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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: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:11:18 GMT2017-10-19T22:11:18Z

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

Donald Trump awards himself 10 out of 10 for Puerto Rico hurricane response

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:46:08 GMT2017-10-19T20:46:08Z

  • Hundreds of thousands without running water and electricity
  • ‘Did we do a great job?’ Trump asks Puerto Rico governor at White House

Donald Trump gave his administration’s response to the damage wrought on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria a 10 out of 10 during a meeting with the governor of the devastated US territory.

Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, conditions remain dire: hundreds of thousands of Americans are still without running water. More than 80% of electricity consumers remain without power. A majority of cellphone towers remained knocked down and only a small percentage of the roads have been reopened.

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White supremacist Richard Spencer faces barrage of protest at Florida speech

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:07:22 GMT2017-10-19T22:07:22Z

  • Majority of audience stands and chants throughout white nationalist’s talk
  • Spencer: ‘You are trying to shut down a dissident intellectual’

White supremacist Richard Spencer took the stage at the University of Florida on Thursday after his supporters threatened to sue if he was not allowed to speak.

But minutes after he began to talk, the majority of the crowd of hundreds in the auditorium stood together, raised their fists, and started chanting “Go home Spencer! Go home Spencer!”

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Tourist killed by falling masonry in famous Florence church

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:56:26 GMT2017-10-19T18:56:26Z

Death of Spaniard struck in Basilica di Santa Croce raises questions about state of Italy’s ageing and fragile monuments

A 52-year-old tourist from Spain has been killed by falling masonry in one of Florence’s most famous churches, the Basilica di Santa Croce.

The fatal accident at the church where Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and Niccolo Machiavelli are buried raised questions about the state of Italy’s many ageing and fragile monuments.

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MH370: Malaysia in deal with private search firm to find missing plane

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:16:30 GMT2017-10-19T21:16:30Z

‘No find, no fee’ search to be undertaken by US-based seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity

Malaysia has entered into a “no find, no fee” arrangement with a private search company, Ocean Infinity, in a bid to recover the missing MH370 plane and discover the fate of the 239 people on board.

Late on Thursday, Australia’s minister for infrastructure and transport, Darren Chester, acknowledged the agreement between the Malaysian government and the US-based seabed exploration company.

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Russian scrutinised for ties to Trump investigated in Monaco

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:39:53 GMT2017-10-19T18:39:53Z

Dmitry Rybolovlev allegedly violated privacy of Tania Rappo and used political influence against former art dealer

A Russian billionaire who has emerged as a central figure in the controversy surrounding the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Kremlin is under investigation in Monaco.

Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is president of Monaco football club, is expected to be formally charged on Friday for allegedly violating the privacy of one-time confidant and friend Tania Rappo, in a case that has raised questions about whether the tycoon used his political influence to wage a legal campaign against his former art dealer.

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Brazil prosecutors investigate plan to give reconstituted food to poor people

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:07:37 GMT2017-10-19T19:07:37Z

São Paulo’s mayor claimed powder made from food close to its sell-by date was a cost-free way to tackle hunger but critics denounced it as ‘human pet food’

Prosecutors in Brazil’s biggest city have opened an inquiry into a controversial plan to feed poorer citizens and schoolchildren with a flour made out of food close to its sell-by date that critics have described as “human pet food”.

João Doria, the populist, conservative mayor of São Paulo, and the city’s Catholic cardinal, Dom Odilo Scherer, have said that the product, called farinata (farinha is flour in Portuguese), will help alleviate hunger at no cost to the city’s government.

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Malawi mobs kill two more people accused of being vampires

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:14:18 GMT2017-10-19T17:14:18Z

Wave of attacks which had already killed six people spreads to country’s second city, Blantyre, where epileptic man is ‘torched’

A wave of attacks in Malawi against people accused of vampirism has spread to its second-biggest city of Blantyre, where vigilante mobs killed two people, police said on Thursday.

Related: UN moves staff after mobs kill five in Malawi vampire scare

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Spain to impose direct rule as Catalonia leader refuses to back down

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:23:44 GMT2017-10-19T14:23:44Z

Madrid will press ahead with suspending autonomy on Saturday after Catalan leader refuses to abandon independence push

The Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.

The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue.

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EU leaders aim to let Theresa May down gently over trade talks

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:16:20 GMT2017-10-19T07:16:20Z

PM’s counterparts at summit will refuse to widen Brexit negotiations but talk up her efforts for fear of weakening her further

European Union leaders at a crunch summit dinner are set to rebuff Theresa May’s appeal for trade talks while they seek to publicly talk up her efforts in the Brexit negotiations because they fear that the prime minister’s domestic weakness will leave her unable to make vital concessions on Britain’s divorce bill.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will lead European leaders in Brussels on Thursday in seeking to put the best gloss on their refusal to widen the talks, according to diplomatic sources. “There are ways to say it kindly and encouragingly or less kindly and less encouraging,” said one senior EU diplomat.

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Jacinda Ardern is next prime minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters confirms – as it happened

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:42:27 GMT2017-10-19T08:42:27Z

NZ First leader announces he has reached coalition deal to form government with Labour, which says it also has backing of Green party

The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has had a conversation with Ardern:

Congratulations @jacindaardern good to talk with you tonight. Look fwd to seeing you soon & building on our two nations' great partnership.

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'It's able to create knowledge itself': Google unveils AI that learns on its own

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:00:02 GMT2017-10-18T17:00:02Z

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go ... with no human help

Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three days.

Named AlphaGo Zero, the AI program has been hailed as a major advance because it mastered the ancient Chinese board game from scratch, and with no human help beyond being told the rules. In games against the 2015 version, which famously beat Lee Sedol, the South Korean grandmaster, in the following year, AlphaGo Zero won 100 to 0.

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:00:01 GMT2017-10-18T18:00:01Z

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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Quebec passes law banning facial coverings in public

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:12:04 GMT2017-10-18T19:12:04Z

The Canadian province is barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil while using public transit or government services

The Canadian province of Quebec has passed a sweeping ban on face coverings – barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil when riding public transit or receiving government services – ushering in a law believed to be the first of its kind in North America.

The legislation was adopted on Wednesday, capping off two years of work by the province’s Liberal government to address the issue of state neutrality. The resulting law has been condemned by critics who say it deliberately targets Muslim women and will fuel the province’s simmering debate on identity, religion and tolerance.

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Relatives of freed Afghanistan hostage say he and family deeply traumatised

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:29:11 GMT2017-10-19T00:29:11Z

Canadian relatives say Joshua Boyle, freed with his family after five years, suffered torture in captivity and requires intensive medical care

The family of the Canadian man freed with his wife and three children five years after they were kidnapped in Afghanistan have implored media to consider the trauma suffered by the family, noting that Joshua Boyle – the only member of the family to speak in public since their rescue – has yet to receive medical or psychological clearance.

On Wednesday, the family of the 34-year-old said it was a blessing to have them at home and safe. But they said that the family’s ordeal was far from over as the years of captivity had taken a great toll on each of them.

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Jeff Sessions shifts ground on Russia contacts under Senate questioning

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:54:15 GMT2017-10-18T18:54:15Z

The attorney general concedes for the first time it was possible he had discussed Donald Trump’s policy positions with Russian ambassador

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has given a new account of his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election, conceding it was possible that they had discussed Donald Trump’s policy positions.

Related: Jeff Sessions calls accusations of Russia collusion an 'appalling lie'

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Putin mentor's daughter Ksenia Sobchak to run for president

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:49:52 GMT2017-10-18T17:49:52Z

Socialite says she is standing as a protest candidate but analysts suspect it is a Kremlin-backed move to split opposition

Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s political mentor, has said she will stand in Russia’s presidential election next March, which Putin is expected to win.

Sobchak, a socialite and liberal journalist who has taken part in opposition protests, said she was standing as an “against all” protest candidate.

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Trump digs in over call to soldier's widow: 'I didn't say what the congresswoman said'

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:17:46 GMT2017-10-18T17:17:46Z

  • President insists he didn’t say fallen soldier ‘knew what he was signing up for’
  • Soldier’s mother and Florida congresswoman say he did use those words

Donald Trump dug in on Wednesday as his comments about fallen soldiers spiralled into the second major dispute of his political career with a bereaved military family.

Speaking to reporters in the White House, Trump contradicted the accounts of Sgt La David Johnson’s mother and a Florida congresswoman, who were in the car with the soldier’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, when Trump called her. They listened to the conversation on speakerphone.

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Four British missionaries kidnapped in Nigeria

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:18:00 GMT2017-10-18T15:18:00Z

Britons snatched by unidentified gunman in Nigeria’s southern Delta state on 13 October, say police

Four Britons have been kidnapped in the southern Delta state in Nigeria, according to the police.

The authorities are attempting to rescue the four people, who were taken by unidentified gunmen on 13 October, said Andrew Aniamaka, a spokesman for Delta state police.

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Eric Holder calls Trump administration's crime policies dangerous and dispiriting

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:12:27 GMT2017-10-18T18:12:27Z

  • Former attorney general says shift ignores bipartisan consensus on reform
  • Policies ‘are not tough on crime, they are not smart on crime’

Donald Trump is pursuing “dangerous” policies on crime that ignore a growing bipartisan consensus on criminal justice reform, former attorney general Eric Holder said on Wednesday at a summit in Washington.

Related: Jeff Sessions admits crime is near historic lows despite his past warnings

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Trump's claim of Irish corporate tax cut is 'fake news', says prime minister

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:24:22 GMT2017-10-18T17:24:22Z

  • Leo Varadkar denies plans to cut rate from 12.5% to 8%
  • President is proposing to cut US corporation tax to 20%

The Irish prime minister has accused Donald Trump of peddling “fake news” after the US president wrongly claimed that Ireland plans to further reduce its much-criticised 12.5% corporation tax.

Trump angered Irish officials with his comments at a White House briefing on Monday, in which he alleged that Ireland was going to cut the tax on corporations such as Apple, Google and Facebook to 8%.

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'All of us will be victims at some point': why Bishkek's only gay club closed

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:04:58 GMT2017-10-19T11:04:58Z

The Kyrgyz capital was long a liberal beacon in Central Asia – until a ban on ‘LGBT propaganda’. With attacks and rapes on the rise, the community is scared

Anara had never been in love before. Pacing nervously outside the house of the girl she’d just started seeing, overwhelmed by emotions, she forgot the need for caution.

Dating a member of the same sex can be dangerous in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city, Bishkek. Their budding relationship was already the subject of whisper and rumour.

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Demolishing Dushanbe: how the former city of Stalinabad is erasing its Soviet past

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:30:16 GMT2017-10-19T06:30:16Z

The Tajik capital’s Soviet-era buildings are being systematically razed and replaced by multistorey apartments and malls. Most residents seem pleased

“Once this shop was one of the most beautiful buildings in the city,” says Nematullo Mirsaidov as he gazes up at an old department store now dwarfed by new towers. He has been struck by how much Dushanbe has changed since he started visiting from the northern city of Khujand more than a decade ago, but sees change as a positive. “Dushanbe’s architecture has changed significantly,” he adds. “Its residents should be proud.”

Dushanbe was a village of only a few thousand people when it was made capital in 1924 but it has grown rapidly since then and continues to do so at speed. The city’s territory is expected to triple in size and its population to grow from around 800,000 to more than 1.2 million by 2030 according to the new strategic urban development plan recently adopted by the Tajik authorities.

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Astana's plan to stay warm in the winter? Build a ring of one million trees

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:00:01 GMT2017-10-18T16:00:01Z

In 1997 the Kazakh president launched a plan to protect his new capital from the icy winds of the featureless steppes with a ring of trees. Twenty years on, his scientists are still struggling to grow forests in a spot where no trees stood

“Do you know why women in Astana don’t get expensive haircuts?” asked television presenter Dinara Tursunova. “Because no sooner do you leave the beauty salon, the wind blows away your hairdo, and with it all the money you spent.”

Looking good in the capital city of Kazakhstan is hard work. When Tursunova moved to Astana three years ago for a job with a local broadcaster, what first struck her was the cold and the wind. “In winter I go around the city in skiing outfits and fur-lined sneakers. It probably wouldn’t hurt to put spikes on my shoes. When the wind starts whipping up, you will see people on the ice literally flying away,” she says.

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Будущее статусного города? Может ли Алматы отбросить систему контроля

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:04:17 GMT2017-10-18T14:04:17Z

В городах пяти бывших Советских республик, “Станы”, доминировали личности их авторитарных правителей, но старинная столица Казахстана - Алматы - пытается развиваться, базируясь на нуждах своих горожан, хотя делает это упорядоченно

Из окна своего офиса на 20ом этаже одной башни в Алматы, Руслан Ассаубаев делится видением города нового типа. Новые пешеходные улицы, сеть велосипедных дорожек и автобусных полос, современный общественный транспорт - это часть пятилетнего плана, разработанного в сотрудничестве с западными консультантами и реализуемого Алматинским центром развития, правительственной организацией, заместителем главы которой является Ассаубаев.

Внизу яркие логотипы украшают белые стены центра “Открытый Алматы”, новый филиал мэрии, куда местные жители могут приехать для решения вопросов или подачи жалоб государственным служащим.
Попытка развивать город на основании нужд его жителей - это нечто новое для Средней Азии, где городское планирование обычно происходит сверху вниз. Но даже общественное участие носит упорядоченный, а не естественный, характер. “Мы поощряем участие горожан в развитии города в соответствии с указом президента,” - сказал Ассаубаев.

Казахстанский город Алматы - финансовый центр Средней Азии, регион, состоящий из пяти «Станов» - бывших советских республик, которые получили независимость в 1991 году. Регион находится вне поля зрения большинства жителей Запада, которые не участвуют в нефтяной отрасли, и в последние годы либо игнорируется, либо высмеивается.

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‘Men qutida yashashni istamayman’: Odamlar Toshkent obod bo’lishi uchun o’z uyidan ko’chirilmoqda

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:53:03 GMT2017-10-18T06:53:03Z

Toshklent-Sitida hashamatli mehmonxonalar, xonadonlar va ofislar joylashadigan kumushrang osmono’par binolarni qurishdan maqsad O’zbekiston poytaxtini ‘bizners uchun ochiq’ deb e’lon qilishdir. Biroq taraqqiyot shaharning tarixiy mahallalarida yashovchi aholi uchun qimmatga tushadi

Abdujalil Azimov stulda o’tirib olib, radiopriyomknigidan o’zbek estrada qo’shig’ini tinglamoqda, uning qo’ylari esa kunbotar payti O’zbekiston poytaxti Toshkent shahri markazidagi maysazorda bemalol o’tlab yuribdi.

Old tarafda muhtasham yangi xonadonlardan iborat ko’zni qamashtiruvchi oq marmar uylar qad rostlagan. Azimovning ort tarafida Olmazor mahallasi, uning betartib qurib tashlangan paxsa uylari ko’zga tashlanadi. Bu uylar bir vaqtlar Buyuq ipak yo’li manzillaridan biri bo’lgan Markaziy Osiyo shahrining ko’hna tarixini gavdalantirardi.

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Tashkent City: is 'progress' worth the price being paid in Uzbekistan?

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:30:02 GMT2017-10-18T06:30:02Z

The silver skyscrapers of Tashkent City are intended to declare Uzbekistan’s capital ‘open for business’. But for the residents of the historic mahalla districts, the cost is extreme

Abdujalil Azimov sits on a stool listening to Uzbek pop on a transistor radio as his sheep graze contentedly in the evening sunshine on a strip of grass in the centre of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

In front rises a line of gleaming white marble blocks containing opulent new flats. Behind him sprawls Olmazor, a centuries-old higgledy piggledy settlement of wattle-and-daub houses that harks back to the ancient history of this central Asian city that was once a pitstop on the Silk Road.

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Every shade of beige: Soviet-era sanatoriums – in pictures

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-10-18T06:00:01Z

With decades-old wallpaper, mosaics glorifying workers and treatments such as ‘electrical hot chairs’, the sanatoriums of Central Asia are a door to another time

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Insta-stans: the cities of post-Soviet Central Asia captured on Instagram

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:52:30 GMT2017-10-17T07:52:30Z

From the stunning ancient cities of the Old Silk Road, to the ornate metro system of Almaty, social media allows people who live in or pass through the ‘Stans’ to share glimpses of their cities with the world

The internet came to Central Asia in the late 1990s. Decades on, some countries have the lowest levels of internet penetration in the world due to factors including geographical isolation, barriers to infrastructure and political restrictions.

According to the World Bank’s 2015 statistics (the most recent available), Kazakhstan is the most-connected of any country in the region, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of the population online – compared to 43% in Uzbekistan, 30% in Kyrgyzstan, and 20% in Tajikistan. In Turkmenistan, just 15% of the 5.6 million population use the internet.

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Life in limbo: inside Bishkek's illegal 'new-builds'

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:29:54 GMT2017-10-17T07:29:54Z

Hundreds of thousands fled their villages for novostroika slums on the edge of the Kyrgyz capital when the collapse of the Soviet Union killed collective farming. Twenty five years on, the government has reluctantly connected some to water and electricity – but few have sewerage systems or schools

It is a sharp descent from Kurbangul Kyrgyzbayeva’s ramshackle home into the narrow pit where she grows corn, tomatoes and chives. Crooked steel bars and smashed bricks line the shallow, hand-hewn mud steps.

When Kyrgyzbayeva bought the plot on which she lives, on the northern edge of Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, there was little there other than a mound of earth and piles of building site refuse in a disused quarry.

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'Норман бізге президент пирамида салынуын қалайды деп айтты'

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 06:53:55 GMT2017-10-17T06:53:55Z

Архитекторлар бұл дүниенің мықтылары үшін жұмыс істеуді жан-тәнімен ұнатады, әлем бойынша жұмыс істейтін архитекторлардың – Норман Фостерден бастап Заха Хадид дейін – тек қана бірнешесі ғана Қазақстанның президенті Нұрсұлтан Назарбаевқа өзін естелік ететін қаланы салуда көмек болуға беріліп кетпеді

Көптеген селфи таяқшалары арасынан қарап көре алғанда, Астана Экспо көрмесінің орталық павильонының ең жоғарғы қабатынан көрінетін көрініс бірегей бір ерекше көрініс болып табылады. Көрмедегі ең үлкен ғимаратта Шар-сфераның ең жоғарғы қабатында орналасқан – халықта “Өлім жұлдызы” деп аталған – әйнектен жасалған жаяу көпірінде тұрып, артыңыздан әйнектен жасалған, көпіршік тәрізді, неон түске толы лифт жалт етіп орталық атриумында жоғарыға ұшып келе жатқанда, ал аяғыңыздың астында екпінді түрде төменге бара жату өзіңізді оғаш бір сезімге толтырады. Көпірден салбырап тұрған Люк Скайуокер ғана жетпей тұрғандай.

Ал одан кейін көкжиекке қарап, пирамидалар, алтын конустар мен дөңес, айналы-симметриялық мұнаралардың таңдалмалы жинағын көресіз - барлығы ерекше талғамды түрде, аралас түрлі-түсті заттарға толы трофейлер кабинетте бір марапаттар тізбегі сияқты сапқа тұрғызылып қойылып - кенеттен тоқталып, Еуразия даласының жазық жайылымдарына жол беріп тұрғандай. Экспо көрмелері ұлттардың намыс кернеуінің жәрмеңкелері арқылы жандандырыла отырып, жаңа технологиялар павильондары көрме қонақтарының назарын өздеріне түрлі ұлттық тағамдары, сап түзіп жүретін музыкалық ұжымдар мен сауық бойтұмарлар арқылы аударып отыру, әрқашан сюрреалдық оқиғалар болып келеді. Алайда бұл жолғы көрмедегі ерекшелік Экспо көрмесі емес, негізгі жаңалық Астана қаласының өзі болды.

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How reluctant leader Jacinda Ardern charmed New Zealand

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:00:03 GMT2017-10-19T14:00:03Z

The new PM turned down the Labour top job seven times before transforming her party’s fortunes with ‘Jacindamania’

Less than three months ago, Jacinda Ardern, preoccupied by home renovations, said the only way she would ever lead New Zealand’s Labour party would be if her entire caucus was hit by a bus and she was the “designated survivor”.

Now, she finds herself about to take office as New Zealand’s third female prime minister, and its youngest leader for 150 years.

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Home Office issues visa to stranded Royal Navy pilot's wife

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:11:55 GMT2017-10-19T20:11:55Z

Marianne Rawlins, an American who was denied right to join British husband, receives apology for ‘inconvenience’

The Home Office has issued a visa and apologised to the wife of a Royal Navy pilot left stranded in the US while her husband serves in the UK.

Marianne Rawlins, 34, has been granted a UK visa to join her husband, Lt Simon Rawlins, after the UK Visa and Immigration department initially ruled her application was not straightforward and required extra information.

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British birds evolve bigger beaks to use garden feeders

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:08:36 GMT2017-10-19T22:08:36Z

Researchers say UK’s enthusiasm for bird feeders compared with mainland Europe responsible for increase in beak length

The reason some birds in Britain have evolved bigger beaks over the past 40 years may be down to the country’s enthusiasm for feeding them in their gardens, researchers have said.

The report published on Thursday in the US journal Science compared beak length among great tits in Britain and the Netherlands, where bird feeders are less common.

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The Guardian view on internet security: complexity is vulnerable | Editorial

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:39:37 GMT2017-10-19T18:39:37Z

A huge weakness in wifi security erodes online privacy. But the real challenge is designing with human shortcomings in mind

This week’s security scandal is the discovery that every household with wifi in this country has a network that isn’t really private. For 13 years a weakness has lurked in the supposedly secure way in which wireless networks carry our information. Although the WPA2 security scheme was supposed to be mathematically proven to be uncrackable, it turns out that the mechanism by which it can compensate for weak signals can be compromised, and when that happens it might as well be unencrypted. Practically every router, every laptop and every mobile phone in the world is now potentially exposed. As the Belgian researcher who discovered the vulnerability points out, this could be abused to steal information such as credit card numbers, emails and photos.

It is not a catastrophic flaw: the attacker has to be within range of the wifi they are attacking. Most email and chat guarded by end-to-end encryption is still protected from eavesdroppers. But the flaw affects a huge number of devices, many of which will never be updated to address it. Since both ends of a wifi connection need to be brought up to date to be fixed, it is no longer safe to assume that any wifi connection is entirely private.

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Emotional John Kelly lashes out at Trump critics over military deaths

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:05:05 GMT2017-10-19T21:05:05Z

  • Chief of staff says he was ‘stunned’ congresswoman listened to Trump’s call
  • Kelly fails to acknowledge president began controversy by attacking Obama

White House chief of staff John Kelly has delivered an extraordinary rebuke to critics of Donald Trump’s handling of the families of fallen US military heroes.

Kelly made an unannounced appearance at the White House podium on Thursday afternoon amid an unprecedented feud between Trump and Frederica Wilson, a Democratic congresswoman who overheard the president tell the widow of Sgt La David Johnson her husband “knew what he signed up for” before he was killed on duty in Niger.

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Morning mail: Jacinda Ardern takes helm in NZ

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:04:02 GMT2017-10-19T20:04:02Z

Friday: Labour leader forms government 26 days after election with the help of NZ First’s Winston Peters. Plus: Holden’s last car leaves the factory

Good morning, this is Eleanor Ainge Roy bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Friday 20 October.

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Oxford college drops Aung San Suu Kyi from common room's name

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:54:34 GMT2017-10-19T21:54:34Z

Decision by students at St Hugh’s, where the leader of Myanmar also studied, is over her response to the Rohingya crisis

Undergraduates at the Oxford college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied have voted to remove the leader of Myanmar’s name from the title of their junior common room because of her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

In a vote on Thursday evening, students at St Hugh’s college at the University of Oxford resolved to eliminate the name of the 1991 Nobel peace laureate from the Aung San Suu Kyi junior common room with immediate effect.

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Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killers must be brought to justice | Letters

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:53:07 GMT2017-10-19T17:53:07Z

The murdered Maltese journalist was a fearless watchdog, holding to account the powerful and corrupt, sayMEPs Keith Taylor, Jean Lambert and Molly Scott Cato; but Malta’s Labour government deserves credit for redressing some of the country’s injustices, writes Paul Pastor

Our thoughts are with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family and friends at this heartbreaking time (Daily death threats – then came the explosion, 19 October). In a landscape increasingly defined by unquestioning mainstream media, hyper-partisan reportage and fake news, Daphne was that rarest, most vital of journalists: a fearless watchdog, holding to account the powerful and corrupt. The detailed investigative work on the Panama Papers that she and her colleagues undertook was crucial for uncovering the murky reality of corruption in Malta. There were also links to the British Virgin Islands and thus to the UK’s position at the heart of a global network of tax havens that facilitate tax avoidance and crime. It was thanks to the Panama Papers exposé that the European parliament was able to secure an EU-wide inquiry into tax avoidance and financial secrecy. Violence against journalists is deeply concerning. We join the parliament’s Pana committee in urging the authorities to investigate this barbaric attack swiftly and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Keith Taylor MEP, Jean Lambert MEP and Molly Scott Cato MEP
Green party

• The murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia is a despicable act, but your editorial (A reporter’s life is lost to the rotten state of Malta, 17 October) takes little account of the tremendous strides Malta’s present Labour government has taken in redressing some of the injustices – widespread corruption and a widening wealth gap – incurred during almost three decades of rightwing nationalist rule. For many years Malta, like Italy, has had to cope with the steady influx of refugees from north Africa, which has placed a heavy burden on the island’s economy. Faced with such challenges, the present government deserves credit for ensuring that the fruits of a growing economy greatly benefit the poorer sector of the island’s population, which includes many of my relatives, centred mostly in the south. To stigmatise Malta, as some have done, as a “mafia state” is ridiculous.
Paul Pastor
Omskirk, Lancashire

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Who is Jacinda Ardern? – video explainer

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:11:45 GMT2017-10-19T14:11:45Z

Jacinda Ardern has become New Zealand’s youngest prime minister, 26 days after the country went to the polls. The kingmaker, Winston Peters, said on Thursday that his New Zealand First party would support Ardern’s Labour party to create a coalition, displacing Bill English’s National party

Jacinda Ardern to be New Zealand's next PM after Labour coalition deal

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'It is a dangerous moment': Madagascar plague death toll reaches 74

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:16:44 GMT2017-10-19T12:16:44Z

Health officials struggle to contain spread of disease after virulent pneumonic strain infects 800 people across island since August

The first fatality of Madagascar’s deadly plague outbreak – which has now claimed at least 74 lives – initially went unnoticed.

In late August, according to researchers with the World Health Organization (WHO), a 31-year-old man was visiting the island’s central highlands when he developed what appeared to be the symptoms of malaria.

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'Absolutely unacceptable': UK accused of failing to protect domestic workers

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:00:15 GMT2017-10-19T06:00:15Z

Campaigners warn foreign workers continue to suffer abuse and exploitation in UK households after failure of safeguards designed to protect them

Campaigners have warned that thousands of foreign domestic workers remain enslaved behind the closed doors of some of Britain’s wealthiest neighbourhoods after the government failed to implement safeguards designed to protect them from abusive and exploitative employers.

In the past year, the Home Office has issued 18,950 visas under its domestic workers in private households scheme, which allows foreign families to bring domestic staff with them when staying in the UK.

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'Unconscionable': 7,000 babies die daily despite record low for child mortality

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 23:24:24 GMT2017-10-18T23:24:24Z

Research shows that, despite ‘remarkable progress’ on child mortality, many of the 5.6 million deaths last year among children aged under five were preventable

The number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday has fallen to an all-time low, yet children around the world continue to die at an alarming rate, with 5.6 million deaths recorded last year.

In its annual report on child mortality, the UN said many of the deaths – which averaged 15,000 a day in 2016 – were from preventable diseases.

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For the price of a few warships, we could end slavery once and for all

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:29:07 GMT2017-10-18T12:29:07Z

With fewer slaves in the world today than there have ever been, it would cost just £650 a head to usher it into extinction – so why hasn’t that happened?

How much will it cost to end slavery? About £26.7bn, the cost of five and a half aircraft carriers or the current market value of Snapchat. That works out to about £650 for every enslaved person.

In poor countries, where most slaves live, the cost of liberation and reintegration can be lower than this; in rich countries, it can be much higher. Unfortunately, in 2014 the world’s governments were spending about £95m a year on anti-slavery. That is likely to be higher today, but still far below what is needed to achieve change. If we are serious about slavery we will need to bring three key tools to the job: money, people, and knowledge.

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Inequality threatens social stability, warns new UN population chief

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-10-18T06:00:01Z

Natalia Kanem vows to take fight for women’s reproductive health to boardrooms and beyond as she rues ‘faulty and erroneous’ Trump funding cuts

The new head of the UN population fund has vowed to be more aggressive in promoting the agency’s message to business that protecting women’s reproductive health not only saves lives, but can boost earnings.

On her first visit to London after taking up the post of executive director of the UNFPA on 3 October, Natalia Kanem said she would take the message of no deaths in childbirth, no unintended pregnancies and no violence against women and girls “into the boardroom, cafeteria, wherever it is, so people understand that life-threatening consequences multiply into societal and economic consequences”.

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'My dream is coming true': the Nepalese woman who rose from slavery to politics | Kate Hodal

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:00:43 GMT2017-10-18T04:00:43Z

Sita Chhaudry was sold as a slave at 10 years old. Starved, beaten and denied an education, she has since been elected to local government – and is determined to fight poverty and human rights abuses

Sita Chhaudry became a slave for the first time just after her 10th birthday. Almost every year over the next decade, her parents would sell her again and again to wealthy landowner families, for the small annual fee of $50 (£38), to clean floors, cook meals and look after children.

As a “kamlari” – domestic bonded labourer – Chhaudry was beaten, starved and forced to work 12-hour days for families across the country, many of whom had travelled long distances to “recruit” a young servant as cheaply as her poor, lower-caste parents would sell her.

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'Fewer people will be freed': Brazil accused of easing anti-slavery rules

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:21:56 GMT2017-10-17T13:21:56Z

Critics say move cosies up to agribusiness lobby in a bid to build support for President Michel Temer before a crucial vote over making him face trial

The Brazilian government has been accused of reducing its ability to protect workers from slave-like labour conditions after abruptly changing the rules. Campaigners, commentators and prosecutors said the move was a “social regression” aimed at buying the support of a powerful agribusiness lobby ahead of a crucial vote in congress that could cost President Michel Temer his mandate.

A government directive by the ministry of labour published on Monday redefined what the government defines as “slave-like work” – even though Brazil’s efforts to stop abusive labour conditions were praised as recently as last year by the United Nations.

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True scale of UK slavery likely to involve ‘tens of thousands' of victims

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:31:05 GMT2017-10-17T11:31:05Z

Anti-trafficking commissioner Kevin Hyland says slavery far more prevalent than previous government estimates suggest, and that victims are being failed

The number of people living in slavery in the UK is likely to be considerably higher than the current estimate of 13,000, according to the independent anti-trafficking commissioner, Kevin Hyland, who has claimed that the “true number is in the tens of thousands”.

Speaking to the Guardian, Hyland said that a better understanding of the real scale of slavery in the UK must become an “absolute priority” for government, if there was a chance of reaching as many potential victims as possible.

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'The president sleeps with one eye open': Mugabe reshuffles as power games begin

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 10:26:01 GMT2017-10-17T10:26:01Z

Robert Mugabe is 93 and boasts he will live to be 100, but the jostling has begun to find a new leader for Zimbabwe when his tumultuous reign finally ends

At the ripe old age of 93, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s long-serving president, has offered himself as the candidate to lead his ruling Zanu-PF party in elections next year.

In power since independence from Britain in 1980, Mugabe would be 99 should he win the 2018 election and complete a five-year term. He has boasted that he will live – and rule – until he is 100.

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Signs of lasting trauma in people evicted to make way for giant mine in Ecuador

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 06:00:05 GMT2017-10-17T06:00:05Z

Battles with the government and army over land and mining rights has caused indigenous Shuar people long-term psychological damage, report says

Months after they were evicted from their homes to make way for a mine, almost half the population of an Ecuadorian village is suffering from psychological damage, experts have said.

Psychiatrists found 42% of the indigenous Shuar people of Tsuntsuim village suffering from mental health problems and trauma. Many of the villagers had been involved in violent confrontations with Ecuador’s military as they were removed from their homes.

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Catalonia: what next for the independence movement?

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:58:49 GMT2017-10-19T09:58:49Z

Spain’s government has said it will push ahead with suspending Catalonia’s autonomy after the region’s leader refused to abandon secession plans

A little more than two weeks after the Catalan independence referendum, which plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in 40 years, the Madrid government has announced it will take the unprecedented step of suspending Catalonia’s regional autonomy and imposing direct rule.

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Daphne Caruana Galizia: We knew establishment was out to get her – family

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 04:00:13 GMT2017-10-19T04:00:13Z

Murdered investigative journalist’s sons tell of attempts on their mother’s life, and why they blame a ‘takedown of the rule of law’ in Malta for her death

Looking back, they had known – perhaps for a long time – that it might end like this. With hindsight, says Matthew Caruana Galizia , red-eyed from emotion and lack of sleep, it seems obvious. “This wasn’t an aberration,” he says. “It was a culmination.”

The air in the family home in the hamlet of Bidnija, half an hour’s drive from the Maltese capital, Valletta, is thick with grief and quiet anger. Police guard the entrance to the gravel driveway and the cast-iron gates in front of the house.

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'He keeps zigging and zagging': the perils of doing a healthcare deal with Trump

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 21:56:07 GMT2017-10-18T21:56:07Z

This week, senators moved to salvage the Obamacare subsidies Trump cut – but Washington remains confused over which way the president is swinging

Chuck Schumer was at the gym when his phone rang, just over a week after the latest version of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act foundered. It was Donald Trump calling the most senior Democrat in the Senate with an idea.

Related: Senators reach bipartisan deal to salvage Obamacare subsidies Trump eliminated

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Xi Jinping tests eyelids – and bladders – with three-and-a-half hour speech

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:59:28 GMT2017-10-18T10:59:28Z

Chinese president channelled Hugo Chávez with marathon 65-page sermon setting out vision for Communist party

Some call Xi Jinping a Chinese Putin. Others a 21st-century Mao.

On Wednesday morning he was China’s Hugo Chávez, testing his comrades’ eyelids – and their bladders – with a three-and-a-half hour, 65-page sermon in which he outlined his brave new vision for the Communist party, and the world.

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Be in no doubt, Xi Jinping wants to make China great again

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:51:47 GMT2017-10-18T06:51:47Z

In his Communist party speech Xi’s ambition and confidence were on display. He wants nothing less than for China to be the world’s most important country

It was long, very long. And, as with previous iterations, Xi Jinping’s speech to the Chinese Communist Party’s five yearly national congress was a mix of party slogans, Marxist jargon, subtle signalling and long to-do lists.

Given the density and length of the speech it will repay careful scrutiny, particularly given its political function within the party-state. But on first impression a number of interesting developments were immediately evident.

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Accused of corruption, popularity near zero – why is Temer still Brazil's president?

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 19:52:23 GMT2017-10-17T19:52:23Z

Michel Temer may escape impeachment, but the ongoing political crisis undermines democracy and opens the door to authoritarian hardliners

If Brazil’s recent decline could be plotted in the falling popularity of its presidents, Michel Temer represents the bottom of the curve.

In 2010, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva ended his second term with an 80% approval rating. In March 2016 – four months before she was impeached – his protege and successor Dilma Rousseff’s administration had a 10% rating.

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‘The situation is desperate’: murdered Maltese journalist’s final written words

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:59:53 GMT2017-10-17T17:59:53Z

It seems that Daphne Caruana Galizia’s enemies finally decided that her courageous journalism needed to be silenced

In her last blogpost, published the day she died, Daphne Caruana Galizia signed off with a sentence that seems particularly chilling now.

“There are crooks everywhere you look. The situation is desperate.”

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Anti-Isis coalition risks descending into war before caliphate crushed

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 14:37:56 GMT2017-10-16T14:37:56Z

Hardline response from Iraq and Iran to Kurdish referendum could lead to conflict with potential to destroy unity of Iraqi state

With Islamic State days from being ousted from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, and ejected two months ago from Mosul in Iraq, the western anti-Isis alliance should be congratulating itself.

Instead, it finds the two ground forces that did most to expel Isis, which are armed, trained and supported by Washington, at each other’s throats, with tensions concentrated on the oil city of Kirkuk.

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Meet the new class traitors who are coming out as rich

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:00:01 GMT2017-10-16T09:00:01Z

For many, talking about money, especially their own, is a social taboo. But now wealthy progressives are opening up about a system that is skewed in their favor

• Outclassed: The Secret Life of Inequality is our new column about class. Read all articles here

They are a minority in this country. Their rituals are often secretive. They have their own lingo, etiquette, schools, neighborhoods, and certain places they visit, seasonally. Typically, they partially hide their identities. But in the last five years, some have started to “come out”, not necessarily in pride but simply out of civic-mindedness. What they are revealing is surprising.

They are coming out as rich.

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Mogadishu atrocity may provoke deeper US involvement in Somalia

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 19:15:24 GMT2017-10-15T19:15:24Z

President Trump had already approved use of US troops in Somalia before hundreds died in truck bomb blamed on al-Shabaab

For many years, Somalia was a forgotten front among the various campaigns against violent extremist Islamists around the world.

The massive bombing of the centre of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, will bring the international spotlight back on to the battered country – at least for a few days.

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George W Bush: US politics 'vulnerable to outright fabrication' – video

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:50:38 GMT2017-10-19T17:50:38Z

The former president spoke at an event held at the George W Bush Institute on Thursday in New York. Bush says bigotry seems emboldened in modern America, along with a climate of discontent. He added that US politics appeared more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication

Watch the full schedule os speakers at the George W Bush Institute

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Diwali, festival of lights – in pictures

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:03:28 GMT2017-10-19T11:03:28Z

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates the victory of good over evil and the triumphant return of Lord Ram to the city of Ayodha after vanquishing Ravana in the kingdom of Lanka

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'Honoured and privileged': Jacinda Ardern on being New Zealand's next PM – video

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:24:32 GMT2017-10-19T10:24:32Z

Jacinda Ardern is the new prime minister-elect of New Zealand after Winston Peters announced that his New Zealand First party would enter into a coalition deal. Ardern confirmed that NZ First’s nine MPs would have four cabinet roles and one junior role outside cabinet, though details of portfolios will be published next week. She said Peters was considering whether to accept her offer to become deputy PM. The Labour/NZ First coalition government will be a minority one, with a combined 55 seats, and will rely on a confidence and supply deal with the Green party’s eight MPs

Jacinda Ardern to be New Zealand’s next prime minister after Labour coalition deal

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Justin Trudeau pays tearful tribute to Tragically Hip's Gord Downie – video

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:41:28 GMT2017-10-19T07:41:28Z

Prime minister says Canada is 'less as a country' after death of frontman from brain cancer aged 53. Trudeau struggles to hold back tears as he describes Downie, whom he embraced before the Tragically Hip's final gig in August 2016, as his and everyone's friend

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NFL Commissioner Goodell says players 'should stand' for anthem – video

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:15:04 GMT2017-10-18T20:15:04Z

Roger Goodell says all NFL players should stand for the national anthem pre-games. Speaking on Wednesday, Goodell said the league will encourage players to stand for the anthem but declines to weigh-in on situations where owners decide to punish players for not standing

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Trump: 'I didn't say what the congresswoman said' – video

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:39:20 GMT2017-10-18T17:39:20Z

Donald Trump insists he didn’t tell a fallen soldier's widow that he ‘knew what he was signing up for’ before he was killed in Niger. Trump came under criticism after Congresswoman Frederica Wilson accused him of making the comments via phone to Myeshia Johnson, widow of Sgt La David Johnson. Trump denied having made the comments  after announcing his tax plans for the US on Wednesday

Trump digs in over call to soldier's widow: 'I didn't say what the congresswoman said'

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Somali police fire live bullets at anti al-Shabaab protesters in Mogadishu – video

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:12:28 GMT2017-10-18T17:12:28Z

As thousands of people took to the streets of Somalia's capital on Wednesday in a show of defiance after the country's deadliest attack, officials shared a detailed account of how Saturday's truck bombing that killed more than 300 was carried out. Wearing red headbands, the crowd of mostly young men and women marched through Mogadishu amid tight security. They answered a call to unity by Mayor Thabit Abdi, who said ‘we must liberate this city which is awash with graves’

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Explicit sculpture finds new home at Pompidou Centre – video

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:20:32 GMT2017-10-18T15:20:32Z

A huge abstract sculpture, rejected by the Louvre Museum because it was deemed obscene, has found a new home at Paris's edgier Pompidou Centre. The sculpture, titled Domestikator, was unveiled on Tuesday in front of the modern art museum. Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout said he was very happy with the Pompidou’s offer to display the sculpture, which is about domestication 

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China's 19th Communist party congress – in pictures

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:08:24 GMT2017-10-18T09:08:24Z

The Chinese Communist party congress has opened in Beijing. The conference is a key meeting held every five years. President Xi Jinping is expected to receive a second term as the ruling Communist party leader. Delegates travel from around China to attend and people tune in from across the country

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