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Anthony Albanese sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister

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Labor Party Leader Anthony Albanese is Australia’s new prime minister, marking the end of almost a decade’s rule for the conservative coalition

In a ceremony at Government House in Canberra, Albanese took an oath to “well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia”.

It was all officiated by Governor-General David Hurley, with MP Richard Marles sworn in as deputy PM and senator Penny Wong becoming foreign minister.

The appointment of Wong marks the first occasion a person born outside of Australia has held the role.

It comes just hours before Albanese and his delegation will travel to Tokyo for an international leaders’ summit.

The rest of the ministry will be sworn in when the prime minister returns from the high-stakes talks.

Outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat on Saturday night and said he would also be stepping down as leader of his centre-right Liberal Party.

“I’ve always believed in Australians and their judgement and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict and I congratulate Anthony Albanese.”

Former australian pm, scott morrison

Partial election results showed independents gaining seats in the lower chamber of parliament.

The so-called “teal independents” with mostly women, who campaigned for more action on climate change, integrity and gender equality toppled the Liberal party in several urban strongholds.

And a strong showing from the left-wing Greens Party ate into Labor’s vote share in many seats.

The makeup of the new parliament looks set to be much less climate-sceptic than the one that supported Morrison’s pro-coal mining administration.

At Sydney’s popular Bondi beach, Australians were upbeat about action on climate change under the country’s new leadership:

“Lovely to see the independents, I think. Real change and a step forward for the environment.”

“If we can get action on climate change, then that’s going to be quite exciting.”

It’s still unclear whether the Labor party will govern with a majority or with the help of some independents or Greens.

Labor is still several seats short of winning more than half the seats in the lower house, with about a dozen electorates deemed too close to call.

Official results could be several days away, with the counting of a record 2.7 million postal votes to begin Sunday afternoon.

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India’s ban on single-use plastics comes into effect

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India is banning many single-use plastics in a bid to tackle pollution

India produces around four million tonnes of plastic waste each year. But authorities will begin cracking down on usage and production of single-use plastics from Friday.

India’s Government believes 60 per cent of plastic waste is recycled. But a survey by the Centre for Science and Environment found the figure was 12 per cent in 2019.

When plastic waste is not recycled correctly, it creates fire hazards and air pollution, which blankets India’s major cities. It can also enter local waterways, which poisons wildlife.

New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

Some plastic bags and multi-layered packaging are exempt from these latest changes.

Millions of people are employed in the country’s plastic industry, with many pushing the government to delay the ban.

Street vendors are also expressing concerns around the changes.

The nation’s capital, New Delhi is the world’s most polluted city.

The Air Quality Institute found 510 million people who live in northern India “on track” to lose 7.6 years off their lives if pollution levels remain as they are.

Local authorities are set to decide the penalties for people in breach of the single-use plastics ban.

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U.K. Government in crisis as Tory whip resigns over sexual assault allegations

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Boris Johnson’s government is in crisis as the Tory whip resigned over allegations he groped two men while drunk

In his resignation letter, Chris Pincher admitted he “drank far too much” and embarrassed himself and other people.

“I think the right thing to do in the circumstances is for me to resign as Deputy Chief Whip. I owe it to you and the people I’ve caused upset to, to do this.”

CHRIS PINCHER

According to sources from Downing Street, it is unlikely Pincher will face any further action, and he will remain as a Conservative MP.

The Sun newspaper first reported the resignation, saying he was drinking at the Carlton Club when he is accused of assaulting two other male guests.

Reports suggest several concerned Tory MPs contacted the Conservative whips’ office to complain about Pincher’s behaviour.

Prime Minister is yet to comment on the matters.

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Beijing issues a stark warning to Canberra

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Beijing is warning Australia will “bear the consequences” if there are any military disputes in the South China Sea

China’s Defence Ministry says Australia is engaging in “risky” behaviour, as surveillance jets fly near the disputed Paracel Islands.

“What is the duty of a soldier? That is to defend the homeland,” says Colonel Tan Kefei.

The islands are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

It comes just weeks after an Australian Air Force was challenged by a Chinese J-16 fighter in the disputed territory.

A Chinese J-10 fighter, similar to the one involved in the incident.

Australia’s Defence Minister Richard Marles says some aluminium chaff was drawn into the engines of the P-8A Poseidon.

“The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8 settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance,” he said.

The aircraft made its way back to its base, and Marles said the crew responded “professionally”.

It’s believed the Chinese jet also fired flares and chaff as a countermeasure.

The Defence Minister said he had communicated his concerns to Chinese authorities over the incident.

But China’s defence spokesperson, Colonel Tan says “those who come uninvited shall bear the consequences.”

Canada has also been in the firing line, as they reportedly carry out U.N. missions near North Korea.

But Chinese authorities believe the jets were monitoring China “under the pretext of enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions”.

“No matter what the name or excuse is, it is completely unreasonable to send military planes to the door of others to provoke and jeopardise the national security of other countries,” says Colonel Tan.

Australia’s Prime Minister met with Canada’s leader, Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Madrid this week.

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