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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:31:05 GMT
Brexit: May humiliated by Salzburg ambush as she fights to save Chequers

PM on the defensive after EU leaders take turns to rubbish her plan – just a week before the Conservative conference

Theresa May was left fighting to save her Chequers Brexit plan and with it her authority as prime minister after she was ambushed at the end of the Salzburg summit when EU leaders unexpectedly declared that her proposals would not work.

On Thursday night the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, hit back for the government, declaring there were no changes to the Chequers plan on the table and the EU’s demands on Northern Ireland were “impossible” for the UK to accept. “The PM has set out red lines that this country is not going to stay in the single market, we’re not going to stay in the customs union – I agree with her on those, that’s the government’s position,” Grayling said.

The prime minister was thrown on to the defensive – just over a week before the Conservative party conference – when EU leaders led by Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron rejected her Chequers plan as it stood, prompting hard Brexit Conservatives to demand it be abandoned.

May was also set an October deadline for a solution on the Irish border issue just hours after informing Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, in a private breakfast meeting that she felt it would be impossible to come to a compromise within such a timescale.

A clearly nervous and angry May told reporters that EU leaders were engaged in “negotiating tactics” designed to throw her off course. “I have always said these negotiations were going to be tough,” she said. “And at various stages of these negotiations, tactics would be used as part of those negotiations”.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:14:39 GMT
Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify if terms 'ensure her safety'

Christine Blasey Ford says she’s willing to testify next week – but not on Monday as Repubicans have demanded

Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who has accused supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, has signaled that she is willing to testify next week – but not on Monday as Republicans have demanded.

In an email to the Senate judiciary committee, first reported by the New York Times and obtained by the Guardian , lawyers for Ford said on Thursday that she “wishes to testify, provided that we can agree on terms that are fair and which ensure her safety”.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:16 GMT
Climbdowns, cheese and crowdfunding: Imran Khan’s first month as PM

Pakistan’s former cricket captain is fast learning that holding office in the country brings heavy compromises

On Monday morning, in the ramshackle suburb of Al-Asif Square in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, local headteacher Syed Mustafa was organising a party. The night before, the newly elected prime minister, Imran Khan had promised on national television to grant citizenship to the Pakistani-born children of the country’s roughly 2.5 million Afghan refugees. Mustafa set out the sweets while one of his colleagues put up a large Pakistani flag.

But the celebrations were brief. On Tuesday, after strong push-back by nationalists, the military and his own coalition partners, the prime minister U-turned. “No decision had been made” on citizenship, Khan said in a speech to parliament.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:02:51 GMT
Golf Digest helps free illustrator wrongly jailed for murder

Valentino Dixon’s drawings, published in the magazine, brought attention to the poor evidence on which he was convicted in 1991

Drawing golf courses was the reason God put him here, Valentino Dixon thought. Maybe one day he’d even get a chance to try the game.

Dixon wrote as much in Golf Digest magazine back in 2012. Incarcerated at the time in the infamous Attica correctional facility in New York, he was in the midst of serving 39 years to life for a murder he had been convicted of in 1991. Now, six years after his story came to the attention of the magazine’s readers, and after spending 27 years in prison, he may finally get his chance as his conviction has been vacated.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:41:07 GMT
Maldives election: fears China-backed president could return country to dark days

Abdulla Yameen is running on an economic ticket supported by China loans, while jailing political opponents

The Maldives will hold presidential elections on Sunday amid warnings the Indian Ocean archipelago is reverting back to the authoritarian rule it threw off in a democratic spring a decade ago.

Opposition parties from across Maldivian politics have formed a united front to oust the president, Abdulla Yameen, whose government has been accused of crushing dissent, corruption and jailing electoral opponents on flimsy grounds.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:19:32 GMT
More than 200 feared drowned in Tanzania ferry disaster

MV Nyerere ferry sank on Thursday afternoon near Ukara Island, Lake Victoria

At least 44 people drowned when a ferry sank on Thursday in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria and government officials feared the final death toll could be more than 200.

Thirty-seven people were rescued after the MV Nyerere sank, Mwanza regional commissioner, John Mongella, told the Associated Press.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 22:51:03 GMT
Canada accuses Myanmar of genocide against Rohingya

Lower house of parliament endorses UN findings of crimes against humanity by military and calls for prosecution

Canadian lawmakers have unanimously voted to declare Myanmar’s military actions against the Rohingya people a genocide.

The House of Commons endorsed the findings of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar that found “crimes against humanity have been committed against the Rohingya” and that these acts were sanctioned by top Myanmar military commanders.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:49:37 GMT
US hits China with sanctions for buying Russian fighter jets and missiles

Russian blacklist also expanded to include many indicted by Mueller for role in 2016 election meddling

The US has sanctioned the Chinese military for buying Russian fighter planes and missiles, and blacklisted more than 30 Russians, most of whom have been indicted for their role in Moscow’s effort to subvert the 2016 US election.

The new sanctions unveiled by the state department on Thursday will sharpen tensions with Beijing amid a brewing trade war – and further sour relations with Moscow.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:31:42 GMT
Suge Knight faces 28 years in jail after admitting manslaughter

Death Row Records co-founder pleads no contest after running over man in Compton in 2015

Former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for running over and killing a Compton businessman nearly four years ago.

The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea in Los Angeles superior court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison. The plea came days before jury selection was scheduled to begin in the long-delayed case.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:59:35 GMT
Whitsundays shark attacks: drum lines to be set as two tourists remain critical

Fisheries Queensland to set baited lines in Cid Harbour after separate attacks on same day

Drum lines will be set after two tourists were critically injured in separate shark attacks at a harbour in the Whitsunday Islands in north Queensland.

Related: Second shark attack in Queensland leaves girl in 'serious condition'

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:56:25 GMT
Bali to bring in new rules for visiting temples after decline in 'quality of tourists'

Visitors posing in bikinis and clambering over sacred Hindu structures prompt authorities to crack down

Authorities in Bali have vowed to stop westerners in bikinis posing in front of sacred temples as they lament a decline in the “quality of tourists” visiting the island.

Bali deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Sukawati, known as Cok Ace, said the authorities had been concerned by a recent rise in disrespectful behaviour by tourists visiting Bali’s hundreds of sacred Hindu sites.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:30:19 GMT
'I follow a different person every day': using strangers to explore the city

The rules of ‘following’ are simple: choose a stranger and secretly copy their route – you’ll see the city in a new light

Two days after I arrive in Belgrade, I’m being shown the outskirts of the city by a man in pink trousers. I think he must be a local: he knows exactly where he’s going, striding confidently down narrow alleys and across wide roads, showing me parts of the Serbian capital far from the beaten track.

Sometimes I have to break into a little run to keep up. But I don’t get too close, because he doesn’t know he’s acting as my guide to the parts of Belgrade that are off the tourist route – and the last thing I want is for him to find out he’s being followed.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:00:21 GMT
Don't walk this way: why Hong Kong reopened a pedestrian street to cars

When residents complained the noise from a pedestrianised street was causing sleeplessness and psychological distress, city authorities reopened it to cars. Was there a better way?

Trying to walking through the pedestrian zone of Sai Yeung Choi Street South, walkers were always shoulder-to-shoulder, bumping into every other passing person. There was simply no way to avoid fellow pedestrians.

Hong Kong’s Mong Kok area – “busy corner” in Cantonese – is a sea of people, shops and chaotic energy in the heart of the city’s most densely populated district.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:34:07 GMT
Everyday memories of Addis Ababa – a photo essay

Beginning as a Tumblr page, website VintageAddis.com invites Ethiopians to share old photographs from family archives, and aims to document the lives of communities throughout the 20th century. The web project and Instagram feed started by Philipp Sch


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:59:04 GMT
Walk the Lijnbaan: decline and rebirth on Europe’s first pedestrianised street

Out of the ashes of postwar Rotterdam, the Lijnbaan rose as a ‘living room for the city’ – a revolutionary concept inspiring imitations from Warsaw to Stevenage

A decade after the historic centre of Rotterdam was largely destroyed by bombing during the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the city set about building a replacement.

The old centre had its faults: narrow streets, alleys and canals that hindered the passage of traffic. The postwar city council seized the opportunity to build a modern centre and straighten the street pattern. The idea was to give Rotterdammers “what they had, but improved and refined”, according to the architect Jo van den Broek, who embodied the optimistic spirit that ruled Rotterdam at the time.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:00:18 GMT
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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:00:17 GMT
Met bosses knew of relationship deception by spy Mark Kennedy

Chiefs admit managers allowed police spy’s relationship with Kate Wilson to continue

Police have admitted that the managers of an undercover officer who deceived a woman into a long-term sexual relationship knew about it and allowed it to continue, legal papers have revealed.

It is the first such admission by police chiefs, who had claimed that their undercover officers were not allowed to have sexual relationships with campaigners they were spying on under any circumstances.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:00:18 GMT
'We work with tear gas around us': developing video games in a war zone

Game creators from Syria and Palestine share what it’s like to live in a conflict-ridden area, conveying their experiences through video games

Video game development is a tougher job than people might think, with the pervasiveness of working practices like crunch prompting a global movement towards unionisation. But for Rasheed Abueideh, a Palestinian software engineer who makes games in his spare time, there are additional challenges.

“Living here in Ramallah, or in Gaza, it’s difficult. Any minute you could be killed on the road because there is always a gun loaded and pointed at your head. I am in the office in Ramallah, so usually when there are clashes near us we work with tear gas around us, and we are crying. And we call that ‘work under pressure’.”

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:00:19 GMT
'Imagine in five years': how education became a casualty of Cameroon's war

As schools close their doors amid the ongoing anglophone crisis, families in Cameroon are growing ever more anxious about what the future holds for their children

If Simon had the chance to tell his class about his summer holidays, the seven-year-old Simon would no doubt mention the large tarpaulin sack that for almost four months served as his sleeping bag and his magic carpet.

When the family fled their home in the town of Batibo, in Cameroon’s north west, his mother used grain bags to carry her two youngest children as Simon ran alongside. Later, out in the open jungle, all three children slept inside the bags.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:09:52 GMT
Maryland shooting: Woman kills three then turns gun on herself – video report

A woman armed with a handgun opened fire at a Maryland warehouse complex where she was employed, killing three people and wounding three others before taking her own life. There are reports the woman had a work-related grievance and that the shooting started in the break room of the Rite Aid distribution center. The warehouse is in the small town of Aberdeen, north-east of Baltimore. One local resident, Colleen Hendrickson, said: 'You wouldn't think in this kind of sleepy and calm area that anything like this would happen'

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:00:18 GMT
'Not just in the US': amateur historian highlights Canada's forgotten racism

Archives shed light on incidents of racial discrimination and the country’s civil rights pioneers

An amateur historian in Canada has highlighted a forgotten story of racial injustice, and one of the country’s earliest segregation lawsuits, in hopes of bringing recognition to civil rights pioneers.

In 1914, Charles Daniels bought a pair of tickets to see King Lear at Calgary’s Sherman Grand Theatre, but when he attempted to take his orchestra-level seat, he was told by ushers to move up to the balcony level, where other black patrons were seated.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:01:17 GMT
UK pledges

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:27:25 GMT
Pair hurt after runaway driverless freight train derailed in Tasmania

TasRail freight train carrying cement was travelling 50km/h when it left tracks

Authorities purposely derailed a driverless runaway train as it neared the heart of Devonport, sending debris flying that injured two people.

The train was loaded with tonnes of cement and travelling at about 50km/h when multiple carriages left the tracks on the north Tasmanian city’s waterfront just after 9am on Friday.

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 04:00:14 GMT
Bill Gates: 'Trump is open-minded' – video

As the Gates Foundation launches its report on progress in the fight against poverty, the philanthropist talks to Polly Toynbee about the challenges ahead. Gates discusses the US president's approach to foreign aid, sharing his hopes for Trump ‘as a human being who cares about other human beings’


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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 04:01:14 GMT
The African youth boom: what's worrying Bill Gates | Polly Toynbee

The philanthropist warns that stability in Africa makes a huge difference to the world, and that investing in the health and education of its young people is vital

What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be 4 billion more people on Earth – and 3 billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that “Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That’s very daunting.”

The philanthropist is torn between sending out a message of hope and a message of fear when I meet him at his foundation’s spacious campus in the heart of his hometown, Seattle.

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Sat, 15 Sep 2018 08:00:01 GMT
Middle classes drive up life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa

Improved nutrition and access to water among factors that have added 11 years to average lifespan in a generation

People in sub-Saharan African can expect to live for 11 years longer than the generation that went before them, new statistics show.

Factors including recovery from HIV epidemics, reductions in child mortality, improved nutrition and access to drinking water have driven life expectancy from 49.7 years in 1990 to 60.7 years in 2017. The number of years children typically spend in school has also increased across the region, growing 14% over the past decade.

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Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:10:21 GMT
Starvation: a weapon of war that could kill 590,000 children by the end of 2018

Save the Children says two thirds of infants in conflict zones are not being treated for life-threatening hunger

Starvation being used as a weapon of war has become the new normal, according to Save the Children. Its analysis shows more than half a million infants in conflict zones could die of malnutrition by the end of the year if they do not receive treatment, the equivalent of one every minute.

The charity makes its own estimates using UN data, and projects that 4.5 million under-fives will need treatment for life-threatening hunger this year in the most dangerous conflict zones – an increase of 20% since 2016. At current rates, only one in three will receive treatment, and 590,000 could die as a result.

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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 11:33:00 GMT
Zimbabwe declares state of emergency after cholera outbreak claims 20 lives

Burst sewers prompt closure of schools and ban on meat and fish sales in Harare as council requests fresh water supplies

Zimbabwe has declared a state of emergency after a cholera outbreak in the capital Harare killed 20 people and left more than 2,000 infected from contaminated drinking water.

The government has also shut schools and banned the sale of meat and fish by vendors in affected areas, said the new health minister, Obadiah Moyo. Police are expected to enforce the ban.

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 06:00:19 GMT
What is behind the decline in UFO sightings?

In an age of wild claims churned out by politicians, media and advertisers, perhaps people don’t care as much any more

This month, the two major online sites for reporting UFOs – the National UFO Reporting Center and the Mutual UFO Network – both documented steep drops in worldwide sightings. The declines started around 2014, when reports were at a peak. They have since reduced drastically to 55% of that year’s combined total, many UFO interest groups have folded, and numerous previously classified government documents have been disclosed.

Do these declines reveal that UFO interest is becoming a blip on the human cultural radar? Perhaps UFO and alien lore is seeming more like a reflection of human culture, tied to the space age, motivated by conquering new existential frontiers.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 16:35:18 GMT
Is Brett Kavanaugh's nomination going to collapse? All you need to know

The confirmation of Donald Trump’s candidate for the supreme court is in doubt after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault

The confirmation process for Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been thrown into turmoil by accusations he committed sexual assault decades ago. Here’s what we know so far about the allegations, and their possible ramifications.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:52:50 GMT
North Korea still taking baby steps with Kim's missile site offer

Analysts disappointed by lack of progress on denuclearisation after concession from Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un’s offer to dismantle key missile test sites represents only a “very small step forward”, analysts said, with many disappointed at the lack of progress on denuclearisation.

North Korea offered the concession during a three-day summit in Pyongyang with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and also offered to close its only known nuclear complex if the United States makes its own concessions.

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:08:36 GMT
Trump's insecurity and 'bullshit' hush money: key takeaways from Stormy Daniels' book

Daniels’ memoir Full Disclosure contains vivid details about Trump’s beauty regime and his rapport with Hillary Clinton

While its level of salacious detail about the sitting president is extraordinary, Stormy Daniels’ memoir also chronicles her career and her life.

Related: Stormy Daniels' tell-all book on Trump: salacious detail and claims of cheating

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:51:14 GMT
'Tremendous progress': Trump on North Korea denuclearisation – video

Donald Trump has hailed the result of talks in Pyongyang between the North and South Korean leaders as a sign of 'tremendous progress' in his effort to persuade North Korea to denuclearise. He said that prior to his presidency, many people had anticipated the US going to war with North Korea, but now the relationship was much improved 

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:30:17 GMT
The North American Indian by Edward S Curtis – in pictures

A stunning record of vanishing Native American tribes, one of the earliest complete versions of Curtis’s early 20th-century work, will be offered for auction in its original binding by Swann Auction Galleries in New York on 18 October, with an estimate of $1m-$1.5m

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:37:04 GMT
Donald Trump on Brett Kavanaugh's accuser: 'I really want to hear what she has to say' – video

Donald Trump has said that Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the president's supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault, deserves to be heard. Trump described the judge as an 'extraordinary man' and says he finds it 'very hard to imagine' anything happened

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:13:57 GMT
Why are Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in’s hugs controversial? – video

The North Korean leader welcomed the South Korean president to Pyongyang on Wednesday with a hug and a smile. The gesture appeared to be welcomed by onlookers, but in South Korea, people are critical of their president’s attempts to humanise Kim Jong-un after decades of strained relations between the two countries

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:53:06 GMT
'One of the wettest we've ever seen, from the standpoint of water': Trump on Florence – video

Donald Trump has praised the Hurricane Florence relief efforts in a video posted to his Twitter account. The US president said it was a 'tough hurricane' and 'one of the wettest we've ever seen, from the standpoint of water'

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:09:59 GMT
'A very meaningful outcome': North Korea agrees to scrap missile test sites – video

North Korea has agreed to 'permanently' abolish its key missile facilities in the presence of foreign experts, and is willing to close its main nuclear complex if the US takes reciprocal action, South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, has said. Speaking at a press conference after talks in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un said they had agreed to turn the Korean peninsula into a 'land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats'

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