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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alleged hacker behind LinkedIn breach at centre of US-Russia legal tussle

Yevgeniy Nikulin faces extradition requests from both countries amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the US presidential election

An alleged computer hacker being held in the Czech Republic is at the centre of an international legal tussle between the United States and Russia amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the recent US presidential election.

Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29, faces extradition requests from both countries after being detained by Czech police on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by US authorities.

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Yevgeniy Nikulin faces extradition requests from both countries amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the US presidential election

An alleged computer hacker being held in the Czech Republic is at the centre of an international legal tussle between the United States and Russia amid lingering disquiet over Moscow’s alleged interference in the recent US presidential election.

Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29, faces extradition requests from both countries after being detained by Czech police on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by US authorities.

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Brian Eno: ‘Donald Trump is a complete disaster’

Eno takes to Facebook to clarify his position after US rightwingers interpreted his Guardian interview as supportive of the new president

Brian Eno has inisisted that “Donald Trump is a complete disaster”. The legendary musician/producer/thinker/renaissance man took to Facebook in the wake of Simon Hattenstone’s interview with him for the Guardian, published on Monday, to clear up any suggestion that he might have been happy about Trump’s presidency.

Related: Brian Eno: ‘We’ve been in decline for 40 years – Trump is a chance to rethink’

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Eno takes to Facebook to clarify his position after US rightwingers interpreted his Guardian interview as supportive of the new president

Brian Eno has inisisted that “Donald Trump is a complete disaster”. The legendary musician/producer/thinker/renaissance man took to Facebook in the wake of Simon Hattenstone’s interview with him for the Guardian, published on Monday, to clear up any suggestion that he might have been happy about Trump’s presidency.

Related: Brian Eno: ‘We’ve been in decline for 40 years – Trump is a chance to rethink’

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‘Penelope-gate’ casts dark shadow over Fillon’s presidential prospects

Investigation into possible misuse of public funds bodes ill for French candidate who cast himself as a sleaze-free, austere figure

It is the first major political scandal to hit the French presidential race and it could prove fatal.

The rightwing presidential candidate, François Fillon, who built his campaign on the carefully crafted image of a sleaze-free honourable country gentleman, is facing a preliminary investigation by state financial prosecutors into possible misuse of public funds. It came about after a newspaper alleged his wife was paid €500,000 (£430,000) out of parliamentary funds over eight years for an assistant’s job it claimed she never carried out.

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Investigation into possible misuse of public funds bodes ill for French candidate who cast himself as a sleaze-free, austere figure

It is the first major political scandal to hit the French presidential race and it could prove fatal.

The rightwing presidential candidate, François Fillon, who built his campaign on the carefully crafted image of a sleaze-free honourable country gentleman, is facing a preliminary investigation by state financial prosecutors into possible misuse of public funds. It came about after a newspaper alleged his wife was paid €500,000 (£430,000) out of parliamentary funds over eight years for an assistant’s job it claimed she never carried out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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Brazil’s former richest man sought by police in vast corruption inquiry

Eike Batista, businessman who made and lost billion-dollar fortune, accused of paying bribes to Rio de Janeiro state governor

Brazilian police have issued an arrest warrant for a businessman famous for amassing and then losing a multibillion-dollar fortune, the latest person caught up in a wide-ranging corruption investigation roiling Latin America’s largest country.

Federal police were working with Interpol to locate Eike Batista, who may be in New York. Batista’s lawyer Fernando Martins told the G1 news portal that his client was travelling and would surrender to police.

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Eike Batista, businessman who made and lost billion-dollar fortune, accused of paying bribes to Rio de Janeiro state governor

Brazilian police have issued an arrest warrant for a businessman famous for amassing and then losing a multibillion-dollar fortune, the latest person caught up in a wide-ranging corruption investigation roiling Latin America’s largest country.

Federal police were working with Interpol to locate Eike Batista, who may be in New York. Batista’s lawyer Fernando Martins told the G1 news portal that his client was travelling and would surrender to police.

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Platinum mining company tells massacre families: we can’t afford to house you

Amid protests on fifth anniversary of Marikana deaths, Loomin says low metal prices means housebuilding has been slow

Platinum miner Lonmin has come under attack over its record on conditions for its workers, nearly five years after dozens of people were killed in violence at its Marikana mine in South Africa.

Speaking as protesters displayed placards bearing the names of the dead, the chief executive, Ben Magara, told shareholders at the group’s annual meeting that progress on building homes for 33,000 staff had been “slower than we would have liked”.

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Amid protests on fifth anniversary of Marikana deaths, Loomin says low metal prices means housebuilding has been slow

Platinum miner Lonmin has come under attack over its record on conditions for its workers, nearly five years after dozens of people were killed in violence at its Marikana mine in South Africa.

Speaking as protesters displayed placards bearing the names of the dead, the chief executive, Ben Magara, told shareholders at the group’s annual meeting that progress on building homes for 33,000 staff had been “slower than we would have liked”.

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Protesters gather in New York as fear grows over Trump’s immigration plans

Thousands gathered after news broke that Trump intended to sign executive order to temporarily halt US entry for citizens of Muslim-majority countries

Thousands of New Yorkers gathered in the city’s Washington Square Park on Wednesday night to protest the expected enforcement of a ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries entering the United States.

Related: ‘Sanctuary cities’ endangered by Trump order threatening to cut federal funds

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Thousands gathered after news broke that Trump intended to sign executive order to temporarily halt US entry for citizens of Muslim-majority countries

Thousands of New Yorkers gathered in the city’s Washington Square Park on Wednesday night to protest the expected enforcement of a ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries entering the United States.

Related: ‘Sanctuary cities’ endangered by Trump order threatening to cut federal funds

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Mark Zuckerberg ‘reconsiders’ forcing Hawaiians to sell him their land

Facebook CEO makes statement after backlash over ‘quiet title actions’ to secure parcels belonging to native owners within his $100m seafront property

Mark Zuckerberg has said he is reconsidering whether to seek the forced sale of tracts of land belonging to native Hawaiians in a large estate he bought on the island of Kauai, after facing a wave of criticism.

The Facebook CEO filed a series of lawsuits, known as quiet title actions, against hundreds of Hawaiians who may own small parcels of land within the boundaries of his seafront property on Kauai. The quiet title system is used to establish ownership of land where inheritance has occurred over generations and lacks formal documentation. It can result in owners being forced to sell their land at auction and, in some cases, pay the legal fees of the plaintiff.

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Facebook CEO makes statement after backlash over ‘quiet title actions’ to secure parcels belonging to native owners within his $100m seafront property

Mark Zuckerberg has said he is reconsidering whether to seek the forced sale of tracts of land belonging to native Hawaiians in a large estate he bought on the island of Kauai, after facing a wave of criticism.

The Facebook CEO filed a series of lawsuits, known as quiet title actions, against hundreds of Hawaiians who may own small parcels of land within the boundaries of his seafront property on Kauai. The quiet title system is used to establish ownership of land where inheritance has occurred over generations and lacks formal documentation. It can result in owners being forced to sell their land at auction and, in some cases, pay the legal fees of the plaintiff.

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Turkey and Russia skeptical of Trump’s plan to create safe havens in Syria

US president’s proposal met with caution from Russian and Turkish officials over northern safe zones as others fear possible intention to keep refugees out of US

Donald Trump’s proposal to set up safe havens in northern Syria has been met with caution by his allies and skepticism by others who fear the plan is aimed more at keeping refugees out of the US than providing for humanitarian needs.

Turkey and Russia, on whom such a plan would heavily depend, on Thursday said they had not been consulted, hours after the US president pledged to “absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people”. Moscow said it was important not to “exacerbate the situation”, while Ankara said a safe zone had already been set up under its auspices.

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US president’s proposal met with caution from Russian and Turkish officials over northern safe zones as others fear possible intention to keep refugees out of US

Donald Trump’s proposal to set up safe havens in northern Syria has been met with caution by his allies and skepticism by others who fear the plan is aimed more at keeping refugees out of the US than providing for humanitarian needs.

Turkey and Russia, on whom such a plan would heavily depend, on Thursday said they had not been consulted, hours after the US president pledged to “absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people”. Moscow said it was important not to “exacerbate the situation”, while Ankara said a safe zone had already been set up under its auspices.

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Italian authorities look into ‘racist’ video of man drowning in Venice

Onlookers allegedly yelled insults and abuse at Pateh Sabally, a 22-year-old Gambian, as he drowned in Grand Canal

Italian magistrates have launched an investigation after a video was posted online showing an African man drowning in Venice’s Grand Canal as onlookers watched and shouted racial abuse from nearby boats, local media said.

The recording shown on various news websites appeared to pick up some bystanders yelling at the flailing man. “He is stupid. He wants to die,” one person says. Another person allegedly shouts: “Go on, go back home.”

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Onlookers allegedly yelled insults and abuse at Pateh Sabally, a 22-year-old Gambian, as he drowned in Grand Canal

Italian magistrates have launched an investigation after a video was posted online showing an African man drowning in Venice’s Grand Canal as onlookers watched and shouted racial abuse from nearby boats, local media said.

The recording shown on various news websites appeared to pick up some bystanders yelling at the flailing man. “He is stupid. He wants to die,” one person says. Another person allegedly shouts: “Go on, go back home.”

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Shark photobombs 10-year-old surfer’s big wave moment in Australia

Boy, 10, was surfing off Port Stephens when picture-taking father realised son was on collision course with possible great white

A man photographing his 10-year-old son surfing captured more than either of them bargained for when he snapped the boy sharing a wave with a shark.

Chris Hasson was taking pictures of Eden off Samurai beach, Port Stephens, eastern Australia, this week when he realised that he had photographed a twisting shark – thought to be a great white – just below the surface on an apparent collision course with his son.

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Boy, 10, was surfing off Port Stephens when picture-taking father realised son was on collision course with possible great white

A man photographing his 10-year-old son surfing captured more than either of them bargained for when he snapped the boy sharing a wave with a shark.

Chris Hasson was taking pictures of Eden off Samurai beach, Port Stephens, eastern Australia, this week when he realised that he had photographed a twisting shark – thought to be a great white – just below the surface on an apparent collision course with his son.

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Mexican president cancels US visit over Trump’s order to build border wall

Enrique Peña Nieto has said Mexico will not pay for the wall, as US Congress faces questions about budgetary impact of its construction

Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has cancelled a scheduled visit to Washington next week to meet with Donald Trump, after the US president signed an executive order to move forward on construction of a border wall and repeated his claim that Mexico would be forced to pay for it.

Peña Nieto tweeted on Thursday that he had informed the White House that he would not attend the meeting with Trump that had been scheduled for Tuesday.

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Enrique Peña Nieto has said Mexico will not pay for the wall, as US Congress faces questions about budgetary impact of its construction

Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has cancelled a scheduled visit to Washington next week to meet with Donald Trump, after the US president signed an executive order to move forward on construction of a border wall and repeated his claim that Mexico would be forced to pay for it.

Peña Nieto tweeted on Thursday that he had informed the White House that he would not attend the meeting with Trump that had been scheduled for Tuesday.

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‘Global gag rule’: stop playing politics with women’s lives, MSF tells Trump

As affected groups worldwide take in news of Donald Trump’s renewal of a policy that has dire implications for family planning, Médecins Sans Frontières has aimed a broadside at the US president’s stance

Médecins Sans Frontières has told the Trump administration to stop “playing politics” with women’s rights and other global health efforts after the new US president reintroduced a policy likely to affect millions of women and girls around the world.

The “global gag rule”, which was reinstated by Donald Trump on Monday, withholds USAid funding from any overseas family planning organisation that offers or provides information about abortions.

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As affected groups worldwide take in news of Donald Trump’s renewal of a policy that has dire implications for family planning, Médecins Sans Frontières has aimed a broadside at the US president’s stance

Médecins Sans Frontières has told the Trump administration to stop “playing politics” with women’s rights and other global health efforts after the new US president reintroduced a policy likely to affect millions of women and girls around the world.

The “global gag rule”, which was reinstated by Donald Trump on Monday, withholds USAid funding from any overseas family planning organisation that offers or provides information about abortions.

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Deadly wildfire razes entire town in Chile: ‘Literally like Dante’s Inferno’

One body found in smouldering ruins of Santa Olga, the worst-hit of several smaller communities, as hot, dry weather fuels fiercest fires in recent history

An entire town has been consumed by flames in Chile as unusually hot, dry weather undermined efforts to combat the worst forest fires in the country’s recent history.

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

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One body found in smouldering ruins of Santa Olga, the worst-hit of several smaller communities, as hot, dry weather fuels fiercest fires in recent history

An entire town has been consumed by flames in Chile as unusually hot, dry weather undermined efforts to combat the worst forest fires in the country’s recent history.

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

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Can ‘man of the people’ Martin Schulz oust Angela Merkel?

Former president of European parliament offers hope to Germany’s ailing SPD, but has his work cut out against current chancellor

He had been well on his way to becoming a professional footballer when a meniscus tear put paid to his dreams and he fell into a state of depression, alcoholism and chain-smoking. Now, more than 42 years on, Martin Schulz is presenting the fiercest opposition yet to Angela Merkel’s attempts to win a fourth term as German chancellor.

The 61-year-old, who is returning to his homeland after 23 years in the European parliament – acting as its president since 2012 – is seen as offering the Social Democratic party (SPD) the best chance in years to reverse its fortunes, following a period of falling membership and poor electoral performances.

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Former president of European parliament offers hope to Germany’s ailing SPD, but has his work cut out against current chancellor

He had been well on his way to becoming a professional footballer when a meniscus tear put paid to his dreams and he fell into a state of depression, alcoholism and chain-smoking. Now, more than 42 years on, Martin Schulz is presenting the fiercest opposition yet to Angela Merkel’s attempts to win a fourth term as German chancellor.

The 61-year-old, who is returning to his homeland after 23 years in the European parliament – acting as its president since 2012 – is seen as offering the Social Democratic party (SPD) the best chance in years to reverse its fortunes, following a period of falling membership and poor electoral performances.

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Students ‘given dose equivalent to 300 coffees’ in botched test

Northumbria University fined £400,000 after researchers gave students 100 times intended amount of caffeine

A university has been fined £400,000 after two students were left fighting for their lives after they were accidentally given the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee in a botched experiment.

Northumbria University told Newcastle crown court it was “deeply, genuinely sorry” after sports science students Alex Rossetto and Luke Parkin were each given the massive dose of caffeine. They were admitted to intensive care for dialysis after the calculation error led to violent side-effects.

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Northumbria University fined £400,000 after researchers gave students 100 times intended amount of caffeine

A university has been fined £400,000 after two students were left fighting for their lives after they were accidentally given the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee in a botched experiment.

Northumbria University told Newcastle crown court it was “deeply, genuinely sorry” after sports science students Alex Rossetto and Luke Parkin were each given the massive dose of caffeine. They were admitted to intensive care for dialysis after the calculation error led to violent side-effects.

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Bath’s Conservative cabinet backs controversial park-and-ride project

Proposal for 800-space car park approved after four-hour meeting, but plans face fierce opposition from residents and opposition councillors

A proposal to create a park-and-ride site on water meadows on the edge of Bath has been backed by the city’s Conservative cabinet despite claims that the project would put its world heritage status at risk.

Related: Bath park and ride project will ruin historic landscape, say critics

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Proposal for 800-space car park approved after four-hour meeting, but plans face fierce opposition from residents and opposition councillors

A proposal to create a park-and-ride site on water meadows on the edge of Bath has been backed by the city’s Conservative cabinet despite claims that the project would put its world heritage status at risk.

Related: Bath park and ride project will ruin historic landscape, say critics

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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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What we learned from the supreme court’s article 50 ruling – video analysis

Jon Henley explains the supreme court’s decision that compels the government to put a bill before parliament before triggering article 50, which would begin Brexit negotiations. The court ruled that while MPs must be allowed a vote on article 50, the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not get a veto

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Jon Henley explains the supreme court’s decision that compels the government to put a bill before parliament before triggering article 50, which would begin Brexit negotiations. The court ruled that while MPs must be allowed a vote on article 50, the devolved parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not get a veto

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Corbyn mistakenly offers condolences to family of ‘dead’ Northern Irish police officer – video

At prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn mistakenly offers condolences to the family of a Northern Ireland police officer who was shot at the weekend. The officer was wounded but did not die. Corbyn’s spokesperson later said that the Labour leader had meant to say that the police officer had ‘nearly died’ and that he had not intended to cause offence

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At prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn mistakenly offers condolences to the family of a Northern Ireland police officer who was shot at the weekend. The officer was wounded but did not die. Corbyn’s spokesperson later said that the Labour leader had meant to say that the police officer had ‘nearly died’ and that he had not intended to cause offence

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Platinum mining company tells massacre families: we can’t afford to house you

Amid protests on fifth anniversary of Marikana deaths, Loomin says low metal prices means housebuilding has been slow

Platinum miner Lonmin has come under attack over its record on conditions for its workers, nearly five years after dozens of people were killed in violence at its Marikana mine in South Africa.

Speaking as protesters displayed placards bearing the names of the dead, the chief executive, Ben Magara, told shareholders at the group’s annual meeting that progress on building homes for 33,000 staff had been “slower than we would have liked”.

Continue reading…

Amid protests on fifth anniversary of Marikana deaths, Loomin says low metal prices means housebuilding has been slow

Platinum miner Lonmin has come under attack over its record on conditions for its workers, nearly five years after dozens of people were killed in violence at its Marikana mine in South Africa.

Speaking as protesters displayed placards bearing the names of the dead, the chief executive, Ben Magara, told shareholders at the group’s annual meeting that progress on building homes for 33,000 staff had been “slower than we would have liked”.

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BT’s head of Europe leaves in wake of Italian accounting scandal – business live

The crisis-hit telecoms company said Corrado Sciolla was leaving after the scandal happened “on his watch”

8.38am GMT

Philip Hammond, UK chancellor, has arrived in Brussels for the Ecofin meeting of finance ministers.

Of course we want to strengthen our trade ties with the very many trade partners we have around the world. But we are very mindful of our obligations under the treaty and will follow them precisely.

Britain remains a fully engaged member of the European Union. We will continue to abide by the rules, regulations and the laws of the European Union for so long as we are members.

8.37am GMT

Most of Europe’s major markets are down in early trading. The FTSE 100 is the exception, but only just (up 5 points):

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The crisis-hit telecoms company said Corrado Sciolla was leaving after the scandal happened “on his watch”

8.38am GMT

Philip Hammond, UK chancellor, has arrived in Brussels for the Ecofin meeting of finance ministers.

Of course we want to strengthen our trade ties with the very many trade partners we have around the world. But we are very mindful of our obligations under the treaty and will follow them precisely.

Britain remains a fully engaged member of the European Union. We will continue to abide by the rules, regulations and the laws of the European Union for so long as we are members.

8.37am GMT

Most of Europe’s major markets are down in early trading. The FTSE 100 is the exception, but only just (up 5 points):

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Travel and pollution warnings as UK’s cold, foggy weather continues

Motorists told to take extra care, flights are disrupted across south and air quality plunges in cities from London to Belfast

The ongoing cold, still weather is expected to send pollution levels soaring in London as freezing fog brings more disruption at airports and on the roads across the south of England.

Related: How have you been affected by fog and frost in the UK?

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Motorists told to take extra care, flights are disrupted across south and air quality plunges in cities from London to Belfast

The ongoing cold, still weather is expected to send pollution levels soaring in London as freezing fog brings more disruption at airports and on the roads across the south of England.

Related: How have you been affected by fog and frost in the UK?

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May’s Brexit white paper U-turn wrongfoots Corbyn, and Labour

Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

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Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

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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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May and Trump talks likely to reveal cracks in ‘special relationship’

British PM could struggle to negotiate good trade deal with president who has pledged to put America first

Appetite for a US trade deal with Britain appears as high in Washington as it is in London, according to interviews with politicians, with both governments anxious to demonstrate there is more to economic populism than simply a desire for protectionism.

But despite the political convergence indicated by Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit vote, Theresa May will discover the special relationship still has plenty of cracks and contradictions when she visits the White House on Friday.

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British PM could struggle to negotiate good trade deal with president who has pledged to put America first

Appetite for a US trade deal with Britain appears as high in Washington as it is in London, according to interviews with politicians, with both governments anxious to demonstrate there is more to economic populism than simply a desire for protectionism.

But despite the political convergence indicated by Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit vote, Theresa May will discover the special relationship still has plenty of cracks and contradictions when she visits the White House on Friday.

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Hermes courier: ‘I felt pressured to work while caring for my dying son’

Worker claims lack of support made her fear losing job with firm, which faces legal challenge from self-employed couriers

Amandeep Kaur, 29, a Hermes courier from Leicester, was in the back of an ambulance rushing her seriously ill son to hospital when she first felt the pressure to get back to work. It was two weeks before Christmas, one of the busiest periods for Britain’s booming parcel delivery industry, but Kaur’s six-year-old, Sukhmanjeet, had collapsed at home and she could not make her deliveries. A few hours later, with her son about to undergo surgery, she rang her manager.

“I said my son had had a cardiac arrest and I can’t come in,” she recalled. “I don’t know how long for, but he is my priority right now. [The manager’s] response was ‘Oh, it has come at a very busy time’.”

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Worker claims lack of support made her fear losing job with firm, which faces legal challenge from self-employed couriers

Amandeep Kaur, 29, a Hermes courier from Leicester, was in the back of an ambulance rushing her seriously ill son to hospital when she first felt the pressure to get back to work. It was two weeks before Christmas, one of the busiest periods for Britain’s booming parcel delivery industry, but Kaur’s six-year-old, Sukhmanjeet, had collapsed at home and she could not make her deliveries. A few hours later, with her son about to undergo surgery, she rang her manager.

“I said my son had had a cardiac arrest and I can’t come in,” she recalled. “I don’t know how long for, but he is my priority right now. [The manager’s] response was ‘Oh, it has come at a very busy time’.”

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Keynes’s economic theory voted most influential academic book on British life

A public vote to decide which scholarly book has had the greatest impact on Britain has chosen The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Academic texts that have shaped our society may range from John Berger’s landmark study of visual culture Ways of Seeing to Germaine Greer’s 1970 feminist classic The Female Eunuch, but when it comes to a vote to decide which was the most influential book for modern Britain, the public echoed America’s Bill Clinton: it’s the economy, stupid.

From a list of the 20 texts that shaped our times, curated by leading British academics as part of Academic Book Week, John Maynard Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was voted the most significant for modern Britain.

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A public vote to decide which scholarly book has had the greatest impact on Britain has chosen The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Academic texts that have shaped our society may range from John Berger’s landmark study of visual culture Ways of Seeing to Germaine Greer’s 1970 feminist classic The Female Eunuch, but when it comes to a vote to decide which was the most influential book for modern Britain, the public echoed America’s Bill Clinton: it’s the economy, stupid.

From a list of the 20 texts that shaped our times, curated by leading British academics as part of Academic Book Week, John Maynard Keynes’s The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was voted the most significant for modern Britain.

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The ‘almost human’ gorilla who drank tea and went to school

Gloucestershire historian unearths photographs of John Daniel, lowland gorilla adopted by village of Uley in 1918

John Daniel was no ordinary gorilla. For starters, he was called John Daniel. And he had his own bedroom, drank tea and cider, and could purportedly do his own washing up.

The extraordinary tale of the village that adopted its very own gorilla a century ago is told in a new local history book by a Gloucestershire historian.

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Gloucestershire historian unearths photographs of John Daniel, lowland gorilla adopted by village of Uley in 1918

John Daniel was no ordinary gorilla. For starters, he was called John Daniel. And he had his own bedroom, drank tea and cider, and could purportedly do his own washing up.

The extraordinary tale of the village that adopted its very own gorilla a century ago is told in a new local history book by a Gloucestershire historian.

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Malala Yousafzai’s UN speech set to music for International Women’s Day

BBC Radio 3 announces Kate Whitley’s composition, using statements about every girl’s right to education, will broadcast on 8 March

Malala Yousafzai’s 2013 speech to the UN, in which she spoke powerfully about every girl’s right to an education, has been set to music.

BBC Radio 3 announced it commissioned the composer Kate Whitley to set to music the text, by the schoolgirl who survived a murder attempt by the Taliban, as part of programming for International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March.

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BBC Radio 3 announces Kate Whitley’s composition, using statements about every girl’s right to education, will broadcast on 8 March

Malala Yousafzai’s 2013 speech to the UN, in which she spoke powerfully about every girl’s right to an education, has been set to music.

BBC Radio 3 announced it commissioned the composer Kate Whitley to set to music the text, by the schoolgirl who survived a murder attempt by the Taliban, as part of programming for International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March.

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