Xenophon backflip on penalty rates means bill to stop cuts will pass Senate

Motion to block current round of cuts and prevent future cuts will still likely fail to pass the lower house

The Nick Xenophon Team will now support a bill to prevent penalty rate cuts, ensuring it will pass the Senate but likely still fail in the lower house due the government’s slim majority.

On Tuesday Labor passed an urgency motion in the Senate condemning Malcolm Turnbull’s “lack of empathy for Australian workers who rely on penalty rates to make ends meet”.

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Stansted runway closed after anti-deportation protesters block flight

Eight activists stop charter flight containing eight deportees scheduled to depart the Essex airport for Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday night

The runway at Stansted was closed on Tuesday night after protesters ran out in a bid to prevent a plane carrying eight deportees from taking off.

The campaign group End Deportations said eight activists had locked themselves to a tripod to stop a “mass deportation charter flight” from the Essex airport to Nigeria and Ghana.

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Trump lawyers: president is immune from Apprentice contestant’s lawsuit

Lawyers say defamation suit brought by former contestant Summer Zervos should be barred as it may distract the president from performing his duties

Donald Trump’s lawyers are claiming he is immune while president from defamation claims brought by a former contestant on The Apprentice who accused him of sexual harassment.

Related: Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos sues Donald Trump for defamation

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New technology allows tetraplegic man to move hand with thought

Neuroprosthetic procedure first in world to restore brain-controlled reaching and grasping in person with complete paralysis

A man who was paralysed from below the neck after crashing his bike into a truck can once again drink a cup of coffee and eat mashed potato with a fork, after a world-first procedure to allow him to control his hand with the power of thought.

Bill Kochevar, 53, has had electrical implants in the motor cortex of his brain and sensors inserted in his forearm, which allow the muscles of his arm and hand to be stimulated in response to signals from his brain, decoded by computer. After eight years, he is able to drink and feed himself without assistance.

Related: Brain implant helps paralysed man regain partial control of his hand

Related: Man gets bionic hand with sense of touch nine years after accident

Related: Brain implant allows partially paralysed monkeys to walk again

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Man charged after hit-and-run that killed four-year-old Merseyside girl Violet-Grace Youens

Dean Ian Brennan, 27, charged with theft of a car as police try to locate another man, 23, believed to have left the UK

A man has been charged in connection with a collision that killed a four-year-old girl.

Violet-Grace Youens died in hospital in her mother’s arms on Saturday after she was struck by a stolen black Ford Fiesta while walking through St Helens, Merseyside on Friday.

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Airline association head: US and UK electronics bans are not sustainable

‘It is difficult to understand’ the effectiveness of recent measures affecting flights from countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, says IATA chief

British and US bans on laptops and tablet computers in flight cabins are not sustainable in the long term, the head of the association representing airlines said Tuesday.

“The current measures are not acceptable as a long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association.

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EU leads attacks on Trump’s rollback of Obama climate policy

Europe poised to take baton from US as leader in global efforts to fight climate change, with America’s commitment to Paris accords at risk

The European Union has led criticism of Donald Trump’s effort to unravel Barack Obama’s measures to combat climate change, suggesting that Europe will now take the lead in global efforts.

The US president signed an executive order on Tuesday aimed at eliminating the clean power plan, Obama’s landmark policy to set limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants emit. America’s commitment to the Paris accord of nearly 200 countries now hangs in the balance.

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No Nunes is good Nunes? | The minute

Spicer drops a silly salad-based zinger... Nunes under more pressure after reports WH tried to suppress Yates testimony... Trump mines Obama’s environmental protection legacy...and everything else in today’s politics. By Jamiles Lartey.

Doubts over embattled House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes escalated Monday after the California Republican canceled a public hearing originally planned for Tuesday, during which two senior intelligence officials appointed by Barack Obama, and the former acting attorney general Sally Yates, were scheduled to testify.

Nunes reiterated his refusal to recuse himself from the committee’s investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, despite mounting calls from Democrats.

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Company tax cuts debate to hit Senate as Xenophon stands firm on 18C – politics live

All eyes are on the Senate for the company tax cut debate while late night amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are unlikely to persuade Senate to support changes to 18C. Follow it live ...

Good morning blogans,

All hail hump day, when we get to the nitty gritty in the senate, which remains the chamber to watch. I’m thinking company tax cuts, I’m thinking 18C, I’m thinking native title, if the government has time.

(whether orally, in a document or in any other way), then the making of the statement, comment or remark may be reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to harass another person, even if the statement, comment or remark is not made in the presence of the other person.

The government will push to amend its shake-up to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to ensure the new definition of ­“harass” can incorporate bullying behaviour waged over social media or email.

The changes — tabled in the Senate last night — are aimed at ensuring the word “harass” does not only capture conduct committed within the vicinity of an individual, but could also cover behaviour over the internet.

But if there is something we can do in conjunction with the opposition to look at that then we are very happy to do so. But if the opposition isn’t going to support it, then we don’t want to put it before the senate and see it voted down.

China said on Tuesday that it hoped Australia would ratify a bilateral extradition treaty after the antipodean nation rescinded a plan to push for the ratification of the deal.

The early entry into force of the treaty will offer an institutional guarantee for China-Australia collaboration on counter cross-border crimes, and boost bilateral law enforcement and judicial cooperation,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a routine press briefing.

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Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo acquitted of war crimes

  • Gbagbo also cleared of crimes against humanity for role in 2011 civil war
  • Trial held in Abidjan after refusal to send her to ICC in The Hague

A court in Ivory Coast has acquitted former first lady Simone Gbagbo of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges linked to her role in a 2011 civil war that killed about 3,000 people, state television announced on Tuesday.

Judge Kouadio Bouatchi said a jury unanimously voted to free Gbagbo. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence, saying she participated on a committee that organised abuses against supporters of her husband’s opponent after the 2010 election.

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New York Port Authority police accused of targeting gay men using bathrooms

Class-action suit accuses police of discrimination at bus terminal, saying they have falsely arrested people as they seek to increase arrest figures

Police have been accused of targeting gay men who use the restrooms at New York City’s main bus terminal.

A class-action lawsuit, filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, accuses Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police of engaging in discrimination by falsely arresting men perceived as gay at the Port Authority bus terminal on baseless charges including public lewdness and exposure.

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François Fillon’s wife officially charged over embezzlement of public funds

Inquiry into wife of French presidential candidate comes after hours of questioning over work Penelope Fillon did for her husband

The British-born wife of French presidential candidate François Fillon has been officially put under investigation in the fake jobs scandal that has poisoned her husband’s political career.

Penelope Fillon is being prosecuted for embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and aggravated fraud, it was reported late on Tuesday evening.

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Theresa May to call on Britons to unite as she triggers article 50

PM signs letter that will be hand-delivered to European council president at the same time as she addresses House of Commons

Theresa May will call on the British people to unite as she triggers article 50, beginning a two-year process that will see the UK leave the European Union and sever a political relationship that has lasted 44 years.

A letter signed by the prime minister will be hand-delivered to the president of the European council at about 12.30pm – as she rises in Westminster to deliver a statement to MPs signalling the end of the UK’s most significant diplomatic association since the end of the second world war.

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Cyclone Debbie: flooding and heavy rain continue to hammer north Queensland – live updates

Australian authorities assess damage from category four cyclone that hit coast between Airlie Beach and Mackay on Tuesday as weather system moves inland bringing heavy rain. Follow all the updates here ...

As dawn breaks along the Queensland coast, the extent of damage and destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie is being revealed. Ex-Cyclone Debbie is continuing to pose a risk to residents, and authorities fear continuing rainfall and damaging winds will cause flooding and damage on Wednesday.

Follow our live coverage as authorities begin the mammoth clean-up effort and assess the extent of damage and injury caused by Debbie. If it’s safe to do so, share your experience of Cyclone Debbie with us by sending photos or your story to christopher.knaus@guardian.co.uk.

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Misleading Q&A question on Sadiq Khan should have been corrected, ABC admits

Viewers accuse Q&A of ‘fake news’ over incorrect claim that London mayor said terrorism was ‘part and parcel’ of living in a big city after Westminster attack

The ABC has admitted it was an oversight not to correct a misleading a question on Q&A about the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s response to the attack on Westminster last week.

The first question asked on the popular Monday night program was: “In the wake of the London terror attack in Westminster, the Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan stated that terror attacks are now “part and parcel” of living in a big city, expressing a need to be vigilant.

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