‘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

Continue reading…

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

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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

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

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

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

Continue reading…

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

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

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

Continue reading…

More…


US defence chief heads to Japan and South Korea to strengthen ties

Visit by James Mattis comes despite suggestions by Donald Trump that he could cut US military presence in region

The new US secretary of defence James Mattis is to reassure Japan and South Korea of Washington’s commitment to the security of the volatile Asia-Pacific region, despite suggestions by Donald Trump that he was ready to scale down the US’s military presence there.

Mattis, a retired Marine general, will reaffirm America’s role in strengthening security ties with its two strongest allies in the region when he visits South Korea on Tuesday and Japan the following day.

Continue reading…

Visit by James Mattis comes despite suggestions by Donald Trump that he could cut US military presence in region

The new US secretary of defence James Mattis is to reassure Japan and South Korea of Washington’s commitment to the security of the volatile Asia-Pacific region, despite suggestions by Donald Trump that he was ready to scale down the US’s military presence there.

Mattis, a retired Marine general, will reaffirm America’s role in strengthening security ties with its two strongest allies in the region when he visits South Korea on Tuesday and Japan the following day.

Continue reading…

More…


UK intelligence services face dilemma after Trump backs torture

GCHQ, MI6 and MI5 rely heavily on the US, but using intelligence obtained by torture risks breaching international law

Donald Trump’s comment that he believes torture “absolutely works” would present the UK intelligence services, who work closely with US counterparts, with a major dilemma if the US were to resume such interrogation methods.

The bulk of the intelligence being assessed by the UK agencies – especially GCHQ but also the overseas agency MI6 and, to a lesser extent, M15 – comes from the US. None of them would want to contemplate loss of that access, yet if the intelligence had been obtained through torture it would put them in breach of international law.

Continue reading…

GCHQ, MI6 and MI5 rely heavily on the US, but using intelligence obtained by torture risks breaching international law

Donald Trump’s comment that he believes torture “absolutely works” would present the UK intelligence services, who work closely with US counterparts, with a major dilemma if the US were to resume such interrogation methods.

The bulk of the intelligence being assessed by the UK agencies – especially GCHQ but also the overseas agency MI6 and, to a lesser extent, M15 – comes from the US. None of them would want to contemplate loss of that access, yet if the intelligence had been obtained through torture it would put them in breach of international law.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


‘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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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.

Continue reading…

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.

Continue reading…

More…


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

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

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

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

Continue reading…

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

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

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

Continue reading…

More…


Donald Trump says torture ‘absolutely’ works: ‘we have to fight fire with fire’

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

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

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

Continue reading…

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

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

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

Continue reading…

More…