'Shame on you'- Donald Trump's not-so-welcoming welcome to the UK

Hundreds of anti-Donald Trump protesters gathered outside Blenheim Palace today where the US President and First Lady Melania Trump were having dinner with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

The anti-Trump protesters with signs critical of Trump were lining the roadway leading to the palace near Oxford.

But it's unlikely the Trumps even saw them.

Instead, the couple arrived via helicopter and were driven by presidential limousine onto the property, where they were welcomed by May and her husband Philip.

Trump's visit marked his first to the UK since becoming US President. 

The protesters were booing at numerous official vehicles carrying dignitaries as they arrived at the palace. 

Banners and placards held by the protesters accused Trump of racism and sexism.

The peaceful demonstration was heavily policed. 




Hong Kong opens high-speed rail link with mainland China

Hong Kong yesterday opened a new high-speed rail link to mainland China that will vastly decrease travel times but also raises concerns about Beijing's creeping influence over the semi-autonomous Chinese region.

Costing upward of US$10 billion and taking more than eight years to build, the system aims to transport more than 80,000 passengers daily between the Asian financial centre of seven million people and the neighbouring manufacturing hub of Guangdong province.

The train travels the 26 kilometred through Hong Kong to Shenzhen across the border in China in just 14 minutes, down from about one hour.

The through-train to Guangdong's capital Guangzhou will take just over half an hour, about 90 minutes faster than the current service.

Once across the border, passengers can link up with Chinese sprawling nationwide high-speed rail network serving more than 44 destinations, including Shanghai, Beijing and the western city of Xi'an.

Passengers will clear Chinese immigration at the line's newly built West Kowloon terminus, the source of major legal controversy when it was revealed that mainland Chinese law would apply within roughly one-quarter of the station's area.

Some opposition lawmakers argued the move would be a violation of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution under which it retained its own legal system and civil liberties after reverting from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

That guarantees Hong Kong the right to maintain rights such as freedom of speech and assembly - which are routinely violated on the mainland - until 2047.

Legal matters related to defence, foreign affairs and national security fall under Beijing purview.

However, Beijing's tight control over the city's politics and a continuing crackdown on politicians calling for greater economy and democratic reforms have spurred worries about an erosion of Hong Kong's remaining autonomy.

The Hong Kong legislature's passage in June of the plan to allow Chinese law to apply at the railway terminus was a significant moment for the opposition, coming four years after mass street protests demanding reforms fizzled out amid Beijing's intransigence.

Pro-democracy legislators have been expelled and charges brought against more than 100 protesters.

Supporters of the provision, including the territory's Beijing-backed Chief Executive Carrie Lam, defended it as promoting speed and convenience.

It cost upward of US$10 billion and took more than eight years to build. Source: Associated Press


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Thousands rally across Russia against raising pension ages

Several thousand people attended a Moscow rally organised by the Communist Party and other leftist groups, which was authorised by city officials.

Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov called for rolling back the proposed changes, arguing that the government should redistribute resources to avoid raising the pension age.

"They keep reaching into your pockets," he told protesters, who waved red flags.

The government's plan to lift the retirement age to 65 for men and 60 for women has irked a wide range of Russians from all political factions.

Older Russians fear they won't live long enough to collect significant benefits while younger generations are worried that keeping people in the workforce longer will limit their own employment opportunities.

The proposal has also dented President Vladimir Putin's popularity.

Dmitry Orlov, who came to Moscow from his home city of Kostroma to join the rally, denounced the Russian government's move as a "robbery."

"It can't be that our country doesn't have money for its people, the people who spend their whole lives working and paying deductions for their pensions," he said.

Similar protests were also held Saturday in many cities across Russia's 11 time zones, most of them sanctioned by authorities.

Several hundred demonstrators rallied against the pension age hike in Sevastopol in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

"This is a very serious issue for me, because it touches upon my life, my children, my parents who haven't retired yet," said Olga Konitskaya, 30, a protester in Sevastopol.

The demonstrations went on peacefully, unlike a wave of unauthorised pension protests earlier this month organised by opposition leader Alexei Navalny that led to the detention of over 1,000 people across Russia.


Navalny, the anti-corruption activist who is Putin's most visible foe, had called for protests against the pension age hike before he was sentenced to 30 days in jail for organising a January protest over a different issue.


He is set to be released from custody Monday.

Putin has responded to the protests by offering some concessions, but argued that the age hike is necessary because rising life expectancies in Russia could exhaust the nation's pension resources if the eligibility age remains the same.

The Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma has given only a preliminary approval to the pension changes bill and is yet to hold a decisive second reading.

Protest (file picture).
Protest (file picture). Source: 1 NEWS


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Congo reports Ebola death close to busy Ugandan border

Authorities have fought rumours and trained community members including traditional healers in efforts to calm and educate nervous residents.

The 32-year-old woman had assisted in the burials of other Ebola victims and health workers had followed her as a possible case, but she refused a vaccination and disappeared from the city of Beni, said the vice governor of Ituri Province, Pacifique Keta.

She died on Thursday at a hospital in Tshomia, on Lake Albert.

It is the closest a confirmed Ebola death in the current outbreak has been to Uganda, which has said it was making arrangements with the World Health Organisation to vaccinate health workers and other high-risk populations as needed.

Three thousand vaccine doses will be imported.

Congo's health ministry said that as of Friday there have been 116 confirmed cases, including 68 deaths, of Ebola in the outbreak that was declared on Aug. 1.

More than 10,000 people have been vaccinated.

Ebola monitoring has been taking place at the border and Uganda is considered what WHO calls "very high risk."

"To date, health workers in Uganda have responded to over 100 Ebola alerts that have been found to be negative for the Ebola virus," WHO's country office there has said.

The U.N. health agency has not recommended travel restrictions.

A new case of the Ebola virus emerges just after West Africa is declared free from the deadly virus. Source: Associated Press


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Two tiger sharks killed after Queensland shark attacks

Queensland fisheries authorities have caught and killed two tiger sharks, but it is unclear if they are responsible for separate attacks on a woman and a little girl in the Whitsundays.

Three baited hooks were dropped in the area on Friday, with Fisheries Queensland officials catching and killing a two-metre tiger shark and a 3.3-metre tiger shark today.

"It is unclear if they were responsible for injuries caused to two swimmers this week," Fisheries Queensland said in a statement.

The state government insists killing the sharks is in the interest of public safety, despite also saying it would be impossible to determine whether they were the sharks responsible.

The sharks will be cut open and measured before being dumped at sea.

12-year-old Hannah Papps was holidaying from Melbourne with her father and sister when she received a life-threatening wound to her right leg on Thursday while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour.

Her attack came after Tasmanian Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area less than 24 hours earlier.

Both victims have now been transferred to hospitals in Brisbane where Hannah is in a critical but stable condition and Ms Barwick was last known to be stable.

"We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for Hannah, including the police, emergency services and the hospital teams," her family said in a statement on Friday.

"We ask that everyone, including the media, please respect our family's privacy during this very difficult time so we can focus our energies on Hannah's recovery."

It is the first time baited hooks have been used in the popular Whitsundays holiday destination, where the tourism industry is still recovering following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

The girl is Hannah Papps, who lives in Melbourne with her New Zealand parents. Source: 1 NEWS


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