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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: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 04:00:53 GMT2016-10-01T04:00:53Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
 



Clinton calls Trump 'temperamentally unfit' to lead after Alicia Machado spat

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:41:31 GMT2016-09-30T22:41:31Z

The Republican nominee’s late-night Twitter attacks on a former beauty queen show mental fragility, Hillary Clinton told rallies in the swing state of Florida

Hillary Clinton took another swipe at Donald Trump’s mental stability on Friday, declaring at a campaign stop in South Florida that the Republican nominee is “temperamentally unfit” for the White House.

Related: Alicia Machado, Miss Universe weight-shamed by Trump, speaks out for Clinton

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More than 80% of UN aid convoys in Syria blocked or delayed

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:00:15 GMT2016-09-30T15:00:15Z

Exclusive: Of 33 deliveries approved by Syrian government, only six have reached their destinations so far in September

• Help fund our journalism by becoming a Guardian supporter.

More than 80% of the UN’s Syrian aid convoys have been blocked or delayed this month, denying millions of people essential supplies in some of the country’s hardest-hit areas, the Guardian can reveal.

Only six convoys have so far reached their destinations, and from some that did get through Syrian authorities had removed substantial amounts of medicine and surgical equipment before the vehicles were loaded.

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Italian Camorra inquiry recovers Van Goghs 14 years after infamous heist

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:59:32 GMT2016-09-30T14:59:32Z

Paintings stolen from Amsterdam museum have been recovered from house in stronghold of crime syndicate near Naples

Two Vincent van Gogh paintings that were stolen from a museum in Amsterdam more than a decade ago have been recovered by Italian law enforcement authorities in Naples after an investigation targeting a powerful organised crime syndicate involved in the cocaine trade.

The paintings, View of the Sea at Scheveningen, painted in 1882, and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, painted in 1884, were discovered after allegedly being hidden away in a house affiliated with an international drug trafficker based in Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples.

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Sons of El Chapo suspected of Mexican convoy ambush that killed five soldiers

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:57:49 GMT2016-09-30T23:57:49Z

  • Brazen attack occurred on outskirts of Sinaloa state capital, Culiacán
  • Drug cartel suspected of trying to free wounded prisoner

Five Mexican soldiers were killed in a brazen ambush on a military convoy apparently launched by the sons of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, officials said on Friday.

The attack in northern Sinaloa state left two military vehicles completely burned out and dead soldiers scattered across a highway. Officials believe the ambush was launched to free a wounded drug suspect being transported in an ambulance guarded by the convoy.

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Boycott of world chess championship 'would hurt women in Iran'

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:31:37 GMT2016-09-30T17:31:37Z

Leading player urges contenders to look beyond hijab law, to the boost contest would give women’s sport in country

One of Iran’s most respected chess players has hit back at calls to boycott next year’s women’s world championship in Tehran over rules about the wearing of the hijab.

A number of chess players, including the US women’s champion, Nazí Paikidze, have called for a boycott of the February 2017 games over concerns that they will have to comply with the Islamic republic’s compulsory headscarf law.

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World's deepest underwater cave found in Czech Republic

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:31:50 GMT2016-09-30T17:31:50Z

Team led by Polish diver Krzysztof Starnawski says 404m Hranice abyss may be even deeper after test using robot

A team of explorers say they have found the world’s deepest underwater cave, in the Czech Republic.

The Polish cave diver Krzysztof Starnawski, who led the expedition, said he felt like a “Columbus of the 21st century” to have made the discovery of the cave, which is at least 404 metres (1,325ft) deep, near the eastern town of Hranice.

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Texas pulls out of federal refugee resettlement program

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 21:10:52 GMT2016-09-30T21:10:52Z

  • Governor Greg Abbott says move will take effect on 1 January 2017
  • State Republicans have expressed security concerns about Syrian refugees

Texas has announced its withdrawal from the federal refugee resettlement programme, effective from 31 January next year.

Related: Trump says Syrian refugees aren't just a terrorist threat, they'd hurt quality of life

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World Bank to name and shame countries that fail to prevent stunting in children

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:57:12 GMT2016-09-30T09:57:12Z

Exclusive: Bank chief Jim Yong Kim vows to expose governments that fail to tackle malnourishment as part of mission to rid world of stunting by 2030

The president of the World Bank has warned he will name and shame countries that fail to tackle the malnourishment and poor growth of their children, as part of a mission to rid the world of stunting.

Jim Yong Kim, the former physician who heads the Bank, told the Guardian he would take to the podium at the World Economic Forum in Davos every year to point the finger at governments who failed to live up to promises to tackle a scourge affecting tens of millions of children.

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Shimon Peres funeral: Obama evokes ‘unfinished business’ of peace talks

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:08:46 GMT2016-09-30T10:08:46Z

US president delivers eulogy for ‘last of the founding generation’ as leaders gather for burial of former Israeli leader

Barack Obama evoked the “unfinished business” of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as he delivered a pointed and moving tribute at the funeral of the former Israeli president and Nobel peace prize laureate Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on Friday.

Speaking in front of almost 80 world leaders gathered at Mount Herzl cemetery, including Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, Obama said Peres had understood that “the Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people”.

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India seeks release of soldier captured by Pakistan in Kashmir

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:34:35 GMT2016-09-30T10:34:35Z

Reports suggest soldier crossed ceasefire line hours after military operation against ‘terrorist launchpads’ had concluded

India is urgently seeking the release of one of its soldiers captured by Pakistani troops in Kashmir, the contested territory where Delhi said it had conducted “surgical strikes” on Wednesday night.

Rajnath Singh, India’s home minister, said “all attempts are being made” to secure the soldier’s release. It is not clear whether the soldier was connected with the claimed multiple raids across Kashmir’s “line of control”, a mutually recognised ceasefire line.

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Rosetta mission ends with touchdown on comet 67P - as it happened

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:32:09 GMT2016-09-30T12:32:09Z

ESA’s Rosetta space mission ended today with a touchdown on its target comet at 12:18 BST. We followed the daring manoeuvre live

And this seems like a good place to end the coverage today. The final, final images have just been shown. We know that science data was flowing back to Earth from Rosetta until the final moment of touch down. We know that it is going to take years to fully analyse all the data.

But we already know that Rosetta’s data will force the textbooks to be re-written.

A couple of final images are now being shown by Holger Sierks; here is one of them from just seconds before the end of the mission.

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Gringos for Trump: an unlikely cohort of American expats fuel support in Mexico

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:15:05 GMT2016-09-30T10:15:05Z

Most of the American expatriate enclave in Mexico lean left in their politics, but a small group say the Republican candidate is just misunderstood

Ed and Karen Cage fly the Mexican flag outside their home in the hills above Lake Chapala. Speaking to their maid or fellow worshipers at the local church, the two septuagenarians make an effort to use their halting Spanish. And they both profess a deep love for Mexico, where they have lived for eight years and hope to attain permanent resident status.

“We love the people and the culture,” said Karen Cage, whose business card reads, “Retired in paradise”.

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Sectarian fighters mass for battle to capture east Aleppo

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:49:53 GMT2016-09-29T17:49:53Z

Hundreds of Syrian troops and an estimated 5,000 foreign Shia fighters plan imminent advance into besieged area of city

As the most intensive air bombardment of the war has rained down on opposition-held east Aleppo this week, an army of some 6,000 pro-government fighters has gathered on its outskirts for what they plan will be an imminent, decisive advance.

Among those poised to attack are hundreds of Syrian troops who have eyed the city from distant fixed positions since it was seized by Syrian rebels in mid-2012.

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Rodrigo Duterte vows to kill 3 million drug addicts and likens himself to Hitler

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:13:36 GMT2016-10-01T03:13:36Z

‘If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have ...,’ the president said, pointing to himself

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, appears to have compared himself to Hitler, saying he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts in his bloody war on crime.

During a press conference in his home city of Davao, the former prosecutor told reporters that he had been compared to a “cousin of Hitler” by his critics.

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Hoboken train crash: one dead and more than 100 injured in New Jersey

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:54:37 GMT2016-09-29T15:54:37Z

Victim in rush-hour train crash was a woman who was hit by debris while waiting at the terminal, when a NJ Transit train plowed through Hoboken station

A train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey, left at least one person dead and 108 people injured on Thursday.

A New Jersey Transit train derailed during the morning rush hour and crashed into Hoboken terminal, one of the busiest stations in the state and a huge commuter hub for those traveling to and from New York City.

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Saudi Arabia agrees compromise on inquiry into Yemen abuses

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:50:47 GMT2016-09-29T17:50:47Z

Instead of an independent inquiry, UN investigators will be attached to Yemeni inquiry, which some say is substandard

Saudi Arabia and other Arab states have fended off the threat of an independent UN-sanctioned inquiry into human rights abuses in Yemen, but have been forced to accept that UN investigators will be tasked with documenting rights violations.

The tortuous compromise, after days of behind-the-scenes negotiations at the UN human rights council in Geneva, was described by Human Rights Watch and the EU as a limited step forward. Others said it represented a flagrant failure of accountability.

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Suspected US drone strike targeting Isis killed civilians in Afghanistan, UN says

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:26:20 GMT2016-09-29T19:26:20Z

Officials did not mention the US specifically, but said the airstrike had been carried out by an international drone – which only the US military operates

A drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, intended to target Islamic State fighters, has killed at least 15 civilians and injured another 13, according to the United Nations.

The American strike took place early Wednesday morning in Achin, a district of Nangarhar under Isis control.

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Deutsche Bank's share price approaches 30-year low

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:36:57 GMT2016-09-29T22:36:57Z

Slump occurs as Germany’s second-biggest bank, Commerzbank, announces plans to cut 10,000 jobs

Deutsche Bank shares collapsed by nearly 7% taking it close to a 30-year low on Thursday evening following reports that hedge funds were pulling assets from it amid suggestions the German government may be forced to bail it out.

Related: Deutsche Bank: how did a beast of the banking world get into this mess?

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Mahmoud Abbas plans to attend Shimon Peres funeral in Jerusalem

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:58:02 GMT2016-09-29T16:58:02Z

Some Fatah members oppose president’s decision aimed at sending message that ‘Palestinians are for peace’

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has indicated he plans to attend the funeral of the former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres on Friday, despite the strong opposition of some in his Fatah movement.

Peres died on Wednesday at the age of 93 after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He is due to be buried in Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery in a ceremony that will be attended by 80 world leaders.

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Pedro Sánchez insists he is still in charge of Spanish Socialist party

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:46:53 GMT2016-09-29T18:46:53Z

More than half of his party’s executive committee have quit in protest at his tactics – but he has ignored them and says he will not step down

Pedro Sánchez ignored calls to step down as leader of the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE) on Thursday, insisting he was still in charge despite an attempted coup that saw more than half the party’s executive committee quit in a bid to topple him and break Spain’s nine-month electoral deadlock.

Related: Spanish socialist leader faces revolt over refusal to end political deadlock

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Shares in Deutsche Bank sharply up amid speculation of DoJ deal

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:04:05 GMT2016-09-30T23:04:05Z

Stock slumped below €10 before rising to €11.57 as report suggests bank might pay just over a third of $14bn penalty for mis-selling scandal

Shares in Deutsche Bank have gyrated wildly before closing sharply higher amid speculation the embattled German lender was on the brink of a deal with the US authorities over a decade-old mis-selling scandal that would be less damaging to its finances.

On a day of big swings on the market, shares in Germany’s biggest bank initially slumped as much as 9% on Friday to leave the stock below the key €10 (£8.65) level. But by the end of day on the Frankfurt exchange, they were 6% higher at €11.57. They have lost 50% of their value this year.

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Unnamed person killed after being hit by Eurostar train in France

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:48:16 GMT2016-09-30T19:48:16Z

Long delays followed the incident about 30 miles south-east of Calais

A person has been killed after being hit by a Eurostar train in northern France, the company has said.

Passengers were told to expect long delays after the incident, which happened on Friday afternoon. The identity of the person killed has not been released.

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Google invites Kenyan anti-gay activist to Web Rangers conference

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:29:07 GMT2016-09-30T19:29:07Z

Ezekiel Mutua has gained notoriety for banning music and films he feels ‘promotes homosexuality’ in Kenya, where homosexuality is illegal

Google has invited a Kenyan government official and anti-gay activist to its Web Rangers conference in Mountain View, California, even sponsoring his visa.

Ezekiel Mutua, who is the head of the Kenyan film classification board (KCFB), gained notoriety this year for banning from the country’s servers local band Art Attack’s cover of the Macklemore gay marriage anthem Same Love, saying it “promotes homosexuality” in Kenya, where homosexuality is illegal.

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Maria Grazia Chiuri's Dior debut spells out her feminist message

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:52:22 GMT2016-09-30T18:52:22Z

Chiuri closed the door firmly on her Valentino era with a potent collection that showed Paris fashion week her range


With a catwalk show in the gardens of the Musée Rodin that brought Rihanna and Kate Moss to the front row and a square mile of central Paris to a standstill, Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first woman to head the house of Christian Dior. It’s a position that arguably makes her the most powerful woman in Parisian fashion since Coco Chanel. The moment is significant not only because Dior is a byword for style that has currency all over the world, but because it’s a house that symbolises womanhood itself. Since its very beginning, with the nipped-in silhouette of the postwar New Look, Dior has represented femininity as surely as Chanel has stood for chic.

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‘Here I have nobody’: life in a strange country may be worse than Guantánamo

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:00:12 GMT2016-09-30T06:00:12Z

Sent to a remote border town in a strange country, Lutfi Bin Ali describes an isolated existence haunted by 13 years in the world’s most notorious prison

On really bad days, Lutfi Bin Ali retrieves his Guantánamo Bay suit from under a pile of clothes and pulls it on. The outfit, which by this point has faded from its infamous orange colour to more of a salmony pink, reminds him he was once worse off than he is now, and helps him to calm down.

Sometimes, though, he wonders if his current predicament might actually be even worse than the 13 years he spent in the notorious prison. Lonely and isolated in the Kazakh steppe, the 51-year-old Tunisian has found life since his release from Guantánamo no easier than life inside.

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Removal of the heart: how Islam became a matter of state in Iran

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:05:20 GMT2016-09-29T11:05:20Z

Some academics argue the Safavid Shahs gave Iranian Shiism a rule-fixation and abandonment of spirituality it has never lost

The crowning of Ismail as king of Iran in Tabriz in 1501 was low-key, as was his announcement that Shia Islam would henceforth be the official state religion. And yet this was a turning-point in Iranian history, with repercussions up to the present day.

Like most Iranians the Safavids (1501-1722) were Sunni, although like many outside Shi’ism they venerated Imam Ali (601-661), the first of the 12 Shia imams. The Sufi orders, sometimes based on trades or guilds, were the main way religion was organised, and they encouraged self-discipline, spirituality and mysticism in varying degrees.

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How Putin's high-risk Syria gamble is paying off | Oleg Kashin

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:48:29 GMT2016-09-29T10:48:29Z

One of Russia’s most prominent journalists argues the protracted conflict has been a gift to the president whose expansionism in Ukraine had left his country weakened

Read a version of this article in Russian

In a famous poem by the writer Yevgeny Yevtushenko, an ant crawling on the face of a Russian soldier killed in Afghanistan asks the dead man: “What can you give to my impoverished homeland if the shops in your country have no food?”

It’s a scene that symbolises contemporary Russia’s greatest fear: getting caught up in another unwanted conflict in a faraway country, a concern clearly informed by Russia’s disastrous 10-year war in Afghanistan.

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Как сирийская авантюра Путина сыграла ему на руку | Олег Кашин

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:48:10 GMT2016-09-29T10:48:10Z

Затяжной конфликт стал подарком лидеру российского государства, чья экспансионистская политика в Украине поспособствовала ослаблению и международной изоляции его собственной страны

Необъявленная и никому не нужная война в далекой мусульманской стране среди пустынь — вероятно, это главный архетипический страх любого современного русского. В сюрреалистическом стихотворении Евгения Евтушенко муравей, ползущий по лицу убитого в Афганистане русского солдата, спрашивал его: «Что ты мог дать моей нищей родине, если в твоей стране нет еды в магазинах?»

В фильме Алексея Балабанова «Груз-200» маньяк-полицейский вскрывает доставленный из Афганистана гроб и кладет на постель молодой женщине труп ее жениха со словами «Жених приехал» —наверное, это самая зловещая сцена в русском кино за всю его историю.

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Scene of the crime: survivors of Guinea's stadium massacre – in pictures

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:31:24 GMT2016-09-28T15:31:24Z

More than 150 people were killed at Conakry’s football stadium when a peaceful opposition protest was attacked by the ruling junta’s elite police in 2009. Thousands more were injured, many still living with the trauma and fighting for the government to admit liability for what happened. Photographer Tommy Trenchard has been documenting their stories

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Trapped and bereft in the world's 'fastest emptying country'

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 06:00:57 GMT2016-09-28T06:00:57Z

Thousands of people flee Eritrea illegally every month to skip military service, but getting out is too expensive for most

Outside a cafe on the crossroads of a busy intersection in Asmara, three 25-year-olds sip macchiatos and catch up on the latest gossip in the bright morning sunshine. The conversation soon turns to people who have “skipped”, a term for those who have fled Eritrea to escape the indefinite national service programme.

Birhane, 25, who works as a mechanic in a government-owned garage, said: “Between us, we probably know about 300 people who have skipped in the last few years. They are leaving because we have to do what the government tells us to do.”

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Defiance on the dancefloor: clubbing in the birthplace of Boko Haram

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:00:18 GMT2016-09-27T06:00:18Z

A spirit of hedonism is sweeping through Maiduguri as party-loving young people try to forget war and rebuild their lives

A few minutes before 10pm every Friday night, young people rush into the bars and clubs of Maiduguri, timing their arrival perfectly to avoid the nightly curfew. Once inside, revellers stay dancing until the checkpoints reopen after dawn.

Here in the birthplace of Boko Haram, a group that has waged a brutal insurgency in north-east Nigeria since 2009, killing an estimated 20,000 people and displacing more than 2 million, a sense of normality is slowly returning after a concerted army campaign.

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No DRC leader gives up power peacefully, so why would Joseph Kabila? | Vava Tampa

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 15:24:17 GMT2016-09-23T15:24:17Z

Signs that the president wants to remain in office are unsurprising in a country where coups are more common than elections

Just over a decade ago, the Democratic Republic of the Congo witnessed a profound moment in the country’s history, when millions of people went to the polls to vote for a new constitution.

It was significant, not least because the wording of the constitution had been agreed by the government and dozens of rebel leaders, who had finally come together after seven years of war.

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‘I am Lake Urmia’: a social media campaign takes on the environment in Iran

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:46:15 GMT2016-09-23T12:46:15Z

Lake Urmia’s grim destiny reflects a wider trend of enviromental problems in Iran, including an over-reliance on dams, extreme weather patterns, climatic changes, poor irrigation practices and unregulated use of water

Long tucked away behind the mountains of northwest Iran, Lake Urmia is becoming a national symbol of environmental degradation that is eliciting public sensitivity and awareness. Launched at the end of August, the ‘I am Lake Urmia’ campaign is a grassroots effort to collect a million signatures to push the United Nations to discuss ways to revive this salt lake, which has lost 90% of its surface area since the 1970s.

The “I am Lake Urmia” hashtag (من_دریاچه_ارومیه_هستم#) is slowly trending across social media platforms. Actor Reza Kianian was one of the first to take up the call, using Instagram to ask fellow Iranians to take responsibility for the lake. In his post Kianian stressed, “If we save our lake, we will save ourselves”, reminding Iranians of their social responsibility for creating a more sustainable future. Kianian’s plea has echoed across popular apps like Instagram and on the newly formed “I am Lake Urmia” Telegram channel.

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I grew up in the world's biggest refugee camp – what happens when it closes?

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:00:04 GMT2016-09-23T08:00:04Z

Sprawling Dadaab is where journalist Asad Hussein was born, raised and educated. Now, Kenya wants to demolish the camp

In a dusty expanse of desert in eastern Kenya sits the world’s largest refugee settlement, the place I call home.

The camp was set up in 1991 to house Somalis fleeing the civil war. At first, there were three settlements: Ifo, Dagahaley and Hagadera. Ifo II and Kambioos were later added. They are all generally called Dadaab, named after the nearby town 50 miles (80km) from the Somali border.

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Compensate soldiers falsely accused of war crimes, says ex-British army head

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:06:44 GMT2016-09-30T23:06:44Z

Richard Dannatt said it is dangerous for soldiers to ‘feel inhibited in doing what they think is right for fear of retrospective investigation’

Soldiers falsely accused of war crimes and other wrongdoing in foreign conflicts should get financial compensation once cleared, a former head of the British army has said.

Richard Dannatt said that “wholesale, fallacious accusations” were damaging soldiers’ morale and the fighting ability of British forces worried they may face future prosecution.

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Shimon Peres did great things, but he failed in what mattered to him the most | David Grossman

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:08:41 GMT2016-09-30T18:08:41Z

He never gave up, but he knew a disastrous future was being built for both Israelis and Palestinians

Some 18 years ago, as part of a TV production following the stages of Shimon Peres’s life, he suggested that I join him on a trip to his home town of Vishnyeva, in Belarus. We reached a rural house, made of wood, rather small, with chickens running around the yard. Despite the warnings of the local people, who cautioned against drinking the well water – “Chernobyl contaminated the earth,” they said – Peres let the chain run through his fingers and lowered the bucket into the well, raised it, filled a tin cup, and then drank ardently from the water of his youth.

Later he said that he had been raised religious and that he had once broken his father’s radio because he’d used it on Shabbat. I asked him if his father had ever hit him. “No one ever hit me,” he said, somewhat proudly. “No one?” I asked. “You never fought with kids at school, never got beaten up during a game?”

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'Bill, let's go!': Obama tells former president Clinton to hurry up

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:47:38 GMT2016-10-01T03:47:38Z

Barack Obama remonstrates with Bill Clinton to hurry up and get on board Air Force One as it waits to take off after the pair attended Shimon Peres’s funeral in Jerusalem.

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South Australia floods: state on alert as Gawler and Wakefield rivers burst banks

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 03:23:24 GMT2016-10-01T03:23:24Z

State Emergency Service says residents who have not prepared for flooding should leave, but only if it is safe to do so

The South Australian towns of Virginia and Port Wakefield are under direct threat from flooding after the Gawler and Wakefield rivers burst their banks.

A flood levee protecting the small town of Virginia, on the northern outskirts of Adelaide, failed about 7am on Saturday, prompting the State Emergency Service (SES) to issue an emergency warning.

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Only Russia and the US can end the war in Syria | Letters

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:48:01 GMT2016-09-30T17:48:01Z

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has sent an appeal to the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States, demanding an end to the armed conflict in Syria. Given the serious war crimes against the civilian population of Aleppo and other cities, we urgently call for a peaceful solution for Syria.

The STP demands that Russia stop bombing the eastern parts of Aleppo that are controlled by Islamist rebels, and persuades the allied Syrian regime to withdraw its air force from there as well – immediately. The US must ensure that all radical Islamist groups in the area of Aleppo are disarmed, or that they will at least comply with a ceasefire. In our opinion, this would be the only way to prevent a mass exodus from the parts of the city that are controlled by the regime. There are still about 1.5 million people – including at least 100,000 Christians, Armenians, Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans, Kurds, Alevis, Ismailis, Shias and Yazidis – living there. For them, the radical Islamist groups, who want to turn Aleppo into a purely Sunni-Arab city, are a deadly threat.

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Northern powerhouse at risk from south-east bias, says airport boss

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:21:31 GMT2016-09-30T17:21:31Z

Manchester airport chief says government ‘paranoia’ over Heathrow expansion harms efforts to close north-south economic divide

The northern powerhouse risks being derailed by the government’s “absolute paranoia” over Heathrow expansion and an “over-emphasis on the south-east at the expense of everywhere else”, the managing director of Manchester airport has said.

In a stark message to Theresa May, who is due to decide this month on the contentious third runway at Heathrow airport, Ken O’Toole said ministers needed to draw up a national aviation policy to address the north-south economic divide.

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Spanish Socialists' week of turmoil not just down to Pedro Sanchez

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:39:44 GMT2016-09-30T15:39:44Z

PSOE is consumed by ‘Corbynisation’ as its leader is blamed for Spain’s political stalemate, but analysts say decline did not start with him

As a man who dreams daily of defenestrating the Spanish Socialists and setting his own party on their leftist throne, Pablo Iglesias is perhaps not the most impartial observer of the very public war that has devoured the PSOE party this week.

And yet the Podemos leader’s analysis of the attempted coup against his PSOE counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, was neither gleefully apocalyptic nor giddily triumphant. The current turmoil, he noted this week, is “the most important crisis since the end of the civil war in the most important Spanish party of the past century”.

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Panda cubs make public debut in China – video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:33:06 GMT2016-09-30T15:33:06Z

23 panda cubs are collected in China ahead of the country’s national day on 1 October. The cubs were shown off at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base on Thursday. Aged between one and four months old, the cubs lay on their bellies, occasionally exerting just a little effort to crawl a few inches forward. This year, the team at the giant panda base reported double the number of newborn cubs, when compared with last year

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Czech PM urges ​Theresa May to stop attacks on citizens after Brexit vote

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:32:31 GMT2016-09-30T13:32:31Z

Bohuslav Sobotka tells British counterpart to protect EU nationals living in the UK after Zdeněk Makar killed in London

The Czech prime minister has asked Theresa May to take action to stop violence against Czechs in the UK following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

Bohuslav Sobotka said he was “disturbed by the increase in hateful attacks in Britain aimed at the citizens of EU member states”.

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Stories from inside Aleppo: 'It feels like we are in prison'

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:56:40 GMT2016-09-30T12:56:40Z

Aid can’t get in, but stories can get out. The Guardian used Skype and WhatsApp to speak with residents about life under siege

Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and death, barrel bombs, bunker busters and shattered hospitals. For the doctors and rescue workers racing to save lives around the clock, life has become a blur of blood, death and desperation.

But between the explosions and the street fights, there are more than 200,000 civilians trying to cling to a semblance of normal life in east Aleppo, a quarter of them children.

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Skin tone jibes against actor spark Indian debate over prejudice

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:17:21 GMT2016-09-30T12:17:21Z

Tannishtha Chatterjee blames caste system for hatred of dark skin after storming off comedy show

Tannishtha Chatterjee laughed along with the first jokes, but they stung. The Indian actor had agreed to attend a comedy roast to promote her latest film, Parched. But again and again, as the programme went on, the hosts’ jibes seemed to centre on one thing.

“You must like black plums. How many have you eaten since childhood?” one host quipped.

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Turkey closes 20 TV and radio stations in post-coup clampdown

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:01:40 GMT2016-09-30T11:01:40Z

Critics accuse government of abusing emergency powers and targeting media for reporting on Kurdish issues

Turkey has ordered the closure of 20 television and radio stations, including one that airs children’s programmes, for spreading “terrorist propaganda”, adding to fears that emergency rule is being used to stifle the media.

The president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said he wants to extend a three-month state of emergency imposed after a failed coup attempt in July, so that authorities can eradicate the threat he says is posed by a religious movement blamed for the plot, and by Kurdish militants who have waged a 32-year insurgency.

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What do you think of Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days as Philippine president?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:58:45 GMT2016-09-30T10:58:45Z

On 30 June, Duterte became the president of the Philippines. How do you think he has performed so far?

Filipinos voted for their 16th president, Rodrigo Duterte, on 30 June. Approaching his first 100 days in office we’d like to know what you think of his administration so far.

Over the last three months, he has campaigned to kill those involved in the drug trade with Beijing expressing support in his effort. He has publicly encouraged civilians to take matters into their own hands causing outrage among some human rights groups and foreign governments.

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Thousands of lorries to be banned from London for cyclist safety

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:25:51 GMT2016-09-30T10:25:51Z

Mayor to introduce rating system that will ban vehicles with the worst driver visibility from capital’s roads by 2020

Tens of thousands of lorries with poor visibility will be banned from London’s roads within four years to better protect cyclists and pedestrians, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced.

Road safety campaigners have long called for action against some types of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), especially high-wheeled construction lorries, which have significant blindspots.

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I was happy living as a Briton in Germany – but then came Brexit

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:24:35 GMT2016-09-30T10:24:35Z

After a decade in Germany, and finding herself disenfranchised, our Berlin correspondent joins other Britons seeking citizenship

In recent days I have been called a traitor by some, and given words of encouragement by others. There have been recommendations about poems by Schiller and Goethe I should now be able to recite, and jibes that I may never be able to jaywalk again.

When I sat on the press benches of the Bundestag last Friday to hear a debate about enabling Britons to become German citizens in the wake of Brexit – for which precisely 77 minutes had been scheduled – it was as if I was being personally urged to take a long, hard look at my motivation for acquiring German citizenship.

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Shimon Peres' funeral attended by world leaders – video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:23:23 GMT2016-09-30T10:23:23Z

More than 70 world leaders and dignitaries attend the funeral at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem of Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president, prime minister and Nobel laureate. Mourners include Barack Obama; former US president Bill Clinton; the Prince of Wales; the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson; and the French president, François Hollande

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Royal couple's Canada visit puts First Nations in the spotlight, but will it last?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:00:04 GMT2016-09-30T10:00:04Z

The issues facing Indigenous Canadians emerged as a dominate theme of the trip but First Nations leaders are unsure if anything will change

Thousands are expected to crowd into Victoria’s picturesque harbour, steps from the city’s 13ft statue of Queen Victoria, to bid farewell to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Saturday as they wrap up their eight-day tour of Canada.

The whirlwind visit of British Columbia and the Yukon has made headlines around the world, from Prince George’s rebuff of Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, to the royal couple’s sojourn in a three-star Whitehorse hotel best known for the 40ft wooden Mountie that looms over its parking lot.

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Shimon Peres funeral – in pictures

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:36:59 GMT2016-09-30T09:36:59Z

World leaders gather in Jerusalem to commemorate the architect of modern Israel, who won the Nobel peace prize for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East

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Northern lights fill the sky over Iceland – timelapse video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:54:59 GMT2016-09-30T08:54:59Z

Street lighting in Reykjavik was switched off for an hour on Wednesday night to allow a better view of the aurora borealis. The footage, captured and shared on Twitter by @HotelRanga, which is about 60 miles east of the Icelandic capital, shows the northern lights that filled the skies

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Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte likens himself to Hitler – video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:57:29 GMT2016-09-30T06:57:29Z

The Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte appears to compare himself to Hitler saying he would “be happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts in his war on crime. “If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...,” he says, pausing and pointing to himself. Duterte was speaking during a press conference in his home city of Davao

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A different ball game: Bangkok's crooked football pitches

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:30:56 GMT2016-09-30T06:30:56Z

Asymmetrical pitches built in a densely-populated district of the Thai capital

Throw the FIFA pitch requirements handbook out the window. In hodgepodge Bangkok, football fields don’t even need to be rectangular.

A Thai real estate developer has built four misshapen pitches in Khlong Toei, an extremely densely-populated area of the capital where the proliferation of high and low-rise apartments have left little space for parks or play areas.

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Survivors of abuse in C of E to protest at bishop of Oxford's inauguration

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:00:12 GMT2016-09-30T06:00:12Z

Michael and Joe will hand out leaflets at Steven Croft’s consecration accusing church of failing to act on their claims

Two high-profile survivors of sexual abuse in the Church of England are to mount a protest during the enthronement of the bishop of Oxford in response to what they claim is the church’s failure to act on their disclosures.

Michael (not his real name), an ordained C of E priest, made a formal complaint of misconduct earlier this year against Steven Croft, the new bishop, claiming that he failed to properly respond to accusations of rapes allegedly committed by a serving priest in 1984.

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Liam Fox: globalisation needs to be championed more vigorously

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:00:11 GMT2016-09-30T05:00:11Z

Trade secretary says benefits are tremendous, citing decline in extreme poverty in developing world

Globalisation is becoming “increasingly misunderstood” and needs to be championed more vigorously, Liam Fox has said after praising Brexit as a “golden opportunity” for international aid.

Related: Don’t blame globalisation for poverty | Liam Fox

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Woman’s ascent of Kilimanjaro: London girl’s triumph – archive, 30 Sept 1927

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:00:10 GMT2016-09-30T04:00:10Z

30 September 1927: The climb by 22-year-old Miss Shela MacDonald is the first time the feat has been accomplished by a woman

An account has just reached London of how Miss Sheila MacDonald, a 22-year-old London girl, climbed the African mountain Kilimanjaro, the first time the feat has been accomplished by a woman; how she set the pace for her two men companions, slept in caves, and sustained herself with champagne drunk from the bottle, and how, in spite of one of the men being forced to give up through physical exhaustion, she pressed on undaunted to the summit.

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Iceland: northern lights replace street lights in Reykjavik

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 03:03:38 GMT2016-09-30T03:03:38Z

Authorities turned off lights in the capital for an hour to ‘maximise the darkness’ and allow residents a better view of the beautiful aurora borealis

Street lighting in Reykjavik has been switched off for an hour to give residents of the Icelandic capital a better view of the aurora borealis.

Most parts of the world’s northernmost capital city, including the centre, went dark from 10pm on Wednesday.

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Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark expected to battle on for UN top job

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 02:01:23 GMT2016-09-30T02:01:23Z

Despite her poor polling, ‘Aunty Helen’ could still win thanks to being the least unpopular candidate in the race

Helen Clark, the former New Zealand prime minister, is expected to continue battling for the UN top job despite a groundswell to give a candidate from eastern Europe the role.

With Clark already fighting against perceptions that she is too closely tied to the traditional UK-US power axis, Bulgaria’s European Commission vice president Kristalina Georgiev has emerged as a frontrunner after taking up the country’s nomination this week.

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Nightmare before Christmas: Siberia plans to cull 250,000 reindeer amid anthrax fears

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:04:24 GMT2016-09-30T00:04:24Z

One third of world’s largest reindeer herd could be killed in an effort to prevent the spread of the ‘zombie’ disease in the Russian tundra

A cull of a quarter of a million reindeer by Christmas has been proposed in northern Siberia in a bid to reduce the risk of an anthrax outbreak.

There are thought to be more than 700,000 animals in the Yamalo-Nenets region, in the arctic zone of the West Siberian plain – the largest herd in the world.

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Don't say cheese: French court upholds ban on passport photo smiling

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:33:18 GMT2016-09-29T19:33:18Z

Court rules that even enigmatic Mona Lisa smile, with lips together and corners of mouth turned up, is not permitted

If you are having your passport photo taken in France, do not – under any circumstances – crack a smile.

In a ruling that threatens to cement a national reputation for cheerlessness, a French court has decided to uphold a ban on smiling in pictures taken for passports or identity papers.

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'Syria is bleeding': Aleppo facing war's worst humanitarian crisis, UN says

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:26:29 GMT2016-09-29T19:26:29Z

East Aleppo is ‘well into terrible descent into pitiless and merciless abyss’, United Nations official said, as Russia refused to stop bombing but considered ‘pause’

The UN’s chief humanitarian official said the people of Aleppo are facing a humanitarian catastrophe worse than anything witnessed so far in Syria’s brutal five-year war.

Stephen O’Brien made the remarks to the UN security council on Thursday as Russia rejected calls to halt its bombing campaign on eastern Aleppo, saying it might consider a 48-hour humanitarian “pause” instead.

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Has Vancouver found the solution to a super-heated housing market?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:40:02 GMT2016-09-30T09:40:02Z

In a radical move, the Canadian city now charges an extra 15% to any overseas investor buying property there. The short-term impact on Vancouver house prices has been startling – but will it last?

There is a city which is suffering a worse property bubble than Sydney, whose residents are more priced-out than Londoners, and where there is a greater divide between the housing haves and have-nots than even San Francisco.

That city is Vancouver, and in response to these mounting challenges, the west-coast Canadian metropolis recently imposed an extraordinary new tax on foreign buyers – whose impact is now being watched closely by other cities grappling with bloated property markets.

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Crime stats or coffee shops? How to spot the world's most gentrified cities

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:30:00 GMT2016-09-30T06:30:00Z

Researchers worldwide have come up with many innovative ways to make sense of gentrification – and perhaps even prevent its worst effects. Douglas Murphy crunches the numbers

Gentrification is a word on many lips. Property values, rent rises, people displacement, speculative development, offshore investment; coffee shops, beards, bikes and vanishing nightlife. In the world’s big cities, gentrification and its discontents have become a cause célèbre.

But as that range of complex ideas suggests, gentrification is also a notoriously slippery concept. Is it a purely economic process, or is it culturally driven? Is every deprived neighbourhood that experiences an influx of wealthy residents an instance of gentrification? Must the change occur organically, or can governments gentrify areas according to a plan?

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Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:23:50 GMT2016-09-27T11:23:50Z

It’s a traditional complaint about urban life: there’s never anywhere to park. But in the 21st century, do cities actually need less parking space, not more?

With space for roughly 20,000 cars, the parking lot that surrounds the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is recognised as the largest car park in the world.

Spread across vast expanses of asphalt and multi-storey concrete structures, these parking spots take up about half the mall’s 5.2m sq ft, on what was once the edge of the city of Edmonton. A few blocks away, a similar amount of space is taken up by a neighbourhood of nearly 500 homes.

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Tehran's towers: how the Iranian capital embraced bold architecture

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:30:05 GMT2016-09-27T09:30:05Z

Despite its rich history of boundary-pushing designs, Tehran’s architecture scene had lain largely dormant since the 1979 revolution – until now

From its iconic Azadi (freedom) tower, which has ridden out a revolution, an eight-year war and innumerable protest rallies, to the elegant museum of contemporary art or the city theatre, Tehran has long been home to a brand of wacky, yet distinctively Iranian, contemporary buildings.

In the few decades leading up to the 1979 Islamic revolution, architects such as Houshang Seyhoun, Kamran Diba and Hossein Amanat pushed the boundaries of traditional Persian architecture by using traditional elements in modern designs; Amanat’s freedom tower epitomises those efforts.

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An insider's guide to Innsbruck: gliders, gardens and sausage street art

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:35:12 GMT2016-09-26T10:35:12Z

The surrounding countryside has been inspiring cyclists, skiers and climbers for years – but this west Austrian city has more to offer than mountains

“Last call and first chair”

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Is the mass sharing of driverless cars about to reshape our suburbs?

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:08:24 GMT2016-09-26T06:08:24Z

Sidewalk Labs believes personal car ownership is about to become history, making suburbs more accessible and better for walking and cycling. But what if it simply means people shove each child into a different car to get to school?

A few months ago I interviewed Klaus Bondam, head of the Danish cycling union and formerly Copenhagen’s mayor for roads and infrastructure, and asked him how he saw his city changing in the coming years. The answer was something of a surprise.

“Look at something like car parking,” Bondam told me. “It’s so old fashioned in my eyes. The private ownership of a car – that will end in the next 10 to 15 years. I think it’s going to be a combination of shared cars, of city cars, of public transport, bicycles, electric bicycles, of freight distribution by electric cargo bikes.”

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A world without cars: cities go car-free for the day - in pictures

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:08:08 GMT2016-09-26T06:08:08Z

From Bogota to Paris, Detroit to Istanbul, cities around the world have been imposing traffic restrictions to mark World Car-Free Day. Is this a vision of our urban future?

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Paradise lost: does Copenhagen’s Christiania commune still have a future?

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:30:02 GMT2016-09-23T06:30:02Z

For 45 years, Christiania has stood as a community-led utopia, its cannabis trade central to a liberal culture. But the shooting of a police officer has forced residents to take radical action. As the smoke clears, will it ever be the same again?

Late in the evening on Wednesday 31 August, gunshots were fired in the centre of Christiania, Copenhagen’s semi-autonomous freetown. Three people were injured, including one police officer, who remains in critical condition. The gunman – a 25-year-old Dane who was later shot and killed by the police – is believed to have been involved in Christiania’s hash trade.

Cannabis has long been sold and enjoyed in this unique neighbourhood, a famous utopian commune in the heart of Denmark’s capital. Historically a centre of freedom and resistance, it will celebrate on Monday the 45th anniversary of the day that squatters – known as slumstormerene – broke down the barricades of an abandoned military base, creatively activating disused spaces in a time when living conditions were poor. In 1973, the Social Democratic government gave Christiania the official temporary status of “social experiment” – a term that many criticised as its residents had not agreed to participate. Nonetheless, this ruling allowed Christiania to persist, and a majority vote in parliament in 1989 set the Christiania Law in stone, legalising the squat.

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Female rappers take a stand in Mexico's capital of violence against women

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 11:25:08 GMT2016-09-22T11:25:08Z

On average more than one woman per week is killed in Ecatepec, on the outer edge of Mexico City. But despite living with this constant threat of brutality, local female hip-hop artists are using their music to try to change attitudes

As darkness descends over the imposing green mountains on the outskirts of Mexico City, Luz Reality, a 32-year-old rapper, steps under a faded orange tarp and through a metal security door into the underground venue. Though a veteran of the city’s hip-hop scene, she admits she still gets unnerved by the constant threat of assault in the areas around Ecatepec’s clandestine concert venues.

In recent months, this barrio has been plagued by a grisly series of abductions and murders. In one case, a woman was found burned on an empty patch of grass. The victim somehow survived the brutal attack and was still alive when police found her, but died later from her injuries.

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¿Qué está haciendo tu ciudad para resistirse a la gentrificación?

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:58:28 GMT2016-09-22T10:58:28Z

Tanto si estás participando en campañas contra los desplazamientos forzados como si tu ciudad tiene políticas para proteger las viviendas asequibles, comparte aquí tus historias sobre la gentrificación

La gentrificación – término usado por primera vez hace más de medio siglo para describir el desplazamiento de las clases obreras de un barrio y la transformación total de su carácter social – está afectando, de manera aparentemente inevitable e inflexible, a ciudades de todo el mundo. Las historias de precios del alojamiento que suben como la espuma, de comunidades fracturadas y de rascacielos vacíos se han convertido en habituales, de San Francisco a Sydney.

Related: What is your city doing to resist gentrification?

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From civil war to gang war: new violence drives Salvadorans to makeshift camp

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:23:12 GMT2016-09-30T17:23:12Z

In the country’s first camp for internally displaced people since the civil war, 70 people are living on a basketball court: ‘We won’t go back’

A gloomy group of men and women watch in silence as a truckload of armed soldiers slowly drive past the basketball court where they are living in makeshift plastic shelters.

This encampment in Caluco, a small town 40 miles west of the capital, San Salvador, is home to about 70 people from a nearby farming community, forced to flee their homes after a recent escalation of gang violence.

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Thailand reports first two cases of Zika birth defects

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:44:35 GMT2016-09-30T14:44:35Z

Two babies born with ‘small heads’ are first confirmed cases of microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus in south-east Asia

Thailand has reported the first confirmed cases in south-east Asia of microcephaly linked to mosquito-borne Zika, prompting the World Health Organisation (WHO) to urge action against the virus across the region.

The confirmation of two case of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size, came a day after US health officials recommended that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to 11 south-east Asian countries because of the risk of Zika.

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The country that cracked its stunting crisis

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:59:09 GMT2016-09-30T09:59:09Z

A programme of cash transfers tied to regular health checks for children has turned Peru into a remarkable success story in tackling infant malnutrition

For years, some Peruvians assumed that being short was a trait that was innate to the country’s indigenous people, until a multi-pronged campaign of health checks, a conditional cash transfer scheme and public spending managed to halve childhood stunting in less than a decade.

In the seven years between 2007 and 2014 stunting among children under five dropped from 29% to 14%, according to Peru’s National Statistics Institute. It is one of the most successful achievements in reducing child malnourishment in the world.

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Poor countries call for help in getting green stuff into climate projects

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:26:54 GMT2016-09-30T09:26:54Z

Experts at conference on green growth say money is available for designing development projects but that schemes are too often unappealing to investors

A green finance gap means many projects fail to get off the ground for lack of funds while investors complain about a dearth of bankable projects, warned experts at the Global Green Growth conference on the South Korean island of Jeju.

Related: 'Red tape' locking small island states out of billions in climate funds

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'My kids hate me … I sold them': slavery and child labour in Ghana – in pictures

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:00:12 GMT2016-09-30T06:00:12Z

Child labour is a major problem in Ghana, affecting more than one-fifth of young people. The figure can be much higher in coastal areas, where poverty-hit families send their children to work or sell them into labour. Research by volunteering organisation Ubelong suggests more than 80% of children in the town of Senya are trafficked into hazardous work in the fishing industry

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Captured and cut: FGM returns to Sierra Leone despite official ban | Umaru Fofana

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:21:07 GMT2016-09-29T14:21:07Z

The recent ordeal of a woman in eastern Sierra Leone who was allegedly forced to undergo female genital mutilation suggests a ban on the practice imposed after the 2014 Ebola outbreak is no longer being enforced

Khadija Balayma Allieu sits on her hospital bed, grimacing at every movement of her legs. It has been five days since she was forcibly genitally mutilated, she says.

As she receives treatment in the eastern Sierra Leonean town of Kenema, Khadija, 28, recounts what she went through at the hands of five cutters. She is now in hiding because the soweis – as the cutters are known locally – are looking for her.

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Chess centre in Kampala slum prepares children to make their next move | Alon Mwesigwa

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:04:41 GMT2016-09-29T11:04:41Z

Phiona Mutesi, the chess champion whose story is told in a new Hollywood film, honed her skills at an academy offering vital support to young Ugandans

Sisters Stellah Babirye and Joan Nakimuli sit either side of a chessboard on a wooden bench at their home in Katwe, one of the largest slums in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Babirye, 16, wants to be a politician; Nakimuli, 18, a lawyer. They gaze at the chessboard intently. Nakimuli moves her king – but it’s a wrong move. Babirye captures her sister’s piece and both burst into laughter. “I told you a politician is a bigger than a lawyer,” Babirye says.

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Children bear brunt of alleged chemical weapon attacks in Sudan, says Amnesty

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 03:01:31 GMT2016-09-29T03:01:31Z

‘War crimes’ condemned as study uncovers horrifying evidence of chemical attacks by government forces on civilians, including babies and young children

Sudanese government forces have used chemical weapons repeatedly against civilians, including babies and young children, in one of the most remote regions of Darfur over the past eight months, according to allegations documented by Amnesty International.

The alleged chemical attacks, believed to have killed up to 250 people, mostly children, represent a “new low” in the catalogue of serious abuses perpetrated by government forces in the region, said the human rights group.

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At last, the destruction of heritage has been recognised as a weapon of war | Irina Bokova

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:38:35 GMT2016-09-28T13:38:35Z

The imprisonment of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi for helping to vandalise shrines in Timbuktu marks a key moment for justice and reflects the wider value of culture

In a world scarred by recurrent violence against people and their heritage, the nine-year prison sentence handed down to Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, who helped to destroy shrines in Timbuktu, marks a new and welcome recognition that deliberate cultural destruction is a war crime.

Posterity will remember 27 September 2016, the date of Mahdi’s conviction by the international criminal court, as the day impunity for the destruction of heritage finally came to an end and as a turning point for justice in Mali and beyond.

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EU's secret ultimatum to Afghanistan: accept 80,000 deportees or lose aid

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:15:55 GMT2016-09-28T11:15:55Z

Memo leaked in advance of Brussels aid summit reveals EU plans to make assistance to Afghanistan ‘migration sensitive’ despite security concerns

When international donors and the Afghan government convene in Brussels next week, the EU secretly plans to threaten Afghanistan with a reduction in aid if the war-torn country does not accept at least 80,000 deported asylum seekers.

According to a leaked restricted memo (pdf), the EU will make some of its aid “migration sensitive”, even while acknowledging that security in Afghanistan is worsening.

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The other 15%: what effect will third-party voters have on the election?

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:48:10 GMT2016-09-30T15:48:10Z

Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Evan McMullin are winning over quite a few voters – and they seem to be drawing equally from potential Democrats and Republicans

Readers are much better at asking smart questions than I am, which is why I have been ending each of these articles with a request to get in touch with me. Earlier this week, Alan wrote me an email which asked:

I would like to know more about what supporters of the Greens and Libertarians will actually do on US polling day. Do we expect them to vote for their own lost causes as a principled act of faith, stay at home or switch to a mainstream party?

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How rising violence in just 10 cities drove up the US murder rate

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:29:33 GMT2016-09-30T12:29:33Z

Longstanding discontent and distrust of police could be behind FBI data released this week showing the largest percentage increase in murders since 1971

A third of last year’s 10.8% murder increase in the US, the biggest single-year leap in decades, was driven by rising violence in just 10 cities, according to FBI data released this week.

Together, these 10 cities suffered an additional 524 murders last year, part of an estimated increase of 1,500 additional murders nationwide.

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The lies Trump told this week: from post-debate polls to losing US jobs

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:00:04 GMT2016-09-30T10:00:04Z

The Republican nominee did some creative math when talking about how ‘great’ he did in polls after the debate and used his private plane to talk about jobs

“Wow, did great in the debate polls (except for @CNN – which I don’t watch). Thank you!” 27 September, Twitter

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America's choice for president: Barack Obama or Donald Trump?

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:22:10 GMT2016-09-29T16:22:10Z

Poll results showed seven percentage points separated the sitting Democrat from the Republican nominee, but such horse-race analysis doesn’t tell us much

When Americans were asked who they would prefer as president, only seven percentage points separated Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Related: Hillary Clinton struggles to win over millennial voters loyal to Bernie Sanders

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If you want millennials to vote for you, here's what you need to understand | Katrina Jorgensen

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:30:00 GMT2016-09-28T11:30:00Z

We are the biggest voting bloc in the United States today, and we want to be heard

If you’re running for office in 2016, it’s time to get serious about reaching millennials. As a down ballot candidate you can’t depend on your presidential nominee to bring in younger voters – in fact, both candidates seems to be driving them away.

Related: 'I don’t like this election': will millennials, the biggest generation, turn out to vote?

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Donald Trump's debate transcript: analyzing his claims issue by issue

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 18:40:50 GMT2016-09-27T18:40:50Z

The Republican nominee made a lot of definitive-sounding statements on Monday night, on everything from race and policing to Isis and cyber warfare

Republican nominee Donald Trump made a lot of definitive-sounding claims in the first presidential debate on Monday night. We unfurled some of those long-winded statements and took a closer look, issue by issue.

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Who won the debate? A round-by-round analysis of Clinton v Trump

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:56:27 GMT2016-09-27T15:56:27Z

The first debate of the 2016 campaign was divided by NBC into three sections. Sabrina Siddiqui and Ben Jacobs investigate who won each of them

Clinton

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Clinton says Trump's 3am twitter attacks 'unhinged even for him' – video

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 01:13:05 GMT2016-10-01T01:13:05Z

Hillary Clinton criticises Donald Trump’s late-night Twitter attacks on former beauty queen Alicia Machado while campaigning in Coral Springs, Florida, on Friday. Clinton says Trump’s ‘latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him’ before declaring the Republican nominee is ‘temperamentally unfit to be president and commander-in-chief’

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Data recorder recovered in deadly New Jersey train crash – video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:14:40 GMT2016-09-30T18:14:40Z

Investigators recovered a data recorder from the commuter train that crashed into the Hoboken terminal in New Jersey on Thursday morning as the search for clues into the deadly crash continued. One person was killed and more than 100 were injured when the train slammed into the station during rush hour

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Obama jokes about 'Phelps face' during Olympians' White House visit – video

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 21:29:07 GMT2016-09-29T21:29:07Z

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle saluted the US Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday. Obama jokes about performing a routine with Simone Biles and later referenced the infamous ‘Phelps face’. At the end of the event, Biles presented the Obamas with a surf board in recognition of the sport being introduced to Olympic line-up

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Witnesses describe New Jersey train crash: ‘It went through the air’ – video

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:01:48 GMT2016-09-29T17:01:48Z

Witnesses describe the moment a New Jersey train crashed into the Hoboken station, causing extensive damage and injuring more than 100 people. Michael Larson, who works for New Jersey Transit, says he saw the train go ‘through the air’. He says one of the carriages was completely destroyed and commuters were forced to crawl to safety

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