is a melancholic tale of lost love and reflection set between the wars

Sebastian Faulks’s 2005 novel, Human Traces, made explicit his ongoing fascination with the mystery of human consciousness and the forces – historical, political and biological – that converge to shape an individual life. Its two central characters, Thomas Midwinter and Jacques Rebière, are psychiatrists with opposing views on maladies of the mind who pool their expertise to found a state-of-the-art sanatorium in the Austrian mountains at the end of the 19th century.

Sixteen years on, Faulks has returned to the terrain of Human Traces, geographically and thematically, with his new novel, Snow Country, the second in a planned Austrian trilogy that spans the first half of the 20th century and the reshaping of Europe through war. This will be familiar territory to fans of Faulks’s hugely successful Birdsong trilogy, but with Snow Country – despite a highly charged opening scene in a field hospital – his focus is less on the frontline drama of warfare than the prelude and aftermath of conflict, and the narrative moves between corresponding states of foreboding and reflection, rarely looking directly at the great war itself.

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Longer wait for admission with most public hospitals seeing more A&E patients, Covid-19 cases

  • Some patients requiring admission have had to wait longer for beds, with most emergency departments (EDs) at public hospitals kept busier in the past week compared with the month before, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (Sept 20).
  • Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post on Sunday that while the overall intensive care unit (ICU) capacity is holding up, the Singapore healthcare system's accident and emergency (A&E) departments, as well as general wards, are "coming under pressure".
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Tickets, rooms sell in minutes for China’s new Universal Studios – Aljazeera.com

  • The popularity of the Universal Studios theme park shows resistance to the Communist Party’s tightening of cultural standards after decades of allowing Western influences, according to Adam Ni, co-editor of China Neican, a newsletter on Chinese public policy issues.
  • As President Xi Jinping’s government looks to tame China’s celebrities, the popularity of a new Universal Studios theme park in Beijing shows Hollywood’s enduring soft power among the nation’s 1.4 billion people.
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Teen cleared of murder acting in self defence

  • A teenager who fired a shotgun blast into his drug-affected neighbour’s chest at point blank range during a fatal altercation over a barking dog has been found not guilty of murder after a judge found he was acting in self defence.
  • Price was aged 18 when he fatally shot 25-year-old Jesse Herridge outside his Parkes home on June 24, 2019, with the court ruling he was acting in self defence of himself and his mother.
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Transport company claims strike will put vaccine supplies at risk

By Nick Bonyhady
  • StarTrack spokeswoman Michelle Skehan said the union had only notified StarTrack of the exemption on Monday morning, after the company applied to suspend the industrial action on Sunday evening, and questioned how that proposal would work.
  • “The TWU has provided an undertaking to StarTrack and requested detail as to which yards and workers are involved in the transport of vaccines and medical supplies to ensure those union members do not participate in the strike.”
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Flanders launches dementia plan with focus on improving home care

By Lauren Walker
  • “I only see positive evolution when it comes to what the government is doing, and the attention this plan gives to home care is proportional to the number of people living at home,” Jurn Verschraegen, director of the Dementia Expertise Centre Flanders, told The Brussels Times.
  • The new dementia plan 2021-2025 was announced by the Flemish Minister of Welfare, Public Health, Family and Poverty, Wouter Beke, and focuses on prevention, optimising the quality of care – inside people’s homes and in residential care centres -, and supporting informal caregivers.
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It is time Israel, the West admit the two-state solution is dead – Al Jazeera English

  • The list also includes Dennis Ross and others who were heavily involved in the so-called “peace process”, an unending affair with the aim of securing the Israeli apartheid state and liquidating basic Palestinian rights altogether.
  • The few Palestinians who are in favour of this racist approach to the Palestinian question fail to acknowledge facts on the ground: the system between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a one-state reality, an apartheid state where one community has all the privileges of citizenship, while the other community is deprived of its fundamental human rights.
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LDP contenders put China in crosshairs in bid to win votes

By Jesse Johnson
  • In a series of interviews, news conferences and debates, Kishida has called stability in the Taiwan Strait “the next big problem,” urged more cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and Japan Coast Guard near the disputed Senkaku Islands and pledged to create a special post to focus on human rights issues, including alleged abuses of ethnic Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.
  • Taro Kono, the country’s vaccinations minister and the LDP candidate leading in public polling, has also emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance in confronting China over what he says are “expansionist” policies and attempts to subvert the rules-based international order.
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FAQ: The Belgian Covid Safe Ticket

By Jules Johnston
  • In the Brussels-Capital Region, Minister-President Rudi Vervoort confirmed the CST would be extended.“Face masks will remain compulsory in shops and in the hospitality industry,” he said.
  • So far, Brussels is the only region actively planning to apply the CST system from 1 October, but Flanders and Wallonia have not ruled it out either.
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‘Verge of the abyss’: Climate change to dominate UNGA talks

  • On Monday, Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson host a closed-door session with 35 to 40 world leaders to get countries to do more leading up to crucial COP26 climate negotiations in Scotland in six weeks.
  • Forcing wealthy nations to honour their UN climate fund pledges this week will “be a stretch”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted on Sunday, adding he saw the chance of getting it done before the COP26 summit in Glasgow as “six out of 10”.
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Rugby Championship fixtures 2021: Upcoming matches, latest results and table

By Telegraph Sport
  • Head coach Dave Rennie is confident the wins over South Africa will give Australian fans a much-needed boost after three confidence-sapping defeats against New Zealand, even if the result was not enough to keep Australia's title hopes alive.
  • New Zealand v South Africa (Queensland Country Bank Stadium, South Townsville) 8.05am on Saturday September 25 - Sky Sports
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Business got hacked? The Dutch government doesn’t want you to pay the ransom

By Farah Al Mazouni
  • The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security is considering a ban on paying ransoms if a business is shut down due to a ransomware attack.
  • In many ransomware attacks, a locking software is launched against a company or a business where they will lose access to their files, and sometimes backup files, with a threat to make their customers’ and/or employees’ data public unless a payment is made for the attacker.
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Witness feared alleged victims would sue if she testified against Malka Leifer, court hears

Former school counsellor told police in 2011 email she was ‘a bit suspect when someone is in something for a possible payoff’

An ex-school counsellor did not want to make a statement against former ultra-Orthodox school principal Malka Leifer because she was worried the alleged victims might pursue her for money, a court has heard.

Leifer, 55, is facing 74 charges of child sexual abuse involving three sisters during her time at Melbourne’s Adass Israel School between 2004 and 2008.

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As it Happened: Russia Votes

  • 22:00 Google-owned YouTube has blocked access to a video posted by Alexei Navalny’s team with a list of anti-Kremlin candidates it is recommending voters to back, following a request from Russian authorities.
  • 16:00 Independent election monitor Golos said it continues to see "massive" violations the rights of observers, members of commissions and candidates for a third day in a row.
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Thousands flee as lava spewing from volcano on Spain’s La Palma island destroys houses

  • Local authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people from four villages, including El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, and no further evacuation are likely to be necessary, Canary Islands regional president Angel Victor Torres said on Monday morning.
  • Authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people from villages in the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma as lava spews from an erupting volcano, local officials said.
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Chinese version of TikTok limits kids under 14 to 40 minutes per day, adding to fight against internet addiction

By Coco Feng
ByteDance’s short video app Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, is limiting users under the age of 14 years old to just 40 minutes of use per day, tightening technology restrictions on China’s youth as Beijing seeks to further crack down on “internet addiction” following recent video game time limits.In addition to limiting the amount of time children can spend flipping through short videos, the same age group will only be allowed to use Douyin between 6am to 10pm. Similar to TikTok’s rise […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Ruling party leader says Biden vague on NK

By Choi Si-young
  • Rep. Song Young-gil, leader of the ruling Democratic Party, blamed a flare-up in inter-Korean tensions on the uncertainty of US policy on North Korea, in comments delivered Sunday US time.
  • “The US policy on North Korea is clearly neither the strategic patience nor the top-down approach,” Song told reporters, referring to the respective approaches of former US Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
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Production facility for cultivated fish set to open in Singapore by 2022

  • This facility, announced by the firm on Monday (Sept 20), will come alongside a research laboratory by Avant and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star)'s Bioprocessing Technology Institute, which focuses on how to scale-up the production of food-grade cultivated fish.
  • Fish fillets and even fish maw made from cell culture instead of slaughter could soon appear on dinner tables here, with Chinese firm Avant set to open a pilot production facility for cultivated fish in Singapore by next year.
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Thousands flee La Palma volcano eruption as rivers of lava flow towards villages

By Jennifer Hassan
  • An estimated 5,000 residents fled their homes as a volcano on La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, erupted Sunday and sent streams of red molten lava downhill toward villages and a column of thick dark smoke up into the sky.
  • "According to experts there are about 17-20 million cubic meters of lava,” Canary Islands president, Angel Victor Torres, told a press conference Sunday night.
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Climate change to deliver suburban house price pain: RBA

By Shane Wright
  • But if the nations reached net zero, Australian coal exports would fall by 80 per cent, with two-thirds of that due to the actions of China, Japan and South Korea.
  • Separate work by RBA economists Jonathan Kemp, Madeleine McCowage and Faye Wang into the impact of climate change mitigation policies by China, Japan and South Korea suggests Australia’s coal and LNG sectors face a tough battle over the next three decades.
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US, India prepare to play spoiler in Afghanistan

By MK Bhadrakumar
  • As expected, the situation in Afghanistan was the focal point of the discussions at the 20th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe on Friday.
  • Most important, they urged the SCO to “use its potential” to “stimulate the new Afghan authorities” in fulfilling their promises and bringing security to Afghanistan.
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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

  • President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party was on track to win a strong majority in a parliamentary vote, results showed Monday, after an election that followed an unprecedented crackdown on the opposition.
  • As of Sunday evening, the independent election monitor Golos — which authorities branded a "foreign agent" ahead of the polls — had tracked close to 4,900 reports of voting violations.
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‘Business as usual’ in trade talks with EU, says Australian trade minister

By Barbara Moens
  • Negotiations between the EU and Australia on a future trade deal are not being hamstrung by France’s fury at losing a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with Canberra, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan told local media Monday.
  • “At this stage negotiations do continue and there is a strong interest … for Australia to have a free trade agreement with the EU,” Thébault told U.S. media from Paris.
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Inquiry needed into Australia’s silence on West Papuan massacre, human rights groups say

By Christopher Knaus

Revelations that Australia knew about atrocities by Indonesian military but did nothing are ‘deeply disturbing’, Human Rights Watch says

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Human rights groups say revelations that Australia sat on its hands after learning of Indonesian military atrocities against West Papuan demonstrators are “deeply disturbing” and should prompt an independent investigation.

A newly released unredacted intelligence report, shared with the Guardian, shows the Australian government had compelling evidence that the Indonesian military fired live rounds indiscriminately into a group of unarmed West Papuan demonstrators on the island of Biak on 6 July 1998.

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Manny Pacquiao Is Running For President of the Philippines. Can He Knock Out Duterte’s Allies?

By JC Gotinga
  • It’s official— Manny Pacquiao, the eight-time boxing world champion, is running for president in the Philippines in what may yet be the biggest fight of his life as the country heads to polls set for May 2022.
  • Previously perceived as a shoe-in for the top job, Pacquiao enters the presidential race as the underdog after a falling-out with President Rodrigo Duterte, who dumped the athlete-turned-senator as his party’s candidate in favor of a closer ally.
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China launches Tianzhou 3 to supply Tiangong space station

By William Zheng
China launched a cargo spaceship on Monday to deliver supplies to its Tiangong space station and prepare for a second crewed mission planned for next month.The Tianzhou 3 lifted off aboard a Long March 7 Y4 rocket at 3.10pm from Hainan’s Wenchang spacecraft launch centre in southern China, just three days after the first astronauts to crew the space station returned to Earth.The Tianzhou vessel, meaning “heavenly ship” in Chinese, will dock at the rear side of the core module of the Tiangong […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Philippines to reopen 120 schools for in-person classes

  • The Philippines will reopen up to 120 schools for limited in-person classes for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in a pilot approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, officials said on Monday (Sept 20).
  • While nearly every country in the world has already partially or fully reopened schools for face-to-face lessons, the Philippines has kept them closed since March 2020.
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Johnson defends trade secretary after climate crisis denial tweets

By Heather Stewart Political editor
  • Shadow international trade secretary, Emily Thornberry, had highlighted a series of tweets sent by Trevelyan between 2010 and 2012 that explicitly rejected the science of global heating.
  • As he travelled to the US in a bid to accelerate progress towards an agreement at the Cop26 climate summit, the prime minister was asked about the views of his new international trade secretary, Ann-Marie Trevelyan.
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Construction union blames ‘extremists’ as Melbourne protest against vaccine mandate turns violent

  • Riot police have moved in to disperse crowds at the Melbourne headquarters of the CFMEU, after a protest against mandatory vaccines turned ugly, with the union blaming “outside extremists” for the violence.
  • Monday’s protest escalated when two union officials, including Victorian construction branch secretary John Setka, came outside the Elizabeth Street office to speak to protesters just before midday.
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Hong Kong teachers exit under shadow of security law

By Sara Cheng
  • Fong is one of many teachers who left Hong Kong before the school year began in September, some saying they felt disillusioned and threatened by the authoritarian turn the city has taken since Beijing imposed a stringent national security law in June 2020.
  • The Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools (HKAHSS) warned the government in July that would cause a “brain drain” that would reduce the quality of education in the city.
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Flight academy to offer eastern Taiwan air tour by year-end

  • The aircraft are expected to receive Airworthiness Certificates from the CAA in October or November, paving the way for the company to officially launch air tour packages in late November or early December at the soonest, Kao said.
  • Wilson Kao (高健祐), founder and managing director of Apex Flight Academy, the nation's only flight training school, said two brand new Tecnam P2012 Travellers purchased from Italy are scheduled to arrive Taiwan in late September or early October.
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US should beware of advice based on wishful thinking

By Mark Valencia
  • A recent article in the prestigious American journal Foreign Affairs made a series of recommendations for US policy in the South China Sea. However, US policymakers should beware of such recommendations based on questionable assumptions and wishful thinking.
  • The article’s premise is that “in much of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, elites and the broader public judge Washington’s commitment to the region based in part on whether it defends their maritime rights.”
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Hong Kong teen who crashed anti-Lantau Tomorrow Vision forum sentenced to community service

By Brian Wong
A university student has been spared jail for disrupting a 2018 Hong Kong forum held to express opposition to a government plan to build huge settlements on artificial islands off Lantau Island.Chinese University undergraduate Hui Ka-kin was given a 160-hour community service order in Eastern Court on Monday, three weeks after pleading guilty to taking part in an unlawful assembly outside the government’s Tamar headquarters on October 14, 2018.The 19-year-old was among eight masked protesters […]Read more >Similar articles >
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The Crown, Ted Lasso win top Emmy awards – Al Jazeera English

  • Drama The Crown and comedy Ted Lasso have taken home the top prizes at television’s Emmy awards while The Queen’s Gambit was named best limited series in what turned out to be a strong night for streaming giant, Netflix, and British acting talent.
  • Jason Sudeikis, the star and co-creator of Ted Lasso, was named best comedy actor while Britons Hannah Waddingham and Brett Goldstein were honoured for their supporting roles.
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South Sudanese Officials Intimidate Sex Worker on Camera

By Human Rights Watch
  • The video, which is clearly intended to humiliate and stigmatize its target, demonstrates yet again how criminalization of sex work in South Sudan exposes workers to abuse and exploitation and the discrimination faced by people living with HIV/AIDs.
  • The video posted by South Sudanese officials also announced that 40 other people, mainly women accused of witchcraft or sex work, had been arrested.
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AUKUS the latest attempt to push for war with China

By Adriel Kasonta
  • “As leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, guided by our enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order, we resolve to deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including by working with partners, to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” the Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS, as this new endeavor will be called, reads.
  • “Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region – the Indo-Pacific,” Morrison proclaimed at the joint online remarks along with Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that “this affects us all.”
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Ghana: LGBT Activists Face Hardships After Detention

By Human Rights Watch
  • “It is shocking that the police who should be protecting Ghanaians raided a peaceful meeting, arrested the participants, and subjected them to three weeks in harsh detention conditions on a charge that never should have been brought in the first place,” said Wendy Isaack, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.
  • (Johannesburg) – Arbitrary arrests and detention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Ghana, and a proposed draconian anti-LGBT bill are causing serious economic hardship and psychological stress for LGBT people, Human Rights Watch said today.
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Perfect roast chicken, apricot tarts, cheesecake: recipes from Nigel Slater’s new book

By Nigel Slater

‘Cooking is about quiet moments of joy,’ says the Observer’s food writer in this exclusive extract from A Cook’s Book

You could measure my life in recipes. Each one a letter to a friend, a story of something I have made for dinner, the tale of how it came to be on my table. A salad tossed together with broad beans, salted ricotta and the first white tipped radishes of spring; a roast chicken, its crisp skin served with a fat jug of its roasting juices on an autumn day; or a gloriously messy platter of grilled aubergines, hummus and torn flatbread shared with the best of friends.

That letter might accurately chronicle the details of a cake with which I am quietly pleased, tell the reader of a quince that has simmered peacefully in lemon juice and orange-blossom honey on my hob on a winter’s afternoon, or mention a pillowy dumpling I have just lifted from a steaming bamboo basket. Sharing food with those at your table – passing round a bowl of late autumn raspberries or a slice of sugar-encrusted blackberry and apple pie – is heartwarming enough, but a recipe posted in a newspaper, ephemerally on social media or in more lasting form in the pages of a book has the chance to be shared even more widely. It is just a recipe, a suggestion for something you might like to make for others, but it is what I do.

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Pro-Kremlin party looks set to retain majority in parliament

  • MOSCOW -- Russia's dominant Kremlin-backed party appeared set to retain the two-thirds majority in the parliament that allows it to change the constitution, results from 85% of the country's polling stations showed on Monday morning.
  • Russia’s dominant Kremlin-backed party appears set to retain the two-thirds majority in the parliament that allows it to change the constitution, according to preliminary results on Monday morning
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The latest on vaccine effectiveness and the delta variant

By Magdalena Osumi
  • A recent major study conducted by researchers from Britain showed that the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in preventing people from developing a high viral load from delta stood at 92% 14 days after an individual received their second dose.
  • The same study showed that test results conducted using samples from people inoculated with the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University was 69% effective against a high viral load 14 days after the second dose, with effectiveness falling to 61% after 90 days.
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Barnaby Joyce says Australia proved its commitment to France during world wars amid Aukus dispute

By Amy Remeikis
  • Australia’s ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), Will Nankervis, is seeking to reassure regional partners including Indonesia and Malaysia the Aukus agreement did not mean a ramping up of defence infrastructure.
  • The French government’s anger at the announcement of the strategic partnership between Australia, the US and the UK, known as Aukus, and the subsequent cancellation of the French-Australian $90bn submarine deal, has shown no signs of abating, with the French ambassador saying the nation felt it had been “fooled”.
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Palmer v McGowan case hits hurdle

  • Western Australia’s hard border could complicate Premier Mark McGowan’s defamation case against billionaire Clive Palmer, a court has heard.
  • Western Australia’s border closure with NSW could make it difficult for Premier Mark McGowan to attend his defamation trial against billionaire Clive Palmer without being forced to quarantine upon his return.
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Hong Kong leads equity sell-off as Evergrande fears spread

  • Fears about a contagion from the possible collapse of China Evergrande have sent property firms in Hong Kong plunging
  • Asian markets sank Monday on fears about contagion from a possible collapse of teetering property giant China Evergrande, while sentiment was also dragged by the Federal Reserve's plans to taper monetary policy, surging Delta infections and signs of weakness in the global recovery.
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Horror day on ASX as miners hammered

  • Toll road operator Transurban went into a trading halt when it shares were priced at $14.18, announcing a $4.2bn capital raising so its 50 per cent-held Sydney Transport Partners could take full control of WestConnex in Sydney from the NSW government for $11.1bn.
  • The spot iron ore price dropped 5.4 per cent to $US100.80 per tonne overnight, had declined 22 per cent over a week and was about 57 per cent lower than the record high hit in mid-May, Mr Daghlian said.
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India administers lowest number of Covid-19 tests in a month

  • India conducted the lowest number of daily Covid-19 tests since mid-August on Sunday (Sept 19), but the health ministry urged local governments not to let their guard down during the September to November festival season.
  • The federal health ministry urged states and federally controlled territories on Saturday to step up testing, warning that the festival season could lead to another spike in infections.
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Germany chooses to walk colorblind into the hydrogen future

  • Merkel's government presented a National Hydrogen Strategy back in June 2020, claiming to make "climate protection possible in sectors where it's difficult," such as steelmaking, manufacturing, aviation and heavy-duty transport on ships, railways and trucks.
  • In one of its final pieces of legislation, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to polish its uninspiring climate credentials with the surprise announcement in May that it wants to make Germany carbon-neutral by 2045 — five years earlier than planned.
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North Korea says Australia’s submarine deal could trigger ‘nuclear arms race’

By Rachel Pannett
  • North Korea on Monday condemned a new defense partnership between the United States, Australia and Britain and a plan to share nuclear submarine technology with Australia, saying the deal could trigger a nuclear arms race and upset the balance in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Responding to news of the trilateral security pact on Monday, the unnamed North Korean ministry official described the United States as “the chief culprit toppling the international nuclear nonproliferation system,” adding that its “double-dealing attitude” was threatening “world peace and stability.”
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We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole review – sweeping account of Ireland’s evolutions

By Colm Tóibín

The veteran journalist and author delves behind the myths of change and boom to give a rich, nuanced picture of Irish life as he and others lived it

“For all my life until about 1980,” Fintan O’Toole writes, “I had been told to think of myself as the end of something and the beginning of something else.” While his sweeping, authoritative and profoundly intelligent book sees modern Ireland through the lens of his own life and that of his family, it also offers sharp and brilliant analysis of what form change took when it arrived in Ireland.

Ireland, he writes, “emerged into the world of the postwar boom as a backwater and an irrelevance”. It had a high emigration rate and a shockingly low marriage rate. Between 1949 and 1956 the GDP of the countries of the common market had grown by 42%, Britain by 21%, Ireland by only 8%. The population was at an all-time low of 2.1 million in 1961, by which time Ireland had to decide whether “to open itself to free trade or remain as a protected but even more isolated space”.

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Biden knows fate of spending plan will show extent of his power – and define his legacy

By Lauren Gambino in Washington
  • Pursuing a perilous two-track approach, they are tying a $1tn bipartisan infrastructure deal to a $3.5tn party-line package that contains Democratic policy priorities.
  • Jonathan Alter, the author of books on FDR, Obama and most recently Jimmy Carter, said that after 36 years cutting deals in the Senate and eight leading legislative negotiations as vice-president to Barack Obama, Biden was uniquely qualified to play his new role.
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Belgian far-right party launches own app to ‘break censorship’

By Lauren Walker
  • The party submitted a bill on censorship to the Parliament earlier this year, arguing that only those messages that are in contradiction with Belgian laws should be removed from social media, “not just what these companies don’t like,” Van Grieken said.
  • The party is the first in the country to launch such an app and party chair Tom Van Grieken highlighted it had become “a political necessity” amid rising censorship against the party and its message.
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One month in Kabul under Taliban rule– a photo essay

By Stefanie Glinski

Photojournalist Stefanie Glinski reports from Kabul on the events of the past four weeks and the capital’s new rulers

Above its tightly clustered houses and peaks of the Hindu Kush mountains, Kabul’s blue skies were once dotted with countless colourful kites, flown by children from the hilltops or their rooftops. Since the Taliban took the Afghan capital a month ago, they have disappeared.

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Cathay Pacific recovery hopes dealt fresh blow as flight predictions for last quarter slashed amid Covid-19 restrictions

By Danny Lee
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has sharply downgraded expectations for how many flights it will operate before the end of the year, blaming operational and travel restrictions for what constitutes a major setback to its post-pandemic recovery hopes.In a stock exchange filing on Monday, the city’s beleaguered flag carrier said it expected to fly 13 per cent of its 2019 pre-pandemic flight schedule in the fourth quarter, down from a previous estimate of 30 per cent.But the airline also pledged to […]Read more >Similar articles >
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China’s space breakthroughs put a rocket under Japan

By Julian Ryall
A new Japanese law permits private companies to claim ownership of resources from outer space, the latest development in an international space race fuelled as much by national pride as the growing need to harvest resources from beyond Earth’s atmosphere. The new legislation coincides with increased interest and investment in space ventures by both private companies and the government-funded Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which in July completed the first test in space of a next […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Hong Kong national security law: judge denies opposition activist bail after deciding he is still a threat

By Jasmine Siu
A judge denied bail to an opposition activist charged with subversion after learning he had “persistently reiterated his stance against the Hong Kong government, the police and the national security law”.Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping, of the High Court, handed down the judgment on Monday explaining why she had previously denied bail to Roy Tam Hoi-pong, 41, who was charged with conspiracy to subvert state power over his role in an unofficial primary election last year.“Having heard and seen […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Majority of companies want employees to come back to the office more often

By Maïthé Chini
  • Since 1 September, the government’s recommendation to work from home has disappeared, except in the Brussels-Capital Region, but that does not mean that workers should and will once again spend the majority of their working hours in the office, according to the survey.
  • Within this group of companies that opt for hybrid working, six out of ten (60.9%) ask their staff to work primarily from the company’s premises, with teleworking as an alternative.
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Jail, fine for doctor who caused grievous hurt to 2 people after driving in negligent manner

  • On Monday (Sept 20), the 76-year-old was sentenced to four days' jail and fined $5,000 after he pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to the pair by negligent driving.
  • Stressing that the pair suffered serious injuries, DPP Goh urged the court to sentence Pang to 10 days' jail and disqualify him from driving all classes of vehicles for two years.
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US encircling China on multiple new Cold War fronts

By Bertil Lintner
  • The escalating contest took a game-changing turn last week when the US and Britain announced they will provide Australia with the technology and capability to develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines in a new trilateral security arrangement that will put more pressure on China’s contested claims in the South China Sea and other maritime theaters.
  • The Global Times has it right from one perspective: “hostility against China” is rising precisely due to Beijing’s increasingly assertive moves in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, an outward thrust that the Biden administration and its allies are broadly countering in the name of maintaining a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
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China’s bad architecture: voting begins in annual ‘top 10 ugliest buildings’ competition

By Phoebe Zhang
Since 2010 Chinese architecture website archcy.com has been holding an annual vote for the “Top 10 Ugliest Buildings” in China. The website said that the goal is to: “spark discussion about the beauty and ugliness of architecture and promote architects’ social responsibility”.As China has undergone rapid urbanisation over the past 40 years, numerous ambitious projects have ended up as follies and eyesores. Many have been denounced by the public – from the “giant trousers” structure of the China […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Kate Winslet and Olivia Colman win at Emmy Awards in a night to remember for British talent

By Telegraph reporters
  • She thanked Brad Ingelsby, Mare Of Easttown's creator, for writing a lead character who is a "middle-aged, imperfect, flawed mother", adding "you made us all feel validated".
  • An exuberant Kate Winslet was named best actress for her turn as a troubled detective in the limited series Mare of Easttown, while Ewan McGregor won for playing fashion designer Halston .
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Germany’s bigger DAX-40 gets going

  • The 10 newcomers — in the order of their market value — are Airbus, Zalando, Siemens Healthineers, HelloFresh, Symrise, Sartorius, Porsche Automobile Holding, Brenntag, Puma and Qiagen.
  • The most important selection criterion was the firms' market capitalization on the basis of diversified holdings during the final 20 trading days in August, meaning that stock portfolios of over 5% of the overall value were not considered.
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Hong Kong court finds a broker and three ex-directors guilty of fraud, in a win for ICAC’s clean-up of Convoy’s financial scandal

By Enoch Yiu
Hong Kong’s graft busters scored a victory in their attempt to prosecute one of the city’s biggest financial fraud cases in recent decades, when a court declared three former executives of Convoy Global Holdings and a broker guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.Convoy’s former chief executive Mark Mak Kwong-yiu, former chief financial officer Christie Chan Lai-yee, and former manager Wong Shuk-on were found guilty alongside the broker Lee Yick-ming of charges to defraud the company over a HK$51 […]Read more >Similar articles >
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N Korea says US-Australia submarine deal ‘extremely undesirable’ – Al Jazeera English

  • Official media on Monday published comments attributed to an unidentified senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official who called the agreement between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia “extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region“, adding that there was a risk the move could trigger a “chain reaction of arms races.”
  • North Korea has criticised the US decision to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, describing the deal as “extremely undesirable and dangerous” and warning of unspecified countermeasures if it undermines the North’s security.
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Low-rate VAT for hospitality industry will end on 1 October

By Alan Hope
  • A special VAT rate of 6% introduced to help the hospitality industry will end on 1 October, federal finance minister Vincent Van Peteghem said.
  • “The measure was supposed to give the catering industry the opportunity to replenish their buffers a bit, but we have always clearly stated: this is until the end of September,” Van Peteghem (CD&V) told the VRT’s Sunday politics show De Zevende Dag.
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Tickets, rooms sell in minutes for China’s new Universal Studios

  • The popularity of the Universal Studios theme park shows resistance to the Communist Party’s tightening of cultural standards after decades of allowing Western influences, according to Adam Ni, co-editor of China Neican, a newsletter on Chinese public policy issues.
  • As President Xi Jinping’s government looks to tame China’s celebrities, the popularity of a new Universal Studios theme park in Beijing shows Hollywood’s enduring soft power among the nation’s 1.4 billion people.
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Most NHS staff vote to oppose 3% pay rise as union warns workers ‘fed up’

By Andrew Gregory Health editor

Unison says thousands of ‘exhausted’ health workers are on brink of quitting for better paid jobs

NHS staff have voted overwhelmingly to oppose the government’s 3% pay rise as Britain’s biggest health union warned thousands of workers are “fed up of being taken for granted”.

Publishing the results of a consultation exercise that ran over the summer, Unison said the majority (80%) of health staff were not happy with the pay increase and want to challenge the government. Only one in five (20%) found it acceptable.

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Biden requests phone call with Macron as tensions persist over scuppered Australian submarine deal

  • The announcement of the defence alliance, and Australia ’s related decision to tear up a deal to buy French submarines in favour of American nuclear-powered vessels, sparked outrage in Paris, with Macron recalling France ’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington in an unprecedented move.
  • The United States and Britain sought Sunday to smooth tensions with Paris over a new security pact with Australia, with US President Joe Biden requesting early talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
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US Covid-19 death toll on verge of surpassing that of 1918 Spanish flu

The United States’ reported death toll from Covid-19 will this week surpass the number of dead from the Spanish flu, according to the side-by-side numbers – though a direct comparison between the raw numbers doesn’t give the whole story, medical experts and statisticians say.What is clear is that the sheer numbers, given the modern-day tools that combat such illnesses, are a heavy burden. Covid-related US deaths as of Sunday night were at 673,763, according to Johns Hopkins University data.US […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Hong Kong now has a powerful Election Committee. Will it be a new ‘superstructure’ reshaping city’s political landscape?

By Gary Cheung,Ng Kang-chung
Hong Kong’s first Election Committee with newly amassed powers was formally created hours after landmark elections ended on Sunday. The conclusion of the city’s first electoral race under a Beijing-decreed system overhaul set the city on an unprecedented path of living with a powerful, new committee that could reshape Hong Kong’s political landscape.Apart from choosing the next chief executive and lawmakers, the 1,500-strong committee may take up new roles such as monitoring the city government […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Family breaks silence on killer carer

  • After the carer made a brief appearance in the Adelaide Supreme Court on Monday, Ms Smith’s family spoke of their fury and heartache, telling reporters there was no jail sentence that could ease their pain.
  • The family of disability neglect victim Annie Smith have broken their silence, telling reporters there would be ‘no reconciling’ after the tragic death.
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Hong Kong national security law: more opposition councillors face oath-taking ceremony on Friday

By Tony Cheung
More than 50 district councillors will have to pledge allegiance to Hong Kong on Friday.Sources told the Post that the oath-taking ceremonies would cover a total of 56 members from five Kowloon district councils – Sham Shui Po, Yau Tsim Mong, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin.Under the national security law, which was imposed on Hong Kong in June last year, the requirement has been extended from the city’s top officials, legislators and judges to all public officers, including civil […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Climate crisis leaving ‘millions at risk of trafficking and slavery’

By Sarah Johnson

Droughts and floods forcing workers from rural areas, leading to their exploitation in cities, report warns

Millions of people forced to leave their homes because of severe drought and powerful cyclones are at risk of modern slavery and human trafficking over the coming decades, a new report warns.

The climate crisis and the increasing frequency of extreme weather disasters including floods, droughts and megafires are having a devastating effect on the livelihoods of people already living in poverty and making them more vulnerable to slavery, according to the report, published today.

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HS: Staff at Finnish ICUs frustrated with unvaccinated patients

HOSPITAL STAFF in Finland have voiced their frustration with the fact that most patients in intensive care with a coronavirus infection have not been vaccinated against the virus, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

“We’ve continued treating coronavirus patients this autumn, and practically everyone of them has been unvaccinated,” said Tero Varpula, the head of intensive care at Jorvi Hospital in Espoo.

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Wallabies beast ready to end four-year hiatus

  • The Wallabies have bounced back from their disappointing Bledisloe Cup campaign to knock off world champions South Africa twice in two weeks, and McMahon says he hopes to help the Aussies continue their winning ways in the two matches against the Pumas.
  • Sean McMahon hopes his trademark physicality can help the Aussies continue their winning ways, should he earn a Wallabies recall this Rugby Championship.
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‘Impossible’ for Sunak to save on tuition fees without favouring well-off graduates

By Richard Adams Education editor
  • The report will suggest changes to the student loans regime in England that has been in place since 2012, but has so far been held up due to battles between the Treasury, Number 10 and the Department for Education over cutting undergraduate tuition fees from £9,250 a year.
  • Instead, the IFS says the chancellor should use the income tax system rather than student loan repayments as a way of raising revenue from the highest-paid graduates.
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Thousands more appeal sick pay rejections by Social Insurance Agency

By Radio Sweden
Anneli who has fibromyalgi is appealing her case.Lyssna: Thousands more appeal sick pay rejections by Social Insurance Agency The number of appeals against sick pay decisions by the Social Insurance Agency have almost doubled over the last five years. Last year, almost 7,000 decisions concerning sickness benefits were appealed. Therese Östlin, national coordinator in health insurance at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, does not believe that there is a single explanation for the increase in the number of rejections and appeals. Anna-Karin Sivberganna-karin.sivberg@sverigesradio.se Radio […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Civil war rages at Oldham and a once-proud club stares into the abyss

By James Ducker
  • The wife of Dermot Butler had arranged for 50 friends and family of the lifelong Oldham fan, who died suddenly from a heart attack in March, to come together in celebration of his memory in the Joe Royle Stand only for those plans to be derailed at the eleventh hour by the ticket and alcohol ban.
  • Kick off is looming but Curle, Oldham’s eighth different manager since Lemsagam bought the club in January 2018, knows emotions run deep and wants to gauge reaction.
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Britain’s public sector is paying the price for the government’s consultancy habit | Rosie Collington and Mariana Mazzucato

By Rosie Collington and Mariana Mazzucato
  • Rather than see the challenge of developing this as an opportunity for public sector and NHS employees to put their expertise to use, ministers and civil servants relied on companies including Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group.
  • These figures alone could pay the salaries of more than 10,000 civil servants for three years – and total spending on consultants across the public sector is much higher.
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Rural Finland battles exodus of young women

  • According to official data, over half of rural municipalities in Finland now have fewer than 81 women aged 15-24 for every 100 men of the same age, as they leave in pursuit of higher education or skilled jobs.
  • "If they have no schooling and no work, it's easy for the young people here to become marginalised," said Minna Laurio, Enonkoski's mayor, who herself left the village before coming back.
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Auckland extends Covid-19 lockdown

  • Ardern said the city of two million would move down to level three on New Zealand's four-tier coronavirus response system by late Tuesday, even as authorities remain committed to eliminating a Delta-variant outbreak.
  • New Zealand's largest city Auckland will remain in a Covid-19 lockdown for at least another two weeks, although some restrictions will be eased, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday (Sept 20).
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‘Preconception care’ taking root in Japan

  • In 2019, Kasama City in Ibaraki Prefecture became the first municipality to subsidize preconception care packages — including blood tests, consultations and health checkups for infectious diseases — for ¥5,000, or less than a quarter of the actual cost.
  • More women and couples are considering “preconception care,” the concept of improving a woman’s chances of conceiving a child, having a healthy pregnancy, and giving birth to a healthy baby even if she doesn’t plan on getting pregnant just yet.
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AP Interview: UN chief warns China, US to avoid new Cold War

By Edith M. Lederer | AP
  • Two years ago, Guterres warned global leaders of the risk of the world splitting in two, with the United States and China creating rival internets, currency, trade, financial rules “and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategies.”
  • “We need to re-establish a functional relationship between the two powers,” he said, calling that “essential to address the problems of vaccination, the problems of climate change and many other global challenges that cannot be solved without constructive relations within the international community and mainly among the superpowers.”
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Meeting Cop26 finance goals ‘going to be tough’, says Boris Johnson

By Heather Stewart
  • Boris Johnson has said he fears there is only a 60% chance that the $100bn in climate finance viewed as key to securing an ambitious outcome to the Cop26 summit will be in place by the time world leaders meet in Glasgow in November.
  • Speaking to journalists en route to New York at the start of a three-day visit to the US, in which he hopes to “galvanise” progress towards a new climate deal, the prime minister said he would be urging developed countries to come forward with additional funding.
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Justin Trudeau’s bid for third term in balance as Canada goes to polls

By Leyland Cecco in Toronto
  • As Canadians head to the polls on Monday, prime minister Justin Trudeau will be watching nervously to see if his gamble to call an election will win his party more power in parliament – or leave him with even fewer seats and rivals sensing a growing political weakness.
  • Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who has offered his own childcare plan, as well as benefits for gig workers, slammed Trudeau’s “vanity project” decision to send Canadians to the polls during a public health crisis.
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Electric vehicles divide opinion as car-loving Germany goes to polls

By Philip Oltermann in Strausberg
  • The outgoing government claims existing subsidy schemes will suffice for Germany to meet its green targets, forecasting 14m electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to populate its roads by the year 2030.
  • But the question is whether the enthusiasm required for a pivot to electric vehicles can be mustered in a country as romantically attached to a car culture of old as Germany.
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‘Bad day at the wicket’: Barnaby Joyce says Porter could return to the frontbench

By Lisa Visentin
  • Mr Porter, the member for the Perth electorate of Pearce, resigned as Industry Minister on Sunday days after immense pressure and criticism over his decision to accept anonymous donations through a blind trust for legal fees in his since-discontinued defamation case against the ABC.
  • On Sunday, Mr Morrison said Mr Porter was “upholding the [ministerial] standards by resigning” because he could not disclose the donors and establish there was no conflict of interest, adding “that matter is now concluded”.
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Trudeau makes final appeal ahead of Canada’s election – Al Jazeera English

  • On the final day of campaigning in a tight election battle, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned that his Conservative opponents would weaken the nation’s battle against the coronavirus and said Canadians need a government that follows science.
  • Polls show Trudeau’s Liberal Party is in a close race with the rival Conservatives and that it is unlikely on Monday to get the outright majority needed to govern without the help of an opposition party to remain in power.
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LDP presidential candidates must present strategies to overcome crisis: Japan News

  • Taro Kono, minister in charge of administrative and regulatory reform; former Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairperson Fumio Kishida; former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi; and LDP Executive Acting Secretary General Seiko Noda participated in a debate of LDP presidential candidates organised by the Japan National Press Club.
  • Mr Kono called for strengthening the government's authority to secure hospital beds and enhancing the Covid-19 testing system by supplying a large number of simple test kits.
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Violinist Nigel Kennedy cancels concert after Classic FM stops Hendrix tribute

By Dalya Alberge
  • He intended to play some Hendrix with Chineke!, an orchestra of young black and ethnically diverse musicians, until he was told the rock star was “not suitable” for the station’s desired audience.
  • Violinist Nigel Kennedy has pulled out of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall with only days to go after accusing the radio station Classic FM of preventing him from performing a Jimi Hendrix tribute.
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British ‘baby shortage’ could lead to economic decline, says thinktank

By Andrew Sparrow Political correspondent
  • The Social Market Foundation (SMF) said the birthrate was almost half what it was at its postwar peak in the 1960s, and the country’s ageing population could lead to economic decline.
  • “This combination of a lower share of the population in work and a higher share in need of economic support clearly has a negative effect on the productive capacity of the economy.”
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‘We didn’t want to do a Grease’: how Everybody’s Talking About Jamie became a film

By Ryan Gilbey
  • A film of Dear Evan Hansen, the Broadway hit about an anxious, alienated student who pretends to have been friends with a suicide victim, has arrived only five years after it opened, with Julianne Moore and Amy Adams among the cast.
  • Dear Evan Hansen is his first stab at directing a musical, though, and while he had admired the show on Broadway, he knew it required a different texture on screen.
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Over 155,000 foreign nationals eligible for Taiwan stimulus vouchers: NIA

  • 20 (CNA) More than 155,000 foreign nationals, mainly holders of Alien Permanent Resident Certificates (APRCs) and foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens, will be eligible to obtain the government stimulus vouchers next month, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Monday.
  • Eligible foreign nationals who have not yet obtained an NHI card can take their residency certificate to a post office to collect a printed edition of vouchers, starting Oct. 8, the NIA said.
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Shares in China’s Evergrande plunge again as fears of contagion grow

By Martin Farrer

Hong Kong stock fell almost 17% amid default fears that are beginning to have a knock-on effect on other markets

Shares in the embattled Chinese property company Evergrande have plunged 17% as investors weigh up whether the group’s massive debt problems could trigger a broader sell off across all financial markets.

Evergrande plunged to its lowest market value ever in Hong Kong on Monday, dragging the Hang Seng index down to its lowest point for nearly a year.

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‘Extraordinary times’: Anti-vax first as player cut

  • The NBL could well face a Covid-19 vaccination mandate dilemma after the New Zealand Breakers agreed to release star guard Tai Webster because of his stance to remain unvaccinated.
  • New Zealand’s decision was effectively fast tracked, with Australian state regulations recommending athletes and the general public be vaccinated in order to travel overseas/interstate and to enjoy freedoms bought about by the gradual easing of lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
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