Armenian MPs call for trans activist to be burned alive after historic speech

Landmark parliamentary address on LGBTI discrimination challenges reformist agenda of post-revolution government

Armenia’s first registered transgender woman has received death threats after making a historic speech in her country’s national assembly.

Lilit Martirosyan became the first member of her country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to take to the parliamentary podium, speaking out against discrimination at a session of its committee on human rights. A video of the speech has been shared around the world.

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Artists challenge Tate’s call to resume contact with Anthony d’Offay

Institution cut ties with influential art dealer in 2018 after allegations of sexual harassment

Artists, curators and other members of the arts community have challenged a decision by the Tate to resume links with the influential art patron Anthony d’Offay a year after allegations of sexual harassment were made against him.

Both the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland suspended contact with D’Offay in January 2018 after it was revealed that he faced allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour from three women he had worked with.

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More than 1,000 migrants break out of southern Mexico detention centre

Mass escape from overcrowded Siglo XXI facility sign of how surge in arrivals has stretched resources

More than a thousand migrants broke out of a detention centre in southern Mexico on Thursday evening, authorities said, in a fresh sign of how a surge in arrivals has stretched the country’s resources to the limit.

More than half of the roughly 1,300 migrants later returned to the Siglo XXI facility in the border city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, but about 600 are still unaccounted for, the National Migration Institute said in a statement.

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Shorten angrily rejects PM’s accusation Labor ‘dragged feet’ on national security bills

Labor leader accuses Morrison of “playing political games … in the shadow of the shocking Sri Lankan murders”

Labor has angrily rejected suggestions it dragged its feet on national security after Scott Morrison used the example of just one unlegislated bill to criticise the opposition in the aftermath of the Sri Lanka attacks.

Bill Shorten and Labor leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, said Morrison should be “ashamed of himself”, with Shorten accusing the prime minister of “playing political games … in the shadow of the shocking Sri Lankan murders”.

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Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future | Gary Younge

The Brexit party and climate protesters share a frustration with conventional politics. There the similarity ends

Watching Nigel Farage, leader of the new Brexit party, saunter the few minutes from a Wetherspoons pub to Clacton pier on Wednesday, surrounded by media and supporters, I recalled Michael Rosen’s poem explaining that fascism does not arrive “in fancy dress”: “Fascism arrives as your friend. / It will restore your honour, / make you feel proud, / protect your house, / give you a job, / clean up the neighbourhood, / remind you of how great you once were …”

The point here is not to insult – though those it describes will, of course, be insulted. It is to offer the closest, most accurate description of the social base, rhetorical impulses and political orientation of those attending and addressing the Brexit party event. They are the same people you will see at a Le Pen, Salvini or a Trump rally: older, rural, exurban and provincial (they were white, too, though since this was Clacton, that is hardly an indicator). The collection of pinstripes, tattoos, Barbour jackets and tracksuits marks a crude illustration of the class alliances at play. Rich and poor, brought together by a chronic grievance.

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Tory MP Philip Davies to speak at US men’s rights conference

Other scheduled speakers include two Ukip candidates and a US ‘male supremacist’

A Conservative MP is to speak at a men’s rights conference alongside controversial activists including one who ran a website listing the personal details of feminist writers and called for a “bash a violent bitch month”.

Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, who is a vehement critic of feminism and once sought to obstruct a bill to protect women against violence, is listed as a speaker at the International Conference on Men’s Issues taking place in Chicago in August.

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The joys of springs: how Kenya could steam beyond fossil fuel

Engineers are tapping the Rift Valley’s subterranean energy to power an expanding economy

A faint smell of sulphur, a shrill hiss of gas and a Rift Valley panorama punctuated by 30 pillars of steam mark the frontline of renewable energy growth in Kenya.

This is the boundary between Hell’s Gate national park and the geothermal plants that are increasingly powering one of east Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

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Peter Doherty: ‘If I was drug free, I’d be a force to be reckoned with’

The Libertines co-frontman is 40 – an age few expected him to reach. Yet he’s back with a new band, a seaside hotel and an unorthodox approach to dog-handling

Peter Doherty arrives with a black case containing a mysterious creature called Gladys in one hand and an odd-eyed husky called Zeus in the other, a huge sore on his chin and a pork pie hat. Pork pie hat aside, you never quite know what to expect from Doherty. Last time I interviewed him, it was in a hotel room with blood on the walls , a crack pipe on his bedside table and a motorbike in the corner that he kept revving until he fell asleep on it. That was in 2005, when Doherty was 25 years old and living the rock’n’roll dream – or nightmare.

He had been kicked out of the Libertines, a band hailed as the great literary punk rockers of their day, and was surrounded by creepy acolytes, hard men and beautiful young things (he was going out with Kate Moss). His very public addiction had attracted the attention of Newsnight, and attempted interventions from June Brown (who played EastEnders’ Dot Cotton). With his new band Babyshambles, he wrote a song that summed up everything he did and didn’t believe in: Fuck Forever was perfectly ambiguous, celebrating his obsessions with sex and the transient.

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Into the pharaoh’s chamber: how I fell in love with ancient Egypt

Amid the convulsions in the years following the Arab Spring, Peter Hessler went to the ancient city of Amarna, site of another short-lived attempt to remake a nation

They say there is something special about buying your first brand-new car, and this is particularly true if it happens in Egypt during a revolution. By the spring of 2014, my wife, Leslie, and I had lived in Cairo for more than two years, as American foreign correspondents, and we had reached a point of decision. The previous summer, Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been removed in a military coup, and the security forces massacred more than 1,000 Morsi supporters in the capital, according to estimates by Human Rights Watch. At the time, our twin daughters, Ariel and Natasha, were three years old, and Leslie and I had the inevitable conversation: do we stay or do we go?

We had always intended to spend at least five years in Egypt. It seemed the minimum, given the richness of the country’s history and culture, and in the end we decided to stick to the plan. Purchasing the first new car that either of us had ever owned was part of that commitment – an act of determination, or maybe desperation.

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Dying to beat depression: how 10 induced comas saved a blogger’s life

Heather B Armstrong participated in a study to see if a medically induced coma had an antidepressant effect – and felt dramatically different

In December 2016, Heather B Armstrong phoned her mother from her kitchen floor in tears and told her that she wanted to be dead. With her children thousands of miles away spending Christmas with their father, Armstrong’s ex-husband, and having been abandoned by a date, the blogger-turned-author was alone at home when she felt “overcome with a really bad feeling”.

It was not the first time that she had made such a call, but this felt different. “It’s the night that I called her and I said I don’t feel like I can hold on any more,” says Armstrong, 43, whose website Dooce once earned her the title “queen of the mommy bloggers”.

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Home Office faces legal action over English test cheating claims

Hundreds of students say they were wrongly accused of cheating in Toeic test in 2014

The Home Office is facing over 300 court of appeal legal challenges from foreign students who believe they were wrongly accused of cheating in English tests, and dozens more cases are pending in immigration tribunals.

The Guardian has learned that a special team overseen by the Home Office was established in January 2017 to deal with the growing backlog of legal actions related to a Home Office decision in 2014 to revoke or curtail the visas of around 34,000 students whom they accused of cheating in a government-approved English language test.

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Harvey Weinstein trial should be public, news organizations argue

  • Defense and prosecution seek to hearing behind closed doors
  • Media to tell judge ‘there is no rational basis’ for secrecy

News organizations are fighting to open Harvey Weinstein’s next court appearance to the public, after both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked for it to be held behind closed doors.

At a hearing set for Friday, ahead of the disgraced movie mogul’s trial in New York on rape and sexual assault charges, the sides will argue over whether some of the many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault – besides the ones involved in the criminal charges – will be allowed to testify at his June trial.

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Mental health toll on people in flats with Grenfell-style cladding revealed

Survey finds people in blocks built with now-banned panels are ‘hugely affected’ by issue

Residents of tower blocks wrapped in combustible Grenfell-style cladding are turning to drink and drugs and suffering bouts of depression and suicidal feelings, as freeholders, developers and the government continue to refuse to fund repairs.

Scores of people still living in private flats built with the now-banned panels that helped spread the fatal fire at Grenfell have revealed the toll on their mental health to launch a national campaign calling on ministers to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to make their homes safe.

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Bernie Sanders booed as Democratic hopefuls try to woo women of color

Seven leading Democratic 2020 contenders spoke at the inaugural She the People event focusing on female voters of color

White House candidate Bernie Sanders got a rocky reception when he gave a halting performance at an event this week focusing on female voters of color, while Kamala Harris was given a standing ovation – but was vigorously challenged in the popularity stakes by rivals Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke.

Women from 28 states descended on Houston, Texas, on Wednesday to hear from the seven leading Democratic 2020 contenders at an inaugural event called She the People presidential forum – a day before Joe Biden jumped into the race.

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Belt and Road forum: Xi Jinping promises transparency to ease concerns

President promises ‘zero tolerance for corruption’ and says global transport plan should bring prosperity to all

President Xi Jinping has sought to allay concerns about China’s Belt and Road initiative, saying: “Everything should be done in a transparent way and we should have zero tolerance for corruption.”

He promised high standards in a bid to dispel complaints the projects costing many billions of dollars leave developing countries with too much debt.

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King Constantine of Greece faces his Colonels – archive, 26 April 1967

26 April 1967: After seizing power on 21 April, the Greek military continue negotiations with the King

Athens, April 25
King Constantine and the military members of the Government are still negotiating the terms on which the King will declare his acceptance of the new regime.

There seems little doubt that Constantine will eventually have to commit himself by telling the people to support the Government, but he still plays for time, hoping that the longer he delays the more anxious the Colonels will become to gain his support and, through it, some measure of acceptance in the country and the world.

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Irish backstop could undermine EU standards, report says

Study for German Green party says backstop could let UK flout EU green and social standards

It is a dastardly trap, designed to lock freedom-loving Britain into the European Union’s protectionist customs union: that is the argument against the so-called backstop, cited by hardline Brexit advocates as the main reason why they have thrice voted down Theresa May’s deal with the European Union.

But as the dust settles after months of chaos in Westminster, suspicions are growing on the other side of the Channel that the backstop could in fact be the very opposite: a brilliant deception device constructed by crack UK negotiators, which would allow a more reckless British prime minister to undermine the EU’s green and social standards while still keeping access to the European single market.

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More Afghan civilians killed by Nato-led forces than Taliban in 2019

It is first time since UN began collecting figures that pro-government forces have caused majority of deaths

The Afghan government and its international backers killed more civilians in the first three months of 2019 than the Taliban and other insurgent groups, the United Nations has said.

It was the first time since the UN began tracking civilian casualties in Afghanistan over a decade ago that pro-government forces have caused a majority of deaths.

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Melbourne Chinatown death: family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of Natalina Angok

African-Australian community questions seemingly muted public response to 32-year-old woman’s death

The family of Natalina Angok, the young African-Australian woman found dead in Chinatown on Wednesday, say they are heartbroken by her death.

Angok, 32, from Geelong, was allegedly killed by her boyfriend Christopher Allen Bell, who appeared in court for the second time on Friday.

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Christchurch attack: Prince William meets five-year-old survivor

William tells crowd at Al Noor mosque that New Zealand’s response to shootings set an example

Prince William has delighted a young survivor of the mosque shootings by visiting her in hospital in Auckland.

Alen Alsati, 5, sustained numerous critical injuries in the Christchurch attacks in which 50 people were killed on 15 March. Alsati cannot see, walk, or move properly. She also suffered brain damage, her doctors said, and it is not yet known if it will be permanent.

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