US, UK and Australia embarking on a ‘path of error and danger’, says China – video

China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters that the US, UK and Australia 'are walking further down the path of error and danger'. The comments were made in a press conference in response to the Aukus partners' announcement of a multibillion-dollar deal on nuclear-powered submarines. The deal, made by leaders during a meeting in San Diego, will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines in an effort to counter the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific. The Chinese government accuse the three countries of pursuing a deal 'for the sake of their own geopolitical interests disregarding the concerns of the international communities'

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Bali to ban tourists from renting motorbikes

Governor says foreigners will only be allowed to rent cars, after series of road traffic offences

The Indonesian island of Bali plans to ban tourists from renting motorbikes after a series of incidents in which foreigners have violated traffic rules.

Bali’s governor, Wayan Koster, said that underchanges to be imposed this year, foreigners would only be allowed to drive cars rented from travel agents.

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China to reopen to foreign tourists for first time since Covid crisis

Authorities will resume issuing all visas after closing borders to international holidaymakers in 2020

China will reopen its borders to foreign tourists for the first time in the three years since the Covid pandemic erupted by allowing all categories of visas to be issued.

The removal of this last cross-border control measure on Wednesday comes after authorities declared victory over the virus last month.

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China says Aukus submarines deal embarks on ‘path of error and danger’

Beijing accuses US, UK and Australia of disregarding global concerns with plan to build nuclear-powered vessels

China has accused the US, UK and Australia of embarking on a “path of error and danger” in response to the Aukus partners’ announcement of a deal on nuclear-powered submarines.

“The latest joint statement from the US, UK and Australia demonstrates that the three countries, for the sake of their own geopolitical interests, completely disregard the concerns of the international communities and are walking further and further down the path of error and danger,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

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‘If we leave, Nepal will suffer’: embattled hospitals fear impact of UK job offers

As Nepali nurses weigh up the benefits of an NHS salary, any staff drain will worsen shortages in the country’s creaking healthcare system

The emergency department at Kathmandu’s Bir hospital is already packed with patients, but still they come, in wheelchairs and on stretchers, filling every space. A man is lifted off a bed, still attached to three tubes, to make room for a new arrival. Another is handed an oxygen mask from a fellow patient. Security guards man the sliding metal entrance gates to try to control the flow.

“It’s very difficult. Always busy – even more than this. Sometimes, [there’s] two or three to a bed,” says nurse Shalu Chand, squeezing between two patients on trolleys as she rushes to fit a saline drip. “The workload is too much and the salary too little.”

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Penny Wong hits back at China’s claim Aukus nuclear submarines will fuel an arms race

Foreign minister set to visit south-east Asia and the Pacific to reassure countries Australia does not seek to escalate military tensions

The Australian foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, has hit back at China’s response to Aukus, insisting that its criticisms of the nuclear-powered submarine deal are “not grounded in fact”.

In an interview with Guardian Australia, Wong also signalled that she planned to make further visits to south-east Asia and the Pacific to reassure the region that Australia does not seek to escalate military tensions.

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What is the Aukus submarine deal and what does it mean? – the key facts

The four-phase plan has made nuclear arms control experts nervous … here’s why

In a tripartite deal with the US and the UK, Australia has unveiled a plan to acquire a fleet of up to eight nuclear-powered submarines, forecast to cost up to $368bn between now and the mid-2050s. Australia will spend $9bn over the next four years.

From this year Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with US and UK navies, including within both countries’ submarine industrial bases. From 2027 the UK and the US plan to rotate their nuclear-powered submarines through HMAS Stirling near Perth as part of a push to step up training of Australians.

Embedded personnel and port visits: Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with the the allies’ navies. US nuclear-powered submarines will increase their visits to Australian ports, with Australian sailors joining US crews for training.

Submarine rotations: From 2027 the UK and the US plan to rotate one UK Astute class submarine and up to four US Virginia class submarines through HMAS Stirling.

Sale of US Virginia-class submarines: From the early 2030s – pending approval by Congress – the US intends to sell Australia three Virginia-class submarines, with a potential option for two more if required.

SSN-Aukus: A combination of UK submarine design and US defence technology will contribute to the development of the new SSN-Aukus submarine – intended as the future attack submarine for both the UK and Australia. Both Australia and the UK intend to start building SSN-Aukus submarines in their domestic shipyards before the end of this decade. The first such boat may enter into UK service in the late 2030s, but the Australian navy will receive its first Australian-built SSN-Aukus submarine in the early 2040s.

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New Zealand’s Labour coalition sees best poll result in a year after ‘policy bonfire’

Leader Chris Hipkins also surged in preferred prime minister rankings after reorientation towards ‘bread and butter issues’

New Zealand’s governing Labour coalition has pulled ahead in a new poll, putting it closer to staying in government after the upcoming election than it has been in a year.

It is the second poll this month to show strong results for Labour or the Greens, with support for the coalition parties rallying after the government coordinated national disaster responses, grappled with extreme weather events, and announced that it would be abandoning parts of its policy agenda to focus on economic issues.

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Ruthless Chris Hipkins backpedals on climate action as New Zealand elections near | Henry Cooke

Jacinda Ardern called climate change the ‘nuclear-free moment’ of her generation. Her replacement doesn’t seem so sure

Chris Hipkins loves to cycle.

New Zealand’s newish prime minister, who stepped into the job after Jacinda Ardern’s shock resignation earlier this year, has been pedalling the 30km from his home in Upper Hutt to parliament for years. It’s not a particularly safe route, with many sections where Hipkins would be riding right alongside 100kmh traffic. It’s this kind of danger that stops cycle commuting from being particularly mainstream – just 2% commuted by bike at the last census – but this is far from a political priority for Hipkins. He loves to cycle, but the main thing he wants to do is win.

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North Korea escalates tensions with fresh ballistic missile tests

Launch comes days after Pyongyang fired two ‘strategic’ missiles in an apparent protest over Washington-Seoul military drills

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles Tuesday, Seoul said, Pyongyang’s second launch in three days and the first since South Korea and the United States began their largest joint military drills in five years.

Washington and Seoul have ramped up defence cooperation in the face of growing military and nuclear threats from the North, which has conducted a series of increasingly provocative banned weapons tests in recent months.

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UK aid to India does little for human rights and democracy, watchdog finds

Programme spent £2.7bn between 2016 and 2021 but is fragmented and lacks a clear rationale, report says

Britain’s aid programme to India is fragmented, lacks a clear rationale and does little to counter the negative trends in human rights and democracy in the country, the government’s aid watchdog has found.

The findings are likely to be used by those who claim the UK government risks using its aid programme to deepen its relationship with India, including seeking free trade deals, rather than attempting to reduce poverty, which is the statutory purpose of UK aid.

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