UN environment chief resigns after frequent flying revelations

Erik Solheim resigns after audit found travel irregularities and internal rule breaking, leading nations to drop funding

The UN’s environment chief Erik Solheim has resigned following severe criticism over his globetrotting travels and internal rule-breaking which led some nations to withhold their funding.

The Guardian understands Solheim was asked to resign by the UN secretary general António Guterres. Sources at the UN Environment Programme (Unep) said that countries unhappy with Solheim’s conduct were holding back tens of millions of dollars, threatening an imminent financial crisis at the body.

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Michelle Obama memoir tops US book charts – with nine copies sold per second

The former first lady’s autobiography has been warmly reviewed and is No 2 in the UK charts – outsold only by David Walliams

Michelle Obama’s Becoming sold almost nine copies per second on its first day on sale in North America to become the fastest-selling book of the year so far, while in the UK, the memoir is close to the top of the book charts.

Published last Tuesday, the former first lady’s autobiography has been warmly greeted by both the media and the public. The New York Times called it a “polished pearl of a memoir”, the Guardian said that it was “dignified” with a “refreshing level of honesty”. On Amazon.com, more than 200 user reviews gave it five stars.

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Australian aid groups report dozens of sexual misconduct cases

Peak aid body review finds victims of abuse by humanitarian workers included children

Australian international aid groups reported 76 incidents of alleged sexual misconduct over the past three years, including one case in which a humanitarian worker impregnated a local woman.

The peak body for the aid sector – the Australian Council for International Development (Acfid) – commissioned an independent review into sexual misconduct earlier this year following revelations that Oxfam UK staff had hired prostitutes in Haiti after a major earthquake in 2010.

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I was arrested at a climate change protest – it was worth it | Gavin Turk

I’m supporting Extinction Rebellion, and using direct action to wake up politicians to the damage we’re doing: together we can do something

On Saturday, at about 12.30pm, I was arrested for obstructing (thoughtfully sitting on) a public highway, namely Lambeth Bridge. I wasn’t alone. In fact, Lambeth wasn’t the only obstructed London bridge: thousands of people of diverse backgrounds and ages occupied five central London bridges for most of 17 November: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth. I believe that at least 80 other people were arrested.

Climate is increasingly becoming one of the key subjects for artists as they hold their mirror up to society

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Sometimes a dog can be better for a patient than hospital

Suffering patients may need to just be asked ‘tell me about your pet’

An elderly patient is admitted to hospital after a fall at home. He is stunned after the fall but, thankfully, uninjured. It takes him a few days to recover but as soon as he able, he wants to go home. The physiotherapist wants to work with him, the social worker wants to examine his support system, but all he wants to do is go home. We feel he is not yet safe. He acknowledges that a worse event could happen but still, he wants to go home. Theories are posited as to why.

Maybe the concussion is worse than we first thought. Maybe he is cognitively impaired and unable to make decisions about his safety, in which case a state-appointed guardian may be needed. Maybe he doesn’t like the other patients, in which case he could be placated by moving him to another room. It is the beginning of a month of medical rounds for me and he is the handover without a plan.

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Kent trio jailed for life over plot to murder terminally ill husband

Hayley Weatherall, her boyfriend and his daughter tried to kill Raymond Weatherall

A woman, her boyfriend and his daughter have been jailed for life over a plot to murder the woman’s terminally ill husband.

Raymond Weatherall survived being shot in the face, jurors at Maidstone crown court heard. His wife, Hayley Weatherall, also planned to kill him using sleeping tablets and insulin.

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Take action rather than criticise, UN poverty expert tells Rudd

Philip Alston says minister’s criticism of the tone of his austerity report ‘misses the point’

The UN expert on extreme poverty has hit back at the new work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, after she complained that the tone of his report into the consequences of austerity in the UK was “highly inappropriate”.

Philip Alston urged Rudd to instead follow some of his recommendations to make the welfare system “more humane” rather than dismissing the powerful language in his report examining the impact of cuts and welfare reforms, including universal credit, as “extraordinarily political”, as she did in the Commons on Monday.

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Mohammed bin Salman expected to attend G20 summit

Argentinian government confirmed Saudi crown prince is on list of attendees but noted he may still change his mind

The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, widely suspected of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, is expected to attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires at the end of the month, the Argentinian government has confirmed.

Related: Trump inflated importance of Saudi arms sales to US job market, report says

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BBC says channels may close without over-75s licence fee

Broadcaster says large cuts will have to be made if nothing changes when subsidy ends

The BBC has said it will have to close channels and make enormous cuts to its services unless over-75s are made to pay for the licence fee, as it prepares to cover the loss of government funding that currently allows older people to consume its content for free.

The corporation put a number of proposals on reforming the subsidy out for consultation on Tuesday, saying that the £745m cost of maintaining the status quo would take up a fifth of its budget and equates to the total amount it spends on all of BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, the BBC News channel, CBBC and CBeebies.

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Two private jets but I’m middle class, says Germany’s ‘anti-Merkel’

Friedrich Merz, frontrunner to become next CDU leader, says class is not just about money

A frontrunner to take over from Angela Merkel as leader of Germany’s main conservative party is facing criticism for describing himself as “upper middle class” despite having amassed a fortune working in the financial sector and owning two private jets.

Friedrich Merz, 62, who has been selling himself as the man who can save Germany from political and economic stagnation, and is seen as as the most likely to succeed Merkel as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), was forced to disclose this week that his annual earnings amounted to around €1m (£890,000). The size of his personal fortune is estimated to run to several million.

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May’s Brussels trip only start of ‘endless’ EU trade talks

PM and Juncker’s Brexit meeting an ‘amuse-bouche’ to continuous negotiations, says former UKTI chief

When Theresa May comes to Brussels for tea with Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday afternoon, the two leaders will have in front of them a metaphorical Christmas tree of a political declaration. “And every member state has put a bauble on it”, an EU diplomat said.

A seven-page document published last week, offering some heads of terms on the future relationship, is set to more than double to some 20 pages.

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Chinese writer Tianyi sentenced to decade in prison for gay erotic novel

Pseudonymous author was charged under law that makes it an ‘especially serious’ crime to sell more than 5,000 copies of a work classed as pornographic

Free-speech campaigners have slammed China’s “flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights” after the author of a gay erotic novel was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for producing and selling pornographic materials.

The author, who writes under the pseudonym Tianyi and is from eastern China’s Anhui province, was identified by the state-run Global Times only by her surname, Liu. The paper reported that police were alerted after the book Gongzhan, translated as Occupy, went viral last year. Police in the Anhui city of Wuhu, where Liu was sentenced, said the novel described obscene sexual behaviour between males, and was “full of perverted sexual acts such as violation and abuse”.

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Ivanka Trump: senior Democrat calls for investigation into personal email use

  • Senator Richard Blumenthal: ‘no way’ she did not know rules
  • Trump campaign bashed Hillary Clinton for use of private email

A senior Democrat has called for an investigation of Ivanka Trump’s use of a personal email account for government business, an act that has been criticized as hypocritical by allies and foes of her father’s administration.

A White House review of Trump’s emails showed that she used her personal email to correspond with federal government staff, cabinet officials and her assistants throughout much of 2017. Ethics officials uncovered hundreds of emails sent by a domain Trump shares with her husband Jared Kushner, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

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Air pollution cuts global average lifespan by nearly two years – study

New analysis calls toxic air the greatest threat to human health, finding it shortens lives by up to six years in pollution hotspots

Air pollution cuts the average lifespan of people around the globe by almost two years, according to a new analysis, making it the single greatest threat to human health.

The research looked at the particulate pollution produced by the burning of fossil fuel by vehicles and industry. It found that in many parts of the worst-affected nations – India and China – lifespans were being shortened by six years.

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‘Greenwash’: oil giant under fire over plan to protect tropical forests

Campaigners say move by Norway’s Equinor is an excuse to keep drilling for fossil fuels

One of the world’s biggest oil companies is set to join the fight against deforestation in the tropics as part of its climate change efforts – but the the move has been branded a “greenwash” by campaigners.

State-owned Norwegian firm Equinor has written to the UN’s climate chief to tell her it wants to invest in the protection of tropical forests.

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