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Selasa, 21 September 2021

Coroner says body found in Wyoming is missing woman Gabby Petito, death a homicide - ABC News

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation says a county coroner has confirmed that human remains found in remote northern Wyoming are those of 22-year-old "van life" traveller Gabby Petito.

Petito disappeared in late August while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, who is now being sought by authorities in Florida.

Petito's family reported her missing on September 11 — 10 days after Mr Laundrie returned home without her.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue determined her manner of death was homicide, but did not disclose a cause of death pending final autopsy results, officials said on Tuesday (US time).

Petito's body was found on Sunday near an undeveloped camping area that is surrounded by woodlands and shrubs, located about 48 kilometres north-east of Jackson, Wyoming.

Police continue search for Brian Laundrie

Meanwhile, police in North Port, Florida, renewed their search on Tuesday (US time) of Carlton Reserve, a swampy area near the home of 23-year-old Mr Laundrie. 

Investigators searched the 9,700-hectare nature reserve over the weekend without success, after accounts from Mr Laundrie's parents that he may have gone there.

FBI agents are seen taking away boxes of evidence from the home of Brian Laundrie, Gabby Petito's fiance.
FBI agents begin to take away evidence from the family home of Brian Laundrie.(

AFP: Octavia Jones

)

Helicopters, drones, dogs and officers in all-terrain vehicles are being used in the search, while about 75 per cent of the area is under water. 

On Monday, police and FBI agents searched the Florida home of Mr Laundrie's parents in North Port and removed several boxes and towed away a car. 

Mr Laundrie and Petito had been living with his parents at the North Port home before they set off on their road trip in early July in a converted van.

Police said the pair had an altercation along the way, and Mr Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents' home on September 1.

Mr Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but his whereabouts in recent days have been unknown.

The FBI has also requested that anyone with information about the circumstances around Petito's death to contact the agency.

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2021-09-21 22:05:55Z
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Xi says China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad - Sydney Morning Herald

By Nick O'Malley

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced during a United Nations address that his country will no longer fund coal-fired power plants through China’s vast Belt and Road infrastructure project, signalling momentum in an international movement to scrap the use of coal for electricity.

In a separate speech, US President Joe Biden announced a doubling of financial aid to poorer nations so they could switch to cleaner energy and cope with global warming’s worsening impacts.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a pre-recorded address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Tuesday.Credit:Bloomberg

Depending on when China’s new coal policy goes into effect, it could shutter 47 planned power plants in 20 developing countries that use the fuel that emits the most heat-trapping gases, about the same amount of coal power as from Germany, according to the European climate think-tank E3G.

Xi provided no details in his announcement, but his country has been under heavy diplomatic pressure to put an end to its coal financing overseas.

“China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad,” Xi said in his pre-recorded video address at the annual UN gathering.

Xi repeated pledges from last year that China would achieve a peak in carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060.

Earlier this month US chief climate envoy John Kerry visited India, the world’s second-largest coal consumer, for climate talks hoping to ramp up support for a net-zero goal and a ramp-up of clean energy before key COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow in November.

Observers have been hoping for significant announcements regarding coal use and climate targets from China before the talks, but were concerned they had been derailed by increasing tension between China and US.

“The US hopes to make climate co-operation an ‘oasis’ of China-US relation but if the ‘oasis’ is surrounded by ‘desert’, the ‘oasis’ will sooner or later become desert,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly told Kerry during a meeting in China at the beginning of September.

International pressure to phase out coal power has been rapidly increasing, with the issue being raised not only by Kerry but also COP26 president Alok Sharma and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as during G7 and G20 meetings.

Proponents of the phase-out want to see wealthy nations abandon coal power by 2030 and developing nations abandon it by 2040. The US government co-sponsored an OECD proposal to end export credit financing for coal power projects on September 14.

China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, is still heavily reliant on coal for its domestic energy needs.

“It’s a big deal. China was the only significant funder of overseas coal left. This announcement essentially ends all public support for coal globally,” said Joanna Lewis, an expert on China, energy and climate at Georgetown University. “This is the announcement many have been waiting for.”

The potential impact on the global coal industry is not yet clear.

China has not committed to winding back its own coal power plants.

China has not committed to winding back its own coal power plants. Credit:AP

Byford Tsang, a policy analyst for E3G, said that while this represents a big step, it is not quite a death knell for coal. That’s because China last year added as much new coal power domestically as was just cancelled abroad, he said. But Lewis said official data from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce showed no new coal plants financed abroad in the first half of 2021.

What will really matter is when China stops building new coal plants at home and shutters old ones, Tsang said. That will be part of a push in the G20 meetings in Italy next month, he said.

“China was the last man standing. If there’s no public finance of coal from China, there’s little to no global coal expansion,” Justin Guay, director of global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project, a group advocating for a global transition from coal and fossil fuels, said of Xi’s promise.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed both Xi’s move on coal and Biden’s pledge to work with the US Congress to double funds by 2024 to $US11.4 billion ($15.7 billion) per year to help developing nations deal with climate change.

“Accelerating the global phase-out of coal is the single most important step to keep the 1.5-degree goal of the Paris Agreement within reach”, he said in a statement.

There was no immediate response from the White House or Kerry’s office.

Hours earlier, without mentioning China by name, Biden said democracy would not be defeated by authoritarianism.

“The future will belong to those who give their people the ability to breathe free, not those who seek to suffocate their people with an iron hand,” Biden said.

“We all must call out and condemn the targeting and oppression of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, whether it occurs in Xinjiang or northern Ethiopia, or anywhere in the world,” he said, referring to the western Chinese region where authorities have created a network of internment camps for Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. China denies allegations of abuses in Xinjiang.

Ties between the world’s two biggest economies have been languishing at their lowest point in decades over issues ranging from human rights to transparency over the origins of COVID-19.

Xi said there was a need to “reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games,” a possible reference to the US-led Quad forum of Australia, India, Japan and the United States seen as a means of pushing back against China’s rise, which is due to meet at leader level in Washington on Friday.

China last week warned of an intensified arms race in the region after the United States, Britain and Australia announced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance, dubbed AUKUS, which will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines.

with Reuters, AP

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2021-09-21 22:56:57Z
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Taliban accused of killing civilians as Afghans face tough realities of militant rule - ABC News

The brutal reality of Taliban rule is coming to pass in Afghanistan as civilians are reportedly killed in the street, members of the resistance and former government are targeted in revenge killings and women are beaten for speaking out.

The Taliban have also ordered people from their homes to make way for their fighters and are accused of intimidating humanitarian workers trying to administer much-needed aid.

In Kabul, many women who protested against the oppressive rule of the militant group just two weeks ago say it has now become too dangerous to participate in demonstrations, with threats of death and capture gripping the city. 

Two weeks after announcing their Cabinet, the Taliban are showing the people of Afghanistan "no mercy".

Revenge attacks in Panjshir

The Taliban had promised there would be no revenge attacks, but in Panjshir province — the last pocket of Afghan resistance — there are reports of civilians being shot as they try to escape.

"Five times they attacked my family," one young man from Panjshir told the ABC. 

"My father [was] captured by them. Then he escaped to the mountains and came with us. 

"My brother [was] injured. His leg … and two bullets fired on his foot. 

"They said, 'Why you escape to the mountains, you're fighters, you're armies.' We told them we are not fighters. We are civilian peoples. We escaped from the war. We want to save my life … our lives, but they don't listen." 

The BBC reports it has established at least 20 civilian killings in Panjshir.  

A man stands with a rocket launcher.
Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province, north-east of Afghanistan.(

AP: Mohammad Asif Khan

)

The young Panjshiri man told the ABC he saw three women dead at a gate on the province boundary. 

"This was a very bad situation that I saw. They were on the street and someone came to carry the body of them," he said. 

"They escaped from the war. They were Panjshir people. They escaped from Panjshir and wanted to come [to] Kabul. 

"I think maybe a lot of people watched this bad scenario." 

The young man said some of his relatives had been killed, including one man who was a farmer. 

"He was a civilian person. He doesn't fight. He was a farmer. When he get out from his house, they shoot him and then he [was] killed," he said. 

Panjshir was the last province to fall to the Taliban. 

Resistance forces led by Ahmad Massoud held the province for more than two weeks after Kabul fell, but the Taliban eventually entered the valley and raised their flag over the governor's office.  

Panjshir has a long history of resistance and, before last week, it had never been under Taliban rule.

The province has been blockaded and critical supplies have been unable to reach residents. Many people have fled into the steep mountains where temperatures can drop to 0 degrees Celsius overnight. 

"You can't live in the mountains," the young Panjshiri man said. 

"I think that people will be killed by cold weather. There is no food to eat in the mountains." 

Another Panjshiri local told the ABC via Whatsapp that the Taliban had been stopping people to ask them about their associations with the resistance movement or Afghanistan's previous government.

"The take the mobiles and check them. If they find a suspicious photo, they kill that person," he said. 

Nine men stand in a concrete corridor as light streams in through prison bars.
Taliban fighters, some former prisoners, now control the prisons in Kabul. (

AP: Felipe Dana

)

Human Rights Watch associate Asia director Patricia Gossman said the organisation had verified the Taliban carried out revenge killings as they swept across the country, but many of the reports out of Panjshir were still unconfirmed. 

"We have documented reprisals — revenge killings and disappearances — in a number of provinces, largely targeting members of the former security forces and former government," she said. 

"In the Panjshir valley there are a lot of reports — unverified most of them — but we are particularly concerns about reports of Taliban looking for individuals associated with the former government or former security personnel."   

Hunted in Kabul

The young Panjshiri man speaking to the ABC said his family made the journey south to Kabul during a three-day ceasefire, but he feared he was not safe in the city either as the Taliban were reportedly hunting down people from the province. 

"Now, they search for the people of Panjshir, young people especially, in Kabul city. They want to capture them and bring them to the jail," he said. 

"Some of my friends call me and send me messages to hide yourself." 

Ms Gossman said there was tacit approval from Taliban leadership. 

"The Taliban authorities say there is no policy behind these attacks, but it is clear that commanders and fighters who have carried them out have a lot of autonomy in this area — as they always have had — and that these revenge punishments are condoned from the top," she said. 

A young girl stand near a shop window with a torn poster of a woman.
In Kabul, posters of women have been torn down or painted over. (

AP: Felipe Dana

)

Also in hiding are several women who were protesting against the strict Taliban rule just a few weeks ago.

Now, there are widespread death threats and many women in Kabul fear their families will be targeted if they participate in protests again. 

One women's rights activist who was involved in organising the protests said the Taliban were now looking for her.

"Taliban hit us and opened fire up in the air with AK-47 guns to scare us," she said. 

"They hit me with sticks, and other women, and detained us on the ground floor of the bank. It was a very painful experience for me. We were treated so violently and pushed to shut our mouth and sit at home." 

She has a master's degree and has long fought for the right to education, but after more than a month of Taliban rule, she is struggling to see a way forward. 

"I am very hopeless and disappointed. In this moment, I am crying," she said.

'Elimination of women'

Just as they promised to forgive those who fought against them, the Taliban publicly committed to respect women's rights, with the condition that policies would be within the norms of Islamic law.  

Girls have been excluded from study in Afghan schools and the ministry responsible for enforcing the Taliban's strict Islamic laws has been moved into the building that used to house the ministry of women's affairs. 

When the Taliban announced their Cabinet, there was no mention of a minister for women. 

A man walks past a white banner with black writing, hung on the front of a building.
Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers set up a ministry for the "propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice" in the building that once housed the women's affairs ministry. (

AP: Bernat Armangue

)

Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men.

A female student living and studying in Kabul told the ABC the Taliban were "showing their real face".

"For the last few days there is a fear and [it is] hard to convince people to go out to protest," she said. 

"When we go out, most of the women are at home [and] have fear to join us."

Small and short protests have been held outside both the Ministry for Education and the former ministry for women's affairs. Women carried signs saying: "Elimination of women equals elimination of human beings." 

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The young student said she wanted nothing more than to continue her studies, but the Taliban's promise to allow women to study under the condition they were segregated from men was an impossible situation.

"The male teachers are not allowed to teach women. Ninety-five per cent of our mentors were men," she said. 

Another young woman who is being hunted by the Taliban due to the nature of the work she did before they took over said it was now too dangerous to protest. 

"I saw that the Taliban were filming us and could easily identify us," she said.

"I rushed home, but some of my friends were arrested." 

The women said the Taliban fighters they observed during protests fired weapons into the air to break up groups of 10 to 15 people. 

United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan representative Deborah Lyons told the UN Security Council staff were being targeted by Taliban fighters

Ms Lyons said the mission was "increasingly worried by the growing number of incidents of harassment and intimidation against our national staff".

"The UN cannot conduct its work — work that is so essential to the Afghan people — if its personnel are subjected to intimidation, fear for their lives, and cannot move freely," she said.  

Ms Lyons said: "We are also extremely disturbed at the increasing violence used against Afghans who are protesting Taliban rule."

'I have nowhere to go'  

Women wearing burkas can be seen in a crowd of people.
Residents take part in a protest march against a reported Taliban order for them to leave their homes built on state-owned land in Kandahar.(

AFP: Javed Tanveer

)

While protests in Kabul have been shut down, there have been demonstrations in the southern city of Kandahar over what residents are describing as forced evictions by the Taliban. 

The militants have reportedly removed 3,000 people from their homes to make way for their own fighters. 

A local journalist had permission to interview a woman at the protest, but as the situation escalated, he was still struck by a Taliban fighter. 

The woman was highly distressed, saying she had nowhere else to live. 

"Taliban came to our house in the evening and told [us] to vacate the house until morning and I have given five martyrs — losing five members of my family — in recent conflicts," the woman said during the protest. 

"All the families in this area built up their houses with the little hard-earned money they had and can't afford to move. I have nowhere to go." 

A woman in a black burka holds a sleeping child.
The UN has warned nearly 14 million Afghans are on the brink of starvation. (

AP: Felipe Dana

)

Reports of the Taliban carrying out civilian killings and forced evictions, intimidating NGO staff and violating women's rights are compounding an already desperate humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.  

Across the country, more than 600,000 people have been displaced.

People in rural areas are facing food and water shortages as well as a crippling drought. 

In the cities, inflation is pushing food prices up and Afghans are unable to easily access their money in the country's banks. 

Human Rights Watch, as well as the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, have called on the UN Human Rights Council to "establish an independent mechanism to monitor human rights in Afghanistan" to document the human rights abuses. 

"With no aid going into the country right now [and] the economy on the brink of collapse, this is going to have a very serious adverse impact on so many in Afghanistan who are already at the poverty line or below … who are now facing food shortages and a lack of access to cash, so across the board it is a human rights crisis," Ms Gossman said. 

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2021-09-21 18:57:00Z
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Biden meets Morrison: ‘No closer ally’ - NEWS.com.au

Joe Biden has met with Scott Morrison on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly where he praised the strength of the Australia-US alliance.

US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed their new security ties ahead of their bilateral meeting alongside the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“The United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia,” Mr Biden said after Washington last week announced it would provide Australia with advanced technology for nuclear-powered submarines as part of an Indo-Pacific deal.

Mr Biden said the two countries were committed to a “free and open Indo-Pacific” – code for the US-led push to contain the rising power of China.

He noted that they would meet again on Friday in the White House at the first in-person session of leaders from the Quad group – Australia, India, Japan and the United States – which is likewise dedicated to preserving stability in the Indo-Pacific.

“It’s a historic meeting and I think we’re all looking forward to it,” Mr Biden said.

Mr Morrison said the Austrtalia-US partnership was one that also reached out to Asian and European allies.

The meeting came as Mr Biden used his first address before the UN General Assembly to summon allies to move more quickly to address the festering issues of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses, while insisting the US is not seeking “a new Cold War” with China.

The US President said the halting of US military operations in Afghanistan last month, ending America’s longest war, set the table for his administration to shift US attention to intensive diplomacy.

“We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan, and as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy, of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world,” he said.

Mr Biden called the next 10 years a “decisive decade for our world” that will determine the global community’s future, and declared the planet stands at an “inflection point in history.”

He said there is a need to avoid moving from “competition to conflict,” then declared that the U.S. is “not seeking a new Cold War, or a world divided into rigid blocks.”

However, he said the US will oppose attempts by “stronger countries to dominate weaker ones.”

On Iran, Mr Biden said that the US remains committed to keeping the Tehran government from developing nuclear weapons and said the US is prepared to return to full compliance with the Iran nuclear deal if Iran does the same.

Mr Biden also used the UN podium to announce that the US would “double” its contribution to international climate financing towards the goal of mobilising $100 billion for vulnerable nations.

Experts said the announcement would take the US contribution to the commitment, made by developed countries ahead of the 2015 Paris agreement, to approximately $11.4 billion annually.

“This will make the United States a leader in public climate finance,” Mr Biden told world leaders in New York, saying he would work with Congress to achieve the goal.

The announcement comes weeks before the next major UN climate conference, COP26 in Glasgow.

“Strongly welcome @POTUS further doubling climate finance commitment to over $11bn by 2024,” said British politician Alok Sharma, who will preside over COP26.

“This demonstrates the increased ambition required to deliver on the $100bn/year goal,” he wrote. “We must build on this momentum.”

Mr Biden said the US, already the world leader in donating Covid-19 vaccines, will announce “additional commitments” on fighting Covid-19 when the White House hosts a summit on the pandemic on Wednesday, and a $10 billion commitment to end hunger at home and abroad.

Read related topics:Joe BidenScott Morrison

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2021-09-21 17:26:19Z
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Afghan women outraged by new Taliban restrictions on work - NEWS.com.au

During the Taliban's first rule from 1996 to 2001, women were largely excluded from public life including being banned from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a male relative

Fears were mounting in Afghanistan on Monday as the Taliban tightened their grip on women's rights, slashing access to work and denying girls the right to secondary school education.

After pledging a softer version of their brutal and repressive regime of the 1990s, the Islamic fundamentalists have been stripping away at freedoms one month after seizing power.

"I was in charge of a whole department and there were many women working with me... now we have all lost our jobs," she told AFP, insisting she not be identified for fear of reprisals.

While the country's new rulers have not issued a formal policy outright banning women from working, directives by individual officials have amounted to their exclusion from the workplace. 

The all-male government on Friday also appeared to shut down the former administration's ministry of women's affairs and replaced it with one that earned notoriety during their first stint in power for enforcing religious doctrine.

On Monday, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus landed in Kabul ahead of talks with the Taliban leadership, as the country's already impoverished health system struggles to function following the suspension of aid.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of weekend blasts in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar and the heartland of their Afghanistan chapter.

Although still marginalised, Afghan women have fought for and gained basic rights in the past 20 years, becoming lawmakers, judges, pilots and police officers, though mostly limited to large cities. 

But since returning to power on August 15, the Taliban have shown no inclination to honour those rights.

"When will that be?" a woman teacher said Monday.

Women in the capital remain deeply suspicious.

A colleague fears that because of her past role prosecuting Taliban fighters, she will not be allowed to work again, but has noticed some changes in the regime.

During the Taliban's first rule from 1996 to 2001, women were largely excluded from public life including being banned from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a male relative.

Vice ministry enforcers were notorious for punishing anyone deemed not to be following the Taliban's strict interpretation of Islam.

"They told us that women should not work as shopkeepers or run businesses," the 34-year-old told AFP.

Women have been at the forefront of a number of small, isolated protests, but the Taliban stamped down on dissent, dispersing crowds with gun fire and issuing new rules for demonstrations.

In Herat, an education official insisted the issue of girls and women teachers returning to secondary school was a question of time, not policy.

Ten-year-old Marwa on Monday attended her classes at school, but her sister, six years older, was forced to stay home.  

The United Nations said it was "deeply worried" for the future of girls' schooling in Afghanistan. 

...

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2021-09-21 08:12:48Z
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Awkward photo emerges at the worst time - NEWS.com.au

Just as Canadians went to the polls to vote today, a shocking new picture of their leader emerged. Now, the results are coming in.

As Canadians packed into long queues to cast their ballots in the federal election, an extremely awkward new picture of their leader’s worst lapse in judgment emerged.

While it was already known that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donned blackface at an “Arabian Nights” party back in 2001, this previously unseen image shows just how good a time he appeared to be having, in full colour.

Previously all that had been seen were a series of grainy black and white photos in the 2000-2001 yearbook of the West Point Grey Academy – a private day school where Mr Trudeau was a teacher. They showed the then 29-year-old wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened.

The new colour snap is likely to cause further embarrassment for Mr Trudeau who has already apologised for his actions that night.

And it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

Bad timing for photo to be released

Just as the unseen photo was released, Canadians were at their polling stations, voting in the federal election.

While Mr Trudeau’s administration is showing signs of fatigue, and with some voters turning against the Liberal Prime Minister, at this stage it looks like the 49-year-old will be returned to office.

From early results, Mr Trudeau is predicted to beat Conservative leader Erin O’Toole to remain leader of the country, according to TV projections.

But with polling stations still set to be reporting results for hours to come, it is not yet clear if the Liberals will gain enough seats to form a majority in parliament to allow Mr Trudeau to pass his agenda without opposition support.

Why was the election so close?

Despite the forecast, this election has been anything but a walkover.

Entering the final stretch of the contest, the two main political parties that have ruled Canada since its 1867 confederation were virtually tied, with about 31 per cent support each in public opinion polls, and four smaller factions nipping at their heels.

Mr Trudeau called the snap election last month, hoping to parlay a smooth Covid-19 vaccine rollout – among the best in the world – into a new mandate to steer the nation’s pandemic exit, without having to rely on opposition party support to pass his agenda.

But the contest, after a bumpy five weeks of campaigning, appears set for a repeat of the close 2019 general election that resulted in the one-time golden boy of Canadian politics only just clinging to power after losing his majority in parliament.

A sudden surge in Covid-19 cases led by the Delta variant late in the campaign – after the lifting of most public health measures this summer – has also muddied the waters.

Mr Trudeau has faced tougher political bouts and still come out unscathed. But after six years in power, his administration is showing signs of fatigue, and it’s been an uphill battle for him to convince Canadians to stick with the Liberals after falling short of the high expectations set in his 2015 landslide win.

‘Anti-vaxxer mobs,’ China ‘counterstrikes’

The campaign saw the contenders spar over climate actions, Indigenous reconciliation, affordable housing, mandatory Covid-19 jabs and vaccine passports.

At rallies, Mr Trudeau was dogged by what he described as “anti-vaxxer mobs,” including one that threw stones at him.

The 48-year-old Mr O’Toole, meanwhile, was knocked for backing two provinces which loosened public health restrictions too soon, with Covid outbreaks now forcing their overwhelmed hospitals to fly patients across the country for care.

He also fumbled over gun control and was warned by Beijing, according to Chinese state media, that his proposed hard line on China – Canada’s second-largest trading partner, with whom relations have soured over its detention of two Canadians – would “invite counterstrikes”.

Trudeau ‘lied to us’

Long line-ups outside polling stations were observed by AFP journalists in several major cities.

Elections Canada spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier, however, said balloting “went well, generally”.

One voter in Mr Trudeau’s Montreal electoral district of Papineau, Douglas O’Hara, 73, said he was “very disappointed” with the Prime Minister.

Although he believes Mr Trudeau “did a half-decent job” managing the pandemic, he pointed out that the leader had pledged not to go to the polls until the outbreak had subsided.

“Then as soon as he gets a chance [where] he thinks he’s going to get a majority, he calls an election,” Mr O’Hara said. “I really believe he lied to us.”

In Ottawa, Kai Anderson, 25, said Canada’s pandemic response was her “number one” issue. “I think the Prime Minister did a good job managing the pandemic,” she said.

– with AFP

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2021-09-21 06:15:51Z
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Taliban says girls to return to school ‘soon as possible’ - NEWS.com.au

Zabihullah Mujahid, chief spokesman for the Taliban, announces the group's new appointment during a Kabul press conference

The Taliban said on Tuesday Afghan girls will be allowed to return to school "as soon as possible", after their movement faced international fury over their effective exclusion of women and girls from education and work. 

"The work is continuing over the issues of education and work of women and girls," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a press conference, saying schools will reopen "as soon as possible", without providing a timeframe.

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2021-09-21 08:10:25Z
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Senin, 20 September 2021

US to require international travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 - Sydney Morning Herald

By Zeke Miller

Washington: President Joe Biden will ease foreign travel restrictions to the US beginning in November, allowing foreigners into the country if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test, the White House said.

The new rules will replace a hodgepodge of restrictions that had barred non-citizens who had been in Europe, much of Asia and certain other countries in the prior 14 days from entering the US. The changes will allow families and others who have been separated by the travel restrictions for 18 months to plan for long-awaited reunions.

Foreigners will be allowed into the US if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.

Foreigners will be allowed into the US if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.Credit:AP

White House COVID-19 co-ordinator Jeff Zients on Monday announced the new policies, which still will require all foreign travellers flying to the US to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of flight. Biden will also tighten testing rules for unvaccinated American citizens, who will need to be tested within a day before returning to the US, as well as after they arrive home.

Fully vaccinated passengers will not be required to quarantine, Zients said.

The new policy will replace the patchwork of travel bans first instituted by president Donald Trump last year and tightened by Biden that restrict travel by non-citizens who have in the prior 14 days been in the United Kingdom, European Union, China, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa.

Those travel bans had become the source of growing geopolitical frustration, particularly among allies in the UK and EU where virus cases are far lower than the US. The easing comes ahead of Biden meeting with some European leaders on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly this week.

“This is based on individuals rather than a country-based approach, so it’s a stronger system,” Zients said.

The EU and UK had previously moved to allow vaccinated US travellers into their territories without quarantines, in an effort to boost business and tourism travel. But the EU recommended last month that some travel restrictions be reimposed on US travellers to the bloc because of the rampant spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in America.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will also require airlines to collect contact information from international travellers to facilitate tracing, Zients said.

It was not immediately clear which vaccines would be acceptable under the US-system and whether those unapproved in the US could be used. Zients said that decision would be up to the CDC.

Zients said there would be no immediate changes to the US land border policies, which continue to restrict much cross-border travel with Mexico and Canada.

Britain welcomed the US announcement that it is lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated international travellers.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he was “delighted” by the news. He said: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade, and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that the move was “excellent news for travellers from the UK to the US. Important for our economic recovery, families and trade”.

Britain scrapped quarantines for fully vaccinated travellers from the US and the European Union in early August, and has been pushing for Washington to ease its rules. But Johnson said on Sunday that he did not expect the change to come this week.

Airlines hailed the US decision as a lifeline for the struggling industry. Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, said it was “a major breakthrough”.

Shai Weiss, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said it was “a major milestone to the reopening of travel at scale, allowing consumers and businesses to book travel to the US with confidence”.

“The UK will now be able to strengthen ties with our most important economic partner, the US, boosting trade and tourism as well as reuniting friends, families and business colleagues,” Weiss said.

The new air travel policy will take effect in “early November,” Zients said, to allow airlines and travel partners time to prepare to implement the new protocols.

AP

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2021-09-20 16:25:52Z
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Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who sheltered people during a genocide and inspired the film Hotel Rwanda convicted of terror charges - ABC News

A court in Rwanda says the man who inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, has been found guilty of terror-related offences.

Rusesabagina boycotted Monday's announcement after declaring he didn't expect justice in a trial he called a "sham".

Rusesabagina has refused to take part in the trial and has not appeared in court in months, after attending the first few hearings in a bright pink prison uniform, face mask and handcuffs.

He has so far been convicted of the formation of an illegal armed group, membership in a terrorist group and financing a terror group.

Verdicts are still to come on charges of murder, abduction, and armed robbery as an act of terrorism. He was charged along with 20 other people.

"They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group – MRCD-FLN," judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi said of the 20 defendants including Rusesabagina.

"They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling."

Prosecutors want life sentence

A man in a pink shirt and shorts sits in a courtroom and gestures as he talks with a lawyer who is wearing black robes.
Rwanda's government says Rusesabagina was trying to go to Burundi to coordinate with armed groups.(

AP: Muhizi Olivier/File

)

The ruling comes more than a year after Rusesabagina disappeared during a visit to Dubai and appeared days later in Rwanda in handcuffs, accused of supporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change.

The group had claimed some responsibility for attacks in 2018 and 2019 in the south of the country in which nine Rwandans died.

Rusesabagina has maintained his innocence, and his family alleges he was kidnapped and taken to Rwanda against his will.

But the court ruled he wasn't kidnapped when he was tricked into boarding a chartered flight.

Rwanda's government has asserted he was going to Burundi to coordinate with armed groups based there and in Congo.

Since being portrayed by actor Don Cheadle as the hero of the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda, Rusesabagina has emerged as a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame.

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Rusesabagina became a global celebrity after the film, which depicted him risking his life to shelter hundreds as the boss of a luxury hotel in the Rwandan capital of Kigali during the 100-day genocide when Hutu ethnic extremists killed more than 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi minority.

He had denied all the charges against him, while his supporters called the trial a sham and proof of Mr Kagame's ruthless treatment of political opponents.

Prosecutors had sought a life sentence on nine charges, including terrorism, arson, taking hostages and forming an armed rebel group which he directed from abroad.

Trial draws international concern

Paul Rusesabagina (left) is presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-US president George W Bush.
George W Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rusesabagina.(

Reuters: Jason Reed

)

Rusesabagina, a Belgian citizen and US resident who was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, has asserted that his arrest was in response to his criticism of Mr Kagame over alleged human rights abuses.

Rusesabagina said he was gagged and tortured before he was jailed, but Rwandan authorities denied it.

His attorney, Felix Rudakemwa, said Rusesabagina's legal papers were confiscated by prison authorities.

His family fears he might die from poor health behind bars.

Rwanda has said Rusesabagina would get a fair trial, but the trial has drawn international concern.

In December, 36 US senators wrote to Mr Kagame, urging him to release Rusesabagina.

ABC/Wires

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2021-09-20 13:37:44Z
52781891533326

Teenager shoots dead eight people, wounds several at Russia's Perm university - ABC News

A student gunman opened fire at Perm State University in Russia, killing six people and injuring several others, law enforcement authorities have said.

The gunman, who was identified as a student at the university, was initially reported to have been killed in the aftermath but Russian authorities later said that was not the case and added he was being treated in hospital.

The university is located near the Ural Mountains, about 1,300 kilometres east of Moscow.

Earlier media footage from the scene showed students jumping from first-floor windows to escape the building, landing heavily on the ground before running to safety.

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Students built barricades out of chairs to stop the shooter from entering their classrooms, they said.

"There were about 60 people in the classroom. We closed the door and barricaded it with chairs," Semyon Karyakin told Reuters.

Local media identified the gunman as an 18-year-old who had earlier posted a social media photo of himself posing with a rifle, helmet and ammunition.

"I've thought about this for a long time; it's been years and I realised the time had come to do what I dreamt of," he said on a social media account attributed to him that was later taken down.

He indicated his actions had nothing to do with politics or religion but were motivated by hatred.

Russia has strict restrictions on civilian firearm ownership, but some categories of guns are available for purchase for hunting, self-defence or sport, once would-be owners have passed tests and met other requirements.

This shooting is the latest in a recent spate of incidents throughout the nation.

In May, a lone teenage gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, killing nine people and wounding many more.

That was Russia's deadliest school shooting since 2018, when a student at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea killed 20 people before turning his gun on himself.

Russia raised the legal age for buying firearms from 18 to 21 after the Kazan shooting, but the new law has yet to come into force. 

ABC/Reuters

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2021-09-20 09:15:36Z
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Australia's ambassador to ASEAN seeks to allay South-East Asian concerns over AUKUS - ABC News

Australian diplomats are intensifying their efforts to reassure South-East Asian nations about the federal government's plan to build nuclear-powered submarines under a new defence technology pact with the US and the UK.

It comes after two major South-East Asian nations — Indonesia and Malaysia — warned that the project could exacerbate tensions in the region and encourage other countries to build up their military arsenals. 

Indonesia's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned about the continuing arms race and power projection in the region" while Malaysia's new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the project could "provoke other powers to take more aggressive action in this region, especially in the South China Sea".

Some South-East Asian nations also worry that the new defence partnership between the US, Australia and the United Kingdom — known as AUKUS — could further marginalise the region's peak diplomatic group, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Australia's ambassador to ASEAN Will Nankervis issued a statement declaring that AUKUS "is not a defence alliance or pact" and that the agreement "does not change Australia's commitment to ASEAN nor our ongoing support for the ASEAN-led regional architecture".

The statement also stresses that Australia has no desire to acquire nuclear weapons and stresses that the proposed new submarines will not carry nuclear warheads. 

"Australia remains staunch in our support for the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Australia will work closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure full compliance with our NPT obligations as a Non-Nuclear Weapon State," Mr Nankervis said.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speak from lecterns at a bilateral meet
Not everyone is pleased about the new defence partnership between the US, UK and Australia.(

Reuters: Andrew Harnik/Pool

)

The statement could also be part of a broader diplomatic push to head off further criticisms from South-East Asian countries. 

Some ASEAN nations have been pushing for the bloc to issue a joint statement raising concerns about AUKUS, although it is not yet clear if the initiative will succeed. 

Not all South-East Asian nations harbour similar concerns to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Singapore has not raised any objections to the Australian government's announcement while the Philippines issued a statement saying Australia has the right to boost its defences. 

The federal government also believes that Vietnam is comfortable with the proposal, although it has not yet issued any public statements.

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2021-09-20 06:51:10Z
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Remains found in search for missing influencer Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Petito - PerthNow

Authorities said a body discovered in northern Wyoming is believed to be that of a 22-year-old woman who disappeared while on a cross-country trek with a boyfriend now the subject of an intense search in a Florida nature preserve.

The FBI said the body of Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito was found Sunday by law enforcement agents who spent the weekend searching camp sites on the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park.

The cause of death not yet been determined, said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Charles Jones. Specifics on where and how the body was found were not disclosed.

“Full forensic identification has not been completed to confirm 100% that we found Gabby, but her family has been notified,” Jones said. “This is an incredibly difficult time for (Petito’s) family and friends.”

A Suffolk County Police Department missing person poster for Gabby Petito.
Camera IconA Suffolk County Police Department missing person poster for Gabby Petito. Credit: Amber Baesler/AP
A Teton County coroner's vehicle, front, transports a body believed to be Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito from the Spread Creek camping area Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, after a two-day search of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. An FBI agent said the cause of death has not yet been determined. (Meg Potter/Jackson Hole News & Guide via AP)
Camera IconA Teton County coroner's vehicle, front, transports a body believed to be Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito from the Spread Creek camping area Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, after a two-day search of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. An FBI agent said the cause of death has not yet been determined. (Meg Potter/Jackson Hole News & Guide via AP) Credit: AP

Boyfiend Brian Laundrie, 23, has been identified as a person of interest in the case. He was last seen Tuesday by family members in Florida.

Jones and other law enforcement officials declined to take questions during a Sunday evening press conference in Grand Teton announcing the body’s discovery.

Petito’s father, Joseph, posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter with a message that said: “She touched the world.”

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An attorney who has been acting as a spokesman for Petito’s family asked in a statement that the family be given room to grieve.

Attorney Richard Benson Stafford indicated that the family would make a public statement at a later date, and he thanked officials with the FBI, Grand Teton Search and Rescue and other agencies that participated in the search for Petito.

“The family and I will be forever grateful,” Stafford said in a statement.

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An undeveloped camping area on the east side of Grand Teton bordering national forest land will remain closed until further notice while the investigation continues, Jones said.

Jones said investigators were still seeking information from anyone who may have seen Petito or Laundrie around camping sites in the area of Spread Creek, where law enforcement search efforts focused over the weekend.

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The pair left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West. Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on September 1, police said.

More than 50 law enforcement officers on Sunday started a second day of searching for Laundrie at the more than 24,000-acre (9,712-hectare) Carlton Reserve in Sarasota County, Florida, a wildlife area with more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of trails, as well as campgrounds.

Police in North Port, Florida said in a statement that they were heartbroken to learn of the discovery of the body and pledged to continuing searching for answers in the case.

The FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds.
Camera IconThe FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds. Credit: Amber Baesler/AP
Dozens of pieces of golden heart-shaped glitter lie scattered in and around sagebrush at the barricade where media waited for news on the search for Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito.
Camera IconDozens of pieces of golden heart-shaped glitter lie scattered in and around sagebrush at the barricade where media waited for news on the search for Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito. Credit: Meg Potter/AP

Petito’s family filed a missing persons report September 11 with police in Suffolk County, New York.

Petito’s family had been pleading for the Laundrie family to tell them where their son last saw her. Petito and Laundrie were childhood sweethearts who met while growing up on Long Island, New York. His parents later moved to North Port, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Sarasota.

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The couple’s trek in the Ford Transit began in July from Long Island. They intended to reach Oregon by the end of October, according to their social media accounts. But Petito vanished after her last known contact with family in late August from Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, authorities said.

Police video released by the Moab Police Department in Utah showed that an officer pulled the van over on Aug. 12 after it was seen speeding and hitting a curb near the entrance to Arches National Park. The body cam video showed an emotional Petito, who sat inside a police cruiser while officers also questioned Laundrie.

Moab ultimately police decided not file any charges and instead separated the couple for the night, with Laundrie checking into a motel and Petito remaining with the converted sleeper van.

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2021-09-20 06:16:00Z
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