Guardian Headlines


Zimbabwe opposition figures detained in crackdown after disputed election

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 07:30:20 GMT

Opposition politicians and activists arrested since President Emmerson Mnangagwa won second term

Barely a week after being sworn in as an opposition MP following elections in Zimbabwe last month, Gift Siziba found himself in police custody facing several charges, including inciting violence at a football match and defacing posters of an opponent in Bulawayo.

While other legislators debate in parliament, Siziba, from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has been in and out of court defending his innocence.

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South African anti-migrant ‘vigilantes’ register as party for next year’s polls

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 05:30:26 GMT

Operation Dudula changes tactics from evictions and violence, with plans to fight elections on platform of expelling foreigners

An anti-migrant vigilante organisation in South Africa has registered as a political party and plans to contest seats in next year’s general elections.

Operation Dudula, whose name means “to force out” in Zulu, wants all foreign nationals who are in the country unofficially to be deported.

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Allies of Niger’s deposed president see hope in French retreat

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 05:15:26 GMT

Advisers of detained Mohamed Bazoum say French withdrawal removes coup leaders’ pretext for power grab

Aides and supporters of Niger’s deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum, have welcomed the decision of France to withdraw its diplomatic staff and military from the country, saying it will deny the military junta a “scapegoat” to disguise its failings.

Bazoum, a French ally whose election in 2021 had boosted hopes of stability in the unstable Sahel state, was detained on 26 July by members of his guard. Senior soldiers took power in the unstable Sahel state shortly afterwards.

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Zambia police accuse ex-president of 'political' jogging

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 19:55:22 GMT

Morning runs by Edgar Lungu and party supporters amount to ‘activism’ that requires clearance, police say

A former president of Zambia has been warned that his morning jog is turning into “political activism” for which he must seek police approval.

The police said the runs by Edgar Lungu and some of his party supporters requires their clearance to ensure the safety of the man who lost power in 2021.

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Officials detained as Libya awaits inquiry into deadly floods

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 12:43:09 GMT

Eight questioned over claims that negligence and mistakes contributed to disaster in which thousands died

Libya’s chief prosecutor has ordered the detention of eight current and former officials pending a full inquiry into the collapse of two dams during torrential rain that left thousands dead in the port city of Derna this month.

There have been widespread claims that local officials knew the dams were too weak to withstand flooding but for various reasons no structural repairs were undertaken. The Libyan State Audit Bureau has submitted evidence that funds were made available for repair work that was never undertaken.

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Unilever to make payments to Kenyan tea pickers over 2007 plantation attacks

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 05:00:17 GMT

UK law firm Leigh Day says money given to 77 workers for murders and rapes ‘sidesteps’ multinational’s responsibility over attack

Unilever is to make payments to 77 tea pickers who worked on one of its plantations in Kenya that was targeted during post-election violence in 2007.

The UK law firm Leigh Day, representing the workers, said the London-based consumer goods multinational had agreed to make voluntary, or ex-gratia, payments to former workers at its subsidiary Unilever Tea Kenya, who were attacked by armed assailants at its plantation in Kericho.

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Mexican film showing abuse in military is ‘a fraction’ of reality, says star

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 12:30:26 GMT

Officials react defensively to Heroico, which has been compared to Full Metal Jacket for its scenes of physical and psychological abuse

Mexico’s national guard has been urging its troops to go to see Héroes, a rousingly patriotic film about a 19th-century US invasion, in an apparent attempt to drown out the similarly named Heroico a film which paints a much less flattering picture of the armed forces.

Héroes tells the story of the Battle of Chapultepec during the 1846-48 Mexican-American war and the “Child Heroes” – six cadets who refused to retreat and instead fought to the death. The last of them supposedly leapt from the ramparts holding the Mexican flag, to prevent its capture.

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‘Anything for my family’: Venezuelans in US welcome temporary protected status

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 12:00:25 GMT

Asylum seekers who arrived before the end of July – about 472,000 – will now be able to legally live and work in the US

Venezuelan asylum seekers in the United States have welcomed the news of temporary permission to live and work in the country as a vital “helping hand” after the Biden administration announced that it would extend temporary protected status (TPS) to nearly half a million Venezuelan nationals.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that the TPS extension now includes those who arrived in the US by the end of July, whereas the previous cutoff date was 8 March 2021.

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India-Canada row: Blinken calls on Delhi to cooperate in push for ‘accountability’ over killing

Sat, 23 Sep 2023 01:04:10 GMT

Secretary of state says US takes ‘very, very seriously’ incidents of transnational repression amid dispute over killing of Sikh separatist in British Columbia

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has called on India to cooperate with Canada and ensure “accountability” over the killing of a Sikh separatist, after Ottawa accused Delhi of involvement.

Blinken said the United States has been in touch with both India, with which it has warming ties, and Canada, a close ally, after the two countries engaged in tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.

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Zelenskiy urges Canada to stay with Ukraine as he speaks to parliament

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 19:03:59 GMT

Ukrainian president thanks Canada for financial support and says ‘stay with us to our victory’

Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Canada to stay with Ukraine to victory when he went to the Canadian parliament seeking to bolster support from western allies for Ukraine’s war against the Russian invasion.

“Moscow must lose once and for all. And it will lose,” Zelenskiy said during his address in parliament on Friday.

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Brazil supreme court rules in favor of Indigenous land rights in historic win

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 22:12:40 GMT

Court voted against agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988

Brazil’s supreme court has blocked efforts to dramatically strip back Indigenous land rights in what activists called a historic victory for the South American country’s original inhabitants.

Nine of the court’s 11 members voted against what rights groups had dubbed the “time limit trick” – an agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent Indigenous communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988.

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Ontario premier reverses plans to build on green belt after ministers quit

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 21:06:16 GMT

‘It was a mistake,’ says Doug Ford to allow development in protected areas of Greenbelt amid scandal that cost him ministers

Ontario’s premier has reversed course on a controversial multibillion-dollar land swap deal, saying it was a “mistake” to allow development in protected areas of the green belt around Toronto. The abrupt reversal comes after the scandal has cost him a pair of cabinet ministers, two damning reports from government watchdogs and mounting public outrage.

“I made a promise to you that I wouldn’t touch the Greenbelt. I broke that promise. And for that, I am very, very sorry,” Doug Ford told reporters on Thursday afternoon. “It was a mistake to open the Greenbelt … I’m not perfect. No government is perfect.”

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China, Japan and South Korea agree talks to calm fears over US ties

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 09:32:30 GMT

Trilateral discussions to resume in response to Beijing’s fears over growing US influence in region

The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea will hold three-way talks “as soon as possible” after a meeting intended to ease Chinese concerns over Washington’s stronger security presence in the region.

Official said on Tuesday that the three countries’ deputy foreign ministers had agreed to revive trilateral talks after a four-year hiatus during which tensions have risen over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and Chinese military activity.

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Brown bear cubs in Japan die of starvation amid salmon shortage

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 07:39:45 GMT

Experts blame rising sea temperatures caused by climate crisis for cub deaths at Unesco heritage site

As many as eight in 10 brown bear cubs born this year in a remote part of northern Japan have died amid a shortage of salmon, with experts blaming rising sea temperatures caused by the climate crisis.

Along with acorns, pink salmon are an important source of food for the estimated 500 brown bears living along Hokkaido’s Shiretoko peninsula, a Unesco world heritage site known for its dramatic coastline and wild animals.

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Thai pro-democracy activist jailed for speaking out at monarchy protest

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 06:54:39 GMT

Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa imprisoned after calling for reform of country’s strict lese-majesty law

A prominent pro-democracy activist has been sentenced to four years in prison for a speech he delivered during protests calling for reform of Thailand’s powerful monarchy.

Arnon Nampa, a human rights lawyer, was at the forefront of a protest movement that erupted in 2020, when hundreds of thousands of people, many of them young students, took to the streets to call for democratic changes, including to the role of monarchy.

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Biden pledges more aid to Pacific islands to counter growing Chinese influence

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 20:40:45 GMT

Leaders of Pacific island states have been given star treatment in Washington but Chinese influence is the spectre at the feast

Joe Biden has offered more economic aid to Pacific islands at a White House meeting with leaders from the region aimed at bolstering US engagement in the face of a growing Chinese presence.

The president also announced formal US recognition of two new island nations, the Cook Islands and Niue, at the start of the Pacific Islands Forum, two days of Washington meetings with leaders from the group’s 18 members.

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Biden seeks to win over Pacific leaders as Solomon Islands turns back on talks

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 03:27:29 GMT

‘Historic’ summit seen as part of effort to counter Beijing in the region as Pacific leaders seek more support on climate change

President Joe Biden will host Pacific leaders at the White House this week as the US seeks to bolster its engagement with the nations amid growing concern about China’s presence in the region.

The US is expected to offer funding for infrastructure and more maritime cooperation, and new embassies for Cook Islands and Nuie. But the talks have already suffered a setback as Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare, now closely aligned with Beijing, will not attend.

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New Zealand election: Luxon says National open to NZ First coalition

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 01:05:16 GMT

National leader ends long-running question over whether party is prepared to work with Winston Peters

After months of prevarication, National leader Christopher Luxon has said he will pursue a coalition with Winston Peters’ New Zealand First after the October election, but only as a last resort.

Luxon even left open the prospect of a sensational return for Peters as deputy prime minister in declaring himself open to a deal with the politician.

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Locking up young people doesn’t create safer communities, Queensland children’s advocate says

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:00:34 GMT

‘Compassion just dissipates’ among public when young victims of abuse become offenders, expert says

Locking up young people makes the community less safe, one of Queensland’s leading children’s advocates said, as police announced another crackdown on youth offenders in Cairns.

Guardian Australia reported on Monday that a significant number of alleged victims uncovered during a police investigation into the exploitation of vulnerable children in Cairns, are also the targets of a government crackdown on youth crime.

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Australia’s wealthiest 20% worth 90 times the country’s poorest, new report reveals

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:00:34 GMT

Superannuation and property investment fuels growing inequality, with the richest fifth worth an average of $3.2m

Australia’s wealth gap has continued to grow over the past two decades, with superannuation and property investment driving inequality across the country, a new report from the Australian Council of Social Service and the University of New South Wales has revealed.

Over the past two decades the average wealth of the top 20% has grown at four times the rate of the lowest, the report has shown using figures from the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data in 2019.

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Voice opponent Gary Johns at odds with Warren Mundine after labelling idea of Indigenous treaty ‘evil’

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:00:33 GMT

Exclusive: Johns, who is facing calls to resign, also described the National Indigenous Australians Agency as a ‘shadow government’

The prominent voice to parliament opponent Gary Johns called the idea of a treaty “nonsense” and an “evil” that opponents “should fight”, in comments that contradict his no campaign colleague Warren Mundine.

Johns, a director of the Australians for Unity organisation leading the no campaign, also referred to the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) as a “shadow government” and alleged some Aboriginal leaders had tried “to oversell a conflict in order to gain reparations”, in an online interview.

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Broome bishop facing abuse claims once told inquiry of ‘massive failure’ in how church deals with allegations

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:00:33 GMT

Christopher Saunders, who denies grooming young boys, criticised the Catholic church’s response to child sexual abuse allegations at a royal commission in 2017

A Catholic leader now accused of assaulting or grooming dozens of young Aboriginal men once told a royal commission there was a “massive failure” in churches’ response to sexual abuse allegations.

A Vatican report leaked this week alleged that Broome bishop, Christopher Saunders, hosted “bunga bunga” parties, and spent church money on alcohol, cigarettes and mobile phones, according to Channel Seven. Saunders, who has stood down but has not been charged, denies the allegations.

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Jacinta Allan expected to be anointed Victorian premier amid Labor factional fight

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:00:31 GMT

Socialist left ally of Daniel Andrews is seen as his successor, but battles for deputy leader are expected on Wednesday

Jacinta Allan is widely tipped to succeed Daniel Andrews as premier of Victoria after Labor MPs meet on Wednesday – though factional brawling could erupt over who becomes the deputy leader.

Andrews on Tuesday announced he would formally step down as both premier and the member for Mulgrave at 5pm on Wednesday, saying he had begun to think about what life would be like were he not the in the all-consuming role.

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Embattled Qantas chair Richard Goyder to appear at Senate inquiry into Qatar Airways decision

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 09:43:20 GMT

Announcement follows statement from Qantas pilots calling for Goyder’s resignation for role in ‘one of the most damaging periods’ in airline’s history

Qantas’s embattled chair, Richard Goyder, will appear before a Senate inquiry into the Albanese government’s decision to reject Qatar Airways’ request to almost double its flights into Australia as he faces widespread calls for his resignation.

Goyder, who will be joined by the new Qantas CEO, Vanessa Hudson, on Wednesday, will be called on to defend the national carrier against a series of criticisms by industry witnesses that the airline has been engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, known as “slot hoarding”.

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Russia-Ukraine war live: Russia releases video of Black Sea commander Ukraine claims to have killed

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:31:14 GMT

Viktor Sokolov shown in footage released by defence ministry, day after Ukraine said he had been killed in missile strike

Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has rather sarcastically castigated US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller for deflecting a question about the appearance of a Ukrainian veteran of a Nazi unit in the Canadian parliament. Miller had said that he was attending the UN on Friday.

Zakharova has posted to her Telegram channel to say:

Everyone was at the UN on Friday, Matthew. And everyone saw how nazism triumphed in Canada. The UN has a lot of problems, but the internet works great there.

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Everton owner received £400m from Alisher Usmanov companies, documents suggest

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 16:46:23 GMT

Exclusive: Questions mount over ties between Farhad Moshiri and tycoon, before he was put under sanctions

The Everton Football Club owner, Farhad Moshiri, received more than £400m from Alisher Usmanov companies in the run-up to the Russian billionaire being placed under sanctions, documents suggest, raising fresh questions about the financial ties between the two men.

Records seen by the Guardian appear to show that Moshiri borrowed £145m from a company wholly owned by the Russian-Uzbek tycoon from about 2020.

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Nagorno-Karabakh crisis forces western rethink on Azerbaijan

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 16:23:51 GMT

Baku has drawn the ire of the EU and US after years of promoting itself as a reliable security partner and vital transport hub

As the dramatic images emerge of thousands of Karabakh Armenians forced away from their homes in a mass exodus, some in the west are beginning to rethink their relationship with Azerbaijan.

Through a mixture of skilled diplomacy and lobbying, the resource-rich country has for years promoted itself in the UK and EU as a reliable security partner and vital transport hub.

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Nagorno-Karabakh: dozens feared dead and hundreds injured after fuel depot blast

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 16:19:00 GMT

Medical centres in Stepanakert at capacity after explosion, the cause of which remains unknown

Dozens of people are feared dead and hundreds more injured after a powerful explosion at a fuel storage depot in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as thousands of ethnic Armenians streamed out of the breakaway territory after the Azerbaijani military reclaimed full control of it in a lightning offensive last week.

Local Armenian authorities said 20 people were confirmed to have died and 290 had been admitted to hospitals, dozens of them in critical condition, after the blast at the facility near the regional capital, Stepanakert, on Monday evening. The death toll is expected to rise significantly with more than 100 listed as missing.

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Observatory built to represent Einstein’s theory of relativity reopens in Germany

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 16:15:58 GMT

Einstein Tower has undergone extensive renovations to preserve it for future generations

A solar observatory built to substantiate Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity has been reopened near the German capital after a renovation project to preserve it for future generations.

The Einsteinturm (Einstein Tower) on Telegraph Hill in Potsdam, 16 miles (25km) south-west of Berlin, spent a year under scaffolding while work was carried out using modern techniques to seal its many thousands of cracks, cure it of extensive dampness, and to save its domed zinc roof, while retaining its authenticity.

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Shakira charged in Spain for failing to pay €6.7m in tax

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:33:11 GMT

Singer already faces separate case due to be tried in Barcelona in November involving alleged €14.5m sum owed

Spanish prosecutors have charged Shakira with failing to pay €6.7m (£5.8m) in tax on her 2018 income, authorities have said, in the country’s latest fiscal allegations against the Colombian singer.

Shakira is alleged to have used an offshore company based in a tax haven to avoid paying the tax, Barcelona prosecutors said in a statement.

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Australian women and children in squalid Syrian camp are being detained unlawfully, federal court told

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 15:00:31 GMT

Save the Children, representing 11 women and their 20 children, argues the government has the power, and an obligation, to bring them home

Thirty-one Australian women and children forcibly held for four years in a Syrian detention camp have told the federal government to prove it cannot bring them home, or “bring their bodies to the court” in Australia.

In filings before the federal court, Save the Children Australia – representing 11 Australian women and their 20 children – has argued the Australians are being unlawfully detained and their government has the power, and an obligation, to remove them and repatriate them to Australia.

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US urged to withhold military aid to Egypt in wake of Bob Menendez charges

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 07:00:20 GMT

Senator Menendez was indicted on a set of explosive charges of corruptly aiding the government in Cairo

The indictment of Senator Bob Menendez on charges of corruptly aiding the Egyptian government has set the stage for a week of renewed pressure on US lawmakers to withhold military aid to Egypt.

Menendez stepped town temporarily from his position as head of the Senate foreign relations committee on Friday after he was indicted by New York’s southern district court on a set of explosive and detailed charges.

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Petrostate windfall tax would help poor countries in climate crisis, says Brown

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 05:00:18 GMT

Former British PM calls for 3% levy on oil and gas export revenues of biggest producers to generate $25bn a year for global south

Petrostates should pay a small percentage of their soaring oil and gas revenues to help poor countries cope with the climate crisis, the former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has urged.

Countries with large oil and gas deposits have enjoyed a record bonanza in the last two years, amounting to about $4tn (£3.3tn) last year for the industry globally. Levying a 3% windfall tax on the oil and gas export revenues of the biggest-producing countries would yield about $25bn a year.

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UAE oil company executives working with Cop28 team, leak reveals

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 15:00:02 GMT

Exclusive: two PR professionals from national oil firm listed as providing ‘support’ to team running UN climate summit

Senior executives from the UAE’s national oil company are working with the Cop28 team as the country ramps up its PR campaign ahead of the major UN climate summit later this year, leaked internal records show.

Two PR professionals from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) are identified as providing “additional support” to the team running the summit, according to a Cop28 communications strategy document obtained by the Centre for Climate Reporting (CCR) and the Guardian. It adds to growing evidence of blurred lines between the UAE’s Cop28 team and its fossil fuel industry.

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‘The least we can do is care for their children’: Libyans rally to protect Derna’s orphans

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 04:00:08 GMT

Hundreds of traumatised children are thought to have lost their families in disaster

People in western Libya have rallied round to provide care and breastmilk for young children orphaned by the devastating floods that hit the coastal city of Derna on 10 September.

Hundreds of traumatised babies and young children are thought to have lost their parents in Derna, where whole neighbourhoods were wiped out after two dams broke.

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Mohammed bin Salman says he will ‘continue doing sport washing’ for Saudi Arabia

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 13:42:11 GMT

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has said he “doesn’t care” about accusations of sportswashing against his country.

Bin Salman, known as MBS, has presided over unprecedented spending on sport since becoming Saudi’s de facto ruler in 2017. Critics argue the investment is intended to distract attention from his country’s human rights abuses. But in a rare interview Bin Salman said he was not troubled by the accusations.

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Tamil refugees on Diego Garcia win fight against forcible return to Sri Lanka

Mon, 25 Sep 2023 16:14:50 GMT

British territory’s commissioner withdraws decision after supreme court challenge

A group of Tamil asylum seekers stranded on a tiny British territory in the Indian Ocean have won their fight against being forcibly returned to Sri Lanka after a government climbdown.

The group are on Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Islands, which the UK calls the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and over which it continues to claim sovereignty despite a UN court ruling that they are part of Mauritius.

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Rhino numbers rebound as global figures reveal a win for conservation

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 04:00:07 GMT

Tally rises to 27,000 but is still a far cry from former half a million, and Javan and Sumatran rhino remain critically endangered

Global rhinoceros numbers have increased to 27,000 despite populations being ravaged by poaching and habitat loss, new figures show, with some species rebounding for the first time in a decade.

Rhinos numbered about 500,000 across Africa and Asia in the 20th century but their populations have been devastated. Last year, they began showing signs of recovery in some areas, although two species – the Javan and Sumatran – remain close to disappearing.

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India’s lower house votes to reserve a third of seats for women

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 11:48:42 GMT

Proposed law aims to improve representation in a parliament where women hold only a little over 13% of seats

India’s lower house of parliament has passed a bill to reserve a third of seats for women, almost triple the current number, in a move that could transform Indian politics.

More than 27 years after it was first proposed in parliament, the women’s reservation bill was given almost unanimous support by MPs in the lower house, with only two voting against it. Its passage through the upper house is expected to be smooth thanks to broad political support.

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How should UK, US and Australia respond to Canada-India row?

Wed, 20 Sep 2023 18:52:20 GMT

Justin Trudeau’s accusation that India may be behind Sikh separatist killing puts western leaders in awkward position

Canada’s accusation on Monday that India may have been behind the car park murder of the Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June – which New Delhi rejects outright – comes at an uncomfortable and unwelcome time for Britain, the US and Australia.

London, Washington and Canberra have all been prioritising closer ties with New Delhi, seeing it not just as a strategic bulwark against the fast-rising China, but also as a partner in the economic isolation of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

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India urges its citizens to exercise ‘extreme caution’ in Canada

Wed, 20 Sep 2023 15:19:18 GMT

India’s foreign ministry issues warning after rejecting Trudeau’s allegations government played role in murder of Sikh activist

The diplomatic row between India and Canada over the murder of a Sikh activist has continued to escalate as New Delhi warned its nationals of “growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes” in Canada.

Justin Trudeau alleged on Monday that there were “credible allegations” that the Indian government played a role in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was connected to a Sikh separatist movement, in British Columbia in June.

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Canada killing adds to suspicions of Indian crackdown on Sikh separatists

Tue, 19 Sep 2023 18:33:17 GMT

Khalistani groups who want independence of Punjab accuse India of killings in UK and elsewhere

Months before Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in a car park in Canada, three other Indians associated with the Sikh separatist movement had died on foreign soil – in circumstances deemed, at least by some, as suspicious.

On Monday, Justin Trudeau alleged there was “credible evidence” that the Indian government was behind the assassination of Nijjar, an explosive accusation that torpedoed already frayed diplomatic relations between India and Canada. India called the allegation “absurd” and both sides expelled senior diplomats in response.

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Suella Braverman criticised by Labour over ‘deeply divisive’ migration speech – UK politics live

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:54:20 GMT

Home secretary argued that ‘uncontrolled’ migration poses ‘existential challenge for institutions of the west’

The Sun is carrying a story today saying Rishi Sunak’s “decision to stall the net zero ban on selling new petrol cars has seen him catch up eight points in the polls”. It is based on the results of this Deltapoll poll.

For a more considered view, it is worth reading this article in the i by Prof Sir John Curtice, Britain’s leading psephologist. He says the impact of the net zero speech on the polls has been much more modest. Here is his conclusion.

Whatever the popularity of the measures, if, as has been alleged, Mr Sunak’s motivation was to try to reduce Labour’s lead, it looks as though he has so far reaped little reward. Four polls of voting intention conducted after last Wednesday’s announcement have so far been published. Between them they put Labour’s lead on 17 points – just a point below the polling average shortly before last week’s drama.

Moving the polls is, it seems, just as difficult as dealing with climate change.

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Northern Research Group of Tory MPs signals it may accept delay to HS2

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:45:06 GMT

Group willing to back delay to phase 2 if ‘Charles line’ connecting northern cities is preserved

The chair of an influential group of Conservative MPs including many from northern constituencies has signalled they may be open to a compromise that would see the second phase of HS2 delayed for several years.

Amid continuing lobbying of Downing Street by opponents of the multimillion scheme and supporters fighting to preserve it, the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs appear willing to back a lengthy delay to the Birmingham-Manchester leg if a co-called “Charles line” connecting northern cities is preserved.

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Strike by support staff closes hundreds of Scottish schools

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:44:03 GMT

Three-day action over cuts begins amid confusion caused by split between unions on how to handle new offer

The Scottish government has been warned to anticipate more school strikes as thousands of pupils spent the first of three days at home on Tuesday.

Last-minute talks over the weekend had failed to halt the strike action by school support staff, closing hundreds of schools in 24 of the country’s 32 local authorities.

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NHS whistleblower tells tribunal he faced ‘brutal retaliatory victimisation’

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:41:26 GMT

Obstetrician Martyn Pitman claims he was sacked for raising patient safety concerns at hospital in Winchester

A consultant obstetrician has claimed he was sacked from his hospital for raising whistleblowing concerns about patient safety over fears they would cause “reputational damage”.

Martyn Pitman told an employment tribunal in Southampton that managers dismissed his concerns and he was “subjected to brutal retaliatory victimisation” after he criticised senior midwife colleagues.

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UK economy ‘will shrink for two years as eurozone and US grow’

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:31:25 GMT

Thinktank chief and former Bank MPC member gloomy about stubborn inflation and labour shortages

The UK economy will shrink this year and in 2024, according to a report by a leading US thinktank that said stubborn inflation and a shortage of workers would damage the prospects for growth more than most analysts expect.

The Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) said a drop in GDP this year of 0.3% would be followed by a fall of 0.2% next year while the eurozone and the US were on course for growth this year and next.

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Sex offender avoids jail for driving car into Downing Street gates

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:20:25 GMT

Seth Kneller performed ‘attack on democracy’, judge says as he imposes suspended sentence and sexual harm prevention order

A sex offender has avoided jail after driving his car into the gates of Downing Street in what a judge described as an “attack on democracy”.

Seth Kneller, 43, crashed his car into the gates protecting the prime minister’s residence on 25 May.

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‘Pro-union’ Biden endorses striking workers’ pay demands in historic visit to UAW picket line in Michigan - live

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:54:32 GMT

Biden says ‘you deserve what you’ve earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid’ in first picket line visit by sitting US president

In a major blow to Bob Menendez’s support, Cory Booker, his fellow Democratic senator from New Jersey, says he should resign following his indictment on corruption charges last week.

“I believe stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving,” said Booker, who supported Menendez when he previously faced corruption charges in 2015.

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Made-up New York restaurant goes from internet joke to one-night-only reality

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:45:48 GMT

The idea behind Mehran’s Steak House might have been cribbed from an earlier faux opening in London six years ago

A “fake steakhouse” that started as “an elaborate joke” between a group of tech industry friends has gone viral after putting on its first sitting, for 140 people and members of the media, in New York City.

Mehran’s Steak House, which had previously only existed as a Google Maps listing created by the roommates of Mehran Jalali, the 21-year-old founder of an AI startup, drew diners to its first – and last – night on Saturday.

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Cory Booker joins calls for Menendez to resign after bribery charges

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:36:10 GMT

Fellow New Jersey Democratic senator says Bob Menendez should step down in significant blow

In a significant blow to Bob Menendez’s hopes of staying in the US Senate while under indictment for corruption, Cory Booker – his fellow New Jersey Democrat – joined calls for the senator to resign.

“The details of the allegations against Senator Menendez are of such a nature that the faith and trust of New Jerseyans as well as those he must work with in order to be effective have been shaken to the core,” Booker said on Tuesday.

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Biden joins picket line to tell UAW strikers: ‘Let’s get back what we lost’

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 17:25:28 GMT

President makes historic solidarity visit to Detroit-area plant day before Donald Trump amid dispute between union and carmakers

Joe Biden became the first sitting US president to appear on a picket line on Tuesday, joining a protest outside a Michigan car plant in solidarity with striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which is locked in an escalating dispute with America’s three biggest carmakers.

The UAW president, Shawn Fain, was the first to greet Biden after he arrived in Michigan on Air Force One, and he joined him in the presidential limousine for a ride to the picket line.

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Hunter Biden sues Rudy Giuliani over ‘total annihilation’ of digital privacy

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:46:34 GMT

Trump lawyer has boasted of accessing data from external hard drive linked to president’s son’s laptop computer

Hunter Biden has sued Rudy Giuliani and his lawyer, alleging “total annihilation” of his digital privacy through attempts to tie his legal and personal problems to his father, President Joe Biden, through claims about an infamous laptop and hard drive.

Filed in US district court in California, where Hunter Biden lives, the suit says the former New York mayor turned Donald Trump attorney and his own lawyer, Robert Costello, “are among those … primarily responsible for what has been described as the ‘total annihilation’ of [Hunter Biden’s] digital privacy.

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Congress returns with only days left to avert federal government shutdown

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 15:42:51 GMT

House of Representatives to vote on four appropriations bills but little sign of hard-right Republicans relenting on budget

With just five days left to avert a federal shutdown, the House and the Senate return on Tuesday to resume their tense budget negotiations in the hope of cobbling together a last-minute agreement to keep the government open.

The House will take action on four appropriations bills, which would address longer-term government funding needs but would not specifically help avoid a shutdown on 1 October.

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