Uganda’s sprawling haven for 270,000 of South Sudan’s refugees

Bidi Bidi camp was opened six months ago but already hosts a fifth of all the South Sudanese fleeing violence and hunger in their home country

Moses Roba still has the scar on his face from when the glass shattered. It runs around the outside of his right eye, starting at the tip of his eyebrow and curving down to the top of his cheekbone. He got it, he says, when rebels opposed to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir attacked his car near his home in the small border town of Nimule. The rebels wanted to steal the vehicle, he claims. But he said no.

“I refused, so they shoot me, they shoot the vehicle,” he says. A piece of glass sliced through the side of his face, missing his eye by a centimetre. His car was torched.
After that, Roba decided to leave his home country and, along with his wife and three children, made the short but perilous journey south into Uganda.

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Bidi Bidi camp was opened six months ago but already hosts a fifth of all the South Sudanese fleeing violence and hunger in their home country

Moses Roba still has the scar on his face from when the glass shattered. It runs around the outside of his right eye, starting at the tip of his eyebrow and curving down to the top of his cheekbone. He got it, he says, when rebels opposed to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir attacked his car near his home in the small border town of Nimule. The rebels wanted to steal the vehicle, he claims. But he said no.

“I refused, so they shoot me, they shoot the vehicle,” he says. A piece of glass sliced through the side of his face, missing his eye by a centimetre. His car was torched.
After that, Roba decided to leave his home country and, along with his wife and three children, made the short but perilous journey south into Uganda.

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‘How will we survive?’: Syrian refugees trapped in poverty in Thailand

The status of refugees is not recognised in Thailand, leaving the few hundred Syrians there unable to work or go to school, at constant risk of deportation

After prayers, Nassr, 58, lights one of the 60 cigarettes he will smoke that day. “It’s the stress,” he shrugs apologetically. “The tension of being an illegal refugee in Thailand.”

As the minaret’s call fades, the noise from Bangkok’s khlong boats intensifies as they carry commuters along the waterways. Together with two Iraqi friends Nassr, a Palestinian Syrian, watches the bustle, wishing he could get a job.

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The status of refugees is not recognised in Thailand, leaving the few hundred Syrians there unable to work or go to school, at constant risk of deportation

After prayers, Nassr, 58, lights one of the 60 cigarettes he will smoke that day. “It’s the stress,” he shrugs apologetically. “The tension of being an illegal refugee in Thailand.”

As the minaret’s call fades, the noise from Bangkok’s khlong boats intensifies as they carry commuters along the waterways. Together with two Iraqi friends Nassr, a Palestinian Syrian, watches the bustle, wishing he could get a job.

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‘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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The global fight for women’s rights, and a focus on gender inequality in Africa

The implications of the US’s reinstatement of the global gag rule, plus how African women are joining forces to improve their lot

If you are reading this on the web and would prefer to get it in your inbox every two weeks, register for the email edition

Women’s rights have topped the agenda over the past week. Our video explainer spells out the implications of the “global gag rule”, which has just been reinstated by the Trump administration. Campaigners say it will deny access to life-saving family planning and sexual and reproductive health services, and endanger the lives of millions of women around the world.

Across Africa, where one in five women already lacks access to contraception, feminists are forming a united front and championing women’s rights. Our latest podcast highlights those working to bring about gender equality across the continent.

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The implications of the US’s reinstatement of the global gag rule, plus how African women are joining forces to improve their lot

If you are reading this on the web and would prefer to get it in your inbox every two weeks, register for the email edition

Women’s rights have topped the agenda over the past week. Our video explainer spells out the implications of the “global gag rule”, which has just been reinstated by the Trump administration. Campaigners say it will deny access to life-saving family planning and sexual and reproductive health services, and endanger the lives of millions of women around the world.

Across Africa, where one in five women already lacks access to contraception, feminists are forming a united front and championing women’s rights. Our latest podcast highlights those working to bring about gender equality across the continent.

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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‘We got Christmas back’: readers mark 25 years since fall of Soviet Union

Whether it was arrival of capitalism, social instability or denim, monumental changes followed Gorbachev’s resignation in 1991

After years of food shortages, rising nationalist movements and an attempted coup, Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, resigned on Christmas Day 1991. His resignation 25 years ago was the final nail in the coffin of the USSR.

To mark the anniversary we asked our readers across the region to share their memories of the monumental events, and to tell us how they felt about the change from a communist, collective system, to a capitalist one.

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Whether it was arrival of capitalism, social instability or denim, monumental changes followed Gorbachev’s resignation in 1991

After years of food shortages, rising nationalist movements and an attempted coup, Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, resigned on Christmas Day 1991. His resignation 25 years ago was the final nail in the coffin of the USSR.

To mark the anniversary we asked our readers across the region to share their memories of the monumental events, and to tell us how they felt about the change from a communist, collective system, to a capitalist one.

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‘The real Q is a woman’: boss of MI6 makes pitch for female recruits

Sir Alex Younger, speaking at Women in IT Awards, says James Bond films give MI6 a global profile – but their stereotypes are not entirely accurate

The agent known as Q, inventive head of gadgets at the UK spy agency MI6, has always been portrayed in the James Bond movies as a man. But the real head of Britain’s secret service, Sir Alex Younger, revealed on Wednesday night that Q is in fact a woman.

Younger, traditionally known as C, delivered the keynote speech at the Women in IT Awards in London in which he appealed for more women to join MI6, especially those with a scientific or technological background. “If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman,” he said.

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Sir Alex Younger, speaking at Women in IT Awards, says James Bond films give MI6 a global profile – but their stereotypes are not entirely accurate

The agent known as Q, inventive head of gadgets at the UK spy agency MI6, has always been portrayed in the James Bond movies as a man. But the real head of Britain’s secret service, Sir Alex Younger, revealed on Wednesday night that Q is in fact a woman.

Younger, traditionally known as C, delivered the keynote speech at the Women in IT Awards in London in which he appealed for more women to join MI6, especially those with a scientific or technological background. “If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman,” he said.

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Donald Trump: torture ‘absolutely’ works, says US president in first television interview

‘We have to fight fire with fire,’ US president says as draft executive order calls for resumption of practices including waterboarding

Donald Trump has declared he believes torture works as his administration readied a sweeping review that could lead to resumption of banned practices including waterboarding and reopening CIA-run “black site” prisons outside the United States.

In his first television interview as president, Trump told ABC news said he would wage war against Islamic State militants with the singular goal of keeping the US safe. Asked specifically about the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, Trump cited the extremist group’s atrocities against Christians and others and said: “We have to fight fire with fire.”

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‘We have to fight fire with fire,’ US president says as draft executive order calls for resumption of practices including waterboarding

Donald Trump has declared he believes torture works as his administration readied a sweeping review that could lead to resumption of banned practices including waterboarding and reopening CIA-run “black site” prisons outside the United States.

In his first television interview as president, Trump told ABC news said he would wage war against Islamic State militants with the singular goal of keeping the US safe. Asked specifically about the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, Trump cited the extremist group’s atrocities against Christians and others and said: “We have to fight fire with fire.”

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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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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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Jeff Nichols on Loving: ‘You can’t grow up in the American south and not confront race issues’

The Lovings were a Virginian couple who endured midnight raids and an order to leave the state. Their crime? Interracial marriage. Jeff Nichols on how he filmed the explosive case that changed US history

‘The two things Americans don’t want to deal with are race and sex,” says Jeff Nichols. His new film deals with both, and enters a landscape where both remain unresolved. Loving is based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and a black woman (at least in the eyes of the law – she was part African American, part Native American) who overturned anti-miscegenation laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Incredibly, this did not happen in the US until 1967. When the Lovings married, in 1958, such laws were still in place in 24 US states. Alabama didn’t fully register the change in its state constitution until 2000.

“They’re relics of slavery,” Nichols says of the laws. “This is the idea of white slave owners not wanting black men to sleep with white women – that’s where it started. That fear was the basis of all the Jim Crow laws, but the anti-miscegenation laws were really specific because they got to the matter of sex, and that gets to the matter of identity, which is a far more complex thing.”

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The Lovings were a Virginian couple who endured midnight raids and an order to leave the state. Their crime? Interracial marriage. Jeff Nichols on how he filmed the explosive case that changed US history

‘The two things Americans don’t want to deal with are race and sex,” says Jeff Nichols. His new film deals with both, and enters a landscape where both remain unresolved. Loving is based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and a black woman (at least in the eyes of the law – she was part African American, part Native American) who overturned anti-miscegenation laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Incredibly, this did not happen in the US until 1967. When the Lovings married, in 1958, such laws were still in place in 24 US states. Alabama didn’t fully register the change in its state constitution until 2000.

“They’re relics of slavery,” Nichols says of the laws. “This is the idea of white slave owners not wanting black men to sleep with white women – that’s where it started. That fear was the basis of all the Jim Crow laws, but the anti-miscegenation laws were really specific because they got to the matter of sex, and that gets to the matter of identity, which is a far more complex thing.”

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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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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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Republicans push federal ‘heartbeat’ bill in longshot bid to overturn Roe v Wade

Bill unlikely to pass Congress but is believed to be first of its kind at federal level, banning abortion after heartbeat is detected, in some cases as early as six weeks

A group of Republican congressmen urged support for what is believed to be the first federal “heartbeat” bill in the US on Tuesday, arguing that it would in effect “eliminate” abortion across the country.

Though the bill is unlikely to pass Congress, its introduction is an indicator of how emboldened far-right opponents of abortion feel now that a party hostile to reproductive rights has control of the three main branches of government in Washington.

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Bill unlikely to pass Congress but is believed to be first of its kind at federal level, banning abortion after heartbeat is detected, in some cases as early as six weeks

A group of Republican congressmen urged support for what is believed to be the first federal “heartbeat” bill in the US on Tuesday, arguing that it would in effect “eliminate” abortion across the country.

Though the bill is unlikely to pass Congress, its introduction is an indicator of how emboldened far-right opponents of abortion feel now that a party hostile to reproductive rights has control of the three main branches of government in Washington.

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The Holocaust by Laurence Rees review – the voices of victims and killers

What makes this nuanced ‘new history’ stand out is its use of unpublished interviews with eyewitnesses

In 1955, 10 years after his liberation from Auschwitz, Primo Levi published an anguished article about the “gigantic death-dealing machine” the Nazis had built to wipe out Jews such as himself. Levi was mainly concerned with the 1950s, however, not the recent past. He feared that the greatest crime imaginable, still so vivid in the minds of survivors, was in danger of being forgotten by the wider public. Levi railed against the “silence of the civilised world”, which regarded any mention of Nazi extermination camps as in bad taste.

How things have changed. Far from being forgotten, the murder of European Jewry has become a global benchmark for judging inhumanity. Levi’s own memoir of Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, which was initially met with indifference, has been recognised as one of the “truly necessary books” (Philip Roth), and every year sees a stream of works by survivors and historians, philosophers and novelists. The question is no longer: “Is this silence justified?”, as Levi asked rhetorically back in 1955. It is now: “Which of the countless studies should we read?”

Continue reading…

What makes this nuanced ‘new history’ stand out is its use of unpublished interviews with eyewitnesses

In 1955, 10 years after his liberation from Auschwitz, Primo Levi published an anguished article about the “gigantic death-dealing machine” the Nazis had built to wipe out Jews such as himself. Levi was mainly concerned with the 1950s, however, not the recent past. He feared that the greatest crime imaginable, still so vivid in the minds of survivors, was in danger of being forgotten by the wider public. Levi railed against the “silence of the civilised world”, which regarded any mention of Nazi extermination camps as in bad taste.

How things have changed. Far from being forgotten, the murder of European Jewry has become a global benchmark for judging inhumanity. Levi’s own memoir of Auschwitz, If This Is a Man, which was initially met with indifference, has been recognised as one of the “truly necessary books” (Philip Roth), and every year sees a stream of works by survivors and historians, philosophers and novelists. The question is no longer: “Is this silence justified?”, as Levi asked rhetorically back in 1955. It is now: “Which of the countless studies should we read?”

Continue reading…

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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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China hits back at US over South China Sea ‘takeover’ claims

Beijing warns White House to tread carefully after Rex Tillerson likens island-building to Russia’s taking of Crimea

China has warned the US to “speak and act cautiously” after the White House said it would act to foil Chinese attempts to “take over” the South China Sea, amid growing hints that Donald Trump’s administration intends to challenge Beijing over the strategic waterway.

At a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, urged Washington to tread carefully “to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea”.

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Beijing warns White House to tread carefully after Rex Tillerson likens island-building to Russia’s taking of Crimea

China has warned the US to “speak and act cautiously” after the White House said it would act to foil Chinese attempts to “take over” the South China Sea, amid growing hints that Donald Trump’s administration intends to challenge Beijing over the strategic waterway.

At a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, urged Washington to tread carefully “to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea”.

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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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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, which have devastated swaths of land.

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, which have devastated swaths of land.

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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Trump summit with Mexico’s Pena Nieto still on, ‘for now’

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – A summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto next week is still on “for now”, Mexico’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, despite pressure at home to scrap it over objections to a border wall.

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – A summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena Nieto next week is still on “for now”, Mexico’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, despite pressure at home to scrap it over objections to a border wall.


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China eyes stabilising role in call with Germany’s Merkel

SHANGHAI (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” global political and economic climate, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.

SHANGHAI (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” global political and economic climate, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.


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Austrian chancellor rows back on talk of government collapse

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Social Democrat Chancellor Christian Kern rowed back on talk of the coalition government with his Conservative junior partners possibly collapsing, saying that all parties were trying to hammer out a policy action programme by Friday.

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Social Democrat Chancellor Christian Kern rowed back on talk of the coalition government with his Conservative junior partners possibly collapsing, saying that all parties were trying to hammer out a policy action programme by Friday.


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Bolt’s precious ‘treble-treble’ is no more

When Usain Bolt helped the Jamaican sprint relay team to gold in the Beijing Bird’s Nest in 2008 it felt like he was signing off with a joyful exclamation mark at the end of a miraculous new chapter in sporting history.When Usain Bolt helped the Jamaican sprint relay team to gold in the Beijing Bird’s Nest in 2008 it felt like he was signing off with a joyful exclamation mark at the end of a miraculous new chapter in sporting history.

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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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