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Updated 2017-03-28 00:15
Sturgeon says May’s Brexit timescale matches referendum plan
Scotland’s first minister says prime minister’s disclosure of full Brexit deal by autumn 2018 fits with scheduleNicola Sturgeon has said there is no longer any rational case against a second Scottish independence referendum after Theresa May told her that the full Brexit deal would be known within 18 months.
Settle Brexit bill quickly to boost chance of free trade deal, say pro-EU Tories
Prime minister urged not to heed call by hardliners to refuse to settle debts with Brussels after triggering article 50Theresa May will be urged by pro-EU Conservatives to reach a quick deal over the divorce bill from Brussels in order to maximise the chances of reaching a free trade deal within the tight deadline for Brexit talks.As the prime minister prepares to trigger article 50, the formal process for leaving the EU, on Wednesday, rebel Tories who seek the closest possible relationship with the EU are preparing to offer May political cover for settling what they see as Britain’s debts to Brussels. Continue reading...
Westminster attacker Khalid Masood had interest in jihad, say police
Scotland Yard says it has yet to find evidence linking Masood, who killed four people in London, with Islamic StateKhalid Masood, the Westminster attacker, had a clear interest in jihad and his methods echoed the rhetoric of Islamic State leaders, Scotland Yard has said.Six days into the investigation, the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner Neil Basu, who is also senior national coordinator for UK counter-terrorism policing, said there was no evidence that Masood had discussed the planning of his attack with others. Continue reading...
Positive images of Africans are missing from Comic Relief | Letters
Related: Africa deserves better from Comic Relief | David LammyI read David Lammy’s article (Africans deserve better from Comic Relief, 24 March) with “earnest relief” at this overdue challenge to our attitudes and beliefs about Africa. Our national discourse about a diverse and complex continent is reduced by Comic Relief to the “us” and “them” narrative of western celebrities, and it’s time we changed our tone. Having worked as a doctor in Malawi in 2014, when I watch Comic Relief the images evoke a few of my memories, but where are the rest? Where is my savvy and articulate medical colleague telling me about the barriers to export trade in her cash crop? Where are the middle-class Africans at all, and why aren’t we hearing from them about their priorities for their countries – about trade, about governance? Where are the African pop stars? What about talking about the effects of aid done badly and the importance of getting it right – about learned passivity, unhealthy cultures and distorted markets? We need to stop thinking of this “country of Africa” as a place of helplessness and start engaging as partners, with equals.
Modern slavery on UK cannabis farms | Letters
The anti-slavery commissioner has complained that data gathering for tracking victims of cannabis farms is “a mess” (Police ‘failing to tackle’ slave trafficking on cannabis farms, 25 March). It’s actually much worse than that. We have just published a study of 39 young men working on cannabis farms in conditions of trafficking and forced labour. Despite the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the judges knowing in around half of the cases that they were victims of modern slavery, and despite the commissioner stating that they are not prosecuted, nearly all were in fact sentenced to prison terms, some for as long as 20 months. This not only makes a nonsense of the statutory defence for victims, which should prevent them being criminalised, it shows how ill-prepared the criminal justice system is to address issues of modern slavery. Meanwhile, as the commissioner notes, there has not been a single prosecution of the cannabis traffickers.
Doctor was 'dishonest' in screening nurse who had Ebola, tribunal finds
Panel finds Dr Hannah Ryan, who worked in Sierra Leone with Pauline Cafferkey in Ebola outbreak, misled screening staffA doctor acted dishonestly when she lied to investigators about the dangerously high temperature of a nurse who went on to develop Ebola, a tribunal has found.Dr Hannah Ryan, who had been working in Sierra Leone during the west Africa Ebola outbreak of 2014, was one of the medics who assessed Pauline Cafferkey following the Scottish nurse’s return to the UK in December 2014. Continue reading...
Too many cyclists are injured and killed on UK’s roads | Letters
Your correspondent (Letters, 25 March) says 50 cyclists are killed or seriously injured every year in the UK when the actual figure is over 3,300. Having diminished the tragedy faced by thousands of people, he uses the opportunity to condemn cyclists’ behaviour, judge people’s choice of cycle model and accuse them of feeling “entitled to the road”. We all have a duty of care on the roads, and a right to use them, but the Department for Transport’s statistics on cyclist, and indeed pedestrian, casualties show that the prime source of danger lies with heavier vehicles. Peter Walker’s case (Heading for a fall, G2, 22 March) for reducing that danger, and improving the nation’s health, is commendable.
Northern Ireland secretary: Sinn Féin and DUP have ‘short window’ to reach deal – video
Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire says there remains a ‘short window of opportunity’ for Sinn Féin and DUP to reach a deal over power sharing. Speaking at Stormont House on Monday, Brokenshire says there was ‘no appetite for any alternative’ to a power sharing executive in the region. Sinn Féin withdrew from talks aimed at reviving its partnership with the DUP on Sunday, saying no agreement was in prospect
Spanish court to investigate Syrian 'state terrorism' by Assad regime
Judge rules that Spain has jurisdiction to prosecute in case of truck driver who was allegedly tortured and murdered in DamascusA Spanish court is to investigate allegations that nine members of the Syrian regime committed “state terrorism” by kidnapping, torturing and murdering a truck driver who disappeared in Damascus four years ago.
Giant gold coin with Queen's head stolen from Berlin museum
Police hunt for thieves with ladder who escaped with record-breaking $4m Canadian exhibit from bullet-proof caseA Canadian gold coin named “Big Maple Leaf” and bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum early on Monday.The coin is pure gold, weighs about 100kg (221lb) and has a face value of C$1m (£590,000). Continue reading...
Woman and nephew killed in their home as part of 'vendetta', court hears
Annie Besala Ekofo and Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo were allegedly shot dead in East Finchley, north London, by defendant Obina EzeokeA north London woman and her nephew were the innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” that culminated when they were shot dead in their home, a court has heard.Annie Besala Ekofo, 53, and psychology student Bervil Kalikaka-Ekofo, 21, were allegedly killed by Obina Ezeoke at their flat in East Finchley, north London, on 15 September last year. Continue reading...
The feminists of Farc: ‘We are not demobilising, we are mobilising politically’
As Colombia’s guerrilla forces reintegrate into civilian life, its female combatants have taken on a new fight – battling macho culture and inequalityWhen she was only 20 years old, guerrilla commander Adriana left her rural home in Tolima, south of Colombia’s capital, to join the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). “I wanted to become somebody. I wanted to do something important,” she says.Adriana – now 38 years old, resting under the shade of a corrugated metal roof in the lush mountains of Cesar – is one of the 7,000 remaining combatants of the Farc expected to demobilise and begin a reintegration process, transitioning from Colombia’s mountains and jungles to civilian life. Continue reading...
No 10 repeats Rudd's call for authorities to access encrypted messages
Downing Street backs home secretary’s call for agencies to have access to WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging apps if necessaryDowning Street has reiterated that the government would like to see police and intelligence agencies given access to messages on WhatsApp and other encrypted social media services, despite widespread doubts as to whether this would be practicable.It came as Theresa May used a trip to Scotland to stress the need for police forces to work closely together to prevent terrorism attacks like that in Westminster last week. Continue reading...
Empty reservoirs, dry rivers, thirsty cities – and our water reserves are running out | Yasmin Siddiqi
Aquifers, the world’s reserve water tank, are running dry. It’s not easy, but we can work out how much groundwater is left, and how it’s being usedWe live on a parched planet. Farmers till arid pastureland and policymakers fret over empty reservoirs, dry rivers and thirsty cities. And that only scratches the surface – literally – of the world’s water problem. Subterranean aquifers, the world’s reserve water tank, are also running dry. The consequences could be dire, especially for water-stressed and fast-growing Asia.These repositories of water located deep underground in permeable rock, soil or sand contain about 100 times the amount of water found on the Earth’s surface in streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands. If you’re in central Africa, South America or some parts of Europe, chances are you’re standing a few hundred feet above one. Continue reading...
Why is east Africa facing a hunger crisis and what can be done? – podcast transcript
As hunger spreads in east Africa, famine threatens to take hold beyond South Sudan. Lucy Lamble explores the background and response to the crisis
Charlotte Amalie in the spotlight: beloved of cruise ships, neglected by US
The US Virgin Islands capital used to be a favourite stop for hard-drinking pirates. Today, it boasts grand architecture, a lively arts scene – and an identity that is very much non-AmericanThe Caribbean’s busiest cruise-ship destination, the city of Charlotte Amalie is celebrating a sea-change centenary. One hundred years ago on Friday, the US paid $25m in gold coins to Denmark, buying what became the US Virgin Islands archipelago. One of these islands was St Thomas, the 13-mile-long island that seats the 18,000-strong capital, whose deep-water harbour has made Charlotte Amalie the first port of call for turquoise waters, artisanal jewellery and copious rum cocktails.
Hong Kong shoppers injured when escalator goes into reverse – video
Up to 18 people have been injured after an escalator suddenly changed direction in a Hong Kong shopping centre. CCTV footage of the incident at Langham Place mall was posted to social media at the weekend. The shopping centre say the escalator passed an inspection last week. Two technicians have been arrested on charges of obstruction of justice
Tensions flare as Greece tells Turkey it is ready to answer any provocation
War of words between neighbours prompts defence experts to express fears of accident in region spiralling out of controlFears of tensions mounting in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Seas reignited after the Turkish president raised the prospect of a referendum on accession talks with the EU and the Greek defence minister said the country was ready for any provocation.
Hong Kong shoppers injured when escalator goes into reverse – video
Up to 18 people have been injured after an escalator suddenly changed direction in a Hong Kong shopping centre. CCTV footage of the incident at Langham Place mall was posted to social media at the weekend. The shopping centre say the escalator passed an inspection last week. Two technicians have been arrested on charges of obstruction of justice Continue reading...
Legal centres plead for funding reinstatement as Brandis denies it's been cut
Community legal centres ask Coalition to reverse 30% funding cut from 1 July but attorney general calls claim ‘misleading’Community legal centres are pleading with the Coalition to reverse a looming 30% funding cut, saying it will have a devastating impact over the next few years.The cut will begin on 1 July, unless the government uses its May budget to reverse it. Continue reading...
The resurrection of Palermo: how the mafia battlefield became a cultural capital
The Sicilian capital is using millions of euros seized from crime bosses to fund regeneration – though the scars inflicted by the Cosa Nostra may never fully healEvery city, at some stage in its history, reaches a tipping point. For Palermo, it was one sweltering afternoon in July 1992, when more than 1,500 soldiers armed with automatic weapons took up positions on every corner of its eerily quiet streets in a show of military force unknown to Italy since the end of the second world war.
Senate orders George Brandis to produce Bell Group documents – as it happened
Coalition focuses on energy in lower house after Scott Morrison says ACCC will investigate electricity retailers to help put a lid on power prices. As it happened6.59am BSTThat is it for the evening. Thanks to the brains trust Paul Karp, Gareth Hutchens, Katharine Murphy and Mike Bowers.6.49am BSTLabor’s David Feeney does not look swayed by former colleague Bernie Ripoll’s lobbying.I support Fair finance for Australians. Well done @consumer_action who are campaigning to stop abuse of payday loans @FCAupdate #auspol pic.twitter.com/zWZmOevBp1 Continue reading...
Russia is the house that Vladimir Putin built – and he’ll never abandon it | Dmitri Trenin
By co-opting the masses against the elite, the president has shaped a country to echo his values and grievances. And now he’s working to secure his legacyWhen Vladimir Putin was asked about his job, two years after becoming master of the Kremlin on New Year’s Eve, 1999, he said something about being a hired manager elected by the Russian people for a term of office. When he is asked about his job now, he calls it “fate”. Yesterday saw thousands joined the biggest since anti-government demonstrations in many years to protest against Putin and his prime minister/protégé Dmitry Medvedev.Even so the Russian people, Putin is above all a symbol of stability after a decade and a half of turmoil that included the misguided and botched reform of the Soviet communist system; its abrupt end and the sudden advent of freedom that often looked like a free-for-all; the painful dissolution of the Soviet Union; market reforms, often dubbed “shock without therapy”; virtually instant crass inequality; the end of ideology and the collapse of morals. Continue reading...
Woman wounded by axe-wielding man at Melbourne shopping centre
Westfield Fountain Gate centre attack left woman with upper body injuries and unable to speak, employer saysA woman has been severely wounded by an axe-wielding man in an attack at a Melbourne shopping centre that left bystanders sickened and afraid.The woman, believed to be in her 30s, suffered upper body injuries and was so badly beaten she could not speak after the attack on Monday morning, her employer said. Continue reading...
UK manufacturers tell May no EU deal is 'simply unacceptable'
EEF warns the government it needs to work with the industry to mitigate Brexit’s implications amid shifting public sentiment about its impact on the economyFailing to secure a Brexit trading deal with the EU would be disastrous for Britain’s manufacturers and Theresa May’s claim that no deal would be better than a bad deal is “simply unacceptable”, industry leaders have warned.
Ted Koppel tells Sean Hannity he is 'bad for America'
Veteran newsman criticised Fox News host during interview about fake news and the polarisation of the USVeteran newsman Ted Koppel has told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that he is “bad for America” in an interview that aired on CBS.
Parts of UK that voted for Brexit may be hardest hit, study finds
Researchers say Wales and north-east are among areas most vulnerable to loss of funding, tariffs on exports and shortage of European workers
Scottish Muay Thai boxer dies while training in Thailand
Jordan Coe, 20, from Falkirk – who was preparing for a professional fight – may have died from heatstroke, said his coachA Scottish boxer has died in Thailand of suspected heatstroke. Jordan Coe, 20, was found dead in a heavy tracksuit and is believed to have been trying to reach a certain weight for a professional fight.The boxer, from Maddiston, Falkirk, was a professional Muay Thai boxer and trained at a gym in Glasgow before moving to Thailand. Continue reading...
Sydney academic stranded in China may have upset authorities, friend says
University of Technology professor Chongyi Feng was twice prevented from boarding a flight in GuangzhouA friend of a Chinese academic stopped from returning to Australia believes he may have inadvertently upset local authorities.Chongyi Feng, an associate professor in China studies at the University of Technology Sydney, was reportedly stopped for the second time in two days on Saturday when trying to board a flight in Guangzhou to return to Australia. Continue reading...
Westminster attack: Khalid Masood identified as potential extremist in 2010
Pressure grows to explain how Masood fell off intelligence radar as a fresh arrest follows raids in Birmingham
Borisov's pro-EU party beats Socialists in Bulgaria's snap election
Veteran politician ahead of BSP in polls seen as test of Russian influence in country but stable coalition may prove elusiveBoiko Borisov, the comeback specialist of Bulgarian politics, looked to have done it again as exit polls from a snap election put his pro-EU centre-right party in first place.
Four-year-old Merseyside girl dies from hit-and-run injuries
Police are hunting two men after Violet-Grace Youens suffered fatal injuries from being struck by a stolen Ford Fiesta
'Mini-Merkel' increases majority in bellwether German state polls
Saarland’s CDU state premier, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sees off threat from resurgent Social Democratic partyAngela Merkel appears to have emerged unscathed from her first challenge from a resurgent German left as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party romped to a surprisingly emphatic victory in state elections in the south-west.Though Germany’s least populous state, state elections in the Saarland region are being treated as an important bellwether ahead of federal elections in September, with some commentators predicting the region could become the first in the old west of the country to be governed by a coalition between the centre-left and the left parties. Continue reading...
Nuclear states are in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty | Letters
The UN conference to negotiate a global multilateral nuclear ban treaty begins its substantive session on 27 March. All the nuclear states, including the UK, are boycotting the conference, because they prefer a step-by-step approach within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The NPT, concluded in 1968, required the nuclear states to pursue negotiations to bring about nuclear disarmament at an early date. Nearly 50 years on, it can reasonably be concluded that they are in breach of this obligation.Another approach is long overdue. Any use of nuclear weapons would be in breach of international humanitarian law. Disarmament undertaken in the context of this law rather than arms control could be concluded quickly, with the more difficult technical negotiations taking place later. This approach would build on the humanitarian disarmament treaties that have banned landmines and cluster bombs. Continue reading...
We were asked about our hobbies before we could board our US flight | Letters
We experienced an unusual grilling/conversation when we flew to the US in January, with American Airlines from Manchester (‘Most airport security does not protect against threat’, 25 March). None of the expected questions about electronic equipment, but why were we travelling, what were our hobbies and what did we do for a living. Being retired, we then had to answer about how much we enjoyed our work or otherwise. I enthused about teaching English, of course. I suppose that was a “managed conversation”.However, an apparent “pass” didn’t stop me, a 69-year-old little Welsh woman, having to remove my sturdy laced boots and then needing a chair to enable me to put then back on. Did the fact that it was Friday 13th have anything to do with it?
Shell-shocked Mosul survivors tell of intense airstrikes
Hundreds of people have fled west Mosul during a lull in fighting but many had to leave behind family members buried in the remains of their former homesCovered in dust, their hands raw from digging, Ali Assad and his cousin made a desperate choice – to leave their family under the rubble of their west Mosul home and flee while they still could.The two men were among hundreds to be evacuated on Sunday, during a lull in the fighting prompted by outrage over the high civilian toll caused by multiple airstrikes that have battered the city and its trapped population over the past eight days.
Family of PC murdered at Westminster pay tribute to his bravery
Keith Palmer’s relatives thank those who tried to save him – ‘there was nothing more you could have done’
Carswell does not rule out rejoining Tories – a day after quitting Ukip
Independent MP for Clacton says he is not planning to go back to Conservatives, but refuses to say he will not do so before 2020Douglas Carswell has refused to rule out rejoining the Conservative party, a day after he announced that he had left Ukip.The Clacton MP said he was not planning to rejoin the Tories, but left open the possibility of returning to the party before 2020, to allow him to contest his seat at the next election as an official Conservative candidate. Continue reading...
What do you think about Hong Kong's election of Carrie Lam?
Carrie Lam has been voted in as Hong Hong’s next leader. If you live in the territory, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the election with usCarrie Lam has been voted in as chief executive of Hong Kong, to become the city’s first female leader. If you live in Hong Hong, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the result.Lam won 777 votes out of the 1,194 eligible, beating former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing. Continue reading...
Three in hospital after car crashes into people outside London pub
Four teenagers are arrested after incident in Islington, which is not being treated as terror attackThree people are in hospital and four teenagers are in custody after a car crashed into pedestrians outside a busy north London pub.The Peugeot Partner collided with at least two men and one woman outside the Old Queen’s Head on Essex Road in Islington shortly before 10.55pm on Saturday. Continue reading...
'A runaway crisis': Argentina activists aid shanty towns state has left behind
Despite the president’s ‘zero poverty’ pledge, a third of the country lives below the line – spurring action from a team who grew up in the towns themselvesWith a red star and a the face of Che Guevara emblazoned on its side, the ambulance winds its way through the dingy streets of Villa 1-11-14, a sprawling Buenos Aires shanty town so neglected by the city government that – despite being home to over 25,000 people – it does not even have a name. Continue reading...
Cyclone Debbie: Queensland braces for large scale disaster
Authorities have grounded flights, cancelled school and are evacuating low-lying areas as the worst tropical cyclone since Yasi approachesQueensland is bracing for a large scale natural disaster ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Debbie, with authorities ordering evacuations, the closure of schools, ports and airports and thousands of military and emergency services personnel on alert.The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the “very destructive core” of Debbie will hit the mainland near the northern town of Ayr as a category four cyclone early Tuesday. Continue reading...
Labour to set out tough new conditions for backing Brexit
Keir Starmer to say Labour will not back any deal without the ‘exact same benefits’ as single market bringsLabour will refuse to vote in the House of Commons for any Brexit deal struck between Theresa May and the 27 remaining EU states unless the deal ensures precisely the same economic and trade benefits as Britain currently gains from full membership.In a major policy speech on Monday, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, will set out six tests for May and EU leaders to meet, including a requirement that any agreement delivers the “exact same benefits” as the UK enjoys from being inside the single market and customs union. Continue reading...
Hong Kong elections: Carrie Lam voted leader amid claims of China meddling
A pro-Beijing election committee elects its favoured candidate as pro-democracy MP Nathan Law dismisses the result as a ‘nightmare’China’s preferred candidate has won the heavily restricted election for a new leader of Hong Kong in a contest that pitted popular appeal against lobbying by Beijing.Carrie Lam, the former deputy to outgoing chief executive Leung Chun-ying, beat the former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing. Continue reading...
Death and glory: the first world war US general whose ambition did for his men
Historian bucks US tradition to show how lives were needlessly lostUS military scholars have rarely been as willing as their British counterparts to find fault with leadership and execution – even when those failures cost thousands of allied servicemen’s lives.But as commemorations of the first world war’s centenary continue, US military scholars, as their European counterparts did decades earlier, are going back to the original records and looking more closely. Continue reading...
Rise of Hindu ‘extremist’ spooks 40 million Muslim minority in India’s heartland
In Gorakhpur, the power base of a firebrand monk, religious tension growsPastor Ritesh Joshua had just called a tea break when he saw the men in the saffron scarves. More than a hundred, some wielding sticks, had massed outside his white stucco church on the outskirts of Gorakhpur, a temple town in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. It was three days after Christmas.“They started shouting, ‘You are converting people. We will not allow any conversions here’,” he says. “They shoved people, turned over furniture, and told me, ‘You are the main culprit’.” Continue reading...
Julie Bishop says Australia preparing for Isis to declare 'caliphate' in southern Philippines
Foreign affairs minister says threat is on Australia’s doorstep as Islamic State is forced out of the Middle EastAustralia is readying itself for the possibility of Islamic State declaring a “caliphate” in the southern Philippines as the extremist group is forced out of the Middle East.The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, who has just returned from talks in the US with countries involved in the fight against Isis, says authorities are concerned about an estimated 600 foreign fighters from south-east Asia surviving the campaign in Iraq and Syria and returning home. Continue reading...
One person remains in custody in wake of Westminster attack
Man, 58, arrested in Birmingham the morning after the attack still held while further enquiries are carried outTwo people arrested in connection with the attack in Westminster have been released and will not face further action, leaving just one of the 11 originally detained by police in the aftermath of the incident in custody.The Metropolitan police said on Saturday that one man, a 58-year-old arrested in Birmingham the morning after the attack, was still being held while further enquiries were being carried out.
Brexit talks will fail without compromise: José Manuel Barroso
Former European commission president says constructive negotiations between EU and UK leaders are needed to reach a dealBrexit negotiations are on course to fail unless both Britain and the European Union ditch their winner-takes-all approach to the coming talks, the former president of the European commission José Manuel Barroso has said.With just days to go before Theresa May formally notifies Brussels of the UK’s intention to leave the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker’s predecessor said the two sides were playing a dangerous game. Continue reading...
Tens of thousands march through London in Brexit protest – video
Tens of thousands of people take to the streets in London on Saturday to protest against Brexit, just days before prime minister Theresa May is due to trigger Article 50, the formal exit papers for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. The march began on Park Lane and made its way through central London, ending in Parliament Square
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