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Firefighters douse Indian blaze day after it killed 43

Officials say firefighters have doused a smoldering fire in New Delhi building that killed 43 people a day earlier

White Island eruption: what we know so far

One person is dead and up to 26 unaccounted for after an eruption hit White Island in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty

One person has been killed, and that figure is expected to rise, after a volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s Whakaari, also known as White Island.

Up to 26 people are still unaccounted for and the island is too dangerous for police and rescue crews to access. Police deputy commissioner John Tims said there “are likely to be more” casualties.

Fewer than 50 people were on the island at the time of the eruption, and 23 have been taken off. Seven were suffering critical injuries.

Between 30 and 38 of those people were passengers on the cruise ship Ovation of the Seas, as confirmed by the chief executive of the New Zealand Cruise Association.

The nationalities of those on the island are not yet known but Australia’s department of foreign affairs said it was making “urgent enquiries”.

Royal Caribbean, the owner of Ovation of the Seas, confirmed guests were touring the island and asked for “prayers” for those affected.

The eruption occurred at about 2:11pm local time, 48km off the coast of the Bay of Plenty, on the north island.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the situation was “significant and evolving” and that an active search and rescue operation was under way.

Whakaari/White Island is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and is a popular tourist destination and scientific research site. It last experienced a short-lived eruption in 2016.

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Factbox: Previous volcanic eruptions in New Zealand

Several people were injured on Monday and some reported missing as New Zealand mounted a rescue effort after its White Island volcano erupted off the east coast of the North Island, spewing a plume of ash thousands of feet into the air.

Public service review did not look at cutting federal departments, official says

Scott Morrison’s decision to abolish four departments was not raised in Thodey review, a department secretary confirms

Scott Morrison’s decision to abolish four federal departments in a massive public sector restructure was not canvassed in the Thodey review of the public service, a department secretary has said.

Instead submissions by federal departments called for a relaxation of staffing caps and rules that demand offsets before they undertake new spending, with these policies blamed for spiralling consultant costs and a lack of investment in systems such as IT.

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Analyst View: As North Korea's deadline looms, what are Kim Jong Un's options?

Frustrated by what it sees as a lack of flexibility by the United States, North Korea has set a year-end deadline for Washington to change its policies or leader Kim Jong Un may embark on a "new path".

Kenyan police seal off court as Nairobi governor set to face graft charges

Police in the Kenyan capital sealed off a court building where the governor of Nairobi County was due to be charged with corruption and other economic crimes on Monday, guarding against threatened protests by his supporters.


France's Sanofi to buy Synthorx for $2.5 billion

France's Sanofi said on Monday it had agreed to buy Synthorx in a cash deal worth around $2.5 billion as it seeks to beef up its immuno-oncology pipeline.

Public borrowing is cheap but ramping up debt is not without risk | Kenneth Rogoff

Borrowing costs are low but the fashion for more debt holds real risks, many of which are hidden

With interest rates on government debt at multi-decade lows, a number of leading economists have argued that almost every advanced economy can allow debt to drift up towards Japanese levels (over 150% of GDP even by the most conservative measure) without any great concern about long-term consequences. Advocates of much higher debt might be right, but they tend to downplay or ignore everything that can go wrong.

First and foremost, the new view of debt understates the risks to other claimants on public tax revenues – such as pensioners, who might be thought of as junior debt holders in the 21st-century welfare state. After all, most social-security systems are debt-like in the sense that the government takes money from you now, and promises to pay it back with interest when you are old. And for governments, this “junior” debt is massive relative to the “senior” market debt that sits atop it.

Related: Nine reasons why the stock markets are far too optimistic

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Jobs of the future are clustering in a handful of U.S. cities, study finds

A new analysis of where "innovation" jobs are being created in the United States paints a stark portrait of a divided economy where the industries seen as key to future growth cluster in a narrowing set of places.

Study Examines Why Black Americans Remain Scarce in Executive Suites

A new report, “Being Black in Corporate America,” outlines why diversity and inclusion efforts are falling short for African-American professionals.

House Democrats, USTR nearing deal to pass modified USMCA agreement: WSJ

House Democrats and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are nearing a deal to pass a revised version of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.


France to press ahead with pensions reform despite protests

Train and metro strikes enter fourth day as prime minister vows to implement changes

The French government said it would press ahead with its planned pension changes but said the proposed new system that has sparked nationwide strikes would be introduced gradually and public concerns would be addressed.

Transport systems were paralysed for a fourth day on Sunday as unions at the state railway SNCF and Paris public transport system RATP extended their strike against the changes.

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No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

With hardline unions threatening indefinite strikes over pension reforms, there is apprehension at the political perils facing Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron will seek to placate angry strikers this week while honouring his election pledge to shake up France’s pension system in a delicate balancing act that will define his political future.

Ministers are looking at possible concessions that could defuse the strikes and protests that have paralysed the country since last week.

Related: Macron wants not just reform but to change the way France thinks

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Macron wants not just reform but to change the way France thinks

Any other president might choose to leave the Kafkaesque pensions system alone ahead of the 2022 elections

Pensions reform in France is like the rumbustious games of proto-football played by whole towns in England and Scotland of the past. At regular intervals – most recently in 1993, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010 – the French government competes against a large part of the country’s population. After days or weeks of confused conflict the two teams retire, exhausted. Small concessions of ground are made. No clear goals are scored by either side.

The only exception was 1995 when the France v Jacques Chirac and Alain Juppé game went into prolonged extra time (three weeks of transport strikes) before the government caved in more or less completely. A rare, undisputed goal for “the people”.

Related: No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

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France faces second day of travel chaos as strikes continue

Transport stoppages to run into weekend amid protests against planned pension changes

France is facing a second day of travel chaos and school closures after unions said there would be no let-up in nationwide strikes against Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to the pensions system.

The far-reaching strike, including a turnout of more than 800,000 people on street marches on Thursday, is seen as the greatest test yet for the centrist Macron, who has promised to deliver the biggest “transformation” of the French social model and welfare system since the immediate post-war era.

A grassroots citizens’ protest movement began in early November 2018 against a planned rise in the tax on diesel and petrol, which Emmanuel Macron insisted would aid the country’s transition to green energy. A poll at the time found that the price of fuel had become France’s biggest talking point.

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'Everyone is on the streets': strike forces France to a halt – video

Rail workers, air-traffic controllers, teachers and public sector staff staged walkouts and took to the streets across France to protest against proposed changes to the pension system.

The strike is the biggest in Emmanuel Macron's presidency and 90% of regional trains were cancelled on 5 December

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Sausage roll enthusiast LadBaby takes aim at second Christmas number one

The YouTube star, who landed last year's Christmas number one, is back - sausage rolls and all.

Linda Ronstadt, Sally Field, and Sesame Street feted at Kennedy Center Honors

Singer Linda Ronstadt, actress Sally Field, and music group Earth, Wind & Fire received the United States' top awards for the arts on Sunday with a rocking, rousing performance at the annual Kennedy Center Honors show in Washington.

Gal Gadot and Chris Pine meet again in trailer for 'Wonder Woman 1984'

She will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. That's because she's Wonder Woman, and now she's finally back.

Rapper and singer Juice WRLD is dead at 21

Rapper and singer Juice WRLD has died in Chicago, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said Sunday.

Caroll Spinney, the Sesame Street puppeteer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, has died

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who brought beloved "Sesame Street" characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch to life, died on Sunday, according to Sesame Workshop.

Remembering Juice WRLD, one of emo rap's most promising artists

Juice WRLD was an artist on the come up.

Jacqueline Jossa wins I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

The former EastEnders star becomes the latest queen of the Jungle on the ITV reality show.

Box Office: 'Frozen 2' remains victorious, 'Playmobil' bombs

LOS ANGELES, ( - "Frozen 2" dominated box office charts for the third weekend in a row as Disney's animated sequel scored another $34.7 million in North America.


Amid Impeachment Drama, a Bipartisan Celebration of the Arts

Lawmakers and artists alike came together to pay tribute to the winners of the Kennedy Center Honors during a fraught time in Washington.

What’s on TV Monday: ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘It Comes at Night’

The extended cut of the wedding comedy arrives on HBO. And Trey Edward Shults’s horror movie jumps from Amazon to Netflix.

‘Madam Secretary’ Proved TV Didn’t Have to Be Hip to be Great

The CBS drama, which ends its six-season run on Sunday, was a one of the squarest shows on television. That was a big part of its charm.

‘Mr. Robot’ Season 4, Episode 10 Recap: Run Away With Me

This week’s episode took a bit of a breather to focus on the star-crossed fates of Darlene and Dom.

‘Watchmen’ Season 1, Episode 8 Recap: Chicken or Egg?

This week’s episode asked: If you knew when and how a relationship would end, would you take the plunge?

‘Keep’ Review: Daniel Kitson Takes Inventory

An excursion into the Theater of Lists at St. Ann’s Warehouse proves to be both original and exasperating.

René Auberjonois, a ‘Deep Space Nine’ Star, Dies at 79

The busy character actor was also known for “Benson,” “Boston Legal” and several Broadway roles.


N.F.L. Week 14: What We Learned

George Kittle dragged the 49ers to a win over the Saints, Patrick Mahomes finally beat the Patriots and the Ravens topped the Bills in a week that did not disappoint.

NHL roundup: Eichel extends streak, Sabres down Oilers in OT

Defenseman Colin Miller scored his first goal of the season 1:13 into overtime as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the host Edmonton Oilers 3-2 Sunday night.

Joshua says had health issue before first Ruiz fight

Briton Anthony Joshua, who reclaimed his world heavyweight titles with a clinical victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Sunday, says a health issue had left him tired and drained before his shock defeat to the Mexican-American in their first fight in June.

NFL roundup: 49ers win thrilling shootout vs. Saints

Jimmy Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes, and Robbie Gould kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired as the visiting San Francisco 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints 48-46 in an NFC showdown on Sunday afternoon with major seeding ramifications.

Patriots Run Out of Comebacks in Testy Rematch Against Chiefs

Tom Brady and his offense’s continued struggles drew boos from New England fans as Kansas City avenged its A.F.C. championship loss.


Four tiger foetuses found in Indonesian 'poacher' arrests

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered - with fewer than 400 believed to be left in the wild.

Brian Cox: Why I've been exploring our scientific past

The science broadcaster explains why he's been delving into the lives of some extraordinary scientists.

Madrid climate talks will set the tone for Glasgow 2020

The outcome of the COP25 UN climate conference in Spain will influence the event in Scotland next year.

Plastic pollution: Wales should cut 3G sports pitch waste

There are concerns tyre infill from sports pitches is ending up in waterways and harming wildlife.

General election 2019: Your questions on climate change and the environment

Your questions answered: The environment, wildlife and climate change.


Huawei to roll out Harmony OS to more products next year, but not phones and tablets

Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] plans to equip more of its products with its Harmony operating system (OS) next year, and will promote them at home and abroad, a Huawei spokesman said on Monday.

A Few Cities Have Cornered Innovation Jobs. Can That Be Changed?

A new report documents the concentration of cutting-edge industries in a few coastal areas and why lawmakers ought to be alarmed.

Woman shocked over details on 'revenge porn' site

Becky's discovery led thousands of other women to find their information had been posted.

'I slept in a Silicon Valley cupboard for months'

Entrepreneur Mathias Mikkelsen was so desperate to get into a 'hacker house' he slept in a closet.

Should children watch toy unboxing videos?

Millions of kids are watching toy unboxing videos in the run-up to Christmas. Should parents be concerned?