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Updated 2017-10-20 10:37
A puppy for Putin – but for dogs in Turkmenistan it's open slaughter
Berdymukhamedov’s presentation of a puppy to Vladimir Putin is ironic, given the bloodbath of stray dogs and cats over which he has presided in AshgabatThe Turkmenistan president’s present to his Russian counterpart last week suggested a twist on the oft-quoted saying: if you want a friend in politics, give them a dog.At a much-documented meeting in Sochi, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov gave Vladimir Putin a Central Asian shepherd puppy for the Russian president’s 65th birthday (and perhaps to see if Putin might not feel like resurrecting Turkmen natural gas exports). Continue reading...
Canada faces battle for pharmacare scheme to make medicines free
Canada’s universal healthcare system has one big shortcoming: it doesn’t cover the cost of prescription drugs, meaning many Canadians go without medicationIn his campaign for universal publicly funded healthcare in the US, Bernie Sanders has repeatedly held up Canada’s system as an example, highlighting the pride Canadians take in the idea that medical care is a right for everyone.Related: Bernie Sanders unveils universal healthcare bill: 'We will win this struggle' Continue reading...
Land of milk and money: Qatar looks to farms to beat the Gulf boycott
Emirate’s drive for food security is symbolic of its determination to make efforts to isolate it ‘a blessing inside a calamity’John Dore is off to Doha’s vast and luxurious Hamad International airport to greet the 8pm flight from Los Angeles via Liège, Belgium.Wearing a straw hat with a small metal shamrock badge in homage to his Irish roots, his imminent visitors are neither family nor friends. Nor are they human at all, but rather a herd of 120 cows. Continue reading...
Merkel hopeful of Brexit deal after May's pleas - politics live
The European Union has announced that preparations can begin for the second stage of Brexit talks on the UK’s future trade relations
UK woman arrested on suspicion of murdering three-year-old girl
Hampshire police attended address in Fordingbridge on Thursday night after report of a ‘concern for welfare’A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a three-year-old girl, police have said.Officers were called to a property in Whitsbury Road, Fordingbridge, a picturesque gateway town to the New Forest national park, on Thursday night after a report of “a concern for welfare”, Hampshire police said. Continue reading...
EU 'running out of money' to stop migrants travelling from Africa
Fund used to pay African countries to deter migration to Europe needs emergency injection of cash, officials sayThe EU is running out of money to pay African countries to take action to stop would-be migrants travelling to Europe, diplomats have warned.European Union leaders set up a fund in 2015 to pay for border security and other measures aimed at preventing African citizens leaving their countries of origin. Continue reading...
Xi Jinping’s Leninist quest for a dynasty inspires congressional love-in
While the explosion of sycophancy over China’s president may seem almost comical, his reign will have ramifications far beyond the country’s bordersThey sounded like the words of a patient at a self-help group , but the addiction being discussed here was China’s president, Xi Jinping.Related: 'A huge deal' for China as the era of Xi Jinping Thought begins Continue reading...
Quentin Tarantino on Harvey Weinstein: 'I knew enough to do more than I did'
The director admits he knew about an alleged assault involving his former girlfriend Mira Sorvino, and says he wishes he had taken responsibilityQuentin Tarantino says he knew about instances of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein for decades but failed to act in order to protect women, adding: “I knew enough to do more than I did.”Related: The allegations against Harvey Weinstein – a list Continue reading...
Syria: devastation in former Isis stronghold revealed - video
Drone footage shows bombed-out shells of buildings in the northern city. Entire neighbourhoods appear to have been turned to rubble, with little sign of civilian life, after Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces announced they have driven out Islamic State after weeks of fighting
Body found in icy river could sway Argentina's midterm elections
Tests expected to confirm the cadaver is Santiago Maldonado, an activist missing since a security forces raid in August, which could be bad news for ruling partyForensic tests on a body found floating in the icy waters of a river in southern Argentina could determine the result of midterm elections seen as vital for the right-of-centre president, Mauricio Macri, who is seeking a vote of confidence to continue his economic austerity programme.Preparations for congressional elections this Sunday have been thrown into last-minute turmoil this week after the body of a young man was found on land owned by the Italian fashion giant Benetton. Continue reading...
Hokkaido releases manga comic to combat North Korean threat
Weeks after missiles overflew Japanese island, officials produce comic advising residents what to do in event of test launchSchoolchildren take cover beneath their desks, while a farmer jumps out of his tractor and crouches face down in a field. Off the coast, the crew of a fishing boat hide behind their vessel’s wheelhouse.The characters are fictional, but they are playing out a scenario that in recent months has become frighteningly real: a North Korean missile strike.
The 7%: Jacinda Ardern joins select group of women in power
New Zealand’s new prime minister is one of 13 female heads of government in the worldAlmost one month after voting day in New Zealand, 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern has become the country’s new prime minister. Ardern’s victory, which was a surprising coup for the country’s left, makes her New Zealand’s third female prime minister and its youngest leader in 150 years.Related: How reluctant leader Jacinda Ardern charmed New Zealand Continue reading...
Manus medical team to stay on after detention centre closes
Papua New Guinea’s government contracts IHMS to remain beyond the 31 October deadline – but it is not known how long forThe healthcare provider for Australia’s offshore processing regime, International Health and Medical Services has been contracted by the Papua New Guinean government to stay beyond the closure of the Manus Island detention centre at the end of the month.
May pleads with EU27 for Brexit deal she can defend
Prime minister attempts to charm at dinner with admission talks got off to a bad start – but offers no fresh financial concessionsTheresa May pleaded with EU leaders over dinner in Brussels to help her strike a Brexit deal that she can defend to voters back home, admitting talks had got off to a bad start over the summer.The prime minister made the appeal over dinner with 27 other EU leaders but did not offer any fresh financial concessions to help break the deadlock in talks, which have been stuck on the issue of Britain’s divorce bill for months. Continue reading...
Preview episode – Common Ground podcast
Hosted by Guardian Australia’s editor, Lenore Taylor, and social researcher and author Rebecca Huntley, Common Ground aims to go beyond filter bubbles to understand why voters are disillusioned with the political system, and how they have formed their political views. We talk to four Australians each week who represent a variety of political views from Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, to the Greens and the two major parties.
Friday briefing: Brussels hears Jeremy Corbyn's version of Brexit
Labour leader shadows May as EU summit begins … Oxbridge shamed for lack of diversity … and getting to know Emmanuel Macron better than a handshakeHello there – it’s Warren Murray bringing you the news at this stage of proceedings. Continue reading...
Italian regions go to the polls in Europe's latest referendums on autonomy
€55m votes in Lombardy and Veneto are non-binding, but could send strong message to RomeTwo of Italy’s richest regions are holding referendums on greater autonomy on Sunday, in the latest push by European regions to wrest more power from the centre.Lombardy and Veneto, between them home to a quarter of Italy’s population, are seeking semi-autonomy, giving them more control over their finances and administration. Continue reading...
Putin rival Ksenia Sobchak insists she is not part of Kremlin plot
Critics say potential candidate is standing only to inject a veneer of competition and legitimacy into Russia’s presidential election next March“I have no political weight, and I haven’t earned the right to launch some kind of political programme or stand as a candidate,” said Ksenia Sobchak, in what might be the most tepid sentiment ever used to launch a presidential campaign.
Judge won't step down from Dylan Voller case against NT government
Previous judge recused herself from case taken by Voller and Jake Roper over treatment in juvenile detention centreA Northern Territory judge has refused to step down from hearing a civil case brought by Dylan Voller and Jake Roper against the NT government.Last week the previous judge, Justice Judith Kelly, recused herself from the case. Continue reading...
New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern sets out priorities: climate, inequality and women
The prime minister-elect has also agreed to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use by 2020New Zealand’s prime minister elect Jacinda Ardern has laid out her priorities for the country, saying she plans to urgently address climate change, tackle inequality and improving women’s lives in the home and workplace.On Thursday, NZ First leader Winston Peters threw his support behind Ardern’s Labour party, allowing them to form a coalition government with a slim majority. Continue reading...
Snail in the coffin: left-coiling mollusc Jeremy dies after finding love
Gastropod hit headlines after his rare shell orientation prevented him from mating – but eventually found a partner and became a fatherJeremy the lonely, left-coiling snail, whose unique tale of rare biology and romantic misfortune made headlines earlier this year, has died aged two in his Nottingham home.The snail, whose left-spiralling shell prevented him from mating with the majority of the world’s right-sided snail population, was found dead on Wednesday by scientist Dr Angus Davison, who had been studying him since October last year. Continue reading...
UN condemns Australia on Indigenous detentions and asylum policies
Human rights committee singles out treatment of Aboriginal woman Ms Dhu who died in police custody and calls asylum policies ‘shocking’Australia’s castigation before the UN has continued for a second day, with the human rights committee condemning Western Australia’s practice of jailing fine defaulters, and specifically highlighting the death of Indigenous woman Ms Dhu in custody.The WA attorney general has promised to amend the laws by the end of the year.
In the same-sex marriage vote, the bishops have soft-pedalled on sin | David Marr
Church leaders don’t want gay people to have sex, let alone get married. So why aren’t they saying so?Where is George Pell when the no case needs him? The vote is tanking. Ahead lies a last-ditch battle in Canberra to safeguard the power of the churches. So much is at stake but the warrior cardinal is out of the picture.It’s a pity. His presence might have made this a more honest contest. Pell has never flinched from voicing what he calls “the hard things of Christ” and near the head of the list for hardliners like him is contempt for homosexuality. Continue reading...
Our law societies drag their feet on marriage equality | Richard Ackland
A brave few voice our human rights obligations, but too many solicitors and barrister big wigs say nothing
North Korea: CIA director says regime nearly capable of nuclear attack
Mike Pompeo says Pyongyang is a few months away from having the ability to hit the US with a nuclear missileCIA director Mike Pompeo has said North Korea is a few months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities.“They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving” their objective of being able to strike the United States, Pompeo told a national security forum in Washington. Continue reading...
Forcing single parents to be verified is 'intrusive and demeaning'
Recipients of the welfare payment will need to have a referee sign a legal form confirming they meet the eligibility criteriaA plan to force the friends and family of single parents to sign legally-binding Centrelink forms vouching for their relationship status has been labelled “intrusive, offensive and demeaning”.In a little more than two months, recipients of the single-parent payment and a similar Newstart payment will need to have a “referee” sign a legal form verifying that the welfare recipient is, in fact, single. Continue reading...
Turnbull predicts states will sign up to national energy guarantee
PM says Australians are ‘sick of the climate wars’ and want governments to work togetherMalcolm Turnbull has predicted the states will ultimately sign up to the national energy guarantee because Australians are “sick of the climate wars”.
Australian teacher Gabrielle Maina shot dead in Kenyan capital
NSW teacher Gabrielle Maina was reportedly killed during a botched robbery in an affluent Nairobi suburb after dropping her son to a friend’s houseThe prime minister has expressed his sympathy to the family of an Australian teacher who has been shot dead after dropping her son at a friend’s house in a wealthy suburb of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.The New South Wales teacher, named by the ABC as Gabrielle Maina, was reportedly shot dead in the affluent suburb of Karen, on Thursday morning local time, during a botched robbery reportedly involving assailants on motorbikes. Continue reading...
Norfolk police plan to axe all community support officers
Proposal to scrap 150 PCSOs criticised as potentially devastating for crime prevention and public safetyNorfolk constabulary wants to axe all of its police community support officers because of budget cuts and concentrate its resources on tackling growth in complex crimes such as sexual abuse.The plan would make the Norfolk force the first in the country to scrap the role of PCSOs, affecting 150 people. Continue reading...
Julie Bishop doesn't need to apologise to Jacinda Ardern, Turnbull says
In August, Australian foreign minister said she would find it difficult to work with a New Zealand Labour governmentMalcolm Turnbull has said there is no need for Julie Bishop to apologise to the incoming New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, despite the Australian foreign minister previously saying she would have difficulty working with New Zealand Labour.On Thursday Bishop publicly congratulated Ardern, after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters chose to form government with Labour. Continue reading...
Oxford college drops Aung San Suu Kyi from common room's name
Decision by students at St Hugh’s, where the leader of Myanmar also studied, is over her response to the Rohingya crisisUndergraduates at the Oxford college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied have voted to remove the leader of Myanmar’s name from the title of their junior common room because of her response to the Rohingya humanitarian crisis.In a vote on Thursday evening, students at St Hugh’s college at the University of Oxford resolved to eliminate the name of the 1991 Nobel peace laureate from the Aung San Suu Kyi junior common room with immediate effect. Continue reading...
MH370: Malaysia in deal with private search firm to find missing plane
‘No find, no fee’ search to be undertaken by US-based seabed exploration company Ocean InfinityMalaysia has entered into a “no find, no fee” arrangement with a private search company, Ocean Infinity, in a bid to recover the missing MH370 plane and discover the fate of the 239 people on board.
Donald Trump awards himself 10 out of 10 for Puerto Rico hurricane response
Home Office issues visa to stranded Royal Navy pilot's wife
Marianne Rawlins, an American who was denied right to join British husband, receives apology for ‘inconvenience’The Home Office has issued a visa and apologised to the wife of a Royal Navy pilot left stranded in the US while her husband serves in the UK.
Morning mail: Jacinda Ardern takes helm in NZ
Friday: Labour leader forms government 26 days after election with the help of NZ First’s Winston Peters. Plus: Holden’s last car leaves the factoryGood morning, this is Eleanor Ainge Roy bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Friday 20 October. Continue reading...
Brazil prosecutors investigate plan to give reconstituted food to poor people
São Paulo’s mayor claimed powder made from food close to its sell-by date was a cost-free way to tackle hunger but critics denounced it as ‘human pet food’Prosecutors in Brazil’s biggest city have opened an inquiry into a controversial plan to feed poorer citizens and schoolchildren with a flour made out of food close to its sell-by date that critics have described as “human pet food”.
Tourist killed by falling masonry in famous Florence church
Death of Spaniard struck in Basilica di Santa Croce raises questions about state of Italy’s ageing and fragile monumentsA 52-year-old tourist from Spain has been killed by falling masonry in one of Florence’s most famous churches, the Basilica di Santa Croce.The fatal accident at the church where Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and Niccolo Machiavelli are buried raised questions about the state of Italy’s many ageing and fragile monuments. Continue reading...
Russian scrutinised for ties to Trump investigated in Monaco
Dmitry Rybolovlev allegedly violated privacy of Tania Rappo and used political influence against former art dealerA Russian billionaire who has emerged as a central figure in the controversy surrounding the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Kremlin is under investigation in Monaco.Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is president of Monaco football club, is expected to be formally charged on Friday for allegedly violating the privacy of one-time confidant and friend Tania Rappo, in a case that has raised questions about whether the tycoon used his political influence to wage a legal campaign against his former art dealer. Continue reading...
Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killers must be brought to justice | Letters
The murdered Maltese journalist was a fearless watchdog, holding to account the powerful and corrupt, sayMEPs Keith Taylor, Jean Lambert and Molly Scott Cato; but Malta’s Labour government deserves credit for redressing some of the country’s injustices, writes Paul PastorOur thoughts are with Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family and friends at this heartbreaking time (Daily death threats – then came the explosion, 19 October). In a landscape increasingly defined by unquestioning mainstream media, hyper-partisan reportage and fake news, Daphne was that rarest, most vital of journalists: a fearless watchdog, holding to account the powerful and corrupt. The detailed investigative work on the Panama Papers that she and her colleagues undertook was crucial for uncovering the murky reality of corruption in Malta. There were also links to the British Virgin Islands and thus to the UK’s position at the heart of a global network of tax havens that facilitate tax avoidance and crime. It was thanks to the Panama Papers exposé that the European parliament was able to secure an EU-wide inquiry into tax avoidance and financial secrecy. Violence against journalists is deeply concerning. We join the parliament’s Pana committee in urging the authorities to investigate this barbaric attack swiftly and bring the perpetrators to justice.
'No-deal' Brexit and attitudes on immigration – Politics Weekly podcast
Anushka Asthana is joined by Torsten Bell of the Resolution Foundation, the Guardian’s Rowena Mason and Jonathan Freedland to discuss Brexit. Plus Bobby Duffy of Ipsos Mori on changing attitudes to immigrationAs Theresa May heads out to Brussels to try to break the Brexit deadlock, back home a growing chorus of Conservatives tell her to prepare to walk away with no deal. But what would that mean in practice?Joining Anushka Asthana this week are Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, deputy political editor Rowena Mason and Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation whose report this week showed heavy costs for consumers if Britain exits without a deal. Continue reading...
Merkel raises hopes of Brexit talks being able to move on to trade in December - Politics live
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen
Labor says it will reach 50% renewable energy regardless of PM's guarantee
Exclusive: Mark Butler says Malcolm Turnbull ambushed states with energy ‘thought bubble’The shadow climate change minister, Mark Butler, says if state governments don’t veto the Turnbull government’s national energy guarantee, and if the policy passes into law, Labor will ramp up the level of emissions reduction in the event it wins the next federal election.Butler says Labor has been “crystal clear” in discussions with industry stakeholders, and with state governments, that it will use any mechanism, either one of its own, or one it inherits, to drive 50% renewable energy by 2030. Continue reading...
Cockney-themed dining event 'symptom of social cleansing' in East End
Residents accuse theatre company of stereotyping and working-class tourism over £55-a-head events in east London pubA theatre company has been embroiled in a gentrification row after it announced a series of £55-a-head “immersive” Cockney-themed dinner parties to be held in a traditionally working-class area.The firm apologised after it released promotional material that showed a cast of tracksuited characters, including a pregnant woman drinking and smoking and a tattooed man striking an aggressive pose, in a pub. Continue reading...
Storm Brian to bring heavy rain and strong winds to UK and Ireland
Met Office issues yellow warning for strong winds as ‘weather bomb’ develops over AtlanticA “weather bomb” that is forecast to form over the Atlantic on Thursday and bring wind and heavy rain to the UK on Saturday has become the second named storm of the season.Storm Brian is forecast to bring strong winds over Wales, north-west England and most of southern England on the first day of many pupils’ half-term holidays. Continue reading...
Spain to impose direct rule as Catalonia leader refuses to back down
Madrid will press ahead with suspending autonomy on Saturday after Catalan leader refuses to abandon independence pushThe Spanish government is to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule after the region’s president refused to abandon the push for independence that has triggered Spain’s biggest political crisis for 40 years.The announcement of the unprecedented measure came after the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, threatened a unilateral declaration of independence if the Spanish government did not agree to talks on the issue. Continue reading...
Elsie Scully-Hicks was probably shaken violently, murder trial told
Girl may have been thrown on to floor or had her head knocked against wall, doctor tells jury in adoptive father’s trialAn 18-month-old girl allegedly murdered by her adoptive father was probably shaken violently and may also have been thrown on to a hard floor or had her head knocked against a wall, a consultant paediatrician has told a jury.Elsie Scully-Hicks was allegedly killed by Matthew Scully-Hicks two weeks after he and his husband, Craig, formally adopted her. Matthew Scully-Hicks, 36, is accused of causing fatal injuries to the girl at the couple’s home in Cardiff. He denies murder. Continue reading...
Who is Jacinda Ardern? –video explainer
Jacinda Ardern has become New Zealand’s youngest prime minister, 26 days after the country went to the polls. The kingmaker, Winston Peters, said on Thursday that his New Zealand First party would support Ardern’s Labour party to create a coalition, displacing Bill English’s National partyJacinda Ardern to be New Zealand's next PM after Labour coalition deal Continue reading...
How reluctant leader Jacinda Ardern charmed New Zealand
The new PM turned down the Labour top job seven times before transforming her party’s fortunes with ‘Jacindamania’Less than three months ago, Jacinda Ardern, preoccupied by home renovations, said the only way she would ever lead New Zealand’s Labour party would be if her entire caucus was hit by a bus and she was the “designated survivor”.Now, she finds herself about to take office as New Zealand’s third female prime minister, and its youngest leader for 150 years. Continue reading...
Yes, we’ve thrown the wedding ring at the EU. But divorce isn’t inevitable | Helen Mountfield
Is the best alternative to a bad deal really a no-deal Brexit? No: the best alternative is to change our minds and stay – and we can if we want toAs the storm clouds gather over Brexit, the EU withdrawal bill has been delayed a second time while the government tries to persuade backbench Tories to revoke their support for amendments that would allow MPs to block a “no deal” Brexit. The ever-sane Conservative MPs Dominic Grieve and Anna Soubry have put their names to an amendment that would provide that any final deal must be approved by a separate act of parliament. This is more than parliament parking its constitutional tanks on the government’s lawn: it means that if, as seems increasingly likely, the only option on offer is a disastrous, no-deal Brexit, MPs can require the government to think again.Related: Brexit plan 'in paralysis' with ministers set to delay EU withdrawal bill Continue reading...
MH370: Malaysia in talks with US firm to resume search for plane
Government confirms negotiations with Ocean Infinity to restart search for flight that disappeared three years agoMalaysia is negotiating a deal with a US–based seabed exploration firm to resume the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished three years ago in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people aboard.The disappearance of the aircraft en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur ranks among the world’s greatest aviation mysteries after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $157m (£119m) search effort in January. Continue reading...
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