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Updated 2017-04-23 08:00
Will Brexit reopen old wounds with a new hard border in Northern Ireland?
Our writer, who grew up in County Armagh, travels the the Irish borderland and talks to those who live there
Boy, 12, caught 1,300km into attempt to drive across Australia
Child was stopped in Broken Hill, New South Wales, having seemingly driven across the entire state from Kendall near Port MacquarieA 12-year-old boy attempting to drive across Australia solo has been pulled over at Broken Hill, 1,300 kilometres into his journey.
Julie Bishop hits back at North Korea as Labor backs 'harder-edged' US stance
Australia’s foreign minister says North Korea should look after its ‘long-suffering citizens’ rather than develop nuclear weaponsAustralia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, says North Korea should look after its “long-suffering citizens” rather than developing weapons of mass destruction after the regime pointedly warned Australia of a possible nuclear strike if Canberra persists in “blindly and zealously toeing the US line”.
Jessa Crispin: ‘Today’s feminists are bland, shallow and lazy’ | Rachel Cooke
Rachel Cooke talks to Jessa Crispin about her incendiary new book, Why I Am Not a FeministIn her slender but merciless new book, Jessa Crispin pours petrol over pretty much the entire surface of 21st-century feminism, and then gleefully sets it alight. Boom! Up it goes, leaving behind only scorched earth. What she hopes will grow in its place isn’t completely clear. “I know! I know!” she wails, when I tell her she offers more questions than answers. But having no desire to be an activist, she doesn’t see it as her business to fix the patriarchy. “Maybe this sounds disingenuous, but I was writing for myself,” she says. “I just wanted to be clear about what I believe.”The book is called Why I Am Not a Feminist, which is, of course, a lie as well as a provocation, for its author’s feminism runs through her veins like blood. Crispin’s principles, however, have their roots, radical and angry, in the second wave of feminism, not the third: she, for one, is not about to renounce the likes of Andrea Dworkin and Shulamith Firestone, whose uncompromising books she has, incidentally, actually read. Continue reading...
Danger ahead for European press
As press prize celebrations die down, it’s time to reflect on the threat looming over journalistic freedom in many countries on the continentA final word on the European Press Prize as, awards delivered, a new season begins. The winners were all terrific. Congratulations to your Serbian investigators, young Romanian reporters, digital wizards from Bellingcat. Congratulations to three sensational writers from Stern and Spiegel. (Gosh! the Germans still invest mightily in good journalism). And more than a tip of the cap to Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times (and Guardian and Observer) for his scintillating takes on Brexit.But one thing that sets these awards apart for me is a sense of danger – for Yavuz Baydar and his Turkish colleagues as democracy closes down, of a Warsaw government running amok and of Hungary’s Orbán defying the whole European idea. The dangers the Serbian winners raised as many marched in Belgrade, fighting for press freedoms lost. Continue reading...
The twists and turns of France’s strangest ever presidential election
With the sitting president not on the ticket and big parties facing first-round defeat, this race has been unlike any before itModern France’s 11th presidential election campaign has also been its most extraordinary, with almost as many firsts as candidates.The outgoing first-term president, François Hollande, is not standing. Other big names such as Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy are also out. For the first time, France’s traditional mainstream parties may not reach the runoff. Continue reading...
French election 2017: voters go to the polls in wide-open contest
Top two finishers from 11 candidates will advance to runoff on 7 May that will decide the country’s next presidentVoting is under way in the first round of an unpredictable French presidential election whose outcome could prove crucial for the future of a deeply divided country and a nervous European Union.Less than two days after a gunman shot dead a policeman on the Champs-Elysées in an attack for which Islamic State claimed responsibility, France’s 47 million registered voters – nearly a quarter of whom are still undecided – go to the polls amid heightened security. Continue reading...
Geriatric criminal Neddy Smith sneaks past guards in hospital
Prison officers investigated after notorious murderer, 72, who has Parkinson’s disease, apparently left his bed and was only caught by nurses in hallwayTwo prison guards tasked with sitting by the bedside of notorious Sydney underworld figure Arthur “Neddy” Smith are being investigated after they allegedly failed to notice the 72-year-old leave his hospital room in a suspected escape attempt on Monday.Smith, who is serving two life sentences for murder at Sydney’s Long Bay jail, was admitted to the cardiac ward of the Prince of Wales hospital at Randwick after suffering heart problems. Continue reading...
North Korea warns Australia of possible nuclear strike if it 'blindly toes US line'
Foreign ministry spokesman quoted as saying Julie Bishop’s comments can never be pardoned and Pyongyang is acting only in self-defenceNorth Korea has bluntly warned Australia of a possible nuclear strike if Canberra persists in “blindly and zealously toeing the US line”.
Germany's AfD party heads further right after leader suffers defeat
Congress delegates refuse to discuss Frauke Petry’s motion to shift the rightwing anti-immigrant party into the ‘mainstream’The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) looks set to turn further right after its co-leader, who has struck a more moderate tone of late, suffered a defeat when delegates refused to discuss her motion to shift the party into the “mainstream”.
The Observer view on the French presidential election | Observer editorial
Europe and Britain wait to see which way France’s voters will turnAfter months of political shocks, high-profile scandals and fraught campaigning, the outcome of France’s presidential election remains clouded in uncertainty, but the potentially momentous consequences of today’s first-round vote, for the French, for Europe and for Britain, are clear.It is often said at election time that this or that country is at a crossroads. On this occasion, this platitude has the ring of truth. With voters apparently split four ways, and with up to one-third undecided on the eve of the poll, this divided country, crying out for change yet uncertain how to achieve it, is undoubtedly at a turning point. Continue reading...
How insults and a campaign over sanitary towels landed activist in jail
Stella Nyanzi’s attack on her government’s refusal to fund sanitary wear for girls led to a successful crowdfunding campaign, and prisonStella Nyanzi, an academic and formidable campaigner, is languishing in a jail in Kampala for describing her president as “a pair of buttocks”. Uganda’s 72-year-old leader, first elected more than 30 years ago, has become the subject of ferocious criticism for his government’s treatment of the country’s poor schoolgirls.To Nyanzi, the announcement that her country’s government, under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, could not afford to supply sanitary towels to schoolgirls – despite three in every 10 missing school because of menstruation – was more than just another broken campaign promise. It was, to the academic, the epitome of abuse – a symbol of the humiliation that the east African country has endured at the hands of a political monarchy detached from the realities of those it leads. It was also the beginning of an activist journey that would land Nyanzi in a maximum-security prison for insulting the president the west once touted as a poster boy for African democracy. Continue reading...
Cold snap will send UK temperatures tumbling
Snow and sleet expected in some parts of Scotland and England and temperatures of 25C 10 days ago will drop to 11C in the southDon’t put away that winter coat just yet: Britain is braced for a late taste of winter, with icy showers and arctic winds expected across much of the country early next week.The cold snap is likely to bring snow and sleet in Scotland and parts of England, the Met Office warned. Continue reading...
Theresa May’s election ‘power grab’ slammed by EU's Guy Verhofstadt
European parliament’s Brexit coordinator says result of snap election on 8 June will be an irrelevance in BrusselsTheresa May’s claim that she will be strengthened in the Brexit talks by a general election victory has been dismissed as nonsense by the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, who has condemned the prime minister as a political opportunist.In an outspoken attack, Guy Verhofstadt suggests the prime minister was motivated by party political considerations rather than the national interest in calling a poll for 8 June. Continue reading...
The 20 photographs of the week
Protests in Caracas, mass dancing in Pyongyang, the Paris shooting and anti-government protests in Istanbul – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists Continue reading...
Moonlight's Ashton Sanders: ‘America isn’t made for the black man’
The actor was just 21 when the Oscar-winning film made him a star. He talks about dealing with bullies and racism, and why he’ll never become too Hollywood
France’s identity crisis: ‘People just don’t know what to think any more’
France goes to the polls on Sunday in a presidential election shaped by economic insecurity, cultural paranoia and terrorism. Natalie Nougayrède travels to the south-west and tries to make sense of the most important vote of her lifetimeThe quiet, lovely medieval towns and soft, rolling hills covered with orchards and vineyards of south-west France are an unlikely setting for a citizens’ uprising. Yet just days before the presidential election, conversations with the inhabitants of this once leftwing region, stretching from the city of Toulouse to the rural settings of the Tarn-et-Garonne, offer a glimpse into France’s mood of rage and confusion. Popular resentment, fears and frustrations set the stage for a major political upheaval, almost 60 years after De Gaulle founded the country’s Fifth Republic.France is a republican quasi-monarchy. Its institutions are centred on the president. But what is at stake in this vote isn’t just the choice of a personality, nor only an economic or political programme. The very essence of France’s democracy hangs in the balance, as well as the survival of the 60-year-old European project. Much of what is at work resembles the trends that produced Brexit in Britain and Trump in the US – not least the disgruntlement of those who feel they have lost out to globalisation. But there are also specific, distinct elements of a collective French identity crisis. Continue reading...
Isis leader behind Turkey nightclub attack is killed by US forces in secretive raid
Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on 6 April, says US central commandThe United States has announced that a secret military ground operation killed an Islamic State operative seen as a close associate of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead.Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on 6 April, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the US military’s central command. Continue reading...
Human rights groups demand closure of Manus and Nauru after scathing Senate report
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre calls for end to ‘dangerous failure’ of offshore detention after report finds government responsible for centresHuman rights and legal groups say a scathing Senate report on offshore processing and conditions inside detention highlights the government’s “wilful inaction” and bolsters their calls for the closure of the Manus Island and Nauru centres.On Friday the government released a report by the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs, which followed a seven-month inquiry into allegations of abuse on Manus and Nauru sparked by the Guardian’s publication of the Nauru files.
Work visas: students often forced to breach conditions, lawyers say
Solicitors from Redfern Legal Centre want immigration minister to show more leniency by offering a second chance instead of revoking visasThe Australian government could significantly reduce migrant worker exploitation by being more lenient to students who are coerced by employers into breaching their visas, according to immigration and employment lawyers at community legal centres.
‘Urgent’ to reach agreement on loan for Greece, says IMF
Talks with IMF and eurozone have dragged on for months, but fresh funds needed so Greece can pay debt due in JulyIt is “urgent” to reach an agreement on a loan program for Greece but a commitment is still required from Athens on reforms and from Europe on debt relief, a senior IMF official said on Friday.
Duelling prime ministers: Turnbull and Abbott locked in a Coalition death spiral | Katharine Murphy
The public is being dished up the discordant spectacle of the former PM’s dogged desire to fashion the current incumbent of the Lodge in his own imageLachlan Harris, a former political staffer who ran Kevin Rudd’s press shop, coined the inimitable phrase “Kulia” to describe the toxic fusion of two warring leaders, locked in a grim battle which ultimately destroyed a Labor government in full view of the voting public.
The sinister rush to blame Islamists for Dortmund bombing
Rightwingers including Nigel Farage were quick to point the finger in the wrong direction after the attack on football club busEarly on in their investigation into the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team, German police said they were working on the assumption they were dealing with terrorism.Related: Borussia Dortmund team bus hit by three explosive devices, injuring player Continue reading...
Leicester City and other clubs work together for refugees’ better future
On the weekend of 80th anniversary of Guernica bombing, from which 3,000 children fled Spain for Britain, English clubs will highlight refugees’ contributionsIt was an atrocity that inspired Picasso’s most famous painting and, more pertinently, a historic U-turn by Britain’s Conservative government. Until the saturation bombing of Guernica 80 years ago on Wednesday Stanley Baldwin, the prime minister, had rejected all calls to accept refugees from the Spanish civil war.Whitehall had argued that doing so would breach its policy of non-intervention in the conflict. Besides, added Baldwin, “the climate would not suit” people from the Basque region. Then, on 26 April 1937, Nazi bombers, acting on behalf of General Franco, embarked on a mission to annihilate Guernica, a town of 10,000 people. Hundreds were killed, thousands injured and, as the Guardian reported at the time, “even flocks of sheep were machine-gunned”. Demands from the British public to offer shelter to civilians became so strong that the government felt obliged to show compassion despite a small financial burden and its fear of creeping Communism. Continue reading...
Valon Behrami on how football helped him start a new life – video
Watford midfielder Valon Behrami talks about how he and his family fled escalating violence in Kosovo when he was just four years old in search of safety and a better life in Switzerland. Behrami, formerly of West Ham and Napoli, also describes how football helped him adjust to living in a new country and how he came to represent Switzerland at international level
Is the world more dangerous now than during the cold war?
With the rise of Trump, and unstable relations between the US, Russia and China – plus a dash of nuclear bellicosity from North Korea – are we all going to die?During the cold war, there was a clear narrative: an ideological opposition between the US and the Soviet Union. Moments of great tension were understood as episodes within that narrative. The closest we came to nuclear confrontation was the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the two countries seemed on the edge of war. But the crisis itself was finished inside a fortnight, and there was a wider framework to fall back on. The 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty calmed the waters. Continue reading...
As US prioritises Julian Assange arrest, UK hints Sweden comes first
If WikiLeaks founder were to leave Ecuadorian embassy, two countries would have competing extradition claimsSweden’s existing warrant to extradite Julian Assange over a sexual assault allegation would be the first consideration for the British government if the Australian were to leave the Ecuadorean embassy, Home Office sources have indicated.Related: Arresting Julian Assange is a priority, says US attorney general Jeff Sessions Continue reading...
A-level language grades skewed by results of native speakers – study
Ofqual estimates 17% of students taking German A-level in UK are native speakers achieving about half of A* gradesFor years the British stereotype of Germans has been that they get the best of everything, from sun-loungers to football trophies – and now it seems they have been achieving the best A-level grades.Research published by the exam regulator Ofqual has found that German-speaking children in the UK have been sitting A-level exams in their native language – and winning a disproportionate amount of A and A* grades on offer. Continue reading...
Man forced to wear spit hood has police caution revoked
Arrest of Ik Aihie sparked controversy after video emerged showing officers pinning him face down and putting a spit hood over his headA young man who was pinned to the ground by police and forced to wear a spit hood has had his caution quashed, his solicitor has said.Ik Aihie, 20, was arrested at London Bridge station in July 2016. The arrest sparked controversy after video shot by a bystander showed Aihie screaming as officers pinned him face down on the ground and put a spit hood over his head. Continue reading...
'It's a feminist message': Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy on Their Finest - video
Historical comedy-drama Their Finest is an affectionate ode to morale-boosting British Ministry of Information films of the second world war. Gemma Arterton stars as a young copywriter who is brought in to work on a film about the Dunkirk evacuation, while Bill Nighy is a fading matinee idol hoping for one last star turn. The pair discuss the role played by women in the war effort, the timely nature of their film and the challenges of doing a Welsh accent. Continue reading...
Kidnapped, tortured and thrown in jail: my 70 days in Sudan – podcast
Twelve years after reporting on the conflict in Darfur, film-maker Phil Cox returned. But this time, the Sudanese government put a price on his head• Read the text version hereSubscribe via Audioboom, iTunes, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Acast & Sticher and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter Continue reading...
François Fillon rebuked for sexist remarks about maternity leave
French presidential candidate responds to journalist’s question by suggesting her absence meant she was unsure of her briefThe French presidential candidate François Fillon, already beset by scandal, has been accused of making sexist remarks after suggesting a leading French journalist was unsure of her brief because she had been on maternity leave.
Large Commons majority will strengthen May's hand in Brexit talks, says Irish PM
Enda Kenny attends mini summit with Danish and Dutch leaders to discuss how UK’s withdrawal from EU will affect trade
Refugees stranded for 30 hours before rescue in Mediterranean
Maritime log passed to the Guardian reveals rising panic of 100 people during agonising wait on dinghyA hundred refugees and migrants crammed into a small dinghy that started taking in water in the Mediterranean endured an agonising 30-hour wait before they were rescued, a maritime log passed to the Guardian has revealed. Continue reading...
El progreso en Latinoamérica está comenzando a desacelerarse
El problema del agua y las inundaciones severas en Latinoamérica han expuesto los puntos débiles en el progreso hacia los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible, dicen figuras líderes
Guardian event: progress in Latin America is 'starting to plateau'
The water crisis and severe flooding in Latin America has exposed weakness in progress towards the sustainable development goals, say leading figures
French elections: all you need to know
As the final week of the most unpredictable campaign for years approaches, we look at what the leading candidates stand for and which one is most likely to winFrance elects a new president in two rounds of voting on 23 April and 7 May. Polls have forecast for more than two years that the populist, nationalist, authoritarian Marine Le Pen will advance to the run-off. Continue reading...
Measles outbreak in western Sydney spreads, with 17 confirmed cases
Latest patient had only one dose of vaccine rather than the required two, prompting a warning from NSW HealthAn under-vaccinated person has contracted measles in western Sydney, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the current outbreak to 17.The patient visited Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and Darling Harbour on 14 April while he or she was infectious. Continue reading...
Australia's science agency 'more confident' it knows MH370 crash location
Modelling by the CSIRO reaffirms the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s conclusion that the wreck is probably north of the search areaAustralia’s chief science agency says it is more confident than ever that it knows the location of the missing flight MH370, as authorities in charge of the search are accused of withholding information.The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s search for MH370 was suspended indefinitely in January after a deep-sea sonar scan in the southern Indian Ocean failed to find any trace of the plane that vanished in 2014.
Apocalypse, how? A survival guide to the end of the world – video
We live in uncertain times. With global tensions escalating and unpredictable leaders like Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin in office, increasing numbers of people are turning to self-sufficiency as insurance against disaster. These people are labelled ‘preppers’, a term loaded with baggage thanks to the extreme stereotype imported from the US. Richard Sprenger goes in search of the reality of the UK survivalism scene
Haitian mothers claim UN unresponsive over support for peacekeeper children
Lawyers trying to obtain financial assistance for 10 women who gave birth to children of departed peacekeepers say UN has ignored requests for informationThe UN has been accused of refusing to cooperate with a human rights group that is pursuing child support payments for women left pregnant by its peacekeeping forces.
The winners of the Sony world photography awards 2017 – in pictures
From Saudi single mothers to Chinese child gymnasts, the winners of the world’s largest photography competition have documented scenes across the planet Continue reading...
Letters from Baghdad review – Gertrude Bell gets the documentary she deserves
Tilda Swinton reads from the letters of the colourful and charismatic explorer, diplomat and archeologist who, along with TE Lawrence, shaped modern IraqIt is one of the injustices of the universe that the fame of TE Lawrence, AKA Lawrence of Arabia, lives on (probably mostly thanks to David Lean and Peter O’Toole), while far fewer people are familiar with the biography of his contemporary and comrade-in-diplomacy, Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), a character no less colourful, charismatic and compelling than Lawrence. Getting a niche arthouse release, this finely wrought documentary won’t rectify that imbalance in their respective reputations. But it does serve as a handy summary for those who want a cinematic introduction to Bell’s sprawling, singular story, and don’t want to start with Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog’s dramatised flop that starred Nicole Kidman as Bell.Related: The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell Continue reading...
Friday briefing: shadow of terror falls over Paris again
Police officer shot dead with days until French election … leak reveals EU’s tough line on Brexit … and, do artificial sweeteners cause dementia?Hello again, Warren Murray with your first look at today’s main stories. Continue reading...
Chechnya leader rejects reports of anti-gay purge
Ramzan Kadyrov makes denial despite growing evidence that gay men have been rounded up and at least three have been killedChechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov has used a meeting with Vladimir Putin to deny reports of an anti-gay purge in the southern Russian republic he runs.The newspaper Novaya Gazeta alleges that more than 100 Chechen men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and at least three killed. Despite Kadyrov’s denial, evidence of a massive campaign against gay men is building. Continue reading...
Germany's AfD party lurching further right as leader pulls out of election
Frauke Petry says she will not run as candidate in elections in September amid frustration at lack of coherent strategyGermany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to lurch further to the right at its party conference this weekend after its last self-declared moderates conceded defeat to hardliners, and former members warned that regional branches were being “flooded by the far far right”.The AfD, which was launched in 2013 by a group of academics and liberal economists, used to emphatically reject the “rightwing populist” tag, insisting that its Euroscepticism was relatively mild and Germany needed immigration due to its demographic decline. Continue reading...
Push to impose GST on all imported online goods breaches best-practice rules
Treasury says when Joe Hockey announced the plan in August 2015 he had not completed a regulatory impact statementTreasury officials have admitted the Turnbull government’s push to impose the goods and services tax on all online goods imported to Australia is in breach of its own best-practice requirements.They say that when the former treasurer Joe Hockey announced the plan in August 2015 he had not completed a regulatory impact statement. Continue reading...
Queen’s visit to Ceylon coincides with birthday – archive, 21 Apr 1954
21 April 1954: Official telegrams have already started to arrive, and messages from Prince Charles and Princess Anne will be brought by special courierColombo, April 20
Refugees will be hardest hit by changes to Australia's citizenship test, experts say
Refugee Council of Australia says older refugees, and those from conflict zones with disrupted educations, would potentially fail under new English requirementsRefugees would be hit hardest by changes to Australia’s citizenship test, the refugee council says, with people deterred from applying for citizenship or potentially failing the test under new English language requirements.The Refugee Council of Australia argues older refugees, and those who’ve arrived from conflict zones with disrupted educations, would find the strengthened English requirement hardest. Continue reading...
Extremist prisoners to be held in 'separation centres' inside jails
Plan to separate ‘subversive prisoners’ follows official inquiry into the spread of Islamic extremism inside prisonsPlans to house up to 28 of the most dangerous extremist prisoners in England and Wales in three “separation centres” away from mainstream prisoners are to go ahead, the Ministry of Justice has announced.The first of the three separation centres – known as “jihadi jails” – will be opened in HMP Frankland high-security prison in the coming weeks with two others to follow.