Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift at sea in fishing hut

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working alone in a ‘rompong’ when heavy winds snapped its moorings

An Indonesian teenager has survived 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut, before he was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged vessel and returned home.

Aldi Novel Adilang, a 19-year-old from Sulawesi, worked as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap, known locally as rompong, located 125km out at sea.

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New US tariffs on China take effect with no compromise in sight

Washington imposes $200bn taxes on Chinese goods, while Beijing targets $60bn of US goods

The United States and China have imposed new tit-for-tat tariffs against each other’s goods, the latest escalation in a heated trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

US tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60bn worth of US products took effect at 0400 GMT.

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China starts to assert its world view at UN as influence grows

China is now a pillar of UN peacekeeping, with potential implications for human rights

The noise around Donald Trump will grab the most attention at the United Nations general assembly in New York this week, but the quietly growing influence of China is of equal concern to many western diplomats.

China, for years prepared to take a back seat at the UN, is now seeking positions of power, increasing its budget contributions and starting to assert its world view, notably the preeminence of national sovereignty over human rights.

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Victoria’s Catholic education head appears to claim credit for minister’s scalp

Stephen Elder tells newspaper he regrets helping unseat Simon Birmingham from education portfolio

The head of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria has expressed regret that Simon Birmingham lost his portfolio over schools funding reforms, appearing to take credit for ousting the education minister.

Stephen Elder made the comments to the Australian Financial Review after he headed its education power list, a victory lap capping the announcement the sector had extracted $4.6bn more over 10 years for Catholic and independent schools after Scott Morrison ousted Malcolm Turnbull and replaced Birmingham with Dan Tehan.

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Hong Kong bans pro-independence party as China tightens grip

Hong Kong National Party banned in the interests of ‘national safety’

Hong Kong has banned a political party which promotes independence, a first since the city was handed back to China by Britain 21 years ago as Beijing ups pressure on any challenges to its sovereignty.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland, including freedom of expression, but the space for political dissent is shrinking in the face of an increasingly assertive China under President Xi Jinping.

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Whitsundays shark attacks occurred in swimming ‘no-go zone’, conservationists say

Four tiger sharks in Queensland killed after tourists to Australia attacked

The central Queensland harbour where two people were attacked by sharks in recent days is known to Whitsunday locals as a “no-go zone” for swimming, Queensland-based conservationists say.

Jonathan Clarke, from Sea Shepherd Australia, has spent months inspecting shark drum lines in Queensland. He said the drum lines were often left for days without bait, creating “a false sense of safety” for swimmers.

Four tiger sharks were killed at the weekend by baited hooks dropped into Sawmill Bay by Fisheries Queensland following the attacks on Justine Barwick, 46, and Hannah Papps, 12.

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Brett Kavanaugh faces second allegation of sexual misconduct

Deborah Ramirez, who attended Yale with Kavanaugh, has described a drunken party during which genitals were thrust in her face

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces a second allegation of sexual misconduct after another woman came forward accusing him of inappropriate sexual behaviour during his college years at Yale University.

The New Yorker magazine reported on Sunday evening that a 53-year-old woman, Deborah Ramirez, who attended university with Kavanaugh, has alleged that the judge appeared to have thrust his genitals in her face at a drunken party during their freshman year in 1983-4 academic calendar. She said she clearly remembers the judge, then a teenager, pulling up his pants after a penis was thrust in her face during a drinking game. She also accused Kavanaugh of laughing at her in the aftermath and has said the FBI should investigate the incident.

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Pollution pushes Mongolia’s herders to reconsider city life

Bright lights of Ulaanbaatar have been overshadowed by smog worse than Beijing, prompting calls to modernise countryside so millions can return

More than a decade ago, Darii Garam, 76, moved to Ulaanbaatar with her children so they could go to school and find work beyond herding animals in the countryside. Now, the pollution, set to worsen in the approaching winter, is getting to her.

“Even just going outside for a second, opening your door, your home fills with smoke, your clothes, everything smells like it,” she says moving around her ger, a spacious and neatly kept traditional Mongolian yurt, to make tea.

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Germany: Merkel’s coalition solves spymaster dispute that rattled government

Compromise involves new job for Hans-Georg Maaßen, accused of harbouring far-right views, but no payrise

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition resolved a dispute over Germany’s scandal-tainted spymaster on Sunday, ending a crisis that had prompted concerns the six-month-old government could fall apart.

The three coalition parties had agreed on Tuesday to transfer spy chief Hans-Georg Maaßen to the Interior Ministry following accusations that he harboured far-right views. Maaßen had questioned the authenticity of video footage showing radicals hounding migrants in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

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‘Modicare’: India’s PM promises free health care for poorest citizens

Narendra Modi says bottom 40% of population will be covered under flagship programme

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has launched the world’s biggest health insurance scheme, promising free coverage for half a billion of India’s poorest citizens ahead of national elections in May.

The bottom 40% of India’s 1.25 billion people will be covered under the flagship program, dubbed “Modicare”, unveiled in the federal budget earlier this year.

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Serena Williams says she doesn’t understand coach’s claim he coached her from sidelines

Six-time US Open champion denies Patrick Mouratoglou ‘made a motion’ from sidelines during match which Williams lost to Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams does not understand why her coach admitted giving her instructions from the sidelines during her controversial US Open women’s final.

Speaking about her outburst earlier this month, Williams maintained in an interview on Network Ten that she was not being coached during the match, which she lost to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

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Maldives voters throw out China-backed strongman president

Election result is extraordinary rebuke to Abdulla Yameen, who jailed political opponents and judges during a tumultuous five-year term

Voters in the Maldives have thrown out the incumbent president, Abdulla Yameen, in an extraordinary rebuke to a leader who jailed political opponents and judges and drew his country closer to China during a tumultuous five-year term.

With more than 80% of the ballots counted on Sunday night, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, popularly known as Ibu, was ahead by an unassailable 17 points in an election viewed as a referendum on democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

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Labor dips in latest Newspoll as Scott Morrison widens lead over Bill Shorten

Liberal party boosts its primary vote by 3%, but still sits behind opposition 46% to 54% in two-party-preferred terms

The Coalition has increased its two-party-preferred vote by 2% in the latest Newspoll, a first step for Scott Morrison to pare back Labor’s election-winning lead in the wake of the Liberal leadership spill.

One month after Morrison emerged the winner in a poisonous three-way leadership contest, the Newspoll, published on Monday, found the Liberal party has boosted its primary vote by 3% to 36% and now sits behind Labor 46% to 54% in two-party-preferred terms.

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May to face pressure to ditch Chequers plan in cabinet showdown

Brexiters to set out alternative vision for EU exit, before cabinet meets for the first time since PM’s Salzburg humiliation

Theresa May will come under intense pressure from leading Brexiters on Monday to ditch her Chequers proposals and back a free trade deal with the EU instead as she faces a bruising cabinet showdown in the wake of the disastrous Salzburg summit.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis and leading Eurosceptic Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg are among those backing a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs which is expected to set out an alternative plan for a hard Brexit departure from the EU.

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Nearly $18m in cocaine found in boxes of bananas donated to Texas prison

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said federal officials and US Customs and Border Protection are investigating

Authorities in Texas said bananas donated to a prison in the state turned out to have nearly $18m worth of cocaine hidden inside their boxes.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (DCJ) outlined the find in a surprisingly jaunty Facebook post which began: “Sometimes, life gives you lemons. Sometimes, it gives you bananas. And sometimes, it gives you something you’d never expect!”

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