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World news | The Guardian



Latest World news news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Sun, 18 Feb 2018 06:15:01 GMT2018-02-18T06:15:01Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018
 



Should we give up half of the Earth to wildlife?

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

Populations of all kinds of wildlife are declining at alarming speed. One radical solution is to make 50% of the planet a nature reserve

The orangutan is one of our planet’s most distinctive and intelligent creatures. It has been observed using primitive tools, such as the branch of a tree, to hunt food, and is capable of complex social behaviour. Orangutans also played a special role in humanity’s own intellectual history when, in the 19th century, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, co-developers of the theory of natural selection, used observations of them to hone their ideas about evolution.

But humanity has not repaid orangutans with kindness. The numbers of these distinctive, red-maned primates are now plummeting thanks to our destruction of their habitats and illegal hunting of the species. Last week, an international study revealed that its population in Borneo, the animal’s last main stronghold, now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000, less than half of what it was in 1995. “I expected to see a fairly steep decline, but I did not anticipate it would be this large,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University.

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Ramaphosa set to purge cabinet of Zuma cronies in war on corruption

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 21:00:25 GMT2018-02-17T21:00:25Z

New president calls on South Africa to unite as police step up hunt for former leader’s son and missing Gupta brother

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, is expected to move within days to purge his cabinet of ministers tainted by allegations of corruption, and to intensify efforts to bring to trial high-profile businessmen alleged to have made millions under his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa, 65, hailed a “new dawn” in South Africa in his first major speech on Friday and promised to fight to “turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions”. His speech, with its call to all South Africans to unite to set the country on a new path, prompted an outpouring of enthusiastic patriotism in the media.

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Senior Trump adviser says Russian election meddling 'beyond dispute'

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:42:54 GMT2018-02-17T20:42:54Z

HR McMaster calls evidence incontrovertible in wake of latest US indictments against more than a dozen Russians

Donald Trump’s national security adviser, HR McMaster, said on Saturday that Russian meddling in the 2016 election is “incontrovertible” and “beyond dispute” in the wake of new US indictments.

McMaster spoke after Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, revealed new details about Moscow’s sophisticated cyber-meddling campaign on Friday.

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Pope Francis wowed the world but, five years on, is in troubled waters

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

He entered office on a wave of energy but, as discontent grows over his attitude to abuse scandals, Francis faces opposition on all sides

Chatham House is one of the most important foreign affairs thinktanks in the UK. But on Wednesday its focus will not be a president, or an organisation like the World Bank, or the future of the EU after Brexit, but a religious leader: Pope Francis. And it will be the third time in recent weeks that Britain has turned its attention to the pope.

Two weeks ago, the Foreign Office-sponsored thinktank Wilton Park took delegates to the Vatican to meet the pope and discuss violent religious extremism, while last week the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, was in Rome to talk with Francis about modern slavery.

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Italy used to be a tolerant country, but now racism is rising

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

The upcoming election has unleashed a tide of anti-migrant action, whose roots can be traced to the financial crisis and the country’s weakened leftwing

Pape Diaw, originally from Senegal, arrived in Florence to study engineering in the late 1970s. Part of a group of 15 African students, he inspired curiosity among his Italian counterparts and the wider community, but never encountered racism. “I remember walking along the street and people would ask to have a photo taken,” he said.

“We were seen as a novelty, but never insulted. When we went to process our residency permits, the police officers would give us coffee.

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Michelle Obama portrait puts black Baltimore artist in the spotlight

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

The commission of a lifetime for Amy Sherald has kickstarted a conversation about art, politics and culture

She is a Baltimore-based artist who only paints African-American subjects and always uses a muted palette. But last week, Amy Sherald became the art world’s latest sensation as her portrait of former first lady Michelle Obama was unveiled in Washington.

Sherald, 44, almost didn’t get to paint Obama. She put away her brushes for three years to care for her family in Georgia. Then, in 2012, she collapsed and underwent a heart transplant that meant she needed another year to recuperate.

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Iceland law to outlaw male circumcision sparks row over religious freedom

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:03:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:03:29Z

Jewish and Muslim leaders condemn first European country to propose ban

Iceland is poised to become the first European country to outlaw male circumcision amid signs that the ritual common to both Judaism and Islam may be a new battleground over religious freedom.

A bill currently before the Icelandic parliament proposes a penalty of up to six years in prison for anyone carrying out a circumcision other than for medical reasons. Critics say the move, which has sparked alarm among religious leaders across Europe, would make life for Jews and Muslims in Iceland unsustainable.

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Four Israeli soldiers injured, two seriously, in border blast

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:57:14 GMT2018-02-17T18:57:14Z

Tanks retaliate against look-out post in Gaza, with no casualties, say Palestinian authorities

Four IDF soldiers have been wounded, two seriously, in an explosion on Saturday along Israel’s border with Gaza, the Israeli military said. All four were evacuated for medical treatment.

In response, the military said, one of its tanks struck an observation post in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials said the target belonged to the Islamic Jihad group and that there were no casualties on the Palestinian side.

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Pakistan court sentences man to death for rape and murder of girl, 7

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 10:51:32 GMT2018-02-17T10:51:32Z

Imran Ali, 24, convicted over death of Zainab Ansari, has also been linked to death of seven other girls

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced a suspected serial killer to death for the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, a prosecutor said.

The girl’s murder ignited nationwide protests over allegations of government inaction, and a media campaign led to his arrest after years of him being on the loose.

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Amid the chaos of Syria, will Israel and Iran launch an all-out war?

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

Neither country will benefit from a new Middle East conflict, but unless they cease military clashes, such as those inside Syria last weekend, hopes of peace remain fragile

Tensions between Israel and Iran have hit a new high following last weekend’s unprecedented military clashes inside Syria. The fighting has intensified fears that the Middle East is heading for all-out war. But such alarming predictions assume both protagonists standing toe-to-toe, actuallywant to fight. Is this reallytrue?

Iran is portrayed as a wanton aggressor, especially by the Trump administration and the Saudis. It has steadily expanded its military presence in Syria since supporting Bashar al-Assad after 2011, deploying Afghan and Pakistani Shia militias, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and its own Revolutionary Guards.

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Nigeria: three suicide bombers kill at least 20 people at market

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:45:28 GMT2018-02-17T12:45:28Z

Bombers leave dozens wounded at crowded fish market in Konduga, just outside Maiduguri

Three suicide bombers have detonated their devices at a crowded fish market in northern Nigeria, killing at least 20 people.

Borno state police spokesman Joseph Kwaji said on Saturday that the attack happened on Friday night. Hospital officials said two patients later died from their injuries.

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Artwork hidden under Picasso painting revealed by x-ray

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:00:18 GMT2018-02-17T15:00:18Z

Non-invasive imaging reveals landscape painting beneath Pablo Picasso’s The Crouching Beggar but who created it remains a mystery

Wrapped in a mustard coloured blanket with a white scarf and her head on one side, Pablo Picasso’s La Misereuse Accroupie (The Crouching Beggar) is a study of forlorn resignation. But researchers say that there is more to desolate character than meets the eye.

Beneath the mournful image lies another painting, a landscape, researchers have revealed after using non-invasive imaging techniques to examine the work.

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Canadian actor's suit against Weinstein and assistant must proceed, judge rules

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:28:28 GMT2018-02-17T20:28:28Z

Judge dismisses former assistant’s challenge to lawsuit, which claims she knew of Weinstein’s predation and helped facilitate attacks

A Canadian judge has rejected a bid to dismiss an anonymous actor’s $4m sexual assault lawsuit against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, his former assistant and two entertainment companies.

In a ruling released on Friday, the Toronto judge Patrick Monohan dismissed a challenge to the actor’s lawsuit filed by Weinstein’s former assistant Barbara Schneeweiss which argued that the allegations concerning her had expired under Ontario statute of limitations laws.

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Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:30:13 GMT2018-02-17T12:30:13Z

DoJ indictment alleges Russian operatives ‘communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign’

Thirteen Russians have been criminally charged for interfering in the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump, the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced on Friday.

Related: Trump-Russia investigation: the key questions answered

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Plyscraper city: Tokyo to build 350m tower made of wood

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:08:36 GMT2018-02-16T16:08:36Z

The $5.6bn cost of the 70-storey W350 Project is expected to be twice that of a conventional building

A skyscraper set to be built in Tokyo will become the world’s tallest to be made of wood.

The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co is proposing to build a 350 metre (1,148ft), 70-floor tower to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2041.

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Dongguan in the spotlight: hi-tech comeback for 'factory of the world'?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:30:38 GMT2018-02-16T07:30:38Z

After an economic slump lasting years, Dongguan – the home of ‘Made in China’ – is reinventing itself as a robotics base

This month Dongguan, in the heart of the Pearl River Delta economic zone of south China, is transformed from a city of migrants into a city of ghosts.

The Chinese New Year holiday marks the start of the biggest annual human migration on the planet. During the Spring Festival travel rush – or Chunyun in Mandarin – which runs from 1 February to 12 March 2018, it’s estimated that Chinese returning to their home towns for family reunions will make 2.98 billion trips. According to China’s National Development and Reform Commission, in total, 2.48 billion road trips, 390 million rail trips, 65 million air trips and 46 million boat trips are expected to be made over the 40-day period. Nowhere is this large-scale migration likely to be more evident than in Dongguan, an industrial city in central Guangdong province.

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The story of Mr Sudhir: how to survive in Delhi's 'grey market'

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:30:09 GMT2018-02-15T07:30:09Z

When sociologist Richard Sennett was fleeced by an iPhone dealer in Delhi, the pair struck up a friendship that opened a window into the informality of modern cities

In the south-east of Delhi, a vast T-shaped market has arisen on top of an underground parking garage.

Nehru Place came into being because in the 1970s Delhi did not have enough commercial real estate to house its burgeoning small businesses. Original plans show the plaza above the parking garage as empty, and lined with low, four-storey buildings meant for offices rather than shops. Today, there remain traces of that intention. The boxy buildings lining the sides of Nehru Place form a downmarket version of Silicon Valley. Here, tech startups occupy cramped rooms next to computer repair shops and cut-rate travel agents.

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Skate no more: an ode to Love Park – in pictures

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:50:44 GMT2018-02-14T15:50:44Z

For four years, photographer Jonathan Rentschler spent most days or nights at Love Park in Philadelphia, documenting the skateboarding community that congregated there before its closure for renovation in 2016

  • LOVE by Jonathan Rentschler is published by Paradigm Publishing
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'Throw them out': plans to eject politicians 'beholden to the gun lobby'

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:00:17 GMT2018-02-17T14:00:17Z

Moms Demand Action and Everytown launch campaign to empower voters following the horrors of Parkland

Activist organizations have renewed calls for gun control in the US in the wake of the school shooting in Florida.

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Saved for posterity … 40,000 memories of the Troubles

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 00:05:29 GMT2018-02-18T00:05:29Z

One man’s 50-year treasure trove goes on display to mark bloody era in Northern Ireland

There are “Ulster Says No” cigarette lighters, Orange Order Christmas decorations and banknotes mocked up with an image of Gerry Adams at the time of the 2004 Northern Bank heist in Belfast. In all, Peter Moloney has collected 40,000 such artefacts, all culled from decades of political turmoil and bloody strife.

Moloney, a retired London-based architect, has spent 50 years accumulating the largest array of memorabilia relating to the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland – a labour of love that began when he was just 15. And this month he finally packed up the unique historical treasure trove and sent it back to Northern Ireland, where it will go on public display. The exhibition will coincide with what is regarded as the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a bloody chapter, sparked by the Catholic civil rights movement of the late 1960s.

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Mexico’s Zapatista rebels, 24 years on and defiant in mountain strongholds

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:30:24 GMT2018-02-17T20:30:24Z

The peasant rebels took up arms in 1994, and now number 300,000 in centres with their own doctors, teachers and currency, but rarely answer questions – until now

Diners in the Tierradentro cafe in the southern Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas can choose between a variety of omelettes. The “Liberty” has the most ingredients, the “Democracy” looks the best, but the “Justice” costs the most – possibly because it comes with cheese.

The restaurant is one of many celebrating, or cashing in on, the Zapatistas, the indigenous peasant rights movement from dirt-poor Chiapas state, which took up arms and occupied San Cristóbal on 1 January 1994, the day Mexico signed up to Nafta, the North American free trade agreement.

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More Nauru refugees depart for US as attack on Manus provokes panic

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 03:33:37 GMT2018-02-18T03:33:37Z

  • Iranians excluded from group of 35 refugees
  • Men on Manus Island allege PNG soldiers attacked them

Another 35 refugees are leaving Nauru for the United States on Sunday, the third group to depart Australia’s offshore immigration centres this week.

Almost all are single Afghan, Pakistani or Rohingya men, along with one Sri Lankan family and one Bangladeshi refugee, said Ian Rintoul of the the Refugee Action Coalition.

The makeup further confirms fears that Iranians, who make up the largest national group on Nauru, have so far been excluded from the US intake. Iran was proscribed by Donald Trump’s “travel ban”.

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George Christensen reported to police over gun photo aimed at 'greenie' rivals

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 05:10:51 GMT2018-02-18T05:10:51Z

Screenshot from Queensland LNP politician’s Facebook page is sent to police by Greens candidate Ben Pennings who said he received death threats

The Queensland LNP politician George Christensen has been referred to police over a Facebook post showing the MP holding a handgun and the comment “Do you feel lucky, greenie punks?”

Ben Pennings, who is running for the lead position on the Queensland Greens Senate ticket, said he sent police the screenshot of Christensen’s post after receiving “numerous” death threats from central and north Queensland.

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‘It was heartbreaking’: the bleak truth behind Bafta-chasing migrant drama

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:00:13 GMT2018-02-17T11:00:13Z

Stark realities underpin Aamir, Vika Evdokimenko’s ostensibly fictional tale of a young migrant forced to fend for himself

Aamir is just 13. Like many teenagers, his coming of age is marked by a wispy moustache above his upper lip, a vulnerability in his hunched shoulders, a voice not yet broken.

But after soldiers break into his family home in Mosul and shoot and kill his father, Aamir must become a man. His mother sends him away with a few wads of cash and his father’s watch as insurance, hoping to give him a better life – one he might actually survive. But as the boy tries to find his feet all alone in a foreign world, will he end up losing his mind in the process?

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The Oxfam scandal does not justify demonising the entire aid sector | Megan Nobert

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 09:00:11 GMT2018-02-17T09:00:11Z

Aid agencies are learning how to deal with sexual misconduct more sensitively – let’s give them space to do so

The #MeToo movement has been sparking change across the world. Now the humanitarian community has become the latest sector forced to recognise it has a serious problem that has been neglected for too long.

The scandal has highlighted sexual abuse committed by Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011. Employees who paid for sex were allowed to resign and, while the incident could have been handled better, it sparked a change in the organisation. They introduced stronger policies and processes, strengthened their investigative department. Oxfam began taking a zero-tolerance policy in actions, not just words. Were an accusation made now, it would be handled differently.

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Oxfam chief accuses critics of 'gunning' for charity over Haiti sex scandal claims

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:10:27 GMT2018-02-16T15:10:27Z

Mark Goldring admits organisation’s failings but says ‘scale and intensity’ of criticism is disproportionate

Oxfam CEO: ‘Anything we say is manipulated. We’ve been savaged’

The chief executive of Oxfam has hit back at the storm of criticism surrounding the charity’s sex exploitation scandal in Haiti, claiming attacks on the organisation are “out of proportion to the level of culpability”.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mark Goldring repeated his apology for Oxfam’s failings and acknowledged that major reforms were needed. But warning that the controversy has already affected vital donations, he accused critics of “gunning” for the charity and said some were motivated in part by an anti-aid agenda.

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One in 10 senior politicians in Brazil funded by companies 'linked to slavery'

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:00:41 GMT2018-02-16T10:00:41Z

Investigation finds President Michel Temer among 51 politicians who received donations from firms accused of labour abuses

More than one in 10 of Brazil’s high-ranking politicians, among them President Michel Temer, received campaign donations from companies linked to modern-day slavery, an investigation has found.

Party leaders, state secretaries and five of ex-president Dilma Rousseff’s governors are among the elected parliamentarians who received R$3.5m (£760,000) during the last general election, according to the NGO Repórter Brasil.

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Putin’s chef, a troll farm and Russia's plot to hijack US democracy

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:18:05 GMT2018-02-17T14:18:05Z

Robert Mueller has revealed audacious meddling in the 2016 election. Can he link it to Trump?

The plot against America began in 2014. Thousands of miles away, in a drab office building in St Petersburg, Russia, a fake newsroom was under construction with its own graphics, data analysis, search engine optimisation, IT and finance departments. Its mission: ”information warfare against the United States of America”.

What followed, according to an indictment brought by the US special counsel, Robert Mueller, on Friday, was a stunningly successful attack on the most powerful democracy in the world. It involved stolen identities, fake social media accounts, rallies organised from afar, US citizens duped into doing Moscow’s bidding, and two Russians going undercover in a ruse reminiscent of The Americans, a TV drama about KGB spies in suburban Washington during the cold war.

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Trump vowed to end 'this American carnage' – but the attacks keep happening

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:30:15 GMT2018-02-17T12:30:15Z

Under Trump, the US has endured three of the worst mass shootings in modern history. Yet as the grief and anger grows, inertia reigns

“Beginning on January 20 2017, safety will be restored,” Donald Trump vowed as he accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate for president.

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After Florida, I see the NRA as nothing less than a terrorist organization

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:00:14 GMT2018-02-17T12:00:14Z

What else would you call a group that ensures I need to have a conversation with my daughter about how to survive a school shooting?

I try so hard not to let tragedies like the one that happened at a Florida high school this week feel like just another shooting. This happens so often, it’s easy to fall into frozen despair. If child after child is killed, and still our politicians do nothing – how can we expect anything to change?

The truth is that we have to stop voting for Republicans; we have to stop voting for people who take money from the NRA. At this point, I consider them nothing less than a terrorist organization – what else would you call a group that ensures I have to have a conversation with my seven-year-old about playing dead should she be unable to run away from a shooter.

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Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians strikes at the heart of the meddling matter

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:35:52 GMT2018-02-16T21:35:52Z

Special counsel buries Trump’s obfuscations over Russian meddling, but has not yet produced compelling evidence of collusion

What Robert Mueller delivered in Friday’s indictment were the first charges for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He is getting to the heart of the matter.

Related: Thirteen Russians criminally charged with interfering in US election, Mueller announces

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US national security adviser on Russian election meddling: 'evidence is incontrovertible' – video

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:22:25 GMT2018-02-17T20:22:25Z

HR McMaster, US national security adviser, says the evidence of Russian meddling during the 2016 elections is ‘incontrovertible’. McMaster’s comments were made in response to a question on the topic of US-Russia dialogue on cyber security at the Munich security conference

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'No more guns': chants ring out at Florida vigil – video

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 13:00:07 GMT2018-02-16T13:00:07Z

Anger rises at a vigil in memory of the 17 people killed during a shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida. 

Broward County sheriff Scott Israel said that any official not wanting to see change to gun laws in the county would not be re-elected.

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Victims of Florida school shooting remembered at vigil – in pictures

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 01:59:01 GMT2018-02-16T01:59:01Z

Hundreds gathered on Thursday for a prayer vigil at Parkridge church, in Parkland, Florida, after a school shooting in which 17 people were killed. Suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested more than an hour after shooting began at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. He was detained after mixing with students fleeing the scene.

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Judge orders Florida shooting suspect to be held in jail without bond – video

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:35:38 GMT2018-02-15T21:35:38Z

Nikolas Cruz, 19, has appeared in court charged with murder of 17 people and will be held in jail without bond, a Broward County judge has ordered.  The ex-student walked into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland on 14 February and opened fire on students and teachers, Broward County sheriff Scott Israel said. Police believe he acted alone

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South African MPs celebrate as Cyril Ramaphosa is sworn in - video

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 18:46:11 GMT2018-02-15T18:46:11Z

Cyril Ramaphosa has taken over as president of South Africa and, in a thinly veiled reference to accusations levelled against his predecessor Jacob Zuma, vowed to fight corruption. Ramaphosa was sworn in less than 16 hours after Zuma resigned, having defiantly refused to leave office for days. Wearing a dark suit and red tie, Ramaphosa, 65, sat quietly while lawmakers from the ruling African National Congress stood, clapped and sang in celebration. He was appointed unopposed

Ramaphosa vows anti-corruption drive as he takes over in South Africa

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Trump on Florida shooting: 'We hurt for the entire community' – video

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:31:53 GMT2018-02-15T17:31:53Z

The US president has called for 'healing and peace' a day after a 19-year-old man was accused of killing at least 17 people at a Florida high school, saying his administration will work to improve school safety and address mental illness problems. 'We must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life, that creates deep and meaningful human connections,' Trump said at the White House, adding that he planned to visit victims and local authorities in Parkland at a later date

• Florida shooting suspect charged amid questions over warning signs

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Police capture Florida school shooting suspect – video

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:58:10 GMT2018-02-15T14:58:10Z

Footage captures the moment officers arrest a man suspected of carrying out an attack at a school in Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Aerial footage also shows police patting Nikolas Cruz down before putting him in a patrol car. The suspect was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school

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