Bolsonaro targets the Catholic church over its ‘leftist agenda’ on the Amazon

Gathering at the Vatican has triggered a political storm in Brazil as bishop denies undermining the government

The Prayer of Saint Francis welcomes worshipers to Adolfo Zon’s riverside cathedral in this far-flung Amazon outpost: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

But when the 63-year-old bishop sets off from his Amazonian sanctuary this week and boards a plane for Rome, he will be travelling to the frontline of a smouldering political skirmish between a left-leaning, green-minded Argentine pope and Brazil’s far-right, climate skeptic president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Continue reading...

‘Organise to resist’: the radical posters of the Paddington Printshop

Operating from an old factory in north-west London, John Phillips and the Paddington Printshop revolutionised the promotion of squatters’ rights and housing campaigns throughout the 1970s and 80s

John Phillips opened the Paddington Printshop in an old taxi-meter factory off the Harrow Road in 1974, and began making event and campaign posters for everybody “from the vicar to the anarchists” – what Phillips describes as the entire “rainbow coalition” of leftwing interests.

In addition to promoting such international causes such as the anti-apartheid movement, many of its posters were about local housing issues in this particular corner of west London, including squatters’ rights, housing associations, hostile developers and derelict land.

Continue reading...

Could Susan Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh help the Democrats flip the Senate in 2020?

Republican senator’s support for the conservative justice has Democrats confident they can beat her – and take the Senate

Senate candidate Betsy Sweet addressed a group of about 15 Democratic voters gathered in a circle, sitting on folding chairs in an office on Main Street in the small town of Topsham, Maine.

Related: Trump v California: president tries to turn 'resistance' into 2020 advantage

Continue reading...

Leaked letter suggests US is rallying UN member states to oppose abortion

Attempt to ‘roll back the clock’ condemned as governments are urged to oppose UN support for reproductive rights

The US is understood to have written to UN member states urging them to join a “growing coalition” of countries rallying against abortion, in what seems to be the latest attempt by the Trump administration to rollback women’s rights.

A letter, seen by the Guardian, is believed to have been sent to governments deemed sympathetic to the administration’s view on reproductive health.

Continue reading...

Boris Johnson repeatedly declines to comment on claims he ‘awarded public funds to friend’

Prime minister refuses six times to be drawn on ties to Jennifer Arcuri, who received thousands in taxpayers’ money

Boris Johnson has repeatedly declined to comment on reported allegations he failed to declare close personal links to an American woman who received thousands of pounds in public business funding while he was mayor of London.

The prime minister, questioned by reporters on his plane en route to the UN general assembly (UNGA) in New York, refused to answer six questions about his links to Jennifer Arcuri, a US technology entrepreneur.

Continue reading...

Huge rise in Centrelink seizing tax returns to repay robodebts

The value of tax refunds seized by Centrelink for robodebts and welfare overpayments doubled in 2018-19

Centrelink has dramatically ramped up its seizure of tax refunds to target past welfare recipients over robodebts and other welfare overpayments, new figures reveal.

In a response to a Senate question on notice, the Department of Human Services confirmed it recovered $63.4m in 2018-19 by asking the Australian Tax Office to reclaim a person’s tax refund to pay an outstanding debt.

Continue reading...

UK regions most exposed to no-deal Brexit also most deprived, warns study

Manufacturing health check shows exporters in Wales, north-east, Yorkshire and Humberside as vulnerable

A health check of Britain’s manufacturers has shown thatsome of the most economically and socially deprived areas in UK are highly exposed to the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

Exporters are already suffering losses, especially in Wales, north-east England, Yorkshire and Humberside, which have a significant exposure to trade with the EU, according to a report by manufacturing trade body Make UK and business advisory firm BDO.

Continue reading...

Labour to commit to big increase in charging points for electric cars

Policy is part of a green industrial revolution promised by the party if elected

Labour will build a national network of charging points for electric vehicles at a cost of £3.6bn to kickstart its planned “green industrial revolution” if elected, the party will say on Monday.

The rollout of rapid-charging stations on motorways and urban streets would be enough for more than 21m cars in the next decade, and, the party said, would remove one of the biggest obstacles to electric car ownership and create 3,000 skilled jobs for electricians and engineers.

Continue reading...

Boris Johnson plays down chance of Brexit breakthrough at UN

Despite a series of planned meetings with European leaders, the PM says there are ‘still difficulties’ over an agreement

Boris Johnson has cautioned against speculation he could come significantly closer to a revised Brexit deal during a series of talks with European leaders at a UN summit this week, saying “a New York breakthrough” did not seem to be on the cards.

The prime minister, who is scheduled to meet the European Council president, Donald Tusk, and a string of leaders of EU nations over the next two days at the UN general assembly (UNGA), insisted that his overall “cautiously optimistic” stance of securing a deal remained unchanged.

Continue reading...

Julian Clary: ‘I was terribly good at heterosexual sex … I mastered it’

The comedian has spent more than 30 years outraging and educating straight audiences. He recalls his early fame, the infamous Norman Lamont gag – and his brief stab at heterosexuality

In a secluded room in the Guardian offices, Julian Clary is letting me have a look at his ring. Oh, do behave, readers – it’s his wedding ring: black, ceramic, studded with a diamond and, as he gleefully points out, rather S&M-looking.

He wed his longtime partner, Ian Mackley, in 2016, although he is not here today to talk about that. The last time he did, telling Attitude magazine that he wasn’t sure if he liked married life, he got into heaps of trouble. “Yes, I did! So now my mind is always going: ‘Don’t say anything too harsh!’” he says, laughing. “All I can say, really, is that I’m highly amused by being married.”

Continue reading...

Britain’s common ground is lost. But there are glimmers of hope we can find it | John Harris

Media-fuelled Brexit divisions have created a culture of mutual loathing. Grassroots initiatives can help bring us together

“I’ve given up watching the news,” said the man in the other room. “It’s all lies.”

We were both in a hi-fi shop in Bath – me immersed in an arcane conversation about amplifiers, while he asked for help with his internet-enabled flatscreen television. He was sixtysomething, with the look of someone being endlessly annoyed by the world, or what he saw of it. These days, he said, all his information about current affairs came from online videos. What, I wondered, was he watching? Claims of faked bombings in Syria? False warnings about the dangers of vaccines? Or labyrinthine theories about the global cabal intent on stopping Brexit?

Continue reading...

Campaign group in Finland crowdsource for ‘forgiveness’ emoji

Ideas for emoji include vine of leaves on heart and people clasping hands

To err is human, it is said, to forgive divine. And soon that noblest of human qualities will be available in emoji form, following a global effort to find the most appropriate icon.

A coalition of charitable and peace-building organisations in Finland are leading the quest to crowdsource an emoji to be added to the thousands available to smartphone users.

Continue reading...

UN secretary general hails ‘turning point’ in climate crisis fight

  • United Nations hosts climate summit in New York on Monday
  • New data shows 2014-19 warmest five-year period on record

The world may have hit a hopeful “turning point” in the struggle to tackle the climate crisis despite escalating greenhouse gas emissions and the recalcitrance of major emitters Brazil and the US, according to the United Nations secretary general.

Related: Trump to snub climate summit for religious freedom meeting at UN

Continue reading...

Kinship carers left with debt and ill health for ‘doing the right thing’

Campaigners call for more support for family and friends caring for vulnerable children

Kinship carers who agree to raise the vulnerable children of relatives as an alternative to adoption say lack of state support for “doing the right thing” has pushed them into crippling debt, ill health and, in extreme cases, homelessness.

Campaigners have called for reform of a system which, they say, demands huge financial and emotional sacrifices and saves the state millions of pounds each year but fails to give kinship carers and their children enough support.

Continue reading...

Saudi Arabia oil attack: Boris Johnson says UK believes Iran responsible

En route to the UN general assembly in New York, prime minister raises possibility that the British military could become involved

The UK now believes Iran was responsible for a major attack earlier this month on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, Boris Johnson has said, also raising the possibility that the British military could become involved in helping secure the Saudis against future aggression.

Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to the UN general assembly (UNGA) in New York, the prime minister said there was “a very high degree of probability” that Iran was behind the drone and missile attack two major oil installation on 14 September.

Continue reading...

Queensland premier refuses to offer evidence to back claims of ‘sinister’ climate activists

Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t provide any details after accusing protesters of using devices ‘laced with traps’

The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has formally refused to provide any evidence to support her claims to parliament that climate change activists are using devices “laced with traps”.

Last month, Palaszczuk made the comments – along with social media posts saying protesters were using “sinister tactics” and intended to cause harm – as she announced new laws cracking down on escalating climate and anti-coal demonstrations in Queensland.

Continue reading...

The best way for Australia to stop worrying about oil is to stop depending on it | John Quiggin

Supply fears after the Saudi attack are alarmist, the impact on Australian petrol prices marginal at most. But they also miss the point

The recent drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil refineries has raised fresh concerns that Australia is not meeting our obligation to the International Energy Agency to maintain oil stocks equal to 90 days of consumption. Among other things, it has been suggested that the defence forces might run out of fuel.

This all sounds alarming. But a moment’s thought raises more questions than answers. Why should the adequacy of our oil stocks be a matter of international concern? And why oil, rather than, say, essential medical supplies? Is a 90-day stock the right amount for Australia?

Continue reading...

Fleabag and Game of Thrones win big at Brit-dominated Emmys

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy was the surprise victor while the final season of HBO’s fantasy drama picked up the most awards

It was a British invasion at the 71st Emmy awards, with Game of Thrones taking home the prize for best drama and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag sweeping most of the comedy awards in a night that saw numerous nods to stars from across the pond.

The biggest question heading into the night was whether Emmy voters would reward perennial juggernaut Game of Thrones for its divisive final season. The show was nominated for 32 awards – the most for any single season of television ever – and had already won 10 Creative Arts Emmys last week. Game of Thrones took home the night’s final prize for outstanding drama series and a best supporting actor nod for American star Peter Dinklage – bringing its total to 12 awards and breaking its own 2015 record for the most awards given to a series – but was otherwise shut out of the telecast.

Continue reading...

Trial over weight-loss pill behind ‘up to 2,000 deaths’ to start in France

French drug watchdog along with pharmaceutical firm Servier on trial over Mediator drug scandal

A landmark trial over one of France’s biggest healthcare scandals will begin on Monday after a weight-loss pill was believed to have killed up to 2,000 people and left many more injured for life.

The trial for manslaughter and deceit will attempt to lift the lid on France’s massive pharmaceuticals industry.

Continue reading...