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Updated 2019-03-24 10:22
One telling image: in a Brussels corridor, the EU takes back control of Brexit
A photo of an ad hoc crisis meeting gives an insight into the efforts made to cope with a floundering British governmentAs pictures go, it spoke volumes. On Thursday evening in Brussels, Bulgaria’s permanent representative to the EU, Dimiter Tzantchev, tweeted a photograph he titled “In the corridors of the European Council art 50”.In a play of light and shadow, as if in a Golden Age painting by a modern-day Rembrandt or Frans Hals, a tight cluster of perhaps two dozen figures, some standing, some crouched, pored over a screen: senior EU officials, member state diplomats, Europe advisers to heads of government. Continue reading...
The drugs don’t work: what happens after antibiotics?
Antibiotic resistance is growing so fast that routine surgery could soon become impossible. But scientists are fighting back in the battle against infectionThe first antibiotic that didn’t work for Debbi Forsyth was trimethoprim. In March 2016, Forsyth, a genial primary care counsellor from Morpeth, Northumberland, contracted a urinary tract infection. UTIs are common: more than 150 million people worldwide contract one every year. So when Forsyth saw her GP, they prescribed the usual treatment: a three-day course of antibiotics. When, a few weeks later, she fainted and started passing blood, she saw her GP again, who again prescribed trimethoprim.Three days after that, Forsyth’s husband Pete came home to find his wife lying on the sofa, shaking, unable to call for help. He rushed her to A&E. She was put on a second antibiotic, gentamicin, and treated for sepsis, a complication of the infection that can be fatal if not treated quickly. The gentamicin didn’t work either. Doctors sent Forsyth’s blood for testing, but such tests can take days: bacteria must be grown in cultures, then tested against multiple antibiotics to find a suitable treatment. Five days after she was admitted to hospital, Forsyth was diagnosed with an infection of multi-drug-resistant E coli, and given ertapenem, one of the so-called “last resort” antibiotics. Continue reading...
Viking Sky: stricken cruise ship in rescue drama
Vessel broke down in rough seas off Norway with 1,300 passengers and crew on board, leading to evacuations by helicopterThe Norwegian cruise ship Viking Sky was limping to safety on Sunday morning amid a continuing dramatic rescue operation that saw hundreds of people winched off by helicopters as the powerless vessel was tossed on rough seas.The ship carrying 1,300 passengers and crew broke down off the Norwegian coast on Saturday. Video and photos from passengers showed chairs and other furniture rolling dangerously across the floor and parts of the ceiling falling down as the vessel was tossed about. Passengers were wearing orange life vests but the waves broke some of the windows and cold water poured over their feet. Continue reading...
Hi-de-high-end: how Butlin’s has climbed from camp to resort
Once known for its grim 1950s chalets, the UK chain is pouring millions into waterparks and hoping to wipe away decades of snobberyFor decades it was famous for contests to find the knobbliest knees and most glamorous grandmothers. But in recent years visitors to Britain’s best-known holiday camps have been more likely to drink champagne and luxuriate in spas. (The grannies were dispatched long ago, along with fluorescent yellow plastic palm trees.)Now, as it eyes a potential market among the growing numbers of families wanting to holiday in the UK as a result of a weak pound, Butlin’s is preparing to make the biggest investment in its 83-year history and position itself as a rival to upmarket family holiday giant Center Parcs. Continue reading...
As Tory MPs plot May’s downfall, her last allies battle for her survival
Holed up in Chequers this weekend, the PM has few moves left to ensure her continuation in power – or the relevance of her dealMembers of Theresa May’s cabinet believe she will have to resign this week should she allow a shift towards a soft Brexit, with angry Tory MPs examining ways to end her premiership.The prime minister’s few remaining allies were engaged on Saturday night in a desperate battle to shore up her position, warning MPs that forcing May out would “tip the country into a general election and tear the party apart”. Downing Street is also warning hardline Tories that parliament is so against a no-deal Brexit the government would be brought down before it could implement such an outcome. Continue reading...
Shooters say support for NSW government conditional on Murray-Darling action
Robert Borsak says his party, which picked up three seats in lower house and another in upper house, will use its clout to push through its policy agendaThe Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party will not negotiate on any legislation with the newly elected New South Wales state government until the Coalition addresses its concerns around the Murray-Darling River, its leader said on Sunday.The Shooters were the big winners in Saturday’s election, picking up three seats in the state’s lower house and another in the upper house. Continue reading...
My wife and I don’t have sex, and I have secretly been buying women’s clothes
Until you test your the boundaries of your desires, you’ll be perpetually dissatisfied, says Mariella FrostrupThe dilemma I am a man in my late 50s. I am youthful and go to concerts, festivals and art exhibitions. I have been married for 34 years. My wife and I get along quite well. We share a sense of humour, talk often and holiday together. But there has been no sex between us for 15 years. I have always been a sensitive and feminine man. I like emotional movies, poetry, women’s clothes and so on. I like being surrounded by women and feel uncomfortable among men. Lately I have secretly been buying women’s clothes from online stores and have started using makeup when I am alone. This happens often, because I live in my employer’s apartment in another city during the week. I am almost always alone when I am not with my wife. I have no friends any more. I closed all my social media accounts years ago during a period of depression. I am confused about who I am. In which direction should I go? What about my marriage situation? I know I am getting older day by day and that time is running out.Mariella replies You’re hopefully aware that it’s a pretty sad missive you’ve just dispatched to me. You’re at a terrifying but conversely pretty exciting crossroads and it will require a mammoth degree of forbearance if you take one path and enormous courage for the other. I’m no expert on the specifics when it comes to transvestite lifestyles, cross-dressing or issues of gender realignment, but I can tell a life half-lived when I see one. Everything you are describing sounds like an alternative way of living is not just beckoning but building to a reality that you need to explore for your own peace of mind. Continue reading...
'This is blood money': Tate shuns Sacklers – and others urged to follow
Pressure builds on other institutions to disavow Sackler family over OxyContin, powerful painkiller linked to opioid deathsEarlier this year at the Guggenheim in New York, activists objecting to donations from the Sackler family draped protest banners from the museum’s famous spiraling balconies, dropped flyers down through the atrium and pretended to die all over the floor. A gobsmacked public looked on.Tate Modern has just escaped a similar fate. Continue reading...
Chris Minns likely to challenge Michael Daley for NSW Labor leadership
Party’s rising star says ALP needs ‘to have a close look at ourselves’ as Daley faces pressure after election lossThe Kogarah MP, Chris Minns, is likely to challenge Michael Daley for the leadership of the New South Wales Labor party, but first he needs to hang on to his multicultural seat in the wake of Daley’s damaging comments on Asian migration during the state election campaign.“I am not going to rule anything in or out,” Minns told the Guardian. “We will have been in opposition for 12 years [at the end of this term] – that’s an eternity. We need to have a close look at ourselves, not just the leadership but also at our policies.” Continue reading...
Viking Sky: hell ride as stricken cruise ship is tossed by rough seas – video
Video from a passenger on board the stranded Viking Sky off the Norwegian coast shows chairs and other furniture sliding dangerously across the floor. About 1,300 passengers were having to be rescued by helicopter after the ship lost power Continue reading...
Censor bans 'manifesto' of Christchurch mosque shooter
David Shanks says document ‘deliberately constructed to inspire murder and terrorism’, as more than 1,000 New Zealanders register to hand in gunsNew Zealand’s chief censor has banned a document shared by the man allegedly responsible for killing 50 people in two Christchurch mosques.Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people so far have opted to hand in their weapons following a ban on assault rifles and military-style semi-automatics (MSSAs). Continue reading...
'Very dangerous': Cyclone Veronica to bring 4m storm surge to northern WA
Category 3 system set to cause destructive winds for 12 hours or more while Cyclone Trevor brings floods to NTResidents in Western Australia’s far north are bracing for dangerous storm surges caused by Cyclone Veronica, while Northern Territory residents are slowly returning home as ex-cyclone Trevor circles back towards Queensland.Trevor crossed the mainland as a category 4 storm on Sunday morning, producing wind gusts of 230km/h around the NT’s border with Queensland, but shortly after midnight, the storm was downgraded to a tropical low. Continue reading...
Barbra Streisand apologises for comments on Michael Jackson's accusers
Independents Kerryn Phelps and Zali Steggall buoyed by NSW election results
High-profile federal candidates point to progressive swings in Sydney’s east and north shore as evidence climate change remains key issueThe strong showing for independents and Greens on Sydney’s north shore in the New South Wales election, and the likely win for Labor in Coogee, have buoyed the two most high-profile independents contesting Sydney seats in the federal election.The independent MP for the federal seat of Wentworth, Kerryn Phelps, said the results showed the electorate was interested in strong female candidates and that climate change remained a major vote-changing issue. Continue reading...
'The nation is behind us': New Zealand shares pain of Christchurch Muslims
One week after massacre, deputy mayor describes a ‘city in shock’ but feels legacy will be one of greater understandingIt began to drizzle as Hati Mohemmed Daoud Nabi was laid to rest in the freshly dug earth of Memorial park cemetery in Christchurch.The 71-year-old was the fifth to be buried on Thursday. Six days earlier, he was the first to die when he held open the door of Masjid Al Noor on Deans Avenue in Christchurch and greeted a stranger with: “Hello, brother.” Continue reading...
Stan Grant turns down Liberal offer to run in key Sydney federal seat – report
Journalist says it was an honour to be asked by Scott Morrison to run in Reid, but ‘that role is just not for me’The ABC presenter Stan Grant was reportedly approached by the Liberal party to run in the federal seat of Reid, in Sydney’s inner west, but turned down the offer.Grant, a well-known Indigenous figure who now works at Griffith University, was rung by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, 10 days ago and summoned to Kirribilli House to discuss the opportunity, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Continue reading...
Thailand election: everything you need to know about Sunday's vote
Will the pro-junta parties help return Prayut Chan-ocha as prime minister or will the pro-democracy parties win a landslide?On Sunday 24 March, Thailand will have its first general election in eight years. It will mark the end of five years of military rule after it took power in a bloodless coup in 2014, following months of political turmoil, social unrest and an election that was later ruled void by the constitutional court. Continue reading...
Brazilian villages evacuated after warnings of dam collapse
Mining giant Vale raised level of risk at a dam in Barão de Cocais to highest alert meaning rupture is imminentThe Brazilian mining giant Vale said on Saturday that communities in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais had been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found that one of its dams could collapse at any moment.On Friday, the company raised the level of risk at a mining waste dam in the city of Barão de Cocais to three, the highest grade. According to Brazil’s mining and energy secretary, level three means that “a rupture is imminent or already happening”. Continue reading...
Pro-remain MPs draw up plans to vote on revoking article 50
Talks come as the number who have signed petition on parliament website to stop Brexit passes 4.6 millionPro-Remain MPs are drawing up plans for a vote on revoking article 50 as an emergency measure to stop Britain crashing out of the EU, after an online petition to cancel Brexit became the most popular ever.By Saturday night more than 4.6 million people had signed the petition on the parliament website, which states: “A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now”. Continue reading...
Corbyn’s team split over soft Brexit
Shadow cabinet will clash this week over Norway-style deal or second referendumJeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is set to clash again over Brexit this week, with supporters of a second referendum concerned that the Labour leadership will opt to facilitate a soft Brexit. With senior Labour figures openly calling for another public vote at the anti-Brexit march in London on Saturday, other influential MPs believe Corbyn’s inner circle is actually warming to a Norway-style Brexit that would see Britain leave the EU, but remain closely aligned to it.Tensions between Labour and its pro-Remain activists are already high after the party released a tweet on Friday evening asking if supporters had any “big weekend plans” and called on them to go out leafleting for May’s local elections. Continue reading...
Militia attack on Mali village leaves at least 115 dead
President of Peulh ethnic group says ‘pregnant women, young and elderly’ targeted by Dogon group in remote areaMilitia fighters descended on a village in central Mali before dawn on Saturday, killing at least 115 people in the latest deadly attack blamed on an ethnic militia, local authorities said.The massacre in the village of Ogossogou left the village chief and his grandchildren dead in the ethnic Peulh community, according to a local official who had received detailed accounts from the remote area. Continue reading...
End of the road for Theresa May's Brexit – cartoon
Stymied by Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG, the prime minister lurches towards oblivion
No food, no shelter, no livelihood: families in Mozambique hit by Cyclone Idai
Officials ‘overwhelmed’ by the scale of the disaster, leading to a delay in humanitarian and rescue missionsBeneath the crumbling arcade of the municipal council building in Beira, in Mozambique, a group of families has set up a dismal camp. They sleep on dirty concrete pavement and cook with branches from the trees brought down by Cyclone Idai which swept through southern Africa last week.Winds of more than 100mph triggered devastating floods and more than 400 people were killed, according to government sources. Land and environment minister Celso Correia said that the situation in the country was now critical. Continue reading...
Protesters clash with police across France for 19th weekend
Gilets jaunes demonstrations in Paris on Saturday largely peaceful, but turned violent in the late afternoonPolice and demonstrators clashed sporadically in Paris and other French cities on Saturday as gilets jaunes protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government took place for a 19th consecutive weekend.The demonstration in the capital was largely peaceful for most of the day, but later in the afternoon police fired teargas on protesters near Boulevard de Strasbourg, close to the capital’s Gare du Nord and Gare de L’Est railway stations. Continue reading...
UK fugitive arrested in Romania over murder of Josh Hanson
Shane O’Brien fled the UK after Hanson was stabbed to death in London in 2015One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Romania. Shane O’Brien, 31, is a suspect in the murder of 21-year-old Josh Hanson, who was stabbed to death in a bar in Hillingdon, west London, in 2015.O’Brien fled the UK following Hanson’s death and last year was put on Interpol’s most wanted list, with a £50,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest and prosecution. Continue reading...
Palestinian writer has fingers smashed in Gaza beating
Publisher says Atef Abu Saif, also a spokesperson for Fatah, almost killed by masked menA UK publisher has condemned an attack by masked men in Gaza on a Palestinian writer and political figure, Atef Abu Saif, accusing the assailants of deliberately breaking his fingers.Comma Press, a not-for-profit publisher that worked with Abu Saif, said that the beating on Monday night had almost killed him. Continue reading...
Sixth Birmingham mosque targeted by vandals
Damage not linked to attacks on five other mosques, for which a man has been held under the Mental Health ActA sixth Birmingham mosque has been targeted by vandals.Police are examining CCTV after criminal damage was caused to the building in Cromer Road, Balsall Heath, on Saturday morning. Detectives do not believe the incident is linked to other attacks on mosques in the city earlier this week. Continue reading...
Kazakhstan renames capital Nur-Sultan
Interim president orders name change from Astana to honour resigned leader Nazarbayev
Revealed: no need to add cancer-risk nitrites to ham
Confidential meat industry report shows additives do not prevent food poisoningA bombshell internal report written for the British meat industry reveals nitrites do not protect against botulism – the chief reason ham and bacon manufacturers say they use the chemicals.The study, conducted for the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) by the scientific consultancy Campden, and marked “confidential”, examines the growth of the toxin Clostridium botulinum in the processing of bacon and ham. Continue reading...
When protesters burned news kiosks in Paris, I had to take a stand…
The militant wing of the French protests picked on a beloved institution. So I set up a crowdfunder to helpIn 47 years of journalism, few things have shocked me as deeply as the sight of burning newspaper kiosks on the Champs-Élysées.Journalists are supposed to be neutral observers – impassioned but dispassionate. Forget all that. This was personal. This was an attack on the print newspapers that had been my life’s blood from the day I joined the Bolton Evening News in 1972 until the Independent stopped printing in 2016. This was an attack on something endearingly Parisian, something as instantly recognisable as the Eiffel Tower or the burned-rubber smell of the Métro. Continue reading...
Egypt bans singer from performing over free-speech remarks
Sherine Abdel-Wahab said during show that anyone who talks in Egypt is imprisoned
Italy and China in plan for new Silk Road-style trade network
Xi Jinping visits Rome as Italy becomes first G7 country to back Belt and Road initiativeItaly has become the first G7 country to endorse a contentious plan by China to build a Silk Road-style global trade network, irking its EU and US allies.The prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that could lead to Italy’s participation in China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI), an ambitious project that envisages Chinese investment in a network of infrastructure projects connecting Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Continue reading...
NHS trusts call in the bailiffs to chase ineligible patients’ debts
Despite their heavy-handed methods the collection firms manage to recoup very littleThree-quarters of NHS hospital trusts in England are using private debt firms to chase treatment costs from overseas patients and refused asylum seekers in a practice branded “inhumane” by critics, the Observer can reveal.Debt recovery firms have pursued thousands of patients for millions of pounds in recent years, prompting complaints of harassing phone calls and intimidating doorstep visits. The debts relate to the cost of treatment for patients who are ineligible for free NHS care under government immigration rules, which were tightened as a result of the “hostile environment” approach Theresa May initiated as home secretary. Continue reading...
Franco’s shadow: reburial battle sees Spain confront its darkest days
Past and future collide as nationalist Vox party gears up for success in next month’s general election while exhumation of dictator draws closerThe gates of the suburban mausoleum that could soon house Spain’s most restless ghost are decked with a shrivelling bunch of red and yellow carnations, a handful of prayer cards and a cheap, broken crucifix.If the socialist government’s long and fraught campaign to exhume Francisco Franco from the fascist splendour of the Valley of the Fallen finally succeeds, his body will be reinterred in June here in the humbler surroundings of the Mingorrubio-El Pardo municipal cemetery. Continue reading...
Gladys Berejiklian leads Coalition to third term in government in NSW
Premier says she will work closely with minor parties as prospect of minority government remainsGladys Berejiklian has led the Coalition to a third term in government in New South Wales, despite a rising tide of minor parties and independents, and has become the first woman elected premier of the state at a general election.Many seats were still too close to call on Saturday evening but one thing was certain – the night had been a disaster for Labor, with no chance of forming government and no major improvement in their statewide primary vote compared with the election four years earlier. Continue reading...
Five killed in Islamist attack on government building in Somalia
Country’s deputy labour minister among those killed in attack claimed by al-ShabaabFive people, including the country’s deputy labour minister, have been killed in an Islamist extremist attack on a government building in the capital, Mogadishu, a Somali police officer has said.Capt Mohamed Hussein said the minister, Saqar Ibrahim Abdalla, was killed in his ground-floor office shortly after gunmen stormed the building in Mogadishu. Continue reading...
NSW election 2019: Gladys Berejiklian wins historic third term for Coalition – live
Liberal leader claims victory after Labor fails to make headway against the government. Follow all the latest results and analysis live12.11pm GMTVoters in New South Wales have returned a Coalition government for a third term for the first time in almost half a century. The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, defied expectations by hanging on to government in what had been billed as a too-close-to call election. However it’s still unclear whether she will govern in a minority.11.55am GMT Continue reading...
George Osborne calls for long delay in Brexit process
Ex-chancellor says MPs should rethink how to deliver on referendum result
More than 4 million sign Brexit petition to revoke article 50
Online petition sparks conspiracy theories on both sides of the debateAn online petition calling for the UK government to revoke article 50 and remain in the EU has reached 4m signatures.The petition, which was started in late February by “frustrated remainer” Margaret Georgiadou, has gained momentum very quickly, and has now reached just over 4m supporters, adding 2.5m signatures in less than 24 hours. Continue reading...
'The Brexodus is under way': meet the Brits leaving the UK
In the year after the Brexit vote, 17,000 British people sought citizenship of another EU country – and many have since upped and left. Five ‘Brexiles’ explain why they’re starting a new life overseasLast month, after a decade of living in London, my husband and I packed up the contents of our two-bedroom flat and moved to France with our 15-month-old son. With another baby on the way, we’re renting an apartment in Toulouse while we look for a more permanent setup. Leaving friends and family behind, and getting to grips with a new culture and language, hasn’t been easy. But we have no plans to return to the UK.What sold us on France? The healthier work-life balance and excellent education system, plus the fact that we’re lucky enough to have jobs that allow us to work remotely. Ultimately, though, there was one factor that cemented our decision to emigrate: Brexit. Continue reading...
The rise and fall of the Isis 'caliphate'
Once a magnet for would-be jihadists worldwide, Islamic State’s dominion collapsed amid infighting and paranoiaOn a midwinter night in early January, the most wanted man in the world entered a home in a forsaken town near the Syrian border for a rare meeting with his surviving aides. Continue reading...
Isleworth stabbing: teenager killed in west London
Paramedics unable to save 17-year-old boy after police responded to reports of a fight at block of flatsA teenager was found fatally stabbed in west London by police responding to reports of a fight on Friday.The boy, believed to be 17, was discovered with stab injuries outside a block of flats in Isleworth at about 10.35pm. Continue reading...
Isis defeated, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announce
Kurdish-led group says last of militants cleared from stronghold of BaghuzAfter almost five years, the battle to dismantle Islamic State’s brutal “caliphate” has ended with an announcement from US-backed forces that the militants have been driven out of their last stronghold of Baghuz, deep in the Syrian desert.Isis had held out for months against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the small oasis town on the Euphrates river, clinging on to an area of land less than 700 sq metres wide despite fierce coalition bombing. But on Saturday an SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, tweeted that the town had been liberated. Continue reading...
Brexit: leaver go-slow on roads leads to prosecutions
Police stop leaders of dawdling convoys that were intended to cause ‘gridlock’ in pursuit of 29 March exit datePro-Brexit campaigners have been prosecuted for inconsiderate driving while trying to bring roads to a standstill.According to organisers, the demonstrations aimed to ensure the UK leaves the EU on 29 March by causing gridlock on motorways and A-roads using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles. Continue reading...
Cyclone Trevor lashes Northern Territory coast with destructive winds
Residents of Port Hedland and Karratha in Western Australia prepare for Cyclone Veronica, due to hit on Sunday morningCyclone Trevor has struck the Northern Territory as a category four system, hammering remote communities with destructive 250 km/h winds and torrential rain.It was one of two monster storm fronts bearing down on northern Australia this weekend – cyclone Veronica was hurtling towards the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Continue reading...
Bernie Sanders visit shows California could hold key to 2020 victory
Weekend of rallies highlight how state’s diverse electorate and new early spot on primary calendar make it a prize for Democratic candidates
Christchurch attack: Al Noor mosque handed back to Muslim community
Leaders and worshippers escorted through cordon by police as life begins to return to normalMuslim community leaders and worshippers have been escorted back to one of two mosques targeted in the New Zealand terror attack.Two groups were taken through the cordon to Masjid Al Noor on Saturday morning, accompanied by a delegation of dignitaries. They received a briefing from officers on the street before being led to the front door where the shooting rampage that killed 50 began. Continue reading...
'Dire consequences': lawyers aghast at Queensland's new definition of murder
Women who kill violent partners or parents held responsible for accidental child deaths could face mandated sentencesMoves to broaden the definition of murder in Queensland could have “dire and unintended consequences” for women who kill their abusive or violent partners, or for parents who “leave the pool gate open”, lawyers have warned.The state government introduced new laws in February that would change the definition of murder, following media and public outrage after a string of cases in which child killers were convicted of manslaughter and received relatively light prison sentences. Continue reading...
Murdering Gully: settlers killed 35 in Aboriginal camp, and threw bodies into the water
One of the few survivors told the assistant protector of Aborigines the white men came on horseback and began firingOne day at dawn in early 1839, Frederick Taylor and a number of other armed white men rode on horseback into a sleeping camp of Aboriginal people near present-day Terang in Victoria’s western district. Most of the people encamped on the banks of Mount Emu Creek were of the Tarnbeere gundidj clan, members of the Djargurd wurrung language group.The settlers killed about 35 of the roughly 50 people in the camp, and threw the bodies into the water. Continue reading...
Mueller report: special counsel delivers findings of Trump-Russia inquiry
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