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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: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:31:06 GMT2017-12-12T05:31:06Z

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



Manhattan subway explosion 'was attempted terrorist attack', says mayor

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:03:07 GMT2017-12-12T02:03:07Z

  • Four total injuries reported in blast on subway near Port Authority
  • 27-year-old Akayed Ullah named by police as suspect

A 27-year-old man was in custody on Monday after allegedly detonating a pipe bomb in a New York City subway station during the morning commute.

The suspect, Akayed Ullah, was one of four people injured in the explosion, which occurred at about 7.20am in a passageway near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, in midtown Manhattan near Times Square, New York City police said.

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EU leaders complicit in torture of refugees and migrants, Amnesty says

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:01:18 GMT2017-12-12T00:01:18Z

Rights group claims EU is financing Libyan system that routinely acts in collusion with militia groups and people traffickers

European leaders stand accused by Amnesty International of being knowingly complicit in the torture and exploitation of thousands of migrants and refugees by the EU-financed Libyan coastguard and officials running the country’s detention camps.

In an attempt to stem the flow of people across the Mediterranean to Europe, the EU is financing a system that routinely acts in collusion with militia groups and people traffickers to “make money from human suffering”, a report from the human rights group claims.

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Macron awards US scientists grants to move to France in defiance of Trump

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:16:49 GMT2017-12-11T21:16:49Z

France’s president awards millions of euros to 18 American scientists to relocate in effort to counter Donald Trump on the climate change front

Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term.

The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants – a nod to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan – are part of Macron’s efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

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Writers, actors and musicians condemn Trump Jerusalem move

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:03:30 GMT2017-12-11T19:03:30Z

Letter claims US president is furthering Israeli agenda ‘to erase Palestinians from the life of their own city’

Tilda Swinton, Mark Ruffalo, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno are among dozens of writers, musicians and actors who have condemned Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a letter to the Guardian, figures from across the arts world says the move by the US president will help to further an Israeli agenda to “erase Palestinians as a political and cultural presence from the life of their own city.”

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Game that tune: Apple snaps up Shazam for reported $400m

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:42:26 GMT2017-12-11T19:42:26Z

Price tag would be less than half the $1bn music identifying app was last valued at when it tapped investors in 2015

Apple has bought Shazam, a London-based app that allows smartphone users to identify music, for a reported $400m (£300m).

The US company, which revolutionised music with the introduction of the the iPod and iPhone, said Shazam was a natural fit for its Apple Music streaming service.

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Bitcoin bubble warnings issued as futures trading opens in Chicago

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:37:42 GMT2017-12-11T18:37:42Z

First contract on a regulated exchange is seen as step towards legitimacy for the cryptocurrency but volume traded is tiny

Bitcoin has taken a step toward legitimacy with the launch of a product on a Chicago exchange that allows investors to take bets on its price in the future.

The new contract on the Chicago Board Options Exchange came as the digital currency jumped another 10%, sparking fresh warnings of a speculative bubble after last week’s 40% climb in price.

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Astronomers to check interstellar body for signs of alien technology

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:51:50 GMT2017-12-11T19:51:50Z

Green Bank telescope in West Virginia will listen for radio signals from ‘Oumuamua, an object from another solar system

Astronomers are to use one of the world’s largest telescopes to check a mysterious object that is speeding through the solar system for signs of alien technology.

The Green Bank telescope in West Virginia will listen for radio signals being broadcast from a cigar-shaped body which was first spotted in the solar system in October. The body arrived from interstellar space and reached a peak speed of 196,000 mph as it swept past the sun.

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Trump's accusers demand Congress investigate sexual misconduct claims

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:36:25 GMT2017-12-11T20:36:25Z

Women who accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior say lawmakers should extend same scrutiny to the president that they did to Al Franken

A group of women who have accused Donald Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior on Monday demanded that Congress open an investigation.

Related: The sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump – the full list

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France to ban mobile phones in schools from September

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:14:02 GMT2017-12-11T20:14:02Z

Pupils, teachers and parents seem less than convinced by measure prohibiting use in primary, junior and middle schools

The French government is to ban students from using mobile phones in the country’s primary, junior and middle schools.

Children will be allowed to bring their phones to school, but not allowed to get them out at any time until they leave, even during breaks.

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UN warns tough North Korea sanctions risk hurting millions in need of aid

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:58:58 GMT2017-12-11T20:58:58Z

Human rights chief says international sanctions are complicating delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to estimated 18 million North Koreans

The UN rights chief told the security council on Monday that tough sanctions imposed on North Korea are complicating the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid and called for an assessment.

An estimated 18 million North Koreans, or 70% of the population, suffer from acute food shortages and aid agencies provide “literally a lifeline” for 13 million of them, said UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

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Economic gap across Irish border 'set to widen' as Brexit looms

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:01:16 GMT2017-12-11T19:01:16Z

Report says uncertainty and breakdown of Northern Ireland’s assembly will increase disparity between north and south

The gap in fortunes between the economies of Northern Ireland and Ireland will increase in the next two years as Brexit looms, according to a new report published in Dublin.

Consultancy EY predicts 144,000 new jobs will be created across the entire island of Ireland between 2017 and 2020. However, the vast majority, 138,500, will be in the republic – the population of which is more than twice the size of its neighbour – with just 5,800 jobs in Northern Ireland, said EY.

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Excitement as trial shows Huntington's drug could slow progress of disease

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:20:00 GMT2017-12-11T12:20:00Z

Hailed as ‘enormously significant’, results in groundbreaking trial are first time a drug has been shown to suppress effects of Huntington’s genetic mutation

A landmark trial for Huntington’s disease has announced positive results, suggesting that an experimental drug could become the first to slow the progression of the devastating genetic illness.

The results have been hailed as “enormously significant” because it is the first time any drug has been shown to suppress the effects of the Huntington’s mutation that causes irreversible damage to the brain. Current treatments only help with symptoms, rather than slowing the disease’s progression.

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Pentagon says transgender people can enlist in US military at start of new year

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:07:06 GMT2017-12-11T19:07:06Z

Transgender people will be allowed to enlist despite opposition from Donald Trump, reflecting growing legal pressure on the issue

The Pentagon will allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning 1 January, despite opposition from Donald Trump, an official told the Associated Press.

The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump’s demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban.

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Argentina criticised for banning NGOs from conference over social media posts

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:55:48 GMT2017-12-11T18:55:48Z

President Macri under fire for revoking accreditations for World Trade Organisation conference over ‘calls for violence’, a charge those affected deny

Argentina’s centre-right president Mauricio Macri has come under heavy criticism for banning representatives of 26 international NGOs from attending a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in Buenos Aires because of their postings on social media.

The Argentinian government revoked accreditation for around 60 people, and over the weekend deported two delegates who attempted to the enter the country for the biennial meeting. The activists represented 20 different groups, including Friends of the Earth International and Global Justice Now.

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What would an earthquake-proof city look like?

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:15:21 GMT2017-12-11T12:15:21Z

Earthquakes don’t kill people (generally), collapsing buildings do – meaning it is cities where the most lives can be saved. Here are their smartest ideas so far

Between 1994 and 2013, nearly half a million people around the world died due to earthquakes, with another 118.3 million affected. A further 250,000 deaths resulted from subsequent tsunamis – chiefly in 2004 in the Indian Ocean – and more than 700 from ash fall.

Earthquakes affect every continent, though certain areas – the Pacific border of South America, the western coast of North America and Mexico, Alaska, south-eastern Europe, New Zealand and much of Asia – are especially prone. Though rarer than floods, they can cause devastating damage and large numbers of casualties very quickly. The Haitian earthquake in January 2010 killed an estimated 230,000 people, injured 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million from their homes. It also caused around $8bn of destruction, and its impacts are still being felt today.

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The walls have eyes: the best urban photography

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:00:15 GMT2017-12-11T07:00:15Z

A sun-baked Niemeyer treasure, a decaying Montana schoolhouse and a scary manmade cave are just some of the striking pieces shortlisted for the 2017 Art of Building photography awards. The winner will be announced in January

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A crime against fashion? Why Montreal police donned colourful cargo pants

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:43:28 GMT2017-12-08T12:43:28Z

Forbidden from striking, officers in Montreal’s 4,600-strong police force wore non-regulation colourful cargo pants, checkered clown trousers and animal-print leggings in their three-year fight over pensions. They won a 20% pay rise

At the intersection of Saint Catherine Street and Bishop Street in downtown Montreal, it was hard to miss the group of police officers, standing outside the station, watching for jaywalkers. But the first thing you noticed was not the badges or the guns, but their fluorescent camouflage-print trousers.

This was not the official uniform of Montreal’s 4,600-person strong police force, the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal, or SPVM. Since July 2014 most officers have worn colourful trousers in protest against stagnant pay and proposed cuts to their pensions, over which they had been locked in a lengthy dispute with city hall. They said that since they had no right to strike, wearing camo-print trousers was the only way to express their unhappiness.

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Laiza in the spotlight: Myanmar's rebel capital digs in – and switches on

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:00:35 GMT2017-12-08T07:00:35Z

Trapped between the Burmese army and the Chinese border, the stronghold of the Christian Kachin people is quietly gearing up for its first film festival

Laiza is a city under siege – sort of. On one side of this remote, mountainous but important settlement in Myanmar’s breakaway Kachin state lurks the dreaded Burmese army. On the other, marking the city limits, is the Chinese border. “People are worried,” says Dau Hku, an official with the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which controls Laiza as the de facto capital of its small and shifting breakaway territory. “Everyone knows we are within shelling range.”

In theory, the Burmese army – known as the Tatmadaw – could attack the city at any moment, and in theory, Laizans would have nowhere to run. Most people aren’t officially allowed to cross the border into China.

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In fear of deportation: five hours that can make or break a family's future

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:00:15 GMT2017-12-11T07:00:15Z

For Joe and Mei Chen, their appointment at the federal immigration agency, Ice, in New York would determine if they would be separated from their children

In late October, at a Dunkin’ Donuts in lower Manhattan, a crowd of 40 volunteers gathered around Joe and Mei Chen and their three children.

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Grenfell labelled a 'national atrocity' as lawyers begin giving evidence

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:02:50 GMT2017-12-11T22:02:50Z

Public inquiry hears from lawyers representing survivors and victims’ families for first time as Met officers consider multiple criminal offences

The Grenfell Tower fire was a “national atrocity” and warnings given in advance were ignored, a lawyer representing many of the bereaved has told the tragedy’s public inquiry.

Almost six months after the inferno reduced the high-rise flats to a charred skeleton, lawyers representing survivors and relatives of the victims have for the first time begun giving evidence.

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Syrian opposition urges Russia to rescue UN peace talks

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:00:24 GMT2017-12-12T05:00:24Z

Vladimir Putin needs to apply decisive pressure on Bashar al-Assad at Geneva, says leading member of Syrian opposition

Russia has been urged by the Syrian opposition to salvage the UN’s peace talks in Geneva this week by persuading the Syrian government delegation finally to begin direct face-to-face discussions.

Basma Kodami, a leading member of the Syrian opposition negotiating team, urged the Russians to show they wanted to capitalise on the end of military operations in Syria by building a lasting peace.

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Bombed into famine: how Saudi air campaign targets Yemen’s food supplies

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:00:24 GMT2017-12-12T05:00:24Z

Sources of food are a lifeline in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, but are being targeted by the Saudi-led coalition

At 11.30pm, 10 nautical miles off Yemen’s western Red Sea coast, seven fishermen were near the end of the four hours it had taken to haul their nets bulging with the day’s catch into their fibreglass boat. Suddenly, away from the illumination of the vessel’s large spotlight, one of the men spotted a black silhouette coming towards them.

Moments later a helicopter began circling overhead. The fishermen assumed an approaching warship would call for them to show their registration documents and ID cards. They were well within the 30 nautical mile boundary they had been warned not to cross by leaflets airdropped on land by the Saudi-led coalition. But, without warning, gunfire suddenly erupted from the helicopter.

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Surveillance video appears to show moment of New York subway bombing – video

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:11:49 GMT2017-12-12T05:11:49Z

Surveillance video appears to show the moment of a bombing on the New York subway on Monday. Authorities say a man inspired by Islamic State extremists strapped on a crude pipe bomb, slipped into the subway system and set the device off at rush hour.

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Liam Fox’s free trade ideals boost big business | Letters

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:18:22 GMT2017-12-11T19:18:22Z

The WTO has worked well for big business, much less so for the global poor, writes Nick Dearden. Argentina’s clampdown on British NGOs is a violation of democracy, writes Dr Daniel Ozarow

Liam Fox is fulsome in his praise of the benefits of free trade (Britain must champion the poverty-busting power of trade, 11 December). But we have learnt in recent decades that trade doesn’t always benefit everyone, particularly when institutions like the World Trade Organisation force countries to give up powers they could use to regulate big business. The WTO has worked well for big business, much less so for the global poor.

This week Britain could speak up for different WTO rules that, for instance, would allow countries like India to provide subsidised food to address poverty. Instead, Fox will champion a whole set of “new issues” being included in WTO rules, like e-commerce, which in reality is a charter for big tech companies like Google and Amazon to use and abuse our data at will. Trade rules must change if they’re to survive the age of Trump-style nationalism. The first step is democracy and accountability. But here, Fox falls short. He has not spoken out about the banning of some British citizens (including myself) from Argentina for the WTO summit. Neither does his trade bill currently in parliament give any scope for the public or parliament to shape the trade deals we do post-Brexit.
Nick Dearden
Director, Global Justice Now

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Pacific pop-up: island that rose from the ashes might last 30 years

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:29:27 GMT2017-12-12T05:29:27Z

Tongan volcanic island unofficially named Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai was initially only expected to stay above sea level for a matter of months

A new Tongan island formed from the ash of a 2014 volcanic eruption in the South Pacific could exist for decades, according to a study released by Nasa.

The ash island, unofficially named Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, formed during a submarine volcanic eruption that lasted from late December 2014 to early January 2015. The new land mass, which has a 120m summit, was originally only predicted to last months.

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It's an important moment for women but will #metoo create lasting change? | Rebecca Huntley

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:48:06 GMT2017-12-12T04:48:06Z

There are yawning gender gaps in attitudes towards sexual harassment and the workplace – and they are disheartening

Like so many women I know, I’ve closely followed the national and international stories about powerful men in politics and the media and their alleged involvement in sexual harassment.

I’ve followed #metoo on social media. I’ve watched as stories of sexism, discrimination and assault (so many stories, all too familiar) have “crossed over” from the status of confidential disclosures between friends to national news headlines.

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Battling a tide of sewage in Brazil: ‘For 17 days we lived with our feet under water’ | Ciro Barros and Iuri Barcelos

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:25:43 GMT2017-12-11T11:25:43Z

Residents near the world’s fourth largest hydroelectric power plant say the Belo Monte dam has made their houses prone to floods of waste water

A line on the wall of Carlos Alves Moraes’ house shows the highwater mark of the flood which hit his neighbourhood in August. Houses near the lagoon are built on stilts to protect against seasonal rains, but now, because of the dam, they are prone to flooding throughout the year, he says.

“We spent 17 days in August living here with our feet under water,” he says.

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Boris Johnson condemned for trade forum with Sudan over rights abuses

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:30:14 GMT2017-12-11T06:30:14Z

MPs warn foreign secretary against pursuing investment in country with poor record on corruption and human rights, ahead of controversial London summit

Boris Johnson has come under fire over Britain’s stance on trading with Sudan ahead of a controversial forum due to take place in London on Tuesday.

A group of MPs have signed a letter to the foreign secretary warning the government against pursuing investment in a country rife with corruption and where the president is wanted for human rights violations.

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Women in sub-Saharan Africa forced into sex to pay hospital bills, study says

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:12:20 GMT2017-12-08T14:12:20Z

Patients too poor to settle medical debts are chained to drainpipes, starved and abused in health centres across parts of Africa and Asia, report reveals

Hospitals are detaining hundreds of thousands of people against their will every year – many of them mothers and their newborn babies – simply because they are too poor to pay their medical bills, a study has found.

The practice, which is widespread across parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, sees patients chained to drainpipes, starved and abused, and forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for cash to pay off their bills, according to the paper published by Chatham House this week.

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The Gulf work trap that brought tragedy to an entire family

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 07:00:35 GMT2017-12-08T07:00:35Z

When a Sri Lankan family moved to the Gulf in search of a better life, they reckoned without stringent labour laws that would bring unspeakable grief

Holed up in an apartment on the seventh floor of a tower block in Sharjah, the family of five desperate Sri Lankans were racking up debts and disquiet at an alarming rate.

Unable to pay fines that had been mounting daily since their visas expired four years earlier, they felt trapped. The father’s passport had been withheld by an employer, which meant the 55-year-old could neither find work in the United Arab Emirates nor leave the wealthy Gulf state to seek employment elsewhere.

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'It was unbelievable horror': the Rohingya crisis – podcast

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:00:07 GMT2017-12-07T09:00:07Z

With nearly a million Rohingya driven out of Myanmar in what the UN has called textbook ‘ethnic cleansing’, Lucy Lamble hears about the situation on the ground in Bangladesh – and how the international community can help

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the wake of a brutal offensive by the Burmese army. Traumatised men, women and children with horrific stories have arrived in Bangladesh, and NGOs and the Dhaka government are struggling to cope.

Lucy Lamble is joined by Dr Champa Patel, head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, and Asif Saleh, senior director of communications, strategy and empowerment, from Brac, an NGO working in Bangladesh and beyond, to discuss the humanitarian situation in Cox’s Bazar and the politics of the crisis.

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New York subway attack reveals security challenge for transport systems

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:26:10 GMT2017-12-11T21:26:10Z

Experts say trains and commuter rail lines remain comparatively vulnerable to attack – but it’s unlikely that passengers would accept airport-style screenings

Every weekday, nearly 5.7 million people move through New York City’s subway system, commuting through 472 subway stations and across 662 miles of track.

Monday’s attempted bomb attack struck at the heart of the commuter network in the Monday morning rush hour. Officials said the bomb detonated in a subway passageway in midtown Manhattan, between Port Authority bus terminal, which itself serves 65 million passengers each year, and the Times Square subway station at 42nd Street.

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Manhattan bomb: officials will focus on recent activity and overseas links

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:13:02 GMT2017-12-11T18:13:02Z

Investigators will be tracking suspect’s recent experiences in the US but will also be digging into his formative years abroad

Early reports say Akayed Ullah, the suspect in Monday’s attack in New York, is originally from Bangladesh and has been in the United States for seven years. Officials believe Ullah was inspired by Islamic State, which is entirely plausible given other recent plots, though this should become clearer in coming days.

Related: New York explosion: police name injured suspect as Akayed Ullah – live updates

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I'm queer and undocumented: how I came out twice | Jesus Daniel

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:00:15 GMT2017-12-11T07:00:15Z

I was extremely hesitant to share my immigration status, and my sexuality – but I did it, and I’m stronger for it. I say to others like me: you are not alone

Put yourself in my shoes for a moment.

You’re a child. You’re five years old. You leave the country you were born in for another. You’re with your mother, and all you have is a few belongings, the promise of seeing your father again, and the hope for a better tomorrow.

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'We're here to stay': the Guardian invites Dreamers to guest-edit our US edition

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 07:00:15 GMT2017-12-11T07:00:15Z

The Trump administration has put the future of young, undocumented immigrants at risk. Meet our guest editors and hear what they have to say

As soon as Justino Mora wakes up, a new number pops into his head.

At first, it was 322. Then, 305. 301. 297. Eventually, it will be zero.

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Kayla Moore denies antisemitism: 'we have close friends that are Jewish' – video

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:01:44 GMT2017-12-12T04:01:44Z

Kayla Moore tells a crowd at a rally for her husband, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, that the ‘fake news’ has been suggesting that they ‘don’t care for Jews’. She says that is not true, citing the fact she has a Jewish attorney as evidence. ‘One of our attorneys is a Jew, we have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis.’

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Suspect arrested after attempted terrorist attack on New York subway – video report

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:09:11 GMT2017-12-11T16:09:11Z

Four people were reported to have been injured in an explosion in the Manhattan area of the city on Monday. The incident happened at around 7.20am local time in a passageway between the 42nd Street Times Square station and the New York Port Authority

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Nikki Haley: Trump accusers 'have every right to speak up' – video

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:10:43 GMT2017-12-11T11:10:43Z

The US ambassador to the UN has said women who accuse President Donald Trump or anyone else of sexual harassment or assault 'should be heard'. Speaking to the CBS programme Face the Nation on Sunday, Nikki Haley added: 'Women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them'

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Ferry runs aground in Calais harbour – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:27:57 GMT2017-12-10T16:27:57Z

A ferry carrying more than 200 passengers has become stuck in windy conditions in Calais, the local government said on Sunday. The Pride of Kent, which was bound for Dover at about midday, is believed to have run aground on a sandbank in the harbour

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Horses flee San Diego fires – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 15:43:09 GMT2017-12-10T15:43:09Z

Horses at the San Luis Rey training centre in San Diego fled from their enclosure as wildfires engulf the area. Volunteers loosened the fence of a pen enclosing the animals who quickly ran away, panicked by the thick smoke

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