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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: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:25:04 GMT2017-11-24T11:25:04Z

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

Emmerson Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe's president

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:19:45 GMT2017-11-24T10:19:45Z

Former vice-president becomes country’s second leader since independence after resignation of Robert Mugabe on Tuesday

Profile: who is the ‘Crocodile’ taking power in Zimbabwe?
Road to ruin: how the Mugabes’ time ran out

Emmerson Mnangagwa has been sworn in as president of Zimbabwe, becoming the country’s second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mnangagwa took his oath of office in front of tens of thousands of jubilant Zimbabweans who had gathered at a stadium in Harare, after greeting the crowd with a raised fist.

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South African court doubles Oscar Pistorius's prison sentence

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:18:03 GMT2017-11-24T09:18:03Z

State argued athlete’s original sentence of six years for murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was ‘shockingly lenient’

A South African appeal court has more than doubled the former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The supreme court of appeal (SCA) increased Pistorius’s sentence from six years in prison to 13 years and five months.

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'Facing disaster': children starve in siege of Syria's former breadbasket

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 05:00:21 GMT2017-11-24T05:00:21Z

With a political breakthrough unlikely at upcoming talks, people in eastern Ghouta face shortages of food, fuel and medicine

The sight of a woman weeping as she drags her malnourished children into a clinic is not rare in eastern Ghouta, which is under siege by forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

But when one mother told Abdel Hamid, a doctor, that she had fed her four starving children newspaper cutouts softened with water to stop them from screaming into the night, even he was stunned.

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Ireland faces possible snap election over police scandal

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:50:20 GMT2017-11-24T10:50:20Z

Fianna Fáil party says snap election will take place next month unless deputy prime minister Frances Fitzgerald, of Fine Gael, resigns

Ireland is on the verge of a snap election after the party that props up the country’s minority coalition government threatened to pull down the administration over a police whistleblower scandal.

The prime minister, Leo Varadkar, faces the prospect of going to the polls next month in the middle of a crucial summit on the EU, Britain and Brexit at which the stakes are high for the Irish Republic.

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Michael Flynn breaks ties with Trump's lawyers over Russia investigation – reports

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:59:58 GMT2017-11-24T07:59:58Z

Move suggests former national security adviser could be seeking a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller over election interference

A lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn has told President Donald Trump’s legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

The decision could be a sign that Flynn is moving to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation or to negotiate a deal for himself.

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Argentina: grief and anger after 'explosion' near missing submarine

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:08:07 GMT2017-11-23T19:08:07Z

Sound described as ‘abnormal’ was heard on day that contact was lost, navy spokesman confirms

The families of the crew of a missing Argentinian navy submarine have reacted with grief and then anger to the possibility that an explosion hit the submarine around the time it sent its last signal on 15 November.

An abnormal sound detected in the South Atlantic ocean was “consistent with an explosion”, the navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said. The navy did not have enough information to say what the cause of the explosion could have been or whether the vessel – the ARA San Juan – might have been attacked, he said.

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Saudi Arabia still blocking aid to Yemen despite pledge to lift siege

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:21:04 GMT2017-11-24T07:21:04Z

Saudi-led coalition has failed to lift blockade on Yemen’s ports, leaving tens of thousands without food and medicine

Aid agencies said Saudi Arabia had not fulfilled its promise to reopen humanitarian aid corridors into northern Yemen on Thursday, leaving the main aid lifeline closed for tens of thousands of starving people.

Following intense pressure from western governments, Saudi Arabia agreed on Wednesday to lift a fortnight-long blockade of the port of Hodeida from noon (9am GMT) on Thursday, but more than eight hours after the deadline, aid agencies said no permissions for humanitarian shipments had been given.

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Road to ruin: how the Mugabes' time ran out

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:59:28 GMT2017-11-23T18:59:28Z

Grace Mugabe was returning home when she spotted soldiers in the streets. Within hours the army had taken power

As dusk turned to dark in Zimbabwe last Tuesday, a convoy of three vehicles drove fast towards Harare, the capital, entering the city from the north.

Related: Grace Mugabe: the rags to riches rise and fall of 'Gucci Grace'

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Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards call for ban on Franco foundation

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:35:03 GMT2017-11-23T16:35:03Z

Petition filed in parliament says foundations glorifying Hitler or Mussolini would be unthinkable in Germany or Italy

More than 200,000 Spaniards have signed a petition filed in parliament on Thursday asking the government to ban the National Francisco Franco Foundation (FNFF), which glorifies Spain’s former dictator.

“In Germany or in Italy, it would be unthinkable to have a Hitler foundation or a Mussolini foundation,” read the petition, filed by a group that included descendants of victims of the Franco regime, in power from 1939 to 1975.

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Autocracies breed terror in Middle East, says Qatari foreign minister

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:15:47 GMT2017-11-23T16:15:47Z

Speech in London aims to present country as a more reliable ally in fight against terrorism than ‘crisis-making’ Saudi Arabia

Qatar’s foreign minister has claimed the root cause of Middle East terrorism lay in authoritarian rulers, and lack of human rights, presenting Qatar as a more reliable western ally in the fight against terror than “impulsive, crisis-making” Saudi Arabia.

Speaking in front of British ministers at a Qatar-sponsored anti-terror conference in London, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani stressed his country’s commitment to use political and economic policies, as well as security measures to attack extremism’s “breeding ground of injustice and authoritarianism”.

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Slovenia PM facing impeachment over support for refugee

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:00:20 GMT2017-11-23T17:00:20Z

Miro Cerar accused of seeking to interfere with judiciary after he voiced support for Syrian man, Ahmad Shamieh, who is facing deportation

The prime minister of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, one of the few liberal leaders in central and eastern Europe, is facing impeachment over his support for a Syrian asylum seeker who is facing deportation.

Should the country’s rightwing opposition party be successful in their motion, Cerar, the leader of the centrist moderate party, could be dismissed from office by the Slovenian MPs, although government sources insist the prime minister has enough support in parliament to vote down the motion.

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Manus Island police use long metal poles to beat refugees and asylum seekers

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:17:31 GMT2017-11-23T23:17:31Z

Video shows officers hitting refugees with metal poles as they drag men out of decommissioned camp

Papua New Guinean police have used batons to beat refugees and asylum seekers in the Manus Island detention centre, as they continue their operation to clear the decommissioned camp.

Video shot within the centre on Friday morning showed officers from PNG’s mobile squad threatening and hitting refugees with long metal poles as they dragged men out of the centre.

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Uma Thurman breaks Harvey Weinstein silence, saying #metoo

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:57:02 GMT2017-11-24T07:57:02Z

Actor who worked on seven films with disgraced mogul says she is taking pleasure in his downfall

Uma Thurman has broken her silence on Harvey Weinstein, saying of the ongoing stream of allegations against him: “I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet.”

The actor, who worked on seven films with Weinstein including Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill movies, posted a picture of herself as The Bride from Kill Bill.

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Myanmar signs pact with Bangladesh over Rohingya repatriation

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 13:12:13 GMT2017-11-23T13:12:13Z

Working group will be set up within three weeks but rights groups raise concerns about where returnees will be resettled

Myanmar and Bangladesh have signed an initial deal for the possible repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Rakhine state.

More than 620,000 Rohingya have crossed the border into Bangladesh since August, running from a military crackdown that Washington said this week clearly constituted ethnic cleansing.

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Judges admit this year's Bad sex award entries are 'quite good'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 16:46:29 GMT2017-11-23T16:46:29Z

Judges nominate overheated passages from Wilbur Smith and Laurent Binet among others, but concede that 2017’s sex scenes have been rather well done

Pulsing waves, fumbling fingers, tortured tongues and firework metaphors are as abundant as ever on the shortlist for the Bad sex in fiction award, which is returning for its annual exhibition of atrocious erotic writing. But this year, even the sworn foes of feeble literary coupling who run the prize concede, the sex in books has actually got better.

According to the Literary Review’s Frank Brinkley, the magazine has noted an improvement in the sex scenes in this year’s fiction. “There’s plenty of sex around (such as in Patrick Ness) but a lot of it is quite good,” he said. “Maybe we are having an effect – definitely literary fiction’s changing and the ‘Oh sod it, I’ll put in a sex scene’ attitude that prompted the creation of the award has pretty much fallen by the wayside. Maybe publishers aren’t pushing for it in the way that ‘sex sells’ was used as a prompt 15 years ago, either. All to the good.”

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Republican lawmaker on Roy Moore abuse allegations: 'I'd break his face'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:36:31 GMT2017-11-23T20:36:31Z

Representative Scott Taylor of Virginia says if his daughter had been among Senate candidate’s alleged victims, ‘I’d break his fingers and worse’

A Republican congressman has said he would have beaten up Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for a US Senate seat in Alabama, if any of the women who have made sexual misconduct allegations against the judge had been his daughter.

Related: Trump hails 'invisible' plane in remarks to coast guard: 'The enemy cannot see it'

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Your best comments and letters on the Guardian today

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:19:46 GMT2017-11-24T11:19:46Z

Zimbabwe’s new president, Billy Connolly at 75 and the success of the sandwich are just some of the comments and letters that have resonated most with readers today

News of Zimbabwe’s new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75 years of the comedian Billy Connolly and how the sandwich has consumed Britain have provoked some of the most interesting reader discussion on our Letters page and around the Guardian today.

To get involved in discussions online you can click on the links in the comments below to expand the conversation and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments and letters worth reading as the day goes on.

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Church of Sweden to stop referring to God as 'he' or 'Lord'

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:12:06 GMT2017-11-24T11:12:06Z

Head of largest Swedish Christian church says God is beyond human gender determination

The Church of Sweden is urging its clergy to use gender-neutral language when referring to the supreme deity, refraining from using terms such as “Lord” and “he” in favour of the less specific “God.”

The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects.

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Babylon Berlin: the real 1920s superclub behind Weimar-era thriller

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:59:16 GMT2017-11-24T10:59:16Z

The original venue that inspired the TV series’ flamboyant dance scenes was even wilder than the TV producers imagined

The nightclub at the heart of Babylon Berlin, the Weimar Republic-era TV drama that premiered on Sky UK this month, may share period features with the Kit Kat Klub where Liza Minelli once cocked her bowler hat in Cabaret. But the frantic flurry of sweaty limbs on its dance floor could equally be inside one of Berlin’s modern-day temples of thumping techno.

In an extraordinary 11-minute song-and-dance sequence in the show’s second episode, an ashen-faced Russian woman in tails performs a Marlene-Dietrich-meets-Kraftwerk routine flanked by semi-naked dancers in banana skirts while an ecstatic crowd jerks in sync to stabbing jazz rhythms: a generation half-reeling, half-dancing on the edge of the abyss.

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'All parties need to come to their senses': readers on Germany's political turmoil

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 10:24:20 GMT2017-11-24T10:24:20Z

We asked voters in Germany to explain the situation as they see it and tell us how they hope it will be resolved

Coalition talks have broken down between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), the pro-business FDP and the Green party after German federal elections at the end of September.

Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is urging party leaders to rethink their positions and try again to form a government. The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s partners in the outgoing government, say they will not budge from their refusal to enter a new Merkel-led administration. If that stands, a minority government or new elections are the only options.

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The $3bn subway station – and other urban white elephants

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:00:24 GMT2017-11-24T07:00:24Z

From Alaska’s ‘bridge to nowhere’ to Pyongyang’s Hotel of Doom, via a €1bn arts centre that leaks, here are the world’s most high-profile wastes of capital

How much should one subway station cost? The city of Toronto has an answer. The plan to extend transit in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough winds back at least a decade: at one time the plan was a seven-stop light-rail line; later a three-stop subway. Today, Scarborough is preparing to replace its six-stop automated train with just one single, solitary subway station, for a mere C$3bn (£1.8bn).

Is that a wise investment? Time will tell, but in a recently unearthed 2013 assessment the transport agency Metrolinx calls it “not a worthwhile use of money”. Many voters in Scarborough feel differently, and Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, has no plans to change course.

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Bilbao on the prairie: why does tiny Saskatoon need an $85m art gallery?

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 17:00:07 GMT2017-11-23T17:00:07Z

Saskatoon’s awe-inspiring new Remai gallery has vast ambitions. But does the overspend and hype about indigenous art justify all the bluster?

‘This isn’t just a gallery, it’s an act of making a city,” says Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of KPMB Architects, at the opening of the Remai Modern, a vast glass-and-steel art museum in Saskatoon. The C$84.6m (£51m) project would be a major event for any city, let alone a small university town of 250,000 in the wheat-filled Canadian prairies.

Saskatoon is on the cusp of something. It’s the third fastest growing city in Canada, has one of the country’s youngest demographics and its economy is growing (though not as fast as it was). The latter fact is thanks in great part to an oil and gas industry that, controversially, is charged some of the lowest tax rates in the world and has helped create more than 8,000 millionaires in the province of Saskatchewan. The Remai Modern – four horizontal cantilevered volumes in a raised position by the South Saskatchewan river – is also the recipient of one of the biggest philanthropic arts donations in Canadian history.

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The haves and have-nots: four cities in crisis

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 07:30:52 GMT2017-11-21T07:30:52Z

On the surface, Ulaanbaatar, San Francisco, Calais and Jerusalem could not be more different – but for the people squeezed out by political upheaval or prohibitive rents, the urban 21st century looks disturbingly uniform

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, but many people are residing in a state of limbo, leading a precarious existence on the margins, excluded from the promises of urban life. The world’s population is on the move more than ever before, driven by conflict and persecution, by the threat of environmental catastrophe and the lure of a better life, but cities simply aren’t prepared to receive their new arrivals.

Over the last two decades, Guardian photographer David Levene has documented the ways that people are living and working in cities around the world, how they make do with the bare minimum of resources to carve out space for themselves and their families in the most precarious of circumstances, and how cities are being polarised into places of haves and have-nots, with the right to the city relentlessly eroded.

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Behind the 'Medellín miracle': why the smart kids are going to hip-hop school

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 07:30:23 GMT2017-11-20T07:30:23Z

Every night across the world’s former murder capital, young boys and girls study the four elements of hip-hop to transform a generation – and rehabilitate a city

“When my family moved to Medellín, all I could see was drugs, violence and prostitution,” says Zuleima Pérez, 21. “My best hope was to get married, have kids and find some basic job. This school allowed me to think bigger.”

Around us, in the graffitied courtyard of a high school in Aranjuez – formerly the most notorious of Medellín’s barrios – kids of all ages mill about. Bass spills from the adjoining classrooms. In one room, an exasperated teacher is leading infants in a warm-up; in another, teens are being marshalled in breakdancing exercises with the intensity of a military drill. Upstairs, a group of twentysomethings contort to a remix of Notorious BIG’s Kick in the Door.

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Cycling downhill: has Copenhagen hit peak bike?

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:30:06 GMT2017-11-17T07:30:06Z

The share of trips taken by bike in Denmark’s capital has fallen. With ever more cars on the road and a new metro line about to open, can Copenhagen reach its target to have half of all journeys made by bike?

It’s 8am on a rainy weekday morning on Copenhagen’s Nørrebrogade street and the stream of cyclists making their way into city centre is already getting jammed.

Cyclists often have to wait through two or three rounds of green lights before they can get past. At Dronning Louise Bridge – one of the busiest cycle routes in the world, with 48,400 bikes crossing each day – newly installed information boards remind riders to pas på hinanden, or be aware of each other.

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Raze, rebuild, repeat: why Japan knocks down its houses after 30 years

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 07:29:53 GMT2017-11-16T07:29:53Z

Unlike in other countries, Japanese homes become valueless over time – but as the population shrinks, can its cities finally learn to slow down and refurb?

In the suburban neighbourhood of Midorigaoka, about an hour by train outside Kobe, Japan, all the houses were built by the same company in the same factory. Steel frames fitted out with panel walls and ceilings, these homes were clustered by the hundreds into what was once a brand new commuter town. But they weren’t built to last.

Daiwa House, one of the biggest prefabricated housing manufacturers in Japan, built this town in the 60s during a postwar housing boom. It’s not unlike the suburban subdivisions of the western world, with porches, balconies and rooflines that shift and repeat up and down blocks of gently curving roads. Most of those houses built in the 60s are no longer standing, having long since been replaced by newer models, finished with fake brick ceramic siding in beiges, pinks and browns. In the end, most of these prefabricated houses – and indeed most houses in Japan – have a lifespan of only about 30 years.

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Punta Arenas in the spotlight: Chile's oil-rich gateway city to the Antarctic

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 11:52:41 GMT2017-11-13T11:52:41Z

It once hosted Captain Scott and serves as a jumping-off point for expeditions to the icy wastes to the south. Global investment lies ahead – and better housing for the city’s indigenous population

When Robert Scott’s frozen remains were recovered 105 years ago this week, Antarctic exploration was a European-only affair. Now it’s a bustling global concern, poised to open up even more as the ice caps recede. Chile’s southernmost city, Punta Arenas, a wind-bitten port of nearly 130,000 on the Strait of Magellan, is jostling for position as gateway city to the Antarctic.

It welcomed Scott himself in July 1904 when the Englishman sent 400 letters announcing the safe return of his Discovery expedition at the post office on Plaza Muñoz Gamero. One of his officers pronounced the city a “wretched-looking place”. Not so much now, with Punta Arenas hosting the national Antarctic programmes of 20 countries and becoming one of Chile’s fastest-growing cities in the process.

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Sí, seniors: the Chilean city with grand plans to be the best place to grow old

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 07:30:19 GMT2017-11-13T07:30:19Z

Promising supervised flats, nursing homes and levelled streets, Valdivia’s Gerontological Hub project is tackling Chile’s ageing crisis head-on. Can it offset the country’s shockingly low privatised pensions?

Imagine a city that allows you to live your final years with grace and dignity. Where, if you’re alone and facing challenges but still physically and mentally independent, you can move into an apartment complex with a supervisor to provide support and organise workshops and gatherings in a community room. Where there’s an affordable transport system adapted to your needs, along with well-lit and maintained streets that won’t cause falls, as well as extended crossing times at traffic lights, roofs over the pavements to shelter you from the rain and attractive plazas and parks offering exercise equipment.

If your health is impaired, you can receive home visits from caregivers, priority healthcare at clinics and hospitals, and access to rehabilitation centres. Where there are flexible opportunities to re-enter the labour market if your pension isn’t enough. And if you can’t care for yourself and have no support network, there are well-equipped and staffed nursing homes.

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The stereo cycles of Sicily: Palermo teens pump up the velo – in pictures

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 07:26:12 GMT2017-11-10T07:26:12Z

Bici Palermo Tuning – a group of teenagers from the Sicilian capital – spend anything up to €1,300 customising their bikes with car batteries and multiple speakers to develop thunderous sound systems. The police are not impressed

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'If I'm stratum 3, that's who I am': inside Bogotá's social stratification system

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 07:30:07 GMT2017-11-09T07:30:07Z

Every district in Colombia’s capital is rated 1 to 6 for affluence, and its services subsidised accordingly. But is a laudable idea creating division and stigma?

“It’s good quality for the price,” says Carlos Jiménez, a construction worker, as he sips his coffee and leans against the polished counter in Tostao’, a coffee shop in Bogotá’s bustling working-class district of Tunjuelito.

Despite being one of the world’s biggest coffee producers, Colombia has traditionally exported its best beans, and the few chains that do sell it are expensive; Colombians have instead developed a taste for tinto, a sweet brew made out of leftover beans.

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'Sweet, innocent, good at ping pong? Screw that!' The new show savaging Chinese stereotypes

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 18:21:17 GMT2017-11-22T18:21:17Z

Tired of being cast as gymnasts or great table tennis players, the women behind new sitcom Chinese Burn shaved their heads and came out fighting

‘Chinese girls,” says the voiceover. “Sweet, innocent, submissive Chinese girls. Conservative and virginal – good at maths, ping pong and looking after men.” The voice is accompanied by a sequence of appropriate images: a gymnast, an engineer, a table tennis player. Then we suddenly hear the sound of a needle scratching across a record and an unruly voice spits: “Screw that! Here are three Chinese girls who kick that shit in the ballbag!”

Which is pretty much the premise of Chinese Burn, a caustic sitcom in the style of Fleabag. Its ballsy leads – Jackie, Elizabeth and Fufu – are on a mission to shake up the way east Asian women are perceived.

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VAT fraud crackdown increases liability of website marketplaces

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:42:19 GMT2017-11-24T08:42:19Z

Chancellor acts to stem £1.2bn yearly tax loss by making sites like eBay and Amazon jointly liable with sellers for due payments

Online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay will be forced to police their own websites to prevent billions of pounds of VAT fraud, under a renewed government crackdown on the scam.

The move represents the second effort in as many years to close down an estimated £1.2bn-a-year tax fraud and follows a Guardian investigation as well as criticism of HM Revenue & Customs for being slow to act.

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An innocent mother is in jail. We cannot forget Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe | Tulip Siddiq and Emma Thompson

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-11-24T09:00:00Z

We know what it’s like to be separated from your child. Nazanin is being held in Iran on spurious charges, and Britain must step up and protect its citizen

Our children may be 15 years apart in age, but any mother will tell you that anxiety and paranoia about your child never stop. Even in the middle of filming a Hollywood movie or questioning the prime minister, in the back of our heads we’re wondering whether our daughters have worn their gloves on this cold day, or whether they have eaten a full meal at school.

That is one reason why the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – a British citizen who is imprisoned in Iran – resonates so strongly with us. It’s not just that she’s been imprisoned for 19 months on spurious charges, held in solitary confinement and denied medical access and legal advice. It’s also that she’s been separated from her three-year-old daughter, Gabriella, for more than a year and a half. That’s more than half of that little girl’s life.

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Jay-Z, Kaepernick and the disturbing story of the rapper sent back to prison

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:00:02 GMT2017-11-24T11:00:02Z

Meek Mill’s incarceration for minor probation infractions has prompted protest, shedding light on the plight of African Americans in the US justice system

The entry in the Pennsylvania database is stark and direct. Inmate number: ND8400. Name: Robert Rihmeek Williams. Age: 30. Height: 6ft 2in. Location: State Correctional Institution Chester.

Behind those blunt words lies a story that has exposed a running sore within the US criminal justice system. The incarceration of Williams for minor probation violations related to a crime he committed as a teenager more than a decade ago has brought some of the biggest names in music and sport rallying to his cause, spawned a new hashtag and drawn hundreds of people to the steps of Philadelphia’s City Hall to protest.

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North Korean defector has nightmares about returning, says surgeon – video report

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:05:45 GMT2017-11-24T11:05:45Z

North Korea's latest defector, a young soldier known only by his family name Oh, is a quiet, pleasant man who has nightmares about being returned to the north, says his surgeon John Cook-Jong Lee. Video of Oh's escape, released this week, showed him stumbling over the border and South Korean troops dragging him unconscious through undergrowth 

• North Korean defector a 'nice guy' who likes watching CSI – surgeon

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Clive Palmer wins $200m in damages from former Chinese partners

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:19:01 GMT2017-11-24T08:19:01Z

Court rules that CITIC must pay the former MP’s Mineralogy company to settle their dispute over an iron ore joint venture

Clive Palmer has won nearly A$200m in damages in his long-running legal battle against his estranged Chinese joint-venture partner in Western Australia.

Palmer’s company, Mineralogy, had disputed calculations for royalty payments from the multi-billion dollar Sino Iron project, which Chinese firm CITIC built and operates, drawing ore from Mineralogy-owned land.

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Emmerson Mnangagwa: the 'Crocodile' taking power in Zimbabwe

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:54:27 GMT2017-11-24T09:54:27Z

Robert Mugabe’s former righthand man is guaranteed support for now, but Zimbabweans have not forgotten his past

News: Mnangagwa sworn in as president

Zimbabwe’s new president is not, at first glance, the obvious champion of the change his country hungers for.

Emmerson Mnangagwa is 75, and for decades he was righthand man to Robert Mugabe, accused of the same human rights abuses and similar corruption.

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Briton arrested in Philippines with cache of guns and knives

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:34:18 GMT2017-11-24T08:34:18Z

Police also find 14 knives, five brass knuckles and a slingshot after Matthew George Marney, 38, is arrested in Pasig

A British man has been arrested in the Philippines after police said they had found five handguns, live ammunition and other weapons including combat knives and a stun gun in his possession.

Matthew George Marney was photographed in custody wearing an orange T-shirt bearing the acronym for the criminal investigation and detection group (CIDG), the primary investigation arm of the Philippine police force.

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China horrified by allegations of child abuse at kindergarten

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 08:28:01 GMT2017-11-24T08:28:01Z

Authorities promise swift response after parents claims toddlers have been molested, spiked with needles and drugged with mysterious white pills

Chinese authorities are promising swift and decisive action after horrific allegations of child abuse surfaced at an upmarket nursery just a few miles east of the Communist party’s leadership compound in Beijing.

Since Wednesday, Chinese media outlets have reported claims from outraged parents that toddlers at the nursery in Beijing’s Chaoyang district were molested, spiked with needles and drugged with mysterious white pills.

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Blood flows and rivers run dry as Honduras prepares to go to the polls – in pictures

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 07:00:24 GMT2017-11-24T07:00:24Z

With the country poised for Sunday’s elections, the murder of environmentalists in Honduras is being directly linked with water and food shortages, violence and migration. Photographer Sean Hawkey visited what has become a frontline of climate change conflict

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Canadian firm to face historic legal case over alleged labour abuses in Eritrea

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 13:52:30 GMT2017-11-23T13:52:30Z

Appeals court rules against mining company Nevsun Resources, clearing way for workers to have claims of human rights violations heard in Canadian court

A Canadian mining company has lost its bid to block a lawsuit accusing it of human rights abuses against miners in Eritrea after a ruling by an appeals court in British Columbia.

The decision, against Nevsun Resources, paves the way for a groundbreaking legal challenge that links the Vancouver company to allegations of modern slavery.

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British risk complicity in Yemen 'famine crime', says Alex de Waal

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-11-23T10:00:27Z

Africa analyst believes UN inaction makes security council members accessories to crisis in Arab nation gripped by cholera, hunger and violence

Britain is in danger of becoming complicit in the use of starvation as a weapon of war in Yemen, academic and author Alex de Waal has said.

“The UK and the US, and others on the security council risk becoming accessories to the worst famine crime of this decade,” said De Waal.

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'Sweet freedom': remarkable recoveries in a mental health project in Croatia | Tracy McVeigh

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 07:00:23 GMT2017-11-23T07:00:23Z

Lives that were dominated by medication and restraints behind the locked doors of an old-style asylum in Osijek are being transformed. Now many of its residents are enjoying greater independence in shared apartments in the nearby community, with carers to give them support when they need it

Photographs by Robin Hammond/NOOR for Witness Change/The Guardian

Stjepan Getto, 83, lived in an institution for 27 years. He went in to tackle his alcoholism, the only help offered by social welfare. Getto could have left at any time, but there was never a realistic option where he could live outside but still have the mental health support he needed.

In 2014 he was given a flat in Osijek, eastern Croatia, where he lives with Jelica Getto, a woman he met in the mental health centre and married in 2016.

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'Famine as mass atrocity': in conversation with Alex de Waal – podcast

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:01:15 GMT2017-11-23T00:01:15Z

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, they planned to starve 30 million people to death. Seven decades on, famine as a weapon of war is making a comeback, says the author of an authoritative new history

Twenty years after publishing an influential book on starvation as a crime against humanity, Alex de Waal returned to the subject to find that political and military elites continue to act with scant regard for human life. Yet since famine is manmade, political decisions could end it for good, says the executive director of the World Peace Foundation ahead of the publication of his new book Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine

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‘Screaming in terror’: teen survivor relives ordeal of Guatemala children’s shelter fire

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 10:43:57 GMT2017-11-22T10:43:57Z

Eight months after the fire that killed 41 girls locked in a room at an orphanage in San José Pinula, memories of the tragedy continue to haunt those seeking justice

There was so much smoke that Estefani Sotoj Hernández couldn’t see anything. But she could hear the screams as girls struggled to escape the flames that engulfed the Virgen de la Asunción children’s home.

“[The fire] was really small at first, and then it got really big and there was so much smoke,” says Estefani. “I was very afraid. Everybody was screaming in terror. You couldn’t tell what was happening to your body. It was really hot and many [of the girls] lost consciousness, others were burning.”

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'Shocking' political rhetoric on refugees aims to poison debate, UN official warns

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 07:00:13 GMT2017-11-22T07:00:13Z

Special representative Louise Arbour attacks politicians’ anti-migrant language and lack of awareness on issues such as remittances, worth $429bn in 2016

The language used to describe people caught up in the migration crisis has been attacked by a special representative of the UN as “deliberately invidious” and aimed at poisoning public debate.

Using terms such as “illegal” rather than “irregular” migrants, or “hordes, waves and swarms” rather than simply “large numbers”, conveniently obscures the vulnerabilities that come from being a foreigner, said Louise Arbour, the UN secretary general’s special representative for international migration.

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I escaped war in Syria and am now free to dream – but other kids aren't so lucky | Bilal Rwaeh

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:28:21 GMT2017-11-21T16:28:21Z

On World Children’s Day, the Guardian invited a young Syrian refugee now living in the UK to tell us the stories we should be covering. Unsurprisingly, Bilal’s focus was on refugees, and the need for children to catch up on missed education

I am Bilal and I am from Syria. I have been here one year. When I came to the UK I couldn’t speak English and it was very important to connect with people.

On our journey from Syria we went into Turkey illegally with no passport. It was very dangerous because we didn’t know where we were going and on the way there were four mountains. Many families lost their children in this way. Children walk more quickly than adults and sometimes the Turkish army would catch the parents or the children separately and people would get lost. My family were very lucky – my mother, father and two brothers – that we all stayed together. I knew nobody in Turkey but we had to leave Syria.

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Aid spent on private schools doesn’t reach world's poorest children, MPs say

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:20:37 GMT2017-11-21T14:20:37Z

Parliamentary committee advises caution over development funds channelled through private education, citing insufficient evidence of boost to learning

There is a lack of evidence to support spending aid money on private education providers, said MPs on the international development committee (IDC).

In its report, the committee cited concerns that private schools are not accessible to the poorest and most marginalised children. More research is needed to determine the role of private schools in widening access to education, it said.

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Failed promises: survivors of deadly mudslide left homeless by Sierra Leone government

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 07:00:52 GMT2017-11-21T07:00:52Z

With little sign of promised government help, hundreds of families displaced by the disaster in August now face eviction from government shelters

The government of Sierra Leone has started closing down the emergency camps housing hundreds of families displaced by August’s deadly landslides, despite many people saying they still have nowhere to go.

After heavy rains triggered floods and a landslide in Freetown on 14 August, killing an estimated 1,000 people and displacing three times that number, survivors moved into temporary camps while awaiting permanent resettlement, as promised by the Sierra Leonean government.

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Trump's judicial picks: 'The goal is to end the progressive state'

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:14:33 GMT2017-11-22T12:14:33Z

Donald Trump is radically reshaping the same federal courts that have been the biggest bulwark against his agenda – by picking mostly white, conservative men

Donald Trump has sustained more than his fair share of political losses during the first 10 months of his presidency, mostly at the hands of the federal courts.

It was the federal courts that struck down his “Muslim travel ban” on three separate occasions, that blocked his ban on trans people in the military and that did the same to his attempt to defund so-called sanctuary cities.

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China turns its back on Comrade Bob to embrace change in Zimbabwe

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:30:12 GMT2017-11-22T06:30:12Z

Resignation of Robert Mugabe greeted with relief in Beijing, which for years was autocratic leader’s most powerful ally

Confirmation of Robert Mugabe’s ouster prompted revelry on the streets of Harare. “The Goblin has gone!” raved one.

Thousands of miles away in Beijing – for years Mugabe’s most powerful backer – there were no obvious signs of jubilation.

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End to Mugabe rule: other autocratic leaders may fear similar fate

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:57:03 GMT2017-11-22T03:57:03Z

As jubilation erupts in the streets at the resignation of Zimbabwe’s president how will the downfall affect the rulers of Uganda, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi?

The fate of Robert Mugabe, who ran Zimbabwe with iron discipline for more than 30 years, will send a chill down the spines of other autocratic African leaders who may have out-stayed their welcome.

General Constantino Chiwenga, the armed forces chief, kicked away the military prop supporting Mugabe’s presidency last week. Mass protests in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities showed the president had lost popular support. On Tuesday, Mugabe’s party comrades began the process of impeaching him, leading finally to his long overdue resignation.

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Zimbabwe's strange crisis is a very modern kind of coup

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:49 GMT2017-11-21T05:00:49Z

Historically, African takeovers have been seismic and violent, but now participants are more wary of international opinion

It looked like a coup from a movie: a convoy of armoured vehicles, the president under house arrest, and the general on the nation’s screens talking of “restoring stability” in the small hours of the morning.

But since the military takeover in Zimbabwe a week ago events have departed from the script. President Robert Mugabe has not been harmed and remains in power, at least theoretically. When he refused to resign on live television on Sunday night, there were no repercussions. To oust him, parliament are using a cumbersome process of impeachment.

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Australia will have its own Weinstein reckoning. It's just a matter of time | Van Badham

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:16:39 GMT2017-11-21T04:16:39Z

The local stage and film industry is small and speaking out carries bigger risks. But behind closed doors, a storm is brewing

Did you hear about the stand-up comedian? High-profile, well-known – and banned from several local venues because he touches up the female comedians. No one’s gonna talk about it – “not until he dies in an alcohol-fuelled car accident”, a friend from the scene has said. But the women don’t like him. They don’t feel safe when he’s around.

What about the young male theatre maker? Before he started getting main stage gigs he was still doing shows on the fringe, and became obsessed with a woman also working with one of the theatres. He got her number, would not stop calling her, told her that he was in love with her, and one night, when she was at work, he cornered her. She just started bellowing until someone heard and intervened. She told the artistic director what happened; the man agreed to stop calling her, and to stay away from her when his show was on. But that was it.

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Collapse of German coalition talks underlines Merkel's weaknesses

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:11:37 GMT2017-11-20T14:11:37Z

The FDP’s Lindner has been painted as the villain but the chancellor must bear some responsibility for other parties’ reluctance to work with her CDU

After exploratory talks to form Germany’s next government collapsed in dramatic fashion shortly before midnight on Sunday, the culprit was quickly found: Christian Lindner, the cocksure leader of the pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) who had staged a well-orchestrated walkout, makes an all-too convincing villain of the piece.

But in the coming weeks German media will have to ask whether the real reason for the political paralysis in Europe’s biggest economy ultimately lies with another politician: Angela Merkel, the incumbent chancellor.

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The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: Britain’s shameful dereliction | Editorial

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:14:27 GMT2017-11-19T19:14:27Z

From the referendum campaign onwards, Brexiters have ignored the dire implications for Ireland. The neglect is a political and moral failure alike

Throughout his career, Gerry Adams relentlessly singled out the British government for the blame in Ireland’s troubles. In truth, the responsibility for Northern Ireland’s miseries was widely shared, not least with the IRA and Sinn Féin, of which Mr Adams has been for so long the chief strategist. Yet it is ironic that the Sinn Féin leader announced his retirement from frontline politics at the weekend. For Mr Adams is stepping down at the very moment when a British government is unambiguously the sole cause of a massively hostile act against Ireland, north and south, in the form of a hard Brexit.

From start to finish, Conservative Brexiters have shown that they simply could not care less about Ireland. In the referendum campaign, few gave even a passing thought to the impact of a leave vote on the relationship between Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and the republic. When the vote went their way – though they lost in Northern Ireland – the Brexiters then gave bland assurances that the decision would make absolutely no difference to the island’s soft border, the legacy of the peace process, or north-south and east-west cooperation.

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This is redistribution for Zimbabwe’s elite, not revolution in a ruined nation | Jason Burke

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 21:21:25 GMT2017-11-18T21:21:25Z

Comrade Bob and Grace may go, but little good will come if power is retained in the hands of Zanu-PF septuagenarians

Drive any distance anywhere in Zimbabwe beyond the upmarket Borrowdale neighbourhood in Harare, where Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are detained in their sprawling mansion, and the scale of the challenges facing what was once one of the wealthiest countries in Africa is evident.

In the capital, the roads are potholed, outside they are cracked and crumbling. Banks are so short of cash that people wait hours to withdraw even tiny sums. The only jobs are in government service, yet salaries are rarely paid. The best and the brightest have long fled abroad. Warehouses are empty, fields lie fallow. The busiest store in rural villages is the “bottle shop”, selling dirt-cheap spirits.

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Can Trump spare us his outrage on sexual harassment? | Jessica Valenti

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 16:07:20 GMT2017-11-18T16:07:20Z

This is a man who has been accused of sexual assault, harassment, groping, overt misogyny and more dozens of times over. His hypocrisy is galling

As if it weren’t enough that every day is bringing a new allegation of harassment or assault against a powerful man, the most powerful serial harasser in the country decided to weigh in over Twitter. This is a man who has been accused of sexual assault, harassment, groping, overt misogyny and more dozens of times over.

A man who has called his daughter a “piece of ass,” who walked into the dressing rooms of teenagers and who said he found Paris Hilton attractive when she was 12 years old. How dare he, truly.

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Who wins and loses in Trump's tax plan?

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:40:30 GMT2017-11-18T12:40:30Z

Congress has yet to settle on a final draft of a tax-cut bill but if you’re rich, a corporation or your name is Donald Trump you could be in luck

Over the Thanksgiving break Congress will have time to start digesting Donald Trump’s plans to implement the largest tax overhaul in a generation. It already has Trump’s critics – and several leading Republicans – reaching for the Tums.

According to the president, the tax plans had some simple aims: to spur business investment by cutting corporate taxes, give middle-class America a tax break and simplify a byzantine tax system. It hasn’t proved quite so simple, or palatable. With two versions of the bill now under discussion in Congress, the final shape of the plan is still unclear but some losers and winners are emerging. The clear winners? Rich people and corporations. The clear losers? Poor people, the vulnerable. And America.

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Donald Trump tells coast guard the 'invisible' F-35 wins every time – video

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 01:09:02 GMT2017-11-24T01:09:02Z

In a Thanksgiving speech to the US coast guard, President Donald Trump hails the F-35 fighter jet, calling it an "invisible" plane that they "enemy cannot see". 

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'Explosion' detected near Argentinian sub's final signal – video report

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:16:10 GMT2017-11-23T19:16:10Z

An abnormal sound detected in the South Atlantic ocean hours after an Argentinian navy submarine sent its last signal last week was ‘consistent with an explosion’, a navy spokesman said on Thursday

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Backstage at the opera and pole vaulting: Wednesday's best photographs

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:44:06 GMT2017-11-22T14:44:06Z

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world including daily life in Honduras, politics in London, Libyan bikers and famine in Yemen

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Ratko Mladić, the 'butcher of Bosnia' – video profile

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 13:47:02 GMT2017-11-22T13:47:02Z

Ratko Mladić has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of genocide by a UN tribunal at The Hague. He ordered the murders of more than 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica during the Bosnian civil war in 1995 and then spent 14 years in hiding before his arrest

Ratko Mladić convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal

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'I came down here to be forgotten': life in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:00:19 GMT2017-11-22T12:00:19Z

An estimated 300 people live in the flood tunnels underneath Las Vegas, and many of them struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Paul Vautrinot was one of them, but he now works for the community organization Shine a Light, which offers services including housing and counseling to people living in the tunnels. Vautrinot visits the tunnels regularly to try to help residents find a way out

  • Outside in America is a year-long series on homelessness in the western US. The project focuses on people on the frontline of a devastating crisis and enables readers to take action to help solve the problem. Find out more and sign up to our monthly newsletter
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Mladić removed from court after angry outburst – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 11:32:51 GMT2017-11-22T11:32:51Z

Ratko Mladić is removed from the courtroom of the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on Wednesday, the day of his conviction from genocide and war crimes

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North Korean soldiers shoot defector as he escapes – video

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:19:23 GMT2017-11-22T05:19:23Z

The UN command has released a dramatic video showing the desperate dash to freedom made by a North Korean soldier. The video released on Wednesday shows the defector driving a jeep past North Korean checkpoints before he crashes the vehicle, jumps out and runs for his life, pursued by North Korean soldiers who are firing on him. One of the soldiers gives chase as he crosses the border but turns back. The vision also shows the man collapsed after being shot five or six times before he is rescued by South Korean soldiers

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'Look, he denies it. He totally denies it,' says Trump about allegations against Roy Moore – video

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:30:53 GMT2017-11-21T22:30:53Z

Donald Trump finally weighed in on the sexual misconduct allegations that have engulfed the Senate candidate Roy Moore. Asked if he was ready to talk about Moore, Trump said, ‘[Moore] denies it. Look, he denies it. He says it didn’t happen. You’re talking about … he said 40 years ago this did not happen.’ Trump’s comments come as the Moore campaign has stepped up its campaign against the allegations. They have repeatedly described the allegations as part of a campaign by the ‘fake news’ and the ‘Republican establishment’ to defeat Moore

Donald Trump appears to back Roy Moore: ‘Look, he denies it. He denies it’

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Donald Trump pardons his first Thanksgiving turkey – video

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:00:32 GMT2017-11-21T22:00:32Z

Watched by wife Melania, son Barron and daughters Ivanka and Tiffany, Donald Trump used his powers of leniency on Tuesday to spare a pair of turkeys, Drumstick and Wishbone, from the Thanksgiving pot. The US president plans to spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida

‘Drumstick, you are hereby pardoned’: Trump spares his first Thanksgiving turkey

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