Guardian Headlines

 

Rwandan leader went to Arsenal game as country marked 30 years since genocide

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 11:01:33 GMT

Paul Kagame flew to UK for Champions League match while national police told citizens to restrict activities including football

The president of Rwanda, whose police force has asked the country’s people to restrict football-related activities during the 30-year anniversary of the Rwanda massacre, is facing questions after flying to the UK and watching Arsenal play Bayern Munich.

Paul Kagame visited on Tuesday 9 April to watch the Champions League match in north London. Before the match, he visited Rishi Sunak at No 10 Downing Street, after giving civil servants just a few days’ notice of his visit. They discussed the UK’s deportation deal, which aims to send asylum seekers to Kigali to be processed there.

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Sunak considering exemptions to Rwanda bill for some Afghans

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 10:16:48 GMT

Lords also press ministers to allow independent Rwanda monitoring as deportation bill returns to Commons

Rishi Sunak’s government is considering concessions on the Rwanda deportation bill to allow exemptions for Afghans who served alongside UK forces, parliamentary sources say.

Ministers are also being pressed to give ground to an amendment to the legislation so that the east African country could be ruled unsafe by a monitoring committee.

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Increasing number of villages torched across Sudan shows conflict is intensifying - report

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 09:00:35 GMT

Satellite data indicates growing number of airstrikes on settlements, in a war that has already killed thousands

The number of villages in Sudan that have been destroyed or severely damaged by fire has risen sharply in recent weeks, suggesting the country’s conflict is intensifying as it enters its second year.

Satellite data revealed the number of Sudanese settlements set on fire in March increased to 30, the highest monthly total recorded since fighting broke out between the country’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) last April.

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Nestlé adds sugar to infant milk sold in poorer countries, report finds

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 05:00:07 GMT

Swiss food firm’s infant formula and cereal sold in global south ignore WHO anti-obesity guidelines for Europe, says Public Eye

Nestlé, the world’s largest consumer goods company, adds sugar and honey to infant milk and cereal products sold in many poorer countries, contrary to international guidelines aimed at preventing obesity and chronic diseases, a report has found.

Campaigners from Public Eye, a Swiss investigative organisation, sent samples of the Swiss multinational’s baby-food products sold in Asia, Africa and Latin America to a Belgian laboratory for testing.

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Europe: Sudan war ‘world’s worst child displacement crisis,’ Paris conference told – as it happened

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 16:14:25 GMT

Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, says ‘every life counts equally, whether in Ukraine, in Gaza, or in Sudan’

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, has warned of a further escalation in violence in Sudan.

“The Sudanese people have been subjected to untold suffering during the conflict which has been marked by indiscriminate attacks in densely populated areas, ethnically-motivated attacks, and a high incidence of conflict-related sexual violence. The recruitment and use of children by parties to the conflict are also deeply concerning,” Türk said in a statement today.

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Liberia senate votes to establish war crimes court

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 11:42:03 GMT

The court will investigate crimes against humanity committed during the African country’s two civil wars between 1989 and 2003

Senators in Liberia have voted overwhelmingly to establish a war crimes court, two decades after civil conflict ended in the west African country.

The new court will investigate and try crimes against humanity and corruption committed during Liberia’s two civil wars between 1989 and 2003, which killed up to 250,000 people.

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Brazilian woman arrested after taking corpse to sign bank loan: ‘She knew he was dead’

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:12:33 GMT

Shock in Brazil after woman is arrested and charged with violating a corpse and attempted theft through fraud

When Érika de Souza Vieira wheeled her lethargic-looking uncle into a Brazilian bank, clerks quickly sensed something was amiss.

“I don’t think he’s well. He doesn’t look well at all,” remarked one distrustful employee as Vieira tried to get her elderly relative to sign off on a 17,000 reais ($3,250) loan.

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Six men arrested in Toronto gold heist that ‘belongs in a Netflix series’

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:15:02 GMT

Dozens of firearms also seized after 6,600 gold bars worth C$21m and C$2.7m in cash stolen at Pearson international airport

Police investigating a brazen multimillion-dollar gold heist at Toronto’s main airport have arrested six men and seized dozens of firearms linked to the case which officers said “belongs in a Netflix series”.

Six thousand six hundred gold bars, worth C$21m, and C$2.7m in cash were stolen from a cargo facility at Toronto’s Pearson international airport a year ago in the country’s largest-ever gold heist.

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Elephant seal makes ‘epic’ trek back after Canadian officials relocate him

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 11:30:06 GMT

Notorious for drawing large crowds, Emerson was removed by officials who were surprised to find him back in Victoria in a week

Last week, gun-wielding conservation officers stuffed a 500-lb elephant seal in the back of a van, drove him along a winding highway in western Canada and left him on a remote beach “far from human habitation”.

The plan was to move the young seal far from British Columbia’s capital city, where over the last year, he has developed a reputation for ending up in “unusual locations”, including flower beds, city parks and busy roads.

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Ecuador rations power as Andean drought tightens grip

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 22:07:20 GMT

El Niño weather phenomenon depletes reservoirs and limits output at hydroelectric plants

Ecuador has begun to ration electricity in the country’s main cities as a drought linked to the El Niño weather pattern depletes reservoirs and limits output at hydroelectric plants that produce about 75% of the nation’s power.

“We urge Ecuadorians to cut their electricity consumption in this critical week,” the ministry of energy said in a statement late on Monday. “And consider that each kilowatt and each drop of water that are not consumed will help us face this reality.”

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‘The city is a jail’: Haitian journalists get word out about gang violence

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 06:00:33 GMT

Correspondents in Port-au-Prince face danger as they play a vital role in chronicling city’s state of siege

Each day, Makenson Rémy wakes in the hush of the night to tell the story of his shattered home town, Port-au-Prince. Each day, he fears he might die. “I am very worried for the city. I am worried for my family. I am worried for myself too, because at any moment I could go out and never come back,” said the Haitian journalist who is responsible for the crack-of-dawn radio broadcasts that help the capital’s jittery residents stay alive.

Rémy uses a motorbike to move around the city, which a gang rebellion six weeks ago has almost entirely cut off from the outside world, gathering information on where is and isn’t safe to tread. As he slaloms through barricaded streets under the cover of darkness, he has witnessed spine-chilling scenes.

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Conman who swindled $175m in ‘massive’ psychic fraud scheme sentenced to 10 years

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 22:20:07 GMT

Patrice Runner, 57, of Canada was convicted in June of multiple counts of defrauding ‘millions of older and vulnerable Americans’

A Canadian conman, who swindled more than US$175m (C$241m) from his North American victims through “a massive psychic mass-mailing fraud scheme” has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Patrice Runner, 57, who holds citizenship with both Canada and France, was convicted by a jury in June of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, eight counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was found not guilty on four counts of mail fraud.

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Indonesian volcano erupts sending mile-high column of smoke into sky

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:08:01 GMT

More than 800 people evacuated from Mount Ruang as alert level raised to four – highest in four-tier system

A volcano has erupted several times in Indonesia’s southernmost region, spewing a column of smoke more than a mile into the sky and forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated from their homes.

Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano in North Sulawesi province, first erupted at 9.45pm local time on Tuesday and then four times throughout Wednesday, Indonesia’s volcanology agency said.

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Japan to allow divorced parents to share custody of children

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 04:41:02 GMT

Change to civil code will bring Japan into line with other G7 countries, amid concerns existing law inflicts psychological harm on children

Divorced couples in Japan will for the first time be able to negotiate joint custody of their children after parliament voted this week for changes to laws permitting only sole custody.

Under Japan’s civil code, couples must decide which parent will take custody of their children when their marriage ends – a requirement that critics say causes children psychological harm and prevents the “left-behind” parent from playing a fuller role in their upbringing.

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Solomon Islands election: voters head to polls that could decide future of China security ties

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 00:13:48 GMT

Election closely watched for any impact on Pacific country’s relationship with Beijing, while voters focus on struggling health and other services

Solomon Islanders have voted in a national election, the first since the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, struck a security pact with China in 2022 and drew the Pacific Islands nation closer to Beijing.

The outcome of Wednesday’s election will be closely watched by the US, China and Australia for its potential impact on regional security, although Solomon Islands voters will be focused on struggling health services, education and inadequate roads, opposition parties said.

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Newshub: parts of axed New Zealand media outlet to continue in new deal

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 02:09:16 GMT

Newshub owner Warner Bros Discovery strikes deal with Stuff to provide bulletins amid concerns over the country’s shrinking media market

New Zealand news outlet Newshub, which is set to shut down due to economic woes, has been thrown a lifeline by local media organisation Stuff that will save its bulletins and website, in new formats.

Last week, Warner Bros Discovery confirmed it would close down its New Zealand newsroom, Newshub, including its website, the morning television show and the 6pm news bulletin, resulting in the loss of roughly 300 jobs and prompting alarm over the state of New Zealand’s media industry. The same day, state-owned television network TVNZ announced its own set of programme cuts and job losses.

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German chancellor urges Chinese industry bosses to play fair in EU market

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 14:11:32 GMT

Olaf Scholz says European cars should have equal access to Chinese customers

The chancellor of Germany has urged industry bosses in China to play fair by not overproducing cheap goods or infringing copyright rules.

Speaking on a three-day visit to China, where he is travelling with leading business representatives and three government ministers, Olaf Scholz said he, in turn, would encourage the European Union not to be driven by self-interested protectionism, in which governments restrict international trade to help domestic companies.

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China continues to persecute family of dissidents unlawfully, finds report

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 08:36:56 GMT

Authorities continuing ‘intimidation’ including separating children from their parents, despite pledge to end collective punishment

China continues to unlawfully target the families of activists and dissidents, despite a pledge to end the practice of collective punishment, a Chinese human rights group has said in a report.

The persecution, which includes intimidation and harassment, forced evictions, travel bans, criminal proceedings against family members and preventing children from attending school, has affected people across China and the diaspora community for decades, the report by the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) group said.

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How Justice Michael Lee untangled the Higgins-Lehrmann ‘omnishambles’

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:00:09 GMT

It was a masterclass in dispassionate legal dissection with lessons for future defamation and sexual assault prosecutions, and for media practice

In determining that Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittany Higgins, federal court justice Michael Lee took a giant knot of allegations, with all its loops and loose ends, and meticulously and painstakingly unpicked it.

That he did it with such acerbic clarity makes an already unusual judgment only more so.

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Labor’s deportation bill could affect 375 children born in Australia, advocates warn

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:00:09 GMT

Greens senator David Shoebridge says hundreds of children face ‘real threat’ of being separated from parents or sent overseas to ‘unknown future’

Asylum seeker advocates have warned 375 Australian-born children could face orders to cooperate with their removal from the country under Labor’s deportation bill – because they’ve had protection claims denied under the controversial fast-track method.

The home affairs department has revealed that as at 31 December 375 people born in Australia who are fast-track applicants had been refused temporary protection or a safe haven enterprise visa.

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Tasmanian devil analysis challenges study suggesting facial tumour disease decline

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:00:08 GMT

Cambridge scientists critique research that concluded the disease is no longer a threat to the species’ survival

Cambridge researchers have challenged a previous study finding that a facial cancer that devastated the Tasmanian devil population was on the decline.

Devil facial tumour disease, a fatal cancer spread through biting and sharing of food, first emerged in the 1980s. The spread of DFTD led to the species being listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2008.

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Nimbys v Yimbys: the affluent inner Melbourne suburbs that aren’t pulling their weight on housing

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:00:06 GMT

Exclusive: Housing advocacy group says amenity-rich eastern suburbs must be rezoned to accommodate thousands of new homes

They’re close to the city, public transport, schools and parks – and Melbourne’s leafy eastern suburbs should be shouldering the burden when it comes to new housing, according to a new report.

The report, by housing advocacy group Yimby Melbourne and published on Thursday, recommends introducing enforceable housing targets for the 19 local governments in inner Melbourne, as well as an overhaul of restrictive zoning rules.

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Australia rises to second in world budget management rankings, IMF data shows

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:00:06 GMT

Treasurer and finance minister hail ‘remarkable achievement’ as monitor finds balance to be behind only Canada among G20 countries

Australia’s overall budget balance is the second strongest among G20 nations, behind only Canada, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest fiscal monitor.

The IMF’s half-yearly update, released on Wednesday night, found Australia’s overall budget balance came in at -0.9% of gross domestic product in 2023, with only Canada’s budget position (-0.6%) faring better.

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Sydney church stabbing: 19-year-old charged with riot over Wakeley unrest

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 12:38:28 GMT

Teenager charged with riot, affray and damge to property and will appear at Blacktown local court on Thursday

A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with riot, affray and damage to property in connection with the unrest in Wakeley after a bishop was stabbed on Monday night.

NSW Police arrested the man after searching a home in Doonside in Sydney’s west at 5.40pm on Wednesday as investigations continue under Strike Force Dribs. He has been taken to Blacktown police station.

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Europe live: EU heads meet as Belgian and Czech leaders condemn Russian meddling in elections – as it happened

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:22:55 GMT

Alexander De Croo and Petr Fiala raise concerns about Russian interference as EU heads gather with Middle East also on the agenda

Further restrictive measures against Iran following Tehran’s attack on Israel will be discussed over dinner tonight when the EU’s leaders meet in Brussels.

On the table are potential measures to impose sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone programmes as well as Russia-style sanctions on individuals or companies that support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

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NatCon conference resumes after Brussels court overturns closure order

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:35:08 GMT

Belgian PM condemns move by local mayor to shut down radical rightwing conference as ‘unconstitutional’

A radical right conference that was addressed by Nigel Farage and Suella Braverman as police arrived to close it down has resumed after a Brussels court overturned a local mayor’s attempt to stop it.

Following moves condemned as “unacceptable” and “unconstitutional” by the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, organisers of the National Conservatism conference went to the conseil d’état, Belgium’s supreme administrative court.

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Hundreds evicted from France’s biggest squat months before Paris Olympics

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:36:02 GMT

Charities say authorities want to clear homeless people from streets and squats to make city look better for Games

Police have evicted hundreds of people from the biggest squat in France, in a southern suburb of Paris, prompting fresh accusations from charities that authorities are seeking to clear refugees, asylum seekers and homeless people from the capital area before the Olympics.

The squat, in an abandoned bus company headquarters in Vitry-sur-Seine, had been home to up to 450 people, many of whom had refugee status, legal paperwork and jobs in France, but who could not find proper housing. As they left the building they were encouraged to board buses to other parts of France.

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Sweden passes law lowering age to legally change gender from 18 to 16

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:31:31 GMT

Proposal sparked intense debate in country but passed with 234 votes in favour and 94 against

Sweden’s parliament has passed a law lowering the minimum age to legally change gender from 18 to 16 and making it easier to get access to surgical interventions.

The law passed with 234 votes in favour and 94 against in Sweden’s 349-seat parliament.

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Georgia footballers protest against Tbilisi’s ‘foreign influence’ bill

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:45:08 GMT

Captain of national men’s team among those posting apparently coordinated social media messages

Leading players in Georgia’s national men’s football team have backed mass protests sparked by a “foreign influence” bill criticised for mirroring a repressive Russian law.

Riot police have clashed in recent nights with large rallies of people protesting outside the parliament building in Tbilisi against the bill, which is viewed in Brussels as a threat to future EU membership.

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Poland’s president may meet Donald Trump ‘socially’ in New York

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:34:58 GMT

Andrzej Duda’s visit comes as European leaders prepare for Trump’s possible return to White House

Andrzej Duda, Poland’s conservative president, is expected to meet Donald Trump in New York on Wednesday evening, as some European politicians begin preparing for Trump’s possible return to the White House.

Many mainstream European leaders fear the potential impact of a US that is less engaged on the continent, and less committed to the future of Ukraine.

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Israel reportedly deploys extra weapons for assumed Rafah offensive

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:11:46 GMT

IDF confirms buying thousands of tents for evacuation, raising fears over long-threatened attack

Israel has reportedly deployed extra artillery and armoured personnel carriers to the Gaza Strip periphery, suggesting that the military is preparing for its long-threatened ground offensive on Rafah, the only place of relative safety for at least 1.4 million displaced Palestinian civilians.

Israeli daily Ma’ariv also said on Wednesday that troops had been put on alert and “the governing principle of the operation” had been approved by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general staff and Yoav Gallant, the defence minister. The IDF declined to comment on the reports.

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Israel ‘making decision to act’ after Iran attack, says Cameron on Jerusalem visit

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:41:59 GMT

UK foreign secretary is probably first non-Israeli politician to admit military reprisal is inevitable but urges Israel not to escalate

David Cameron has said it is clear Israel is “making a decision to act” in response to last weekend’s Iranian mass drone and ballistic missile attack, as Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off calls for restraint and said his country would make its own decisions about how to defend itself.

Lord Cameron, the UK foreign secretary, speaking on a visit to Jerusalem, said he hoped the Israeli response would be carried out in a way that minimised escalation.

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Lisa Nandy urges support for UN relief agency for Palestinians

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:22:13 GMT

Labour shadow minister also says Israel should be held accountable before international tribunal for war conduct in Gaza

Lisa Nandy, the UK’s shadow minister for international development, has called for support for the UN relief agency, Unrwa, warning that “time has run out for hundreds of thousands” of people in Gaza.

Nandy is in Washington this week attending the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with a message of how the UK’s humanitarian and development policy will change if Labour, as expected, forms the next government by the end of this year.

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Desert city of Dubai floods as heaviest rainfall in 75 years hits UAE

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:17:21 GMT

City records more than 142mm of rain in a day, about as much as it expects in a year and a half, as highways and malls flooded

Highways and malls have been flooded, schools have been closed, and flights disrupted at one of the world’s busiest airports after the United Arab Emirates experienced what the government described as its largest amount of rainfall in 75 years.

At least one person was killed, a 70-year-old man who police said was swept away in his car in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates.

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Palestinian boy who survived airstrike dies during food aid drop

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:52:18 GMT

Zein Oroq’s death turns focus once again on human cost of six months of violence, food shortages and malnutrition in Gaza

When an Israeli airstrike destroyed his family’s home in November, Zein Oroq was pinned under rubble. He was wounded but survived, while 17 members of his extended family died.

But Zein, 13, would later suffer a cruel fate in Gaza, where more than 2 million people have endured more than six months of food shortages and malnutrition.

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Middle East crisis: Israel will ‘make its own decision’ on Iran after UK and Germany call for restraint – as it happened

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:27:49 GMT

Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments came after UK foreign minister David Cameron and his German counterpart travelled to Israel for talks

Here are some more pictures sent over the news wires from Rafah showing the aftermath of an Israeli strike there.

Reuters, citing the semi-official Tasnim news agency, reports that Iran’s navy is to begin escorting Iranian commercial ships to the Red Sea.

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s jailed former leader, moved to house arrest, says junta

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 05:54:37 GMT

Military spokesperson says Nobel laureate is among prisoners to be moved out of prison as a precaution during hot weather

Myanmar’s detained former leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been moved from prison to house arrest, according to the military junta.

A spokesperson said the measure was taken due to extremely hot weather and that it was trying to prevent heatstroke among “all those who need necessary precautions, especially elderly prisoners”.

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Gang members fire at Bollywood star’s home in antelope killing row

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 08:44:51 GMT

Two men from Bishnoi gang, whose leader has threatened to kill Salman Khan, arrested over Mumbai shooting

Two members of a criminal gang have been arrested by Indian police for firing at the home of the Bollywood actor Salman Khan in retaliation for the star’s killing of two antelopes.

The Bishnoi gang, accused of several murders and extortion rackets, hails from a wider desert-based religious sect that considers the species to be the reincarnation of their guru.

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Delays by Home Office risk return of vulnerable Afghan families to Taliban

Sun, 14 Apr 2024 12:36:42 GMT

Families of those who helped British forces could be deported from Pakistan despite promise to resettle them in UK

Afghan families who helped UK forces and then fled to neighbouring Pakistan are in danger of being deported back to the Taliban due to Home Office delays in bringing them to the UK.

In the chaotic evacuation period in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in August 2021 some family members eligible for resettlement in the UK became separated from the rest of their families. Some boarded flights while others were unable to due to crushes at the airport and instead fled over the border to Pakistan.

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Russia and Kazakhstan evacuate tens of thousands amid worst floods in decades

Tue, 09 Apr 2024 13:46:59 GMT

Kremlin official warns of more difficult days ahead after towns and cities overwhelmed by major rivers swollen by snowmelt

Russia and Kazakhstan have ordered more than 100,000 people to evacuate after swiftly melting snow swelled rivers beyond bursting point in the worst flooding in the area for at least 70 years.

The deluge of meltwater overwhelmed many settlements in the Ural mountains, Siberia and areas of Kazakhstan close to rivers such as the Ural and Tobol, which local officials said had risen by metres in a matter of hours to the highest levels ever recorded.

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Blow for Myanmar’s military as rebels say hundreds have surrendered at key border town

Tue, 09 Apr 2024 03:07:37 GMT

Thailand PM says army is weakening after junta requests permission to land evacuation flight from Myawaddy across the border

Myanmar’s embattled military is on the brink of losing control of one of the country’s major border crossings, in another humiliating defeat to the junta.

Hundreds of soldiers have surrendered in the town of Myawaddy, near to the border with Thailand, according to opposition groups, while Myanmar junta authorities asked Thai officials for permission to land an evacuation flight across the border on Sunday. Thailand said it granted the request on humanitarian grounds, but clarified on Tuesday that it carried only cargo and no personnel, according to media reports.

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India appears to confirm extrajudicial killings in Pakistan

Fri, 05 Apr 2024 15:40:16 GMT

Defence minister’s comments after Guardian report are first time India has acknowledged any assassinations on foreign soil

India’s defence minister has appeared to confirm that the government carried out extrajudicial killings in neighbouring Pakistan, after a Guardian report on the alleged assassinations.

Intelligence officials from India and Pakistan who spoke to the Guardian had alleged that India’s foreign intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (Raw), had been involved in up to 20 killings of individuals in Pakistan since 2020, as part of a wider policy to target terrorists living on foreign soil.

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Rwanda bill returns to Lords as peers plan further bid to build in safeguards – UK politics live

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:33:15 GMT

Move follows vote in Commons where MPs voted down four amendments inserted by Lords yesterday

Here is the list of MPs down to ask a question.

PMQs is starting soon.

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‘Really upsetting’: Grenfell Tower edited out of TV advert

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:19:43 GMT

Exclusive: Man whose uncle died in 2017 disaster describes ad for pain relief gel Voltarol as ‘insulting’

Grenfell Tower has been edited out of a TV advert in a move described as “insulting” by a family bereaved by the June 2017 disaster.

Karim Mussilhy, whose uncle Hesham Rahman was among 72 people who died as a result of the fire, noticed the edit while watching the Channel 4 streaming service on Monday when an advert for the pain relief gel Voltarol showed people playing football on the Westway football pitches close to the council block.

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Fossils found in Somerset by girl, 11, ‘may be of largest-ever marine reptile’

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:00:09 GMT

Experts believe remains belong to a type of ichthyosaur that roamed the seas about 202m years ago

Fossils discovered by an 11-year-old girl on a beach in Somerset may have come from the largest marine reptile ever to have lived, according to experts.

The fossils are thought to be from a type of ichthyosaur, a prehistoric marine reptile that lived in the time of dinosaurs. The newly discovered species is believed to have roamed the seas towards the end of the Triassic, about 202m years ago.

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DWP warns carers they could face greater penalties if they appeal against fines

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:41:42 GMT

Officials at Department for Work and Pensions accused of ‘threatening and cruel’ tactics over repayment orders

Government officials have been accused of using “threatening and cruel” tactics towards unpaid carers by saying they could face even greater financial penalties if they appeal against “vindictive” benefit fines.

This month a Guardian investigation revealed that thousands of people who look after disabled, frail or ill relatives have been forced to pay back huge sums after being chased by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over “honest mistakes” that officials could have spotted years earlier.

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Experts divided over implications of prayer ban ruling at London school

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:39:37 GMT

Some say more schools may ban organised prayer after court ruling but others say judgment was based on unique circumstances

The ruling on a prayer ban at a top London school has created a “classic English policy muddle” that has divided school leaders over its implications, with some experts predicting that more schools could ban organised prayers as a result.

The warning came after a high court judge upheld the ban at Michaela community school in Brent, north-west London, dismissing a challenge by a Muslim pupil who claimed it was discriminatory and breached her right to religious freedom.

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Bank of England governor shrugs off smaller-than-expected fall in inflation

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 17:35:18 GMT

Andrew Bailey says inflation is in line with BoE forecasts but markets view data as pushing back interest rate cuts

The governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has shrugged off a smaller-than-expected drop in inflation last month, saying he expected a sharp fall towards the government’s 2% target next month.

Speaking in Washington after news that the government’s preferred measure of the cost of living had eased to 3.2% in March, Bailey said the path of inflation was broadly in line with what Threadneedle Street had predicted in its quarterly health check on the economy.

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Senate begins Republican-led impeachment trial for homeland security secretary – live

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:34:18 GMT

The question of whether to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas falls staunchly along party lines, with Democrats seeking to dismiss charges as Republicans call for a full trial

Chuck Schumer has released a lengthy statement about the commencement (and presumably very swift termination) of the impeachment trial of homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this afternoon.

It is the “least legitimate, least substantive, and most politicized impeachment trial in the history of the United States,” the Democratic Senate majority leader said, encapsulating remarks he made in the chamber just now and posted to Facebook:

The charges brought against Secretary Mayorkas fail to meet the high standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. To validate this gross abuse by the House would be a grave mistake and could set a dangerous precedent for the future.

For the sake of the Senate’s integrity, and to protect impeachment for those rare cases we truly need it, Senators should dismiss today’s charges.

It is beneath the dignity of the Senate to entertain this nakedly partisan exercise.

Impeachment should never be used to settle policy disagreements. That would set a disastrous precedent for the Congress and could throw our system of checks and balances into endless cycles of chaos.

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Mike Johnson moves ahead with foreign aid bills despite threats to oust him

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:10:31 GMT

Two fellow Republicans have threatened to remove House speaker if he advances Ukraine funding proposal

The House speaker, Mike Johnson, is pushing ahead with his plan to hold votes on four separate foreign aid bills this week, despite threats from two fellow Republicans to oust him if he advances a Ukraine funding proposal.

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, the rules committee posted text for three bills that would provide funding for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The text of a fourth bill, which is expected to include measures to redirect seized Russian assets toward Ukraine and force the sale of TikTok, will be released later on Wednesday, Johnson said in a note to members.

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US Senate expected to quickly dismiss impeachment charges against Mayorkas

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 16:16:39 GMT

House Republicans accuse homeland security secretary of failing to enforce border laws, but Schumer says charges are ‘beneath dignity of the Senate’

The US Senate is expected Wednesday to quickly dismiss the impeachment brought by Republicans against Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, with the top Democrat calling the charges an “illegitimate and profane abuse of the US Constitution”.

At 1pm, when the Senate convenes as a court of impeachment and the senators are sworn in as jurors, Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, said he would seek an agreement to allow for a period of debate before moving to a vote to dismiss the charges, ending the proceedings without a formal trial.

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FAA issues ground stop advisory for Alaska Airlines

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:57:11 GMT

Airline says it experienced IT issue during upgrade to system that calculates weight and balance

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop advisory on Wednesday for Alaska Airlines, saying: “All Alaska mainline and subcarrier flights ground stopped.”

In a separate statement, the FAA said the carrier “asked the FAA to pause the airline’s mainline departures nationwide”. It did not provide a reason for the stoppage. CNBC reported that the problem may have been an IT issue and that the airline’s system used to calculate weight and balance for flights was not functioning correctly.

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Hundreds could die if Boeing fails to handle quality issues, whistleblower says

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 15:54:27 GMT

Engineer Sam Salehpour says he fears ‘physical violence’ for going public with concerns about ‘no safety culture’ at the planemaker

Hundreds of people could lose their lives if Boeing fails to address quality issues, a whistleblower warned US Congress on Wednesday.

Sam Salehpour, an engineer at the planemaker, told a high-profile hearing on Capitol Hill that he feared “physical violence” after going public with his concerns. There is “no safety culture” at Boeing, he claimed, alleging that employees who raise the alarm are “ignored, marginalized, threatened, sidelined, and worse”.

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Nasa confirms metal chunk that crashed into Florida home was space junk

Wed, 17 Apr 2024 14:51:40 GMT

Cylinder slab that tore through Naples home last month was debris released from International Space Station in 2021

A heavy chunk of metal that crashed through the roof of a Florida home is, in fact, space junk, Nasa has confirmed.

The federal space agency said that a cylinder slab that tore through a house in Naples, Florida, last month was debris from a cargo pallet released from the international space station in 2021, according to a Nasa blogpost.

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