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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:48:07 GMT2017-01-19T10:48:07Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

Global warning: live from the climate-change frontline as Trump becomes president

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:42:36 GMT2017-01-19T10:42:36Z

With climate sceptics moving into the White House, the Guardian is spending 24 hours focusing on climate change – and what we can all do to help save the planet

The other issue that looms for Europe is that of climate refugees. War and persecution have forced more people to flee their homes than at any time since records began. But droughts, flooding and storms are also having a catastrophic effect.

Europe is also surrounded by regions that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and we can definitely not afford to ignore the links between climate change and migration.

The Guardian has published a leader article on Trump and climate change today.

It makes the point that while Trump may be able to wreak a lot of damage on the climate front, it’s not all going to be up to him:

There’s no doubt the world will lose out if America decides to relinquish global leadership on battling climate change. But Mr Trump’s fossil fuel plans are likely to flounder without higher hydrocarbon prices. No one will frack for gas unless profits can be made. Coal mines won’t reopen while shale gas is cheap. Instead, self-interest will undergird the fight against global warming. China will decarbonise to ensure its citizens don’t choke to death in its cities. The costs of clean energy are tumbling too, keeping nations on the path towards decarbonisation. The price of electric vehicles is dropping; offshore wind power has become dramatically cheaper. For the first time, the costs of wind and solar power have dropped to match those of fossil fuels. Last year was the first in which renewable energy surpassed coal as the world’s biggest source of power-generating capacity. Countries such as India have ambitious plans for renewable energy.

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Italy earthquakes: many feared dead after avalanche hits hotel

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:27:40 GMT2017-01-19T09:27:40Z

Up to 30 people missing at Hotel Rigopiano in Abruzzo ski resort as avalanche buries building following series of quakes

Up to 30 people are missing with many feared dead after an avalanche struck a hotel in a central Italian ski resort after a series of earthquakes.

About 20-30 guests had been staying at the Rigopiano hotel in the town of Farindola, in the lower Gran Sasso mountain range, when the avalanche struck on Wednesday night.

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Davos 2017: Theresa May says globalisation must work for everyone - live

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:44:38 GMT2017-01-19T10:44:38Z

Rolling coverage of the third day of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Katherine Garrett-Cox, the former chief executive of Alliance Trust, tells me that Theresa May gave Davos what it wanted.

I think she did a very good job of setting out a clear plan in terms of what Britain intends to do, what Britain intends to stand for, and I think that’s really what people wanted to hear.

There’s obviously been a lot of criticism over the past six months over where does this start and where does it go. I think we heard very clearly that that’s the plan, and now we’ve got to get on and do it.

We’ve all heard that the divorce, as people have called it, is going to be complicated and complex. But I think we all have to believe that we can do it, so I’m optimistic.

My biggest concern is that businesses step up and embrace the opportunity rather than constantly looking for the downside.

I’ve grabbed a word with Dr Paul Sheard, the chief global economist of Standard & Poors, outside the conference room.

He says May gave a “very good” speech.

Theresa May was laying down a stake and saying - Britain will be the lead supporting voice for globalisation in the world.

A lot of people have seen Brexit as anti-globalisation, a return to nationalism. She’s pivoting to saying ‘no, this is about Britain being very global’.

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Grammar schools lose top spots after league table shakeup

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:30:33 GMT2017-01-19T09:30:33Z

DfE’s latest tables, ranked using new Progress 8 measure, show schools that made greatest advances in pupils’ grades

The traditional pecking order of England’s secondary schools has been upended by the government’s new school performance measure, knocking grammar schools out of the top spots and boosting schools that dramatically improved results among their pupils.

The Department for Education’s latest performance tables, published on Thursday — including 2016’s GCSE exams and ranked by its new Progress 8 measure — reveals that the best schools in England are those which make the greatest advances in their pupils’ grades.

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Senegal troops poised at the Gambia border as Jammeh mandate ends

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:53:34 GMT2017-01-19T09:53:34Z

Tens of thousands flee as Ecowas-backed regional force prepares to enter amid failure of last-ditch diplomatic efforts to persuade Jammeh to go

Senegalese troops backed by other African forces are poised to enter the Gambia on Thursday after last-ditch diplomatic efforts to persuade the long-time president, Yahya Jammeh, to stand down appear to have failed.

Jammeh’s mandate ended at midnight but he has steadfastly refused to leave office after losing elections last month to Adama Barrow, prompting west African states to ramp up pressure on the president. The Gambia has been in a state of political uncertainty since Jammeh refused to cede power, using the courts and parliament to try to extend his 22-year rule.

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Crime figures show rise in murder and knife offences

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:36:13 GMT2017-01-19T10:36:13Z

ONS says 22% rise in violent crime in England and Wales reflects change in recording, but murder increase seems genuine

Violent crime in England and Wales has risen by 22%, including “genuine but small” increases in murder and knife crime, and overall crime rose by 8% in the 12 months to September, according to police recorded crime figures.

The quarterly crime figures published by the Office for National Statistics also report industry data showing a 39% increase in fraud involving UK issued debit and credit card to 1.9m.

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Burberry sales leap 40% as weak pound draws overseas shoppers

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:02:51 GMT2017-01-18T12:02:51Z

Shoppers travel from all regions of the world to stock up on luxury goods as sterling’s fall makes money go further

The Brexit vote and the slump in sterling that followed the referendum has delivered a big boost to sales at luxury label Burberry – powered by overseas shoppers who have flocked to the UK to stock up on branded goods.

The classic British label, famous for its beige check design, said sales in the UK surged by 40% in the final three months of 2016, boosted by strong demand for goods such as its buckle bags, which start at around £500 for a mini leather version and climb to £8000 for an alligator version.

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Barack Obama: 'justice served' by Chelsea Manning commutation

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:24:42 GMT2017-01-19T07:24:42Z

President says he is ‘comfortable’ with decision and does not see contradiction between pardon and accusations of Russian hacking of US election

Barack Obama has defended as “entirely appropriate” his decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, arguing that the whistleblower behind one of the largest breaches of classified information in US history had served a tough but adequate prison sentence.

“I feel very comfortable that justice has been served,” Obama told reporters at his final White House press conference on Wednesday, when asked about his move a day prior to commute the sentence handed down to Manning in 2013.

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Trump inauguration: Taiwan delegation could 'disturb Sino-US relations'

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:36:45 GMT2017-01-19T07:36:45Z

Taiwanese delegation will attend new president’s swearing-in, prompting Beijing to warn it could ‘disturb or undermine Sino-US relations’

The war of words between China and Donald Trump flared again as China urged the US not to let a Taiwanese delegation attend his inauguration.

Trump previously broke decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking directly with Taiwan’s president after winning the US presidential election in November.

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South Korean court refuses arrest warrant for Samsung boss

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 05:37:18 GMT2017-01-19T05:37:18Z

The decision will hamper an investigation into corruption allegedly involving president Park Geun-hye

A court in South Korea has refused to issue a warrant for the arrest of the acting head of Samsung, Jay Y Lee, over his alleged role in a corruption and influence-peddling scandal that threatens to bring down the country’s impeached president, Park Geun-hye.

Special prosecutors investigating Park’s relationship with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil, had demanded Lee’s arrest on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

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Alanis Morissette's former manager admits stealing $7m

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:51:01 GMT2017-01-19T07:51:01Z

Jonathan Todd Schwartz pleads guilty to embezzling millions of dollars from singer and other celebrities

Alanis Morissette’s former business manager has admitted embezzling more than $7m (£6m) from the singer and other celebrities and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors have said.

Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, of Los Angeles, was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return for failing to report the embezzled funds.

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How statistics lost their power – and why we should fear what comes next | William Davies

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:00:29 GMT2017-01-19T06:00:29Z

The ability of statistics to accurately represent the world is declining. In its wake, a new age of big data controlled by private companies is taking over – and putting democracy in peril

In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on. Yet in recent years, divergent levels of trust in statistics has become one of the key schisms that have opened up in western liberal democracies. Shortly before the November presidential election, a study in the US discovered that 68% of Trump supporters distrusted the economic data published by the federal government. In the UK, a research project by Cambridge University and YouGov looking at conspiracy theories discovered that 55% of the population believes that the government “is hiding the truth about the number of immigrants living here”.

Rather than diffusing controversy and polarisation, it seems as if statistics are actually stoking them. Antipathy to statistics has become one of the hallmarks of the populist right, with statisticians and economists chief among the various “experts” that were ostensibly rejected by voters in 2016. Not only are statistics viewed by many as untrustworthy, there appears to be something almost insulting or arrogant about them. Reducing social and economic issues to numerical aggregates and averages seems to violate some people’s sense of political decency.

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Donald Trump’s mission? To keep the US in the fossil age

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:00:30 GMT2017-01-19T07:00:30Z

While China invests heavily in renewable energy, the fossil economy in the US will be given the green light to squeeze every last cent from oil and coal

Make America Wait Again. That is what Donald Trump’s energy policy amounts to. Stop all the clocks, put the technological revolution on hold, ensure that the transition from fossil fuels to clean power is delayed for as long as possible.

Trump is the president that corporate luddites have dreamed of: the man who will let them squeeze every last cent from their oil and coal reserves before they become worthless. They need him because science, technology and people’s demands for a safe and stable world have left them stranded. There is no fair fight that they can win, so their last hope lies with a government that will rig the competition.

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What did Rolls-Royce directors know about bribery scandal? 'No comment'

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:00:30 GMT2017-01-19T07:00:30Z

The Guardian has quizzed those on the board in 2010 when, according to judge, leadership knew of corruption claims but failed to notify SFO

The leadership of Rolls-Royce knew in 2010 about allegations regarding corruption within the company but decided not to notify the Serious Fraud Office, according to the damning judgment on the scandal from Lord Justice Leveson. The verdict raises questions for the board of directors at the time about the extent of their knowledge of irregular activities and why no action was taken.

One major City investor said the charges and fine against Rolls raise further issues about corporate governance in Britain, a topic that is already being investigated by a Commons select committee.

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How hot are you on global warming? Try our climate change quiz

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:48:33 GMT2017-01-19T06:48:33Z

What is the impact of livestock on greenhouse gas emissions? And how much does Arctic sea ice loss affect the rise in ocean levels?

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The inauguration of Donald Trump: your guide to the events in Washington

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:00:33 GMT2017-01-19T10:00:33Z

Everything you need to know about the inaugural – official and otherwise – from Thursday’s wreath-laying to a Saturday evening ball for Planned Parenthood

Donald Trump’s inauguration is quickly approaching as he prepares to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Thousands will flock to the Capitol to watch the events in person – or participate in protests against them.

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Australian Open: Istomin upsets Djokovic, Serena Williams through – live!

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:46:14 GMT2017-01-19T10:46:14Z

At the cost of only three games, Dominic Thiem is two sets up against Jordan Thompson. The Austrian leads 6-2, 6-1 on Margaret Court Arena and there’s been little evidence that Thompson is capable of mounting a comeback.

Serena Williams wastes one match point, then double faults on her second. She carves out a third, though, and a place in the third round is hers when a wonderful forehand down the line at the end of an engrossing rally forces Lucie Safarova to flail a forehand wide, bringing a cracking match to a close. It’s all over. Williams wins 6-3, 6-4 and she’s looking strong. She’ll face her fellow American, Nicole Gibbs, next. They’ve only met once, in Stanford in 2012, and you don’t need me to tell you how that one went.

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India v England: second ODI – live!

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:43:29 GMT2017-01-19T10:43:29Z

36th over: India 217-3 (Yuvraj 116, Dhoni 71) Jake Ball, who presumably hasn’t been watching the last 35 overs, reckons he can undo Yuvraj with a couple of short balls. Guess what happened?

@Vitu_E is it really that bad? They are going at less than 6 an over when we saw you can easily chase 7 an over on these pitches?

35th over: India 208-3 (Yuvraj 108, Dhoni 70) Gah, that’s trash from Plunkett. Tries to follow Dhoni, who gives himself room by moving to the leg side, but misdirects his delivery, allowing Dhoni to tickle the ball around the corner for an easy four. “Team England should employ John Ryan as resident ‘feet on the grounder’,” says Ian Copestake. “Stokes bowls a hattrick? Get John in to glower at Stokes with arms akimbo and breathe into his ear, ‘Have you forgotten Braithwaite?’”. Right on cue, John emails in: “Pathetic. Nothing else needs to be said.” Can’t disagree. A thick Yuvraj edge flies through second slip to finish the over with a four.

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Eddie Jones: ‘I want England to be the best. You should never be satisfied’

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:59:19 GMT2017-01-18T21:59:19Z

England head coach has set his sights on the 2019 World Cup but says Dylan Hartley may not be captain by that time while Alun Wyn Jones is a shoo-in for the Lions armband

Even on a dark midweek January evening a warm glow covers the Twickenham turf. It turns out to be from the portable lights helping the winter grass to grow but the golden touch of Eddie Jones still feels all-pervasive. Ask him to forecast the outcome of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final and his prediction is similarly illuminating. “England v New Zealand,” comes the instant reply. “England to win by a point. It’ll be a cracking game.”

Welcome to the 2017 edition of the Fast Eddie show. Never mind his team have almost as many walking wounded as an NHS waiting room, their coach still exudes total certainty. Did you know England’s next managerial signing will be a woman, that he reckons this summer’s Lions captaincy is already a done deal and that Dylan Hartley may be into his final furlong as national captain? Or that Jones deliberately selects players whose parents separated when they were young? To suggest Jones is one jump ahead of the game is a major insult; he tends to be two or three in front, minimum.

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West Ham in advanced talks to sign Southampton captain José Fonte

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:00:18 GMT2017-01-19T10:00:18Z

• Bilic may have to beat off competition from Everton to land defender
• Player’s last appearance for his club came in a defeat at Goodison Park

West Ham are in advanced talks to sign the Southampton captain, José Fonte, although Slaven Bilic may have to beat off competition from Everton, among other clubs, to land the Portuguese defender this month.

West Ham have began negotiations with Southampton, although it is understood the player is yet to formally discuss a move to the London Stadium.

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Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp defends fielding youngsters in Plymouth replay

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:22:22 GMT2017-01-18T23:22:22Z

• Liverpool manager started four teenagers in FA Cup third-round replay
• Klopp: ‘If I always let the same players play I would be a real idiot. So I don’t’

Jürgen Klopp felt that some of his younger players were worried about being “embarrassed” by lower-league opponents during the first half of Liverpool’s narrow FA Cup third-round replay victory against Plymouth Argyle, although the German maintained that he picked the right team on a night when Lucas Leiva scored for the first time in more than six years.

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Australia v Pakistan: third one-day international – live!

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:44:59 GMT2017-01-19T10:44:59Z

43rd over: Australia 251-3 (Smith 101, Head 16)

Amir finishes his spell. It’s 1/36 off ten. He was cautiously handled in his ultimate over with five dots from it, though Head managed to jump-tuck one off his hip for four through fine leg. Another excellent exhibition of quick bowling from Amir, with little support from those around him it has to be said.

42nd over: Australia 247-3 (Smith 101, Head 12)

A four to commence and more singles as the procession continues. The quicks still look more threatening than their spinning counterparts but they were reintroduced too late. Head, after three overs at the crease, looks fairly settled. Red ink beckons, you’d say.

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Graham Taylor remembered, the mini Mike Tyson and Hail Marys | Classic YouTube

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:23:36 GMT2017-01-19T10:23:36Z

This week’s roundup also features Sutton United, Pointless, Neymar’s acting and a double animal cameo in Mexico

1) The rise and rise of Watford under Graham Taylor included 1999’s play-off final victory – his fifth promotion at the club, and a moment that left an overwhelmed Elton John paying tribute via satellite link-up: “I’m very emotional as I speak … you know how much I think of you … To me you are the best, and the best person.” Warmth, humour and decency are themes in the footage from Taylor’s career – including in this BBC profile from 1990; a 5 Live interview from 1996 reflecting on the England experience; Taylor, Bobby Robson and Terry Venables in their 1994 Yellow Pages advert; and a chat with Des O’Connor in 1994, which began in self-effacing style: “There’s something wrong here … I’m being clapped by a crowd for the first time in four years.” Among the reactions to Taylor’s death on 12 January was this from his 5 Live colleague Mark Pougatch: “Graham Taylor showed the way to behave, to treat people – and to know what’s really important in life.”

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If Mayweather wants to fight McGregor it needs to be across three events | Josh Gross

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:00:34 GMT2017-01-19T10:00:34Z

The prospective fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor is rubbernecking at its worst, but history offers precedent for events like these

At the height of UFC middleweight Anderson Silva’s great career in 2009, he began lobbying to box Roy Jones Jr. It was Silva’s dream, he said, and for a time, other than a one-on-one bout with his clone, boxing Jones became the Brazilian’s biggest goal. UFC president Dana White spoke openly about knowing Jones. Of being friendly with Jones. And, while not quite understanding why anyone would want to see it, of wanting to deliver the bout for both Jones and Silva.

Of course, though Jones was willing, it didn’t happen. Silva has chalked up the missed opportunity to the notion that White really wasn’t interested in making the bout because it would have set a precedent that future stars might follow. White would “lose control”, Silva said, if he allowed athletes contracted to the UFC to venture off into other areas of combat sports to seek challenges.

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Manchester United’s record revenue unseats Real Madrid at top of rich list

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:01:21 GMT2017-01-19T00:01:21Z

• United head Deloitte Football Money League with revenue of £515.3m
• Barcelona are second while eight Premier League sides feature in top 20

Manchester United have regained the top spot in the Deloitte rich list from Real Madrid with record revenue of £515.3m for the 2015-16 season. Having topped the Football Money League for 11 consecutive seasons, Real posted revenue of £463.8m to slip down to third behind Barcelona, despite winning the Champions League.

Leicester City, the Premier League champions, are one of eight English clubs to feature in the top 20 having generated combined revenues of nearly £2.4bn.

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James Ellington on crash: ‘I do not know how me or Nigel are still alive’

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:14:09 GMT2017-01-18T12:14:09Z

• Ellington and Nigel Levine in motorbike accident in Tenerife
• ‘I do not know how me or Nigel are still alive,’ posts Ellington

James Ellington has said he does not know how he and Nigel Levine are still alive after the British pair were left with injuries that are likely to end their careers following a head-on collision with a car during a training camp in Tenerife.

Related: David Weir ‘let down again’ as he attacks British Athletics before retiring

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Rachael Heyhoe Flint, trailblazer for women’s sport, dies aged 77

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:35:37 GMT2017-01-18T16:35:37Z

• Former England women’s captain won World Cup in 1973
• Heyhoe Flint also served as director of Wolverhampton Wanderers

The former England women’s cricket captain and vice-president of Wolverhampton Wonderers Rachael Heyhoe Flint has died aged 77, the football club has announced.

Heyhoe Flint died early on Wednesday morning after a short illness. She was a trailblazer for women’s cricket, captaining the national side in a career spanning two decades and in which she led the side to victory in the 1973 world cup, which she had also organised.

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Nick Kyrgios shows his many sides to explain defeat in Australian Open | Russell Jackson

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:00:14 GMT2017-01-18T18:00:14Z

Australian was two sets up and coasting against the Italian veteran but another meltdown on court has left him searching for answers

In answer to the first question – which was: what the hell can you do to retrieve a situation like this other than offer an earnest, pitch‑perfect mea culpa? – Nick Kyrgios had a quite predictable, wordless answer before he had sat down at his press conference on Wednesday. He rocked his head back and laughed self‑deprecatingly as a door swung open and he walked into the room.

He is used to that part, and delivered a media performance to rival his fascinating on-court meltdown against the Italian veteran Andreas Seppi, from whom he took two brisk sets before shambling to a 10-8 defeat in the fifth. In both mediums he displayed virtually every one of his multiple tennis personalities.

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Using footballers’ wages as an example of excess is patronising and lazy | Marina Hyde

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:38:00 GMT2017-01-18T11:38:00Z

Top-flight football is one of the few engines of social mobility that still works and those who play to the gallery are too lazy or dim to formulate a proper argument

In one sense, it is not the most enormous shock to find footballers’ pay is something on which Jeremy Corbyn disagrees with himself. A subject on which the Labour leader cannot hold two diametrically opposed opinions on the same day is increasingly a rarity. The problem with the new strategy of letting Jeremy be Jeremy is that – a bit like various football sides of cliché – you never know which one is going to turn up.

Last week Corbyn declared that there should be a cap on “grotesque” salaries. And whaddayaknow – the very first example of such salaries upon which he alighted was in football. “Certainly, the salaries that are paid to some footballers are simply ridiculous,” he stated, adding: “Some of the salaries paid to very high-earning top executives of companies are utterly ridiculous.”

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FIA approves sale of F1 to Liberty Media with takeover expected in March

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:41:36 GMT2017-01-18T17:41:36Z

• Private equity firm CVC will sell 35.5% share of sport
• Liberty takeover expected to lead to facelift for F1

The FIA has approved the sale of Formula One’s commercial rights to Liberty Media. The American media organisation was earlier given the green light to complete its purchase of the sport at a meeting of its shareholders. The reported £6.4bn takeover has now been approved by F1’s governing body.

Related: Lewis Hamilton left with a clear path to greatness at Mercedes | Giles Richards

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Why can’t Britain apologise to these victims of rendition? | Cori Crider

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:38:11 GMT2017-01-19T10:38:11Z

With MI6’s help, Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj was handed over to Muammar Gaddafi and tortured. Yet still our government won’t say sorry

“What holds us together is an idea, and it’s a story about who we are and what’s important to us.” So said President Barack Obama in one of his final interviews in office.

Related: Jack Straw and UK government must face kidnap and torture claims, court rules

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Homeless people aren’t subhuman. One day that might be you sleeping rough | Penny Anderson

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:06:00 GMT2017-01-19T09:06:00Z

Labour MP Simon Danczuk’s disdainful tweet treats those on the streets as outliers. But the biggest cause of homelessness is simply the end of a short-term tenancy

Whenever I see a homeless person begging on the street, my first thought is: “That could be me.” Former Tory MP Sir George Young, however was infamously claimed to have described the homeless as “people you step over when you come out of the opera”. Do you feel his pain? How irritating to have a night of high culture so hindered.

But the thwarted entertainment need not be grand. Labour MP Simon Danczuk recently tweeted his vexation after encountering “beggars” close to a pub: “Begging – counted 4 beggars between Rochdale Exchange & Wheatsheaf entrances last Tuesday. Should at very least be moved on.”

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The Trump effect has rallied US markets – but it's based on illusion | Robert Shiller

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:46:32 GMT2017-01-19T08:46:32Z

The perception that the president-elect is a business genius and too much focus on the Dow Jones have led to excessive optimism

Speculative markets have always been vulnerable to illusion. But seeing the folly in markets provides no clear advantage in forecasting outcomes, because changes in the force of the illusion are difficult to predict.

In the US, two illusions have been important recently in financial markets. One is the carefully nurtured perception that President-elect Donald Trump is a business genius who can apply his deal-making skills to make America great again.

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Choose life? Trainspotting’s realism hit a nerve, but we want escapism now | Catherine Shoard

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:30:29 GMT2017-01-19T06:30:29Z

Films used to make us face up to the real world – but today they allow us to avoid modernity and wallow in nostalgia

What are the films people care about? Not just to posture, not just because they’ve got awards buzz, or the critics have gone nuts, or even because they’re the latest instalment in some never-ending space saga fans feel duty bound to see. But because they’re actually looking forward to them.

The answer is easy. There is one movie which has, by far and by miles, generated the most organic anticipation, not just this year, not just last, but for the past perhaps decade or so, probably longer, ever since it’s been discussed, in the UK at least. And that’s the Trainspotting sequel.

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Disabled and cold: Sandra is penalised for being poor. Fuel poverty is harsh | Frances Ryan

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:00:31 GMT2017-01-19T08:00:31Z

Their freezing home makes her asthmatic son sick, but she can’t access a cheaper energy tariff. So she rations heat, cuts out food and goes to bed early

An hour before we’re due to speak, Sandra (not her real name) texts me, apologising: “I’m at hospital with my son. He’s had an asthma attack because of the cold house.”

The attacks come fast and sudden now, she explains, when they’re back from A&E. Steven, 17, will come down the stairs and say: “Mum, I can’t breathe.” Doctors tell Sandra the asthma is brought on by the sudden rush of cold air clashing with warmth. Or in other words, it’s what happens when you can’t afford to heat your home.

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Strange things happen in other people’s homes. With Airbnb it's all part of the service | Brigid Delaney

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 01:39:33 GMT2017-01-19T01:39:33Z

Marvelling at the messiness of other people’s lives, negotiating awkward silences – staying in an Airbnb is weird because people are weird

So there I was, looking forward to a Saturday morning lie-in at my Airbnb when the host knocked on the door just before 9am.

“Err, I forgot to tell you, there’s an open for inspection. You’ll have to get up, clean your room and pretend you’re my cousin.”

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This is Brexit poker - and Theresa May was right to up the stakes | Simon Jenkins

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:16:37 GMT2017-01-18T20:16:37Z

It was strategically sensible to begin the skirmishes in uncompromising mood. The inevitable compromises will come later

The siege of Harfleur was a disaster for the English. Henry V was humiliated and had to abandon his march on Paris, turning instead to confront the French cavalry at Agincourt. Here he faced overwhelming odds but decided to rely on bluff, cunning and Welsh archers to rescue a shred of glory from his European venture.

Theresa May must hope she is somewhere between Harfleur and Agincourt. She is embarked on a seemingly life or death project, its outcome wholly unpredictable. It was not of her making, but that of David Cameron and the British electorate. She has two months to go to invoking article 50, at which point she will find herself between 27 European Union devils and the deep blue sea. Small wonder that on Tuesday she decided on bravado and Shakespeare, goading her ministers “like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start. The game’s afoot.”

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In Europe we see only one loser from Brexit – and it won’t be us | Jean Quatremer

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:19:34 GMT2017-01-18T18:19:34Z

Theresa May promises a soft Brexit for Britain and a hard one for everyone else. Why would we let that happen?

When someone wants the impossible, in French we say that they want “the butter, the money from the butter, and the dairymaid’s smile”. In more vulgar usage we say they want something rather more from the dairymaid than a smile. This is precisely what we can take away from Theresa May’s speech on the “hard Brexit” she wants. It is “hard” only for the other 27 states but “soft” for Britain – because May wants to keep all the benefits of EU membership and concede nothing in return. That is not really a surprise since she had already announced it in October during the Conservative party conference. She even considers that any other kind of agreement would be unacceptable, because it would amount to “punishing” the British.

Related: May’s Brexit focus on immigration will have catastrophic consequences | Anne Perkins

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Bregrets? I’ve found very few. Polls show remainers are getting over it | Deborah Mattinson

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:01:26 GMT2017-01-18T11:01:26Z

Leavers are punching the air over Brexit, and even those who voted to stay in the EU now appear to be coming to terms with the result of the referendum

Speaking at events before the referendum last year, I took to asking the audience who they thought would win. Throughout, the BritainThinks poll of polls stubbornly showed remain and leave neck and neck, and in the “short campaign” more polls favoured leave than remain. But a show of hands drawn from the usual audience of business leaders, journalists and politicians consistently and confidently predicted a remain victory.

One eminent commentator, often speaking on the same platforms as me, promised: “Remain will win, and will win big”. Another observed that the “great British public would look over the brink, and then vote for the status quo … as they always do”. Discussion usually focused on the inevitability of voters “seeing sense”.

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The Guardian view on Trump and global warming: the right fight | Editorial

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:10:27 GMT2017-01-18T20:10:27Z

The president-elect should understand that America needs to shoulder global responsibilities, and that in doing so America will benefit by owning the technologies of the future

On climate change, like so many other things, the world is going one way and Donald Trump is going the other. On Twitter the president-elect has claimed manmade global warming was a hoax invented by China to increase its trade surplus with the US. However, for most Americans, like most other people on the globe, daily life is increasingly impacted by extreme weather. In 2016, for the third year running, the world exceeded the previous record temperature. A remarkable 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century, which scientists attribute to human activities.

President Obama did much to roll back the pre-enlightenment approach to climate science that had polluted political discourse in America – giving global warming top billing during his second term, and even calling it an immediate threat to national security. His parting shot was to send $500m to prop up the Paris international accord to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Mr Trump vowed to renege on the Paris agreement and said he would cancel further payments.

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I fought for Chelsea Manning because she stood up for all trans people | Evan Greer

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:31:58 GMT2017-01-18T20:31:58Z

Although doing so put her future at risk, the whistleblower bravely spoke out about trans liberation from prison. It was an honour to fight for her freedom

Chelsea Manning’s courage knows no bounds. This 1.6 metres (5ft 3in) woman with a slight southern accent announced to the world that she was transgender on the Today Show, while incarcerated in an all-male military prison in Kansas.

At that time, Manning had already been a captive of the US government for three years, and had been sentenced to another three decades. She had been interrogated, isolated, and deprived of human contact for months at a time, in conditions that the United Nations called torture.

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The Guardian view on Putin’s Europe: the new fellow travellers | Editorial

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:03:04 GMT2017-01-18T20:03:04Z

Moscow may relish a role as a disrupter of liberal democracy as much as it would like to see the EU unravel, but that does little to hide the contradictions among pro-Russian political groups in Europe

With all the speculation surrounding Russia’s influence over European politics, seeking clarity and finding a sense of balance is a challenge. To say that Mr Putin’s regime engineered the rise of populist forces on the continent is an exaggeration if not a fallacy. France’s far-right Front National was created in 1972, years before Mr Putin got anywhere close to power. Austria’s nationalist Freedom party registered its first electoral success in 2000, at a time when Russia’s foreign policy was still geared towards finding a modus vivendi with the EU – not seeking to undermine it. Nor are all of Europe’s populists pro-Putin: Poland’s ruling nationalist PiS party is a staunch critic of the man. But that’s not to say Mr Putin’s regime hasn’t cultivated radical fringe groups in Europe, nor that some haven’t applauded him in return. Russia’s interactions with Europe have in fact become hard to analyse without taking into account the many political threads the Kremlin has built up within the EU, along with the ideological impact this has on the continent’s elections. With key European votes this year, Russia’s sway must be scrutinised, but in a cool-headed way.

The double trap is to either deny or overstate Moscow’s hand. It’s not as if the Kremlin today ran a network of “comrade” parties in Europe as it did during the cold war. These days, it’s not communist revolution that’s on Moscow’s agenda, nor are its levers quite the same. If Mr Putin’s Russia finds a degree of sympathy in parts of European politics, it’s on a more complex basis altogether and in a much transformed global environment. In recent years, his swerve towards hardline nationalism and ultraconservative slogans have put him in tune with far-right European groups who share similar views. But it is also clear he has a constituency among parts of Europe’s far left, for reasons that have little to do with cultural affinities but point to the rise of anti-western sentiment.

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French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron’s ‘anti-system’ angle is a sham | Philippe Marlière

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:23:09 GMT2017-01-18T16:23:09Z

Youthful and ‘doubly liberal’, the former economy minister is the surprise package in the presidential race. But he’s not the outsider he’s portrayed as

On several counts, Emmanuel Macron is a political oddity in the stagnant world of French politics: he is young (39), he worked in the private sector before becoming François Hollande’s economic adviser at the Elysée palace. His political rise from there was meteoric: within two years, he had been appointed minister of the economy. From an ideological viewpoint, he is also a highly unusual politician. Macron unashamedly embraces both poles of liberalism: the economic and the political/cultural ones.

Related: François Fillon is as big a threat to liberal values as Marine Le Pen | Natalie Nougayrède

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Mark Fisher’s K-punk blogs were required reading for a generation | Simon Reynolds

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:31:41 GMT2017-01-18T13:31:41Z

The activist writer, who has died aged 48, bridged aesthetics and politics and had struggled with depression

Last week the writer Mark Fisher took his own life. His on/off struggle with depression was something he wrote about with courageous candour in articles and in his landmark book Capitalist Realism: is There No Alternative? Fisher argued that the pandemic of mental anguish that afflicts our time cannot be properly understood, or healed, if viewed as a private problem suffered by damaged individuals. Rather, it was the symptom of a heartless and hopeless politics: precarious employment and flexible work patterns, the erosion of class solidarity and its institutions such as unions, and the relentless message from mainstream political parties and media alike that “there is no alternative” to managerial capitalism. That this is as good as it gets – so deal with it.

Finally the depression that Fisher, 48, had dissected acutely and fought against doggedly got the better of him. He left behind a wife and young son, a close-knit network of friends, allies, colleagues and students, and an ever-widening readership, all of whom were waiting always to hear what he had to say next.

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PMQs shows it’s Jeremy Corbyn, not Theresa May, who has no Brexit plan | Martin Kettle

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:24:00 GMT2017-01-18T14:24:00Z

Riding high after her Brexit speech, May made short work of the Labour leader’s scripted performance with missed opportunities to press her on a white paper

Even if Jeremy Corbyn were a much more adept parliamentary performer, today’s prime minister’s questions would have been a tough fixture. And so it proved.

Theresa May arrived in the Commons off the back of a personal success in her Brexit speech yesterday. It was full of claims that may not survive contact with the other member states – it called to mind Mike Tyson’s comment that all his opponents had a plan “’till they get punched in the mouth” – but there is no denying that it was a personal success, got good press reviews and pulled her party together. Everything about May’s demeanour today was that of a prime minister with fresh authority.

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'Punishment beatings'? Not with Brussels being this emollient | Mary Dejevsky

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:28:08 GMT2017-01-18T17:28:08Z

Not for the first time, Boris Johnson finds himself out of step with the general mood, as the EU takes a considered approach to Theresa May’s Brexit speech

Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, the most colourful and combative language in response to the prime minister’s speech on Brexit came from her own foreign secretary. In response to remarks from a French presidential aide, but which also appeared to have a more generally pre-emptive purpose, Boris Johnson warned François Hollande against wanting “to administer punishment beatings to anybody who chooses to escape, in the manner of some world war two movie”.

In the event, his warning – if intended as such – proved unnecessary, because when the official response to Theresa May’s address came from the European Union, everyone, including the president of the commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, seemed determined to be on best behaviour. (The fact that Johnson had been speaking during a visit to India might help to explain why his comments struck so much the wrong note.)

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May’s Brexit focus on immigration will have catastrophic consequences | Anne Perkins

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:20:00 GMT2017-01-18T12:20:00Z

The EU referendum result was never about immigration. But the prime minister is determined to interpret the leave vote that way

It is one of the most basic of political lessons to interpret events so that they support your argument. Theresa May has taken this workaday truth and developed it into an overarching narrative for her Brexit strategy. She is well on her way to pulling off an act of national self-harm, and in the total absence of a counter-strategy she is running away with the ball.

It was there again in her Lancaster House speech yesterday, this misconstruction of the leave vote: “The message from the public before and during the referendum campaign was clear,” she told the ambassadors and hacks gathered in surroundings of gilded imperial glory: “Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe.”

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What I’ve witnessed in Turkey is an assault on democracy itself | Owen Jones

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:00:01 GMT2017-01-18T07:00:01Z

Erdoğan, emboldened by the rise of Trump, is crushing fragile freedoms – tens of thousands detained and the press muzzled. The west must end its silence

Democracy is a bundle of rights and freedoms wrestled from the powerful. Our rulers only surrender their power when compelled to – when the cost of resisting pressure from below becomes greater than the cost of giving ground to it.

But it is naive to regard these concessions as permanent. Elites are always waiting for opportunities to seize back their power. The ideal excuse is a national crisis, contrived or otherwise, normally involving an alliance of internal and external threats, all requiring drastic measures to defeat. The authoritarian rightwing populism sweeping the Western world skilfully exploits fear to drive back the borders of democracy.

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Chelsea Manning did the right thing. Finally, Barack Obama has too | Trevor Timm

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:51:41 GMT2017-01-18T00:51:41Z

With a stroke of his pen, the president made up for his draconian record – and, quite literally, saved this heroic whistleblower’s life

There is no one who has suffered more under the US government’s crackdown on leakers and whistleblowers than Chelsea Manning. But now, after President Obama commuted her unjust 35-year jail sentence on Tuesday, she will, amazingly, soon be able to walk free.

Manning, who provided journalists a historic treasure trove of documents and the public an unparalleled window into world diplomacy, will no longer have to spend the rest of her life behind bars. She will be released from prison on 17 May instead of the unconscionable 2045. It’s a cause for celebration, but also a time for reflection – not just about what she has gone through but what her case represents.

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The Girl Scout in me would never stand for Donald Trump | Jean Hannah Edelstein

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:08:50 GMT2017-01-18T13:08:50Z

An organization that instils courage, confidence and modern values in young American women should also be boycotting the president-elect’s inauguration

I resigned from Girl Scouts more than 20 years ago, but yesterday I realized that the people who told me I’d always be a scout at heart were right: the news that the Girl Scouts are sending a contingent to participate in Donald Trump’s inauguration filled me with real rage. How can an organization that promises to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” send them to celebrate the ascent of a leader who would likely consider them fair game for sexual assault if they grow up to be “beautiful”?

Girl Scouts is important to many girls. It was for me: a kid from a two-nationality, two-religion family, growing up in a small city in upstate New York in the mid-80s and 90s. There weren’t too many public spaces where I felt like I belonged – my family did not practice any faith. There was no community center for people like us. But my Girl Scout troops filled that gap: our weekly meetings were an all-female space where empowering girls was central.

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On mental health, the Tories need to put their money where their mouths are | Alastair Campbell

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:30:05 GMT2017-01-18T10:30:05Z

David Cameron and Theresa May have said all the right things about improving the nation’s mental health. Yet people aren’t getting the help they badly need

What is it about the mental health debate that makes me go all Malcolm Tucker, effing and blinding at the gap between what politicians say about it and the reality on the ground? And why do I want everyone else to get as angry as I am about it? Because every time there is pressure on health spending, mental illness slips down the priority queue.

We are frankly light years away from the parity between mental and physical healthcare that is set out – in law – in the NHS constitution. In the last week, I have spoken to a mother at her wits’ end because her daughter is being treated in Scotland when she lives 80 miles south of the border; a young man I persuaded to get help for his anxiety and depression who has been given some pills and told he might get cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in six months; a student who has dropped out of education after two failed suicide attempts, one of which followed a long wait in a crowded room waiting to see an overstretched university psychiatrist.

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Don’t be fooled – Theresa May’s Brexit plan won’t appease the markets for long | David Blanchflower

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:14:50 GMT2017-01-18T16:14:50Z

The announcement that parliament will get a vote on a final deal was welcome. But the prime minister’s speech does nothing to lift the fog of uncertainty

The big fear with Theresa May’s Brexit speech was that the pound would tank and that the markets would respond as negatively as they had to most of her previous utterances. The opposite happened, and it rose to $1.24, up almost 3% on the day, after it had already risen on Tuesday morning on news that inflation had reached a two-year high (it fell back a cent today).

The news that the markets welcomed so warmly was that both houses of parliament would get a vote on the final deal and that May will not seek partial or associate membership of the European Union. That will prevent a bad deal, forced through by the Brexit-at-any-price Eurosceptics, which might have been on the cards without such a vote.

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We can't work it out: Paul McCartney to sue Sony for rights to Beatles classics

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:36:22 GMT2017-01-18T23:36:22Z

The singer/songwriter is filing a suit to regain copyright ownership after Duran Duran tried and failed to do the same with their catalogue in 2016

Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit against Sony/ATV to regain the rights to classic Beatles songs.

The star is hoping to confirm the reclaim of ownership of songs he wrote while a member of the band in a case that recalls a similar battle faced by Duran Duran in 2016.

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UK housing market falters as estate agents become less optimistic

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:07:18 GMT2017-01-19T09:07:18Z

Surveyors body Rics says market stuttered at end of 2016, with sharp fall in number expecting sales to rise in coming months

Britain’s housing market cooled in December as sales activity fell and estate agents were less optimistic about prospects in the coming months.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the market “stuttered” at the end of 2016 and had gotten off to a slow start in 2017.

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Police officer found with £700,000 of drugs at his home, court told

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:50:54 GMT2017-01-19T09:50:54Z

Insp Keith Boots, who was responsible for disposing of seized drugs, had heroin and cocaine in his Bradford house, jury hears

A police inspector responsible for disposing of seized drugs was found with an estimated £700,000 worth of heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis at his home, a trial has heard.

A jury at Leeds crown court was told that Insp Keith Boots, 55, was responsible for disposing of confiscated drugs for West Yorkshire police in Bradford but instead stole large quantities to supply to others.

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Moneysupermarket grabs most complained-about ad top spot again

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-01-19T00:01:22Z

Dancing bodyguard Gary’s Michael Jackson-style crotch grab during ad for price comparison website riles TV viewers

Moneysupermarket’s ad featuring a bodyguard busting out old-school dance moves and a crotch grab was the most complained-about TV ad in the UK last year.

The TV ad, part of the brand’s “So Moneysupermarket” campaign about consumers who feel “epic” after saving cash using the price comparison website, features “Gary the bodyguard”, who at one point is seen doing a Michael Jackson-style crotch grab and gyrations.

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Channel 4 to run week of programmes on fake news

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:00:31 GMT2017-01-19T08:00:31Z

The programmes, including documentaries, news investigations and panel shows, are scheduled for February

Channel 4 is to run a week of programming on the topic of fake news next month, including regular debunks from its news team and a panel show mocking viral falsehoods. Reports, interviews and discussions on Channel 4 News through the week will explore the phenomenon of false stories purporting to be real news, with input from the programme’s FactCheck team.

Related: What is fake news? How to spot it and what you can do to stop it

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MoD thwarts media campaign to release marine shooting video

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:59:20 GMT2017-01-18T17:59:20Z

Court martial review adjourned over video showing Alexander Blackman murdering wounded Taliban fighter

The Ministry of Defence is resisting an attempt by the Guardian and other media organisations to persuade a court to release video footage showing an incident in which a British Royal Marine shot dead a wounded Taliban fighter.

Alexander Blackman is serving life for the murder of the injured man but his case has been referred to the court martial appeal court following an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. An appeal hearing is due to take place next month.

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Here's one we ate earlier: Blue Peter badges to be made from yoghurt pots

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-01-19T00:01:22Z

BBC children’s programme announces its famous badges awarded since 1963 will be made from recycled materials

For decades, Blue Peter presenters have encouraged children to use toilet rolls and other household refuse to recreate the Thunderbirds’ Tracy Island and fantasy castles. Now the BBC has announced it will be making the show’s famous badges from recycled yoghurt pots.

The announcement is part of an effort to make the BBC children’s programme more green: the badges will be made in a solar-powered factory using materials that were made earlier – in this case, yoghurt pots.

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GCHQ targets teenage girls to find cyber spies of the future

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:44:09 GMT2017-01-18T18:44:09Z

Girls aged 13 to 15 invited to test tech skills in competition as part of effort to inspire more women to join fight against online crime

Teenage girls are being invited to put their technology skills to the test in a competition that could unearth the cyber spies of the future.

The contest has been set up by GCHQ’s new National Cyber Security Centre as part of efforts to inspire more women to join the fight against online crime. Only 10% of the global cyber workforce are female, the intelligence agency said.

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Scientology's UK HQ angers residents by felling trees in conservation area

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:35:12 GMT2017-01-18T18:35:12Z

People in St Hill Green, West Sussex brand church ‘selfish and arrogant’ after 22 trees were cut down, but spokesman says more trees have been planted

The church of Scientology has angered neighbours at its UK headquarters by expanding its facilities without planning consent and felling trees in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Residents close to the sprawling HQ near East Grinstead in West Sussex have accused the church of “selfishly and arrogantly” carrying out “destructive development plans before authorisation” by building a coach and minibus park before securing planning permission.

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Labour says government will miss pledge to build 1m homes by May 2020

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-01-19T00:01:22Z

Shadow housing minister says ministers are ‘moving the goalposts’ after National Audit Office report says target for completion is December

Ministers have been accused by Labour of dropping their promise to build a million homes in this parliament.

The party said the government was no longer aiming to meet its pledge by May 2020, as a National Audit Office (NAO) report showed the target for completion was December 2020 – a delay of eight months.

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Prepare for new surge in hate crimes against EU citizens, says EHRC

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:40:18 GMT2017-01-18T16:40:18Z

UK human rights watchdog says police should be prepared for backlash against EU citizens when article 50 is triggered

Britain should prepare for a fresh spike in hate crimes against EU citizens when the article 50 process triggering Brexit begins, the human rights watchdog has said.

David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), told a hearing of MPs he was worried the start of formally leaving the bloc could cause a backlash against EU citizens, similar to the period of increased hate crime that followed the EU referendum, and was calling on police to be prepared for such an eventuality.

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Church of England groups tentatively back fracking

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:13:27 GMT2017-01-18T22:13:27Z

The stance is at odds with some Christian environmentalists, but the church says there are caveats to its support

The fracking industry has praised the Church of England (CoE) after two groups at the church tentatively backed the controversial technology as a way to help the UK cut carbon emissions.

Shale gas was a “potentially useful element” in switching to a low-carbon economy as it was cleaner than coal, so long as it did not harm renewable energy’s expansion, a church briefing paper said.

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Royal Albert Hall called a 'national disgrace' over members' ticket resales

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:05:29 GMT2017-01-18T14:05:29Z

Pamphlet distributed to members who own 1,276 permanent seats offers advice on maximising resale profits on ticketing sites

Royal Albert Hall members have exchanged detailed advice on how to sell their seats on ticket touting sites, prompting the venue’s former president to label its stewardship a “national disgrace”.

The members, about 330 individuals who own 1,276 permanent seats in the 5,272 capacity venue, were sent a document offering tips on how to use online resale sites. The pamphlet tells members they can eschew the RAH’s official ticket return system and use controversial “secondary” ticketing sites such as Viagogo and StubHub to make more money.

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Stonewall names Lloyds the UK's most inclusive employer

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:01:22 GMT2017-01-19T00:01:22Z

Legal firms were the best industry for LGBT support, but no media companies made the top 100

Banking group Lloyds has been named the most inclusive employer in Britain by Stonewall.

The firm won the accolade after launching a new volunteering programme, forming official partnerships with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender charities.

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Calls for ex-Rolls-Royce CEO to lose knighthood after firm admits bribery

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:48:18 GMT2017-01-18T19:48:18Z

Shadow international trade secretary says Sir John Rose ‘is not fit to hold his knighthood’ if he was aware of the actions during his reign

Labour called for the former chief executive of Rolls-Royce to lose his knighthood, after the company admitted “extensive systemic bribery and corruption” during the period in which he ran the jet engines manufacturer.

Sir John Rose held the job at the Derby-based corporation, which was forced on Tuesday to admit that it was responsible for “egregious criminality over decades” between 1996 and 2011.

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Home Office refuses to enforce privacy code on NHS staff using video

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:31:05 GMT2017-01-18T16:31:05Z

Surveillance camera commissioner’s advice that trusts be required to comply with code to protect patients is rejected

The government has rejected a request by the surveillance camera watchdog to allow it to monitor the increasing and unregulated use of CCTV and body-worn video cameras in hospitals.

The body cameras, which record sound as well as images, are being increasingly deployed in hospitals in an effort to tackle abuse of frontline health service staff.

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Supreme court to deliver Brexit ruling on 24 January

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:46:27 GMT2017-01-18T15:46:27Z

Panel of 11 justices will resolve whether government can formally initiate article 50 without parliamentary approval

The supreme court will deliver its eagerly awaited judgment next Tuesday on whether ministers or parliament have the legal authority to trigger Brexit.

The court’s president, Lord Neuberger, will read out a brief summary of the decision at 9.30am on 24 January. Lawyers for the main parties will have received advance notice shortly beforehand.

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UK community refugee scheme has resettled only two Syrian families

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:53:12 GMT2017-01-18T19:53:12Z

Canadian-style scheme run by government says volunteers’ offers of support have been ‘stuck’ for six months

Only two Syrian refugee families have been resettled under the government’s community refugee sponsorship scheme, six months after it was unveiled by the home secretary and the archbishop of Canterbury.

One of the charities supporting the development, which is designed to help individuals and community groups offer housing and other support to refugees, said the delay “risked squandering the resources of hundreds of volunteers happy to help save the government time and money”.

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Disability groups hail court's support for wheelchair user on bus

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:07:47 GMT2017-01-18T13:07:47Z

Bus drivers must now pressure passengers to make room in ruling described by Doug Paulley as ‘significant cultural change’

Disability rights campaigners have hailed a ruling by the supreme court that bus drivers must try to persuade other passengers to make room for wheelchair users.

Drivers may stop the bus “with a view to pressurising or shaming recalcitrant non-wheelchair users to move” if they believe a refusal is unreasonable, the judgment declared.

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Decline in EU workers hits UK agriculture, Lords inquiry told

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:57:09 GMT2017-01-18T19:57:09Z

National Farmers Union labour survey highlights sharp decline in availability of seasonal EU workers following Brexit vote

British agriculture has already been hit by a sharp decline in EU migrants willing to undertake seasonal work since the Brexit vote, a House of Lords inquiry has been told.

The evidence of “a dramatic change in the availability of EU labour” in the last six months comes as the government’s chief adviser on migration warned that post-Brexit curbs on low-skilled EU migration to Britain would only provide a “modest” boost to wages and employment for British workers.

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Single mum unlawfully jailed for council tax debt in Wales

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:54:40 GMT2017-01-18T19:54:40Z

High court rules magistrates failed to assess unemployed mother’s financial means or consider her child’s position

A single mother who was sent to prison by magistrates for 81 days because she was unable to pay her council tax bill was unlawfully jailed, the high court has ruled.

The decision by Mr Justice Lewis found that the lower court had failed to assess Melanie Woolcock’s financial means and had no basis for concluding her failure to pay was due to ‘culpable neglect’.

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Anthony Grainger shooting: officers were thought to be in danger

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:49:30 GMT2017-01-18T17:49:30Z

36-year-old victim’s hand movement was seen as threat, but inquiry investigates whether it was reaction to use of gas canister by police at the Culcheth operation

A police marksman who fatally shot an unarmed man thought his colleagues were in “extreme danger” at the time, a public inquiry has heard. Anthony Grainger, 36, was shot in the chest as he sat in a car in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire, on the evening of 3 March 2012.

On the second day of the inquiry into the shooting, Liverpool crown court heard testimony from some of the 16 armed officers who swooped on Grainger’s stolen red Audi. The officer who fired the fatal shot – referred to in court as Q9 – said he believed his fellow officers were in grave danger when he saw Grainger lower his right hand out of view.

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UK officials advised to read Trump book before seeking US trade deal

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:43:07 GMT2017-01-18T17:43:07Z

Prof Ted Malloch, tipped to be American ambassador to EU, says The Art of the Deal reveals how president-elect’s mind works

The US academic tipped to be Donald Trump’s ambassador to the EU has told British government advisers they should read the president-elect’s business book The Art of the Deal before starting trade negotiations with the US.

Prof Ted Malloch, a long-time supporter of Trump who will fly out on Wednesday to attend his inauguration, is understood to have been speaking to Downing Street staff after Theresa May’s speech on leaving the EU.

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Tehran fire: dozens of firefighters killed after tower collapses

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:32:42 GMT2017-01-19T10:32:42Z

At least 30 firefighters feared dead and scores of people injured as blaze engulfs iconic Plasco building in Iranian capital

A high-rise building in the Iranian capital engulfed by a fire has collapsed, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring 75 people, according to state media reports.

The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran, just north of the city’s bazaar.

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Flood disasters more than double across Europe in 35 years

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 08:00:31 GMT2017-01-19T08:00:31Z

Insurance firm research reveals steep increase in flash floods and says rise is in line with climate change

The number of devastating floods that trigger insurance payouts has more than doubled in Europe since 1980, according to new research by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company.

The firm’s latest data shows there were 30 flood events requiring insurance payouts in Europe last year – up from just 12 in 1980 – and the trend is set to accelerate as warming temperatures drive up atmospheric moisture levels.

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Australia Day billboards with girls in hijabs to appear nationwide after campaign raises $130,000

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 03:25:19 GMT2017-01-19T03:25:19Z

Campaign plans to put up dozens of billboards across capital cities with surplus funding going to Indigenous organisations

A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $130,000 to get a photograph of two young girls wearing hijabs at an Australia Day event on billboards across the country, and surplus funds will now go to Indigenous organisations.

Last week the photograph of the two girls – taken at the Docklands celebration last year – was removed from a Melbourne freeway billboard after the billboard company allegedly received threats. The image of the two young girls – one of a series of photographs advertising a nearby Australia Day event – had been posted to a far right group’s social media page and prompted hundreds of bigoted comments and complaints, many directed at the girls.

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Details of plot to murder archbishop Óscar Romero revealed in new book

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-01-19T09:00:32Z

Matt Eisenbrandt’s Assassination of a Saint details the plot to murder the El Salvadorian archbishop that sparked a civil war and offers an explanation

The assassination of the archbishop Óscar Romero as he celebrated mass in March 1980 remains one of the most notorious political murders of the 20th century. The murder plunged El Salvador into a full-blown civil war which eventually left 80,000 dead and 8,000 disappeared.

Romero is still one of Latin America’s most revered figures; his canonization – the final step to sainthood – is imminent. But almost four decades after his murder, the killers remain free.

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$460m pledged for vaccine initiative aimed at preventing global epidemics

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:00:19 GMT2017-01-18T22:00:19Z

Lassa, Mers and Nipah will be first diseases targeted by programme announced at Davos by coalition of governments, philanthropists and business

A coalition of governments, philanthropists and business is pledging to put money and effort into making vaccines to stop the spread of diseases that could threaten mankind – and to prevent another outbreak as devastating as the Ebola epidemic.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Norwegian, Japanese and German governments, the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation announced they were putting in $460 million – half of what is needed for the first five years of the initiative. Three diseases will initially be targeted: Lassa, Mers and Nipah. All three are caused by viruses that have come from animals to infect humans and could trigger dangerous global epidemics.

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India school bus crash kills dozens

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 06:51:39 GMT2017-01-19T06:51:39Z

Bus collided with a truck in Uttar Pradesh, according to reports, killing children aged between three and 12

A truck loaded with sand collided with a school bus on Thursday, killing at least 24 young children in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police said.

At least two dozen other children were injured when the speeding truck collided head-on with the bus, said Javeed Ahmed, the state’s top police official.

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The secret of Namibia's 'fairy circles' may be explained at last

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:07:29 GMT2017-01-18T18:07:29Z

Using computer models, ecologists think they have finally hit upon the reason for the strange polka dot patches scattered across the Namib desert

The marks on the ground in the Namib desert resemble a vast sheet of polka dots, or to the less romantic observer, perhaps a bad case of chickenpox.

In local myths, the bare, red circles fringed with grass are footprints of the gods, or patches of land once poisoned by the breath of a subterranean dragon. But even among scientists, who strive for more convincing theories, the curious, repetitive patterns have proved hard to explain.

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Former President George HW Bush and wife Barbara hospitalized in Texas

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07:27:06 GMT2017-01-19T07:27:06Z

Former president was admitted to intensive care unit for respiratory problem, and his wife was hospitalized as precaution after fatigue and coughing

George HW Bush has been admitted to an intensive care unit and his wife, Barbara, was hospitalized as a precaution, according to his spokesman.

The former president was admitted to the ICU at a Houston hospital on Wednesday to “address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia”, a family spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement. McGrath said the former first lady was hospitalized as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing.

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North Korean ICBM test looking more likely, says South

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 03:44:14 GMT2017-01-19T03:44:14Z

Intelligence agencies believe they spotted missile parts being transported, according to South Korean media, after regime boasted of upcoming launch

North Korea may be preparing to test-launch an upgraded prototype of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korea has warned.

In his new year’s speech the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted a test launch would happen soon and state media has said a launch could come at any time. Experts on the regime’s missile programme believe the claims to be credible.

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Mali suicide bomber kills at least 50 people in Gao military camp

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:32:02 GMT2017-01-18T14:32:02Z

Attack marks significant setback for peace efforts in region after vehicle explosion hits joint operational mechanism base

A suicide bomber in a vehicle full of explosives has attacked a camp in northern Mali, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens of soldiers and former fighters.

Related: The struggle for Mali | Jack Watling and Paul Raymond

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Over half of world's wild primate species face extinction, report reveals

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:00:15 GMT2017-01-18T19:00:15Z

Researchers warn of approaching ‘major extinction event’ if action is not taken to protect around 300 species, including gorillas, chimps, lemurs and lorises

More than half of the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and lorises are now threatened with extinction as agriculture and industrial activities destroy forest habitats and the animals’ populations are hit by hunting and trade.

In the most bleak assessment of primates to date, conservationists found that 60% of the wild species are on course to die out, with three quarters already in steady decline. The report casts doubt on the future of about 300 primate species, including gorillas, chimps, gibbons, marmosets, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises.

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Somalia urged to enforce law on sexual offences after gang rape of 16-year-old

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:24:53 GMT2017-01-18T19:24:53Z

Women’s groups demand perpetrators of brutal attack are brought to justice after video footage is posted on social media, sparking widespread condemnation

The gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Somalia, which sparked outrage after a video of the alleged incident was posted on social media, will be the first substantial test of a law aimed at tackling pervasive sexual violence in the country.

Women’s groups have urged the authorities to enforce legislation passed last year in Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of Somalia where the rape took place. The law, launched in November and hailed as a vital step towards lasting change, criminalises all sexual offences for the first time.

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Teenager opens fire in Mexico school, injuring four before killing himself

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 19:40:22 GMT2017-01-18T19:40:22Z

  • Teacher and two students hospitalized for head wounds
  • Monterrey school’s surveillance footage apparently posted to social media

A 15-year-old student opened fire at a private school in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey on Wednesday, hitting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself. Another student suffered lesser injuries in the shootings, which were captured on a chilling video posted to social media.

Nuevo León state governor Jaime Rodríguez said the shooter died at a hospital and that the other three victims with head wounds were “fighting between life and death”. The boy wounded in the arm was out of danger.

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Dakota Access pipeline activists say police have used 'excessive' force

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:57:14 GMT2017-01-18T18:57:14Z

Firsthand accounts from Native Americans along with live footage suggest that police deployed ‘less than lethal’ weapons against unarmed people

North Dakota law enforcement and the national guard have responded to the latest Standing Rock demonstrations with an aggressive show of force, according to indigenous activists who fear that police violence will escalate after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Related: Standing Rock activists eye pipeline finances to cement Dakota Access win

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Second winner of environmental prize killed months after Berta Cáceres death

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:14:37 GMT2017-01-18T18:14:37Z

Goldman prize winner Isidro Baldenegro López, who was known for his activism against illegal logging, was shot dead months after Berta Cáceres was murdered

A Indigenous Mexican activist who received the prestigious Goldman environmental prize for his crusade against illegal logging has been shot dead, the second award-winner to have been murdered in less than 12 months.

Isidro Baldenegro López, a subsistence farmer and leader of the Tarahumara community in the country’s northern Sierra Madre mountain region, was shot at a relative’s home on Sunday.

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Obama to leave office with more than 40 detainees still in Guantánamo Bay

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 18:15:39 GMT2017-01-18T18:15:39Z

A final handful of detainees will be relocated to new lives overseas but the facility will not be closed, a vow that was once a key aspect of Obama’s legacy

Over the next 48 hours, US military cargo planes will deposit a handful of detainees from Guantánamo Bay to new lives overseas for what is likely to be the final time for at least four years.

Barack Obama will leave office with either 41 or 42 men still detained at Guantánamo, the Guardian has learned, as his plan to close the infamous detention facility falls short.

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Iraq has retaken east Mosul from Isis, says army general

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:32:31 GMT2017-01-18T17:32:31Z

Lt Gen Talib Shaghati says government troops are in ‘full control’ of eastern part of Iraq’s second largest city

Iraqi government troops say they are in “full control” of east Mosul three months into a major operation to recapture the country’s second city, despite some Islamic State fighters remaining along the Tigris river.

Related: The battle for Mosul in maps

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Middle classes in crisis, IMF's Christine Lagarde tells Davos 2017

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:51:21 GMT2017-01-18T11:51:21Z

IMF head wins support from outgoing US vice-president Joe Biden as she uses American term for working people in demanding action over rising inequality

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has called for urgent action to tackle a “middle-class crisis” hitting working people as she warned that inequality, distrust and a lack of hope were fuelling growing populism.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Lagarde said she had first highlighted the dangers of rising inequality four years ago but had been ignored. “I hope people will listen now,” she said.

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AfD politician says Germany should stop atoning for Nazi crimes

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:31:01 GMT2017-01-18T12:31:01Z

Björn Höcke sparks fury by calling for tradition to end and labelling Holocaust memorial a ‘monument of shame’

A politician from the rightwing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has broken with the country’s postwar political consensus by calling for a “180-degree turn” from the tradition of remembering and atoning for the Nazi era.

In a speech in a beer hall in Dresden, Björn Höcke, who leads the party in the eastern state of Thuringia, railed against Germany’s decade-long tradition of acknowledging the crimes of the National Socialist era, describing the Holocaust memorial in Berlin as a “monument of shame”.

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Police officer and Bedouin killed in home demolition clashes

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:58:10 GMT2017-01-18T16:58:10Z

Officials and residents offer conflicting accounts of incident, which followed pre-dawn raid in village of Umm al-Hiran

A controversial Israeli police operation to demolish buildings in a Bedouin village in the country’s south to make way for a new Jewish town has ended with two fatalities – including an Israeli police officer – amid sharply conflicting versions of what occurred.

The pre-dawn raid by hundreds of armed police on the village of Umm al-Hiran in Negev – regarded as illegal by the Israeli courts – ended with a Bedouin man shot dead in his car and a police officer fatally run over.

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Senators call for investigation of Tom Price's healthcare investments

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:44:31 GMT2017-01-18T15:44:31Z

Democrats raise concern over health secretary nominee, who bought and sold health-related stocks while he was an influential voice on healthcare policy

Donald Trump’s choice for health secretary, Tom Price, faces his first congressional grilling on Wednesday, hours after leading Democrats called for an investigation of the congressman’s investments.

Price bought and sold health-related stocks while he was an influential voice on healthcare policy in the House of Representatives, advocating for and against bills that affected health companies’ fortunes.

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Germany denies rebuffing Theresa May over citizens' rights deal

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:39:35 GMT2017-01-18T15:39:35Z

Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman says all EU 27 states agree there can be no negotiations before article 50 is triggered

Germany has denied it rebuffed an attempt by Theresa May to seal an early deal on citizens’ rights post-Brexit, and reiterated that there was “complete unanimity” among the EU’s 27 member states that the subject could only be discussed once Britain had triggered article 50.

Related: 'Europe's fate is in our hands': Angela Merkel's defiant reply to Trump

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Egyptian judge gives four people suspended sentences over FGM death

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:45:31 GMT2017-01-18T14:45:31Z

Mayar Mohamed Moussa, 17, died last year after her mother took her to a private hospital for the procedure

Egyptian experts have criticised lenient sentencing in what is only the country’s second ever prosecution for female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure. The four accused were given suspended prison sentences and fines following the death of 17-year-old Mayar Mohamed Moussa after undergoing FGM.

Related: First doctor convicted of FGM death in Egypt only spent three months in jail

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Edward Snowden's leave to remain in Russia extended for three years

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:34:33 GMT2017-01-18T11:34:33Z

Former US intelligence contractor’s Russian lawyer also says Snowden can apply for country’s citizenship from next year

Edward Snowden’s leave to remain in Russia has been extended for three years, his lawyer has said, as a Russian official said the whistleblower would not be extradited to the US even if relations improved under the incoming president, Donald Trump.

Related: Intelligence experts urge Obama to end Edward Snowden's 'untenable exile'

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The west was built on racism. It's time we faced that – video

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:00:01 GMT2017-01-18T07:00:01Z

Dead white men are revered by many as responsible for the advancement of civilisation, says sociology professor Kehinde Andrews. But, he argues, this so-called progress came at the expense of millions of people of colour. Global inequality is not an accident, he argues – it is designed to keep the hierarchy of race intact

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