Guardian Headlines

 

Human rights groups investigate death at Kenyan Del Monte pineapple farm

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 11:00:48 GMT

Exclusive: Inquiry comes after discovery of body of Peter Mutuku Mutisya, 25, in a dam on the plantation

Human rights groups are investigating a death at a Del Monte pineapple farm in Kenya after a man’s body was found in a dam there last month.

The body of Peter Mutuku Mutisya, 25, was discovered floating in the dam on Del Monte’s plantation near Thika on 17 November, four days after friends said he had gone there to steal pineapples.

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‘As a parent, I lost hope for justice’: family seeking answers over death of man on Del Monte farm

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 11:00:48 GMT

Kenyan parents of Peter Mutuku Mutisya claim his neck had marks like he had been strangled. No injuries were recorded on the official report

When Peter Mutuku Mutisya’s body was found floating in a dam on Del Monte’s farm in Kenya last month his family and friends had already been searching for days.

Mutisya, 25, worked as a chemical sprayer at the neighbouring farm and was relied on by his relatives, to whom he would offer lifts on his prized motorbike.

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Tories warn Rishi Sunak that his Rwanda plan ‘will never be law’

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 07:00:42 GMT

As Tuesday’s crucial vote looms, MPs from both wings of the party say PM has tied his future to a bill that cannot succeed

• Read more: The UK’s deal with Rwanda must stay within the rule of law

Senior Tories from across the party are warning that Rishi Sunak’s emergency Rwanda plan will never become law in its current form, ahead of the most critical vote of his premiership.

Liberal Tories confirmed last night that, despite their desire to back the PM against the right, “serious concerns” remain about the plan and more reassurances will be required. Meanwhile, a self-styled “star chamber” of legal figures examining the proposals for the Tory right is understood to have found problems that are “extremely difficult to resolve”.

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African writer ruined by row with Graham Greene finally gets chance to shine

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 06:00:42 GMT

Fifty years after being accused of plagiarism, book is reissued in a bid to rehabilitate gifted Malian author Yambo Ouologuem

In 1968 the books pages of the French newspaper Le Monde excitedly praised an uncompromising new novel, Bound to Violence, going on to salute its author as one of “the rare intellectuals of international stature presented to the world by Black Africa”.

The newspaper’s words, written in tribute to the young Malian writer Yambo Ouologuem, sound condescending today. Back then, however, the intended compliment was genuine and many European critics soon agreed: the publication of Ouologuem’s strange novel really did mark the arrival of a major new talent.

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Sisi poised to win power again, but Egyptians’ minds are on Gaza

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 05:00:39 GMT

There’s no chance of a fair election on Sunday, but Egypt president’s weakness on Gaza is showing in a country racked by poverty, corruption and inflation

For Egyptians, the only signs that an election is imminent are the posters of President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi’s face plastered on every available wall and billboard across the country.

The repetitive images of Sisi – always gazing into the distance with a stiff, forced smile – are so ubiquitous that people have turned to the only venue for free expression they have left and have begun making memes of them to share online. One picture that circulated features Jack and Rose from the film Titanic sitting on the deck of the ship surrounded by Sisi’s campaign posters. In another, people joke that a pregnant woman passed so many pictures of Sisi on her way to work that her newborn baby resembled the incumbent president.

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Tory right deliver legal rebuke to Sunak’s Rwanda plan

Sat, 09 Dec 2023 23:19:43 GMT

ERG lawyers conclude plans will not forestall court challenges, echoing concerns of goverment’s own legal team

Rishi Sunak has been dealt a fresh blow over his Rwanda legislation as a legal assessment for the Tory right has concluded that the prime minister’s plans are not fit for purpose.

Bill Cash, who chairs the “star chamber” of lawyers for the European Research Group, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that “at present” the legislation is not “sufficiently watertight to meet the government’s policy objectives” such as circumventing individual legal challenges by people seeking to remain in the UK.

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Javier Milei sworn in as president in ‘tipping point’ for Argentina

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 18:28:42 GMT

Radical libertarian likens his election to fall of Berlin Wall in inauguration speech with strong echoes of Trump’s 2017 address

Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, has vowed to lead his country out of decades of “decadence and decline” but said its punishing economic crisis would intensify over the coming months, as a “who’s who” of the global far right assembled in Buenos Aires to celebrate the radical libertarian’s inauguration.

Addressing tens of thousands of supporters outside Argentina’s turquoise-domed neoclassical congress, Milei – a mercurial former TV celebrity known as El Loco or the Madman – compared his shock election with the start of the Soviet Union’s collapse.

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Clash between criminal gang and villagers leaves 14 dead in central Mexico

Sat, 09 Dec 2023 19:59:14 GMT

Video of fight shows villagers with sickles and rifles chasing down suspected gang members amid gunfire

A clash between gunmen from a criminal gang and residents of a small farming community in central Mexico left 14 people dead and seven injured, local authorities said on Saturday.

Dramatic video of the fight on Friday posted on social media showed villagers in cowboy hats with sickles and hunting rifles chasing down suspected gang members amid bursts of automatic gunfire.

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Middle-class fear of green policies fuels rise of far right, Colombia’s Petro warns

Sat, 09 Dec 2023 09:00:16 GMT

Guerrilla leader turned president says, faced with having to reduce their carbon consumption, upper classes fear ‘the barbarians are coming’

Middle-class fears of losing a high standard of living because of green policies is driving the rise of the far right across the world, the president of Colombia has warned.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian at the Cop28 UN climate summit, Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first leftwing president, said the world had to find carbon-free ways of being prosperous, and that his country’s rich biodiversity would be the basis of its wealth after phasing out fossil fuels.

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US chocolate mogul charged over deaths of Canadian animator and partner in Dominica

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 19:26:56 GMT

Jonathan Lehrer, 57, and alleged accomplice appear in court after bodies of Daniel Langlois and Dominique Marchand were found

An American chocolatier and his alleged accomplice have been charged in the Caribbean island of Dominica with the murder of a Canadian animation innovator and eco-resort owner and his partner days after their bodies were found in a burned-out car.

Jonathan Lehrer, 57, and Robert Snider appeared in magistrates court in Roseau, the capital, on Wednesday to face charges relating to the murders of Daniel Langlois and Dominique Marchand. They did not enter a plea.

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US to conduct flights within Guyana amid Venezuela territorial dispute

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 19:03:30 GMT

US and Britain express support for Guyana over Maduro threat to seize a third of its territory while Brazil calls for peaceful solution

The United States has said it would conduct flight operations within Guyana that build on its routine engagement, as Britain and Brazil expressed concerns about growing border tensions between Guyana and Venezuela.

The long-running spat over the oil-rich Essequibo region, which is being heard by the international court of justice (ICJ), escalated over the weekend when voters in Venezuela rejected the ICJ’s jurisdiction and backed the creation of a new Venezuelan state.

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Plant fossils turn out to be turtles in ‘unusual misidentification’

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 17:24:07 GMT

Re-examination finds what were taken to be veins of leaves are actually bone growth patterns

Two small, oval fossils thought to be prehistoric plants are actually the remains of baby marine turtles, researchers have revealed.

The fossils, found in rocks dating to between 132 and 113 million years ago, were discovered in Colombia in the middle of the 20th century by Padre Gustavo Huerta, a priest with a penchant for fossil plants.

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Record low turnout as Hong Kong votes in ‘patriots’-only election

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 00:33:45 GMT

Voters shun district election after pro-democracy candidates were prevented from running

A “patriots only” district election in Hong Kong that barred opposition democrats from the ballot sheet amid a national security crackdown had a record low voter turnout of 27.5% as many voters spurned what was seen as an undemocratic poll.

The sharp slide in turnout since the last such election in 2019 comes after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law that has been used to clamp down on dissent, and overhauled the electoral system to shut out democrats and other liberals.

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Philippine festive flotilla turns back after Chinese interception

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 14:44:43 GMT

Forty fishing boats loaded with donations, Father Christmas figurines and nativity had set sail in disputed South China Sea

A Philippine mission to bring Santa Claus to the South China Sea to spread holiday cheer to fisherfolk, troops and coastguard officials was cut short after their convey was shadowed by several Chinese vessels which organisers said carried out “dangerous manoeuvres”.

The flotilla of 40 fishing boats loaded with Christmas donations, Father Christmas figurines and nativity displays set sail from El Nido in Palawan province at 1am local time on Sunday (1700 GMT Saturday), on its way to disputed areas that Beijing claims, without legal grounds, as its own.

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David Cameron urged to tell China to free Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 00:00:33 GMT

Newspaper tycoon’s son seeks meeting with foreign secretary as Briton, 76, faces trial and possible life sentence

Foreign secretary David Cameron is being urged to demand the release of newspaper tycoon Jimmy Lai as the British national prepares for a high-profile trial in Hong Kong this month.

Lai, 76, is facing a life sentence, accused of colluding with foreign forces under the draconian national security law introduced by Beijing in 2020 following mass protests.

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Almost 100 journalists killed and 400 imprisoned in 2023, says report

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 17:45:10 GMT

International Federation of Journalists says 68 killed covering Israel-Gaza war, more than in any other conflict in over 30 years

A leading organisation representing journalists worldwide has expressed deep concern at the number of media professionals killed around the globe doing their jobs in 2023, with more journalists killed during Israel’s war with Hamas than in any other conflict in more than 30 years.

In its annual count of media worker deaths, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said 94 journalists had been killed so far this year and almost 400 others had been imprisoned.

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Chinese weather balloon spotted near Taiwan a month ahead of presidential election

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 04:09:27 GMT

Chinese military aircraft including 12 fighter jets also detected in Taiwan’s air defence zone in past 24 hours

Taiwan’s defence ministry has said that a Chinese balloon crossed the Taiwan Strait median line on Thursday, about a month before Taiwan’s presidential election.

The ministry of national defence (MND) earlier described it as a “surveillance balloon” but the defence minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng later told reporters at parliament: “our initial understanding is that it was a sounding balloon”.

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Kyoto Animation fire: Japan prosecutors seek death penalty over blaze that killed 36

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 06:48:02 GMT

Shinji Aoba has admitted starting fire but has pleaded not guilty, saying a psychological disorder makes him incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong

Prosecutors in Japan are seeking the death penalty for the suspect in an arson attack in 2019 that killed 36 people in one of the country’s deadliest crimes for decades.

Shinji Aoba, who was not arrested until he had recovered from the burns he sustained in the attack on an animation studio in Kyoto, admitted in court in September 2023 to starting the fire.

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Weather tracker: temperatures hit 43.5C in Australia as 2023 on track to be hottest year

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 07:29:33 GMT

Heat in Australia is 15C above December average and comes as Cop28 nears end

Parts of south-east Australia have been experiencing extreme heat over recent days. Temperatures hit 43.5C at Sydney airport on Saturday. This was the highest temperature recorded at this station since records began in 1929, and is about 15C above the December average. Authorities have issued several bushfire warnings and banned fires across many parts of New South Wales.

Temperatures will ease early this week across south and south-east Australia, but will intensify across northern, western and central parts as the week progresses. Here, temperatures could rise into the 40Cs widely by the weekend.

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Australian public schools must be fully funded ‘as soon as possible’, independent review finds

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 07:28:53 GMT

Panel set up ahead of National School Reform Agreement also recommends increased transparency about how schools use needs-based funding

Australia’s education ministers must fully fund public schools as “soon as possible” and increase transparency on where finances are directed, an independent expert education panel has recommended.

The panel’s review informing the upcoming National School Reform Agreement (NSRA), released on Monday, made seven key recommendations to improve equity, wellbeing and the teaching workforce.

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Education review released – as it happened

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 07:03:12 GMT

This blog is now closed.

Palaszczuk made decision ‘in the interest of the state’, Swan says

ALP national secretary Wayne Swan has spoken to ABC RN about Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s resignation announcement yesterday.

That’s always ever present for any leader at any time but I think she made the decision in the interest of the state and I think in her own interest as well.

I think people are sensibly discussing what the options are and if one candidate has a pretty clear majority then I think it would be unlikely that you’d see a battle, because it would simply be very difficult for the government over a period of time when they need to re-establish a leader in the job.

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Morry Schwartz steps aside as chairman of independent publisher Schwartz Media

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:44:11 GMT

Publisher of the Monthly and the Saturday Paper says he will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations

Morry Schwartz has given up his leading role at the company he founded more than four decades ago, announcing to staff he will step aside as chairman of Schwartz Media and step back from day-to-day operations.

Schwartz Media is the publisher of the Saturday Paper, the Monthly and the Quarterly Essay.

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Kerry Stokes to pay costs of Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:32:44 GMT

Seven West Media chair's decision means network won’t have to hand over internal correspondence related to the case

Seven West Media’s chairman, Kerry Stokes, has agreed to pay the costs of Ben Roberts-Smith’s failed defamation action, in a move that will prevent the network from having to hand over thousands of internal documents about the case.

The federal court heard on Monday that Stokes had agreed to pay the costs of the case. Justice Anthony Besanko ordered that Stokes’ private company Australian Capital Equity (ACE) pay them on an indemnity basis.

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Brittany Higgins’ mother tells Bruce Lehrmann defamation trial hearing of her daughter’s alleged rape was a ‘mother’s worst nightmare’ – as it happened

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:09:56 GMT

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Defence liaison officer told Higgins found in ‘state of undress’, court hears

Payne gave evidence that early in the week following the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins, he had been told by minister Linda Reynolds’s chief-of-staff, Fiona Brown, about an incident involving Lehrmann in Parliament House.

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US will ‘lose face before world’ if it abandons Kyiv, says ex-Ukraine president

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 05:00:10 GMT

Exclusive: Leonid Kuchma describes history behind Putin’s attack as new edition of his 2003 book Ukraine Is Not Russia is published

Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma has warned that the US “will lose face before the entire world” if it abandons Kyiv, and said mistakes by the west contributed to Vladimir Putin’s all-out invasion last year.

In his first interview with a western publication since 2015, Kuchma described Putin as a career KGB operative. “It’s his profession, with everything that implies,” he said, adding: “People say his obsession with Ukraine is a kind of mania or mental disorder. Maybe it’s true.”

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Donald Tusk expected to become Poland’s prime minister this week

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 04:00:07 GMT

Two months after opposition alliance won an electoral majority, his appointment will end eight years of nationalist rule

Donald Tusk is expected to become Poland’s prime minister this week, almost two months after a parliamentary election handed a majority to an alliance of opposition parties. His appointment will put an end to eight years of rule by the nationalist, populist Law and Justice (PiS) party.

The Tusk-led alliance won a clear majority of seats in the 15 October vote, but the country’s president, Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally, gave incumbent prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, the first chance at forming a government, widely seen as a delaying tactic.

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Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 656

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 01:08:35 GMT

Zelenskiy to visit Washington in bid to break Senate deadlock on aid; Ukrainian president attends inauguration of Javier Milei in Argentina

US President Joe Biden has invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy to the White House, days after his administration warned it would run out of money for Ukraine aid in weeks unless feuding US lawmakers act. Republican senators last week blocked $106bn in emergency aid primarily for Ukraine and Israel after conservatives balked at the exclusion of immigration reforms that they had demanded as part of the package.

Zelenskiy’s office said he would arrive in Washington on Monday and that he would meet Biden during a working visit that would include “a series of meetings and discussions.” Zelenskiy has also been invited to address US senators on Tuesday morning in the Capitol, a Senate leadership aide said, while a private meeting between Zelenskiy and US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson will also be held in the Capitol on Tuesday, Johnson spokesperson Raj Shah said.

Zelenskiy attended the swearing-in of Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, on his first official trip to Latin America where he is attempting to court support among developing nations. Milei welcomed the Ukrainian at the presidential palace after his inauguration. The two shared an extended hug, exchanged words and then Milei, who has said he intends to convert to Judaism, presented his Ukrainian counterpart with a menorah as a gift.

Zelenskiy said he had had a “frank” conversation with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán on the sidelines of the inauguration. “It was as frank as possible – and obviously, it was about our European affairs,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. Orbán has threatened to block more EU aid for Ukraine as well as its membership accession talks.

Britain said it had delivered two mine-hunting ships to Ukraine. The mine hunters, originally HMS Grimsby and HMS Shoreham, were renamed Chernihiv and Cherkasy in Glasgow in June, and will help Ukraine to maintain a critical route for merchant shipping travelling across the Black Sea.

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Zelenskiy to visit Washington in bid to break Senate deadlock on Ukraine aid

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 00:22:36 GMT

Ukrainian leader invited by Joe Biden, as US president pressures Republican senators to back aid bill

US President Joe Biden has invited his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy to the White House, days after his administration warned it would run out of money for Ukraine aid in weeks unless feuding US lawmakers act.

The meeting on Tuesday is intended “to underscore the United States’ unshakeable commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russia’s brutal invasion,” the White House said in a statement Sunday.

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David Cameron threat over Humza Yousaf’s meeting with Turkish president

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 20:16:18 GMT

Foreign secretary says FCDO support for Scottish ministers could be withdrawn after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talks

David Cameron has threatened to withdraw Foreign Office support for Scottish ministers after Humza Yousaf met the Turkish president without UK officials.

The foreign secretary wrote to the Scottish National party government saying it was a breach of protocol for Yousaf to have discussed Gaza and other matters with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Cop28 summit.

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Iran accuses Swedish EU diplomat of crime that carries the death penalty

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 19:00:29 GMT

Johan Floderus faces trial for ‘spying for Israel’ and ‘corruption on Earth’, one of Iran’s most serious offences

Iran has accused a Swedish EU diplomat held in a Tehran prison for more than 600 days of spying for Israel and “corruption on Earth”, a crime that carries the death penalty.

“Johan Floderus is accused of extensive measures against the security of the country, extensive intelligence cooperation with the Zionist regime and corruption on Earth,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said on Sunday.

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Israel-Gaza war live: Hamas issues warning over lives of hostages; UN general assembly to hold emergency meeting

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 08:00:33 GMT

Militant group says Israel will not receive hostages alive unless it meets demands; UN session comes after US vetoed ceasefire resolution in security council last week

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Cop28 live: ‘time to be ambitious’ says president as summit enters final days

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 07:47:29 GMT

The climate summit is heading into the final part of the negotations. We’ll be following events here all day

While we wait for the text to drop, we are asking delegates what they hope to see in it.

Claire Charlo, an indigenous representative from the Flathead reservation in Montana USA, said it was vital that all voices were heard.

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Israeli troops reach heart of Khan Younis as Hamas threatens lives of hostages in Gaza

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 04:14:55 GMT

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Hamas fighters to surrender

Follow live for latest in Israel-Hamas war

Israeli tanks have reached the heart of Gaza’s southern city of Khan Younis, as Hamas issued fresh demands for Palestinian prisoners to be released while at the same time threatening the lives of the hostages they continue to hold.

Residents of Khan Younis said tanks had reached the main north-south road through the city on Sunday after intense combat through the night that had slowed the Israeli advance from the east. Warplanes were reported to be pounding the area west of the assault.

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Qatar says ‘narrowing window’ for freeing more hostages held in Gaza – as it happened

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 03:07:51 GMT

This blog is now closed.

Mediation efforts are continuing to secure a new Gaza ceasefire and free more hostages held by Hamas despite the ongoing Israeli bombardment that is “narrowing the window” for a successful outcome, Qatar’s prime minister said Sunday.

“Our efforts as the state of Qatar along with our partners are continuing. We are not going to give up,” sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the Doha Forum, adding that “the continuation of the bombardment is just narrowing this window for us”.

If Israel is above international law, sanctions should be put on it. Israel should not be allowed to continue violating international humanitarian law and international law.

Our main concern is not the day after. It is today. We want the stop of atrocities and genocide that is happening today.

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Biden under scrutiny after bypassing Congress to supply tank shells to Israel

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 17:58:21 GMT

Administration reportedly not carrying out continual assessments on whether war crimes being committed in Gaza

The Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza has come under intensified scrutiny after it revealed it had bypassed Congress to supply tank shells, and was reported not to be carrying out continual assessments of whether Israel was committing possible war crimes.

Israeli tanks were reported to have reached the centre of Khan Younis on Sunday, after battling through stiff resistance in the southern city which is overcrowded by civilians who have fled fighting in the north. Israeli airstrikes pounded the city blocks west of the frontline.

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Cop28: ‘failure is not an option,’ says summit president – as it happened

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 15:42:50 GMT

Sultan Al Jaber calls for countries to come together amid disagreements over the future of climate action

China ‘would like to see agreement to substitute renewables for fossil fuels’

There is some more food-related news from the conference today, writes Fiona Harvey.

The Alliance of Champions for Food Systems Transformation (ACF) launched on Sunday, a group that’s being called the “high ambition coalition for food”. It has Brazil, Sierra Leone and Norway as co-chairs, and other prominent members include Rwanda and Cambodia.

Strengthen national visions and food systems transformation pathways, inclusive of 10 priority action areas and consistent with science-based targets.

Update Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS),​​ and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in line with these updated National Food System Transformation Pathways and/or Implementation Plans, by 2025 at the latest.

Report annually on targets and priority intervention areas

“Peasant family farmers, Indigenous and local communities, forest collectors, pastoralists, fisherfolk, and agricultural workers, are among the populations most harshly affected by climate change worldwide. Yet they are also the central actors who can sustainably transform food systems. Supporting their livelihoods through specifically tailored public policies is essential to achieve an agroecological transition towards healthy, resilient and sustainable food systems.”

Let’s face it: climate summits are broken. The delegates talk and talk, while Earth systems slide towards deadly tipping points. Since the climate negotiations began in 1992 more carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has been released worldwide than in all preceding human history. This year is likely to set a new emissions record. They are talking us to oblivion.

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No 10 team arrives in Delhi to revive talks over free trade deal

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 15:56:12 GMT

Exclusive: Pre-election agreement would provide a major boost to Narendra Modi and Rishi Sunak

Senior Downing Street officials have flown to Delhi to kickstart talks over a multibillion pound free trade agreement, with the government of Narendra Modi having indicated it is keen to finalise a deal in the next three months.

UK trade negotiators are in the Indian capital talking to their Indian counterparts as they look to revive a deal that looked a distant prospect just a few months ago.

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Weather tracker: Low Mississippi River levels take toll on farmers

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 07:50:40 GMT

Economic loss from disruption on important travel route for grain exports estimated to be $20bn

Extreme drought and a warm autumn have left water levels on the Mississippi exceptionally low for the time of year. This is causing problems for farmers who rely on the river as a travel route for the crops: 60% of US grain exports use the waterway to reach the Gulf coasts.

The total economic loss is estimated to be about $20bn and, despite attempts to dredge the river, it remains worryingly low as the country enters an important month for grain transport.

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India unveils ‘flatpack’ field hospital with mini x-ray for use in disaster zones

Fri, 08 Dec 2023 05:00:42 GMT

The portable unit, comprising mini cubes of medical equipment, enables surgeons to be operating within an hour, designers claim

India has designed and built a “flatpack” field hospital that can be flown to a disaster area by helicopter and assembled faster than an Ikea bookcase.

The hospital is contained in 72 small waterproof cubes, each weighing under 15kg and measuring 38cm x 38cm x 38cm (15 x 15 x 15in). They are packed with tents and specially designed medical equipment.

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Taliban causing ‘irreversible damage’ to whole education system in Afghanistan

Wed, 06 Dec 2023 05:00:02 GMT

Human Rights Watch warns bar on women means unqualified men now teach boys, fewer subjects are taught and beatings are routine

The Taliban is causing “irreversible damage” to Afghanistan’s education system through the reintroduction of corporal punishment, curriculum changes and the use of unqualified teachers to replace women, most of whom have been barred from schools, Human Rights Watch has warned.

After taking power in 2021, the Taliban banned girls from secondary schools. A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), published on Wednesday, warns that boys’ education has also suffered under the Taliban, although this has gone largely unreported.

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‘Jail crushes you slowly’: Kashmiri journalist reflects on prison ordeal

Tue, 05 Dec 2023 05:00:35 GMT

Fahad Shah, whose case was a symbol of harassment of region’s media, says he has different outlook after months behind bars

During his more than 600 days behind bars, Fahad Shah, a Kashmiri journalist, had begun to lose hope that he would ever see freedom again. It was in February last year that Shah, 34, the editor of the Kashmir Walla, one of the last remaining independent news websites in the region, was arrested on charges of “glorifying terrorism” and publishing “anti-national content”.

What followed was a crushing 21 months for Shah as his high-profile case became a symbol of the growing harassment faced by Kashmiri journalists. He was granted bail in one case, only to be swiftly re-arrested and hit with new, more draconian charges.

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iPhone manufacturers in India halt production due to Cyclone Michaung

Mon, 04 Dec 2023 20:21:32 GMT

Foxconn and Pegatron temporarily shut factories near Chennai because of torrential rains that have claimed at least four lives

Taiwan’s Foxconn and Pegatron have halted production of Apple iPhones at their factories near Chennai in southern India because of heavy rains, sources close to the matter said on Monday.

In Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai, the state’s largest city and a major electronics and manufacturing hub, at least two people died and the runway of one of the country’s busiest airports was submerged after torrential rain as the city braced for a severe cyclone expected to hit in the next 24 hours. Two others had died elsewhere. Cyclone Michaung was expected to make landfall on the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh around noon on Tuesday, the country’s weather office said, with sustained winds of 90kph to 100kph (56mph to 62mph), gusting to 110kph.

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High-end bikes and overcrowded homes: where poverty hides in Oxford

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 07:00:12 GMT

A new way of identifying areas of deprivation in otherwise affluent areas has caught the attention of local politicians

Most of the 1,700 people who live in a wedge of housing between Iffley Road and Cowley Road in Oxford enjoy relative comfort. There are smart cafes, attic conversions and shops selling high-end bicycles to students and academics attending the world-famous university just over Magdalen Bridge.

In the bald terms of the official 1-10 index of multiple deprivation, it scores a six when the most deprived areas of the country score one. But combing through the 2021 census among the people in this neighbourhood, the new ethnic group deprivation index (EGDI) reveals an otherwise hidden cluster of people who experience significant economic hardship.

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The climate crisis will amplify the UK’s existing health inequalities

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:00:13 GMT

A public health agency report issues a stark warning: the impact of changing climate on health is proportionately negative to the most disadvantaged

The health inequalities between different ethnicities, neighbourhoods and social classes are already stark, with millions of women in the most deprived areas in England dying almost eight years earlier than those from wealthier areas.

But according to the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) report, these disparities will worsen as the impact the climate crisis has on health is disproportionately negative to the most disadvantaged groups.

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Climate crisis could cause 10,000 extra UK deaths a year by 2050, says health body

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:00:12 GMT

A report by the UK Health Security Agency warns that extreme heat could bring a host of tropical diseases transmitted by insects

The climate crisis could cause up to 10,000 extra deaths in the UK every year by the 2050s as a result of extreme heat and bring a host of tropical diseases, a stark report has warned.

The worst-case scenario, published in a damning document by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Monday, would see average temperatures rise by 4.3C, bringing an estimated twelvefold rise in heat-related deaths by 2070. It adds that deaths could increase by one-and-a-half times in the 2030s.

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Rishi Sunak’s ‘eat out to help out’ scheme to come under scrutiny at Covid inquiry

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:00:12 GMT

PM will be questioned on Monday as he faces pressure from Tory backbenchers over Rwanda legislation

Rishi Sunak’s “eat out to help out” scheme will come under scrutiny at the Covid inquiry on Monday, with the prime minister facing the committee while fighting off increasing hostility from his own MPs.

It is expected that Sunak will be questioned on whether he felt scientists were given too much power and if insufficient consideration was given to the economic impact of lockdowns.

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Stonehenge campaigners’ last-chance bid to save site from road tunnel

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:00:11 GMT

Historian says if ‘Britain trashes their world heritage sites, it bodes badly for the rest of the world’

They are a disparate bunch. Archaeologists, environmentalists, historians, transport experts, countryside campaigners and druids.

But they will come together in the Strand in central London on Tuesday with a common purpose: to stop the bulldozers from, in their mind, wreaking havoc at one of the UK’s most iconic sites.

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Cuddly croissants to cute coffee cups: food-themed toys are a Christmas hit

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 06:00:10 GMT

Retailers say adults and children are snapping up food plush toys as market as a whole remains subdued

Play food is normally found in the pretend kitchens of preschoolers but this Christmas adults are queueing up to buy cutesy toy versions of favourite food and drink including croissants, slices of cake and takeaway coffees.

With food and cuteness among the pillars of social media it was perhaps only a matter of time before someone combined the two, with the tactile toys, accessories and tree decorations a surprise hit with children and adults.

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US multinationals underpaid £5.6bn in tax in UK last year, HMRC believes

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 00:01:03 GMT

Total of £11.5bn in missing tax from foreign companies is suspected for 2022-23, according to UHY Hacker Young

US multinationals underpaid £5.6bn in tax in the UK last year, HM Revenue & Customs believes, according to a national accountancy firm.

The suspected deficit is 14% higher than the figure from the previous year, and would mean US companies now make up nearly half of underpaid tax into British coffers from foreign companies.

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Catholic priest killed by attack in Nebraska church residence

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 22:18:19 GMT

Stephen Gutgsell assaulted ‘during an invasion’ of a Fort Calhoun church and suspect was taken into custody, authorities said

A Catholic priest in a small Nebraska community died Sunday after being attacked in a church rectory, authorities said.

Stephen Gutgsell was assaulted “during an invasion” of St John the Baptist Catholic church in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, the archdiocese of Omaha said in a Sunday statement.

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Trump says he won’t return to witness stand in $250m New York fraud trial

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 21:32:13 GMT

Former president, who was expected to take the stand, announced on Truth Social on Sunday that he already testified to everything

Donald Trump announced he would not take the witness stand for a second time at his fraud trial in New York on Monday, the former US president’s last chance to make his case as he combats a potential $250m fine that hangs over his family business.

Trump had been expected to take the stand again as the hearings draw to a close. But on Sunday he announced on the Truth Social site that he would no longer be making an appearance.

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Trump tests federal gag order with attack on Bill Barr: ‘He was a coward’

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 19:16:09 GMT

Audience at gala event included allies that Trump is expected to tap for top roles should he be re-elected next year

Donald Trump tested the contours of his gag order in the federal criminal case over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, assailing his former attorney general and potential trial witness William Barr in remarks at a Saturday night New York gala event.

“I make this commitment to you tonight: we will not have Bill Barr as our attorney general, is that OK?” Trump said as he discussed a potential second presidency. “He was a coward. He was afraid of being impeached.”

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Tennessee storms: tornadoes kill at least six and cut power to tens of thousands

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 18:39:58 GMT

Three deaths reported in Montgomery county and a further three in the suburbs of Nashville, officials say

Severe storms and tornadoes in Tennessee killed at least six people on Saturday and caused what local emergency services described as extensive damage with tens of thousands of residents without power.

Nashville police said in a statement Sunday that a two-year-old boy and his mother were among three people killed there.

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Mitt Romney says his endorsement in 2024 race would be ‘kiss of death’

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 18:37:39 GMT

Republican senator also declines to rule out voting for Biden, and added he wishes Joe Manchin would ‘be the Democratic nominee’

Utah senator Mitt Romney declined to rule out voting for Joe Biden next year and said he hasn’t offered an endorsement in the Republican race because his backing would probably be a “kiss of death”.

“If I endorsed them, it would be the kiss of death – I’m not going to do that,” Romney said during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

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