Taiwan train travelling twice speed limit before crash that killed 18

Driver allegedly disabled the automatic train protection system that would have caused it to brake

The driver of a train which derailed in Taiwan killing 18 people is under investigation after an inquiry found the train entered a turn at 140km/h (87mph), almost twice the speed limit for the section.

The driver of the train is also being investigated for negligence for allegedly disabling the automatic train protection system that would have caused it to brake, reported the official Central News Agency.

Continue reading...

Poland’s first openly gay politician says progressives can win

After losses for ruling Law and Justice party in local elections Robert Biedroń says Poland is ‘ready for progressive politics’

Poland’s first openly gay politician has said “progressives” can win in the country, as the ruling Law and Justice party suffered setbacks in local elections at the weekend.

“I don’t believe that Poland is not ready for progressive politics,” said Robert Biedroń, who stood down as mayor of Słupsk to launch a pro-European, “pro-democratic” movement. “Because if you give people a tempting, credible offer, people are willing to trust you.”

Continue reading...

Five things you need to know about the world’s longest sea bridge

The $20bn Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is one of the world’s most unusual roadways

The world’s longest sea bridge, connecting Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland has been officially opened, in a ceremony in Zhuhai attended by Chinese president Xi Jinping and Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam.

In a short address Xi declared the bridge open, as digital fireworks exploded on a screen behind him. The bridge will open to traffic on Wednesday.

Continue reading...

‘Beautiful Ted’: Trump and Cruz bury the hatchet as midterm anxiety mounts

Their bitter 2016 rivalry was all but forgotten at a Houston rally, where Trump lent his support to the embattled Texas senator

Two years ago they were sworn enemies, but with a handshake, a hug and a sycophantic prediction that “in 2020, Donald Trump will be overwhelmingly reelected as president of the United States,” the real-estate mogul’s victory over the Texas senator was complete.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Ted Cruz is coming under extreme pressure from his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, in the fight for his Texas senate seat. Trump is turning to an increasingly fantastical narrative of fear and falsehoods as he tries to shore up Republican control of Congress in the November midterm elections.

Continue reading...

Geoffrey Rush close to tears as he gives evidence in ‘King Leer’ defamation trial

Actor becomes emotional on stand as he defends himself from accusations of inappropriate behaviour with woman on stage

Geoffrey Rush came close to tears in court explaining how he imagined his own daughter’s death during a scene in the production of King Lear in which he was accused of behaving inappropriately.

Rush became emotional on the stand during the second day of his two-week defamation hearing against Sydney newspaper the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, describing his thoughts during a scene in the play where he carried the woman at the centre of the complaint on stage.

Continue reading...

Gilberto Benetton, fashion brand co-founder, dies aged 77

Founding figure at Italian company best known for its daring ad campaigns dies at home in Treviso

Gilberto Benetton, co-founder of the eponymous clothing brand, has died at the age of 77 after an illness, the Italian group announced.

“Gilberto Benetton died at home today in Treviso [north-east Italy] following a brief illness,” the Benetton group said in a brief statement on Monday. “His wife, Lalla, daughters Barbara and Sabrina and son-in-law Ermanno were with him in his final moments.”

Continue reading...

‘Watching our mates drop dead’: New Zealand’s synthetic cannabis crisis

Neighbourhoods being ‘swallowed up’ by the drug, with health officials calling for urgent action

Daniel started using synthetic cannabis when it was legal. He remembers a mild to mid-range high that was short acting. “It was fantastic,” he says.

That was before the drug was banned by the government four years ago and bootleg batches began to surface on the streets of Auckland. Now, taking synthetic cannabis in New Zealand can be deadly. “It wasn’t anything like this stuff you see now. We are watching all of our mates just drop dead around us. That’s a lot of trauma,” Daniel says.

Continue reading...

Scott Morrison’s stunts and thought bubbles won’t be enough to win over voters | Peter Lewis

There’s something Trumpian about his strategy: deny reality and then harness all your mastery of bluster to create a new one

In his spirited yet ultimately futile attempt to avoid being beached at Wentworth, Captain Scott Morrison has flagged the way he will attempt to cling to power in the general election.

At the core of Morrison’s survival strategy is a simple plan to keep the ship of state moving at break-neck speed and hope like hell that if you throw up enough new ideas one of them will land to your advantage.

Continue reading...

Monsanto trial: judge rejects bid to overturn landmark cancer verdict

Dewayne Johnson originally won $289m after finding Roundup weedkiller caused illness, but judge reduces financial award

A California judge has rejected Monsanto’s appeal to overturn a landmark jury verdict which found that its popular herbicide causes cancer.

The judge’s ruling on Monday largely sided with Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a father of three and former school groundskeeper, who won a $289m award over the summer after alleging that his exposure to Roundup weedkiller gave him cancer. During the trial, the first of its kind, the 46-year-old also alleged that Monsanto had failed to warn him of the risks of using its product.

Continue reading...