‘Legal discrimination is alive and well’: Canada’s indigenous women fight for equality

Canada recently passed an amendment to end inequality, but a lack of timeline means a colonial-era act still holds back indigenous women

As a child, Sharon McIvor spent her days roaming her grandmother’s First Nations community deep in British Columbia, learning to fish, harvest sap and pick berries, as the Nlaka’pamux Nation had done for millennia.

When the time came to teach those skills to her grandchildren, however, more than a century of gender discrimination stood in her way.

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Kim Jong-un’s wife makes first public appearance as first lady – video

Ri Sol-ju, the wife of North Korea's leader, made her first public appearance as first lady last weekend at a ballet performance by a visiting Chinese troupe. Kim Jong-un's decision to give his wife the title is widely seen as a major boost to her status before summits with South Korea and the US

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Gone too Tsar: the erotic period drama that has enraged Russia

A state-funded film about tsar Nicholas II’s affair with a ballerina, Matilda was expected to be a celebration of Russian culture – but it has outraged the Orthodox church

In the midst of the frostiest relations between Russia and the UK since the cold war, this weekend Russia is sending over a cultural present: the controversial historical drama Matilda opens in British cinemas. It features beautiful costumes (7,000 of them, according to the LA Times), an international cast, lavish sets and a fair amount of nudity. Perhaps this is the warm and generous Russian gift to bring the thaw we have been waiting for.

Or perhaps not. Matilda comes trailing bitter arguments over historical accuracy and accusations of blasphemy. It’s the erotic scenes that have caused a scandal in Russia. The film details (with a large dollop of artistic licence) the real-life relationship between tsar Nicholas II and prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya, an affair which almost derailed his 1896 coronation and, some argue, set in train the events which led to the revolution of 1917.

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Forensic science: the tip of the iceberg?

Forensic science is nowhere near as robust and reliable as many people think

We all want to live in a world where there is justice; where wrongs are righted, where the system is trustworthy and just works. But we have seen a growing body of reports that raise questions about that system. I was particularly challenged when I started doing research that was based on a murder case tried in 2002, which centred on the presence of trace particles on the victim and in the suspect’s vehicle. In court, the jury heard that these particles were very rare and wouldn’t last on clothing for a very long time – just for a matter of minutes. This indicated that the victim must have made contact with the vehicle seat shortly before their body was deposited at the site where they were ultimately found. On this basis, the jury delivered a guilty verdict. When we started exploring and carrying out some experiments on these particles we discovered that they were in fact not rare, but abundant. And they lasted a long time on clothing – many hours rather than minutes. The significance of these particles in that case was completely changed by a series of experiments.

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Filthy lucre: scavenging grime and sewage for gold on Mumbai’s streets | Puja Changoiwala

Along the narrow alleys of one of India’s largest bullion markets, men and women scrape a living scouring the dust and even the drains for specks of the precious metal

When most of Mumbai is fast asleep at 5am each day, 41-year-old Tanu Behre sets out on her hunt.

Armed with a little handbrush, she walks the narrow alleys of Zaveri bazaar, one of India’s largest bullion markets, and dusts the streets for gold. She enters drains outside goldsmiths’ workshops, and gathers the black sludge in her aluminium pan. If she’s lucky, the slime will turn up the precious metal.

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An open letter to the US Congress: don’t let Trump rip up the Iran deal | Richard Bacon, Omid Nouripour and Delphine O

It was a major breakthrough, drastically reducing the risk of a nuclear arms race. Abandoning it now will do lasting damage

• Signed by parliamentarians from Britain, Germany and France

For more than a decade, we – Europeans, Americans, and the international community – have feared the imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. To counter this threat and make the Middle East a safer place, the international community came together, using the might of diplomatic negotiations and the force of sanctions, agreed by most of the major economic powers.

After 13 years of joint diplomatic effort, we reached a major breakthrough and signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement between Iran, France, the UK, Germany, the US, China, and Russia, regarding Tehran‘s nuclear programme. With that, we were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear programme, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically reduce the danger of a nuclear arms race. Not a drop of blood was spilt. Furthermore, these controls will not cease after the 10 years of the JCPOA: Iran will continue to be subject to the strict controls prescribed by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which will continue to limit enrichment.

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UK retail sales hit by Beast from the East; oil and nickel prices surge – business live

All the day’s economic and financial news, as Brent crude hits its highest level since November 2014

Russia has launched an attempt to win compensation over America’s new tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Although the United States presented the measures at issue as being adopted to address the threat that imports of steel and aluminium pose to the US national security, they are in essence safeguard measures, and the Agreement on Safeguards and Article XIX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994) are applicable to them.

The United States did not provide notification under paragraph 1(c) of Article 12 of the Agreement on Safeguards on taking a decision to apply the safeguard measures to the WTO Committee on Safeguards.

China, India, EU and now Russia have demanded US compensation for steel and alum #trade #tariffs at the @wto
Intriguingly, US has accepted "the request of China to enter into consultations", but told India and EU that "we are open to discuss this or any other issue". Not the same

Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, says the 1.2% fall in retail sales last month is disappointing - but there are some reasons for optimism:

“With snow and rain right through March including in the critical run up to Easter, it’s no surprise that shoppers avoided the high street. So, while online retailers benefited to some extent, last month’s retail sales were particularly disappointing.

“Footfall was significantly impacted by the weather, and the first of retailers’ spring/summer fashion and home product ranges would have been of little consolation to shoppers looking to stay warm.

“While Mother’s Day and an early Easter provided some respite for retailers in March, the impact of two Beasts from the East was brutal.

“The high street felt the worst of the chill as shoppers simply stayed at home to avoid the snow. But it wasn’t just the weather to blame.

UK retail sales fell -0.5%q/q in the first quarter of this year - means the retail sector will be roughly a -0.03% drag on GDP growth. March sales fell -1.2%m/m as the snow storm hit fuel sales, but boosted online sales. pic.twitter.com/8AeY5bkXLg

Retail sales volumes have failed to rise at all since end of last summer, according to official numbers. Coupled with drop in inflation, may persuade MPC to defer rate rise to August

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‘Very angry badger’ causes part of Scottish castle to be closed

Repairs to masonry damaged by intruder put Craignethan’s cellar tunnel out of bounds to public

Parts of a Scottish castle remain closed to the public after a “very angry badger” took up residence. The cellar tunnel at Craignethan Castle, in South Lanarkshire, was initially closed last week after the animal arrived, and remains closed while the damage it caused is repaired.

It is thought the animal had become lost, and staff tried to lure it out with cat food and honey.

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North Korea wants ‘complete denuclearisation’, says Seoul

South Korean president says Pyongyang has not attached conditions such as US troop withdrawal

North Korea has expressed a desire for “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula without attaching preconditions such as the withdrawal of US troops from the South, the South Korean president has said.

The statement – unconfirmed by North Korea – comes before a summit between the leaders of the two countries on 27 April, to be followed in May or June by a meeting between Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, and Donald Trump.

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The sooner May admits Britain will stay in the customs union the better | Polly Toynbee

After last night’s Brexit defeat in the Lords, the prime minister should commit to staying in the customs union before MPs force her hand

Did Brexit seem to slip out of sight, forgotten amid Syrian bombing, plastic-straw banning or the shaming Windrush scandal? It’s back from Easter with a roar, as the Lords on Wednesday delivered a walloping vote supporting the customs union.

Related: The zealots will sleepwalk us into Brexit if we let them | Rafael Behr

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Basel in the spotlight: the city that learned to love LSD

‘Bicycle Day’ on 19 April is the 75th anniversary of the day Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered LSD, changing his perceptions – and the city’s future

Seventy-five years ago, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann experienced the world’s first full-blown LSD trip on his way home from his lab in Basel. Hofmann had been researching the ergot fungus, hoping to develop a drug to treat fatigue. Among the compounds he was analysing was lysergic acid – Lysergsäure-Diethylamid in German, also known as LSD. On Friday 16 April 1943, Hofmann left the lab feeling a little dizzy: “I lay down and had these wonderful dreams – I saw every thought as an image,” he said in an interview for his 100th birthday. The chemist concluded that he had accidentally touched the substance, and was intrigued by its powerful effect.

Three days later, on 19 April, he returned to the lab and swallowed a tiny amount just to see what would happen: “As it later turned out, it was five times too much and gave me a horror trip.” He asked an assistant to take him home by bicycle, and Basel transformed into a panorama of hellish and heavenly visions. The bike seemed to freeze to the spot; a friendly neighbour turned into an evil witch. Hours later, Hofmann felt wonderful. “LSD called me, I didn’t seek it out,” he recalled. “It came to me.”

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You want to be pregnant. You’re depressed. A tough choice lies ahead

What is it like to try for a baby when the medication you take for depression doesn’t mix well with pregnancy?

Throughout my teens, I was adamant I didn’t want children. I thought they were annoying, sticky money pits who had no business being near me. I was a sad and corny teen.

Now I’m 30. I’m still sad, but I’m not broke, and I have a husband. My feelings on the child situation have changed. I’m more open to it now. I think it was a combination of seeing other people with kids and, as I’ve gotten older, having more love to give – or something.

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The funeral director’s opioid scare mission: can fear help stop addiction?

Kevin Moran, who works with teens on opioid-hit Staten Island, shows scrolls of death certificates to try to jolt people from using drugs

“I am the one person you never want to meet,” Kevin Moran says quietly into the microphone. He’s talking to the adults in the room, about half of the 200 people gathered in the gymnasium of St Peter’s boys high school on New York’s Staten Island.

Related: Opioids prescribed less in states where medical marijuana legal, studies find

We have to step it up a notch. We have to scare the crap out of them

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