Hard Rock Hotel collapse reminds New Orleans of undocumented workers’ plight

Undocumented workers who rebuilt the city after Hurricane Katrina remain unrecognized and have seen their home become hostile

The sight of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel is impossible to escape on the busy Canal Street corridor downtown. Slabs of broken gray concrete form a frozen landslide 18 stories above the ground, and the arm of a massive crane stands almost upright after a botched removal effort left it embedded in the sidewalk below.

Nearly three months after the deadly collapse, the bodies of two victims – José Ponce Arreola, from Mexico, and Quinnyon Wimberly, from New Orleans – still remain inside the wreckage.

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The UN’s fight for Palestinian refugees goes on – but its key agency needs help

From Israel’s hostility to Trump’s withdrawal of US funding, the UNRWA faces unprecedented challenges. Timely financial and diplomatic support is key

Today, on the 70th anniversary of its founding, the UN Relief and Works Agency, the UN’s main refugee agency serving Palestinians, is facing unprecedented challenges.

It has become a key battleground in Donald Trump’s war against multilateralism and his unilateral attempts to redefine the Middle East peace process along a track proposed by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

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‘Bhopal’s tragedy has not stopped’: the urban disaster still claiming lives 35 years on

The Union Carbide factory explosion remains the world’s worst industrial accident – but as its dreadful legacy becomes increasingly apparent, victims are still waiting for justice

The residents of JP Nagar have no way to escape their ghosts. This ramshackle neighbourhood, on the outskirts of the Indian city of Bhopal, stands just metres away from the chemical factory which exploded just after midnight on 2 December 1984 and seeped poison into their lives forever. The blackened ruins of the Union Carbide plant still loom untouched behind the factory walls.

Related: The Bhopal disaster victims still waiting for justice 35 years on – in pictures

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No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

With hardline unions threatening indefinite strikes over pension reforms, there is apprehension at the political perils facing Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron will seek to placate angry strikers this week while honouring his election pledge to shake up France’s pension system in a delicate balancing act that will define his political future.

Ministers are looking at possible concessions that could defuse the strikes and protests that have paralysed the country since last week.

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Back to the border of misery: Amexica revisited 10 years on

A decade after publishing his vivid account of the places and people most affected by the US-Mexican ‘war on drugs’, Ed Vulliamy returns to the frontline to see how life has changed

If you drink the water in Ciudad Juárez, there you’ll stay, goes the saying – Se toma agua de Juárez, allí se queda. It’s not a reference to the quality of drinking water (about which polemic abounds because it is so dirty) but to the beguiling lure of this dusty and dangerous yet strong and charismatic city. It’s a dictum that might be applied to the whole 2,000-mile Mexico-US borderland of which Juárez and its sister city on the US side, El Paso, form the fulcrum.

Ten years ago, I returned from several months’ immersion along that frontier, reporting on a narco-cartel war for this newspaper and eventually writing a book, Amexica, about the terrain astride the border, land that has a single identity – that belongs to both countries and yet to neither. A frontier at once porous and harsh: across which communities live and a million people traverse every day, legally, as do hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of goods annually.

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After Kamala: activists fear Democratic primary whitewash

The California senator pulled out this week and the next debate stage looks set to be minority-free. Progressives see a problem

When Democrats won a Senate seat in Alabama two years ago, their chairman declared that “black women are the backbone of the Democratic party, and we can’t take that for granted”. #ThankBlackWomen began trending and the “backbone” metaphor has been an applause line ever since.

Yet when Democratic candidates for president debate in Los Angeles later this month, there will be no black women on stage following the sudden exit of Senator Kamala Harris of California. Unless something changes quickly, there will be no candidates of colour at all.

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Iran unveils ‘budget of resistance’ to sanctions with help from $5bn Russian loan

Iran’s president says his country will depend less on oil revenue in a budget designed to resist crippling US sanctions

Iran’s president says his country will depend less on oil revenue next year, in a “budget of resistance” that will partly depend on a $5bn Russian loan.

Speaking during Sunday’s opening session of parliament, Hassan Rouhani said: “The budget is based on maximum pressure and sanctions.

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‘Cosy stitch-up’ by Farage and Tories makes it hard for us to win, says Jo Swinson

Lib Dem leader attacks Brexit party’s move to stand down in some seats but still hopes for gains

The Brexit party’s decision to stand aside for the Tories in hundreds of seats curtailed the electoral ambitions of the Liberal Democrats, its leader Jo Swinson has said.

In an interview with the Observer, Swinson said that her party’s strategy had been affected by a “cosy stitch-up” that saw Nigel Farage’s party stand down in Tory-held seats. She said the party was now concentrating on “dozens of byelections across the country” that could still deliver new Lib Dem MPs and topple some big-name Conservatives on election night. She also predicted that Johnson would be toppled as Tory leader should he fail to win a majority.

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John Legend: ‘The key to happiness is to open your mind to love’

A phenomenally successful singer-songwriter and social justice campaigner, or a preachy virtue-signaller? Ryan Bradley meets John Legend

John Legend springs up from his mahogany grand piano in the high-ceilinged, light-drenched living room of his Hollywood home and greets me with a grin, a hello, and one of those very smooth handshakes that seamlessly morph into an extremely brief hug. My palms are sweaty and my face is flushed. Until a moment ago, I’d been running up the road that leads to Legend’s hilltop house, late because of the traffic. And now I’m sweatily, awkwardly apologising to John Legend in his beautiful living room as he gestures towards another room where there’s a long table by the window that overlooks the morning haze and the distant ridges of the Santa Monica mountains.

“Let’s just zen out in this zen dining room,” John Legend says, before looking around the room as if for the first time, running his hands over the dark-wood table, leaning back in his chair, lifting his head. He inhales, exhales, beams. And then he laughs – a long, deep, rich baritone. The laugh alone is like a song. And the traffic? What traffic? We are in Legend-land. Troubles are distant memories.

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Australia fires: heatwave forecast amid calls for emergency meeting

Conditions ease but Labor urges emergency Coag meeting before extreme heat in NSW and Victoria

Firefighters have taken advantage of less extreme conditions to try to contain blazes burning across New South Wales ahead of worsening conditions and soaring temperatures expected on Tuesday.

More than 100 fires were still burning across NSW on Sunday, including the massive Gospers Mountain blaze, which is expected to burn for weeks.

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Delhi fire: at least 34 dead in ‘horrific’ factory blaze

Victims were mostly labourers and factory workers sleeping in a building in Delhi’s old quarter

At least 34 people have died in a major fire that broke out in a building in a grains market in central New Delhi, a doctor in a government-run hospital said.

Kishore Singh said the victims were brought to the hospital by rescuers on Sunday. Another 15 people were being treated for burns or smoke inhalation. They were in a stable condition, Singh said.

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North Korea claims success in ‘very important’ test at satellite launch site

State media says test will change regime’s ‘strategic position’ amid further tensions with the US over its nuclear ambitions

North Korea has reportedly carried out a “very important” test at its Sohae satellite launch site, a rocket testing ground that US officials once said North Korea had promised to close.

The test, reported by state news agency KCNA, comes as North Korea has warned it could take a “new path” amid stalled denuclearisation talks with the US and as its year-end deadline nears.

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New Zealand storms: tornado warning issued as floods cut off towns

North Island braces for severe storms after landslides and flooding cut communications and close roads in South Island

New Zealand has been hit by a weekend of extreme weather, with landslides and flooding in the South Island cutting off towns and trapping tourists, and forecasters warning the North Island of tornadoes.

The Met Service said central and western areas in the North Island could expect severe thunderstorms on Sunday, with downpours of 25mm to 40mm an hour, large hail and possible '“small tornadoes”.

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Banana artwork that fetched $120,000 is eaten by ‘hungry’ artist

Performance artist consumes masterpiece in front of crowd at Art Basel in Miami, but ‘the idea’ apparently lives on

An artwork that sold last week for $120,000 and was hailed as “a symbol of global trade” has been eaten, in what might seem a fitting end for something that was an ever-ripening banana duct-taped to a wall.

The piece, titled Comedian, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was on show at the international gallery Perrotin at Art Basel in Miami when New York performance artist David Datuna ate it, saying he was hungry.

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US business leaders in Hong Kong detained and denied entry to Macau

President and chairman of American Chamber of Commerce told to sign statement saying decision not to enter Macau was voluntary

The chairman and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong were separately denied entry to the neighbouring Chinese-ruled city of Macau after being detained by immigration officials.

Chairman Robert Grieves and president Tara Joseph were travelling to the former Portuguese colony for the chamber’s annual Macau ball on Saturday. They said authorities did not provide a reason for refusing them entry.

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Queensland police shoot man dead after he allegedly fired at officers

Man was killed at house in Tiaro, south of Bundaberg, after reports he was armed

Queensland police officers have fatally shot a man at Tiaro, south of Bundaberg, after he allegedly fired at officers in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A search for the 40-year-old man was sparked by reports to police around 8.30pm on Saturday that he was armed and travelling in the area.

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Amazon indigenous leaders killed in Brazil drive-by shooting

Gunmen opened fire on a group from the Guajajara tribe on a highway in Maranhão state, killing two and wounding others

Two indigenous leaders have been shot dead and two others wounded in Brazil’s Maranhão state, in an attack not far from where a prominent tribesman who defended the Amazon rainforest was killed last month, authorities said.

The attack on the members of the Guajajara tribe, which is known for the forest guardians who protect their territory against illegal deforestation, occurred on the margins of a federal highway near El-Betel village in the country’s north-east on Saturday.

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Cormann and Dutton downplay chances of Australia accepting New Zealand refugee deal

Mathias Cormann reiterates claim government made no deal with Jacqui Lambie for her support repealing medevac laws

Senior Morrison government ministers have continued to downplay suggestions the government could accept the New Zealand offer to resettle refugees in offshore detention, amid ongoing speculation about the terms of an arrangement made with Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie.

Mathias Cormann reiterated on Sunday that the government had made no deal with Lambie in exchange for her support in repealing the medevac laws earlier this week.

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Bob Hawke’s daughter says he told her not to pursue rape allegations against former Labor MP

Rosslyn Dillon made allegations as part of legal challenge against her father’s estate

Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s youngest daughter says she was raped by a confidant of her father in the 1980s – but was urged not to report the assaults to protect Hawke’s leadership ambitions.

In claims published by the New Daily, Rosslyn Dillon levelled the allegations against former Labor Victorian MP Bill Landeryou, who died in February, as part of her legal challenge against her father’s $18m estate.

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