Python is widely considered best first language for beginners.
One of the reason is it's killer feature: interactive python, which allows you to learn the language one line at a time.
Also, Python is object-oriented but not object-obsessed like Java is. For beginners, simple procedural programming, or simple data literals which Python provides are much easier to understand than Java's.
Third strike is reading/writing to files.
In Python, reading is as simple as
for line in open(filename):.
In Java you have few dozens of types of files to comprehend.
Bonus strike: Python debugger
In any place your code is in troubles, you can
import pdb;pdb.set_trace() and you get python debugger which allows you to inspect objects exactly as they are (not as you think they should be). This feature alone saves me few hours every week.
Disclosure: I programmed in many languages starting with Algol 60, including PL/1, Forth, Prolog, Perl, Java, C# and Python. After Python, I could not return to working full time in C# (which is close to Java) because I am at least 3 times more productive in Python. It was just too much pain to do myself in C# what Python does for me.
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Python is especially good for browser automation (better than Java), because Java is optimized for efficient code (makes programmer to explicitly express many things which Python does for you). Python is optimized for efficient use of programmer's time (making coding efforts more productive).
Efficiency of the executed code is almost irrelevant in testing website, because most of the time is spent on webpages loads/processing. If 90% of the time is outside of your control, even if you cut remaining 10% to zero (which you cannot), you will save only 10% of the total time.