Pacific leaders sign Boe Declaration, calling climate change the single greatest threat to region

The signing of a declaration calling climate change the "single greatest threat" to the Pacific region must be followed up with real action on emissions, environmental groups say.

Leaders capped off the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum on Wednesday by signing a "Boe Declaration", expanding on security themes to include the environment, cybercrime and transnational crime.

As was widely expected, the forum communique said climate change presented "the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of Pacific people" and underscored the need for "immediate urgent action".

The issue of refugees is dominating the Prime Minister’s visit. Source: 1 NEWS

Leaders also called on large emitters to fully implement national emissions mitigation targets and for the United States to return to the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change.

The focus on climate change recognises concerns that have been the key priority for Pacific leaders at the annual meeting.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the Boe Declaration the most significant statement on the region's security in a generation.

"[It] acknowledges additional collective actions are required to address new and non-traditional challenges," she said.

"Modern-day regional security challenges include climate change, cybercrime and transnational crime."

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the signing of the declaration was an important recognition of the issue by the new Morrison government but needed to be followed up with policy.

"This international commitment by our nation must be matched by domestic action," ACF chief Kelly O'Shanassy said.

"Australia's climate pollution is rising, and we have observed another collapse of domestic policy to cut emissions from electricity generation."

Ahead of the forum, Australian ministers tried to ease concerns among Pacific leaders about its seriousness on climate change, saying the government was still committed to its reduction targets despite the recent collapse of its planned emissions legislation.

"There's no doubt the Pacific islands would have a dim view of Australia reducing its commitment to climate change measures - reducing our emissions footprint," Defence Minister Christopher Pyne told Sky News.

"But we have no plans to do so."

As part of the broader security declaration on Wednesday, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne also announced the establishment of a Pacific centre to assist authorities in collating information to combat illegal fishing, people smuggling and narcotics trafficking.

The song called Jacinda New Star in the Sky clearly delighted the Prime Minister. Source: 1 NEWS



Obama in Pennsylvania, hoping to boost Democrats

Former US President Barack Obama turned his political attention to Pennsylvania today, a state Donald Trump won in 2016.

Obama campaigned in Philadelphia with two leading Democrats running for re-election, Governor Tom Wolf and US Senator Bob Casey.

At a campaign rally at the Dell Music Centre in Philadelphia, Obama implored Pennsylvanians to vote in November because the election was more consequential than any he could remember.

During the speech, Obama made no mention of his successor in the White House by name, but urged voters of all parties - not just Democrats - to vote to restore honesty, decency and lawfulness to government.

In the November 6 contests, Democrats are trying to oust Republicans in four U.S. House districts and more than a dozen state legislative seats in the Philadelphia area alone.

Obama twice carried Pennsylvania in his presidential races, and Democrats hope the state can help them retake control of Congress from the GOP.

Democrats in other states where Obama has campaigned recently say his stops have drawn big crowds, giving the party a chance to organise, update voter contact lists, motivate new donors and boost volunteerism.

Obama planned a fundraiser after the Philadelphia rally.

Donald Trump won the state in the 2016 election. Source: Associated Press


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Jacinda Ardern says parts of employment bill still under discussion

Labour and New Zealand First are working on some changes to the government's employment law legislation, the Prime Minister says.

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill which is before Parliament scraps the 90-day trial period for businesses with 20 or more employees and carries a raft of union-friendly changes including collective agreement bargaining and greater union access to workplaces.

New Zealand First minister Shane Jones said provincial employers and regional leaders had expressed some concerns about the bill.

Jacinda Ardern said there were still some parts of the bill that were being discussed between the parties.

But she told TV3's Newshub Nation she was confident the bill would still achieve the goal of improving employment law.

"As even the Deputy Prime Minister himself has said, 'this bill will pass', we're working on some details collectively.

"I'll keep my confidence around those negotiations, as I do with all of our negotiations, but we are the Labour Party, issues of employment legislation of course are critical to us, but I'd say actually they are to New Zealand First as well."

The details of the changes would be released soon, and people would be able to see that the balance of employment relations would be improved, Ms Ardern said.

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It comes after the MP was accused of assaulting a staff member in Gisborne.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Most watched: US man who impregnated 10-year-old girl given 160 years behind bars

This story was first published on Saturday September 23.

Nicholas Deon Thrash

An Indiana man has been sentenced to more than 100 years in jail for molesting a 10-year-old girl multiple times leading to her becoming pregnant.

Fox News reports that Nicholas Deon Thrash, 34, of Marion, Indiana was given 160 years in jail with a minimum service of 132 years yesterday.

Last month during his trial Thrash was found guilty of 10 counts of child molestation.

In a testimony his 10-year-old victim testified that she had been molested by Thrash at least 15 times.

The mother of the girl is facing charges of neglect, aiding in child molesting and assisting a criminal over the case.

She reportedly discovered her daughter's pregnancy when the 10-year-old was trying on dresses for a school dance and instructed the girl to say a schoolmate impregnated her.

Prosecutors told Fox News that the girl gave birth to a boy in September 2017 when she was 11-years-old.

Thrash remains in the Grant County Jail.


Watch: US police officer's heroics saves woman from being hit by a truck

Newly released dash-camera video is showing a close call for a police officer in Anna, Texas saving a woman from being hit by a pickup truck.

The woman had been in a minor accident, with her car stopped on the side of the road.

Officer Brandon Blair stopped to help her. 

As they were talking, the driver of a pickup truck lost control on the same curve. 

The officer's dash camera showed him pulling the woman out of the way just in time.

Newly released dash-camera video is showing a close call for a police officer in Texas, who saved a woman from being hit by a truck. Source: Associated Press


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