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Salman Rushdie ‘defiant’ after attack, nuclear danger in Europe, and could boosting migration fix Australia’s skills shortage?

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Good morning, it’s Jessica Bahr here with SBS News’ Morning Briefing.

Salman Rushdie’s ‘feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact’, family says

A violent attack and life-changing injuries might result in a subdued attitude for some people, but not Salman Rushdie. The internationally acclaimed author’s family says his after being stabbed at a lecture in New York on Friday, which resulted in a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye. Mr Rushdie’s son Zafar said the family was “relieved” he was taken off a ventilator on Saturday, and said his father had been able to say a few words, but remained in critical condition. The man accused of stabbing him has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault, in what a prosecutor called a “pre-planned” crime.

Could increasing the migration cap solve Australia’s skills shortage?

Australia is continuing to struggle to retain a significant number of skilled workers following the pandemic. Now, the government has indicated it could be open to increasing migration caps as a potential solution. Currently, Australia’s permanent migration intake is capped at 160, 000 but there are reports that could increase to up to 200,000. On Sunday, skills minister Brendan O’Connor told reporters Australia had to find to address the shortage, and said he was open to boosting labour supply across the country. The skills shortages are expected to be a key topic of discussion at the , due to take place next month. Opposition leader Peter Dutton won’t be attending the summit, and called it a . On the other hand, the Nationals will be represented, after leader David Littleproud said it was “critical” for regional Australia to be represented.

China says US ‘stirring up confrontation’ with second visit to Taiwan

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A group of delegates from the United States have arrived in Taiwan for a two-day visit during a period of tension with China, which Taiwan’s presidential office has described as a demonstration of “firm support”. The trip is being led by Senator Ed Markey and comes on the back of a which angered China and resulted in over “playing with fire”. On Sunday, China’s embassy in Washington said the latest visit proved the US was making efforts to “stir up confrontation” and “interfere in China’s internal affairs.” The potential for Australia – which has also had – to be drawn into conflict within the next decade has been recognised by the government, with Defence Minister Richard Marles announcing a to prepare the military in the face of growing threats.

Could Europe be facing a nuclear catastrophe?

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is the largest of its kind in Europe, and the mayor of the city where it is located says the The plant, which is located in southeastern Ukraine, has been occupied by Russian forces since March. In the last week, however, it has repeatedly come under fire, with Ukraine and Russia exchanging blame for the shelling. Dmytro Orlov, mayor of Energodar city, described the situation as “outright nuclear terrorism,” and said it could escalate unpredictably at any moment. Last week, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres and equipment, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi told the Security Council he was ready to lead an IAEA mission to Zaporizhzhia. Mr Grossi said the IAEA had been ready to perform such a mission since June, but it had not been possible due to political factors and “other considerations”.

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