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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, 25 Feb 2017 20:44:17 GMT2017-02-25T20:44:17Z

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



Trump press ban: BBC, CNN and Guardian denied access to briefing

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 17:49:30 GMT2017-02-25T17:49:30Z

The Guardian, New York Times, CNN and more were barred from ‘gaggle’ hours after Trump once again called much of the media an ‘enemy of American people’

The White House barred several news organizations from an off-camera press briefing on Friday, handpicking a select group of reporters that included a number of conservative outlets friendly toward Donald Trump.

The “gaggle” with Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, took place in lieu of his daily briefing and was originally scheduled as an on-camera event.

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Jodie Foster tells US travel ban rally: 'It is our time to resist'

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:56:02 GMT2017-02-25T10:56:02Z

Actor speaks out against ‘chaos, ineptitude and war-mongering’ of Trump administration during pre-Oscars protest

The actor Jodie Foster has told protesters it is “our time to resist” at a rally opposing Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban, two days before the Academy Awards.

The Oscar winner spoke to hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Beverly Hills headquarters of United Talent Agency (UTA), which cancelled its Oscars party to stage the protest.

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Trump national security adviser wants to avoid term 'radical Islamic terrorism', sources say

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 12:30:01 GMT2017-02-25T12:30:01Z

HR McMaster felt phrase castigates ‘an entire religion’ and indicated ‘he’s not on board’ – a contrast with the president and many key staff members

Donald Trump’s new national security adviser has told staff at the White House he does not wish to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to describe the terrorist threat the US faces, according to multiple sources.

Related: White House confirms conversation with FBI about Trump and Russia

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Kim Jong-nam killing: suspect 'paid $90 to take part in prank'

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:32:49 GMT2017-02-25T16:32:49Z

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, maintains she was duped into killing half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with VX poison

The Indonesian woman who is one of the suspects in the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother said she was paid $90 (£72) for what she believed was a prank, an Indonesian official has said.

Siti Aisyah told authorities she did not want her parents to see her in custody, said Andriano Erwin, Indonesia’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia, one day after Malaysia revealed that VX nerve agent was used in the bizarre killing of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport.

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Kansas shooting: injured man says suspect asked victims about visas

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:10:13 GMT2017-02-25T20:10:13Z

A man injured in a fatal shooting in suburban Kansas City that witnesses say was racially motivated has said the alleged gunman asked two of the victims about their visa status before returning and opening fire, killing one and wounding another.

Related: Kansas shooting raises safety concerns for foreigners in US: 'Do we belong here?'

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Far-right Polish priest detained at Stansted airport

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:11:16 GMT2017-02-25T16:11:16Z

Jacek Międlar held by UK authorities hours before he was supposed to address Britain First rally in Shropshire

A notorious Polish priest accused of spreading antisemitism and Islamophobia has been detained by UK authorities hours before he was due to address a far-right rally in Shropshire.

Jacek Międlar, a leading figure for rightwing extremists in Poland, was held by UK border officials after landing at Stansted airport, Essex, to prevent him attending the controversial event in Telford.

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François Fillon 'fake jobs' allegations receive full judicial inquiry

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:29:31 GMT2017-02-24T20:29:31Z

French financial state prosecutor’s office announces further investigation of right-wing presidential candidate

François Fillon, the right-wing French presidential candidate, is to be the subject of a full judicial inquiry over allegations that he paid family members for fake parliamentary assistant jobs.

Related: Penelopegate: my part in the François Fillon scandal

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'It's very scary in the forest': should Finland's wolves be culled?

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 10:00:01 GMT2017-02-25T10:00:01Z

Europe’s wolf population is on the rise – and in Finland, their future hangs in the balance. Are they a threat to humans, or should they be protected?

The story of a kill is told in the snow. On the Finnish island of Porosaari, we find the first paw print. “That’s a male,” says Asko Kettunen, retired border guard, hunter and tracker. How can he be sure? “It’s big.”

Five ravens rise from dark pines, croaking in the icy silence; they will scavenge anything caught by the wolves. We wade through knee-deep snow. There’s a spot of vivid blood and a tuft of moose hair, cleanly cut, which Kettunen deduces has been ripped from a living animal. This, he says, is the moment the wolves made contact. First they try to puncture the intestines; if they succeed, the moose may run on, but the damage is done.

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Mexico tells US it will refuse deportees from other countries

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:21:14 GMT2017-02-24T17:21:14Z

Interior secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says ‘there is no chance’ it will accept deported immigrants amid tensions in US-Mexico relations

The Mexican government made clear to visiting US emissaries that it will not accept deportees from third countries under any circumstances, the interior secretary said on Friday.

Related: Mexicans fear Trump deportation plan will lead to refugee camps along border

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Car bomb kills dozens after Isis driven out of Syrian town

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:07:36 GMT2017-02-24T15:07:36Z

At least 42 civilians and rebel fighters killed near blast in al-Bab, a crucial strategic area vacated this week by Islamic State

Dozens of people have been killed in a car bomb blast near to al-Bab, the Syrian town which Islamic State forces were this week driven from after a major battle with Turkey-backed rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said the dead included civilians and fighters from the Euphrates Shield operation – an alliance of Syrian groups backed by Turkish firepower and special forces troops which has been battling Isis in the region since last summer.

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Surf champion Kelly Slater calls for daily shark cull on Réunion

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:36:21 GMT2017-02-24T16:36:21Z

France accused of not doing enough to counter threat of aggressive bull sharks after eighth person in six years is killed

Two of the world’s top surfers have urged France to launch a major cull of sharks in the waters off Réunion after the eighth fatal attack since 2011.

Kelly Slater, crowned world champion 11 times, and Jeremy Flores, who grew up on the island, accused French authorities of not doing enough to counter the threat of aggressive bull sharks, described by local surfers as “war machines”.

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'Teflon' Le Pen unshaken as corruption plagues French election

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:43:55 GMT2017-02-24T12:43:55Z

Where scandals have wounded François Fillon, accusations slide off Front National candidate without denting her vote

On a busy shopping street in the Paris constituency of the scandal-hit French presidential candidate François Fillon, the word corruption was creeping into the smalltalk.

“All French politicians are corrupt,” said a 52-year-old pharmacist, sighing. “Some scandals come to light, others stay hidden, but 100% of politicians are up to no good – everywhere, not only in France.”

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South African police use force to disperse anti-immigration protesters

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:27:15 GMT2017-02-24T15:27:15Z

Nelson Mandela Foundation accuses authorities of ‘giving permission for march of hatred’ after demonstrations in Pretoria

South African police have used stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon to try to disperse anti-immigration protesters in the capital, Pretoria, and keep them from foreign nationals who had gathered to express alarm about recent attacks.

A police official said 136 people had been arrested in the past 24 hours.

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Premium Fridays: Japan gives its workers a break – to go shopping

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:14:30 GMT2017-02-24T11:14:30Z

Optional scheme allows employees clock off early, with government hoping the move will boost consumer spending

It is supposed to be a rare opportunity for Japan’s harried workers to clock off early and go home to their families – or, if the government gets its way, help boost consumer spending in the world’s third biggest economy.

In a country where many employees are more accustomed to burning the midnight oil rather than carousing Tokyo’s bars during daylight hours, Japan’s first Premium Friday has received a mixed response.

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Police confirm remains found on Crete belong to British holidaymaker

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:01:35 GMT2017-02-24T21:01:35Z

Steven Cook’s skeleton found down well more than a decade after he went missing on first holiday without his parents

Human remains found in a well in Crete have been confirmed as those of British holidaymaker Steven Cook, who went missing on the island more than a decade ago after a night out.

The then 20-year-old, from Sandbach in Cheshire, was staying in Malia with friends – his first holiday without his family – in 2005 and was last seen in a bar asking for directions to his hotel after leaving a pub alone.

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Man charged with killing Indian said to have shouted 'go back to your country'

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:05:14 GMT2017-02-24T13:05:14Z

Adam Purinton, 51, has been charged in the attack that occurred in a Kansas bar on Thursday, but the tech worker’s death has not yet been deemed a hate crime

An Indian-born engineer was shot dead in a Kansas bar on Thursday, the authorities said, and witnesses told reporters that the gunman shouted “go back to your country” before opening fire.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and his friend Alok Madasani, both employees at tech company Garmin, were having a drink at a bar on Thursday when a man allegedly shouted racist slurs at the pair and started shooting. Adam Purinton, 51, was charged with murder. Kuchibhotla, who was an aviation systems engineer, died in the hospital. Madasani and Ian Grillot, a third man who had stepped in to defend the pair, were injured.

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China hits back at Donald Trump's 'champion of currency manipulation' jibe

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:03:53 GMT2017-02-24T10:03:53Z

US president risks ratcheting up tensions with latest currency claims and repetition of desire for nuclear supremacy

Beijing has hit back at Donald Trump after the US president risked reigniting a simmering feud with China by accusing it of being the “grand champion” of currency manipulation.

After months of turbulence and uncertainty between the world’s two biggest economies, relations appeared to settle two weeks ago after the US president and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held their first phone conversation since the billionaire’s inauguration.

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Shinzo Abe and wife under pressure over ties to ultra-nationalist school

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:01:32 GMT2017-02-24T08:01:32Z

Akie Abe’s links to kindergarten under intense scrutiny in Japan after reports it bought state land at a knockdown price

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and his wife, Akie, have attempted to distance themselves from an ultra-nationalist educational institution mired in allegations of racism and a sweetheart land deal.

Akie Abe’s links to Moritomo Gakuen, a private kindergarten in Osaka, have come under scrutiny after the media reported that the preschool had bought state-owned land at a seventh of its listed price for a primary school it plans to open in April. She stepped down as honorary principal of the primary school on Friday, soon after it had removed her message of support from its website.

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Iraqi forces seize Mosul airport from Isis as Syrian rebels take al-Bab

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:55:34 GMT2017-02-24T08:55:34Z

Isis’s hold weakens as Iraqi troops plan last big push to retake Mosul while loss of al-Bab is big blow to terror group in Syria

Battlefield defeats in Iraq and Syria continued to splinter Islamic State’s hold on both countries on Thursday, with Mosul airport seized by advancing Iraqi forces and the town of al-Bab finally falling to Syrian rebels.

Backed heavily by Turkey, rebels said they had recaptured nearly all of al-Bab, which had remained Isis’s westernmost stronghold throughout five months of intensive fighting and a key target of the war against the terror group.

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Steve Bannon: Trump is 'maniacally focused' on executing promises

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:23:56 GMT2017-02-23T20:23:56Z

Chief White House strategist pushes economic nationalist agenda at CPAC and continues relentless attacks on media, vowing: ‘Every day is going to be a fight’

Steve Bannon, the man seen as the power behind Donald Trump’s throne, has declared that the president will take the US back from a “corporatist, globalist media” that opposes his brand of economic nationalism.

Related: CPAC 2017 live: Steve Bannon says Trump 'maniacally focused' on keeping promises

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Tillerson endures 'tough trip' to Mexico as Trump stokes 'bad dudes' rhetoric

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:11:34 GMT2017-02-23T20:11:34Z

  • US secretary of state and homeland security chief hold talks in Mexico
  • Tillerson admits differences as president defends deportation policy

Donald Trump issued a staunch defence of his expanded deportation policy on Thursday, claiming his administration was getting “bad dudes out of this country”, further souring an already tense visit to Mexico by his secretaries of state and homeland security.

The president made his remarks at a business forum in Washington while Rex Tillerson, his secretary of state, was meeting his Mexican counterpart, Luis Videgaray.

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Geert Wilders suspends election campaign over alleged security leak

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 17:16:10 GMT2017-02-23T17:16:10Z

Dutch far-right leader stops campaigning in public for March polls after a member of his security team is arrested

The Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and his populist Freedom party have suspended all public campaigning for next month’s parliamentary elections following an alleged security leak.

Wilders, current frontrunner for the Netherlands’ general elections, to be held on 15 March, said on Twitter: “Very alarming news. The PVV is suspending its public activities until all facts in connection with the corruption investigation are known.”

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Syrian peace talks: women issue plea to find missing loved ones

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:34:04 GMT2017-02-23T18:34:04Z

Syrian women gather at UN headquarters wanting to know if their sons, brothers and husbands are alive or dead

With the first day of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva bogged down in a row over the composition of the opposition delegation, five Syrian women stood outside the UN headquarters to remind the negotiators of what was at stake.

They held large photographs of missing sons, brothers and husbands, and had a simple request: to know their relatives’ whereabouts, and whether they were dead or alive.

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Philippines senator who branded President Duterte 'serial killer' arrested

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:10:55 GMT2017-02-23T23:10:55Z

Senator Leila de Lima taken into custody on charges of drug trafficking, outraging supporters and human rights activists

The highest-profile critic of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war was arrested on Friday on charges she said were meant to silence her, but she vowed to keep fighting the “sociopathic serial killer”.

Related: Philippines secret death squads: officer claims police teams behind wave of killings

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New claims over scale of ex-Gambian leader's theft from state coffers

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:16:33 GMT2017-02-23T12:16:33Z

Ministers say scale of looting by autocratic former leader Yahya Jammeh was much higher than originally thought and that he left country $1bn in debt

The former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh stole far more money from the state than previously thought, the new government has alleged, leaving the country with a “monstrous debt” of more than $1bn.

The autocratic former leader of the small west African country siphoned off at least $50m from social security, the country’s ports, and the national telecoms company, according to two senior ministers in new president Adama Barrow’s government.

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Irish leader calls for united Ireland provision in Brexit deal

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:02:13 GMT2017-02-23T15:02:13Z

Enda Kenny says deal should allow for Northern Ireland to rejoin EU should it be united with Irish Republic

Ireland wants a special provision in any Brexit deal to allow Northern Ireland to rejoin the EU should it be united with the Republic.

The taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said in Brussels that the deal between the EU and the UK should include language that would allow the north to easily return to the bloc.

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Former IMF chief gets four years in jail for embezzlement in Spain

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:40:36 GMT2017-02-23T16:40:36Z

Rodrigo Rato found guilty of misuse of corporate credit cards issued by banks whose near collapse sparked EU bailout

The former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison for misusing corporate credit cards while in charge of two leading Spanish banks at the height of the country’s financial crisis.

Rato, also a former a Spanish economy minister and deputy prime minister, was found guilty on Thursday of embezzlement, at the end of a five-month trial at Spain’s national court.

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Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:37:54 GMT2017-02-25T20:37:54Z

Scientists at Vatican conference are searching for a solution to the manmade ‘major extinction event’

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.

“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

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Tom Perez is new Democratic party chair, beating Keith Ellison in tight vote

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:37:09 GMT2017-02-25T20:37:09Z

  • Former labor secretary beats progressive congressman in second ballot
  • South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg withdraws before first vote

The former labor secretary Tom Perez is the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His victory in Atlanta on Saturday saw him make history as the first Latino to lead the party but left progressives who backed his main opponent, US representative Keith Ellison, deeply disappointed.

Related: Liberal voters warn Democratic officials: resist Trump or be replaced

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Kurds offer land for independence in struggle to reshape Iraq

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:33:44 GMT2017-02-25T20:33:44Z

Kurdish leaders say that ‘the deal with a federal Iraq has failed’

Iraqi Kurdish leaders are considering offering territory seized by their forces in the offensive to recapture Mosul from Isis as a bargaining chip in a new push for independence from Baghdad.

As Iraqi forces continue their advance towards key Isis-defended districts in west Mosul, attention is turning to what northern Iraq will look like once the jihadi group is routed. Ministers from the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) believe that one option might be offering to Baghdad land their peshmerga forces have recaptured from Isis in return for self-rule, the pinnacle of Kurdish ambition for decades.

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Razzies: Hillary's America and Batman v Superman tie in worst-film awards

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:28:46 GMT2017-02-25T19:28:46Z

  • Dinesh D’Souza attack on Democrat named worst film of 2016
  • DC Comics blockbuster is worst ‘remake, rip-off or sequel’

Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary attack on Hillary Clinton has tied with the DC Comics blockbuster Batman v Superman for the hotly uncontested title of worst film of the year. The two movies won four Razzie awards apiece, it was announced in California on Saturday.

Related: Oscars 2017: And your bill for the evening is … $44m

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Driver shot after car hits three people in German city of Heidelberg

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:55:24 GMT2017-02-25T18:55:24Z

Man being treated in hospital after being stopped by police while attempting to escape

Three people have been seriously injured after a man drove a car into pedestrians in a square in the centre of Heidelberg.

The attacker fled, armed with a knife, before being surrounded by police outside an office block. After a stand-off, the man was shot once by an officer, according to video of the incident posted on social media, then taken to hospital.

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The 'unpatriotic' post on Facebook that meant I finally had to flee Russia

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:09:48 GMT2017-02-24T12:09:48Z

I was already used to abuse, but my post about a Russian military plane crash sparked a frightening campaign against me

I can tell you what political harassment feels like in Putin’s Russia. Like many dissidents I am used to abuse, but a recent campaign against me was so personal, so scary, that I was forced to flee.

Two months ago, a Russian plane transporting the world-famous military choir Alexandrov Ensemble crashed into the Black Sea en route to Syria. They were travelling to perform for pilots involved in Russia’s air campaign on Aleppo.

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In an age of autocracy, meet the dissidents speaking truth to power

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:14:46 GMT2017-02-22T12:14:46Z

Strongmen are back in vogue, but these six people are determined to defy the despots

These are trying times. We live in an age of autocracy when strongmen (they are almost always men) abuse their power to silence their critics, use brute force to stop people championing the vulnerable and rob people of their agency in the pursuit of power.

In a world flooded with triumphant nationalist statements and declarations of war, who speaks for the other side? Who is willing to risk solitary confinement and be torn from loved ones to speak for the voiceless?

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Brut force: the winery in the middle of a war zone

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:49:45 GMT2017-02-17T09:49:45Z

The chaos of eastern Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on this Soviet-era winery, which once supplied more than half the country

You would not know from Yuri’s calm demeanour, as he describes the bubbles rising in his champagne flute, that that we are only a few miles from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine.

Related: Violence flares in war-weary Ukraine as US dithers and Russia pounces

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Erdoğan v free speech: how does it feel to live in Turkey right now?

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:54:05 GMT2017-02-14T11:54:05Z

From imprisoned journalists to the forthcoming referendum, tell us how the current climate is affecting you

Turkey, once held up as an exemplar of secular democracy in the Muslim world, is now the world’s biggest prison for journalists. Since he came to power in 2014, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slowly tightened his grip on freedom of expression, choking his critics.

Editors of national newspapers now face life sentences for working “against the state”. People have been arrested for Facebook posts criticising the government and last week over 4,400 public servants were sacked in an act branded by critics as a witchhunt targeting the political opposition.

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Kenya's health system on the verge of collapse as doctors' strike grinds on

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:47:58 GMT2017-02-13T16:47:58Z

Mass walkout over reneged 2013 deal on boosting pay and staffing has left patients untreated and medical union leaders in jail

Kenya’s hospitals have almost ground to a halt, with millions facing a third month in a row without healthcare as doctors strike over low pay and poor working conditions.

The public healthcare system has long been overburdened and underfunded, but has now virtually stopped functioning after 5,000 doctors walk out in December after attempts to reach a compromise with the health ministry stalled.

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Meet Aisha, a former antelope hunter who now tracks Boko Haram

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT2017-02-08T07:00:00Z

How Aisha Bakari Gombi, ‘queen hunter’ in the fight against the world’s deadliest terror group, became a heroine in north Nigeria

As seven abducted women and four children were being taken deeper into Sambisa forest, Aisha Bakari Gombi received a call.

The voice was familiar: an army commander asking her to assemble a group of hunters to track them down.

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Stalin's secret police finally named but killings still not seen as crimes

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 07:18:48 GMT2017-02-06T07:18:48Z

Andrei Zhukov praised by activists for singlehandedly identifying every NKVD officer involved in 1930s arrests and killings

For two decades, starting in 1993, Andrei Zhukov went down into a Moscow archive at least three days a week, spending hour after hour leafing through thousands of orders issued by the NKVD, Joseph Stalin’s secret police, searching for the names and ranks of the organisation’s officers.

The result is the first comprehensive survey of the NKVD men responsible for carrying out Stalin’s “Great Terror” of 1937 and 1938, in which about 1.5 million people were arrested and 700,000 shot. While it is not the first study into the senior leadership of the NKVD, this is the first time that everyone – from the investigators to the executioners – has been identified. There are just over 40,000 names on the list.

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Devastating impact of meth in the womb exposed in South African schools

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 09:46:18 GMT2017-02-02T09:46:18Z

Extent of crisis becomes clear as children of women caught up in tik epidemic struggle with hyperactivity and aggression

Justin Summers has a mop of curly brown hair and enjoys playing marbles. Aged seven, he is on the cusp of starting his 12-year journey through South Africa’s education system.

But before he’s even started, the outlook for his education is dire. His ability to learn has been severely compromised because his mother, Agnes, used methamphetamine while pregnant with him. She is now expecting her fifth child, and is still using the narcotic.

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The Russian Buddhists v the billionaire – a photo essay

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:00:24 GMT2017-02-02T08:00:24Z

A small group of Buddhists led by a veteran of the USSR’s Afghan war has spent 21 years establishing a monastery in the Ural mountains. It sits on land claimed by a company belonging to one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs. After years of delays, a date has now been set for the complex’s removal. Photojournalist Amos Chapple visited the monastery for RFE/RL

A 7km forest trail leads up to the monastery on the summit of Mount Kachkanar, which rises 888 metres above sea level. After heavy snowfall, the hike can take up to seven hours.

Teams travel by sled down the mountain to collect supplies.

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Turkmenistan's singing dictator heralds upcoming elections

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:52:45 GMT2017-02-01T16:52:45Z

Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, set to win new term, sings on TV and participates in, and wins, cycle and horse races

There is little doubt that Turkmenistan’s president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, will win a new term in office in elections set for later this month. The question is what the dictatorial leader will get up to during the campaign.

This week, he was pictured giving a rendition of an apparently self-written song to a group of workers in the country, accompanying himself on the guitar.

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Is Finland’s basic universal income a solution to automation, fewer jobs and lower wages?

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 07:00:02 GMT2017-02-19T07:00:02Z

Both left and right are promoting the idea of a basic wage for everyone, currently on trial, as a solution to the new world of work

When he got the letter after Christmas saying he was entitled to an unconditional income of €560 (£478) a month, Mika Ruusunen couldn’t believe his luck. “At first I thought it was a joke. I had to read it many times. I looked for any evidence it might be false.”

But the father of two was not the victim of a scam. He has been selected to take part in an experiment being run by the Finnish government, in which 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58 will receive a guaranteed sum – a “basic income” – of €560 a month for two years. It replaces their unemployment benefit, but they will continue to receive it whether or not they find work. The government hopes it will encourage the unemployed to take on part-time work without worrying about losing their benefits.

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Deported gay Afghans told to ‘pretend to be straight’

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 20:21:49 GMT2017-02-25T20:21:49Z

New Home Office rules would send gay asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, where homosexuality is illegal

Gay Afghans can be deported to their home country, where homosexuality is illegal and “wholly taboo” and they must pretend to be straight, under new British government guidelines for handling asylum applications.

The new guidance for a country where not a single citizen lives an openly gay life has been denounced by human rights groups as a violation of international law, and criticised by the Home Office’s own Afghanistan unit.

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Food aid from warehouse to plate: fighting South Sudan’s famine – in pictures

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-02-25T09:00:00Z

Last year, photographer Matt Black documented the logistics chain of international food aid from a warehouse hub in Dubai to Unity State in South Sudan, where famine has just been declared

All photographs by Matt Black/Magnum Photos

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Adrian Solano wobbles into action at Nordic world ski championships – video

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 13:18:32 GMT2017-02-25T13:18:32Z

Venezuelan skier Adrien Solano participates at the Nordic world ski championships in Finland, having never trained on snow. Solano wobbles through the starting line of the FIS cross-country course, falling several times along the way before smiling as he crosses the finish line

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Backflip on deportation of Sydney doctor with autistic child welcomed

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:58:27 GMT2017-02-25T03:58:27Z

Permanent resident visa to be granted to Nasrin Haque and her daughter after assistant immigration minister intervenes

A 16-year-old girl with autism, whose application for permanent Australian residency was allegedly rejected over her “moderate developmental delay”, has been spared imminent deportation.

Sydney schoolgirl Sumaya Bhuiyan has autism spectrum disorder and, according to the Australian Medical Association, her application in 2013 for permanent residency was rejected as her condition was considered “too burdensome” for taxpayers.

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Dozens killed in attacks on security offices in Syria

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:34:59 GMT2017-02-25T18:34:59Z

An insurgent coalition linked to al-Qaida have claimed credit for the raids, which left at least 32 people dead in the city of Homs

Insurgents have stormed heavily guarded security offices in the central city of Homs, killing a senior officer and at least 31 others, Syrian state media and officials have reported.

The swift, high-profile attacks were claimed by an al-Qaida-linked insurgent coalition known as the Levant Liberation Committee. A Syrian lawmaker on a state-affiliated TV station called it a “heavy blow” to Syria’s security apparatus.

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South Korea: thousands of protesters call for Park impeachment – video

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 13:39:06 GMT2017-02-25T13:39:06Z

Tens of thousands of people rally in the centre of Seoul on Saturday to call for the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. Demonstrators urged the Constitutional Court to quickly evict Park out of the presidential office and called on Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has been serving as acting president since the parliament impeached Park in December, to approve the extension of the special probe on the influence-peddling scandal involving Park and her 40-year confidante

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Could Roe v Wade be overturned and abortion outlawed in the US?

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 13:00:01 GMT2017-02-25T13:00:01Z

The death of the plaintiff from the landmark case has put abortion law in the spotlight again, as a resurgent Republican right seeks to roll back access

Who was Norma McCorvey?
Norma McCorvey is the real name of the woman known as “Jane Roe” in the landmark US supreme court case on abortion rights, Roe v Wade. The 1973 case established a right for US women to have abortions. McCorvey became the plaintiff after she met with two lawyers looking for a test case to challenge Texas’s abortion ban. That was in 1970. At the time, McCorvey was pregnant, unwed, unemployed and unable to obtain an abortion legally or otherwise.

McCorvey never had an abortion. Her case, which proceeded largely without her involvement, took too long to resolve, and she gave birth to a child that she placed for adoption. Several years after the ruling, she publicly revealed her identity and became involved in the pro-abortion rights movement. But after a conversion to Christianity, she became an anti-abortion rights activist. Before she died last week, McCorvey had said that it was her wish to see Roe v Wade overturned in her lifetime.

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Fearing for the wurst: German ministry under fire for meat-free buffets

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 06:00:04 GMT2017-02-25T06:00:04Z

Politicians attack environment ministry’s decision to stop serving meat and fish at official functions as ‘nanny state’ move

Politicians and policy wonks were forced to do a double take when they stormed the buffet at the German government’s symposium on “exporting green technology” in Berlin this month.

Instead of the salami rolls, cocktail sausages or goulash soups one would ordinarily expect at similar functions in the German capital, the lunchtime menu offered Belgian endives with caramelised apple, celeriac escalope with honeyed carrots and a soya vegetable lasagne.

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Plans for first post-Trump US contact with North Korea cancelled, says report

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 05:26:36 GMT2017-02-25T05:26:36Z

Talks with former US officials reportedly called off after Pyongyang envoy denied a visa in wake of missile test and Kim Jong-nam murder

Plans for the first contact between North Korea and the United States after Donald Trump took office have reportedly been cancelled after the US state department denied a visa for the top envoy from Pyongyang.

The talks, between senior North Korean foreign ministry envoy Choe Son Hui and former US officials, were scheduled to take place on 1 and 2 March in New York but were called off after Choe was denied a visa, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

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Britain concerned over challenges to Hong Kong's 'one country, two systems' deal

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 04:46:16 GMT2017-02-25T04:46:16Z

Bi-annual report on former colony saying confidence in its systems is under threat comes after repeated interventions from Beijing

Developments in Hong Kong have affected confidence in the city’s autonomy, though its rule of law remained robust “despite challenges”, the British government has said.

Britain handed the former colony back to China in 1997 with guarantees it would retain extensive autonomy, an independent legal system and broad personal and commercial freedoms under a deal known as “one country, two systems”.

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Staff at Naples hospital 'worked second jobs, played tennis' while on duty

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:36:49 GMT2017-02-25T01:36:49Z

Dozens of doctors and nurses from the Loreto Mare hospital put under house arrest after investigation into staff repeatedly skipping work

Doctors and nurses are among 94 hospital workers from Naples who have been placed under investigation on suspicion of repeatedly skipping work, police have said .

One supervisor at the Loreto Mare hospital was found working as a chef in a hotel, while an on-duty doctor was spotted playing tennis and going shopping. Two health workers were caught clocking in 20 colleagues each day to make it look like they were on the job.

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Dengue fever outbreak on Nauru threatens health system

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:45:41 GMT2017-02-25T00:45:41Z

Crisis meeting called after at least 70 known cases of the viral disease are reported, including at least 10 asylum seekers and refugees held by Australia

Nauru and Australian immigration officials have called a crisis meeting as a major dengue fever outbreak threatens to overwhelm the Pacific island nation’s public health system.

Guardian Australia understands there are now at least 70 known cases of dengue on Nauru, including at least 10 asylum seekers and refugees held on the island by Australia.

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Indonesian president Joko Widodo arrives in Australia for two-day visit

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:34:41 GMT2017-02-25T00:34:41Z

The leader of the world’s most populous Muslim country will have talks with business leader and dinner at Malcolm Turnbull’s house in Sydney

The Indonesian president Joko Widodo has arrived in Sydney on his first visit to Australia as his nation’s leader.

The president and first lady Iriana Widodo landed in rainy conditions and clutched umbrellas as they greeted Australian officials on the Sydney airport tarmac.

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The week in patriarchy: can we escape to those newfound planets now? | Jessica Valenti

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:22:28 GMT2017-02-24T21:22:28Z

Trans rights are being rolled back and – in case you forgot – sexual harassment at work is still uber bad in America

As part of the Trump administration’s never-ending race to the bottom, this week they rescinded federal guidance that mandated trans youth have access to the correct bathrooms and changing rooms at schools. Their cowardly excuse was “states’ rights” but the truth is that reversing protections for trans people – students especially – have been at the top of the conservative agenda for quite some time.

One of the many abhorrent things about this is the way the right invokes the protection of women as an excuse to discriminate against a marginalized community: they insist that women and girls will be in danger if trans women are allowed to be in the same bathroom. Nevermind that it’s trans people who are at increased risk for violence in public spaces, bathrooms especially.

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Fox News, Trump and the truth about crime in Sweden – in data

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:19:43 GMT2017-02-24T19:19:43Z

The president’s oblique reference to ‘what’s happening in Sweden’ referred to a Fox News report on crime and refugees – but the data paints a different picture

Last weekend, as many Swedes were watching the latest round of selections for their Eurovision song contest entry, Donald Trump referenced their country in a speech to his supporters.

“You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden!” he said.

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Former Stephen Lawrence murder suspect jailed over £4m drug plot

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:01:50 GMT2017-02-24T19:01:50Z

Neil Acourt was described as ‘man at the top’ of a scheme to funnel cannabis into northern England

A former suspect in the murder of Stephen Lawrence has been jailed for more than six years over a £4m drug plot.

Neil Acourt was arrested but not prosecuted for the racist murder of the black 18-year-old, who was stabbed to death by a group of white men in Eltham in 1993, but he now faces a spell in prison after he and his six-member gang were caught “red-handed” with 100kg of cannabis.

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False economies of curbing net migration | Letters

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:35:47 GMT2017-02-24T18:35:47Z

The supreme court has erred in backing the unfair government ruling on the £18,600 minimum annual income requirements for entry to the UK of non-EU spouses (Report, 22 February). This ruling has always been morally wrong and unjustified. Contrary to Home Office assertions, it has had negligible impact on the drive to reduce net migration and it has not worked in the national interest. Non-EU spouses have rarely been a burden to UK finances. The standing rule that they are not allowed recourse to public funds is sufficient to cover this.

I brought my Filipino wife here ahead of the ruling, when our income was below the existing threshold. She gained employment immediately, studied intensely, and built herself a good future, buying our house in her own name three years ago. We plan to start a family very soon. Under the current rules, this country would have lost a valuable long-term asset, as it is now doing by effectively barring thousands of willing and able workers and their offspring from the country. It is particularly unfair considering that EU migrants, with no ties or allegiances to the UK, have virtually unrestricted access.

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We want to cover the resistance. We need your help

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:12:17 GMT2017-02-24T17:12:17Z

The Guardian thinks it’s vital to explore the many facets of the growing opposition to the Trump administration. As we do so, we want to hear from you

In the past four months, millions of Americans have become politically engaged around one idea: the need to resist Donald Trump.

From the women’s marches, to airport protests, to attending local town hall meetings, people across the country have been seeking out ways to curb what they see as the damaging actions of an unpredictable president.

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Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve agent, say Malaysian police

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:29:30 GMT2017-02-24T15:29:30Z

Kuala Lumpur airport terminal to be decontaminated after deadly attack on North Korean leader’s half-brother

Kim Jong-nam was killed using the highly toxic liquid nerve agent VX, Malaysian police have said.

One of the two women suspected of involvement in the poisoning vomited in police custody and was also suffering the effects of VX, which is only usually used in chemical warfare, the inspector general, Khalid Abu Bakar, said.

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Bill Cosby sexual assault trial: only one accuser permitted to testify

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:26:29 GMT2017-02-24T15:26:29Z

Pennsylvania judge rules that prosecutors cannot call 12 other women to try to show that the 79-year-old comedian has a history of ‘bad acts’

A judge will let only one other accuser testify at Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial to bolster charges that the actor drugged and molested a woman at his estate near Philadelphia.

The pivotal ruling on Friday by a Pennsylvania judge means prosecutors cannot call 12 other women to try to show that the 79-year-old comedian has a history of similar “bad acts”.

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Kim Jong-un is a reckless gambler who must be kept in check | Simon Tisdall

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:43:28 GMT2017-02-24T12:43:28Z

VX killing of Kim Jong-nam is precedent that can’t be allowed to stand – yet options of international community seem limited

Like a reckless gambler who does not know his limit, Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s dictator, has raised the international stakes by using VX nerve gas – a banned, chemical-based weapon of mass destruction – to assassinate his half-brother at a Malaysian airport.

The US, China and neighbours such as South Korea and Japan have tried to contain or ignore Kim’s illegal nuclear weapons and missile-building activities since 2011. There will now be calls for them to sharply escalate their response, but in reality it is not clear what the international community can do to rein in what is already a pariah state.

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Carnival gets political as Brazilians use street parties to decry injustice

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:40:11 GMT2017-02-24T12:40:11Z

As carnival begins, organisers and revellers are tackling everything from sexism and homophobia to Trump and Temer

Brazil’s notoriously bacchanalian carnival is more political than usual this year with organisers and revellers tackling sexism, homophobia, Donald Trump and the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

The mood was evident at Occupy Carnival and anti-government parades in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio ahead of the world’s biggest street party, which officially starts on Friday.

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What is the VX nerve agent that killed North Korean Kim Jong-nam?

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:49:44 GMT2017-02-24T11:49:44Z

Declared a weapon of mass destruction by the UN, the banned chemical agent is more potent than any other

Malaysian police have revealed that the nerve agent VX was used to kill Kim Jong-nam when he was attacked at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.

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Ireland's forgotten mixed-race child abuse victims – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:16:07 GMT2017-02-24T10:16:07Z

Rosemary Adaser was one of many mixed-race children considered illegitimate who was brought up in institutions run by the Catholic church in Ireland between the 1950s and 1970s. She tells of the abuse and racist treatment she suffered, and returns to her school in Kilkenny for the first time in 40 years and attempts to answer questions about her past

  • WARNING: strong language
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Opponent of female priests urged to decline bishop of Sheffield post

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:00:28 GMT2017-02-24T09:00:28Z

Senior C of E theologian calls on Philip North to stand aside before consecration to avoid ‘public damage to the church’

A senior Church of England theologian has called on the newly appointed bishop of Sheffield to stand aside ahead of his consecration, saying his opposition to female priests will “cause significant pastoral and public damage to the church”.

Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church, Oxford, urged Philip North to either renounce his membership of the Society, a C of E organisation that rejects female priests, or decline his nomination as bishop of Sheffield, which was announced last month.

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One day in the life of San Francisco Bay – mapped

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:00:02 GMT2017-02-23T12:00:02Z

How do ships safely navigate the San Francisco Bay? In his latest data viz roundup, Max Galka gives a guided tour of the Bay’s marine traffic, tracks trees in major cities, and maps the US based on the flow of its commuters

How do ships safely navigate in and out of the San Francisco Bay? This animated story map by Sam Kronick of Mapbox answers this question by taking you on a guided tour of the Bay’s marine traffic.

Based on 24 hours of telemetry data from the US Coast Guard, the map displays in striking detail the paths taken by every ship to sail within the Bay harbour on 1 September 2014. Each ship is categorised by size, and the depth of the Bay waters are conveyed using colour, adding some context for interpreting the ships’ movements.

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Paint it grey: the controversial plan to 'beautify' São Paulo

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT2017-02-23T07:00:00Z

As part of an effort to ‘clean up’ Brazil’s biggest city, mayor João Doria has been down on his knees, spraying grey paint over beloved street art. Locals are furious

For many of the 12 million people who live in São Paulo, sitting in traffic and staring out the window at the graffiti-coated walls that line the 23 de Maio thoroughfare is a daily ritual, defining life in the city like the shake of a London umbrella or the swipe of a New York Metrocard. In a city locked in by traffic and grey high-rises, these long swaths of colourful, ever-changing graffiti images – beautiful, ugly, political and sometimes offensive – serve as jagged cuts in the city’s visual monotony.

And then, one morning, the walls were grey.

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A tale of four skulls: what human bones reveal about cities

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:00:27 GMT2017-02-22T07:00:27Z

Has the great urbanisation of our species over the last 5,000 years been good for humanity or bad? It’s a story that can be told by examining ancient skeletons – which reveal incredible dangers, but also point to a bright future

The UN human settlements programme predicts that homo sapiens will soon be a majority urban species: 60% of humans will live in cities by 2030. More than 10 millennia of adaptations have gone into changing our lives from free-range to metropolitan. Yet in evolutionary terms this is a blindingly swift change of habitat, and to understand what it means for our future we must turn to the long view of archaeology.

The accumulation of humans in dense habitations – cities – has had enormous and frequently fatal consequences. Problems of access to resources, disease transmission and pollution follow rapidly on the heels of our great urban experiment. And it is precisely these problems, originating many thousand of years ago, that we must come to terms with if we are going to survive as a species.

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Cologne library opens its doors to refugees: 'You fill this room with life'

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:03 GMT2017-02-21T12:00:03Z

The Cologne Public Library is serving as a social and educational space for the city’s refugees, as counterparts across Germany increasingly become places for community engagement. Could the UK learn from this?

While a flurry of snow threatens to fall outside at any moment, Sanaw, a 30-year-old Kurdish Christian from western Iran, is proudly describing his involvement in a nativity play over Christmas.

He holds court at a table of eight fellow refugees, explaining in coherent German how the local theatre group, of which he has only been a member for a matter of months, has helped to improve his sense of belonging in Cologne, his home city for just over a year.

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Malta's secret tunnels: inside the newly discovered underworld of Valletta

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:00:30 GMT2017-02-20T07:00:30Z

Malta’s picturesque capital has been used as the set of Gladiator, Troy and King’s Landing in Game of Thrones – but it is also riven by subterranean passages that go back to the legendary Knights of Malta. As the city prepares to be European Capital of Culture, should the tunnels be opened to the public?

When Albert Dimech recognised us, rather than introducing himself, he simply said: “Follow me.”

Dimech had asked the artist Leanne Wijnsma and me to meet him in the centre of Valletta, Malta’s capital city and the European capital for culture in 2018. Wijnsma had been commissioned by the Valletta 2018 foundation to create a piece of artwork about the city’s subterranean world, and Dimech was our point of contact.

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Hope for Hanoi? New bus system could cut pollution … if enough people use it

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 10:58:37 GMT2017-02-18T10:58:37Z

A new $53m BRT (bus rapid transit) system has the power to reduce Hanoi’s dreadful air pollution. Persuading residents of Vietnam’s rapidly expanding capital to ditch their motorbikes and private cars, however, will be another story

From his high-rise office building in Hanoi, Tran Dung can barely see his city’s skyline behind the thick layer of smog. Before leaving work, the 25-year-old executive assistant checks the pollution reading on his AirVisual app, which provides real-time measurements of PM2.5 – the tiny particles found in smog that can damage your throat and lungs.

Hanoi’s PM2.5 levels typically range from 100 to 200 micrograms per cubic metre – regularly within the globally acknowledged “unhealthy” category. But on 19 December last year, they hit “hazardous levels” at 343μg/m3, which was higher than Beijing.

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'Forest cities': the radical plan to save China from air pollution

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-02-17T07:00:03Z

Stefano Boeri, the architect famous for his plant-covered skyscrapers, has designs to create entire new green settlements in a nation plagued by dirty air

When Stefano Boeri imagines the future of urban China he sees green, and lots of it. Office blocks, homes and hotels decked from top to toe in a verdant blaze of shrubbery and plant life; a breath of fresh air for metropolises that are choking on a toxic diet of fumes and dust.

Last week, the Italian architect, famed for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) skyscraper complex in Milan, unveiled plans for a similar project in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.

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Where the wind blows: how China's dirty air becomes Hong Kong's problem

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:00:35 GMT2017-02-16T08:00:35Z

Last month there were 300,000 doctor’s visits in Hong Kong linked to smog – much of which wafts over from mainland China. But in a busy town obsessed with money, will it take a direct economic hit to wake people to the danger?

At the age of three, Margaux Giraudon developed something akin to a smoker’s cough. Thereafter, she became all too familiar with the inside of her doctor’s office in Hong Kong.

For years, her father Nicolas Giraudon was told the same thing by doctors: “Your daughter is sensitive to changes in the weather.” Eventually she grew so ill that she was hooked up to breathing machines in the hospital for three days, inhaling medicine delivered in a mist. At that point, Giraudon decided it was time for the family to return to his native France.

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Millions of premature births could be linked to air pollution, study finds

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:00:34 GMT2017-02-16T07:00:34Z

Premature births across 183 countries may be associated with fine particulate matter, a common air pollutant, with Africa and Asia especially affected

Air pollution could be a contributing factor in millions of premature births around the world each year, a new report has found.

Nearly 15 million babies are born annually before reaching 37 weeks gestation. Premature birth is the leading cause of death among children younger than five years old, and can cause lifelong learning disabilities, visual and hearing problems, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.

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10 ways to beat air pollution: how effective are they?

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:11:02 GMT2017-02-15T12:11:02Z

From particle-zapping bus stops to compact ‘smart’ air filters, we examine the methods that tackle the symptoms of air pollution

Tackling the causes of air pollution has been on of the themes of our special focus this week, The Air We Breathe.

But in the short term, what about the symptoms? We examined some of the most common solutions to see if the claims they make are anything more than hot air.

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Is child labour always wrong? The view from Bolivia – podcast transcript

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:57:32 GMT2017-02-24T15:57:32Z

Kary Stewart looks at why 850,000 children work in Bolivia, and whether the numbers can be vindicated by the country’s unique cultural context

Presenter:

KS Kary Stewart

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Donors pledge $672m at Oslo summit to avert famine in Nigeria and Lake Chad

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:12:32 GMT2017-02-24T15:12:32Z

Norway leads funding commitments as summit raises one-third of $1.5bn needed to avert famine by reaching 3 million people within five months

A third of the $1.5bn in emergency funding sought by the UN this year to prevent a famine in Africa’s stricken Lake Chad region has been raised at a summit in Oslo.

The US has not yet made any new pledge of money.

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Dutch minister calls on UK to join safe abortion fund after Trump ban

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:15:42 GMT2017-02-24T11:15:42Z

Twenty countries aim to raise $600m to fill gap left by Donald Trump’s ban on funding for pro-abortion NGOs in developing world

The Dutch government has voiced hope that the UK will join 20 countries to set up a safe abortion fund to fill the gap left by Donald Trump’s “global gag rule”.

Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch international development minister, is leading an international campaign to raise $600m (£480m) to compensate for the Trump administration’s ban on funding for NGOs that provide abortion or information on the procedure to women in developing countries.

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Major car paint suppliers join initiative against child labour in mica mines

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:00:25 GMT2017-02-24T07:00:25Z

PPG and Axalta join scheme after Guardian report linked paint used by Vauxhall, BMW and VW with mines in India reliant on child labour and debt bondage

PPG and Axalta, two of the world’s largest car paint suppliers, have joined a global initiative to purge child labour from the mica industry after a Guardian investigation linked child labour in their supply chains to Vauxhall, Volkswagen and BMW.

Although largely unknown to consumers, mica is one of the most widely used minerals globally, highly valued for its ability to reflect and refract light and found in a multitude of different products and industries.

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UK's £100m response to South Sudan famine comes from cash already allocated

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:59:21 GMT2017-02-23T15:59:21Z

Initial optimism quashed after it emerges that announcement of ‘new’ government support for famine-hit country refers to funding already in place

The British government is facing questions after announcing it was responding to the declaration of famine in South Sudan by allocating £100m of new money that had, in reality, already been reserved for the stricken country.

On Wednesday, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) released a statement trumpeting what it described as “new humanitarian support” for South Sudan.

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Is child labour always wrong? The view from Bolivia – podcast

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:15:05 GMT2017-02-23T11:15:05Z

Kary Stewart looks at why 850,000 children work in Bolivia, and whether the numbers can be vindicated by the country’s unique cultural context

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

When Bolivia’s government sought to protect children by keeping the minimum working age at 14, child protesters took to the streets. They demanded the legal working age be lowered. As a result, in some cases, children are allowed to work at the age of 10.

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El trabajo infantil en Bolivia: ¿puede justificarse? – podcast

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 11:14:47 GMT2017-02-23T11:14:47Z

Kary Stewart analiza por qué 850.000 niños trabajan en Bolivia y si los números pueden ser vindicados por el contexto cultural único del país

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

Cuando el gobierno boliviano trató de proteger a los niños instaurando la edad mínima de 14 años para trabajar, los manifestantes salieron a las calles. Exigieron que la edad legal de trabajo se redujera. Como resultado, en algunos casos, se permite que los niños trabajen a la edad de 10 años.

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World leaders convene in Oslo for Nigeria food crisis summit

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT2017-02-23T07:00:00Z

Hopes of renewed impetus on efforts to prevent famine in north-east Nigeria tempered by concerns over omission of word ‘donor’ from summit’s official title

Days after the world’s first famine in six years was declared in South Sudan, the rich countries convening in Norway this week to discuss the Nigeria food crisis face pressure to stump up funds to prevent a second, in north-east Nigeria.

Uppermost on the agenda will be the failure of wealthy states to react more quickly to an international humanitarian appeal for more than 5 million people facing severe food shortages. Sensitive issues surrounding the Nigerian government’s ongoing offensive against Boko Haram militants in the stricken region are also likely to be discussed at the Oslo conference.

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How to donate: South Sudan famine and Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria food crises

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:38:22 GMT2017-02-22T12:38:22Z

Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan, while Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria are also at risk. Here’s a roundup of some of the main appeals

The UN has declared famine in parts of South Sudanthe world’s first since 2011 – and warned that Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria are also at risk. With the humanitarian system stretched as never before, hunger has reached unprecedented levels according to aid agencies.

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Meet the DNC chair candidates vying to take over Democratic leadership

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:00:32 GMT2017-02-24T12:00:32Z

Frontrunners Keith Ellison and Tom Perez are challenged by Pete Buttigieg, Sally Boynton Brown and others as the party seeks direction in the Trump era

Hundreds of Democrats have gathered in Atlanta to chart their path forward after a demoralizing defeat in last year’s election. The most pressing issue on the agenda: choosing a new chair to lead the party in the era of Donald Trump.

After a months-long national campaign, the chairmanship will be decided by 447 voting members – party functionaries, including state party chairs, activists, donors and elected officials – in a ballroom at the Atlanta Convention Center on Saturday.

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North Korea's use of nerve agent in murder sends a deliberate signal to foes

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:04:57 GMT2017-02-24T04:04:57Z

Kim Jong-un’s regime claims not to possess any chemical weapons, but the use of VX nerve agent to kill Kim Jong-nam could be designed to deter defectors

The use of one of the world’s most potent chemical weapons, VX, to kill Kim Jong-nam, sends a powerful message to the rivals and enemies of his half-brother and likely murderer, the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.

It suggests that it was far more important to make absolutely sure the target was killed, than to try to cover up Pyongyang’s tracks. The brutal killing in public in an international airport will be chilling to any present or future defectors.

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How different would North Korea have been under Kim Jong-nam?

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:00:00 GMT2017-02-23T07:00:00Z

Kim Jong-un’s multilingual, well-travelled older brother might have helped the country towards reform

As the news surrounding Kim Jong-nam’s death gets increasingly surreal it’s easy to forget what he could have represented: a North Korea capable of gradual reform.

Unlike most of his fellow citizens he was multilingual and travelled around the world from a young age, and while he never crossed to a position of dissent – by speaking out about human rights abuses or befriending defectors – a North Korea with him in the power structure could have looked remarkably different.

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We must resist until China gives Hong Kong a say in our future

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:41:28 GMT2017-02-23T05:41:28Z

If Beijing allows human rights to deteriorate in Hong Kong, then the whole country will lose all hope of reform

Hong Kong’s leader Leung “CY” Chun-ying is preparing to leave office following a five-year term marred by allegations of corruption, controversial remarks, and unfulfilled promises. He will be the first chief executive not to serve a second term.

With elections for his successor scheduled for 26 March, what does the future hold for Hong Kong?

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After Guantánamo: what became of the Britons freed from the US camp?

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:41:56 GMT2017-02-22T14:41:56Z

Jamal al-Harith joined Isis and became a suicide bomber, but what did the future hold for the other UK citizens and residents?

Jamal al-Harith, the Manchester-born jihadi who blew himself up in Iraq after joining Islamic State, was one of at least 17 British citizens and residents known to have been imprisoned in the US Guantánamo camps in Cuba.

All were interviewed by the British authorities on their return. In 2010 the government agreed to pay them millions of pounds in compensation.

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Donald Trump's envoys head to Mexico as cracks emerge in border wall plan

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:19:52 GMT2017-02-22T13:19:52Z

Bureaucratic wrangles pose threat to US president’s campaign pledge but visit by top officials raises other contentious issues

Mexico will host its first high-profile Donald Trump envoys this week with at least one consolation: the proposed border wall is itself walled in, for now, by Washington bureaucracy.

Federal agencies are reportedly resisting the idea and Congress is hesitant to fund it, leaving the president fighting a lonely battle to keep his campaign promise.

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‘Our real friends in the world speak English,’ Nigel Farage tells CPAC – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:15:35 GMT2017-02-24T19:15:35Z

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington DC on Friday and tells the audience that he feels ‘more American’ every time he visits the US, following the election of Donald Trump. Farage touches on the result of the EU referendum in the UK in June as well as Trump’s first month in office, and says that 2016 was the beginning of a ‘global political revolution’

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Trump at CPAC: I oppose fake news, not the media – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:29:17 GMT2017-02-24T17:29:17Z

Donald Trump heaped criticism on what he called purveyors of ‘fake news’ on Friday, during his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington DC. During his speech, Trump sought to clarify recent comments in which he called some in the US news media ‘the enemy of the people’, saying he was only against ‘fake news’. Trump also suggested that news organization do away with anonymous sources

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Kansas bar shooting victim tells how he tried to tackle gunman – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:51:59 GMT2017-02-24T15:51:59Z

Speaking from his hospital bed, Ian Grillot describes how he tried to defend two Indian men in a bar in Olathe, Kansas, who were attacked by a gunman shouting ‘go back to your own country’. Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died and his friend Alok Madasani, along with Grillot, 24, were injured. Adam Purinton, 51, has been charged with murder and attempted murder

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Trump and the forgotten workers: 'We want to be treated fairly' – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:00:29 GMT2017-02-24T10:00:29Z

Strikers at Momentive, a New York chemical plant partially owned by Donald Trump’s billionaire ‘jobs czar’ Stephen Schwarzman, had been hoping for a better deal under Trump. But after 105 days of industrial reaction, they are returning to an uncertain future, one shared by many blue collar workers in the US

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Waltzing with the debutantes: the Vienna opera ball – in pictures

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:44:21 GMT2017-02-24T08:44:21Z

Opening ceremony sees debutantes performing classical dances. With the ball still hugely popular in Austria, it attracts big TV audiences, celebrity guests – and the president

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Kim Jong-nam's death: what we know so far – video report

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:31:36 GMT2017-02-24T08:31:36Z

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un, died from a seizure en route to hospital on 13 February after complaining that a woman had sprayed chemicals on his face at Kuala Lumpur international airport. It is believed North Korea was behind the assassination, and four people have so far been detained by Malaysian authorities

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Retired navy admiral urges media to challenge Trump's attacks – video

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 02:53:39 GMT2017-02-24T02:53:39Z

Retired Navy admiral William McRaven has said Donald Trump’s description of the media as the enemy of the American people ‘may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime’. He told journalism students at the University of Texas the US has ‘the finest press in the world bar none’ and urged them to challenge Trump’s statement at every opportunity.

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