While the bilateral talks between Malcolm Turnbull and Aung San Suu Kyi continue, it might be worth having a look at a couple of articles that ran very recently, highlighting there are those working on having the leader prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
The attorney general, Christian Porter, shut it down fairly quickly, but it is out there now.
Foreign minister says North Korean leader made the commitment ‘directly’, as talks about the summit between Trump and Kim get underway in Finland
South Korea’s foreign minister has said that North Korea’s leader has “given his word” that he is committed to denuclearization, a prime condition for a potential summit with President Donald Trump in May.
Trump has agreed to what would be historic talks after South Korean officials relayed that Kim Jong-un was committed to ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons and was willing to halt nuclear and missile tests.
Business group wants Britain to become associate member of R&D programme after Brexit
Britain’s biggest business lobby group is seeking to prevent the loss of as much as €1bn (?882m) in annual European funding for scientific research and technological development, which has been thrown into doubt by Brexit.
According to a briefing paper seen by the Guardian, the CBI is calling for the government to state its intention to renew its membership of the EU framework programme for research and development after Brexit. Failure to take such steps could further harm businesses already cutting their spending on research and discourage future investments, it says.
Result expected to be declared valid despite ‘some irregularities’ – extending Putin’s time in office to nearly a quarter of a century
Vladimir Putin cruised to victory in Sunday’s presidential elections in a result that was never in question. His fourth term as president will extend until 2024, making him the first Kremlin leader to serve two decades in power since Josef Stalin.
With results still coming in, Putin looked set to exceed expectations by clinching more than 73% of the vote.
Dan Lipinski, a conservative Democrat with ardent anti-abortion views, has never before been seriously challenged – until now
On a cold Friday morning in early March, the biggest fossil in Chicago was not the Tyrannosaurus Rex perched in the Field Museum downtown. It was standing, wearing a parka, outside a suburban train station.
Russians on Sunday went to the polls in a presidential election likely to result in the re-election of Vladimir Putin to a fourth term in office. About 109 million Russian citizens have the right to vote – in 100,000 polling stations in the Russian Federation and also in 145 foreign countries
Damning book by ‘secret barrister’ tells of courts plagued by daily errors leaving them unfit for purpose
Courts that are like an A&E unit on a Saturday night, violent abusers walking free because evidence has gone missing, and lawyers doing hours of unpaid work to keep the system from collapse, are all part of a damning picture painted in a new book on the legal system by a barrister.
According to the anonymous author of The Secret Barrister: Stories Of The Law And How It’s Broken, the courts in England and Wales have been brought to their knees by government cuts and left so plagued by daily errors they are no longer fit for purpose.
Readers reflect on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter
If President John F Kennedy’s 1963 assassination had been handled as the British government has done with the Skripals’ poisoning ( Editorial, 15 March), dozens of Soviet diplomats would have been expelled, trade arrangements and contacts with the Soviet Union would have been cancelled, and Soviet ships docking at US ports would have likely been seized. After all, Kennedy’s alleged assassin had resided in the Soviet Union and had long been married to a Soviet citizen. And, since months earlier the alleged assassin happened to have visited a Cuban consulate in Mexico to apply for a visa – which he was denied – the US embargo on Cuba would have likely been tightened. To his credit, President Lyndon Johnson – unlike Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson – called for an investigation and avoided voicing any conclusions beforehand, while refraining from pressuring allies to blame the Soviet government.
There are many questions on the Skripal case that deserve answers, that only a thorough investigation can provide. Why was Mr Skripal living in Salisbury, and did he have any recent dealings with MI6, the British repository of chemical or nerve agents said to be located nearby, or Russian mobsters? Did Britain not long ago stock the nerve agent novichok and (if so) what controls were in place at the time of the incident? Was Skripal re-enlisted by British intelligence to assist or spy against diplomats or the Russian government? What motive would the Russian government have for eliminating a former intelligence officer who was supposedly inactive, living a life of quiet retirement? And – regarding sovereign rights – did MI6 not violate Russian sovereignty when it recruited Mr Skripal as a spy – in Russian territory? Why would the poisoning be carried out barely a week before Russian presidential elections, and would it not reflect negatively on Mr Putin’s candidacy? Could it be more than mere coincidence that the British government’s failure to advance the Brexit negotiations affected its handling of the Skripal case? Luis Suarez-Villa Professor emeritus, University of California, Irvine, US
Putin has emerged from his third term stronger than ever, but it is unclear where he goes from here
That Vladimir Putin will be reelected has never been in doubt. What the Russian president’s fourth term, sometimes referred to as Putin 4.0, is likely to bring is a more open question.
The past six years have brought Russia into deepening conflict with the west. But Putin has emerged from his third term far stronger than he was in 2012, shoring up his image as a generational leader who has cowed all but his most committed opposition and taken steps to revive Russia’s greatness, with controversial moves such as the annexation of Crimea.
Main rebel group in talks about aid and evacuation of sick and wounded as President Assad visits troops
The main rebel group in the southern pocket of Syria’s opposition-held eastern Ghouta has said it is negotiating with a United Nations delegation about a ceasefire, aid and the evacuation of urgent medical cases.
“We are engaged in arranging serious negotiations to guarantee the safety and protection of civilians,” said Wael Alwan, the Istanbul-based spokesman for Failaq al-Rahman.
Jubilee Debt Campaign says 126 nations spend more than 10% of revenues on interest
The expected rise in US interest rates will increase financial pressures on developing countries already struggling with a 60% jump in their debt repayments since 2014, a leading charity has warned.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign said a study of 126 developing nations showed that they were devoting more than 10% of their revenues on average to paying the interest on money borrowed – the highest level since before the G7 agreement to write off the debts of the world’s poorest nations at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005.
Recent dismissals shows the president is gaining confidence in his foreign policy instincts, and surrounding himself with allies
The end, when it comes to a job in the Trump administration, can be messy and brutal. The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was fired while returning from a gruelling Africa tour not long after the death of his father.
When he complained through an aide about the summary manner of his dismissal, the White House stuck the boot in, telling journalists the 66 year-old former Texan oil executive had been fired by telephone while sitting on the toilet, suffering from a stomach bug, according to the Daily Beast.
Tiny island close to Formentera has been bought by a family from Luxembourg
A tiny Balearic island that lies between Ibiza and Formentera and boasts two houses, a chapel and a watchtower has been sold to a private bidder for €18m (?16m).
S’Espalmador, which occupies 137 hectares and can be reached on foot from Formentera at low tide, has been snapped up by a family from Luxembourg despite efforts to sell it to the Formentera government.
Five bodies pulled from vehicles; a sixth died in hospital
Victim’s uncle rages at ‘complete incompetence of installation
Police in Miami believe they have recovered all the bodies of those who died in a catastrophic bridge collapse on a busy highway on Thursday.
The Miami-Dade police chief, Juan Perez, told news media late on Saturday searchers had recovered all five bodies of people in vehicles that were crushed under the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, when the structure fell on to a busy six-lane road connecting the campus to the community of Sweetwater.
Boris Johnson tells the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the UK government has evidence that Russia has ‘not only been investigating the delivery of nerve agents for the purpose of assassination, but has also been creating and stockpiling novichok’ within the last 10 years
Erdo?an says Turkish forces have taken Kurdish-majority city in Syria after two-month offensive
Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have taken total control of the centre of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, has said.
“Units of the Free Syrian Army, which are backed by Turkish armed forces, took control of the centre of Afrin this morning at 8.30am (0530 GMT),” Erdo?an said, adding that de-mining operations were under way.
Recent events on US college campuses illustrate how the right has fine-tuned its formula for pushing progressives’ buttons
How do you make a speech at a provincial liberal arts college into national news? As it turns out, the basic requirements are simple: a shareable video, provocation and persistence.
For the past few months, this recipe was developed and fine-tuned in a series of speeches at Portland-area universities featuring controversial speakers. All have involved a small group of Portland State University students and faculty associated with an atheist student club.
For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate
The first time I met Christopher Wylie, he didn’t yet have pink hair. That comes later. As does his mission to rewind time. To put the genie back in the bottle.
By the time I met him in person, I’d already been talking to him on a daily basis for hours at a time. On the phone, he was clever, funny, bitchy, profound, intellectually ravenous, compelling. A master storyteller. A politicker. A data science nerd.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says Myanmar leader seeks humanitarian and ‘capacity building’ assistance
Aung San Suu Kyi has reportedly personally addressed Myanmar’s ongoing Rohingya crisis at a closed-door meeting of south-east Asian leaders, asking for help from Asean nations with humanitarian relief and Myanmar’s capacity to recover from the conflict.
At a meeting of leaders at the Australia-Asean summit in Sydney, Suu Kyi addressed the issue “comprehensively [and] at some considerable length”, the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said.
Xi’s face dominated the front pages of major Sunday newspapers, many carrying the same editorial from the ruling Communist party’s official People’s Daily about Xi’s reappointment as president on Saturday.
The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in one of the tech giant’s biggest ever data breaches, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.
A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.
Assisted suicides in the Netherlands include a 29-year-old who had nothing wrong with her physically
At 2pm on 26 January, Aurelia Brouwers lay down on her bed to die. Clutching a toy pink dinosaur and listening to her favourite music, the 29-year-old drank her prescribed medication as close friends gathered round. “She asked me to lie next to her. She had a smile on her face, and then she went softly into sleep,” Sjoukje Willering told the Observer. “It was very serene and calm. It was beautiful.”
Four hours earlier, Brouwers had posted her last message on Facebook. “I’m getting ready for my trip now. Thank you so much for everything. I’m no longer available from now on.” Brouwers died at home in the small Netherlands town of Deventer less than a month after being declared eligible for euthanasia under the country’s 2002 Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act, which permits the ending of lives where there is “unbearable suffering” without hope of relief. Her death has triggered a fierce debate in a country that has one of the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world.
Actor gives impassioned speech at UN event exploring sexual exploitation and harassment in media and entertainment worlds
The actor Sienna Miller hailed the “wave of change” enveloping the media and entertainment industries in an impassioned speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday.
Speaking at an event on sexual exploitation and harassment hosted by the Guardian, UN Women and the Norwegian government, Miller praised the courage of the women who have spoken out about their experiences of harassment since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year.
At least eight people have been injured after a malfunctioning ski lift hurled them from their seats in the Georgian ski resort of Gudauri, local media reported.
Video shot by people next to the lift showed skiers jumping or falling from the carriages, as horrified onlookers shouted in panic. The lift appeared to be moving backwards and dangerously fast, leading to a pile-up of broken and twisted chairs at the lift’s lowest point
In a powerful speech in New York, actor Sienna Miller hailed the Time’s Up movement for teaching a lesson to ‘our rampant patriarchal societies’. Miller was speaking at an event on sexual exploitation and harassment hosted by the Guardian, UN Women and the Norwegian government. She praised the courage of the women in the entertainment industry who have spoken up on sexual harassment and abuse, and talked about the discrimination she has felt in her own career. ‘I have really just had enough. Enough of being undervalued, enough of being undermined, enough of being disrespected, because of my gender’
A Romanian court has rejected Constantin Reliu's claim that he is alive, after he was officially registered as dead by his wife. A court spokeswoman said the 63-year-old had lost his case in Barlad because he appealed too late. The ruling is final. Reliu said: 'I am officially dead, although I’m alive. I have no income and because I am listed dead, I can’t do anything.'
Footage from a documentary about the first polar bear cub to be born in the UK in the past 25 years has been released. The cub was born at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig, Scotland. Before the first sighting this month, the birth – which took place a week before Christmas – had only been confirmed by high-pitched noises from the den
• Britain’s Polar Bear Cub airs Sunday at 7pm on Channel 4
A newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in Miami collapsed on Thursday, crushing at least five vehicles. The walkway had been opened days earlier to increase the safety of students crossing an eight-lane road to get from one campus to another
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, has criticised his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, for turning against him. Mugabe told the South African broadcaster SABC that although he had 'nurtured and brought Mnangagwa into government … we must undo this disgrace', adding that Mnangagwa was only able to achieve power with the aid of the military
Extraordinary success of programme under which health workers make house calls could save untold young lives in sub-Saharan Africa
Home to a large number of migrants and an even larger number of babies, Yirimadio is a heaving, ramshackle district on the outskirts of Bamako. Only a decade ago, it was a commune, much like any other on the Malian capital’s periphery. Now, though, it is the unexpected scene of a pioneering healthcare scheme. Child mortality rates here have dropped to the point where they are now the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa – an achievement that may all be down to knocking on doors.
The premise of the scheme, which launched in 2008, is simple: community health workers spend at least two hours, six days a week searching for patients door-to-door, providing free care to whoever needs it. Mali has long struggled to contain preventable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Consequently, the country has the world’s sixth highest under-five child mortality rate, estimated at 115 deaths for every 1,000 births according to the most recent figures available. But by turning conventional healthcare on its head – sending health providers to patients at no cost, instead of requiring them to seek out fee-paying medical attention – Yirimadio achieved a spectacular turnaround. Between 2008 and 2015, the child mortality rate dropped from 154 deaths to seven for every 1,000 live births.
Often overlooked by the Kremlin, the Siberian city has a centuries-old reputation for dissidence. But as Russia heads to the polls, will apathy rule?
Russia goes to the polls this weekend with the result locked down – a widely expected fourth presidential term for Vladimir Putin. Rigged electoral practices will almost certainly deliver the 70/70 (70% voting for Putin on a 70% attendance) scenario targeted by the Kremlin. But even Putin’s watertight system is capable of springing the odd leak – in 2015, the people of Irkutsk rejected his party United Russia and elected a communist official. Sergei Levchenko remains one of the country’s few regional governors not endorsed by the Kremlin. But whatever the dissatisfactions brewing in the east Siberian city of 600,000 people, his party will have to do well to repeat the result this year.
Since 2015, the UK has been one of the most consistent and generous contributors in helping the UN combat sexual exploitation and abuse. This commitment was reinforced by the UK’s signing of the voluntary compact with the secretary general on the engagement to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse last year. The UK is also a member of the secretary general’s circle of leadership to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse in UN operations and continues to support key initiatives in peacekeeping and special political missions.
As Pakistan deports thousands of Afghans, informal settlements are adding to the intense strain on Kabul’s resources – with potentially disastrous results
Racing against the setting sun to wind up the day’s labour, Shukour takes a few steps back and surveys his construction site. As the dust from the drilling settles back on the 50 square metres of rock that will become the foundations of his new house in Kabul, he stops work and talks about the home he fled as an eight-year-old.
“Our Panjshir is as beautiful as India’s Kashmir,” he says, framed against a rash of grey matchbox huts vying for very available inch before the hillside falls steeply away. “It was God’s own valley until the reign of fire.”
Kidnapped and forced to become child circus performers, a Nepalese troupe now scale the heights on their own terms
In a dusty gymnasium south of Kathmandu, a group of twentysomething Nepalis are rehearsing a new routine. One girl sways back and forth on a trapeze suspended from the metal rafters, twisting and turning as two boys play-fight below her. Miming a struggle, one boy ducks as the other tries to grab; one jumps as the other lunges. As the boy shirks off his would-be assailant, he comes close to being hauled offstage, or “kidnapped”, in performance-speak. But the kidnapper manages to grab just the boy’s T-shirt, and tears it from him before running away.
Kidnappings, trafficking and fending off villains are key themes for Circus Kathmandu, a troupe founded by and comprised of trafficking survivors. Smuggled as children into neighbouring India and sold into the travelling circus industry, they have since turned their unique skillset into an educational art form as Nepal’s first – and only – circus.
Hunted by police but idolised by followers, some street riders have risen from their inner-city neighbourhoods to find fame and big money sponsorship. Could urban dirt biking do a Nascar?
All photographs by M Holden Warren
“This is to dirt bike culture what the Grammys are to hip hop,” beamed veteran rider Albert “Al Capone” Elkerson as he took to the stage of a swanky historic theatre in Manhattan for the second annual Motocross Freestyle Streetriders awards.
It was a family-friendly event, packed with young fans ogling their role models. Smartphones broadcast to millions of followers while Oscars-style trophy girls handed out accolades for best swag, best swerve and longest no-hander.
The ‘ignored pollutant’ can cause depression, stress, diabetes and heart attacks. What are cities doing to curb excess noise?
The constant roar of traffic, incessant construction noise, piercing sirens, honking horns, shrieking loudspeakers – noise in cities is clearly a nuisance.
But it’s also a danger. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described noise pollution as an underestimated threat that can cause hearing loss, cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairment, stress and depression. Some experts go further: they believe exposure to environmental noise could be slowly killing us.