‘Global gag rule’ on abortion puts $9bn in health aid at risk, activists say

Donald Trump’s executive order prompts fears for groups fighting Aids and Zika and working against child and maternal deaths

Billions of dollars in US aid to groups combating diseases worldwide could be at risk from Donald’s Trump’s “unprecedented and far-reaching” reversal of abortion-related policy, campaigners warned on Tuesday.

Trump signed an executive order on Monday reinstating the “global gag rule”, which bans funding for groups that offer abortions or abortion advocacy, even if they use their own funds to do so.

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Donald Trump’s executive order prompts fears for groups fighting Aids and Zika and working against child and maternal deaths

Billions of dollars in US aid to groups combating diseases worldwide could be at risk from Donald’s Trump’s “unprecedented and far-reaching” reversal of abortion-related policy, campaigners warned on Tuesday.

Trump signed an executive order on Monday reinstating the “global gag rule”, which bans funding for groups that offer abortions or abortion advocacy, even if they use their own funds to do so.

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Dutch respond to Trump’s ‘gag rule’ with international safe abortion fund

  • Up to 20 countries indicate support for fund to plug $600m funding gap
  • Netherlands minister: ‘It’s important to stand your ground’

Up to 20 countries have indicated support for the Netherlands’ plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600m funding gap caused by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule”, the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen, said on Wednesday.

Ploumen took soundings from a number of her colleagues around the world on Tuesday evening after the Netherlands said it would act to mitigate the impact on hundreds of charities around the world.

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  • Up to 20 countries indicate support for fund to plug $600m funding gap
  • Netherlands minister: ‘It’s important to stand your ground’

Up to 20 countries have indicated support for the Netherlands’ plan to set up an international safe abortion fund to plug a $600m funding gap caused by Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule”, the Dutch international development minister, Lilianne Ploumen, said on Wednesday.

Ploumen took soundings from a number of her colleagues around the world on Tuesday evening after the Netherlands said it would act to mitigate the impact on hundreds of charities around the world.

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‘I want to kill these dogs’: question of whether to cull strays divides Yangon

Myanmar’s commercial capital is overrun with an estimated 120,000 stray dogs, which attack children and carry the threat of rabies. Mass culling was recently stopped but spay, neuter and vaccinate programmes have yet to start

Zu May Naing was playing with her brother outside their house in Bago Region, close to Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon, last month when a pack of stray dogs rounded on the 18-month-old.

Her mother, San Thar Myint, found her lying prone on the ground, bleeding and in shock. “Her temperature was over 100 [degrees fahrenheit] before they got to the operation room,” she says.

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Myanmar’s commercial capital is overrun with an estimated 120,000 stray dogs, which attack children and carry the threat of rabies. Mass culling was recently stopped but spay, neuter and vaccinate programmes have yet to start

Zu May Naing was playing with her brother outside their house in Bago Region, close to Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon, last month when a pack of stray dogs rounded on the 18-month-old.

Her mother, San Thar Myint, found her lying prone on the ground, bleeding and in shock. “Her temperature was over 100 [degrees fahrenheit] before they got to the operation room,” she says.

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‘Global gag rule’ could have dire impact in Latin America, activists warn

Reinstatement of policy by Donald Trump could have ‘chilling impact’ in region that already has high rates of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality

Donald Trump’s reversal of abortion-related aid policy will have a “chilling impact” on Latin America, say family-planning campaigners in a region that already has some of the world’s highest rates of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality.

The so-called global gag rule, which was signed into effect by the new US president on Monday, withholds USAid funding from any organisation that offers abortion services or information.

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Reinstatement of policy by Donald Trump could have ‘chilling impact’ in region that already has high rates of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality

Donald Trump’s reversal of abortion-related aid policy will have a “chilling impact” on Latin America, say family-planning campaigners in a region that already has some of the world’s highest rates of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality.

The so-called global gag rule, which was signed into effect by the new US president on Monday, withholds USAid funding from any organisation that offers abortion services or information.

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The future of the US-Mexican border: inside the ‘split city’ of El Paso-Juárez

One has been called the world’s most violent city. The other, the safest in its nation. Schoolchildren commute daily between the ‘binational’ cities of Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas – but with Trump in office, will border divisions grow?

Unlike most teenagers, Ashley Delgado starts her school day by crossing an international border. She gets up at 5am so her mother Dora can drive through Juárez’s dense traffic to the Paso del Norte bridge, where she follows the caged pathway between Mexico and the United States by foot. Clearing customs takes on average half an hour, but often it’s double that – depending on the line and the guards’ moods.

“Sometimes they put people in a little room for investigation and start to ask questions,” says the 14-year-old as her mum picks her up from the Mexican side at the end of a school day. “Where are you from? What are you bringing? What are you going to do in the US? It’s never happened to me, but to some of my friends it happens every three days.

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One has been called the world’s most violent city. The other, the safest in its nation. Schoolchildren commute daily between the ‘binational’ cities of Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas – but with Trump in office, will border divisions grow?

Unlike most teenagers, Ashley Delgado starts her school day by crossing an international border. She gets up at 5am so her mother Dora can drive through Juárez’s dense traffic to the Paso del Norte bridge, where she follows the caged pathway between Mexico and the United States by foot. Clearing customs takes on average half an hour, but often it’s double that – depending on the line and the guards’ moods.

“Sometimes they put people in a little room for investigation and start to ask questions,” says the 14-year-old as her mum picks her up from the Mexican side at the end of a school day. “Where are you from? What are you bringing? What are you going to do in the US? It’s never happened to me, but to some of my friends it happens every three days.

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Will New York get a Brexit boost to cancel out feared ‘Trump slump’?

While European cities led by Paris and Frankfurt wage campaigns for London’s financial business, some experts predict New York could benefit most of all from the fallout of Brexit on the UK capital

New York and London function as two prongs of one global economy. Banks and other financial companies headquartered in New York usually have their second biggest offices in the British capital, and vice versa.

For years, that’s made economic sense. For London-based companies, New York provides an unparalleled density of financial firms, a regulatory framework in which to do business, and access to non-European markets. London provides much of the same for New York-based companies who need access to European markets.

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While European cities led by Paris and Frankfurt wage campaigns for London’s financial business, some experts predict New York could benefit most of all from the fallout of Brexit on the UK capital

New York and London function as two prongs of one global economy. Banks and other financial companies headquartered in New York usually have their second biggest offices in the British capital, and vice versa.

For years, that’s made economic sense. For London-based companies, New York provides an unparalleled density of financial firms, a regulatory framework in which to do business, and access to non-European markets. London provides much of the same for New York-based companies who need access to European markets.

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The worst forest fire in Chile’s history – in pictures

Chile is facing the worst forest fires it has ever seen, with more than 600 sq miles of land destroyed and thousands of people evacuated from their homes. The Chilean government has declared a state of emergency in several areas, as people try to save their homes, livestock and land

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Chile is facing the worst forest fires it has ever seen, with more than 600 sq miles of land destroyed and thousands of people evacuated from their homes. The Chilean government has declared a state of emergency in several areas, as people try to save their homes, livestock and land

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The weakening of the ‘alt-right’: how infighting and doxxing are taking a toll

As the far right movement has emerged from obscurity, it has also become a target, facing what Richard Spencer calls ‘a literal and figurative punch in the face’

The on-camera punching of Richard Spencer in DC last weekend launched a thousand memes. It also crystallized a moment of difficulty for the far-right movement whose name Spencer coined – the “alt-right”.

“It was a literal and figurative punch in the face,” Spencer told the Guardian in a telephone conversation, adding that it would change his approach to public appearances. “I didn’t think of myself as someone who needs bodyguards, but I clearly do. Particularly at events – an inauguration or an election. I just can’t do these things alone any more. It wasn’t like that six months ago, and it certainly wasn’t like that five years ago.”

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As the far right movement has emerged from obscurity, it has also become a target, facing what Richard Spencer calls ‘a literal and figurative punch in the face’

The on-camera punching of Richard Spencer in DC last weekend launched a thousand memes. It also crystallized a moment of difficulty for the far-right movement whose name Spencer coined – the “alt-right”.

“It was a literal and figurative punch in the face,” Spencer told the Guardian in a telephone conversation, adding that it would change his approach to public appearances. “I didn’t think of myself as someone who needs bodyguards, but I clearly do. Particularly at events – an inauguration or an election. I just can’t do these things alone any more. It wasn’t like that six months ago, and it certainly wasn’t like that five years ago.”

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The Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow to return home

Return of Barrow follows crisis sparked by refusal of predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, to stand down after losing elections

The Gambia’s new president will return to his country’s capital on Thursday, aides have said, ending a prolonged political crisis sparked by disputed elections that forced him to flee to neighbouring Senegal.

The announcement capped days of anxious waiting in the tiny former British colony, which was thrown into chaos when the long-time president, Yahya Jammeh, refused to step down after losing elections.

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Return of Barrow follows crisis sparked by refusal of predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, to stand down after losing elections

The Gambia’s new president will return to his country’s capital on Thursday, aides have said, ending a prolonged political crisis sparked by disputed elections that forced him to flee to neighbouring Senegal.

The announcement capped days of anxious waiting in the tiny former British colony, which was thrown into chaos when the long-time president, Yahya Jammeh, refused to step down after losing elections.

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Mexican president ‘demands respect’ and rejects US border wall – video

President Enrique Peña Nieto says he rejects the decision by the US president, Donald Trump, to build a border wall and repeats that his country will not pay for its construction. In a recorded address televised nationally, Mexico’s leader says: ‘I am saddened and am against the decision by the United States to continue with the construction of a wall.’ He adds: ‘Mexico offers and demands respect’

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President Enrique Peña Nieto says he rejects the decision by the US president, Donald Trump, to build a border wall and repeats that his country will not pay for its construction. In a recorded address televised nationally, Mexico’s leader says: ‘I am saddened and am against the decision by the United States to continue with the construction of a wall.’ He adds: ‘Mexico offers and demands respect’

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Plane crash on Perth’s Swan river kills two during Australia Day celebrations

City cancels firework celebration after pilot and passenger killed when small plane appeared to stall and nosedive into water

Two people have died after a plane stalled and nosedived into the Swan river in Perth during Australia Day celebrations as thousands of people looked on.

Police said the pair were killed when the light plane, believed to be a seaplane, crash-landed into the river just after 5pm local time.

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City cancels firework celebration after pilot and passenger killed when small plane appeared to stall and nosedive into water

Two people have died after a plane stalled and nosedived into the Swan river in Perth during Australia Day celebrations as thousands of people looked on.

Police said the pair were killed when the light plane, believed to be a seaplane, crash-landed into the river just after 5pm local time.

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Romania’s corruption fight is a smokescreen to weaken its democracy

Turning a blind eye to this abuse of power risks encouraging other European nations to follow its example

The recent rise of the populist right in Hungary and Poland has raised the alarm about the future of democracy in Europe, as constitutional safeguards, media pluralism and civil society come under sustained attack.

But there is another threat hiding in plain sight: the abuse of anti-corruption laws in Romania, a country often lauded as an example of successful reform in central and eastern Europe.

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Turning a blind eye to this abuse of power risks encouraging other European nations to follow its example

The recent rise of the populist right in Hungary and Poland has raised the alarm about the future of democracy in Europe, as constitutional safeguards, media pluralism and civil society come under sustained attack.

But there is another threat hiding in plain sight: the abuse of anti-corruption laws in Romania, a country often lauded as an example of successful reform in central and eastern Europe.

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Will Trump return USA to dark days of ‘war on terror’ black sites?

President appears to believe ‘torture works’ – raising prospect of reviving techniques the CIA had moved away from

One of the common features of the multiple conflicts that followed the 9/11 attacks on the US was the use of secret prisons. Islamic extremists used them – most notably Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq – and so did a range of states in the Middle East, south Asia and beyond. Many had been doing so for many years.

But one of the most enthusiastic users of secret prisons – and torture – in the years following 9/11 was the USA. Its sites eventually numbered more than 100, it is believed, spanning half the world. It is this network of “black sites” that Donald Trump appears to be considering reviving.

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President appears to believe ‘torture works’ – raising prospect of reviving techniques the CIA had moved away from

One of the common features of the multiple conflicts that followed the 9/11 attacks on the US was the use of secret prisons. Islamic extremists used them – most notably Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq – and so did a range of states in the Middle East, south Asia and beyond. Many had been doing so for many years.

But one of the most enthusiastic users of secret prisons – and torture – in the years following 9/11 was the USA. Its sites eventually numbered more than 100, it is believed, spanning half the world. It is this network of “black sites” that Donald Trump appears to be considering reviving.

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President Trump parrots Fox News again with attack on Chelsea Manning

Trump calls army whistleblower an ‘ungrateful traitor’ in tweet 14 minutes after the words appeared on TV network, the third such instance in recent months

Donald Trump has called whistleblower Chelsea Manning an “ungrateful traitor” and criticized former president Barack Obama’s decision to commute her 35-year sentence by declaring that she “should never have been released from prison”.

Trump’s tweet on Thursday morning is the first time he has addressed Manning’s impending release, since Obama commuted her sentence in his final week in office:

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Trump calls army whistleblower an ‘ungrateful traitor’ in tweet 14 minutes after the words appeared on TV network, the third such instance in recent months

Donald Trump has called whistleblower Chelsea Manning an “ungrateful traitor” and criticized former president Barack Obama’s decision to commute her 35-year sentence by declaring that she “should never have been released from prison”.

Trump’s tweet on Thursday morning is the first time he has addressed Manning’s impending release, since Obama commuted her sentence in his final week in office:

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‘My neighbour murdered nearly all of my family, but now we are friends’

Thanks to a pioneering reconciliation project survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide now live side by side

In a leafy, quiet district less than an hour’s drive from Rwanda’s capital, the calmness of the community of Mbyo belies the dark and traumatic past of its inhabitants.

Related: My journey back to Rwanda: confronting the ghosts of the genocide 21 years later

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Thanks to a pioneering reconciliation project survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide now live side by side

In a leafy, quiet district less than an hour’s drive from Rwanda’s capital, the calmness of the community of Mbyo belies the dark and traumatic past of its inhabitants.

Related: My journey back to Rwanda: confronting the ghosts of the genocide 21 years later

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Ebola, war … but just two psychiatrists to deal with a nation’s trauma

Overwhelmed counsellors and medical staff in Sierra Leone must contend with suspicion and a collapse in funding

The history of Africa’s oldest psychiatric hospital is written on the walls of its isolation units, desperate messages chiselled into the woodwork like scars. “I came here for I don’t have any money,” reads one note in a corner of the room. “People want me to run from my father’s house,” reads another. “You go nowhere,” announces a third. “Stay out.”

Since the hospital opened in the early 19th century, most Sierra Leoneans have aspired to do exactly that, avoiding this imposing building perched high on a hill above the capital, Freetown.

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Overwhelmed counsellors and medical staff in Sierra Leone must contend with suspicion and a collapse in funding

The history of Africa’s oldest psychiatric hospital is written on the walls of its isolation units, desperate messages chiselled into the woodwork like scars. “I came here for I don’t have any money,” reads one note in a corner of the room. “People want me to run from my father’s house,” reads another. “You go nowhere,” announces a third. “Stay out.”

Since the hospital opened in the early 19th century, most Sierra Leoneans have aspired to do exactly that, avoiding this imposing building perched high on a hill above the capital, Freetown.

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Trump: ‘Torture works’ | The daily briefing

Donald Trump wants to reinstate ‘black sites’; Mexico says it will not pay for a wall; New Yorkers call for ‘No ban, no wall’; Venus and Serena will face off again

In his first interview as the president of the United States, Donald Trump has said that he believes torture “absolutely” works and he will ask members of his cabinet to begin determining what legally can and cannot be done. Speaking to David Muir on ABC News, Trump said it was time for the US to “fight with fire” on terrorism and said “absolutely I feel it works” when he was asked about the his support for waterboarding. He claimed that when he asked intelligence chiefs if torture works, “The answer was yes, absolutely.” The brazen support for torture comes after news that Trump wants to sign an executive order to reinstate “black sites,” secret detention facilities that held terrorism suspects around the world. Defense secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo were reportedly “blindsided” by the news of an executive order reinstating black sites. Trump’s claims also present problems for UK intelligence agencies as they cooperate with US agencies, and using information acquired through torture risks violating international law.

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Donald Trump wants to reinstate ‘black sites’; Mexico says it will not pay for a wall; New Yorkers call for ‘No ban, no wall’; Venus and Serena will face off again

In his first interview as the president of the United States, Donald Trump has said that he believes torture “absolutely” works and he will ask members of his cabinet to begin determining what legally can and cannot be done. Speaking to David Muir on ABC News, Trump said it was time for the US to “fight with fire” on terrorism and said “absolutely I feel it works” when he was asked about the his support for waterboarding. He claimed that when he asked intelligence chiefs if torture works, “The answer was yes, absolutely.” The brazen support for torture comes after news that Trump wants to sign an executive order to reinstate “black sites,” secret detention facilities that held terrorism suspects around the world. Defense secretary James Mattis and CIA director Mike Pompeo were reportedly “blindsided” by the news of an executive order reinstating black sites. Trump’s claims also present problems for UK intelligence agencies as they cooperate with US agencies, and using information acquired through torture risks violating international law.

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‘Global gag rule’ jeopardises future of Asia health initiatives, campaigners say

Funding for programmes from sanitation to nutrition will be subject to Trump’s far-reaching order, with huge implications for family planning providers

Women’s health advocates across Asia have said Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate and beef up the “global gag rule” will result in hundreds of thousands of unwanted pregnancies and imperil programmes aimed at improving sanitation, treating Aids and protecting LGBT activists.

Health providers and advocacy groups in Delhi, Phnom Penh, Jakarta and beyond have been holding emergency meetings since Tuesday’s announcement that US aid funding was now contingent on organisations abandoning their abortion advocacy work, services or information.

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Funding for programmes from sanitation to nutrition will be subject to Trump’s far-reaching order, with huge implications for family planning providers

Women’s health advocates across Asia have said Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate and beef up the “global gag rule” will result in hundreds of thousands of unwanted pregnancies and imperil programmes aimed at improving sanitation, treating Aids and protecting LGBT activists.

Health providers and advocacy groups in Delhi, Phnom Penh, Jakarta and beyond have been holding emergency meetings since Tuesday’s announcement that US aid funding was now contingent on organisations abandoning their abortion advocacy work, services or information.

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Brexit means ‘nnnnng, urggggh, bleugggh’ for a frustrated David Davis

After addressing the Commons, the Brexit secretary’s voice and patience were waning as he appeared before select committee

“Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh.” Roughly translated, this was David Davis’s way of saying he had lost his voice after being forced to spend two hours giving a statement to the House of Commons two days ago, following the government’s defeat in the supreme court, and was somewhat peeved to discover he was now required to answer Brexit departmental questions.

Hilary Benn, the chairman of the Brexit select committee, was the first to test the Brexit secretary’s voice and patience by asking who would arbitrate in future trade disputes once we had withdrawn from the European court of justice. “Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh,” said Davis. This appeared to mean that in the post-Brexit world order, everything would be sweetness and light, and if, in the unlikely event that there should be any minor disagreements, they could be patched up with the help of a relationship mediation counsellor. Dream on.

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After addressing the Commons, the Brexit secretary’s voice and patience were waning as he appeared before select committee

“Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh.” Roughly translated, this was David Davis’s way of saying he had lost his voice after being forced to spend two hours giving a statement to the House of Commons two days ago, following the government’s defeat in the supreme court, and was somewhat peeved to discover he was now required to answer Brexit departmental questions.

Hilary Benn, the chairman of the Brexit select committee, was the first to test the Brexit secretary’s voice and patience by asking who would arbitrate in future trade disputes once we had withdrawn from the European court of justice. “Nnnnng. Urggggh. Bleugggh,” said Davis. This appeared to mean that in the post-Brexit world order, everything would be sweetness and light, and if, in the unlikely event that there should be any minor disagreements, they could be patched up with the help of a relationship mediation counsellor. Dream on.

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Backed up: New Zealand’s public toilets not coping with tourist influx

Friction between ‘freedom campers’ and local people as visitor numbers surge and infrastructure can’t keep up

New Zealand’s booming tourism industry is creating a nationwide shortage of toilets with locals and tourists clashing over access to lavatories

More than 3.4 million tourists visited New Zealand in 2016, marking a new record for the small island nation of 4.5 million people.

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Friction between ‘freedom campers’ and local people as visitor numbers surge and infrastructure can’t keep up

New Zealand’s booming tourism industry is creating a nationwide shortage of toilets with locals and tourists clashing over access to lavatories

More than 3.4 million tourists visited New Zealand in 2016, marking a new record for the small island nation of 4.5 million people.

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Boris Johnson signals shift in UK policy on Syria’s Assad

Foreign secretary says UK accepts Syrian leader should be allowed to run for re-election in event of peace deal

The UK accepts that Bashar al-Assad should be allowed to run for election in the event of a peace settlement in Syria, Boris Johnson has said, in a dramatic reversal of the British policy stretching back to the early days of the civil war that the president must go.

Speaking on the eve of Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, the UK’s foreign secretary acknowledged that the inauguration of the new US president meant all sides needed to rethink their approach to Syria.

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Foreign secretary says UK accepts Syrian leader should be allowed to run for re-election in event of peace deal

The UK accepts that Bashar al-Assad should be allowed to run for election in the event of a peace settlement in Syria, Boris Johnson has said, in a dramatic reversal of the British policy stretching back to the early days of the civil war that the president must go.

Speaking on the eve of Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, the UK’s foreign secretary acknowledged that the inauguration of the new US president meant all sides needed to rethink their approach to Syria.

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Chile battles devastating wildfires: ‘We have never seen anything on this scale’

The world’s largest firefighting aircraft has flown in from the US, alongside help from France, Peru and Mexico, as fires continue to ravage Chilean lands

The world’s biggest aerial firefighting aircraft has joined beleaguered firefighters in Chile as they battle the worst wildfires in the country’s recent history.

More than 90 blazes have scorched 180,000 hectares, razed hundreds of homes, turned village schools to ashes and destroyed cattle herds and vineyards.

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The world’s largest firefighting aircraft has flown in from the US, alongside help from France, Peru and Mexico, as fires continue to ravage Chilean lands

The world’s biggest aerial firefighting aircraft has joined beleaguered firefighters in Chile as they battle the worst wildfires in the country’s recent history.

More than 90 blazes have scorched 180,000 hectares, razed hundreds of homes, turned village schools to ashes and destroyed cattle herds and vineyards.

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Raúl Castro: Cuba won’t compromise sovereignty to normalize US relations

President said Cuba hopes to continue to repair relations but made it clear that Trump administration should not expect concessions affecting independence

Raúl Castro has said Cuba hopes to continue to normalize relations with the United States but made it clear that the Trump administration should not expect concessions affecting the country’s sovereignty.

Before taking office, Donald Trump threatened to torpedo the still fragile detente between the former cold war foes unless a “better deal” could be struck, without providing details. His aides have said current policy is under review.

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President said Cuba hopes to continue to repair relations but made it clear that Trump administration should not expect concessions affecting independence

Raúl Castro has said Cuba hopes to continue to normalize relations with the United States but made it clear that the Trump administration should not expect concessions affecting the country’s sovereignty.

Before taking office, Donald Trump threatened to torpedo the still fragile detente between the former cold war foes unless a “better deal” could be struck, without providing details. His aides have said current policy is under review.

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‘Do I regret it? Not for a second’: Swedish journalist goes on trial for helping refugees

Fredrik Önnevall is in court this week facing charges of people smuggling after helping 15-year-old Abed travel to Sweden

The suggestion sounded like an innocent joke, but it turned out to be deadly serious.

“Take me with you!” Abed asked Fredrik Önnevall.

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Fredrik Önnevall is in court this week facing charges of people smuggling after helping 15-year-old Abed travel to Sweden

The suggestion sounded like an innocent joke, but it turned out to be deadly serious.

“Take me with you!” Abed asked Fredrik Önnevall.

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May’s meeting with Trump: a collision of contrasting world views

The PM’s visit could be seen as a diplomatic coup, but her vision of a free-trading Britain could crash into ‘America First’

Theresa May travels to the US on Thursday to try to forge a personal and political relationship with the least predictable and, in European terms, most unpopular US president in modern times.

For all the British diplomatic pleasure that their prime minister is once again the first foreign leader through the door of a newly elected president, as John Major managed in the case of Bill Clinton in 1993, there will be wariness in Downing Street. For the first time since the second world war, the US appears to have a president who displays indifference to supporting his allies or shoring up an alliance framework.

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The PM’s visit could be seen as a diplomatic coup, but her vision of a free-trading Britain could crash into ‘America First’

Theresa May travels to the US on Thursday to try to forge a personal and political relationship with the least predictable and, in European terms, most unpopular US president in modern times.

For all the British diplomatic pleasure that their prime minister is once again the first foreign leader through the door of a newly elected president, as John Major managed in the case of Bill Clinton in 1993, there will be wariness in Downing Street. For the first time since the second world war, the US appears to have a president who displays indifference to supporting his allies or shoring up an alliance framework.

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Doctors save Canadian woman’s life by removing her lungs for six days

Melissa Benoit’s terminal lung infection called for risky and unprecedented procedure while she waited for double transplant at Toronto hospital

In what is believed to be the first procedure of its kind in the world, doctors in Canada have saved a young mother’s life by resorting to a radical solution – they removed her lungs for six days while she waited for a transplant.

In April, Melissa Benoit arrived at a Toronto hospital with a severe lung infection. Doctors soon realised that Benoit, who had been born with cystic fibrosis, had just hours to live, leading them to consider the unprecedented approach.

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Melissa Benoit’s terminal lung infection called for risky and unprecedented procedure while she waited for double transplant at Toronto hospital

In what is believed to be the first procedure of its kind in the world, doctors in Canada have saved a young mother’s life by resorting to a radical solution – they removed her lungs for six days while she waited for a transplant.

In April, Melissa Benoit arrived at a Toronto hospital with a severe lung infection. Doctors soon realised that Benoit, who had been born with cystic fibrosis, had just hours to live, leading them to consider the unprecedented approach.

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Mexico’s president ‘will not pay for any wall’ – but may still visit Trump

Enrique Peña Nieto repeats his refusal to fund border wall but leaves open the question of contentious 31 January trip to meet new US president

Mexico’s president has once again declared that “Mexico will not pay for any wall” but stopped short of cancelling a visit to Washington after Donald Trump signed executive orders that include building the border barrier.

Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated that Mexico would not put a single peso towards the new US president’s signature project. In a televised address he said: “I regret and reject the decision of the US to build the wall.”

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Enrique Peña Nieto repeats his refusal to fund border wall but leaves open the question of contentious 31 January trip to meet new US president

Mexico’s president has once again declared that “Mexico will not pay for any wall” but stopped short of cancelling a visit to Washington after Donald Trump signed executive orders that include building the border barrier.

Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated that Mexico would not put a single peso towards the new US president’s signature project. In a televised address he said: “I regret and reject the decision of the US to build the wall.”

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Makhado mine: flashpoint for tensions over South Africa’s pro-coal policies

A campaign by locals and farming businesses to halt a large opencast mine highlights a far wider conflict over South Africa’s continued addiction to coal

On the horizon are the mountains, verdant rainforest on their well-watered, shaded southern slopes and arid scrub on the dry reverse slopes. Then there is the plain, studded with baobab trees and outcrops. Finally there is the river Limpopo. Beyond is another country: troubled, restive Zimbabwe.

But here in the far north-east of South Africa, there is tension, too. In the Soutpansberg range and on the flat lands beyond, an improbable coalition of local farmers, villagers, big agricultural businessmen and activists are fighting to halt the development of a large opencast mine which, they say, would cause massive harm to the region.

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A campaign by locals and farming businesses to halt a large opencast mine highlights a far wider conflict over South Africa’s continued addiction to coal

On the horizon are the mountains, verdant rainforest on their well-watered, shaded southern slopes and arid scrub on the dry reverse slopes. Then there is the plain, studded with baobab trees and outcrops. Finally there is the river Limpopo. Beyond is another country: troubled, restive Zimbabwe.

But here in the far north-east of South Africa, there is tension, too. In the Soutpansberg range and on the flat lands beyond, an improbable coalition of local farmers, villagers, big agricultural businessmen and activists are fighting to halt the development of a large opencast mine which, they say, would cause massive harm to the region.

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Trump claims torture works but experts warn of its ‘potentially existential’ costs

Trump gives first presidential TV interview as draft executive order points to return to practices such as waterboarding

Donald Trump has used his first TV interview as president to say he believes torture “absolutely” works and that the US should “fight fire with fire.”

Speaking to ABC News, Trump said he would defer to the defence secretary, James Mattis, and CIA director, Mike Pompeo, to determine what can and cannot be done legally to combat the spread of terrorism.

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Trump gives first presidential TV interview as draft executive order points to return to practices such as waterboarding

Donald Trump has used his first TV interview as president to say he believes torture “absolutely” works and that the US should “fight fire with fire.”

Speaking to ABC News, Trump said he would defer to the defence secretary, James Mattis, and CIA director, Mike Pompeo, to determine what can and cannot be done legally to combat the spread of terrorism.

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Gaza’s water shortage worsening, no easy solutions seen

GAZA (Reuters) – Marwan An-Najar, a Palestinian from the south of the Gaza Strip, says he has not tasted sweet tap water in 10 years. Every day, he travels four kilometres (2.5 miles) to fill a 20-litre plastic jerrycan at a local desalination station.

GAZA (Reuters) – Marwan An-Najar, a Palestinian from the south of the Gaza Strip, says he has not tasted sweet tap water in 10 years. Every day, he travels four kilometres (2.5 miles) to fill a 20-litre plastic jerrycan at a local desalination station.


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China eyes stabilising role in call with Germany’s Merkel

SHANGHAI/BERLIN (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for China and Germany to play a leading role to ensure the stability of international markets amid an uncertain climate, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.

SHANGHAI/BERLIN (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for China and Germany to play a leading role to ensure the stability of international markets amid an uncertain climate, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.


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Russia says British military staging ‘show’ with Channel escort

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Thursday said the British government was staging a show by escorting a Russian aircraft carrier through the English Channel designed to distract attention away from the shortcomings of the British navy.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Thursday said the British government was staging a show by escorting a Russian aircraft carrier through the English Channel designed to distract attention away from the shortcomings of the British navy.


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German SPD’s new leader Schulz level with Merkel in poll

BERLIN (Reuters) – As many Germans would vote for new Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz as for conservative Angela Merkel in a direct vote for chancellor, a poll published late on Wednesday showed, eight months before federal elections in September.

BERLIN (Reuters) – As many Germans would vote for new Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz as for conservative Angela Merkel in a direct vote for chancellor, a poll published late on Wednesday showed, eight months before federal elections in September.


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Donald Trump’s cabinet confirmation hearings – video explainer

The confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are well under way. There have been fierce exchanges between Marco Rubio and Rex Tillerson, Bernie Sanders and Tom Price, and Elizabeth Warren and Ben Carson. Tillerson has refused to answer questions on climate science from Tim Kaine, while Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struggled to answer some of the questions she was asked. But there have been lighter moments amid the serious business, including some hilarious but unintentional innuendo from Rick Perry

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The confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are well under way. There have been fierce exchanges between Marco Rubio and Rex Tillerson, Bernie Sanders and Tom Price, and Elizabeth Warren and Ben Carson. Tillerson has refused to answer questions on climate science from Tim Kaine, while Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struggled to answer some of the questions she was asked. But there have been lighter moments amid the serious business, including some hilarious but unintentional innuendo from Rick Perry

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Europe’s frontline: the Latvians caught in Russia and Nato’s Baltic war games – video

Russia and Nato are moving thousands of troops and playing war games in the Baltics, where onlookers fear tensions between ethnic Russian-speakers and nationalists could bring Moscow into direct conflict with the west. Phoebe Greenwood travels to the Latvia-Russia border to hear the concerns of people living on Europe’s frontline

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Russia and Nato are moving thousands of troops and playing war games in the Baltics, where onlookers fear tensions between ethnic Russian-speakers and nationalists could bring Moscow into direct conflict with the west. Phoebe Greenwood travels to the Latvia-Russia border to hear the concerns of people living on Europe’s frontline

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How the world reacted to Trump’s inauguration as US president

Caution in China, sorrow and anger in Mexico, cork-popping in Moscow – here are some of the global responses to Friday’s power handover

Germany will need a new economic strategy geared toward Asia should the new US administration start a trade war with China, vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, warning of a “rough ride” hours after Donald Trump was sworn in.

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Caution in China, sorrow and anger in Mexico, cork-popping in Moscow – here are some of the global responses to Friday’s power handover

Germany will need a new economic strategy geared toward Asia should the new US administration start a trade war with China, vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said, warning of a “rough ride” hours after Donald Trump was sworn in.

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