Iraq ferry sinking: more than 70 people drown in Mosul

Victims were mostly women and children celebrating Kurdish new year, say officials

At least 71 people have drowned after a ferry sank in the Tigris River near Mosul, Iraq.

Col Hussam Khalil, the head of the Civil Defense Corps in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, said the incident occurred on Thursday while scores of people – mostly women and children – were celebrating Nowruz, which marks the Kurdish new year and the arrival of spring.

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Canada: ‘Much more to be told’ on Trudeau scandal, says minister who quit

Jane Philpott, who resigned in protest earlier this month, hints at more pain for embattled PM and says Canadians deserve the truth

A Canadian cabinet minister who had quit in protest over the government’s handling of a corruption scandal said she and others had more to say about the matter, indicating more pain to come for the embattled prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau has been on the defensive since February over allegations top officials working for him leaned on the former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to ensure the construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoided a corruption trial.

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Macron: UK heading for no-deal Brexit if MPs reject May’s plan

French president’s warning comes as Theresa May set to ask EU leaders for extension

Emmanuel Macron has warned that Britain is heading for a no-deal Brexit unless the House of Commons ratifies the withdrawal agreement negotiated with Brussels.

The stark choice for MPs was laid out by the French president shortly before the 27 EU heads of state and government listen to an appeal by Theresa May for a three-month Brexit delay.

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Number of parents fined for term-time holidays at record level

DfE figures show 260,000 penalty notices for children missing school were issued in 2017-18

The number of parents issued with penalties because of their children missing school has soared to record levels in England, after councils were emboldened by a supreme court ruling in their favour.

Figures from the Department for Education (DfE) for 2017-18 show that local authorities issued 260,000 penalty notices to parents for unauthorised absences during the state school year, an increase of 110,000 compared with the previous year.

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Philosopher Mary Warnock dies aged 94

Lady Warnock laid foundations for special needs teaching and fertility treatment regulations

The philosopher Mary Warnock, whose work laid the foundations for special needs education and for the regulation of fertility treatments, has died aged 94.

After an early career researching ethics and philosophy and then as a headteacher, Lady Warnock was appointed in 1974 to chair a UK inquiry on special education. Her subsequent report brought about radical change by placing priority on teaching children with special educational needs within mainstream schools, and introduced the system of “statementing” children, which provides additional support.

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Scammers stole £1.2bn from British bank customers in 2018

Year on year figure up by 25%, and firms must reimburse victims, says UK Finance

Scammers stole £1.2bn from UK bank customers in 2018, according to official data, with a near-500% leap in counterfeit cheque fraud, indicating some criminals are resorting to old-school techniques.

The headline fraud figure is up almost a quarter on 2017, when the total was £968m. There was a 50% leap, to £354m, in the amount lost to scams in which people are duped into authorising a payment to an account.

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Councils’ powers to remove Grenfell-style cladding ‘useless’

Exclusive: councils complain government’s backing amounts to ‘completely hollow words’

New powers for councils to step in and fix privately-owned towers covered in dangerous Grenfell-style cladding are proving largely useless, leaving tens of thousands of leaseholders living in fear and facing mounting multimillion-pound bills, the Guardian has learned.

As few as one in 10 of the affected private tower blocks clad in similar ACM panels to those which spread the fire at Grenfell Tower can actually be tackled by councils, according to Manchester city council, which has been struggling to persuade the owners of 15 apartment blocks to take urgent safety action.

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‘We are modern slaves’: Mdou Moctar, the Hendrix of the Sahara

His first guitar was made from wood and bicycle parts and his first songs were shared via Bluetooth in the desert. But the Niger musician has become international – and is taking aim at France

How do you even dream of making music when your family and religious leaders disapprove, when you live at the edge of the Sahara desert, and you cannot afford an instrument?

It helps that the Tuareg musician Mdou Moctar, from Niger, is not easily discouraged. Unable to acquire a guitar, he made one out of a piece of wood with brake wires from an old bicycle for strings, and taught himself to play in secret. “I was from a religious family and music was not welcome, but I would go and listen to local musicians and dream of being like them,” the 32-year-old singer-songwriter says over the phone while on tour in the US.

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John McCain’s daughter issues rare public statement condemning Trump

Bridget McCain responds to Trump’s remarks about her father: ‘You are a child in the most important role the world knows’

John McCain’s daughter Bridget hit back Thursday against Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on her father by calling the president “a child”.

McCain, the late Arizona senator’s youngest daughter, who rarely speaks publicly, pleaded with Trump for decency after he went after John McCain during an appearance in Ohio.

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Ichiro Suzuki retires to ovation after sparkling 27-year baseball career

  • Japanese star plays final MLB game in packed Tokyo Dome
  • 45-year-old was a 10-time All-Star and fierce competitor

Ichiro Suzuki was showered with cheers and chants on Thursday night while taking his final bow in a magnificent career that lasted nearly three decades when the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 in Tokyo.

The 45-year-old Ichiro went 0 for 4 in the second game of the Major League Baseball season, which was being played in his home country of Japan. He got a chance at a storybook ending at the jammed Tokyo Dome when he came up with two outs, a runner on second base and a tie score in the eighth inning, but grounded out. Ichiro drew a huge ovation from fans and teammates when he was pulled from right field in the bottom of the eighth inning. The noise from the sellout crowd of 45,000 diminished after his exit.

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‘Bad boys of Brexit’ were guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore have drawn the scrutiny of investigators looking into possible Russian interference in the 2016 referendum vote

Two controversial backers of the Brexit movement were guests last year at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore, known as the “bad boys of Brexit”, visited the Palm Beach club in April, according to a review by the Palm Beach Post of Instagram posts tagged at the spot.

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Brexit is not the cause of Britain’s political breakdown. It’s a symptom | Gary Younge

We are an international laughing stock at the moment. But something like this has been coming for decades

The French EU minister, Nathalie Loiseau, has called her new cat Brexit. “He wakes me up every morning meowing to death because he wants to go out,” she says. “And then when I open the door he stays put, undecided, and then glares at me when I put him out.” The Dutch prime minister has compared Theresa May to the knight in Monty Python who has all his limbs lopped off and insists “It’s just a flesh wound” and calls it a draw. “She’s incredible,” says Mark Rutte. “She goes on and on. At the same time, I do not blame her but British politics.” Italian friends tell me Brexit now comes on at the end of the news, in that wacky slot just before the sport and weather.

Related: Theresa May has trashed our democracy and put MPs in danger | Lisa Nandy

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Doctors’ body now ‘neutral’ on changing law on assisted dying

Royal College will reflect members’ ‘very strong’ views on both sides of the debate

The Royal College of Physicians has dropped its opposition to changing the law on assisted dying and taken a neutral stance on the issue.

The college announced its switch to a position of neutrality following a poll of almost 7,000 UK hospital doctors, which found that 43.4% felt the college should oppose any change in law, with 31.6% in favour of supporting assisted dying.

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