‘We thought we were mates’: French ambassador laments subterfuge en route to Sydney airport

The French ambassador to Australia was in a car heading to Sydney airport for an urgent flight back home when he revealed he was “sad like any decent person would be”. Jean-Pierre Thebault left Australia on Saturday night after Australia’s $90bn submarine deal with France was scrapped late last week, causing an unexpected rupture in…

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Taiwan welcomes support from major allies after Aukus pact riles China

Taiwan has welcomed support from major allies after a US-Australia ministerial forum pledged stronger ties with the island and the European parliament called for a bilateral trade deal. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry also cautiously noted the British prime minister’s refusal to rule out getting involved in a war with China over the island,…

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Gavin Newsom will remain California governor after handily defeating recall attempt

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom has prevailed in a historic recall election that had him battling for his political life. In a referendum on the governor’s leadership through the pandemic, voters resoundingly rejected the choice to replace him with a Trumpist Republican.

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Scholz braves conservative attacks to win second German election debate

Candidates representing the two parties that have governed Germany in a “grand coalition” for 12 out of the past 16 years tore into each other’s record on Sunday night, in a televised election debate that saw centre-left frontrunner Olaf Scholz declared winner despite swipes from his conservative rival.

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Afghanistan’s shrinking horizons: ‘Women feel everything is finished’

In two months, Parwana estimates she has crossed the threshold of her home perhaps four times. She used to leave early in the morning, for work that supported her entire family, and then go on to an evening degree course.

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Biden tells Xi US and China must not ‘veer into conflict’ in first call for months

US president Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have spoken in their first phone call for seven months, amid continuing frustrations over attempts to find common ground. During the 90-minute call, which was initiated by Biden, the two leaders discussed their shared responsibility to ensure competition does not “veer into conflict”, according to a…

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Contagion fear as China property giant Evergrande struggles to repay $300bn debt

Shares in the embattled Chinese property giant Evergrande have slumped again after two credit downgrades in two days amid concerns that it will default on parts of its massive $300bn debt pile. Evergrande, which is one of the world’s most indebted companies, has seen its shares tumble 75% this year. They fell by almost 10%…

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US-led meeting to set out framework for Taliban cooperation

The US is convening an expanded group of western nations to set a framework for cooperation with the new Taliban government, amid fears that isolating the militant group could backfire. The meeting on Wednesday, chaired by the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, and the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, faces an all-male, Pashtun-dominated caretaker…

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UN experts condemn Texas abortion law as sex discrimination ‘at its worst’

United Nations human rights monitors have strongly condemned the state of Texas for its new anti-abortion law, which they say violates international law by denying women control over their own bodies and endangering their lives.

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New Zealand stabbings: officials tried for years to deport terrorist prior to Auckland attack, Jacinda Ardern says

New Zealand had tried for years to deport the terrorist who stabbed shoppers in an Auckland supermarket on Friday before being shot dead by the police officers tasked with watching him, the country’s prime minister has said.

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