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2018-04-26T17:06:41.373Z
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ALP’s final decision about proposed tax increase for high-income earners will be made after the budget

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Labor will match the Turnbull government’s decision to dump plans to increase the Medicare levy to fund the national disability insurance scheme, but is expected to persist with plans to tax higher-income earners – at least until the May budget.

The ALP is expected to confirm on Thursday that it will drop its plans to increase the Medicare levy for workers earning more than $87,000 to pay for the NDIS – effectively matching the Coalition’s U-turn on the issue.

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When a lack of trained builders hampered reconstruction in earthquake-hit Nepal, women stepped up to the plate – yet their resourcefulness has perturbed some traditionalists

This time last year Phulsani Tamang was living in a makeshift temporary shelter on the terraced slopes of eastern Nepal.

Her home had been destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, which claimed close to 9,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

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Guardian investigation reveals $64bn fund includes investments in companies involved in bribery and major environmental damage

The United Nations is facing calls for a full review of its staff pension fund after the Guardian uncovered that it has around a billion dollars invested in companies whose activities are or have been incompatible with core UN principles and programmes.

Established in 1948 by the UN general assembly, the fund provides retirement, death and disability benefits to employees. At present it has 203,050 beneficiaries and a market value of $64bn (£45bn), of which nearly $1.5bn is invested in 24 publicly traded companies. Many of those companies have been or are being prosecuted for corrupt practices, implicated in human rights abuses or in environmental catastrophes.

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Shocked by the humanitarian crisis she saw unfolding in Greece, Ayesha Keller got on a plane to see if she could help save lives

Ayesha Keller was horrified by the treatment of refugees in Europe and wanted to try to make a difference. She left her job and headed for the Greek island of Lesbos, where she found the beaches strewn with discarded lifejackets, and the formal refugee settlement overflowing. Thousands of people unable to get into the camp were huddled in freezing fields, with no facilities, food or shelter. Keller banded together with other volunteers who had gone to Greece in response to the tragedy. During her year-long stay, she helped crowdfund, establish and run a transit camp in a local farmer’s olive groves

Sounds from Lesbos were recorded by Cambria Bailey-Jones

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Emmanuel Macron made an impassioned speech in Washington on Wednesday advocating many of the things, including the Paris climate change accord, that Donald Trump has spent much of his presidency trying to destroy. 

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A Korean ‘reinterpretation’ of the Swiss fried potato dish rösti is one highlight of the banquet planned for after Friday’s summit between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in

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The French president is on the first state visit to the US under Trump's presidency. During the three-day trip, the two heads of state have shared some touching moments – including Trump brushing dandruff from Macron's suit – in between discussions on global affairs

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The US president has treated his French counterpart to a colourful welcome at the White House. As the two leaders stood for a photo-op, Donald Trump said he and Emmanuel Macron had 'a very special relationship' before brushing away what he said was a 'little piece' of dandruff from Macron's jacket to 'make him perfect'. While the French president has tried to develop a close relationship with Trump since taking office last May, he has so far seen few tangible results on issues from Iran to climate politics.

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Shell company tied to the Fox News host bought homes through Jeff Brock, who was charged in 2016 with fraud and conspiracy for his role in a scheme to rig auctions on foreclosed properties

Sean Hannity’s real estate venture bought houses through a property dealer who was involved in a criminal conspiracy to fraudulently obtain foreclosed homes, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.

In 2012, a shell company linked to the Fox News host bought 11 homes in Georgia that had been purchased by the dealer, Jeff Brock, following foreclosures. Brock transferred the properties to corporate vehicles that sold them on to the Hannity-linked company at a profit.

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EU security commissioner says new regulations may have to be brought in if tech firms fail to tackle issues voluntarily

Brussels may threaten social media companies with regulation unless they move urgently to tackle fake news and Cambridge Analytica-style use of personal data before the European elections in 2019.

The EU security commissioner, Julian King, said “short-term, concrete” plans needed to be in place before the elections, when voters in 27 EU member states will elect MEPs. The Cambridge Analytica affair had “served to highlight how important [the issue] is”, he told the Guardian.

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Law clamping down on people pushing services and trinkets aims to protect valuable but fragile tourism industry

For some tourists at Egypt’s renowned archeological sites, being hectored to buy pieces of parchment, a camel ride or an alabaster statue is all part of the experience.

But the harassment might become a thing of the past, after parliament approved a law allowing authorities to fine up to EGP10,000 (about £405) anyone found to be pestering tourists “with the intention of begging or promoting, offering or selling a good or service”.

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Inadequate support for Hong Kong’s ageing population means for some older citizens, scavenging and selling boxes and scrap is the only way to scrape by

Miss Wong, 65, scavenges the streets of Hong Kong’s Sheung Shui area in search of disused cardboard to sell to local recycling plants. She starts her day at 7am and often works until 9pm, seven days a week. For her efforts, she receives about HK$41 (£3.60) per day.

Wong is one of an estimated thousand senior citizens nicknamed “cardboard grannies” who collect and sell waste boxes and other scrap across nine of the poorest districts in the city.

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Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra and Sydney have Instagram presences as distinct as their characters

Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with a full 40% of its population living in either Melbourne or Sydney: large, sprawling, coastal cities with very different personalities. Factoring in the other state, territory and national capitals – Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Darwin – takes that share to two-thirds of the total population of nearly 25 million.

Each of these cities has its own character, typically a result of its geography or weather. There’s Perth, the westernmost city, closer to Bali than the east coast. Canberra, the flat, planned federal capital of fake lakes and roundabouts. Melbourne, with its changeable weather. Harbour-centric Sydney. Hobart, Australia’s second-oldest city. Brisbane, split by the river. Darwin, the largest city of the Northern Territory, changing character from wet season to dry. Post-industrial Adelaide.

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Who would have thought the Anzac Day opening of a new Monash museum at Villers-Bretonneux in France would turn into a diplomatic incident?
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Those damn French never could be trusted. The opening of the Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux was supposed to mark a century of amity between our two peoples yet the French prime minister, Édouard Philippe, delivered a speech that blew Malcolm Turnbull’s to smithereens.

A lot of words have been shed on the western front. This is a place of blood and poetry. A national leader opening a new museum commemorating these battles has to have something to say.

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Inspector alleges sheep unable to lie down without being trampled but federal department of agriculture says conditions comply with Australian standards
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The federal department of agriculture says a live export ship that departed Fremantle with 75,000 sheep on board has complied with Australian standards, despite the Western Australian government describing conditions on board as “serious cause for concern”.

An inspector from the WA department of agriculture inspected the Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) ship Maysora on 11 April, shortly before it left Fremantle bound for Turkey.

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Renowned conservationist dedicated to saving orphaned elephants and releasing them back into the wild

Elephant babies like coconut oil. This discovery has saved the life of hundreds of orphaned, unweaned elephants, left behind when their mothers were killed, victims of the ivory wars that have catastrophically reduced elephant populations across Africa.

The discovery came after two decades of efforts by the renowned conservationist Daphne Sheldrick, who has died aged 83. She devoted most of her life to rescuing young elephants and releasing them back into the wild.

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Experts say surprise shifting of Admiral Harry Harris sends ‘terrible’ message that ‘Australia is being treated here as a second-class ally’
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The Trump administration has decided to redirect its pick for ambassador to Australia, Admiral Harry Harris, to instead represent the United States in South Korea.

Experts say the surprise move sends a “terrible” message to Australia, which has been waiting more than a year for a new US ambassador.

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Lawyer says former Melbourne lord mayor too unwell to answer questions about allegations made when he was chairman of Melbourne Health

A second investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by the former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle failed to make any conclusive findings because Doyle was too unwell to respond to questions.

The investigation concerned allegations made against Doyle in his role as the chairman of Melbourne Health, which were made public after he had stepped aside from his position as lord mayor following sexual harassment allegations from two female councillors.

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Britain and the EU are under fire for engaging with a nation with one of the world’s worst human rights records – all in the name of stemming migration

When Amjed Farid was transferred to a small cell in Kober prison on 5 April, he had a sense of deja vu. “I suddenly realised it was the same one I’d been in five years before,” he says. “It brought back some unpleasant memories. I spent a month in solitary, and had hoped I’d never have to see the place again.”

Farid was one of hundreds imprisoned in Sudan in January following peaceful protests against government austerity measures. While some were released after a few weeks, dozens were detained for nearly three months without charge, including British citizen Sidqi Kaballo. Many were kept in a bitterly cold security centre in Khartoum notorious for interrogations and torture, dubbed “the Hotel” by officials.

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The US president, Donald Trump, and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, exchange a vigorous handshake at the White House. Macron is the first leader to be accorded a state visit since Trump came to power in January 2017 

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