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Australia politics live: Albanese says Israel-Hamas war protest at Melbourne hotel ‘beyond contempt’ »»

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Chalmers: ‘We are making some welcome progress in the fight against inflation’

Is Jim Chalmers confident that interest rates could fall from next year?

My job is to focus on this fight against inflation. And we saw overnight from the OECD, we saw from Deloitte Access Economics, we saw in the Bureau of Statistics data which came out yesterday, that we are making some welcome progress in the fight against inflation and that will determine the future directory trajectory of interest rates

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Rwandan courts will not protect refugees’ rights, say daughters of genocide hero »»

Family of Paul Rusesabagina, who campaigned to have him freed from jail, say country’s justice system is a ‘tool to oppress people’

The Rwandan legal system is incapable of protecting refugees sent from the UK, according to the daughters of Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the Oscar-nominated movie Hotel Rwanda.

Carine and Anaïse Kanimba campaigned for more than two years to secure the release of their father, who was freed from a Kigali jail after three years of incarceration earlier this year, and they have detailed first-hand knowledge of the true nature of the Rwandan legal system.

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New push for debt relief to help developing world fund climate action »»

Cop28 hears poorest nations spend at least 12 times as much to service debts than on tackling global heating

The fight against the climate emergency is being hampered by a debt crisis that involves the world’s poorest countries paying more than 12 times as much to their creditors as they are spending on measures to tackle the impact of global heating, a campaign group has warned.

As the Cop28 meeting opened in the United Arab Emirates, Development Finance International (DFI) said a new round of comprehensive and deep debt cancellation was needed to free up much-needed investment in climate emergency adaptation.

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Taiwan president says China has too many problems to invade »»

Tsai Ing-wen says economic, financial and political challenges overwhelm Xi Jinping’s government, with international pressure also a deterrent

Taiwan’s president has said China is unlikely to attempt an invasion any time soon because it is “overwhelmed” by domestic problems.

Tsai Ing-wen made the remarks in an interview at the New York Times Dealbook Summit.

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‘Very sweet milestone’: wild-born kiwi chicks are Wellington’s first in a century »»

New Zealand’s national icon is also one of its most vulnerable birds and conservationists believe it was absent from capital for generations

Two kiwi chicks have been born in the wild around Wellington for the first time in more than 100 years, one year after the national bird was reintroduced to New Zealand’s capital.

The fluffy and flightless kiwi is one of the most vulnerable birds in New Zealand and conservationists believe it has been absent from the capital for generations.

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New Zealand freshwater study sounds alarm over E coli pollution levels »»

The report Our Land and Water looks at how waterways are polluted by four major contaminants in 650,000 river segments, 961 lakes and 419 estuaries

A new study of New Zealand’s freshwater quality has painted a sobering picture, showing that E coli is seeping through three-quarters of the land and into waterways at higher levels than national regulations allow.

The report, funded by the government-backed organisation Our Land and Water, looked at how rivers, lakes, and estuaries are polluted by four major contaminants, including E coli, a bacteria found in the intestines of many animals and humans that can cause serious illness.

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Google to pay Canada news publishers $73m a year to keep news in search »»

Deal resolves tech giant’s concerns over Online News Act, which makes big companies share advertising revenue with publishers

Canada and Google have reached a deal to keep links to news stories in search results and for the tech giant to pay $73.6m annually, or C$100m, to news publishers in the country.

The deal resolves Alphabet-owned Google’s concerns over Canada’s Online News Act, which seeks to make large internet companies share advertising revenue with news publishers in the country.

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UK and Rwanda ‘still committed’ to deal after reports Kigali is cooling »»

Officials in the east African country are frustrated by delays in migrants arriving and negative attention scheme has engendered

The UK and Rwanda remain committed to their controversial migrant deportation deal, sources have said, after reports emerged that support in Kigali for the agreement had cooled because of the continual delays.

Westminster has already paid the Rwandan government more than £140m but nobody has been sent to the east African country yet. The first flight was scheduled for June 2022 but was cancelled after legal challenges.

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Home Office ‘loses’ 17,000 people whose asylum claims were withdrawn »»

Tory MP queries claims marked withdrawn as government tries to clear backlog by end of year

Rishi Sunak has been accused of losing control of the UK’s borders after the Home Office admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of 17,000 people whose asylum claims have been withdrawn.

Amid a stalled Rwanda deportation scheme and rising costs for housing people seeking refuge in hotels, senior civil servants in the department were told by the Conservative MP and deputy party chair Lee Anderson they “hadn’t got a clue” after failing to provide answers on people seeking refuge in the UK or foreign offender removals.

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Five Mexican journalists shot and injured in one day as violence deepens »»

Four photojournalists shot in Guerrero state and reporter in Michoacán, where battles between cartels and local gangs rage

Five Mexican journalists have been shot and wounded in a single day, in the worst day of violence against the country’s press in more than 10 years.

In one of the attacks on Tuesday, four photojournalists were shot near a military barracks in the southern Guerrero state after they returned from a crime scene. They had been covering one of the many homicides that occur on a near-daily basis in the city of Chilpancingo. State prosecutors said they consider it a case of attempted murder.

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Chinese celebrity chef offends China for third time with egg fried rice video »»

Wang Gang accused of deliberately pushing tutorial around anniversary of death of Mao Anying

A Chinese celebrity chef has apologised after he was accused of insulting the memory of Mao Zedong’s son by posting a video about how to cook egg fried rice.

Wang Gang, who has more than 3.3 million followers on Weibo and more than 2 million on YouTube, faced a torrent of criticism by viewers who accused him of deliberately publishing his cooking tutorial around the anniversary of the death of Mao Anying as an act of mockery.

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Closing arguments begin in trial of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists »»

Judge says verdict is ‘tentatively’ three or four months away after 10 months of hearings

The long-running national security trial of a group of pro-democracy figures known as the Hong Kong 47 began hearing closing arguments on Wednesday, more than 1,000 days after the accused were first arrested and after 10 months of hearings.

The trial is Hong Kong’s biggest since authorities introduced the national security law in June 2020. Ten days have been allowed for closing arguments and on Wednesday one of the judges, Andrew Chan, said a verdict was “tentatively” three or four months away.

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At least one dead after US military plane crashes off Japanese coast »»

Status of five other personnel aboard Osprey aircraft not known after incident off Yakushima island, off southern Kyushu coast

A crew member who was recovered from the ocean after a US military Osprey aircraft carrying six people crashed on Wednesday off southern Japan has been pronounced dead, coast guard officials said.

The cause of the crash and the status of the five others on the aircraft were not immediately known, a coastguard spokesperson, Kazuo Ogawa, said. Initial reports said the aircraft was carrying eight people, but the US military later revised the number to six, he said.

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‘A biodiversity catastrophe’: how the world could look in 2050 – unless we act now »»

The climate crisis, invasive species, overexploitation of resources and pollution could break down crucial ecosystems. We asked experts to lay out the risks and offer some solutions

The continued destruction of nature across the planet will result in major shocks to food supplies and safe water, the disappearance of unique species and the loss of landscapes central to human culture and leisure by the middle of this century, experts have warned.

By 2050, if humanity does not follow through on commitments to tackle the five main drivers of nature loss critical natural systems could break down just as the human population is projected to peak.

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Haiti’s gang wars having ‘cataclysmic’ impact on access to food staples »»

About 22,000 people have been displaced amid murders, looting, kidnappings and widespread sexual violence, new UN report says

Haiti’s brutal gang wars have spread from the capital to key farming heartlands, displacing tens of thousands of people and having a devastating impact on access to food staples, the United Nations has warned.

Violence has gradually escalated in the Bas-Artibonite region north of the capital, the source of staples such as rice, according to a new report released on Tuesday, which said about 22,000 had been displaced amid murders, looting, kidnappings and widespread sexual violence.

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‘Historic moment’: Panama activists celebrate ruling against copper mine »»

Campaigners take to streets after supreme court ruling that could shut down contentious copper mining project

Environmental activists in Panama have taken to the streets to celebrate a ruling by the country’s supreme court which could shut down a contentious copper mining project and bring an end to weeks of mass protests which have paralysed the country’s major roads and ports.

“Today Panama celebrates a historic moment that we have been waiting for for years. At first there were only a few of us but now we all understand that Panama’s gold is green,” said Serena Vamvas, who has been protesting the mine since 2021 with Foundation My Sea (Fundación Mi Mar).

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‘Sometimes you feel you’re in Palestine’: culture and cause burn brightly in Chile »»

Chile has the largest Palestinian diaspora outside the Middle East – and it is lending its considerable weight to the call for justice

Above canvas awnings along the narrow streets in Patronato, a busy commercial district in Chile’s capital, Palestinian flags hang from lampposts and frame warehouse doors.

Bakeries sell baklava, pita and falafel; and shelves are stacked with products imported from the Middle East, their ingredients hastily covered over with Spanish approximations.

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Revealed: Saudi Arabia’s grand plan to ‘hook’ poor countries on oil »»

Climate scientists say fossil fuel use needs to fall rapidly – but oil-rich kingdom is working to drive up demand

Saudi Arabia is driving a huge global investment plan to create demand for its oil and gas in developing countries, an undercover investigation has revealed. Critics said the plan was designed to get countries “hooked on its harmful products”.

Little was known about the oil demand sustainability programme (ODSP) but the investigation obtained detailed information on plans to drive up the use of fossil fuel-powered cars, buses and planes in Africa and elsewhere, as rich countries increasingly switch to clean energy.

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Kidnappers free two of three journalists taken in Mexico, group says »»

Silvia Arce and Alberto Sánchez, who were kidnapped on Wednesday, freed unharmed

Two of three journalists recently kidnapped in southern Mexico have been freed unharmed, the journalists’ international free-speech group Article 19 said in a statement on Saturday.

Silvia Arce and Alberto Sánchez, who lead the digital RedSiete platform, were released during the early hours of the morning, the organisation said.

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