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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: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:53:03 GMT2017-03-27T17:53:03Z

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



Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny jailed after protests

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:10:53 GMT2017-03-27T17:10:53Z

Moscow court hands down 15-day prison sentence and a fine to Navalny, who was arrested at anti-government rally

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been fined and sentenced to 15 days in prison, a day after some of the biggest anti-government protests since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012 swept the country.

Navalny was jailed and given a 20,000-rouble (£280) fine by a Moscow court for disobeying police orders and organising the protests, which led to more than 1,000 people being detained.

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Jean-Luc Mélenchon, France's hard-left rebel, targets the disenchanted

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:32:14 GMT2017-03-27T15:32:14Z

Presidential candidate without a party has overtaken Socialist Benoît Hamon in polls and vows to make second round of election

For Jean-Luc Mélenchon, France’s hard-left presidential candidate, it is a case of one down, two to go.

Opinion polls suggest the veteran political rebel, who is calling for a nonviolent “citizens’ revolution” and for the French constitution to be torn up and rewritten, has overtaken the official Socialist party candidate, Benoît Hamon.

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Canadian government aims to legalise marijuana by 1 July 2018

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:42:08 GMT2017-03-27T16:42:08Z

Liberal lawmakers plan to reveal legislation in April to decriminalise and regulate recreational marijuana, one of Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises

The Canadian government is scrambling to craft legislation to legalise recreational marijuana by 1 July 2018 – a move that would fulfill a campaign promise by the prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

The Liberal government will reveal the legislation in the second week of April, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, putting Canada on course to become the first G7 country to fully legalise marijuana use.

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Spanish court to investigate Syrian 'state terrorism' by Assad regime

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:02:36 GMT2017-03-27T16:02:36Z

Judge rules that Spain has jurisdiction to prosecute in case of truck driver who was allegedly tortured and murdered in Damascus

A Spanish court is to investigate allegations that nine members of the Syrian regime committed “state terrorism” by kidnapping, torturing and murdering a truck driver who disappeared in Damascus four years ago.

The landmark case – the first criminal complaint accepted against President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces by a European court – has been brought on behalf of the victim’s sister, a Spanish citizen who lives in Madrid.

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Seven dead in worst attack on aid workers since South Sudan war began

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:59:46 GMT2017-03-27T14:59:46Z

UN condemns ‘heinous murder’ of humanitarian staff from Unicef partner and calls on ‘all those in a position of power’ in South Sudan to end the violence

Six aid workers and their driver have been killed in South Sudan in the worst single attack on humanitarian staff in the country’s three-year civil war.

The aid workers, from a Unicef partner, Grassroots Empowerment and Development Organisation (Gredo), which works to support children released from armed groups, were in a vehicle marked as belonging to an NGO when they were attacked on Saturday. Four of the dead were South Sudanese and three were Kenyans.

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Shell-shocked Mosul survivors tell of intense airstrikes

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:19:36 GMT2017-03-26T18:19:36Z

Hundreds of people have fled west Mosul during a lull in fighting but many had to leave behind family members buried in the remains of their former homes

Covered in dust, their hands raw from digging, Ali Assad and his cousin made a desperate choice – to leave their family under the rubble of their west Mosul home and flee while they still could.

The two men were among hundreds to be evacuated on Sunday, during a lull in the fighting prompted by outrage over the high civilian toll caused by multiple airstrikes that have battered the city and its trapped population over the past eight days.

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Japan avalanche kills seven students and teacher

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:44:08 GMT2017-03-27T15:44:08Z

More than 40 injured after avalanche struck while students were climbing near Nasu Onsen ski resort north of Tokyo

Seven high school students and a teacher have died and more than 40 people have been injured after an avalanche hit ski slopes in Japan.

A total of 52 students and 11 teachers from seven high schools were taking part in a three-day mountaineering expedition near the Nasu Onsen resort, 93 miles (150km) north of Tokyo, when the incident occurred at about 9.20am (00.20am GMT) on Monday.

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'Mini-Merkel' increases majority in bellwether German state polls

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:01:22 GMT2017-03-26T19:01:22Z

Saarland’s CDU state premier, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sees off threat from resurgent Social Democratic party

Angela Merkel appears to have emerged unscathed from her first challenge from a resurgent German left as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party romped to a surprisingly emphatic victory in state elections in the south-west.

Though Germany’s second-least populous state, state elections in the Saarland region are being treated as an important bellwether ahead of federal elections in September, with some commentators predicting the region could become the first in the old west of the country to be governed by a coalition between the centre-left and the left parties.

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Lawmaker's 'peculiar midnight run' endangers Trump-Russia inquiry

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 15:36:35 GMT2017-03-26T15:36:35Z

House intelligence chair Devin Nunes reportedly disappeared from Uber ride, fueling further questions over his role in committee’s investigation

The House intelligence committee investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged links with Moscow looks in danger of unravelling as a result of the unexplained behaviour of its chairman, Devin Nunes, a former Trump adviser.

Related: James Comey: Democrat by birth, Republican by trade, thorn in the side of both

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Spanish socialists on the ropes, but clenched-fist Stussy T-shirt is a hit

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:35:33 GMT2017-03-26T12:35:33Z

PSOE starts selling original 40-year-old design again after American brand uses the logo on its clothes

The Spanish socialist party (PSOE) may have slumped to its worst election results in 40 years, dumped its leader in a very bloody and public coup, and ceded much of its political turf to the anti-austerity Podemos movement, but things are finally looking up, if only sartorially.

The party’s logo – a left fist clenched around a red rose – is undergoing something of a fashion renaissance after being used on a range of T-shirts in the US.

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Scottish Muay Thai boxer dies while training in Thailand

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:29:20 GMT2017-03-26T22:29:20Z

Jordan Coe, 20, from Falkirk – who was preparing for a professional fight – may have died from heatstroke, said his coach

A Scottish boxer has died in Thailand of suspected heatstroke. Jordan Coe, 20, was found dead in a heavy tracksuit and is believed to have been trying to reach a certain weight for a professional fight.

The boxer, from Maddiston, Falkirk, was a professional Muay Thai boxer and trained at a gym in Glasgow before moving to Thailand.

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Isis tells Raqqa residents to evacuate over fears nearby dam will collapse

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 12:58:58 GMT2017-03-26T12:58:58Z

Islamic State says US-led airstrikes have weakened Tabqa dam on Euphrates river, 25 miles from its self-styled capital in Syria

Islamic State has ordered residents of Raqqa to evacuate after reports that a nearby dam weakened by US-led coalition airstrikes could collapse, activists have reported.

Isis said air attacks had weakened the Tabqa dam on the Euphrates river, 25 miles (40km) west of Raqqa, and the water level behind it was rising. The militant group captured the city from Syrian rebels in 2014 and it is the capital of Isis’s self-styled caliphate.

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Borisov's pro-EU party beats Socialists in Bulgaria's snap election

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:31:31 GMT2017-03-26T19:31:31Z

Veteran politician ahead of BSP in polls seen as test of Russian influence in country but stable coalition may prove elusive

Boiko Borisov, the comeback specialist of Bulgarian politics, looked to have done it again as exit polls from a snap election put his pro-EU centre-right party in first place.

Borisov’s European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party won about 32%, the exit polls on Sunday showed, ahead of the Socialist party (BSP) on about 28%.

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Hong Kong elections: Carrie Lam voted leader amid claims of China meddling

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:49:47 GMT2017-03-26T04:49:47Z

A pro-Beijing election committee elects its favoured candidate as pro-democracy MP Nathan Law dismisses the result as a ‘nightmare’

China’s preferred candidate has won the heavily restricted election for a new leader of Hong Kong in a contest that pitted popular appeal against lobbying by Beijing.

Carrie Lam, the former deputy to outgoing chief executive Leung Chun-ying, beat the former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing.

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Egyptian court jails 56 people over boat disaster that killed 200

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:43:37 GMT2017-03-26T13:43:37Z

Individuals given prison sentences of up to 14 years for charges relating to sinking of boat carrying migrants and refugees

A court in Egypt has sentenced 56 people to prison terms of up to 14 years over a boat that capsized last year, killing more than 200 onboard.

The incident occurred off the Egyptian coast on 21 September 2016 and about 170 passengers were rescued.

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Fatal shooting on Las Vegas bus done 'for no apparent reason', police say

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:09:05 GMT2017-03-26T21:09:05Z

Rolando Cardenas, 55, booked on suspicion of murder and other charges after Montana man killed on bus outside Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on Strip

Police said on Sunday that a man sitting at the back of a public bus on the Las Vegas Strip started shooting “for no apparent reason” as passengers got off at a stop in the heart of the tourism corridor, killing one man.

Related: Gunman surrenders after bus barricade standoff on Las Vegas Strip

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Snapchat 'will be bigger than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL with advertisers'

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:10:59 GMT2017-03-26T16:10:59Z

Messaging app forecast to attract revenues of $3bn a year by 2019 by attracting hard-to-reach youth market

Snapchat could become more popular with advertisers than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL within three years, with the messaging app company forecast to bring in revenues of more than $3bn (£2.4bn) a year before the end of 2019.

That bullish forecast is based on advertisers targeting the youth audience that the disappearing photo app has seemingly cornered. More than half (51%) of video users on Snapchat are under 24, compared with 23% for Facebook and 17% for Google’s YouTube, according to Ampere Analysis.

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Riot police in Belarus attack protesters calling for end to ‘dictatorship’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 19:50:54 GMT2017-03-25T19:50:54Z

Crackdown by President Lukashenko follows two months of demonstrations against his 23-year rule

Armed riot police and water cannon were deployed in cities across Belarus and the internet was shut down across the country on a day of protest and human rights marches.

People were on Saturday night reported to be still attempting to demonstrate in the capital, Minsk, as well as in Brest and Grodno, on what was the national Freedom Day. There were sporadic outbreaks of violence as masked police closed down key roads and charged at marchers to stop crowds forming. Witnesses claimed it was the most determined crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko so far in what has been two months of protests and opposition to his 23-year rule.

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Exploring the links between religion and violence | Letters

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:45:58 GMT2017-03-27T17:45:58Z

The problem remains with all religions that literal interpretations of sacred texts, favoured by fundamentalists, leave vulnerable people open to exploitation by those whose purpose is evil (Well-trodden path from criminality to extremism, 25 March). Clearly, mainstream Muslim leaders must challenge such aberrations. But seeing the pictures of the young Khalid Masood at school, Keir Starmer’s words “if you want a really effective criminal justice strategy, you don’t build bigger prisons, you invest money in young kids” (Interview, 25 March) ring out most effective.
David Murray
Wallington, Surrey

• Though now a lapsed, recovering, Catholic, from 1947 to 1965 I was fully versed daily by priests, monks and nuns in Christian lore and practice. Contrary to your editorial (27 March), we were commanded to “turn the other cheek” and to pray for, not to slaughter or even harass, non-believers. Medieval Christians did mercilessly torture and murder selected heretics in order to steal their assets; but that was politics as usual, not religion.
Noel Hodson
Oxford

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Too many cyclists are injured and killed on UK’s roads | Letters

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:40:07 GMT2017-03-27T17:40:07Z

Your correspondent (Letters, 25 March) says 50 cyclists are killed or seriously injured every year in the UK when the actual figure is over 3,300. Having diminished the tragedy faced by thousands of people, he uses the opportunity to condemn cyclists’ behaviour, judge people’s choice of cycle model and accuse them of feeling “entitled to the road”. We all have a duty of care on the roads, and a right to use them, but the Department for Transport’s statistics on cyclist, and indeed pedestrian, casualties show that the prime source of danger lies with heavier vehicles. Peter Walker’s case (Heading for a fall, G2, 22 March) for reducing that danger, and improving the nation’s health, is commendable.
Tom Bogdanowicz
Senior policy and development officer, London Cycling Campaign

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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May's 'global Britain' gets boost as Qatar looks at £5bn investment

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:10:53 GMT2017-03-27T17:10:53Z

Qatari investors are unperturbed by Britain’s departure from EU and looking to build on significant investments

Theresa May’s ambitions to create a “global Britain” after Brexit have been boosted by Qatar’s announcement that it expects to invest £5bn in the UK over the next five years.

On Monday, two days before the planned triggering of article 50, Qatari investors at a London conference suggested they were unperturbed by the prospect of Britain’s departure from the EU and were looking for further opportunities to build on already significant investments in the UK that include the Olympic Village in east London, the Shard building, Harrods department store and a stake in Sainsbury’s.

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Attorney general urged to review release of man who beat wife with bat

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:04:25 GMT2017-03-27T17:04:25Z

Campaigners question judge’s sentence after Mustafa Bashir spared prison despite forcing wife to drink bleach and beating her

The attorney general has been urged to examine the sentencing remarks of a judge who freed a man guilty of domestic abuse because he did not believe the victim was vulnerable.

Mustafa Bashir, 34, was spared prison despite forcing his wife to drink bleach, throttling her in public, and striking her with his cricket bat.

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Sturgeon says May’s Brexit timescale matches referendum plan

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:04:06 GMT2017-03-27T17:04:06Z

Scotland’s first minister says prime minister’s disclosure of full Brexit deal by autumn 2018 fits with calling of referendum

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is no longer any rational case against an independence referendum after Theresa May told her the full Brexit deal would be known within 18 months.

The first minister said May’s disclosure, during their meeting on Monday in Glasgow, closely matched Sturgeon’s timescale for calling a fresh referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

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How to survive tyranny: 10 pieces of advice from Turkey

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:26 GMT2017-03-24T07:00:26Z

Spread facts, be careful, and don’t assume democracy is safe, say people who know what life is like under a strongman leader

The rise of autocracy can be insidious, and doesn’t come with an instruction manual on how to survive, said one of hundreds of people who got in touch to tell us what life is like in Turkey.

Over the past few years the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has slowly tightened his grip on power, imprisoning journalists who criticise him and intimidating citizens who may not agree with him.

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Turkey is heading for dictatorship, but voters can still turn the tide | Can Dündar

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:00:01 GMT2017-03-23T10:00:01Z

A referendum on vast new powers for the president hangs in the balance despite his comprehensive crackdown on dissent

Can you imagine a pre-dawn raid on the homes of every senior figure in the Guardian? The editor-in-chief being arrested, the CEO, four columnists, three solicitors, a reporter and a cartoonist?

That is precisely what happened to my newspaper last October.

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Revealed: the terror and torment of Turkey's jailed journalists

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:05 GMT2017-03-23T07:00:05Z

Prisoners tell of solitary confinement and maltreatment after being caught up in ‘Kafkaesque’ media purge

Scores of imprisoned Turkish journalists face a Kafkaesque nightmare of legal limbo, farcical charge sheets, maltreatment and even solitary confinement in the country that locks up more reporters than any other in the world.

A series of Guardian interviews and written exchanges with several of those jailed as a result of a sweeping media crackdown found a huge mental burden on the incarcerated, as well as tough social and intellectual restrictions.

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'Sometimes I laugh at this farce': six writers on life behind bars in Turkey

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:04 GMT2017-03-23T07:00:04Z

Six persecuted writers describe the mental and physical toll of living in the country that jails more journalists than any other

Age 46

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The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:22:59 GMT2017-03-17T11:22:59Z

Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat

Sergei Kechimov, an indigenous Khanty reindeer herder, lives in a one-room cabin with no running water more than 20 miles from the nearest village in Western Siberia. But his home is not as silent as you might think.

Across the swampy woodlands the beeping and rumbling of excavators are audible as they search for oil to prop up Russia’s slumping economy. Environmental protection for indigenous lands has recently been abandoned.

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'We are not slaves': Europe's most repressive state is re​awakening

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:58:28 GMT2017-03-17T09:58:28Z

Street protests that began with anger at a new tax have Belarus’s authoritarian government in their sights

“Basta!” the placards read. “We are not slaves.” These are the most popular slogans brandished at the street protests that have been rippling through Belarus.

The trigger for the demonstrations was a presidential decree imposing a tax on people who declare fewer than 183 days of work a year. The underlying cause is general despondency about life in Europe’s most repressive state.

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​Festival tries to reclaim Russian feminism – but is it radical enough?

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:01:17 GMT2017-03-15T12:01:17Z

Hundreds attend Fem Fest in Moscow to talk about domestic violence, rape and low pay in male-dominated society

After years of operating in the shadows, Russia’s women’s rights activists are pushing back against “traditional values”, and a government that has recently decriminalised some forms of domestic violence.

Related: Fury at Russian move to soften domestic violence law

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Cold catch: the ice fishermen of Astana – in pictures

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:30:17 GMT2017-03-14T08:30:17Z

Outside the Kazakh capital, Astana, the river snowscape is populated by strange figures. Detroit-based photographer Aleksey Kondratyev investigated and discovered they were ice fishermen, who brave -40C temperatures waiting patiently for their catch

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Rebels with a cause: Africa's whistleblowers need urgent protection

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMT2017-03-10T07:00:00Z

A group of activists, lawyers and artists have launched a platform to help citizen watchdogs in often dangerous situations

In many African countries, the secretive and self-serving deeds of political and business elites have come to light thanks only to whistleblowers.

In Kenya, former journalist John Githongo exposed fraudulent military equipment deals and other swindles in a series of explosive exposures; Abdullahi Hussein secretly filmed human rights atrocities in Ethiopia; Jean-Jacques Lumumba, a Congolese banker, shed light on serious financial embezzlement involving the ruling Kabila family.

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'You were supposed to die tonight': US anti-terror strategy linked to torture in Africa

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 07:00:29 GMT2017-03-09T07:00:29Z

Security forces funded by US are accused of human rights abuses including summary executions and disappearances

Just before his torturers pushed him out of the van, barely conscious, on to the Nairobi pavement, Abdi was told he was one of the lucky ones: “You were supposed to die tonight.”

The security operatives who picked him up were Kenyan, but new research from the Angaza Foundation for African Reporting suggests they are part of a US-funded counter-terrorism strategy across Africa that is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

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The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:00:35 GMT2017-03-26T16:00:35Z

When a classmate told 19-year-old Heraa Hashmi that “all terrorists are Muslims” she began to compile a dossier of all instances of Muslims condemning terror attacks

It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

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Northern Ireland secretary rules out snap election

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:40:35 GMT2017-03-27T17:40:35Z

James Brokenshire gives Sinn Féin and DUP a ‘short window of opportunity’ to reach a deal over power sharing after talks break down

Northern Ireland’s political parties have been given up to an extra month to reach an agreement aimed at restoring cross-community power sharing government to the region, the secretary of state confirmed on Monday.

The original deadline for reaching a deal passed at 4pm with both major parties - the Democratic Unionist party and Sinn Féin - accusing each other of intransigence at the negotiations leading to this latest deadlock.

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Murder in Pondoland: how a proposed mine brought conflict to South Africa

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:45:32 GMT2017-03-27T16:45:32Z

The death of activist Sikhosiphi Rhadebe in the Eastern Cape has not stopped local communities opposing plans for a titanium mine that threatens important lands and a way of life, reports Yale Environment 360

Environmentalists at risk: read parts one and two in this series

They called him “Bazooka” after his favourite soccer star. But Sikhosiphi Rhadebe’s real love was the magnificent coastal lands of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, where he chaired a community organisation campaigning to prevent an Australian mining company from strip-mining their sand dunes for titanium, one of the world’s most commercially valuable metals.

One evening last March, a Volkswagen Polo pulled up at his home and two men posing as police dragged Bazooka outside. When he resisted, they shot him eight times in front of his 17-year-old son, then sped away. “Bazooka” was dead. Nearly a year later, there have been no arrests, and no apparent progress in the investigation into his murder. I had come to find out why.

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Intel chair Nunes' White House meeting with source raises concern over Trump inquiry

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:45:49 GMT2017-03-27T17:45:49Z

Devin Nunes’s office says classification rules meant he ‘could not simply put the documents in a backpack’ and take them to intelligence committee

The embattled House intelligence committee chairman, Devin Nunes, has said he had no choice under classification rules except to view documents ostensibly related to intelligence collection on Donald Trump at the White House, a statement likely to intensify speculation that the Trump administration fed Nunes the material.

Related: Lawmaker's 'peculiar midnight run' endangers Trump-Russia inquiry

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When Trump meets Xi, their summit can heighten peace – or the risk of war | Timothy Garton Ash

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:00:15 GMT2017-03-27T17:00:15Z

With an erratic US president and an array of potential flashpoints, understanding China’s unprecedented domestic experiment is more crucial than ever

When the two most powerful men on earth, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, meet for the summit that’s expected to take place soon in the American emperor’s summer palace, they will have one thing in common: each is testing his country’s political system to its limits.

With independent courts blocking Trump’s travel ban, the heads of his security agencies flatly contradicting his claim that Barack Obama tapped his phones, and Congress rejecting his flagship repeal of Obamacare, the checks and balances of the world’s oldest liberal democracy are at full stretch. But will even they be enough to restrain this erratic, narcissistic, egomaniac bully?

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Warrant issued for Clive Palmer's nephew over Queensland Nickel court no-show

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:30:43 GMT2017-03-27T08:30:43Z

Judge orders police to arrest Clive Mensink and bring him before the court to answer questions about the firm’s collapse

An arrest warrant has been issued for Clive Palmer’s nephew after he failed to appear at court to be questioned over the collapse of Queensland Nickel.

But efforts to bring Clive Mensink before the federal court in Brisbane continue, with a further application for another warrant, needed to extradite him, due to be heard on Tuesday morning.

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Our report on Afghan artist's plight leads to successful asylum claim

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:22:13 GMT2017-03-27T16:22:13Z

Samira Kitman had originally been refused asylum, but the Home Office changed its mind after being made aware of her profile

Hello,

I’m writing because you expressed interest in getting updates from our new series on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers who have come to Europe: The New Arrivals.

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Giant gold coin with Queen's head stolen from Berlin museum

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:56:57 GMT2017-03-27T15:56:57Z

Police hunt for thieves with ladder who escaped with record-breaking Canadian exhibit from bullet-proof case

A Canadian gold coin named “Big Maple Leaf” and bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum early on Monday.

The coin is pure gold, weighs about 100kg (221lb) and has a face value of C$1m (£590,000).

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Church of England to create bishop for minority ethnic community

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:38:11 GMT2017-03-27T14:38:11Z

Anglicans tackle divisive legacy of 1950s and win Queen’s permission to set up new post in one of UK’s first majority black cities

The Church of England is creating a new bishop specifically to reach out to black, Asian and minority ethnic people and to drive cultural change in one of the UK’s most diverse cities.

The diocese of Leicester has petitioned the Queen for permission to create a new see, and expects the new suffragan bishop of Loughborough to be in post by the end of the year.

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Hong Kong democracy activists charged hours after election of new city leader

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:08:01 GMT2017-03-27T13:08:01Z

Nine activists to be prosecuted for street protests two years ago despite Carrie Lam pledging her election would heal divisions in society

Hong Kong police have started a crackdown on pro-democracy lawmakers and activists, informing at least nine people they will be charged for their involvement in a series of street protests more than two years ago.

The charges come a day after Carrie Lam was elected to be the city’s chief executive. Heavily backed by the Chinese government, she has promised to heal divisions in an increasingly polarised political climate; pro-Beijing elites and businesses have repeatedly clashed with grassroots movements demanding more democracy.

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Why have I been arrested? Maybe you killed Kennedy, the Russian officer said

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:59:02 GMT2017-03-27T11:59:02Z

I was detained by riot police while covering a demonstration in Moscow. The treatment of peaceful protesters was shocking

I raised my phone to take a photo as riot police suddenly began detaining protesters, but before I could get the picture a pair of thick arms grabbed me. A trooper in a black helmet and flak jacket was barrelling me toward a police van.

“I’m a foreign journalist,” I kept repeating in Russian. “Open your legs wider,” was all he said as he pushed me face-first up against the truck and started patting me down.

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Hong Kong shoppers injured when escalator goes into reverse – video

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:33:50 GMT2017-03-27T09:33:50Z

Up to 18 people have been injured after an escalator suddenly changed direction in a Hong Kong shopping centre. CCTV footage of the incident at Langham Place mall was posted to social media at the weekend. The shopping centre say the escalator passed an inspection last week. Two technicians have been arrested on charges of obstruction of justice

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Tensions flare as Greece tells Turkey it is ready to answer any provocation

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:32:33 GMT2017-03-27T09:32:33Z

War of words between neighbours prompts defence experts to express fears of accident in region spiralling out of control

Fears of tensions mounting in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Seas reignited after the Turkish president raised the prospect of a referendum on accession talks with the EU and the Greek defence minister said the country was ready for any provocation.

Relations between Ankara and European capitals have worsened before the highly charged vote on 16 April on expanding the powers of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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Opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained amid protests across Russia

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:39:44 GMT2017-03-27T08:39:44Z

Crowds gather in cities to protest against corruption in largest anti-government rallies for five years, with hundreds held

Hundreds of protesters have been detained by riot police in cities across Russia, as some of the largest anti-government protests in years swept the country.

The call to protest came from the opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, who was himself detained at the Moscow demonstration. A monitoring group said at least 850 people were detained in Moscow alone, while the news agency Tass gave a figure of 500.

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Hong Kong shoppers injured after escalator reverses direction

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:32:11 GMT2017-03-27T08:32:11Z

CCTV shows pileup of people in Langham Place complex as escalator chain and emergency brake appear to malfunction

An escalator in a Hong Kong shopping centre suddenly reversed direction at the weekend, injuring up to 18 shoppers.

In the incident, captured on CCTV, people piled up at the bottom of the escalator and screams echoed in the atrium of the Langham Place complex in one of the city’s busiest districts.

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Seven students and a teacher die after Japan avalanche – video report

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:30:06 GMT2017-03-27T07:30:06Z

Rescue workers in Japan are searching for survivors after an avalanche hit a ski field on Monday. Seven high-school students and a teacher have died, while more than 40 people have been injured. 52 students and 11 teachers were taking part in a three-day mountaineering expedition near the Nasu Onsen resort, 93 miles north of Tokyo, when the incident occurred

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Monday briefing: Trigger-happy Theresa set for Brexit week

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 05:34:36 GMT2017-03-27T05:34:36Z

PM begins her UK roadshow in Scotland … Khalid Masood’s reported use of Whatsapp promises privacy row … and beware comfy pants on your next flight

Hello, this is Martin Farrer bringing you the news you need this Monday morning.

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South Korea: prosecutors seek arrest of former-president Park Geun-hye

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:30:48 GMT2017-03-27T03:30:48Z

The former president is accused of multiple offences including bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of power

Prosecutors in South Korea will seek an arrest warrant for ousted president Park Geun-hye, days after questioning her over the corruption and abuse of power scandal that brought her down.

Park, who was questioned by prosecutors for 14 hours last week, is accused of multiple offences including bribery, leaking government information, and abuse of power in the scandal.

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New Zealand anger as pristine lakes tapped for bottled water market

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 01:06:07 GMT2017-03-27T01:06:07Z

Residents and greens groups demand action to stop plan to plunder natural resources by companies that pay next to nothing to remove water

A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.

An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the “untapped” glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps.

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United Airlines defends gate decision to bar girls wearing leggings from flight

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 21:53:02 GMT2017-03-26T21:53:02Z

Social media storm prompted by tweets from prominent gun safety advocate pulls in celebrities as airline attempts to explain dress policy for ‘pass riders’

United Airlines on Sunday defended a gate agent’s decision to bar two young girls from a flight because they were wearing leggings, a decision that drew a wave of high-profile criticism and customer threats to end business with the airline.

The incident took place at Denver international airport and was reported by Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun safety group Moms Demand Action, on Twitter. Watts said she saw two girls stopped from boarding a flight to Minneapolis by a gate agent.

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UK police criticised for failure to help enslaved cannabis farmers

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:28:20 GMT2017-03-26T19:28:20Z

Independent anti-slavery commissioner urges police forces to target criminal gangs trafficking Vietnamese teenagers to UK

The UK’s independent anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland, has criticised police forces for failing to tackle the issue of enslaved Vietnamese teenagers being trafficked to the UK to work in illegal cannabis farms.

There was a lack of urgency and an absence of commitment from police in dealing with this crime, he said, describing the intelligence-gathering system designed to tackle this and other forms of modern slavery as “a mess”.

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What future for the European Union now that Britain is leaving? | Letters

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:09:31 GMT2017-03-26T19:09:31Z

“Brussels has no power over most salient issues”, “Most immigration comes from outside the EU, where policy is made by the UK alone”, “Pollution, terrorism and organised crime … do not stop at national borders” (The new EU era will be forged by its people, Opinion, 25 March). Just three quotes from Jean-Claude Juncker that raise the question of why the remain campaign didn’t seek some advice from him before the referendum. If they had, we might not be in the mess we’re in now.
Steve Lupton
Prestwich, Manchester

• Mr Juncker is wrong on two counts. First, he states that the EU has few powers in respect of UK healthcare. However, since April 2016, EU procurement rules require that all NHS contracts worth more than £750,000 have to go out to tender. A core principle of these rules is furtherance of open competition with the inevitable effect of boosting NHS privatisation. No matter that the in-house service is performing well, the cash-strapped clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have to indulge in expensive and time-consuming tendering exercises which may then be subject to legal challenge.

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Nuclear states are in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty | Letters

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:50:37 GMT2017-03-26T18:50:37Z

The UN conference to negotiate a global multilateral nuclear ban treaty begins its substantive session on 27 March. All the nuclear states, including the UK, are boycotting the conference, because they prefer a step-by-step approach within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The NPT, concluded in 1968, required the nuclear states to pursue negotiations to bring about nuclear disarmament at an early date. Nearly 50 years on, it can reasonably be concluded that they are in breach of this obligation.

Another approach is long overdue. Any use of nuclear weapons would be in breach of international humanitarian law. Disarmament undertaken in the context of this law rather than arms control could be concluded quickly, with the more difficult technical negotiations taking place later. This approach would build on the humanitarian disarmament treaties that have banned landmines and cluster bombs.

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We were asked about our hobbies before we could board our US flight | Letters

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:49:58 GMT2017-03-26T18:49:58Z

We experienced an unusual grilling/conversation when we flew to the US in January, with American Airlines from Manchester (‘Most airport security does not protect against threat’, 25 March). None of the expected questions about electronic equipment, but why were we travelling, what were our hobbies and what did we do for a living. Being retired, we then had to answer about how much we enjoyed our work or otherwise. I enthused about teaching English, of course. I suppose that was a “managed conversation”.

However, an apparent “pass” didn’t stop me, a 69-year-old little Welsh woman, having to remove my sturdy laced boots and then needing a chair to enable me to put then back on. Did the fact that it was Friday 13th have anything to do with it?
Tina Lukey
Mold, Flintshire

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Can Harvard’s most popular professor (and Confucius) radically change your life?

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:00:32 GMT2017-03-26T14:00:32Z

Michael Puett’s book The Path draws on the 2,500-year-old insights of Chinese philosophers. He explains how ‘straightening your mat’ can help you break out of the patterns that are holding you back

The School of Life’s Sunday sermons could be described as lectures for people who don’t believe in God but still like church. They sing secular songs before and after the sermon (when I arrive, the large congregation at Mary Ward House in London is on the second verse of A Spoonful of Sugar), and everybody seems to share an abiding faith in the power of open-mindedness.

Related: Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it

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What do you think about Hong Kong's election of Carrie Lam?

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 11:27:25 GMT2017-03-26T11:27:25Z

Carrie Lam has been voted in as Hong Hong’s next leader. If you live in the territory, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the election with us

Carrie Lam has been voted in as chief executive of Hong Kong, to become the city’s first female leader. If you live in Hong Hong, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the result.

Lam won 777 votes out of the 1,194 eligible, beating former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing.

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'A runaway crisis': Argentina activists aid shanty towns state has left behind

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-03-26T09:00:26Z

Despite the president’s ‘zero poverty’ pledge, a third of the country lives below the line – spurring action from a team who grew up in the towns themselves

With a red star and the face of Che Guevara emblazoned on its side, the ambulance winds its way through the dingy streets of Villa 1-11-14, a sprawling Buenos Aires shanty town so neglected by the city government that – despite being home to over 25,000 people – it does not even have a name.

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Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron face off for the soul of France

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 07:30:24 GMT2017-03-26T07:30:24Z

The two frontrunners in the French presidential election are poles apart: one stands for identity and culture; the other for globalism and free movement

“As Victor Hugo once proclaimed, we have not yet done with being French”

Marine Le Pen, launching her presidential campaign in Lyon on 4 February

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Charlotte Amalie in the spotlight: beloved of cruise ships, neglected by US

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00:05 GMT2017-03-27T11:00:05Z

The US Virgin Islands capital used to be a favourite stop for hard-drinking pirates. Today, it boasts grand architecture, a lively arts scene – and an identity that is very much non-American

The Caribbean’s busiest cruise-ship destination, the city of Charlotte Amalie is celebrating a sea-change centenary. One hundred years ago on Friday, the US paid $25m in gold coins to Denmark, buying what became the US Virgin Islands archipelago. One of these islands was St Thomas, the 13-mile-long island that seats the 18,000-strong capital, whose deep-water harbour has made Charlotte Amalie the first port of call for turquoise waters, artisanal jewellery and copious rum cocktails.

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The resurrection of Palermo: how the mafia battlefield became a cultural capital

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:15:01 GMT2017-03-27T06:15:01Z

The Sicilian capital is using millions of euros seized from crime bosses to fund regeneration – though the scars inflicted by the Cosa Nostra may never fully heal

Every city, at some stage in its history, reaches a tipping point. For Palermo, it was one sweltering afternoon in July 1992, when more than 1,500 soldiers armed with automatic weapons took up positions on every corner of its eerily quiet streets in a show of military force unknown to Italy since the end of the second world war.

On that day, 24 July, the war was against the mafia, and Italy was losing. Six days earlier, a car bomb had killed Paolo Borsellino, the chief justice investigating the godfathers of Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia. The five officers in his police escort also died. In May, the car of another judge, Giovanni Falcone, the mafia bosses’ number one enemy, had been blown up. The 300 kilos of TNT that killed him along with his wife and three escorting officers opened up a 15-metre crater in the motorway connecting the airport to the city.

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From field to truck to plate: how undocumented workers feed a city

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:00:31 GMT2017-03-24T11:00:31Z

It’s not impossible that food in a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina could have involved undocumented workers at every stage of processing – and that deporting them would seriously hurt the whole industry

Miguel has endured a lot to be able to make food for the people of Charlotte, North Carolina. As one of the city’s thousands of undocumented workers from Mexico, he once spent over a week in the Texas desert after crossing the border. He hasn’t seen his children for over three years.

But he loves the process of creating food, and has memorized the time it takes to prep each ingredient, and his goals for how to do it quicker. The kitchen has become his refuge – one of the only places in the city that he’ll even go, now that his continued existence in the US is increasingly tenuous.

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'I'm very sceptical': residents of China's growing cities discuss life amid change

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:30 GMT2017-03-24T10:00:30Z

From Hefei to Honghu, readers across China share their stories about how their cities are changing – and what the county’s rapid urbanisation means for them

When I introduce myself to my American classmates, I insist on stating my native language is Wu-Chinese. That’s true, because my entire family tree has been in the city of Shaoxing for more than a century. Since the day I was born, I was surrounded by Wu-Chinese speakers with Shaoxing’s dialect.

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A river of rubbish: the ugly secret threatening China's most beautiful city

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:26 GMT2017-03-24T07:00:26Z

An ‘international tourism destination of peerless beauty’ say the slogans hanging in the streets of Guilin, but one of the scenic city’s rivers has recently been home to sewage and garbage. In a country where environmentalists are charged with anti-government espionage, will the authorities intervene?

When Jianjun Xu woke up one morning in May 2015, the ground floor of his house in Gongcheng, Guilin, was flooded. After heavy rainstorms, the nearby Cha River swelled, sweeping away hundreds of homes. “The water was up to my knees,” he says. “It smelled awful and there was garbage floating in my living room.”

Xu didn’t understand how the floodwater had reached his street. Anti-flood barriers had been under construction since December 2012. Given the speed of Chinese infrastructure work, he thought the project had been completed. But instead of a construction site, he found a green river, its banks decorated with garbage.

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垃圾之河:水污染威胁中国最美城市

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 06:55:26 GMT2017-03-24T06:55:26Z

“桂林山水甲天下”的标语在桂林市的街道上随处可见。但最近,这个风景秀丽的城市却饱受河流污染的困扰。在环保人士被指控为反政府人员的大环境之下,相关机构会出面介入污染问题吗?

徐建军(音译)家住桂林市恭城县。2015年5月的一个早晨,他醒来发现自家的一楼被水淹了。由于连日暴雨,附近的岔河泛滥,数百户人家都被淹了。“水漫到膝盖,”他说,“闻着特别臭,我家客厅里都漂着垃圾。”

徐建军不明白洪水怎么会漫到他们那条街。防洪屏障2012年12月就开始修了,中国基础设施建设向来很快,他以为早该完工了。没想到施工现场没见着,就看见河都绿了,两岸堆满了垃圾。

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欢迎来到义乌:中国的多元文化试验田

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:11:48 GMT2017-03-23T11:11:48Z

不同于广州的非洲社区所遭到的偏见与敌意,义乌的外国居民享受着“超乎寻常的信仰自由”,当地政府还会在城市商业发展问题上咨询国际贸易商的意见。

夜幕下的义乌“中东街”,三个也门男孩一起走到一个卖烤羊肉和烤馕的木炭大烤炉边,用娴熟的普通话点了菜,然后继续用阿拉伯语闲聊起来。

旁边的埃尔比勒饭店里,两个约旦男子正在一起吃饭,桌上是满满一盘的烤肉和蔬菜。街边转角处,两个男子坐在一起吸着水烟。泽勤(Zekeen)超市里可以买到方便面和清真肉食,一个头戴希贾布头巾的非洲妇女采购了大包小包的物品。对面一家既卖运动鞋又卖性用品的商店里,匆匆走出两个俄罗斯的年轻女子。

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Welcome to Yiwu: China's testing ground for a multicultural city

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:30:05 GMT2017-03-23T07:30:05Z

Unlike Guangzhou’s African community – who have faced prejudice and hostility – Yiwu’s foreign residents enjoy an ‘unusual freedom of worship’, with the municipal government even consulting international traders on city business

After dark on Exotic Street in China’s eastern city of Yiwu, three Yemeni boys crowd round a large charcoal barbecue rack selling lamb kebabs and baked breads. They order in confident Mandarin, chatting rapidly between themselves in Arabic.

Inside the adjoining Erbil restaurant, two Jordanian men share a plate heaped with barbecued meat and vegetables, while on the street corner two men sit smoking shisha pipes. The Zekeen supermarket sells both instant noodles and halal meat, and an African woman wearing a hijab carries out bags of shopping. Opposite, two young Russian women emerge from a shop that sells the unlikely combination of trainers and sex toys.

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我的家乡温岭曾经连红绿灯都没有,而如今已有140万人口

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 01:00:50 GMT2017-03-23T01:00:50Z

年少时,郭小橹的家乡温岭还是一个以农业人口为主的偏远乡村。如今,这里和中国成百上千个乡村小镇一样,变成了有着四车道、饱受癌症困扰、甚至有了新语言的城市。

我的家乡温岭是一个地处亚热带的南方乡镇。这些年,伴随着我的成长,家乡也经历了翻天覆地的变化。我从那个流着鼻涕、瘦小孤独的女孩长成了一心想要逃离家乡的少女。而我的家乡也从一个农业县发展成了有着140万人口的繁华城市。

如今的温岭是浙江省典型的中型城市。与中国过去三十年成百上千个县级市一样,温岭随处可见崭新而粗制滥造的高楼大厦。农民扛着装满蔬菜的麻袋、步履蹒跚地走在新铺就的大道上,他们脸上的沧桑与高楼大厦形成了鲜明的对比。

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Uber for bikes: how 'dockless' cycles flooded China – and are heading overseas

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:23:09 GMT2017-03-22T10:23:09Z

New cycle-share firms in China allow you to simply drop your bike wherever you want. They have caused colourful chaos – and world cities could be next

On a 30ft-wide screen in Hangzhou’s public bike share office, the counter ticks up relentlessly: 278,812 … 278,847 … 278,883 … Another 40 cycle rentals every couple of seconds. The system will easily top 350,000 before this bitterly cold winter day is out.

On the left of the giant screen, the world’s 15 biggest public bike shares are ranked. Thirteen of them are in China. (Paris is No 5 with 21,000 bikes, and London No 12, with 16,500). Hangzhou – an hour west of Shanghai by bullet train – is slightly larger than London by population, but its share system is five times the size. It comfortably tops the table with 84,100 cycles, almost twice as many as its nearest rival.

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EU greenlights Dow-DuPont mega-merger raising food security fears

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:31:05 GMT2017-03-27T16:31:05Z

Green groups say $130bn merger signals lack of choice for farmers who need more seed diversity to adapt to changing climate

The EU has approved a $130bn mega-merger between Dow and DuPont, heralding a new round of agribusiness takeovers that environmentalists fear will endanger the future of sustainable food production.

Brussels is widely expected to clear another hookup between Syngenta and ChemChina in the next two weeks, with notification of a marriage between Monsanto and Bayer expected later in the year.

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Nations pledge to cut women's unpaid work and close the gender pay gap

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:19:24 GMT2017-03-27T16:19:24Z

Agreement made at UN’s Commission on the Status of Women overcomes efforts by US and Russia to weaken text on violence, and sexual and reproductive rights

UN member states have pledged to close the gender pay gap and reduce and redistribute unpaid care and domestic work that falls disproportionately on women.

After two weeks of intense discussions in New York, the Commission on the Status of Women ended with commitments by states to advance women’s economic empowerment by implementing equal pay policies, gender audits and job evaluations. The gender pay gap stands at 23% globally, according to UN figures.

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Why is east Africa facing a hunger crisis and what can be done? – podcast transcript

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:01:01 GMT2017-03-27T12:01:01Z

As hunger spreads in east Africa, famine threatens to take hold beyond South Sudan. Lucy Lamble explores the background and response to the crisis

Reports and presenters:

LL Lucy Lamble

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Migrant domestic workers in Jordan run the gauntlet between abuse and jail

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-03-27T06:00:01Z

Migrants in Jordan who flee abusive employers risk being imprisoned as illegal workers if they fail to find shelter with their embassies

Maricel realised too late that the window had locked shut behind her. The 31-year-old Filipina was perched outside a second floor window, blood filling her mouth where two teeth had been smashed out. She had climbed on to the ledge to flee her employer, who had grabbed her hair and bashed her face into a wall, Maricel says.

“It’s so high. I want to go back, but the glass doesn’t open. Madam is close. She is screaming, ‘I kill you now!’” Maricel says. “What can I do? I jumped.”

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World Water Day quiz – are you a fount of wisdom?

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 18:21:31 GMT2017-03-26T18:21:31Z

Access to water is a human right, but roughly one in 10 people are without a safe source. Why not take the plunge and discover whether you’re an aquaphile or an aquaphobe?In which city do the Blue and White Nile meet?JubaCairoKhartoumLuxorBased on average daily usage in the developed world, what uses most water?ShoweringWashing up Drinking Toilet flushing“Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink” – which poet wrote this?Carol Ann DuffySamuel Taylor Coleridge Benjamin ZephaniahDorothy WordsworthWhat does the Arabic word sahra' mean?CamelDesertWater hole SandWhere is the most difficult place in the world for households to access clean water?Papua New GuineaKyrgyzstanChadYemenIn ancient Rome, cold baths were "frigidarium" and warm baths were "tepidarium". What were hot baths?TempariumSoldariumThermariumCaldariumLago de Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America. Which country is it in?ParaguayVenezuelaSurinameBrazilTranspiration in plants is similar to what process in humans?DigestionEvaporationAbsorptionPerspirationWhat percentage of the world’s water is salt water?97%37%67%17%What is the wettest capital city in the world?Monrovia OttawaLimaAmsterdam0 and above.A complete washout1 and above.A damp squib2 and above.You need some wet sponge treatment3 and above.You've not made a big splash here4 and above.A bit of a drip5 and above.Time to get your sea legs6 and above.A drop in the ocean of knowledge7 and above.You've certainly tapped into your knowledge bank8 and above.You're conquering your thirst for knowledge9 and above.A deluge of knowledge10 and above.An ocean of knowledge Continue reading...[...]


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'All I brought with me': Syrian refugees show their possessions – in pictures

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:29 GMT2017-03-24T10:00:29Z

When they fled their homes at the start of the conflict, these Syrian families thought they would return within days. Six years on, still in Lebanon and Jordan – and with no chance of return – they show what they brought with them

All photographs by Andrew McConnell/British Red Cross

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Ethiopia’s deadly rubbish dump landslide was down to politics, not providence | William Davison

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:26 GMT2017-03-24T07:00:26Z

Fadila Bargicho believes divine intervention saved the life of one of her two sons when a landfill site collapsed near Addis Ababa. The reality is more prosaic

It was only a misplaced shoe that prevented Fadila Bargicho from losing a second child when an avalanche of rubbish crushed makeshift houses, killing at least 113 people in Addis Ababa earlier this month.

An impatient Ayider Habesha, nine, had left his older brother searching for his footwear. He headed to religious lessons in a hut next to the towering dump. Ayider was buried alive with his six classmates and teacher when a chunk of the open landfill gave way on the evening of 11 March. His body was recovered two days later.

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Trump's proposed cut to school meals scheme branded 'cruel and shameful'

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:36:44 GMT2017-03-23T14:36:44Z

US lawmakers united in condemnation of plan to discontinue ‘life-changing’ aid programme that has provided food for 40 million children in poor countries

Donald Trump’s plan to cut a school meals programme that has reached 40 million children worldwide has been branded “cruel and shameful” by US lawmakers.

A $182m (£145m) bipartisan US aid enterprise, known as the McGovern-Dole food for education programme, has been described as life-changing by Republican and Democratic senators and members of Congress alike. The scheme, which was established by the late George McGovern and former senator Bob Dole, has helped to promote political, economic and social stability in poor countries.

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Why is east Africa facing a hunger crisis and what can be done? – podcast

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:12:12 GMT2017-03-23T13:12:12Z

As hunger spreads in east Africa, famine threatens to take hold beyond South Sudan. Lucy Lamble explores the background and response to the crisis

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Audioboom & Acast and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

A combination of drought and conflict has left the lives of more than 20 million people in east Africa in the balance. As the danger grows that other countries will follow South Sudan into famine, Lucy Lamble examines how the biggest crisis since 1945 has evolved and what can be done to tackle the situation.

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The showdown that exposed the rift between Republican ideology and reality

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:15:16 GMT2017-03-26T00:15:16Z

Republicans calling for a return to the pro-business government of the 1920s never reflected political reality – and now the party can never be the same

On Friday, not with a final stand but with an ignominious retreat, the modern Republican party died. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had to pull the Republicans’ repeal of America’s Affordable Care Act before members of his own party killed it. That legislative defeat was the moment Republican ideology engaged in its first real battle with reality, and reality won. The Republican party can never again be the same.

Since 1980, Republican leadership has embraced the draconian goal of dismantling the New Deal state. When Democrats under Franklin D Roosevelt put in place policies to regulate business and finance, protect workers, and provide a basic social safety net in the hope of preventing another Great Depression, a reactionary rump of pro-business Republicans howled.

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The west condemned Russia’s bombs, but now coalition attacks on Mosul are killing innocents | Simon Tisdall

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 21:35:00 GMT2017-03-25T21:35:00Z

The leaders who denounced Putin for deadly airstrikes in Syria are not speaking out over the siege of the Iraqi city

America and the UK condemned Russian airstrikes that killed or injured hundreds of civilians during last autumn’s siege of Aleppo, accusing Vladimir Putin of war crimes. The question now is whether the US, backed by British air power, is committing similar atrocities against civilians in Mosul.

Addressing the UN security council in September, Matthew Rycroft, Britain’s ambassador, said Russia had “unleashed a new hell” on Aleppo. “Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes,” he said. The US accused Putin of “barbarism”.

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Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing revealed his hidden similarity to Trump

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT2017-03-25T11:00:00Z

The two appear to be a study in contrasts – but both display a remarkable lack of compassion. Their likeness could serve to justify Democrats’ opposition

On the surface, they could hardly be more different. Neil Gorsuch is known for his intellectual firepower; Donald Trump speaks at the level of a 10-year-old. Gorsuch has literary panache; Trump once referred to the size of his genitalia on a presidential debate stage. Gorsuch is a textualist; Trump makes up his own facts. And at first, it seemed confirmation hearings for Gorsuch’s nomination to be the next justice on the supreme court this week would only serve to heighten these contrasts.

As Trump tweeted angry disinformation in response to the revelation of an FBI investigation into his administration, Gorsuch sat coolly before members of the Senate judiciary committee. He quoted Socrates and reminisced with Ted Cruz about playing ball on the supreme court’s basketball court as young clerks.

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The week in patriarchy: who needs prenatal and newborn care, anyway? | Jessica Valenti

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:15:14 GMT2017-03-24T18:15:14Z

These benefits are optional in the Republicans’ world. That’s what happens when the conservatives’ disregard for women and healthcare meet

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As Republicans tried (and failed) to repeal the Affordable Care Act yesterday while the president played big boy truck time, it was hard to remember a time when each day didn’t feel a million years long.

The right isn’t even trying to hide their disdain for poor people anymore: today Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said on CBS This Morning that if people were worried about their state not requiring employers to cover services like maternity care, they should “figure out a way to change the state” they live in.

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Putin welcomes Le Pen to Moscow with a nudge and a wink

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:52:46 GMT2017-03-24T15:52:46Z

Much like with the Trump allegations, the Kremlin denies any meddling in the French election while simultaneously revelling in the suggestion

The expression said it all. Even by Vladimir Putin’s standards, it was a knowing smirk of epic proportions as he shook hands with Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin on Friday.

Related: Putin tells Le Pen Russia has no plans to meddle in French election

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Make-or-break day for Donald Trump's healthcare gamble

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:17:48 GMT2017-03-24T10:17:48Z

US president plays hardball with Congress by threatening to walk away from repealing Obamacare if the House fails to pass his healthcare bill

The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City has been described as the biggest gamble of Donald Trump’s business career. In 1990, he relied on high-interest loans known as junk bonds to launch the casino-hotel complex. The gamble was a spectacular failure and, just over a year later, the Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy.

Now Trump is taking the biggest gamble of his short political career. This time he is dealing not with bankers and bondholders but politicians with all their calculations around ideology and electoral cycles. Friday is make-or-break day – and no one knows what will happen.

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Isolated Poland threatens to spoil party at EU summit over two-speed Europe

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:12:14 GMT2017-03-23T11:12:14Z

Poland and Hungary expected to bridle at plans to empower core group of member states as bloc marks 60-year anniversary

The role of leader of Europe’s awkward squad, played with aplomb by the UK for the past 45 years, will be handed to Poland and Hungary at the weekend when European Union leaders meet in Rome to celebrate 60 years of the EU’s existence and map out a new future after Brexit.

With Theresa May absent, leaders from Warsaw and Budapest will puncture any mood of self-congratulation. They are also expected to bridle at any plans to empower groups of member states to choose to integrate more deeply, in effect creating a two-speed Europe.

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Will Trump be impeached – or is it just a liberal fantasy?

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 07:30:19 GMT2017-03-22T07:30:19Z

Only two presidents in history have been impeached, but murmurs continue to surround Trump. Here’s how the process would work – if it would at all

On 21 July 2007, George W Bush underwent surgery to have five polyps removed after what was described as a routine colonoscopy. The date may have been lost to history, but for the rare invocation at the time of a constitutional amendment laying out how the transfer of power to the vice-president works in cases of presidential disability.

For 125 minutes – as long as it took for Bush to enter and emerge from partial anesthesia, eat breakfast and display possession of his native wit – Dick Cheney held all the powers attached to the office of the presidency. (Some wags have suggested that Cheney wielded that authority, unofficially, over a much longer time span.)

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Hong Kong elects a new chief executive: what you need to know

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 02:00:00 GMT2017-03-22T02:00:00Z

On March 26, Hong Kong will elect its next leader, known as the chief executive, for the first time since widespread protests over democratisation

Hong Kong will elect the next head of the city, known as the chief executive, for a five-year term on 26 March. This is the first election for the city’s top job since dissatisfaction with the pace of democratisation sparked widespread street protests in 2014.

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A short guide to Trump’s next battle: tax reform – video

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:44:36 GMT2017-03-27T16:44:36Z

Fresh off a defeat on US healthcare legislation, Donald Trump is now turning to tax reform in an effort to get his administration back on track. But taxes could be even more politically fraught than healthcare. No president has overhauled the US tax code since 1986. Watch our short guide to what’s at stake

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Joe Biden: ‘Do I regret not being president? Yes.’ – video

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:10:40 GMT2017-03-26T16:10:40Z

Joe Biden, former US vice-president, says he regrets not being president stating that he believes he was the best candidate for the job. Biden, who was speaking at Colgate University in central New York state on Friday, said he made the decision not to run in 2016 due to family circumstances

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Cincinnati assistant police chief: 'We're lucky to have only one deceased' – video

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:27:47 GMT2017-03-26T14:27:47Z

Cincinnati’s assistant police chief, Paul Neudigate, says it is very lucky that there is only one fatality following the Cameo Nightlife club shooting on Sunday morning. Fifteen people were shot, one fatally, after at least two shooters stormed the building. At present, the motive remains unclear

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Fights break out at pro-Trump rally in California – video

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 10:10:21 GMT2017-03-26T10:10:21Z

President Trump supporters clash with counter-protestors dressed in all black at a Make America Great Again rally on Bolsa Chica state beach in California. Fights broke out between the two groups on Saturday which saw four counter-protesters being arrested - three for illegal use of pepper spray and one for assault and battery

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EU leaders meet to celebrate 60 years of union ... without Theresa May – video

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:48:02 GMT2017-03-25T13:48:02Z

The leaders of 27 EU member states meet in Rome on Saturday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the bloc and to sign the Rome declaration, renewing their commitment to the European Union. British prime minister Theresa May was not invited to the event as she prepares to trigger the UK’s exit from the EU

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Noah: a man helping Flint, Michigan, rise from ashes – video

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:05:00 GMT2017-03-25T11:05:00Z

Flint, Michigan is a city built on the American dream. With the disappearance of industry, it became impoverished and neglected, and so did its residents. The water crisis is just one more tragedy piled upon a mound of oppression.

Noah Patton, a young man from Flint, was deeply affected after his mother killed herself. But with the help of his pastor, he has turned his life around and is helping to positively shape the future of his community

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Donald Trump lambasts Democrats as Obamacare replacement bill pulled – video

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 03:36:47 GMT2017-03-25T03:36:47Z

Trump says Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, to blame after Republicans pull House bill meant to replace Affordable Care Act

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Paul Ryan on failed healthcare bill: 'This is a disappointing day’ – video

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:32:35 GMT2017-03-24T21:32:35Z

A crestfallen Paul Ryan admitted Republicans ‘came up short’ in their efforts to overhaul the US healthcare system on Friday. The speaker of the House spoke just hours after legislation was pulled from consideration due to a shortage of votes. Ryan told reporters it was a ‘disappointing day’ and said the US would be ‘living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future’

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