Rabu, 30 September 2020

Who are the Proud Boys? Donald Trump tells far-right group to ‘stand back and stand by’ - The Australian

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  1. Who are the Proud Boys? Donald Trump tells far-right group to ‘stand back and stand by’  The Australian
  2. Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash over Antifa, white supremacists
  3. Donald Trump denies knowledge of the far-right Proud Boys, despite calling on them to ‘stand by’ during debate  SBS News
  4. Proud Boys: who are the far-right group that backs Donald Trump?  The Guardian
  5. The Proud Boys heard Trump last night. Their reaction tells you everything you need to know  The Independent
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

2020-10-01 03:39:00Z

Who are the white supremacist group Proud Boys? - The Australian

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Who are the white supremacist group Proud Boys?  The AustralianView Full coverage on Google News

2020-10-01 01:51:00Z

US presidential debate: Donald Trump interrupted challenger Joe Biden 73 times -

US President Donald Trump interrupted challenger Joe Biden a whopping 73 times in what has been dubbed an “angry” and “chaotic” opening presidential debate.

As flustered Fox News moderator Chris Wallace pleaded with the President to “allow people to speak with fewer interruptions”, the debate quickly descended into a shouting match.

Both candidates traded barbs, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden telling Mr Trump to “shut up”, describing him as a clown during the heated exchange.

The Commission on Presidential Debates says it will add more “structure” to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s trainwreck between Mr Trump and Mr Biden.

The planned changes, the details of which have not yet been officially announced, will include cutting off a candidate’s microphone if they break the rules, CBS News reported.

In a statement, the non-profit group said the chaotic first debate between the US President and the Democratic candidate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues”.

RELATED: Donald Trump replies after ‘trainwreck’ debate

Mr Trump’s interruptions – which a count by CBS News clocked at 73 – had most of the focus overnight. It is a familiar tactic for Mr Trump, who interrupted Hillary Clinton 51 times in their first presidential debate back in 2016.

“It was clear early on what kind of ‘debate’ this would be,” North America reporter Anthony Zurcher wrote for the BBC.

“Donald Trump’s objective was to rattle Joe Biden – and he planned to do it by constantly interrupting the former vice-president.

“That made for a series of chaotic exchanges, which included Trump questioning Biden’s intelligence.

“Time and time again, Trump would snipe at Biden, leaving the Democrat laughing and shaking his head.”

Despite this, political correspondent Ed O’Keefe said Trump campaign aides felt the President had “strong command of the stage”.

The debate in Cleveland, Ohio, was as bad-tempered as had been feared, with Mr Trump leading the way in yelling over both his challenger and Wallace.

CBS This Morning said “Biden could barely finish a thought” amid the heated confrontation.

Regardless of his inability to speak uninterrupted though, a CBS poll saw Mr Biden win the night by 48 per cent to Mr Trump’s 41 per cent.

Following the debate, Mr Trump tweeted that Wallace had “a tough night”.

“Two on one was not surprising, but fun,” he said.

RELATED: Hillsong issues apology after accidental Trump post

RELATED: Trump debate comments freak out investors

Mr Biden, though, gave as good as he got, launching the kind of attack Mr Trump has rarely had to endure to his face.

“Liar,” “racist” and “clown” were just some of the missiles launched from Mr Biden, who also branded Mr Trump the “puppy” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At times, neither Mr Biden nor Wallace could get a word in, as Mr Trump loudly touted his economic record and went after Mr Biden’s son Hunter.

“This will go down as one of the worst debates in history,” Aaron Kall, a presidential debate specialist at the University of Michigan, told AFP.

At one point Mr Biden, who is currently leading strongly in the polls, turned to Mr Trump and said: “Will you shut up, man!”

The debate did nothing to calm fears around America that November’s presidential election, taking place in the middle of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, could end in chaos.

Mr Biden sought to tie Mr Trump squarely to the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States – more than in any other country.

And he came with a visible plan to dodge the Trump rhetorical storm by frequently turning to face the cameras directly and addressing the tens of millions of people watching.

“How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of COVID?” Mr Biden said.

Mocking the President for one of his more infamous statements on supposed coronavirus cures, Mr Biden said: “Maybe you could inject bleach in your arm and that would take care of it.”


Before they even appeared for the first of their scheduled three 90-minute TV debates, Mr Biden was capitalising on bombshell revelations in The New York Times that the billionaire President managed to avoid paying almost any federal income taxes for years.

Mr Trump, who has broken longtime presidential transparency by refusing to publish his tax returns, reportedly used loopholes to pay just $750 in federal tax during the first year of his presidency.

Hours before the Cleveland showdown, Mr Biden published his own tax returns, and at the debate demanded that Mr Trump do likewise.

During the debate Mr Trump insisted that he has paid “millions” in taxes. But the issue of tax continues to provide Mr Biden ammunition to chip away at Trump’s crucial support from blue collar voters.

The next debate is scheduled for October 15 in Miami.

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2020-09-30 22:31:33Z

Trump’s mic could be cut off in next presidential debate after ‘trainwreck’ -

The Commission on Presidential Debates says it will add more “structure” to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s trainwreck between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The planned changes, the details of which have not yet been officially announced, will include cutting off a candidate’s microphone if they break the rules, CBS News reported.

In a statement, the non-profit group said the chaotic first debate between the US President and the Democratic candidate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues”.

“The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” it said.

Mr Trump tweeted in response, “Try getting a new Anchor and a smarter Democrat candidate!”

The fiery 90-minute, three-way shouting match between the septuagenarians in Cleveland, Ohio, was described by many commentators as the worst presidential debate in history.

The Republican frequently interrupted and talked over his opponent, who responded by flinging personal insults, telling him to “shut up”, calling him a “clown” and the “worst” leader the US had ever seen.

The President, meanwhile, at one point questioned Mr Biden’s intelligence and repeatedly attacked Mr Biden’s son Hunter over his drug use and alleged dodgy overseas business dealings.

Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News was heavily criticised for failing to keep the pair under control.

The President and his supporters, however, felt the veteran news man was biased towards Mr Biden and at times seemed to be the one debating Mr Trump as the Democratic candidate watched on.

“I guess I’m debating you, not him – that’s OK, I’m not surprised,” Mr Trump said at one point.

The CPD said it was “grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates”.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement that “they’re only doing this because their guy got pummeled last night”. “President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs,” Mr Murtaugh said.

“They shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to the CPD’s announcement.

“I think it was just a national embarrassment,” Mr Biden told reporters on Wednesday. “I just hope the American people and those undecided voters try to determine what each of us has as an answer for their concerns.”

Some Democratic media figures have since called for the next two debates to be called off.

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2020-09-30 22:26:06Z

US-linked security sources discussed kidnapping or poisoning Julian Assange, London court told - ABC News

Security contacts linked to the US discussed plans to kidnap or even poison Julian Assange as part of an elaborate spying operation during the latter part of his seven-year stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy, a London court has heard.

In written statements at Assange's extradition hearing, two anonymous witnesses who worked for a Spanish firm with a security contract at the embassy said the WikiLeaks founder faced an intensifying bugging operation from 2017 onwards, after Donald Trump became US President.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser had previously granted the two witnesses anonymity amid fears for their safety.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the US Government did not contest the submission of the anonymous statements but said they were largely irrelevant to the matter under consideration in London's Old Bailey court.

The two witnesses alleged that David Morales, the director of Spanish security firm Undercover Global, switched to "the dark side" and had instructed the installation of cameras with sophisticated audio capabilities to secretly record Assange's meetings at the embassy, particularly those with his lawyers.

Assange lived in the embassy for seven years from 2012 after seeking refuge there while fearing his potential extradition to the US.

He was evicted in April 2019 and has been in a London prison since.

The anonymous witnesses both claimed that Morales said the surveillance was initiated at the behest of "our American friends" and that he had been well rewarded.

One of the witnesses said Morales travelled to Las Vegas around July 2016 to showcase the security firm and subsequently obtained a "flashy contract" with the Las Vegas Sands, which was owned by Sheldon Adelson, a wealthy associate of Mr Trump's.

"After returning from one of his trips to the United States, David Morales gathered all the workers in the office in Jerez and told us that 'We have moved up and from now on we will be playing in the big league,'" the witness said.

'Kidnap the asylee'

The other anonymous witness, who was employed as an IT expert from 2015, alleged that while in the southern Spanish city of Jerez in, where UC Global had its headquarters, Morales had said in December 2017 that "the Americans were desperate".

The witness said a suggestion was made that "more extreme measures should be employed against the 'guest' to put an end to the situation of Assange's permanence in the embassy."

Specifically, the witness said the idea was raised for the door to the embassy to be left open, "which would allow the argument that this had been an accidental mistake, which would allow persons to enter from outside the embassy and kidnap the asylee".

There was, the witness claimed, even a suggestion that Assange could be poisoned.

"All of these suggestions Morales said were under consideration during his dealing with his contacts in the United States," the witness said.

The witness also alleged that Morales had asked him soon after to install a microphone in an extinguisher in an embassy meeting room, as well as in a toilet where Assange had been holding meetings due to his concerns that he was the target of espionage.

"I used a nearby socket to conceal a microphone in a cable in the toilet in the back of the embassy," the witness said.

"This was never removed, and may still be there."

Police and protesters wait for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Assange spent over seven years inside the embassy after seeking asylum in 2012.(Reuters: Olivia Harris)

US prosecutors have indicted the 49-year-old Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks' publication of secret American military documents a decade ago.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Assange's defence team say he is entitled to First Amendment protections for the publication of leaked documents that exposed US military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They have also said he is suffering from wide-ranging mental health issues, including suicidal tendencies, that could be exacerbated if he ends up in inhospitable prison conditions in the US.

Assange's extradition hearing, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, is due to end this week.


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2020-09-30 18:58:00Z

Nagorno-Karabakh: Armenia and Azerbaijan clash over disputed region -

Two global military goliaths are being drawn into a war over a country that, officially speaking, doesn’t exist.

Despite the Republic of Artsakh producing its own currency, sporting a capital city and a government, it appears on few maps. You won’t find it on Google Maps.

But the at least 100 people that have died in recent days are very real – and there are fears the already bloody clash could get even more deadly.

Turkey and Russia are lining up on opposite sides of a decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which, this week, burst back into battle.

On Tuesday, Armenia said a Turkish F-16 had shot down one of its fighter jets. Ankara denied the claim but Turkey is an ally of Azerbaijan which has no F-16s of its own.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said it “stands by its Azerbaijani brothers with all its capabilities”.

Meanwhile, Russia is now being sucked in. Moscow has not picked sides but it has deeper ties with Armenia, including a military base in the country.

“We are a step away from a large-scale war,” said Olesya Vartanyan of NGO the International Crisis Group.

At the centre of the battle is the messy and disputed border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and in particular the region of Nagorno-Karabakh that both nations claim.

The two countries lie in the southern Caucuses region between the Black and Caspian seas and surrounded by the regional superpowers of Russia, Turkey and Iran.

It’s a crossroads for trade, peoples and religions with Armenia majority Christian and Azerbaijan majority Muslim.

For more than 100 years Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought – sometimes around negotiating tables, sometimes with guns – over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The countries were absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1922. Eventually, Nagorno-Karabakh – the name is literally translated as the mountainous black gardens – was put under the local control of Azerbaijan. While people of both backgrounds lived in the area, ethnic Armenians were in the majority.

RELATED: Radar blip creating conflict in the Mediterranean


A lid was mostly kept on the region during the Soviet era. However in the early 1990s, when the USSR was collapsing, the conflict resumed as to whether Nagorno-Karabakh would remain as part of an independent Azerbaijan or be merged into Armenia.

It’s thought as many as 30,000 people died until a ceasefire in 1994. That saw most of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well some other areas of Azerbaijan, become part of the self-declared Republic of Artsakh.

Artsakh is recognised by no other nation, not even Armenia. But it relies heavily on Armenia to function. Globally, Nagorno-Karabakh is generally recognised as being part of Azerbaijan given that was its status under Soviet rule.

For years, attempts have been made to settle the squabble. Then, last weekend, the disagreement turned deadly.

In just three days, 100 people have died and both sides have declared martial law. Armenia said Azerbaijan had fired missiles into the disputed region including at the de facto Artsakh capital of Stepanakert.


Ankara has said the claim that a Turkish F-16 shot down an Armenian jet as “absolutely untrue”.

But there is no doubt what side Turkey is on.

“As always, the Turkish nation stands by its Azerbaijani brothers with all its capabilities,” President Erdogan said earlier this week reported Reuters.

“The region will once again see peace after Armenia immediately withdraws from the Azeri lands it is occupying.”

Turkey has been in fighting mood recently and has clashed with Greece over its maritime frontier.

In an opinion piece this week for Turkish news website TRT World Hamdi Rifai said Armenia was at fault.

“Armenia has put together a coalition of the isolated and rogue (and) seems determined to turn what has been a land dispute between ethnic rivals into a holy war.”

Mr Rifai provocatively accused Armenia of “genocide” during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. In the context of Armenia-Turkey relations no one uses the word “genocide” without knowing the harm and near it will cause.

The early 20th century Armenian genocide is said to have resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million people at the hands of Turks. Yet, Turkey has consistently denied the genocide ever took place.

RELATED: Tiny island at centre of confrontation between Greece and Turkey


Kevork Oskanian from the UK’s Birmingham University, said Armenians look at the current conflict through the prism of that genocide.

“In Armenia, this is seen as nothing less than a struggle for survival. A recurring theme has been the possible extermination of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Links are made with the 1915 Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire, especially in light of Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan,” he wrote on website The Conversation.

“In Azerbaijan, on the other hand, the war has been presented as an opportunity to right the wrongs of (the war) by bringing the territory back under Azerbaijani control, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced people to return home.”

Mr Oskanian said the fuse for the current outbreak of hostilities was border skirmishes in June with Armenia which led to anti-government protests in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku.

That put Azerbaijan’s authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev under pressure to push back against Armenia.

In recent days, Mr Aliyev has said Azerbaijan was merely responding to Armenian attacks.

“I am confident that our successful counteroffensive operation will put an end to the occupation, to the injustice, to the 30-year-long occupation,” he said.

Armenia’s democratically elected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinya said the conflict was a “war declared on the Armenian people”.

“We all perceive this as an existential threat to our nation (and) and our people are now simply forced to use the right for self-defence.”

He has tweeted that the people of Artsakh “have the right of self-determination” and the battle is a “war against democracy”.

RELATED: Turkey coast becomes graveyard of disused cruise ships


All eyes are now on Moscow which has historical, economic and military ties with both countries. The weapons now being used to kill and maim by both sides are likely Russian.

We call on all sides in the conflict to show maximum restraint, to reject military methods and refuse any steps that might provoke an undesired escalation of the situation that is de facto already a military conflict,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. The US and UN have also called for calm.

But in a sign that Russia is more inclined towards Armenia, it was revealed that President Vladimir Putin had discussed the situation with Armenia’s PM Pashinya – but had yet to speak to the Azerbaijani president.

If Russia were to side with Armenia, and Turkey remains with Azerbaijan, it would bring formidable firepower to each side.

It could mean a conflict about a country that officially doesn’t exist could become a much wider – and bloodier brawl – between two global heavyweights.

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2020-09-30 20:11:30Z

US election: Donald Trump replies after ‘trainwreck’ presidential debate with Joe Biden -

US President Donald Trump has made his first comments since his appearance at what has been dubbed the worst presidential debate in history.

For 90 minutes, the world endured a series of chaotic exchanges, interruptions and personal attacks whereby the President attacked opponent Joe Biden’s intelligence, and the opposition hit back by calling Trump a “clown” and the “worst” leader the United States had ever seen.

Trump has since addressed the debate on Twitter, saying that while moderator Chris Wallace had a “tough night” – he personally had a blast against “Sleepy Joe”.

RELATED: Trump debate comments freak out investors

RELATED: Hillsong issues apology after accidental Trump post

In a series of tweeting rants the President touched on topics which focused on the “radical left”, the Supreme Court and a number of pointed attacks on Biden.

“Chris had a tough night. Two on one was not surprising, but fun,” Trump wrote.

“Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!”

Moments later, just like the debate hours prior, another bombastic blow against his opponent.

“Nobody wants Sleepy Joe as a leader, including the Radical Left (which he lost last night!). He disrespected Bernie, effectively calling him a loser!”

And after copping heat for refusing to criticise white supremists, Mr Trump attempted to turn the tables on Biden, accusing him of “refusing” to use the term “law and order”.

Biden’s response to the debate was subdued in comparison to his opponent, simply questioning whether Americans had finally “had enough” of their chosen President.


It was clear from the beginning that the “debate” between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden was geared up to be anything but.

From the first round in the ring to the last, Trump’s plan was to ruffle the feathers of “Sleepy Joe”, by interjecting at every possible moment and not letting the former vice president spit out a single sentence.

RELATED: Melania’s ‘uncomfortable’ moment with Donald Trump

In fact, according to CBS – Trump opened his mouth out of turn a total of 73 times in hope that Biden would drop his bundle. It was a tactic used by the President that made watching the first presidential debate frustrating beyond belief, but if you’d hoped to catch a glimpse of the belligerent ‘Twitter Trump’ side of the President, well, the world got it in spades.

The moderator of the first of three debates between Trump and Biden repeatedly struggled to keep the proceedings coherent, with Chris Wallace of Fox News frequently forced to beg with the President to zip his lip and allow his opponent to speak.

Between the war of words, the name calling, the shushing and the bitter barbs – the first debate left viewers a little confused as to what, if anything, was fact from fiction.

From the state of the economy, to the handling of the coronavirus – anything of substance was thrown around the room like the food fight that was the debate.

When the debate ended and the US TV networks cut back to their studios for analysis, several of the anchors and political experts seemed shell-shocked by what they had just witnessed.

NBC anchor Lester Holt, who has moderated presidential debates in the past, described it as a “low point in American political discourse”.

“Frankly, I’m a bit at loss for words here to describe what we’ve just witnessed,” Holt said.

“I think we just need to pause for a moment and say, that was crazy. What was that?” said his colleague Savannah Guthrie.

Over on ABC, George Stephanopoulos said he had never seen a worse debate in his life.

“I have to speak personally here, as somebody who’s watched presidential debates for 40 years, as someone who has moderated presidential debates, as someone who has prepared candidates for presidential debates,” said Stephanopoulos.

“That was the worst presidential debate I have ever seen in my life.”

Well, it may be the worst we’ve seen – but some experts predict it also could be the last.

Speaking on ABC’s Planet America, American policy advisor and political commentator Lanhee Chen cast doubt on whether there will actually be a second and even a third debate, given the trainwreck nature of round one.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in that sense, I do think tonight’s debate was important,” Chen said.

“I do think I question, though, whether there will be another debate after tonight. I really don’t know if either side feels like they got a lot out of it, and if they feel like they want to get into another one of these fights.

“I have a tough time seeing how Vice-President Biden’s team wants any more of this as it wasn’t particularly productive for the American people.”

Well, only time will tell.

- with Sam Clench

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2020-09-30 15:50:32Z

US presidential debate: Hillsong issues apology after employee’s accidental Trump post on Twitter -

An accidental slip up on social media has left one Hillsong employee in hot water after they weighed in on the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The unnamed employee allegedly logged in to the official Hillsong Twitter account, rather than their own personal one, to vent their disgust with President Trump’s debating technique.

In what’s been dubbed the “worst debate” some commentators have ever seen, the first US presidential debate turned extraordinarily ugly, especially because of the President’s constant interjecting over his opponent.

“Can’t they Just mute Trump’s microphone!!” the tweet, posted from the official Hillsong account, read.

“He is coming across as such a bully. No respect for him sorry.”

The comment, which has since been removed from their account, was followed up with an apology and explanation behind the rogue tweet.

RELATED: Donald Trump and Joe Biden bicker during debate

RELATED: First presidential debate moderator slammed

“Earlier today a staff member accidentally posted on this account personal comments about the US presidential debate, that were meant for a personal account,” the apology read.

“Hillsong does not comment on partisan politics & apologies. These comments do not represent the views of Hillsong Church.”

The apology was met with hundreds of comments, with many questioning why the church has an employee with such strong views on President Trump.

RELATED: Sign up for our daily US election newsletter

“This is not OK,” one person wrote.

“It is deeply disturbing for someone to suggest that either party in a presidential debate should be silenced. This reveals an utter lack of respect for the political process — and a complete failure to understand the nature of free speech. The church needs to do better.”

“That was a quick delete. Y’all should be embarrassed,” another added.

“It’s hard to believe such a massive account to be managed by someone who does not check what Twitter’s account is using. You should be embarrassed,” another added.

The first presidential debate has been plagued with criticism, with US TV networks anchors and political experts shell-shocked by what they had just witnessed between Trump and Biden.

NBC anchor Lester Holt, who has moderated presidential debates in the past, described it as a “low point in American political discourse”.

“Frankly, I’m a bit at loss for words here to describe what we’ve just witnessed,” Holt said.

“I think we just need to pause for a moment and say, that was crazy. What was that?” said his colleague Savannah Guthrie.

Over on ABC, George Stephanopoulos said he had never seen a worse debate in his life.

“I have to speak personally here, as somebody who’s watched presidential debates for 40 years, as someone who has moderated presidential debates, as someone who has prepared candidates for presidential debates,” said Stephanopoulos.

“That was the worst presidential debate I have ever seen in my life.”

The network’s White House correspondent, Jon Karl, agreed that the debate was “a total mess”.

– with Sam Clench

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2020-09-30 12:46:45Z

The other debate: Ardern and Collins clash in rapid-fire election hit out - Sydney Morning Herald

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would declare a climate change emergency if re-elected on October 17, while opposition leader Judith Collins has promised tax cuts and faster economic growth during a fast-paced and fiery second election debate.

Labour's Ardern, who enjoys a strong lead in the polls ahead of the vote, admitted for the first time that she had smoked cannabis "a long time ago" - but still refused to say which way she would vote in the concurrent referendum on legalising recreational use.

 Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins clashed, and agreed, on much during a spirited New Zealand election debate.

Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins clashed, and agreed, on much during a spirited New Zealand election debate.Credit:Getty Images

Collins, who opposes legalisation of recreational use (but supports medicinal cannabis) attacked Ardern's equivocation and pointed out the New Zealand PM had made it clear that she would vote yes in the second referendum, which would legalise End of Life legislation.

In a moment of levity, Collins joked that she would be happy to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine, as Ardern once did, and added that any politician who suggested otherwise was a liar.


If only Australia's election debates were as free-flowing and rapid fire as this one (to say nothing of the chaotic mess that was the Donald Trump-Joe Biden debate earlier on Wednesday).

Whether you agree with their positions or not, this was a debate with some policy substance, ably assisted by host Patrick Gower who cut short the waffle and rehearsed lines that made the first debate so forgettable.

Both women supported New Zealand moving from three to four-year terms, both indicated support for free sanitary products for girls in schools and both backed gender neutral toilets.

Both said they opposed re-naming New Zealand (at least for now) Aotearoa - the Maori name for the country, which means land of the long white cloud - a move that has some support.

And both women tip-toed carefully around the issue of President Donald Trump, delivering faint praise for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while promising to work with him if he is re-elected.

Collins' praise of Trump's role in the recently announced move by Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to open diplomatic relations with Israel did not go down well with the studio audience.

But the opposition leader fired back that the deal was preferable to war in the Middle East.

Jacinda Ardern (left) and Judith Collins during the first live leaders' debate.

Jacinda Ardern (left) and Judith Collins during the first live leaders' debate.Credit:Getty Images

On how to handle the coronavirus, Ardern leaned on her successful record to date while Collins pointed to Taiwan as an example of how to handle the disease without necessarily locking down the country.

Both cautiously endorsed a travel bubble with Australia when it is safe to do so, though Collins struck a more cautious note on re-opening to Victoria.

While the pair agreed on some issues of substance, there were also clashes on house prices, gang crime and infrastructure funding for a controversial so-called "green" school.

With less than three weeks until election day, Ardern is in the box seat to retain power.

The most recent 1 News Colmar Brunton poll of 1005 voters, conducted from September 23-27, projected that Labour – which currently governs in coalition with the Greens and NZ First – is on track to claim an outright majority in the election.

Ardern was preferred PM for 54 per cent of those polled, well ahead of Collins on 23 per cent.

But Collins, a conservative leader and veteran politician who only took over the leadership of the Nationals on July 14, demonstrated that she would leave nothing on the table even as she faced an uphill battle to claim victory.

Trump Biden 2020

Our weekly newsletter will deliver expert analysis of the race to the White House from our US correspondent Matthew Knott. Coming soon. Sign up now for the Herald's newsletter here, The Age's here, Brisbane Times' here and WAtoday's here

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2020-09-30 09:56:00Z

Donald Trump was asked to denounce white supremacists, and didn't. Here's what else happened at the first presidential debate - ABC News

The first presidential debate of the 2020 US election campaign is over.

In a bitter, 90-minute whirlwind, US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden traded barbs over everything from coronavirus to tax policy.

But it was the lack of decorum that may have stolen the show in the end.

Here are the key takeaways.

Donald Trump battled the moderator

This was supposed to be a debate between Trump and Biden.

But it frequently featured testy exchanges between Donald Trump and the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace.

"Mr President, please" was a phrase heard often during the night, as Wallace battled to restrain a President who wasn't interested in following debate rules.

Constant interruptions, personal attacks and answers that strayed far from questions meant little was learned about the substance of the two candidates.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Donald Trump clashed frequently with moderator Chris Wallace.

Trump came to brawl with Biden and set the tone early, but the former vice-president resisted, only letting his frustration show a couple of times.

"It's hard to get a word in with this clown," Biden said at one point.

A frustrated Wallace appealed to the President during the debate to let each candidate speak uninterrupted.

"I think the country would be better served if you let both parties speak," Wallace said to the President.

After the debate, the President made his feelings about the debate moderation clear:


Trump delivered a few 'check the transcript' moments

The struggle didn't stop Wallace from asking difficult questions though, and he managed to extract a promise from the President that "you'll get to see" his tax returns and that those tax returns would show he paid "millions" in federal income taxes.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that he had paid just $US750 ($1,064) in federal income tax in both 2016 and 2017.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Chris Wallace asks Donald Trump about recent tax return allegations

Whether it's different from the same promise the President has been making since 2016, we'll have to see.

In another exchange, Wallace asked Trump if he would outright condemn white supremacists in Portland, Oregon.

Trump began by saying that he would, but quickly added that "I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing."

"I'm willing to do anything. I want to see peace," Trump said.

"Then go ahead sir," Wallace said.

"Who do you want me to condemn? Give me a name," Trump said back.

"White supremacists and right-wing militias," Wallace said.

Biden interjected to mention the Proud Boys, a violent far-right group.

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Donald Trump replies "stand back and stand by" when asked to condemn militia groups.

The meaning of the words "stand back and stand by" were slow to come into focus on social media, but the comments were heard loud and clear in the Proud Boys' chat groups, according to several journalists who track the group.

As one put it, the group saw the comments "as acknowledgement and a call to arms."



An entirely different section, on election integrity, provoked similar accusations the President is inciting violence.

Wallace asked Trump if he would urge his supporters "to stay calm and not engage in civil unrest" in the event that the election result was delayed or contested.

When Wallace asked Trump to clarify whether he'd urge people to take to the streets, all the President had to say was that he expected it would be "a fraudulent election".

Asked the same question, about whether he would urge his supporters to stay calm, Biden answered:

Biden wasn't inspirational. He didn't have to be

All the jostling between Trump and Wallace left far less attention on the former vice-president, who rarely deviated from the policy points Americans have been hearing from him since the primary race.

His most discussion-worthy lines came not from his rehearsed policy jabs but from his reactions to being interrupted.



When Trump attacked his son, Hunter, for the second time of the night, Biden delivered a defence about drug addicts that felt relatable.


Biden telling Trump to "shut up" was applauded by some left-leaning social media users.

And even Republicans agreed that Biden's general patience through Trump's interruptions played right into the strategy the campaign has run for months — let Trump implode.


Whether letting the President speak will be effective is another question entirely. It may not matter for the greater America — one so polarised that it can make two completely different narratives out of the same event.

The cable news chyron running on the Republican-leaning network Fox News immediately after the debate had a succinct message: Biden stumbles through first debate.


Pundits, and the public, were not impressed

The debate had barely finished before the judgement started rolling in.

Pundits on American cable news channels didn't hold back.

ABC America's George Stephanopoulos called it "the worst presidential debate I have ever seen in my life."

Former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie (and member of the Trump debate prep team) said the debate was "too hot".

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CNN commentators heavily criticise the first Presidential debate of 2020.

CNN's Dana Bash was blunt.

"I'm just going to say what it is. That was a sh*tshow."

Quick polling after the debate by CBS found most Americans agreed


The wild nature of the debate left some pondering whether a second and third are even useful in an election that already has the temperature turned up to 11.

But with the Biden campaign racking in a record-setting $3.8 million in a single hour, the former vice-president already confirmed he isn't missing a chance for round two.


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Biden v Trump: The first debate marred by mud slinging and interruptions | SBS News - SBS News

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Selasa, 29 September 2020

Parrots moved from wildlife park after swearing at visitors -

Five foul-mouthed parrots had to be separated at a zoo in the UK after teaching each other how to swear.

The parrots, named Billy, Eric, Tyson, Jade, and Elsie, joined Lincolnshire Wildlife Park’s colony of 200 grey parrots in August.

However, they soon taught each other how to swear – and swore at visitors, as well as staff.

“We saw it very quickly; we are quite used to parrots swearing but we’ve never had five at the same time,” the park’s chief executive officer Steve Nichols told PA.

“Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.”

Mr Nichols told CNN Travel the birds’ antics got quite out of hand.

“It just went ballistic, they were all swearing,” he said.

“We were a little concerned about the children.

“I get called a fat t**t every time I walk past.”

The parrots have since been distributed to different areas of the park so they do not “set each other off”.

Mr Nichols said nobody had complained about the parrots, but officials decided to separate them due to concern for younger visitors.

Staff at the park hoped the parrots would pick up natural calls from the other African grey parrots.

“People have come to us, they think it’s highly amusing, we haven’t had one complaint,” Mr Nichols said.

“When a parrot tells you to f*** off it amuses people very highly.

“It’s brought a big smile to a really hard year.”

Mr Nichols explained that during the pandemic there has been a surge in donations as owners spend more time with their birds and decide to give them to parks that can provide them with a larger living space.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park is also home to parrot Chico, who made headlines recently after learning to sing a range of pop songs, including Beyonce’s If I Were A Boy.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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2020-09-30 02:53:29Z

US Presidential Debate LIVE updates: Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash over race issues, coronavirus and Obamacare - The Sydney Morning Herald


  • President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are facing off in Cleveland Ohio for the first of the presidential debates. The 90-minute showdown will be conducted under strict coronavirus guidelines, with no handshakes, social distancing, and COVID tests for all attendees.
  • Coronavirus, the US economy, and race and violence are some of the topics that will be hotly contested today. The death of civil rights icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg will also throw the spotlight on the future US Supreme Court and Trump's conservative nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
  • The election will be held on November 3 but early postal voting has already begun in some states. Voter turnout is expected to reach record levels year, with some experts predicting that the number of people voting either in person or by mail could exceed 145 million.
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Watch live: US presidential debate

The US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden begins at 11am AEST. You can watch it live here:

Latest updates

End to an ugly first clash

By Nick O'Malley

Asked directly if he will pledge not to claim victory until it is officially declared and urge his supporters to remain calm has refused to do so. Of all the unprecedented aspects of his presidency, this is the one most disturbing some observers at present.

Rather than agree to such a pledge Trump called for Republican “poll observers” to attend voting places and he said it was possible the election would be stolen. Earlier in the debate, he called on the white supremacist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”.

Clash of the candidates: Trump and Biden

Clash of the candidates: Trump and BidenCredit:AP

This marked the end of an ugly and confrontational clash, mostly due to Trump’s own needless aggression.

Little could have been learned by viewers in the US considering their votes.

A fiery brawl comes to an end

With that, the debate ends, with Trump and Biden’s wives joining them on stage.

It was quite something to watch - Biden came across as competent (exceeding the very low bar that the Republicans had set for him) but Trump came across as aggressive and forceful, clearly dominating the proceedings.

Whether Americans are any wiser about the candidates’ policies, given the fierce and fiery nature of this exchange, is another thing altogether.


'This is not going to end well,' Trump says of election

By Farrah Tomazin

Trump is now invoking a well-worn theme, claiming once again without evidence that mail-in ballots will lead to voter fraud. He starts claiming in West Virginia people are “selling the ballots, they're being sold, they're being dumped in rivers.”

President Donald Trump

President Donald TrumpCredit:AP

“This is not going to end well,” he claims.

Just last week the US President declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November 3 presidential election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

Voting in the time of corona

By Farrah Tomazin

We’re now onto the issue of election integrity. As this debate takes place, millions of Americans are getting mail-in ballots, providing them with an option for postal voting in the era of coronavirus.

Asked by Wallace what he’s prepared to do to reassure the American people that the next president will be the legitimate winner of the election Biden talks about the need to ensure people vote however they see fit.

“You will determine the outcome of the election,” says Biden. “Vote, vote, vote early... and if you're able to, vote in person.”

Trump still refuses to acknowledge climate change link

By Nick O'Malley

Trump is still ducking the question of climate change, saying it may exist “to some extent” but returning to his claim that US forest fires are caused by land management rather than climate change. He is also arguing in support of his moves to strip away Obama-era fuel standards. California is ignoring Trump and has responded by announcing that it will simply phase out internal combustion engines.

Flames lick above vehicles on Highway 162 as the Bear Fire burns in Oroville, California.

Flames lick above vehicles on Highway 162 as the Bear Fire burns in Oroville, California.Credit:AP

Biden by comparison is happy to focus on this issue. He is campaigning on a US$2 trillion ($2.8t) green stimulus recovery and in the debate just observed that there would be no new oil or coal power stations. In this most major energy consultancies agree.

He is clearly happy to stand by these policies, emphasising that he would rejoin the Paris agreement and use American diplomatic might to encourage other countries to do more.

Trump has falsely claimed that Biden’s environmental plan would cost US$100 trillion. Trump appears to be discussing the so-called Green New Deal, proposed by elements of the left of the Democratic Party rather than Biden’s own plan. At the end of a long answer, Biden noted the cost of climate change on the economy.

Trump goes for the jugular

By Farrah Tomazin

Trump is really going for the jugular here, attacking Joe Biden's son Hunter (again) for discredited claims over his dealings in Ukraine.

As Joe Biden starts talking about his other son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015, Trump hits out at Hunter personally, bringing up his previous cocaine use.

President Donald Trump pauses during the first presidential debate.

President Donald Trump pauses during the first presidential debate.Credit:AP

Biden does well not to take the bait too much, simply noting that Hunter was able to get over his addiction.

As expected, the President's aggressive style and personal attacks have so far allowed him to dominate his opponent.


Trump tries to reach a divided audience

By Nick O'Malley

The section on violence in American cities is good news for Trump. Many in his camp believe that suburban women voters who have been appalled by some aspects of the Trump presidency will return to the fold if scared by the prospect of violence.

This is why Trump needs to describe Antifa as a cohesive and dangerous organisation, rather than, as Biden put it, an idea.

Biden needs to try to rebuild and hold the coalition of minorities that elected and re-elected the Obama administration while trying to reach the working-class white people that presidency lost. A hard task for him, fertile ground for Trump.

'You can't even say the words law enforcement,' Trump tells Biden

By Farrah Tomazin

We're now onto the issue of race.

America has been undergoing a national reckoning on race since the death of George Floyd on May 25. (I recently visited the city to see how it faring in the wake of Floyd’s death - you can check out my feature here).

In recent months, however, violent protests in the US, often hijacked by subgroups that have little to do with the genuine civil rights movement, have rocked some cities and given Trump fertile ground with which to frame himself as a "law and order" President.

In the face of looting and rioting in places such as Portland (where protests have continued for months) or Kenosha (where black man Jacob Blake was shot multiple times in the back by police) Trump has been pushing that you "will not be safe in Joe Biden's America".

Today, he's pushing the same theme, telling Biden that he's so beholden to the progressive wing of the Democrats that "you can't even say the words law enforcement because if you say those words, you're going to lose all of your radical left supporters".

'It's hard to get a word in with this clown': Biden

By Farrah Tomazin

Trump is fired up, talking aggressively over Biden as well as moderator Chris Wallace, who is struggling to keep proceedings on track.

"It's hard to get a word in with this clown. Excuse me, I mean, this President," says Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate.

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden speaks during the first presidential debate.Credit:AP

As expected, Trump also goes after Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, in a bid to rile up the former VP.

Trump's taxes

By Farrah Tomazin

Wallace is now asking the President if he'll tell the American people how much he's paid in taxes.

Presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.Credit:AP

Trump replies: "Millions of millions of dollars."

The line of questioning comes after The New York Times reported two days ago that Trump had only paid $US750 ($1050) in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 – and no taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years.

Biden released his tax returns a few hours before the debate and called on Trump to do the same. The records show that Biden and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $US300,000 in federal income tax last year and had an adjusted gross income of about $US985,000.

Biden tells the audience that he wants to eliminate Trump's taxes for the wealthy. The president hits back, telling his rival: "If you got in, if you ever became president with your ideas... half of the companies that have poured in here will leave.

"We'll have a depression, the likes of which you've never seen."

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2020-09-30 02:34:00Z