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Australia deficit shrinks as polls loom

A surging tax-take has blessed Australia’s center-right government with the smallest budget deficit in a decade and the means to fund a host of voter-friendly spending promises as it struggles in the polls. The Liberal National Coalition led by Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison has toFULL STORY

FEATURE: ‘Ka pai’: NZ brings Maori language back from brink

Beneath the carved timber roof of a traditional marae meeting house at Wellington High School, dozens of students watch entranced as a play performed entirely in the Maori language unfolds. Many only understand a smattering of the indigenous language, but pick up emotional cues from theFULL STORY

Marshalls aims for zero greenhouse emissions by 2050

The Marshall Islands, an atoll-nation vulnerable to sea level rise from climate change, on Monday announced steps toward an ambitious plan to cut its greenhouse emissions to zero by 2050. The Pacific country became the first small island nation to present such a strategy to theFULL STORY

Vietnam taps first female president

Vietnam has its first female president with the appointment of Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh after president Tran Dai Quang died on Friday from a serious illness. Thinh is to be the acting president until the Vietnamese National Assembly elects a new leader, accordingFULL STORY

Japan court allows nuclear reactor to reopen

A Japanese court paved the way for the nation’s ninth nuclear reactor to restart, boosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to bring dozens of plants back online following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The Hiroshima High Court on Tuesday removed a temporary injunction against Shikoku ElectricFULL STORY

Vietnam jails activist for online posts

A court in Vietnam has jailed an activist for two years and three months on accusations of abusing democracy rights following anti-government posts on Facebook, authorities said. Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship andFULL STORY

Senegalese chef puts supergrain on NYC menus

A gluten-free grain that grows in Africa’s impoverished and semi-arid Sahel region is taking off as a health food in New York, the Senegalese chef who masterminded its revival said on Monday, outlining plans to almost double production by 2023. Pierre Thiam last year began exportingFULL STORY

Singaporean diplomat calls for repeal of gay sex law

One of Singapore’s most influential diplomats yesterday called for the repeal of a law criminalizing sex between men, saying that it was time for the city-state to abandon the “antiquated” legislation. The Indian Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month to decriminalize homosexual sex has sparked freshFULL STORY

Duterte’s ratings dip as inflation soars, poll shows

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte suffered the biggest ratings slump of his presidency in the third quarter, an independent pollster said yesterday, amid signs of public unease about rising inflation and the cost of rice, a food staple. Duterte’s approval rating, a measure of his performance, droppedFULL STORY

Labour Party to reject May’s Brexit deal

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party yesterday said it would reject British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal with the EU when it comes to a vote in parliament. If Britain and the EU agree on a deal, it must be approved by individual nations beforeFULL STORY

Swedish prime minister voted out by parliament

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven yesterday lost a no-confidence vote in parliament and will step down after four years in power, but with neither major political bloc holding a majority it remained unclear who would form the next government. Voters delivered a hung parliament in theFULL STORY

Kavanaugh goes on offense to defend himself

US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday launched an aggressive campaign against allegations of sexual misconduct, vowing on national television to clear his name while appearing to claim his virginity at the time of the accusations as a defense. With pressureFULL STORY

Implant, rehabilitation help three to walk again

Three people whose legs were paralyzed for years can stand and take steps again thanks to an electrical implant that zaps the injured spinal cord — along with months of intense rehab, researchers reported on Monday. The milestone, reported by two teams of scientists working separately,FULL STORY

IRC warns over mental health crisis on Lesbos

Greece yesterday moved another 400 people from its biggest migrant camp as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) charity warned of a mental health emergency there, with 30 percent of people having attempted suicide. The government, under pressure from aid groups and local authorities, has said itFULL STORY

DNA tests unite unknown siblings from France, US

A Frenchman who spent his whole adult life searching for his American father, a soldier who fought in Europe during World War II, said he was “bowled over” after coming face-to-face on Monday with a previously unknown half-brother thanks to a chance DNA breakthrough. Andre Gantois,FULL STORY

World News Quick Take

UNITED NATIONS K-Pop’s BTS unveil campaign K-Pop sensation BTS brought their star power to the UN on Monday, telling the world’s youth to listen to their inner voice and resist pressure to conform. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity,FULL STORY

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