From London to Shanghai, world’s sinking cities face devastating floods

Threat to major population centres is increasing as planners fail to prepare for impacts of global warming, report says

London, Jakarta, Shanghai and Houston and other global cities that are already sinking will become increasingly vulnerable to storms and flooding as a result of global warming, campaigners have warned ahead of a landmark new report on climate science.

The threat to cities from sea level rises is increasing because city planners are failing to prepare, the charity Christian Aid said in the report. Some big cities are already subsiding – the ground beneath Shanghai, for instance, is being pressed down by the sheer weight of the buildings above – and rising sea levels resulting from global warming will make the effects worse.

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Labor promises to axe upfront fees for 10,000 early childhood education Tafe students

Bill Shorten says move will help prepare the workforce for universal childcare for three- and four-year-olds

Labor has promised to scrap upfront fees for 10,000 early childhood education students studying at Tafe in a bid to expand the workforce to prepare for universal childcare for three- and four-year-olds.

Bill Shorten will make the announcement on Friday, after promising to spend $9.8bn over 10 years to provide three- and four-year-olds with 600 hours of preschool or kindergarten a year.

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Lawyer Chin Tan appointed as race discrimination commissioner

Tan replaces Tim Soutphommasane, who left the post in August after a term characterised by conflict with sections of the media

A former lawyer and leader in the multicultural community has been appointed Australia’s next race discrimination commissioner.

Chin Tan, who is the director of multicultural engagement at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology, will take up the post on Monday.

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‘It’s time for women to be heard’: thousands protest Kavanaugh in Washington

Dozens were arrested by police, including Emily Ratajkowski, in a final appeal to vote against the nominee

Thousands of protesters, among them victims of sexual assault, have descended upon the US Capitol with a desperate final appeal to lawmakers to reject embattled supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The demonstrations began early Thursday afternoon, one day before the US Senate is poised to take its first vote on the judge’s nomination to America’s highest bench. Many protesters and activists had traveled to the nation’s capital from across the country. They marched to a rallying cry: “We believe Dr Christine Blasey Ford”, the university professor who has accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly and violently sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers.

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San Francisco police targeted only black residents in drug arrests, lawsuit claims

ACLU says the arrests of 37 people for selling small amounts of drugs part of a pattern of racial profiling in the department

San Francisco police exclusively targeted black residents during undercover drug arrests as part of a pattern of racial profiling, according to a new lawsuit.

Police in the California city, where only 6% of the population is black, worked with federal authorities to arrest 37 people, all of whom were black, for selling small amounts of drugs, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said in a complaint announced Thursday. During the operations, one undercover officer was caught on camera declining to buy drugs from an Asian woman and waiting to buy from a black woman, who was later prosecuted.

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‘Frivolity and excess’: Mexico’s Amlo under fire over aide’s lavish wedding

Critics attack leftwing president-elect for attending wedding of ally César Yáñez and Dulce Silva, which made the cover of ¡Hola!

Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the election on an agenda of austerity and a promise to slash the pay, perks and privileges of a political class often seen as indifferent to the country’s poor.

Related: Young, rich and entitled: Mexicans grow weary of their politicians' spoiled kids

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Mike Pence accuses China of meddling in US elections despite lack of evidence

Vice-president’s allegation echoes similar claim made by Trump last week but has been contradicted by cybersecurity experts

Mike Pence has claimed that Russian interference in US elections “pales in comparison” with Chinese meddling, which he said was aimed at ousting Donald Trump.

Related: Trump accuses China of meddling in midterms, citing Iowa newspaper ad

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Dozens of stillbirths to be reviewed by south Wales health board

More midwives being hired after concerns about staffing levels and unreported incidents

More than two dozen stillbirths and one case in which a baby died shortly after birth are among 43 incidents being investigated by a Welsh health board, it has been announced.

Cwm Taf University health board said a review of pregnancies in which there was an “adverse outcome” since 1 January 2016 had identified 43 cases that needed a full investigation.

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Pas de ‘fake news’ – too many English words rile French defenders

No need for Anglo-Saxon encroachment, French told, try fausse for fake and beuverie express for binge drinking …

Defenders of the French language are calling on their compatriots to stop using the English term “fake news”, recommending instead that they refer to “information fallacieuse”.

The Commission for the Enrichment of the French Language (CELF) also proffered a newly coined expression, “infox”, for those who find “information fallacieuse” a bit of a mouthful.

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Man caught on CCTV punching woman outside Paris cafe jailed

Video bolstered support for France’s plans to impose fines for sexual harassment on streets

A man who punched a woman outside a Paris cafe, prompting outrage after a video of the assault went viral, was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a €2,000 fine, lawyers in France have said.

The video of the attack on a 22-year-old student, Marie Laguerre, which she uploaded to social media, bolstered support for plans to punish sexual harassment on France’s streets and public transport with fines.

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Bungling agents leave Putin exposed in the global spotlight

Botched missions in Salisbury and The Hague may prompt Russian leader to reassess his targeting of the west

Spies do not always want to advertise their victories, preferring John Le Carré’s advice “better to be silent, be blank”. But in the case of the battle between MI6 and the GRU, a decision has been made in Whitehall to highlight and isolate the Russian military intelligence arm, aiming to turn it from a source of Vladimir Putin’s power to an impediment.

In part, the double exposure of the GRU – first wandering around Salisbury in search of the doorknob of Sergei Skripal’s home, and then caught in a carpark in the The Hague hacking into the chemical weapons watchdog – has simply been made possible by Russian incompetence.

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Irish PM urges May to publish border plan ‘as soon as possible’

Leo Varadkar says UK must not delay until right before crunch Brexit summit later this month

Ireland’s prime minister has urged Theresa May to publish her revised Brexit border plan “as soon as possible” so the UK and EU can seal a Brexit deal in November.

Leo Varadkar said the UK must not delay until a few days before a crunch summit on 17-18 October because the EU needed time to “respond to it in a meaningful way” if talks were to advance. “We want there to be decisive progress at the October summit, so that allows us to seal a deal in November,” he said.

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Why nothing will change after the banking royal commission – Australian politics live podcast

The preliminary report released by the banking royal commission found banks have been putting ‘the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty’. But are we hearing the same apologies and excuses as before? That’s the question political editor Katharine Murphy asks economics correspondent Gareth Hutchens and Grogonomics columnist Greg Jericho

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The fantasy world of pre-wedding photos: inside China’s billion-dollar industry

The black-and-white wedding photos of couples married in China used to resemble ID cards. Now a much more elaborate tradition is emerging, writes Jenny Valentish

The photographer and his crew sit outside the tank, grinning.

“Beauty, how long can you hold your breath under water?” one calls out to the sopping wet woman in the wedding gown. A moment later, he addresses the groom-to-be: “Handsome, when you dive down, just suck your tummy in a bit. Your bum as well.”

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Stuff that: Victoria looking to taxidermy in hope of cutting deer numbers

Measures are being proposed to reduce feral populations and red tape affecting deer hunters

Victoria is considering a novel way to control its increasing feral deer population – removing the need for a taxidermy licence in the hope that more deer end up as trophies on the walls of hunters’ homes.

Deer are protected under Victorian wildlife laws along with other introduced species like pheasants and European quails and partridges, meaning they cannot be hunted without a licence.

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Imaging tool unravels secrets of child’s sock from ancient Egypt

Non-invasive technique devised by British Museum sheds light on dyeing and weaving process

The ancient Egyptians famously gave us paper and the pyramids, but were also early adopters of the stripy sock.

Scientists at the British Museum have developed pioneering imaging to discover how enterprising Egyptians used dyes on a child’s sock, recovered from a rubbish dump in ancient Antinoupolis in Roman Egypt, and dating from 300AD.

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