‘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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‘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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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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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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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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RBS takes £3.1bn hit over US mis-selling scandal

Bailed-out bank on course for ninth consecutive annual loss as it prepares for Department of Justice fine

Royal Bank of Scotland is to take a £3.1bn hit to cover the cost of a toxic bond mis-selling scandal in the US in a move that is likely to push it to its ninth consecutive annual loss.

The bailed-out bank has already incurred £50bn of cumulative annual losses since taxpayers pumped in £45bn to keep it afloat.

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Bailed-out bank on course for ninth consecutive annual loss as it prepares for Department of Justice fine

Royal Bank of Scotland is to take a £3.1bn hit to cover the cost of a toxic bond mis-selling scandal in the US in a move that is likely to push it to its ninth consecutive annual loss.

The bailed-out bank has already incurred £50bn of cumulative annual losses since taxpayers pumped in £45bn to keep it afloat.

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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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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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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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Going Dutch: will Amsterdam grab a slice of the post-Brexit cake?

Amsterdam hopes its financial technology, digital connectivity, unique atmosphere and impressive grasp of English can lure businesses from London. But a severe cap on bonuses means big banks are unlikely to join the exodus

Is Amsterdam going to be the new London? Some people seem to think so. Ever since last June’s Brexit vote, there has been serious talk of the Dutch capital as a potential candidate – if a slightly less obvious one than Paris, Frankfurt or Dublin. The American professor of business journalism, James B Stewart, even pronounced Amsterdam the “winner” in his column for the New York Times.

Among his reasons are the people’s impressive grasp of the English language, their good international schools, and the picturesqueness of their capital. On top of that, Amsterdam already is a centre of international commerce, has one of the best European airports, and has a very good rail network that takes you to Brussels in a mere two hours.

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Amsterdam hopes its financial technology, digital connectivity, unique atmosphere and impressive grasp of English can lure businesses from London. But a severe cap on bonuses means big banks are unlikely to join the exodus

Is Amsterdam going to be the new London? Some people seem to think so. Ever since last June’s Brexit vote, there has been serious talk of the Dutch capital as a potential candidate – if a slightly less obvious one than Paris, Frankfurt or Dublin. The American professor of business journalism, James B Stewart, even pronounced Amsterdam the “winner” in his column for the New York Times.

Among his reasons are the people’s impressive grasp of the English language, their good international schools, and the picturesqueness of their capital. On top of that, Amsterdam already is a centre of international commerce, has one of the best European airports, and has a very good rail network that takes you to Brussels in a mere two hours.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What you need to know about Trump’s first speech as president

Guardian US writers examine President Trump’s take on national security, the economy, climate change, healthcare, justice, immigration and gender

Donald Trump’s economic nationalism was on full display in his inauguration speech. The president spoke of the “American carnage” he claims has been wrought on America, leaving “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones” across a nation with “little to celebrate”, and blamed it on the outsourcing of US jobs. “America first” will be his presiding philosophy.

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Guardian US writers examine President Trump’s take on national security, the economy, climate change, healthcare, justice, immigration and gender

Donald Trump’s economic nationalism was on full display in his inauguration speech. The president spoke of the “American carnage” he claims has been wrought on America, leaving “rusted out factories scattered like tombstones” across a nation with “little to celebrate”, and blamed it on the outsourcing of US jobs. “America first” will be his presiding philosophy.

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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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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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‘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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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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Fear and loathing in Nicosia: will peace talks unify Europe’s last divided capital?

For 43 years a UN-patrolled no-man’s land has dissected Cyprus’ capital. As Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet for final peace talks, Helena Smith, who grew up on the island, questions whether reunification has a chance

Some call it the dead zone; some a no-man’s land; some the green line. For more than four decades, a United Nations-patrolled buffer zone has bisected Nicosia, running through the middle of the Cypriot capital and dividing its historic heart.

It was a casualty of war: at first, the result of inter-communal fighting that took the form of Turkish Cypriot ghettos in the 60s; then as a no-man’s land between ceasefire lines delineated by little more than what two opposing armies agreed were their last defended positions.

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For 43 years a UN-patrolled no-man’s land has dissected Cyprus’ capital. As Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet for final peace talks, Helena Smith, who grew up on the island, questions whether reunification has a chance

Some call it the dead zone; some a no-man’s land; some the green line. For more than four decades, a United Nations-patrolled buffer zone has bisected Nicosia, running through the middle of the Cypriot capital and dividing its historic heart.

It was a casualty of war: at first, the result of inter-communal fighting that took the form of Turkish Cypriot ghettos in the 60s; then as a no-man’s land between ceasefire lines delineated by little more than what two opposing armies agreed were their last defended positions.

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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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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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