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Updated 2018-09-25 00:15
Syria faces perpetual war unless Russia extends ceasefire, France warns
Jean-Yves Le Drian issued warning at start of general assembly week as John Bolton vowed not to pull US troops before IraniansFrance has warned Syria faces a future of perpetual war unless Russia agrees to turn the one-month ceasefire in Idlib into a wider UN-endorsed political agreement.The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, issued the warning at the start of a week of summit meetings at the UN general assembly, where the US national security adviser, John Bolton, also raised the prospect of an endless, grueling conflict, vowing not to pulling US forces out of Syria before Iranian troops and their allies. Continue reading...
Julian Assange and Russia’s UK embassy | Letter
Ivan Volodin, at the Russian embassy in London, responds to a Guardian article reporting that Russian diplomats held secret talks about helping Julian Assange flee the UKYour article (Revealed: Russia’s Christmas Eve plot to smuggle Assange out of UK, 22 September) claiming that Russian diplomats held secret talks to assess whether they could help Julian Assange flee the UK has nothing to do with the reality. The embassy has never engaged with Ecuadorean colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russian participation in ending Mr Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador. As regards the idea that “the Kremlin was willing to offer support” to a secret plan by “allowing Assange to travel to Russia”, we are puzzled by the sensational attitude of the authors. Russia is always happy to welcome international guests if they arrive in a lawful manner and with good intentions.As recently as 18 September, the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, speaking at the Royal Television Society, called for increased efforts to combat media and online disinformation. Your article is a brilliant example of the kind of journalism that the British reader should be protected from.
Versace close to being sold to US label Michael Kors for $2bn
Donatella Versace expected to confirm deal with handbag and clothing brand on TuesdayVersace, the Italian fashion house founded by Gianni Versace 40 years ago, is expected to be sold to the US handbag and clothing brand Michael Kors for $2bn (£1.5bn).The sale of the Milan-based brand would turn the late designer’s niece, Allegra Versace Beck, into a near-billionaire as she inherited half of the company after his murder outside his Miami mansion in 1997. Continue reading...
Hungarian PM thanks UK Tory MEPs who voted against sanctions
Viktor Orbán expresses gratitude for ‘solidarity’ of MEPs who voted against actionThe Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has thanked Conservative MEPs for their “solidarity” in voting against European Union action to protect the rule of law in his country.Related: Hungarian PM vows to continue battle with EU over migration Continue reading...
Infected blood victims may not yet have been told why they feel ill, inquiry hears
Investigation begins into scandal thought to have killed more than 2,000 peopleThousands of victims of the contaminated blood scandal may not yet have been told the reasons why they are feeling unwell, the chair of the inquiry has said.
Fears of no-deal Brexit push British export orders close to year low
Economists warn overseas buyers moving away from UK suppliers due to uncertaintyBritain’s manufacturers have warned of the mounting risk of a no-deal Brexit as export orders dropped to the lowest level in almost a year.The CBI industrial trends survey, which gauges manufacturing activity across the UK, revealed slowing economic output for the three months to September, with company export orders the lowest since October 2017. Continue reading...
British woman jailed in Egypt for tramadol possession denied appeal
Laura Plummer to serve three-year sentence for bringing 290 painkillers into countryA British woman jailed in Egypt for possessing controlled drugs has been refused permission to appeal against her conviction.Laura Plummer was sentenced to three years in prison for bringing 290 tramadol tablets into the country. She had told the court they were for her partner’s back pain. Continue reading...
Round-the-world sailor rescued after injury traps him in bunk
Abhilash Tomy was hurt when his vessel was damaged 2,200 miles from shoreA solo Indian yachtsman trapped in his bunk by a serious back injury thousands of miles from land has been rescued.Abhilash Tomy, a competitor in the Golden Globe round-the-world race, was badly injured when his vessel was damaged in a storm that tore off its mast on Friday 2,200 miles (3,500km) from western Australia. Continue reading...
Hong Kong bans pro-independence party as China tightens grip
Hong Kong National Party banned in the interests of ‘national safety’Hong Kong has banned a political party which promotes independence, a first since the city was handed back to China by Britain 21 years ago as Beijing ups pressure on any challenges to its sovereignty.Semi-autonomous Hong Kong enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland, including freedom of expression, but the space for political dissent is shrinking in the face of an increasingly assertive China under President Xi Jinping. Continue reading...
Man in his 80s arrested on suspicion of murder in Norfolk
Woman’s body found at a property in Brooke, south of Norwich, on Sunday morningA man in his 80s has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman was found dead in Norfolk.Police were called to reports a woman had been stabbed in a property in Brooke, south of Norwich, at about 10.30am on Sunday. Continue reading...
‘Her war never stopped’: the Dutch teenager who resisted the Nazis
Freddie Oversteegen, who has died at 93, waged a campaign of killing and sabotage – but struggled to adapt to peacetimeThe first thing the Nazis took from Freddie Oversteegen was her bed.Her mother, Trijn, a communist bringing up her children independently in the Dutch city of Haarlem, sheltered Jews, dissidents and gay people as they fled Germany in the 1930s. Oversteegen, who was seven when Adolf Hitler came to power, bunked in with her big sister Truus to make room. Continue reading...
Third tiger shark killed in Whitsundays despite doubts over whether they bit tourists
Queensland government insists killing sharks in interest of public safety but officials say it is impossible to know if they injured touristsThree tiger sharks have been killed by the Queensland government after life-threatening attacks on a woman and a girl, but officials say it is impossible to know if they caused the bites.Hannah Papps, 12, was bitten on her right leg while swimming in Cid harbour with her father and sister on Thursday, less than 24 hours after Tasmanian Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area. Continue reading...
Terrorists kill Iranian children and soldiers in military parade attack
Children among dozens killed after assailants open fire on Revolutionary Guard event in AhvazAt least 29 people, including children, have been killed in a terrorist attack on a military parade in south-west Iran, responsibility for which has been claimed by both Islamic State and a separatist group.Four assailants disguised as military personnel opened fire from behind the viewing platform during the parade in Ahvaz to mark the anniversary of the eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s. Continue reading...
Wizards, Moomins and pirates: the magic and mystery of literary maps
From Moominland to the Marauder’s Map, writers Robert Macfarlane, Frances Hardinge and Harry Potter cartographer Miraphora Mina unfold their favourite mapsIn the beginning was the map. Robert Louis Stevenson drew it in the summer of 1881 to entertain his 12-year-old stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, while on a rainy family holiday in Scotland. It depicts a rough-coasted island of woods, peaks, swamps and coves. A few place names are marked, which speak of adventure and disaster: Spyeglass Hill, Graves, Skeleton Island. The penmanship is deft, confident – at the island’s southern end is an intricate compass rose, and the sketch of a galleon at full sail. Figures signal the depth in fathoms of the surrounding sea, and there are warnings to mariners: “Strong tide here”, “Foul ground”. In the heart of the island is a blood-red cross, by which is scrawled the legend “Bulk of treasure here”. Continue reading...
Former welfare recipients who refuse to pay back debt face travel ban
Australia’s human services minister says 20 orders have been issued as part of move to recoup fundsAustralians who owe money to the federal government will be banned from leaving the country until they repay the funds, in a move to claw back $800m in debt.Travels bans have been issued over the past decade to parents who did not make child support payments and were extended in June to former welfare recipients who have refused to repay the finance. Continue reading...
Community involvement could transform refugee resettlement program
A former child refugee wants to make it easier for groups to sponsor families seeking asylum in AustraliaShankar Kasynathan describes himself as a “reluctant refugee”.Just three years old when his Tamil family was forced to flee Sri Lanka as it descended into a decades-long civil war, he had little understanding of the chaos unfolding around him. Continue reading...
Rod Rosenstein disputes report he discussed removing Trump under 25th amendment
Memos reveal deputy attorney general spoke to colleagues about making secret tapes of president, according to New York TimesDeputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein deemed “inaccurate” a report that he spoke with colleagues last year about the possibility of removing Donald Trump from office under the 25th amendment and about making secret recordings of the president.Related: Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Julian Assange escape from UK Continue reading...
Theresa May demands respect from EU in Brexit negotiations
PM gives combative speech after rejection of Chequers plan, stoking ‘no deal’ fearsTheresa May has accused the European Union of not treating the UK with respect in a deliberately combative address that prompted a sharp fall in the pound amid fears that it made a no deal Brexit more likely.Twenty-four hours after her Salzburg humiliation, the prime minister gave a hastily arranged televised Downing Street statement in an effort to reassert herself. Continue reading...
Where is our rights guarantee, Britons living in EU ask May
Campaign group says omission of UK citizens from Downing Street speech was ‘disgraceful’Campaigners for the rights of Britons in the EU have described Theresa May’s failure to mention them in her statement on the Brexit negotiations as “disgraceful” and called on the UK and the EU to both guarantee their entitlements after Britain leaves.Speaking on Friday, the prime minister told EU citizens living in the UK that “even in the event of no deal, your rights will be protected”. Downing Street later confirmed “further details will follow” regarding this guarantee. Continue reading...
UK's Windrush scheme begins refusing people deemed ineligible for citizenship
Applicants ruled out because of criminal convictions or lack of documentationA specialist taskforce set up to help people who believe they are victims of the Windrush scandal is to start the process of refusing cases deemed to be ineligible for documentation or citizenship.The Windrush taskforce was created after it emerged that long-term residents of Britain had been wrongly targeted by Theresa May’s hostile environment policy to tackle illegal immigration and were being told to prove their right to be in the country or leave. Continue reading...
What next for Theresa May and Brexit after Salzburg humiliation? | Letters
Readers respond to the prime minister’s bruising experience at the Salzburg summit where she was told that her Chequers plan would not workYour report of the stance of EU officials on Brexit (UK will shift Brexit stance in its ‘darkest hour’ claim EU officials, 18 September) and the pronouncements of Donald Tusk a few days later (May humiliated as European leaders tell her: your Brexit plan won’t work, 21 September) make depressing reading.As a committed remainer, I have realised from the outset that, contrary to the claims made by leavers, Europe has held all the cards and would be expected to negotiate hard. However, the lack of flexibility on the European side plays into the narrative of the hard Brexiters and makes no-deal a more likely outcome. This will of course damage Europe to some extent, spread across 27 countries, but the damage to Britain will be massively greater. Continue reading...
Will Scott Morrison's $4.6bn package end the school funding wars? – explainer
Why are non-government schools getting more federal funding? How will they spend it?• Morrison’s defends $1.2bn ‘slush fund’ for Catholic schoolsThe Morrison government’s school funding package promises $4.6bn for Catholic and independent schools but nothing for public schools – even in the $1.2bn “sector-blind” choice and affordability fund.So why are non-government schools getting more federal funding, and how is it going to be spent? And will this end the school funding wars? Continue reading...
US steps up fight against slave labor 'to safeguard American jobs'
US will ‘do what it takes to protect vulnerable workers’ but frames slavery as a matter of trade competition not human rightsThe United States said on Thursday it was boosting its fight against slave-made goods “to safeguard American jobs“, signaling that the Trump administration regards forced labor as a trade, rather than a human rights issue.The new approach was revealed in the Department of Labor’s biennial list of goods that it “has reason to believe” are produced by child or forced labor, which became a crime to import in 2016 under a law introduced by Barack Obama. Continue reading...
'Croydon cat killer' hunt ends after three-year investigation
Scotland Yard declares humans in the clear and foxes likely to be behind mutilations in south LondonFor a nation of animal lovers, it was one of the most gripping whodunnits of the modern era. Reports in November 2015 of cats found mutilated around the Croydon area of south London, with their heads and tails removed, sparked media headlines that a “Croydon cat killer” was on the loose and fears the fiend might strike again.But almost three years on, after postmortems on deceased cats and two rabbits, forensic examinations, DNA tests and the studying of CCTV, Scotland Yard announced that humans were in the clear – and that the most likely culprits were foxes or other scavenging animals. Continue reading...
Labor continues to pressure Dutton over au pairs – politics live
Greens’ Adam Bandt says minister’s position may soon be ‘untenable’ after inquiry finds he misled parliament. All the day’s events, live7.48am BSTIn the wake of the Cathy McGowan apology to the house (see a few posts below) Andrew Leigh was promoting a toolkit for those hoping to better advocate – it’s built around gender advocacy, but can be used for anyone looking to advocate.You’ll find the toolkit, here.7.17am BSTNot everyone is embracing the Catholic schools funding deal - this is from a former Liberal state education minister in NSW, turned education academic:This is pathetic. There is nothing fair about it. There is nothing Christian about it. It’s throwing money at the powerful and well connected. https://t.co/mABGtkU8G9 Continue reading...
Scott Morrison rejects AMA plea to bring children from Nauru to Australia
Prime minister rebuffs letter as no confidence motion against Peter Dutton fails by one voteScott Morrison has rebuffed a plea from the Australian Medical Association to change policy on Nauru, and bring families and children to Australia, saying he will not “put at risk any element of Australia’s border protection policy”.The prime minister told reporters on Thursday the government was already in the process of “getting families off Nauru” and had pursued a refugee resettlement deal with the United States to achieve that end. Continue reading...
Israelis experience Palestinian home life in virtual reality
‘The under-layer is very tragic,’ says artist whose living rooms expose deep divide
Brussels urged to investigate Czech PM over business empire
Andrej Babiš’s Agrofert given €75m of EU subsidies in 2017, prompting conflict claimsBrussels is being urged to investigate the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, over an alleged conflict of interest after transparency campaigners claimed new evidence of rule-breaking.Babiš, a billionaire businessman, who founded the Action for Dissatisfied Citizens party, became prime minister of the Czech Republic last December, but was soon embroiled in a scandal centred on alleged €2m EU subsidy fraud. Continue reading...
Macron aide accused of beating protesters 'was not bodyguard'
Alexandre Benalla says his role for president was more like that of theatre director as he is quizzed by senateAlexandre Benalla, the security official who sparked the biggest scandal of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency when he was filmed illegally dressed as a police officer beating people on the edge of a demonstration, has told the French senate he wasn’t the president’s official bodyguard but was allowed to carry a handgun because he was concerned for his own safety.Benalla, a civilian adviser who was close to Macron, sparked a major political scandal this summer when video footage emerged of him illegally dressed as a police officer, beating and kicking two people on the edge of a May Day protest in Paris. Continue reading...
'Arrogant diners': villagers angry at Michelin restaurant's expansion plans
Neighbours of the Raby Hunt, the only two Michelin-star eatery in England’s north-east, claim traffic traps them at homeWith dishes such as raw beef with caviar, razor clams with almonds, and wagyu nigiri, a tiny village restaurant in County Durham is attracting foodies from across the British Isles.The Raby Hunt restaurant has received glowing reviews since being bought by the Close family in 2009. It is north-east England’s first and only two Michelin-star restaurant. Continue reading...
Cathay Pacific spells its name wrong on side of plane
Boeing 777-367 was spotted in Hong Kong with missing ‘F’ after flight from ChinaCathay Pacific has given visitors to Hong Kong airport a surprise by spelling its name wrong on the side of a plane. The Boeing 777-367 was emblazoned with the words “Cathay Paciic”.The company’s social media team saw the funny side of the error, tweeting that the plane was being sent back to be repainted. Continue reading...
Myanmar Rohingya crisis: ICC begins inquiry into atrocities
Chief prosecutor announces investigation into forced deportations to BangladeshThe chief prosecutor of the international criminal court (ICC) has announced she is launching a preliminary investigation into the deportations of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh.Fatou Bensouda said in a written statement and video message on Tuesday that she had begun an inquiry – formally known as a preliminary examination – to establish whether there was enough evidence to merit a full investigation. Continue reading...
'Manual scavenging': death toll of Indian sewer cleaners revealed
Eleven Indians have died this month while cleaning sewers or septic tanks without adequate safety gearAt least one Indian worker has died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks every five days since the beginning of 2017, according to the first official government statistics on the work, considered one of country’s deadliest jobs and most insidious form of caste discrimination.But activists and the National Commission for Safai Karamacharis (NCSK), the government agency that provided the data, say the real death rate is probably much higher – with many Indian authorities still undercounting the number of such workers in their state. Continue reading...
Peter Dutton misled parliament over au pairs, inquiry finds – as it happened
Committee finds no basis for minister to deny personal connection and claims saga has undermined integrity of immigration department. Follow all the day’s events, live9.17am BSTSo tomorrow looks like being interesting!From what I understand, not a lot can happen, even if the no-confidence motion gets up, but it is a terrible, terrible look and not something the government wants at any time, let alone when Scott Morrison is attempting to establish himself as a “strong” leader.9.01am BSTLabor hasn’t given an official response as yet, but:#Breaking #auspol #thedrum Peter Dutton pic.twitter.com/9KZvgDlVvs Continue reading...
Handshakes and high hopes: the inter-Korean summit – in pictures
The leaders of North and South Korea, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, have met at a historic summit in Pyongyang Continue reading...
Three taken to hospital after suspected chemical leak at Sydney hotel
Pullman hotel evacuated after reports hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas had spread through ventilation systemThree people have been taken to hospital after a suspected chemical leak at a Sydney hotel.Emergency services were called to the Pullman hotel opposite Hyde Park at about 9am on Wednesday following reports hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas had spread through the ventilation system on the 22nd floor, a NSW ambulance spokesman said. Continue reading...
UK employers condemn 'ignorant, elitist' Brexit immigration report
Business leaders reject need for income threshold, saying workers are needed at all levelsBusiness leaders have lined up to criticise the government’s migration advisory committee (MAC) after it proposed an “ignorant and elitist” ban on foreign workers earning less than £30,000 a year from obtaining visas to work in the UK after Brexit.Organisations representing hauliers, housebuilders and the hospitality sector were among those to sound the alarm after the committee said only “higher skilled” workers should be allowed visas, with no preferential access given to European Union citizens. Continue reading...
Ben Jennings on the latest round in the US-China trade row –cartoon
Continue reading...
Venezuelan president feasts at 'Salt Bae' restaurant while country goes hungry – video
Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, has been heavily criticised for eating at Istanbul's famous Nusr-Et steakhouse run by Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, better known as 'Salt Bae'. Maduro visited the restaurant on his way back from China through Turkey at a time when many in Venezuela are short of food
Spain rejects extraditing HSBC whistleblower to Switzerland
Hervé Falciani leaked details of HSBC clients whom he said he suspected were evading taxSpain’s high court has rejected an extradition request from Switzerland against Hervé Falciani for leaking details of thousands of clients of HSBC’s private bank.Hailed as a hero by some for triggering investigations in several countries, Swiss courts sentenced Falciani in absentia to five years in jail for leaking details of HSBC clients, many of whom he said he suspected were evading tax. Continue reading...
Immigration report is much-needed antidote to dog-whistle politics
Migrant workers do not drive down wages or steal Britons’ jobs, finds advisory committeeThe migration advisory committee report is a major antidote to dog-whistle politics, bringing much-needed facts about the impact of immigration into the national conversation.The 140-page report, commissioned by the former home secretary Amber Rudd, will put paid to the notion that European Economic Area (EEA) migrants drive wages down, lead to an increase in crime, bleed the social welfare system dry and steal the jobs of Britons. Continue reading...
Scott Morrison cancels Coag premiers meeting amid policy upheaval
Government calls off drought, health and education discussions while it finalises new positionsScott Morrison has cancelled a Coag gathering with the premiers scheduled for October, with officials telling their state counterparts various reforms are not yet ready for detailed discussion.The prime minister has communicated that position to the premiers and officials conveyed the commonwealth’s decision to state counterparts in Sydney on Tuesday night. A meeting scheduled for December is expected to proceed. Continue reading...
'Highly probable' Pussy Riot activist was poisoned, say German doctors
Pyotr Verzilov being treated in Berlin after falling ill last week after court hearing in RussiaGerman doctors treating a member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot say claims he was poisoned are “highly probable” based on his symptoms.Pyotr Verzilov, one of four members of Pussy Riot who invaded the pitch dressed in police uniforms during the World Cup final in Moscow to protest against excessive Russian police powers, fell ill after a court hearing last Tuesday and was taken to hospital in a serious condition. He was flown to Berlin on Saturday night. Continue reading...
It is the EU's turn to compromise on Brexit, says Dominic Raab
Brexit secretary says UK has been more flexible, but Tusk says no deal still possibleDominic Raab has insisted that the EU must compromise in the Brexit talks as the European council president, Donald Tusk, warned that the “catastrophe” of a no deal scenario was “still quite possible”.In an interview with continental European newspapers, the UK’s Brexit secretary said it was the EU’s time to move on its red lines, and that warm words would not suffice with so little time left until Brexit day. Continue reading...
French interior minister to quit in further blow to Macron
Gérard Collomb to step down next year to enter Lyon mayoral race in 2020France’s interior minister, Gérard Collomb, has announced he will resign next year to run for his former job as mayor of of Lyon, in yet another blow to the president.The announcement from Collomb, a political heavyweight and one of Emmanuel Macron’s most loyal ministers, comes after the environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, quit last month and as the president’s approval ratings have plummeted. Continue reading...
In North Carolina, an American ritual as floods hit poorest towns hardest
In towns such as Lumberton and Goldsboro, America’s economic and racial inequality is brought to the foreAmid the cluster of uniformed officials, flashing lights and shallow-bottomed boats in downtown Lumberton on Sunday afternoon, six figures stood out.Patrice Carmichael, Clarence Hargrove and three of their children were walking slowly through the driving rain, pushing their four-month-old baby in a stroller and hauling a shopping trolley filled with clothing and food. Continue reading...
Jacinda Ardern to guest edit New Zealand newspaper on anniversary of suffrage
The edition marks the 125th anniversary of women getting the vote in New Zealand, the first country to grant women’s suffrageJacinda Ardern will guest edit the country’s largest daily newspaper on Wednesday as New Zealand marks 125 years since becoming the first nation in the world to give women the vote.The New Zealand prime minister said it was a “huge honour” to be asked to edit the 125th Suffrage anniversary edition of the New Zealand Herald. Continue reading...
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 vitalWhat 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. Continue reading...
German spy chief could be ousted over far-right violence remarks
Meeting will decide fate of Hans-Georg Maaßen a day after Angela Merkel reportedly decided his position was untenableThe German cabinet was set for a crunch meeting on Tuesday on the fate of the country’s domestic intelligence agency chief the day after the chancellor, Angela Merkel, reportedly decided he had waded too far into day-to-day politics with his controversial remarks on far-right violence.Related: German spy chief contradicts Merkel over Chemnitz clashes Continue reading...
Kim Jong-un greets Moon Jae-in as inter-Korean summit starts
Leaders take part in highly choreographed opening to three days of talks in Pyongyang, North KoreaKim Jong-un has greeted the South Korean president to cheers from crowds assembled at North Korea’s Pyongyang airport as the pair begin their third summit.The North Korean leader emerged from the airport building to raucous cheering and walked up to President Moon Jae-in. The two leaders embraced and flashed wide smiles. Continue reading...
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