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EU backs France in submarine dispute

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European Union foreign ministers expressed support and solidarity with France on Monday during a meeting in New York to discuss Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine order with Paris in favour of a U.S. and British deal

European Union foreign ministers expressed support for France in its submarine order dispute with Australia during the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday.

Australia said last week it would scrap a $40 billion submarine order from Paris in favor of a U.S. and British deal that’s enraged France.

It includes at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology and a trilateral security partnership under the name AUKUS.

After a closed-door meeting at the annual UN gathering of world leaders, European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrel, said “more cooperation” was needed among leaders and “less fragmentation.”

“The position has been this clear expression of solidarity with France, and the consideration that this was not a bilateral issue but a relationship with European Union that affects all of us. And also the fact that it doesn’t go in the direction of a greater cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which is our purpose.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian gave the U.S a dressing down earlier on Monday, accusing U.S. President Joe Biden of continuing his predecessor Donald Trump’s foreign policies.

“Yes, it is a disappointment. We thought unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality and not respecting your partner was part of the past but it continues so we want to understand.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there will not be an opportunity to address the issue with French President Emmanuel Macron this week.

Meanwhile, Biden and Macron are set to speak by phone in the next few days.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said she expected Biden to “reaffirm our commitment to working with one of our oldest and closest partners on a range of challenges that the global community is facing.”

It’s not clear what impact the security partnership will have on next month’s fresh rounds of EU-Australia trade talks.

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World

Pink-coloured pigeon rescued in New York

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Pigeons come in a whole range of colours, but it seems pink isn’t one of them

That’s exactly what happened in New York though, where a bright-coloured bird was rescued.

Wildlife groups believe the pigeon was dyed as part of a gender reveal ceremony.

The feathery friend was suffering from malnutrition when it was found in Madison Square Park.

In a statement, the Wild Bird Fund says they should never be dyed because of risks like starvation and even death.

It went on to say the “poor bird has it bad enough unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators.”

“But being a bright, unusual colour makes him even more of a target.”

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World

Iranian couple jailed for online dancing video

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An Iranian couple have been given jail sentences totalling 10 years after posting a video online.

 
The two individuals, both in their 20s, were charged for supposedly promoting corruption, prostitution and propaganda.

Authorities have been cracking down on public disobedience.

It follows the death of a woman who was detained by the country’s infamous morality police.

Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September last year, arrested for violating the rule requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf.

Anti-government protests swept across the country after the incident.

The two individuals in the dancing video were reportedly detained after posting the clip to their social media accounts – which have a combined following of more than two million people.

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World

Donald Trump claims deposition as “biggest witch hunt”

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Donald Trump has described the investigation into his company as the “biggest witch hunt” in the history of the United States during a formal deposition.

In September 2022, the New York Attorney General Letitia James, announced she would be looking into the Trump organisation’s business practices.

James alleges the former president “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system”.

The lawsuit also takes aim at some of Trump’s children, and executives of his business.

During the deposition tape, Trump can be seen reading a lengthy statement.

During this, the former president asserts his constitutional right to not answer questions, while accusing James of investigating him out of political spite.

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