‘Diversity is now centre stage’: Berlin film festival sets industry precedent

Event achieves gender parity among directors and executives but number of films directed by women falls slightly from 2019

The Berlin film festival has achieved gender parity in some of its most senior positions a year after signing a pledge that commits film festivals to improve representation in relation to diversity.

The Berlin festival, which opened on Thursday, is one of the major events to sign up to 5050x2020, which requires organisations to release information about the gender and race of their directors, members of selection committees and executive boards, and to record similar data about the directors, casts and crews of submitted films.

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JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race

Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on unsustainable trajectory

The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has advised clients that something will have to change at some point if the human race is to survive the climate crisis, according to a leaked document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said it was clear that the earth was on an unsustainable trajectory that risked catastrophic outcomes.

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Regent’s Park mosque prayer leader returns day after being stabbed

Raafat Maglad says he feels sorry for alleged attacker as concerns raised about security

A Muslim prayer leader has returned to Regent’s Park mosque a day after he was stabbed in the neck in front of hundreds of horrified onlookers, as London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, urged worshippers to remain vigilant.

Raafat Maglad, who is in his 70s and is the mosque’s muezzin – the person who calls worshippers to prayer – said he was sorry for the alleged attacker, who was wrestled to the ground on Thursday after what one witness described as “30 seconds of mayhem.”

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Bloomberg campaign spends $460m in first quarter ahead of Super Tuesday

Federal Election Commission filings released on Thursday show money is sourced from ex-mayor’s own pockets

Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has now spent $460m on his campaign in just three months. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings released on Thursday, the money is being sourced from his own pockets.

The former New York City mayor and media mogul has claimed his campaign will stay entirely self-funded, drawing criticism from opponents who accuse him of seeking to buy the election.

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Harvey Weinstein trial: jury asks to hear reading of Sopranos actor’s testimony

Jury sent the judge a note saying it wants to review the cross-examination of Annabella Sciorra, who says Weinstein raped her

The name that keeps coming up during deliberations at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial – Annabella Sciorra – will be front and center again on Friday when jurors are expected to hear a reading of a large chunk of her testimony.

Before concluding its third day of deliberations on Thursday, the Manhattan jury sent the judge a note saying it wants to review the cross-examination of the Sopranos actor and any follow-up questioning by prosecutors.

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What is the Windrush review?

The review was set up to shed light on the events that led to the Windrush scandal

The Windrush review was set up to provide an independent assessment of the events leading up to the Windrush scandal – particularly from 2008 to March 2018 – and to identify the key lessons for the Home Office going forward.

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Rome unveils shrine dedicated to city’s mythical founder

Newly found monument honouring Romulus includes 2,600-year-old sarcophagus

A newly discovered ancient shrine believed to have been dedicated to the cult of Romulus, the legendary founder and first king of Rome, has been unveiled.

The monument was discovered by archaeologists in a chamber beneath the Roman Forum, the political heart of the Roman empire, and included a 2,600-year-old sarcophagus and a circular stone structure that is believed to have been an altar.

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‘It’s post-apocalyptic’: how coronavirus has altered day-to-day life

From Wuhan to the north of England, people have been affected by the outbreak in different ways

The coronavirus is a public health emergency, but its threat is not only medical. Millions of lives have been altered by the outbreak, from those in self-isolation in China to Chinese nationals experiencing racism abroad. We talk to those affected in different ways, from Wuhan to the north of England.

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School bus stunt urges Prince Andrew to talk to FBI about Jeffrey Epstein

US lawyer Gloria Allred arranged for bus to be driven past Buckingham Palace with message for prince

An American-style school bus has driven past Buckingham Palace with a message on the side appealing for Prince Andrew to answer questions from the FBI about his links to the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The stunt was arranged by the US lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Epstein’s victims.

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Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case

Clifton Collins fears fishing gear was taken to dump by his landlord after he was jailed

In early 2017 Clifton Collins, an Irish drug dealer, had a dilemma: where to hide the codes of his illicit €55m (£46m) bitcoin fortune.

His solution was to print them onto an A4 piece of paper and stash it in the aluminium cap of a fishing rod case kept at his rented home in Farnaught, Cornamona, county Galway.

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Pompeo: US has reached ‘understanding’ with Taliban over violence in Afghanistan

A seven-day ‘reduction of violence’ deal promised by the Taliban will begin on Friday night, leading to signing of a peace agreement

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday that the US had “come to an understanding with the Taliban” over violence reduction in Afghanistan as officials said an agreement would be signed at the end of the month.

A seven-day “reduction of violence” deal promised by the Taliban will begin on Friday night, a senior US state department official said, without specifying the exact time.

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‘We have nothing left’: displaced Syrians wait out war in Idlib

With the closed Turkish border behind them and Russian-backed forces at the horizon, Syrians have nowhere left to run

Hemmed against a border wall in Somme-like mud and misery, more than 1 million Syrians are awaiting their fate. Nearby, Iranian-backed militias and what remains of the national army are advancing towards them, as Russian jets pick them off in the crowded fields and ruined towns that are all that is left of opposition-held Syria.

Convoys of the Turkish military, a protector of the displaced that have made it to the province over the last eight years, pass regularly along roads teeming with clapped out cars full of families and remnants of their belongings. Women and children beg them to stop, but they continue on to battlefronts miles from the panic and confusion, their attention diverted from helping the destitute to shaping the final months of the war in Ankara’s interests. Aid workers, who say things have never been worse in Syria, do what they can among scenes they describe as overwhelming and impossible.

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Belgian carnival to go ahead despite row over ‘hateful’ antisemitism

Organisers in Aalst say they will defy calls from Israel’s government to cancel event

Organisers of a Belgian carnival, removed from a Unesco heritage list last year following criticism of its antisemitic floats, have said they will defy calls from Israel’s government for Sunday’s event to be cancelled.

Belgium’s prime minister, Sophie Wilmès, also described the parade as an “internal affair” after Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, called for the authorities to “condemn and ban this hateful parade in Aalst”.

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‘You’ve ripped a hole in my heart’: Grace Millane’s mother speaks to court – video

The mother of the murdered British backpacker says she is tormented over 'the terror and pain she must have experienced at your hands'. Gillian Millane was speaking to a court via video link. Her daughter was killed in New Zealand in 2018. 

A 28-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for Millane’s murder.

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German far-right party accused of fuelling hate after Hanau attack

Leading politicians say Alternative für Deutschland should face surveillance

Leading German politicians have called for the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland to be placed under surveillance, claiming it has helped to fuel the extremist rhetoric behind the deadly attack on Hanau.

Nine mostly young people all with an immigrant background were murdered on Thursday in the western German city by Tobias Rathjen, a 43-year-old who had posted a racist video and manifesto on the internet before carrying out the killings.

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