Australia softens 'backpacker tax' after outcry
Australia on Tuesday watered down plans for a "backpacker tax" on foreigners on working holidays, after an outcry from farmers and tourism operators. Some 600,000 backpackers travel to Australia every year, many of them finding work picking fruit, and farmers had complained bitterly that the tax could affect labour supply at harvest time. "We recognise absolutely the important part that backpackers play in the overall tourism industry," Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
U.S. Labor Department launches review of all Wells Fargo complaints
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Labor Department Secretary Thomas Perez on Monday pledged to conduct a "top-to-bottom" review of all cases, complaints and other alleged violations that the department has received concerning Wells Fargo in recent years. Perez's announcement, outlined in a Sept. 26 letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, comes after Warren and other Democrats asked the Labor Department last week to launch a probe into possible wage and working-hour law violations involving Wells Fargo tellers and sales representatives who may have stayed late to meet sales quotas.
Over 90% of world breathing bad air: WHO
Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, calling for dramatic action against pollution that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year. New data in a report from the UN's global health body "is enough to make all of us extremely concerned," Maria Neira, the head of the WHO's department of public health and environment, told reporters. "It is a public health emergency," she said.
Brexit could make Britain highly attractive, says Axel Springer chief
Brexit will be more painful for the rest of Europe than for Britain which could emerge stronger and better off than its European neighbours, Mathias Doepfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, told the Financial Times. Doepfner, head of one of Europe's largest media companies, said Britain was bound to experience short-term pain as a consequence of its June 23 vote to quit the EU. Doepfner said he saw Britain moving towards a "more free market-oriented model, while Europe is step by step transforming into a transfer union" where funds were being channelled from successful states to the struggling ones.
Five children die in Guam house fire
Five children were killed in a house fire in Guam, officials said on Tuesday, describing the blaze as probably the most deadly in the US Pacific territory's history. The fire broke out late Monday night in a timber and wood house at Yigo, in the island's north, the Guam Fire Department said. Five young lives were lost to a structure fire in Yigo," the department said on its Facebook page.
Colombia, FARC rebels sign historic peace deal
Colombia's leftist FARC rebel force signed a historic peace accord with the government Monday and apologized to the countless victims of the country's half-century civil war. In an emotional open-air ceremony, President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the communist rebels into the political sphere after signing the accord with FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, alias Timoleon "Timochenko" Jimenez. "We are being reborn to launch a new era of reconciliation and of building peace," Timochenko said.
Mall shooting suspect ate with stepfather before attack
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) ? A man charged with five counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the shooting deaths of five people at a Washington state mall shared an early dinner with his stepfather then told him he was headed to his job at a gym.
U-turn as New Zealand rugby teen star axed over assault
New Zealand rugby officials on Tuesday terminated the contract of a teenage star who viciously assaulted four people including two women, following a public outcry after he escaped conviction. After initially supporting winger Losi Filipo, rugby administrators performed a U-turn following a heated reaction that even saw Prime Minister John Key drawn into the debate. Filipo, 18, dodged conviction because a judge said he did not want to derail his career, sparking accusations the court system in rugby-mad New Zealand gives sports stars special treatment.
Asia stocks, Mexico peso bounce as markets score one for Clinton
By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares recovered from an early bout of nerves while the Mexican peso surged on Tuesday as investors awarded the first U.S. presidential debate to Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump. Markets have tended to see Clinton as the candidate of the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump presidency might mean for U.S. foreign policy, international trade deals or the domestic economy. Opinion polls have shown the two candidates in a very tight race, with the latest Reuters/Ipsos polling showing Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points, with 41 percent of likely voters.
Reaction around the world to first Trump-Clinton debate
Views from around the world on Monday's first U.S. presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump: ___ CHINA WANG PEI, a graduate student in communications studies, was ...