Marco Rubio: ‘Same-sex marriage not a constitutional right’

Florida senator and presidential candidate says issue should be decided on state level but concedes ‘sexual preference is something people are born with’

Related: ‘Yesterday is over': Marco Rubio to run for president as ‘generational choice’

Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who this week declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, on Sunday said he did not “believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right”.

Related: Ohio GOP governor Kasich knocks Wall Street ‘greed’ as he eyes 2016 run

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Government spent $2.4bn over two years maintaining Nauru and Manus

While operating Manus costs $403m last year, nearly $359m was spent operating Nauru where 90 children remain in detention, a Senate committee has heard

The federal government has spent $2.4bn over two years maintaining offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, including the detention of 90 children on Nauru, a Senate committee has heard.

A total of $403m was spent operating the immigration detention centre on Manus Island from July 2014 to the end of April 2015, representatives from the immigration department told a Senate estimates committee on Tuesday.

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Stephanie Scott’s students prepare for first day back at school since her death

‘Rest assured, if you stumble or fall, you will do so into the safe hands of many who care about you,’ Leeton high school posts on Facebook

Students at Leeton high school are preparing to return to campus for the first time since a much-loved teacher, Stephanie Scott, was allegedly murdered.

As pupils brace themselves for what is bound to be an emotional first day on Tuesday, the school, in the central west of New South Wales, has assured them they will be supported.

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ABC boss defends presenters but says redundancies are ‘not a happy time’

‘There is an art to interviewing,’ Mark Scott tells Senate estimates when asked whether Emma Alberici and Leigh Sales were too hard on politicians

ABC managing director Mark Scott has defended presenters Emma Alberici and Leigh Sales in Senate estimates saying they were “fine professional journalists” who were not too aggressive when interviewing politicians.

Scott spent much of Wednesday before estimates, answering questions ranging from the political hue of the broadcaster’s programs and journalists to the impact of the Coalition’s recent budget cuts.

Related: Struggle Street: SBS investigates claims some scenes were fabricated

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Chelsea Manning reveals threats of ‘disappearing’ at Guantánamo Bay

US soldier marks fifth anniversary of military custody with most personal firsthand account yet and accuses military guards of threatening her with exile

The American soldier Chelsea Manning has accused US military guards of threatening her with exile to Guantánamo Bay without trial or acknowledgment of her gender transition after she was apprehended as the source of one of the largest leaks of state secrets in history.

Related: The years since I was jailed for releasing the ‘war diaries’ have been a roller coaster | Chelsea E Manning

I began to fear that I was forever going to be living in a hot, desert cage

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Steve Coogan to star in apartheid drama

The Alan Partridge star and Oscar-nominated screenwriter has signed on for a role in South African drama Shepherds and Butchers

Steve Coogan has signed up for a role in new South Africa-set drama Shepherds and Butchers, according to Deadline.

The actor, who was nominated for two Oscars for producing and writing Philomena, will be taking on a key role in the new film from director Oliver Schmitz. The story starts as apartheid is crumbling and a lawyer decides to defend a white prison guard who has been charged with killing seven black men.

Related: Steve Coogan backs bid to buy channel

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‘Voteria’ offers $25,000 prize for voting in Los Angeles school board election

US’s oldest nonpartisan Latino voter participation organisation is trying to combat voter apathy but critics say prize destroys integrity of democratic process

A Latino democratic participation organisation has come up with a controversial tactic to combat voter apathy: a $25,000 cash prize.

The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) is offering the bounty to arouse interest in the 19 May election for the Los Angeles board of education’s district 5 seat, a contest which has attracted turnouts as low as 11%.

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NSW storms: wild winds and flooding as Sydney weather brings chaos – rolling report

  • Flash flooding forecast for parts of Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra
  • Commuters stranded as railway stations and roads experience severe flooding
  • SES receives 7,984 calls and undertakes 90 flood rescues

7.43am AEST

The premier, Mike Baird, has some good news for students, if not for parents. A “large number” of schools will be closed today, he says. Parents should check the dec.nsw.gov.au or call their school for more information.

7.43am AEST

Here is Guardian Australia’s latest report on the weather conditions overnight and the forecast conditions today.

About 200,000 homes and businesses across Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra are still without power after cyclonic winds and flooding in the worst storms to hit the state in a decade, according to AAP.

7.43am AEST

According to the SES, a severe weather warning remains in place for an intense low pressure system situated over the Hunter region, which is bracing itself for a second storm cell and severe weather.

The good news is the low is showing an overall easing trend, moving gradually southwards along the coast and is expected to weaken and moves east later this afternoon.

We want to ensure that people in the area are safe and remain calm. State Emergency Services, local council officers and police have personally spoken to all residents that are likely to be evacuated in the event of an emergency.

7.43am AEST

Good morning and welcome to Guardian Australia’s live updates on the NSW storms.

Melissa Davey with you reporting on the latest weather information from the comparatively sunny Melbourne, as my Sydney colleagues struggle to get transport to work.

To ease strain on transport/road networks please again try to travel to work outside standard peak times – I urge employers to be flexible.

Train at Marrickville station. #SydneyStorm #SydneyTrains pic.twitter.com/7g7Y6iUDDq

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