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(showing articles 1 to 41 of 41)
(showing articles 1 to 41 of 41)

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Latest World news news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
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    The booming market for products for ‘urban skin’ reflects anxieties about the health impacts of living in cities – but is it all just a marketing gimmick?

    Fiona Westerhout talks about her skin as though she is giving directions in a familiar neighbourhood: oily around the T-zone, dry cheeks, sensitive with the occasional breakout.

    Westerhout, 29, had just started blogging about skincare when she and her partner moved from Perth in Western Australia to Shanghai in May 2016. There she found a new cause for skincare concern: pollution.

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    Joel Cánovas uses Instagram to document his passion for rescuing discarded tiles as part of his one-man mission to salvage a century of Catalan heritage

    Joel Cánovas was sipping a beer on a patio in Barcelona when a piece of rubbish caught his eye. A section of hydraulic cement tile – the once-ubiquitous flooring material used in homes around the city for a century or so from the mid-1800s – had been discarded during a home renovation.

    Cánovas picked up the tile, and a passion was born. Spotting tiles in dumpsters throughout Barcelona, Cánovas soon began to document his discoveries on Instagram as The Tile Hunter (@i_rescue_tiles).

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    Argentina’s president once talked of forcing slums out of the city – now he wants to deliver residents the deeds to their land. But will it help?

    “It was really bad in there – I mean, it’s literally a ruin,” says Romina Vargas of Argentina’s most famous abandoned building, where she once lived. “There was lots of contaminated water on the lower floors, there were no sewers, and kids would come and take drugs inside. It’s good that it’s coming down.”

    Built in the 1930s and later championed by president Juan Domingo Perón, the 14-storey building in south-west Buenos Aires was intended to be the largest hospital in Latin America; a cornerstone of Perón’s grand populist vision for Argentina. But construction stopped abruptly in 1955 with a military coup. The abandoned colossus at the edge of the capital became known as the White Elephant.

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    As the government ploughs on with its controversial road expansion scheme, commuting in Nepal’s capital can take up to four hours – while many joke that the dust mask has become part of the national dress

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    Deadly dispute between South Sudanese refugees during Brazil v Switzerland game inflames ethnic tensions

    Ugandan officials have begun segregating refugees after a rise in ethnic tensions led to the deaths of four South Sudanese, including a teenager.

    Security agencies have been heavily deployed in northern Uganda’s refugee settlements, home to more than 1 million people, in response to unrest between the warring ethnic groups that have fled conflict in South Sudan.

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    Loss of moral leadership lamented as Trump administration is accused of wilfully undermining global justice

    The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the UN human rights council puts the US on the wrong side of history and should be urgently reversed, activists have said.

    The council needed reform, said campaigners, but remained a vital force for accountability and justice in a “post-rights world”.

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    Whistleblowers claim sex workers were routinely employed by aid agency employees, one of whom suggested it was possible to swap drugs for sex

    The charity Médecins Sans Frontières has been hit by allegations that aid workers for the organisation used local prostitutes while working in Africa.

    Whistleblowers told the Victoria Derbyshire programme the alleged behaviour was “blatant” and “widespread” among logistical staff.

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    Israeli PM’s wife accused of misusing public funds to buy in food from restaurants

    Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, has been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly using public funds to pay for restaurant meals to be delivered to the couple’s official residence.

    The long-anticipated charges were announced by Israel’s justice ministry on Thursday. Benjamin Netanyahu is also under investigation.

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    With differences so deep it is hard to see progress being made at Sunday’s meeting

    It will take more than a mini-summit to bridge the profound differences that exist both between and within EU capitals over how to handle asylum and irregular migration.

    Related: Italy's Salvini warns EU to 'defend its border' against migrants

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    Karina Gould made headlines this week when she breastfed her three-month-old son while sitting in the House of Commons. After a wave of public reaction to the clip, Gould tweeted: 'No shame in breastfeeding! Baby’s gotta eat & I had votes' 

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    First Lady Melania Trump wore a jacket that read 'I really don't care, do u?' as she boarded a flight on Thursday to a facility housing migrant children separated from their parents. The green, hooded military jacket had the words written graffiti-style on the back.


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    Employers at a water bureau explain how a civil servant was punished for 'habitually' slipping away from his desk a few minutes early to buy a bento lunch. Senior officials at his bureau called a televised news conference, where they described the man’s conduct as 'deeply regrettable'.

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    Children arriving in the US from Central America have long faced the prospect of family separation and navigated a complex legal immigration system that can take months or years to render a decision due to a massive backlog of cases. The government separated more than 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks in a policy that has stoked widespread outrage among both Democrats and Republicans

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    Since the days of the Truman administration, American officials have planned how to keep the government functioning during a nuclear Armageddon. Though details of the country’s post-doomsday planning are classified, evidence of their decades-long efforts – some abandoned, some active – are hidden in plain sight around Washington DC and beyond

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    Laurell and Ross Ardern describe their joy after their daughter, New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, gave birth to a girl. Her father said the baby was in safe hands with Jacinda and Clarke Gayford as parents

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    A bear trapped in a car in California created so much damage to the vehicle that the only way to get the animal out was to smash one of the windows. A police officer broke a window of the Subaru Outback that was parked in Carnelian Bay, before making a hasty retreat. Moments later the bear clambered out 

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    Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg attempts to defeat scepticism before Trump visit

    Sceptism greeted the Nato secretary-general when he claimed the transatlantic bond that glues Nato together is not weakening but actually strengthening.

    The sentiment was expressed at Lancaster House in London where Jens Stoltenberg made the remark to an audience of mainly defence and foreign policy specialists. And the scepticism would almost certainly be shared in capitals across Europe.

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    Populists are exploiting citizens’ fears while ignoring root causes of migration crises

    Like a timebomb waiting to go off, Europe’s smouldering immigration problem exploded into a full-blown crisis last week. The US experienced a similar delayed upheaval, after the human consequences of Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policy became too painful to ignore. The two events are closely linked, the product of systemic international failings.

    The longstanding inability of governments to cope with challenges posed by the increased flows of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants is common to both sides of the Atlantic. The ensuing vacuum has been filled by opportunists such as Trump, maverick fringe parties, andrightwing zealots such as Italy’s new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

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    As a report highlights the ruinous impact of denying abortion, two medics offer opposing views on the role of personal belief

    A rise in the number of healthcare providers who refuse to provide abortion services based on their personal beliefs is having a devastating impact on women and girls around the world, a new study has claimed.

    Over the past two decades, at least 30 countries – including, most recently, Ireland, Chile and Argentina – have taken steps to improve access to abortion through legislative changes.

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    Efforts to improve the training and resources available to childminders in Nairobi’s Kibera settlement are bearing fruit – to the benefit of all concerned

    Three-year-old Joy and her sister Lavine, four, are surrounded by kitchen pots, soft toys and an old wellington boot. It’s mid-morning at Kidogo’s nursery and preschool, and the sisters are playing in the dramatic centre, a place set aside for children to invent their own games. Each corner of the room is dedicated to a different activity: music, stories, art or a quiet space for reading.

    The centre is one of the few quality childcare facilities in Kibera, an overcrowded informal settlement in Nairobi that houses 170,070 people, according to a 2009 national census (although other estimates have put the number significantly higher). Most centres are found in cramped rooms or homes, with one woman responsible for 20 or so children. Ventilation is poor and there are reports of babies being given sleeping pills to knock them out for the day, or children being locked in dark rooms. There’s rarely space to play.

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    • Government forces carry out killings with impunity
    • ‘Credible, shocking’ reports of unlawful killings of young men

    Government security forces in Venezuela carry out unjustified killings without any apparent consequences, as the rule of law is “virtually absent” in the country, according to a new report by the United Nations.

    The UN human rights office called on the government to bring perpetrators to justice and said it was sending its report to the international criminal court (ICC), whose prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation in February.

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    Labor frontbencher uses speech to spell out broad-ranging vision urging party to ‘stick to our values’

    Anthony Albanese has laid out his own Labor manifesto, declaring the ALP must be the party of reform, of economic growth, of aspiration, of an empowered grassroots membership – and a party prepared to be bipartisan in the national interest.

    The Labor frontbencher has taken the opportunity of delivering the Gough Whitlam address on Friday night to articulate his own broad-ranging vision for Labor in 2018, noting the ALP can’t expect to “slide into government off the back of our opponent’s failures” and saying it is not good enough to say to voters “elect us because the other mob are useless”.

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    State censors ban ‘vulgar’ videos that trigger ASMR, a phenomenon that millions of people worldwide experience

    It might not seem immediately obvious why someone would want to watch a video of young women eating ice cubes. But once you hear the sound of the crunching fissure in your headphones, whether it makes you wince or tingle, the sensory effect is undeniable.

    In China, ice-eating videos have become something of a phenomenon, their stars racking up thousands of views. Along with whispering, tapping, the gentle scratching of a microphone, the unique sound of hair being brushed or skin being stroked – the sound of ice cubes crunching against teeth is a common trigger for ASMR, and the millions of people worldwide who experience the sensation.

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    Guardian correspondents follow all the developments on both sides of the border as president points finger at Democrats

    Two major US magazines have revealed their covers for issues about family separation.

    @NewYorker cover.
    Must see.
    Must feel. pic.twitter.com/SbAjOLax26

    Congratulations, @realDonaldTrump, you made the cover of TIME! You can replace all the fake TIME covers in your properties with this one! pic.twitter.com/bpyZSybBMm

    Immigrants rights groups have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they’ve received in recent weeks. People donated more than $7.5m to one small nonprofit, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (Raices), after a couple created a fundraiser on Facebook for the Texas-based group.

    But a few people have taken the opposite position, such as this Oregon National Guardsman who said of immigrant families “they’re lucky we’re not executing them.

    And these are not – like it or not, these aren’t our kids. Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country and now people are saying that they’re more important than people in our country who are paying taxes and who have needs as well.

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    With a free trade agreement signed, a new era of prosperity beckons for the African continent

    In Africa, our biggest threats are also opportunities. By 2035, 450 million Africans will have joined the working age population, more than the rest of the world combined in that time. They will power our economies forward, as long as there are jobs they have the knowledge to perform.

    But our schools and universities have not kept pace with technology. Over half of all jobseekers have few or no skills, while 41% have qualifications but no skills for the jobs available. The gap is wider still in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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    A recent Amnesty International report makes clear the cost of America’s ‘war of annihilation’ against Isis

    Earlier this month, Amnesty International released a report proving that the US-led coalition had committed war crimes in their final push to oust Isis from their capital in Raqqa. Amnesty’s report is harrowing. Thirty-nine members of a single family killed. A father listening to the pleas of his children, buried under rubble, as they slowly died of thirst. A city destroyed. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of civilians dead, not the 21 the US military so risibly claimed.

    Unsurprisingly, it barely made a blip in the US media. Once, Isis stalked American nightmares. “Bomb Isis,” Americans demanded. Now, America’s moved on, with little care for the ruins those bombings left.

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    In her Guardian column, author of the bestselling Neapolitan novels makes rare intervention in politics to voice fears of interior minister’s ‘racist fists’

    The Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has made a rare foray into the political arena, warning of the dangers of underestimating the “xenophobic and racist” new interior minister Matteo Salvini who heads up Italy’s far-right League party.

    Writing in her column for the Guardian’s Weekend magazine, the reclusive Ferrante, who has kept her identity hidden, said she had never been politically active, and while she has “feared for the fate of democracy” in Italy, she has more often “thought our worries have been deliberately exaggerated”.

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    Critics say £5m for ‘northern powerhouse’ event compares unfavourably with council cuts

    A mural featuring a Greggs steak bake and the UK’s largest water sculpture are among the attractions of the Great Exhibition of the North, a summer-long festival which aims to repeat the success of the Victorians’ world fairs – on a tiny fraction of the budget.

    The exhibition, which opened on Friday with a blast of confetti on Newcastle’s Quayside, aims to shine a light on the north of England’s cultural and industrial past and present. It was the brainchild of George Osborne, who championed the idea of a “northern powerhouse” before being sacked by Theresa May and going on to edit the London Evening Standard.

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    The majority of migrants from a trio of countries are fleeing grinding poverty or the rampant gang and drug-related violence

    “There are those who migrate to El Norte because of poverty. There are those who migrate to reunite with family members. And there are those … who don’t migrate. They flee,” wrote Salvadoran journalist Óscar Martínez in his 2010 book about the perilous pilgrimage that thousands of Central Americans make to the United States each year.

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    Liviu Dragnea, of the Social Democratic party, expected to appeal after being handed three-and-a-half-year sentence

    The powerful leader of Romania’s ruling party has been sentenced to prison in a blow to a government that has showered praise on Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, and threatened to create the EU’s latest populist headache.

    Liviu Dragnea, head of the Social Democratic party (PSD) and regarded as the most powerful man in the country, was convicted of abuse of power and handed a three-and-a-half-year sentence in an initial verdict after a corruption trial. Dragnea is expected to appeal.

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    European commission president says bloc must prepare for worst outcome

    The EU needs to be realistic about the dangerous state of the Brexit negotiations and is preparing to deploy its trillion-pound budget to cushion the bloc from the prospect of a no-deal scenario, the European commission president has warned.

    With the two sides still far apart on the “hardest issues”, just days from a crunch leaders’ summit in Brussels, Jean-Claude Juncker told the Irish parliament on Thursday he was stepping up preparations for a breakdown in talks, and even drafting plans aimed at keeping the peace in Northern Ireland.

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    Alexandre Bissonnette’s parents offer sympathy to victims but fear ‘political sentence’

    The parents of the 28-year-old man who opened fire on worshippers in a Quebec City mosque, killing six men and injuring more than a dozen others, have blamed years of bullying and intimidation for their son’s actions, saying he is not a “monster.”

    After pleading guilty to six counts of first degree murder in March, Alexandre Bissonnette is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole for up to 150 years.

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    Plan to prevent deaths at sea revealed as Italy cries foul over summit called to help Germany

    The European Union’s most senior migration official has admitted that no north African country has yet agreed to host migrant screening centres to process refugee claims.

    Details of an EU plan to prevent migrants drowning at sea emerged on Thursday after Italy criticised the agenda of an emergency summit for not offering enough to help it cope with arrivals.

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    Martin Griffiths ‘encouraged’ after ceasefire talks with Houthi rebels over strategic port

    The UN’s special envoy to Yemen has expressed confidence that a deal can be struck between Houthi forces and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government to prevent an escalation of violence around the strategic port of Hodeidah.

    The rebel-held Red Sea port – the distribution point for more than 70% of the aid reaching Yemen – is under assault from an array of forces, including those of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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    Treaty that sliced up territory after first world war remains a source of anti-liberal sentiment

    The signing of a 1920 peace treaty does not immediately sound like ideal subject matter for musical theatre. But on Friday and Saturday night, hundreds of singers, dancers, acrobats and horsemen will fill the vast concrete expanse of Budapest’s Heroes’ Square for performances of Trianon: the rock opera.

    The treaty of Trianon sliced up Hungary in the aftermath of the first world war and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It still features heavily in Hungarians’ historical imagination 98 years later, and the so-called “Trianon trauma” is one of the building blocks for the nationalism of Viktor Orbán’s government.

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    Altantuya Shaariibuu, the lover of an aide of former PM Najib Razak, was killed in 2006 but a motive has never been found

    Malaysia will reopen the investigation into the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, a case that has cast a shadow over the government of former prime minister Najib Razak for more than a decade.

    In June 2006, a pregnant Altantuya was taken to a forest and shot twice in the head and then her body blown up with explosives. Two bodyguards working for Najib, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, were convicted of the murder and sent to jail in 2008, but a neither a motive for the crime, nor who ordered the killing, was ever investigated.

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    Athens hails agreement to give country access to markets in August after final bailout

    Greece’s government has said the country is “turning a page” after eurozone member states reached an agreement on the final elements of a plan to make its massive debt pile more manageable, ending an eight-year bailout programme.

    “I have to say the Greek government is happy with this deal,” the finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, said on Friday. “But at the same time, this government will not forget what the Greek people went through in the past eight years.”

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    The far-right Italian interior minister has stoked immigration concerns to grab the spotlight

    In the early years, when he was still a secessionist who believed northern Italy should break off and become an independent state called Padania, Matteo Salvini held his fellow countrymen in such contempt that he even supported Germany over Italy in the 2006 World Cup.

    “Italy ... is the worst of the worst,” he said at the time. “My support goes to anyone who is more serious.”

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    Nation marks ‘very fine and wonderful occasion’ with joy, poetry and a hint of pink

    New Zealand is basking in a nationwide new baby glow after prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced the birth of her first child on Thursday.

    The arrival of the as-yet-unnamed baby girl, dubbed the “first pēpi”, made it onto every major newspaper front page on Friday. The Press in Christchurch went with a pink banner. The New Zealand Herald had a special celebratory wrap-around. The Bay of Plenty Times splashed with “It’s a girl!”.

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    A Republican effort to reform the US immigration system was once again on the brink of failure on Friday, as the Trump administration faced extraordinary backlash for its crackdown on migrants at the southern border that resulted in more than 2,300 children being separated from their parents.

    Related: Why Trump's immigration crackdown won't stem flow of Central Americans

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    Former US vice-president compares situation with 1930s as migration convulses politics

    The former US vice-president Joe Biden has accused “demagogues and charlatans” of stirring up voters’ fears just as they did in the 1930s, as the issue of migration convulses politics on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Biden, seen as a potential Democratic party candidate against Donald Trump in 2020, did not mention the US president by name but linked his anti-immigrant drive and that of European populists and the far right with pre-war fascists who were willing to create scapegoats to retain their grip on power.

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