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Australia steps up Nato partnership as crises grow

Australia will step up its partnership with Nato as the country pursues a bigger roll in combating global crises, from Ukraine to Iraq and Syria.

Although Australia is not a member of Nato its troops fought alongside the coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stressed was the basis for an expanded partnership in current and future conflicts.

Local residents walk past a crater caused by shelling in the village of Spartak near Donetsk.
Local residents walk past a crater caused by shelling in the village of Spartak near Donetsk. Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Bishop told parliament, "Tomorrow the defence minister and I will travel to Wales to attend the Nato summit and I can confirm that Australia will be accepting a formal invitation to become what is called an enhanced partner."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is due to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at a G20 summit in November.

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Airport Commission 'sets debate back by half a century'

Boris Johnson has accused the Airports Commission of setting the debate on increasing the UK's aviation capacity back by half a century

A plan to build a four-runway airport on the Thames estuary has been rejected by the Airports Commission due to the economic and environmental costs of the project.

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Boris Johnson's proposal has suffered a major setback. Credit: PA Wire

"In one myopic stroke the Airports Commission has set the debate back by half a century and consigned their work to the long list of vertically filed reports on aviation expansion that are gathering dust on a shelf in Whitehall," Mr Johnson said.

The Mayor of London said expanding Gatwick or Heathrow Airports were not the long term solution, insisting his proposal was the one needed to ensure the UK "remains competitive".

"It remains the only credible solution, any process that fails to include it renders itself pretty much irrelevant, and I'm absolutely certain that it is the option that will eventually be chosen," he added.

Economic costs of airport estuary proposal 'too great'

Building an airport in the Thames estuary is not the answer to the UK's airport capacity problems, the Airports Commission said.

After rejecting the proposal, backed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Airports Commission Chair Sir Howard Davies said the economic and environmental costs of the plan was too great.

We are not persuaded that a very large airport in the Thames estuary is the right answer to London’s and the UK’s connectivity needs.

There are serious doubts about the delivery and operation of a very large hub airport in the estuary.

The economic disruption would be huge and there are environmental hurdles which it may prove impossible, or very time-consuming to surmount.

Even the least ambitious version of the scheme would cost £70 to £90 billion with much greater public expenditure involved than in other options – probably some £30 to £60 billion in total.

– Sir Howard Davies

'Boris Island' airport plan rejected

A plan to build an airport in the Thames estuary has been rejected.

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Boris Johnson's plan for a new airport on the Thames estuary has been rejected. Credit: PA Wire

The proposal - dubbed "Boris Island" because of Boris Johnson's support - was on a shortlist of options for increasing airport capacity in UK.

The Airport Commission said the proposal's "substantial disadvantages" outweigh its potential benefits.

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Petition to reunite Ashya with parents reaches 76,000

A petition to reunite a five-year-old brain cancer patient with his parents has reached 76,000 signatures, Good Morning Britain has learned.

Family campaigner Sanjay Ganatra and the King's friend Ethan will hand a petition into Downing Street asking the PM to reunite Ashya with his parents.

Ethan said: "They're finding themselves very stressed. I know Naveed [King] has only slept for three hours in the last 72. I spoke to him on Skype personally last night and he said he was just very, very stressed about it all."

Sunny spells in the west, cloudier in the east

Northern and western areas will remain mainly dry with warm sunny spells and light winds
Northern and western areas will remain mainly dry with warm sunny spells and light winds Credit: ITV Weather

Early mist and fog patches will clear this morning, then northern and western areas will remain mainly dry with warm sunny spells and light winds.

It will probably cloudier in parts of eastern and central England, with the odd light shower possible.

Tonight it will remain mostly dry overnight, with light winds, but further low cloud, mist or fog patches are likely to form in places.

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