Are nets to stop swallows nesting any way to treat the natural world? | Kate Blincoe

Tesco caused an outcry when it tried to prevent the birds making a trolley park messy at a store in Norwich

Our swallows are now returning in the UK after completing their 5,000-mile migratory flight from southern Africa, where they spend the winter. This year some faced a very inhospitable welcome with their traditional nesting areas netted over.

Tesco destroyed a successful swallow breeding site in the eaves above a trolley park in Norwich after complaints from customers about bird droppings. The supermarket washed the nests away with power hoses, and then pest-control workers fitted extensive netting, making the birds’ summer home for many years completely inaccessible.

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The Crossing review – Bai Xue’s slowburn gem delivers the goods

This feature debut about a schoolgirl coerced into small-time smuggling is all the more powerful for shunning high drama

With this elegantly elliptical arthouse movie, Bai Xue announces herself as a cool, confident observer of a new generation of Chinese youth. There are echoes of Sofia Coppola in Bai’s directing debut, a coming-of-age story inspired by real-life criminal gangs in Hong Kong who recruit schoolkids to smuggle mobile phones into mainland China. It’s a wisp of film that never quite gathers speed or force but it gets under your skin, capturing the impulsiveness and impatience of teenagers. Others may find it a little flat or frustrating.

Huang Yao is shy 16-year-old Peipei, who’s frantically saving up for a holiday in Japan with her rich best friend Jo (Carmen Soup). Peipei commutes daily between her home in the Chinese city Shenzhen and school in Hong Kong. To make a little extra money she smuggles for a gang. It begins harmlessly enough, slipping a couple of iPhones wrapped in cling film into her school bag. If stopped by officials at the airport-style security on the metro, she can reasonably claim the phones are for personal use. As Peipei slips between worlds, Bai changes up the camera style, from handheld in busy Hong Kong to still compositions in Shenzhen.

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Corbyn not ruling out revoking article 50 to avoid no-deal Brexit

Labour leader makes comments in Brussels ahead of PM’s arrival for leaders’ summit

Jeremy Corbyn did not rule out seeking to revoke article 50 to avoid Britain sliding into a no-deal Brexit as senior EU officials privately talked up the possibility before a crunch summit in Brussels.

Speaking outside the European commission headquarters in Brussels, the Labour leader insisted that his focus “at the moment” remained on trying to push the prime minister into a soft Brexit.

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Brazil’s former president Michel Temer arrested in corruption investigation

Temer arrested as part of Operation Car Wash, which led to the convictions of numerous members of Brazil’s political elite

Brazil’s former president Michel Temer – who played a key role in the 2016 impeachment of his rival Dilma Rousseff – has been arrested by federal police, according to local media.

The G1 news portal reported that Temer was arrested in São Paulo on Thursday morning as part of Operation Car Wash, the country’s largest ever corruption investigation, which led to the convictions of numerous members of Brazil’s political elite.

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Danny Boyle says script dispute made him quit Bond 25

Director says he left 007 movie project rather than replace screenwriter after disagreement with producers

Danny Boyle has confirmed that a dispute over the script was the reason he left the latest James Bond movie.

In a reply to a reader question in Empire magazine, Boyle said that the screenplay he had been working on with regular writing partner John Hodge had not found favour with producers, and that he quit the project rather than jettison that script and work with another writer.

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Kachin women from Myanmar ‘raped until they get pregnant’ in China

Women from Kachin minority are allowed to go home only if they leave baby behind, says HRW report

Burmese and Chinese authorities are turning a blind eye to a growing trade in women from Myanmar’s Kachin minority, who are taken across the border, sold as wives to Chinese men and raped until they become pregnant, a report claims.

Some of the women are allowed to return home after they have given birth, but are forced to leave their children, according to an investigation by Human Rights Watch, titled Give Us a Baby and We’ll Let You Go.

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Five million EU citizens have spent 1,000 days in limbo. It has to end | Tanja Bueltmann

I have seen the impact Brexit’s uncertainty is having. The EU must protect citizens’ rights – it is a question of basic humanity

What does it feel like to live in limbo for 1,000 days? Millions of EU citizens in the UK, and our British friends who live in another EU country, no longer have to imagine it. We have now reached that milestone. A milestone we never wanted to reach nor should have had to reach. But here we are. And the chaos and uncertainty has never been greater.

These 1,000 days tell two stories. First, they tell our story – the human story of 5 million people and our employers, friends, lovers and families who have, in many ways, been in limbo with us for all this time. Our story now remains largely silent. It is a silence interspersed with bouts of outrage and shame, but such feelings, however well meaning, do not help anyone. They cannot undo 1,000 days of uncertainty, and they cannot, on their own, give certainty now.

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MPs told to ‘take simple steps’ to avoid abuse amid Brexit tensions

Lindsay Hoyle, a Commons deputy speaker, advises colleagues to travel home by taxi or with fellow MPs

A deputy speaker of the House of Commons has advised MPs they should take a black cab or travel home together to avoid the risk of intimidation or abuse amid rising public tensions about the Brexit process.

Lindsay Hoyle, a long-serving Labour MP, emailed all colleagues on Thursday afternoon to say the Metropolitan police had been “left in no doubt” it had to ensure that “members of parliament can vote in parliament without fear”.

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Cyclone Idai witness describes seeing hundreds of bodies by roadside

Stranded motorist tells of encountering scenes of ‘total devastation and death’

A man who walked through an area of Mozambique’s flood-hit countryside in the wake of Cyclone Idai has said he saw hundreds of bodies by the side of the road, describing scenes of “devastation and destruction”.

Graham Taylor was trying to drive home from the ravaged port city of Beira eastward to Chimoio on Saturday, two days after the cyclone made landfall. Stranded in the floods, he abandoned his car and walked more than 15 miles (25km) from the village of Lamego to Nhamatanda early on Monday morning.

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

Last night’s statement was poisonous. Credible threats have been made to MPs – she should not be unleashing populism

The sense of anger is hard to adequately put into words. Yesterday, in the toxic climate that now defines British politics the prime minister took to a Downing Street podium to place the blame for this national crisis on MPs. She pitted parliament against “the people”, deploying an inflammatory rhetoric reminiscent of far-right populists whose influence is steadily growing in Britain, America and across the world. Reckless doesn’t do it justice.

Frustration in parliament was already high. For nearly three years the prime minister has refused to listen, reach out or compromise – rejecting efforts to find an accommodation not just with MPs, but with the varied currents of opinion we represent in vastly different and divided communities across the country. She has refused us vital information, asked for our trust and then broken promise after promise. It has brought Britain to the brink and the strain is showing.

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UN to explore wave of deaths linked to food aid porridge in Uganda

World Food Programme halts distribution of fortified cereal as four people die and hundreds suffer suspected food poisoning

The World Food Programme and Ugandan government have launched an investigation into deaths linked with the distribution of fortified porridge to refugees and people suffering from malnourishment.

The health ministry was alerted to reports of possible food poisoning among people who had consumed Super Cereal, a blended food designed to prevent malnutrition, in the north-east region of Karamoja on 12 March.

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500 years in 59 seconds: the race to be the world’s largest city

Fascinating interactive graphic shows changes in the globe’s 10 most populous cities from 1500 to 2018

This compelling interactive “bar chart race” shows the top 10 most populous cities in the world from 1500 to 2018.

“In the early 1500s most people lived in the east, either the east of Europe and north Africa or the east of the world itself in India and China,” says John Burn-Murdoch, who created the interactive for the Financial Times.

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