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California appears to be winning fight against Covid-19. How long will it last?

World news | The Guardian

State is currently faring better than the US as a whole, but experts and public health officials expect a fall surge

After a brutal summer of increased infection and over-burdened hospitals, California is having a moment of respite in coronavirus transmission as much of the nation and the world experiences yet another rise in cases.

But experts and public health officials warned Californians to practice caution.

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October 21st 2020, 6:20 am

Trump administration alters and downplays human rights abuses in reports

World news | The Guardian

A report found that the state department assessments were not consistent with the seriousness of situations in other countries

The Trump administration has omitted or altered vital information about human rights – including torture, reproductive rights and persecution based on sexuality – from its annual assessments of human rights, a new report reveals.

The state department’s annual reports have long been relied upon by governments, judges and lawyers – as well as the United Nations – as a “gold standard” of objective information about the human rights situation in countries around the world. The US began compiling these reports in 1976.

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October 21st 2020, 5:20 am

Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse

World news | The Guardian

People of Praise hire lawyers to investigate historical sexual abuse allegations as former members speak of ‘emotional torment’

Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the supreme court has prompted former members of her secretive faith group, the People of Praise, to come forward and share stories about emotional trauma and – in at least one case – sexual abuse they claim to have suffered at the hands of members of the Christian group.

Related: 'It instilled such problems': ex-member of Amy Coney Barrett's faith group speaks out

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October 21st 2020, 5:20 am

Andy Burnham hits out at Tory MPs over Covid negotiations criticism

World news | The Guardian

Greater Manchester mayor dismisses claims by local MPs that he rejected a good deal

Andy Burnham has lambasted Conservative MPs trying to encourage the government to pick off Greater Manchester councils one by one after the region failed to collectively reach a coronavirus deal with ministers.

The government said the £60m business support offer unanimously rejected by Burnham and Greater Manchester’s 10 leaders was “still on the table”, as it was announced the Sheffield city region would be the latest in England to be put into the tightest tier 3 restrictions.

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October 21st 2020, 5:04 am

UK coronavirus live: Sheffield city region mayor says 'inaction not an option' as he agrees tier 3 r

World news | The Guardian

Latest updates: South Yorkshire third region in England to get strictest measures after local leaders agreed a deal with government

Gyms will be allowed to reopen in Merseyside after the UK government failed to provide evidence that they should close under the top-tier strict coronavirus restrictions imposed only a week ago, my colleague Josh Halliday reports.

Related: Gyms allowed to reopen in Merseyside after tier 3 Covid row

Last week Government imposed Tier 3 restrictions on our region – forcing our gyms to close.

Since then we've been in constant dialogue to make them provide evidence for that decision - or reverse it.

They have now agreed to reverse their original decision and let gyms open. pic.twitter.com/AIoxK9gVNW

The 1.4m people in South Yorkshire joining the Liverpool city region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire in tier 3 means 7.3m people, or 13% of England’s population, will be living under the toughest restrictions by the end of the week, PA Media reports.

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October 21st 2020, 4:51 am

Donald Trump paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China, report claims

World news | The Guardian

New York Times says records reveal company bank account in China, and documents show he paid more tax there than at home

Donald Trump maintains a bank account in China where he pursued licensing deals for years, according to a report that could undermine the president’s election campaign claim that he is tough on Beijing.

Tax records reviewed by the New York Times showed a previously unreported bank account in China controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China between 2013 and 2015 in connection to potential licensing deals, according the newspaper.

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October 21st 2020, 2:19 am

Croatian police accused of 'sickening' assaults on migrants on Balkans trail

World news | The Guardian

Testimony from asylum seekers alleging brutal border pushbacks, including sexual abuse, adds to calls for EU to investigate

People on the Balkans migrant trail have allegedly been whipped, robbed and, in one case, sexually abused by members of the Croatian police.

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has documented a series of brutal pushbacks on the Bosnia-Croatian border involving dozens of asylum seekers between 12 and 16 October.

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October 21st 2020, 1:49 am

New Zealand records 25 Covid cases amid arrival of foreign fishing crews

World news | The Guardian

Twenty-three cases caught at the border, with two more local transmissions linked to Sunday’s port worker case

New Zealand has recorded 25 new cases of coronavirus, the biggest daily toll the country has reported since the height of its initial outbreak in March and April.

Two were local cases and the rest were discovered at the border, including 18 infections among Russian and Ukraine fishing crews who had arrived on a charter flight from Moscow days earlier.

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October 21st 2020, 1:33 am

Save 12 HK youths: campaign to free boat detainees goes global

World news | The Guardian

Greta Thunberg among international activists sharing #save12HKyouths hashtag as calls for release of Hong Kong group gain momentum

A social media campaign calling for the release of 12 Hong Kong youths detained in China is gaining ground, with support from international activists including Greta Thunberg.

The teenage environmentalist is among a growing list of international activists, campaigners and politicians sharing the hashtag #save12HKyouths, hoping to draw international attention to the plight of 12 young people held under tight security in mainland China after they were caught allegedly trying to flee Hong Kong by boat.

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October 21st 2020, 12:33 am

Polluted air killing half a million babies a year across globe

World news | The Guardian

State of Global Air report says indoor air quality causing two-thirds of the deaths and affecting health in the womb

Air pollution last year caused the premature death of nearly half a million babies in their first month of life, with most of the infants being in the developing world, data shows.

Exposure to airborne pollutants is harmful also for babies in the womb. It can cause a premature birth or low birth weight. Both of these factors are associated with higher infant mortality.

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October 21st 2020, 12:17 am

Thailand protests: court orders news outlet to close as PM accuses it of 'inciting unrest'

World news | The Guardian

Voice TV, which has links to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, faces closure over coverage of youth-led protests against government and monarchy

A Thai news outlet connected to exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been ordered to shut down over its coverage of anti-government protests in Bangkok as demonstrators prepared to take to the streets for a sixth consecutive day.

Voice TV, a website partly owned by Thaksin’s family, was one of four media organisations under fire for their reporting of the youth-led pro-democracy protest movement and has been critical of the government.

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October 20th 2020, 11:17 pm

Breonna Taylor: grand juror speaks out, saying homicide charges weren't offered

World news | The Guardian

Anonymous juror challenges statements made by the Kentucky attorney general after clearing way to speak publicly

A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has spoken out, challenging statements made by the Kentucky attorney general and saying that the jury was not offered homicide charges to consider against officers involved in Taylor’s killing.

The anonymous grand juror’s comments on Tuesday came after a Louisville judge cleared the way for the the panel’s members to talk publicly about the secretive proceedings. The juror filed suit to speak publicly after Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky attorney general, announced last month that no officers would be directly charged in the March shooting death of Taylor during a botched narcotics raid. The grand jury charged one officer with endangering her neighbors.

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October 20th 2020, 10:16 pm

Nasa Osiris-Rex spacecraft lands on asteroid Bennu in mission to collect dust

World news | The Guardian

Spacecraft ‘kissed the surface’ in brief landing on asteroid 200m miles away from Earth in US-first mission

A Nasa spacecraft has successfully landed on an asteroid, dodging boulders the size of buildings, in order to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for analysis back on Earth.

The space agency team behind the Osiris-Rex project said preliminary data showed the sample collection went as planned and that the spacecraft had lifted off the surface of asteroid Bennu.

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October 20th 2020, 9:16 pm

Vietnam floods and landslides displace 90,000 people as new cyclone nears

World news | The Guardian

More than 100 so far reported dead or missing after two storms destroy homes and leave trail of destruction

Floods and landslides in Vietnam are reported to have left at least 102 people dead or missing, while tens of thousands of people have lost their homes to rising water.

Two storms that hit central Vietnam in the first two weeks of October, Storm Linfa and Storm Nangka, brought six times higher than average rainfall, flooding 136,000 houses and forcing 90,000 people to evacuate their homes. A third cyclone is expected to hit the coast in the coming days.

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October 20th 2020, 7:44 pm

Colorado firefighters struggle to control large blazes in drought-stricken state

World news | The Guardian

Cameron Peak fire, the largest on record in the state, has burned 203,634 acres and destroyed more than 50 structures

Colorado firefighters were struggling to control several large wildfires, including the state’s largest on record, with smoke badgering some of the most populous areas in the region.

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October 20th 2020, 7:44 pm

US justice department sues Google over accusation of illegal monopoly

World news | The Guardian

Lawsuit accuses tech company of abusing its position to dominate search and search advertising

The US justice department filed a lawsuit against Google on Tuesday, accusing the tech company of abusing its position to maintain an illegal monopoly over search and search advertising.

“Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy startup with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone,” the suit alleged.

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October 20th 2020, 7:44 pm

UK Covid death toll rises by 241 in highest daily increase for months

World news | The Guardian

Government data shows a further 21,330 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus

The UK death toll from coronavirus rose by 241 on Tuesday – the highest daily reported rise since the first wave of the pandemic.

While the Tuesday total is often larger because of a delay in reporting deaths over the weekend, this week’s is nevertheless the highest figure since 5 June.

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October 20th 2020, 7:44 pm

Coronavirus live news: CDC finds 300,000 excess deaths in US; Spain nears 1m cases

World news | The Guardian

Finding means Covid-19 death toll might be “underascertained”, says CDC; Boris Johnson imposes toughest restrictions on Manchester; US congress moves closer to agreement new coronavirus relief package. Follow the latest updates

More than 100 people are believed to have been infected by the coronavirus at a wedding early this month in the northern Mexico border city of Mexicali, authorities said, AP reports.

About 300 people attended the 0 October nuptials of a soap opera actor and the daughter of a businessman, Alonso Oscar Pérez Rico, the health secretary of Baja California state said Monday.

Pérez Rico told local media that there were apparently no masks or temperature checks at the event and that the organisers also did not have permission to hold an event of that size during the pandemic.

He said authorities are investigating whether anyone attended the wedding knowing they had Covid-19 or were infected by the virus. In some states in Mexico, knowingly infecting someone with a disease is a crime.

In the UK, Labour is stepping up the pressure to impose an England-wide “circuit-breaker”, claiming the economy will be billions of pounds worse off if the government fails to act.

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, last week endorsed calls by the government’s scientific advisers for a two- to three-week shutdown. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, has opposed the plan, calling it a “blunt instrument” and warning about the damaging economic impact of shuttering many sectors.

Related: Failure to act on Covid 'circuit breaker' will cost billions – Labour

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October 20th 2020, 7:44 pm

Berlin: vandalism of museum artefacts 'linked to conspiracy theorists'

World news | The Guardian

Use of oily substance across three galleries reportedly related to claims they are centre of ‘global satanism’

At least 70 artworks and ancient artefacts across three galleries on Berlin’s museum island were vandalised with an oily substance earlier this month, German media has reported.

Objects including Egyptian sarcophagi, stone sculptures and 19th-century paintings held at the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum sustained visible damage during the attack on 3 October, according to reports in the weekly Die Zeit and broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

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October 20th 2020, 5:59 pm

Trump asks Barr to investigate dubious claims against Joe and Hunter Biden

World news | The Guardian

William Barr “has to act” and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter before election day, Donald Trump said on Tuesday, addressing his attorney general via his favorite medium, the Fox & Friends morning show.

Hunter Biden is the subject of reports by the New York Post about a laptop hard drive purportedly left at a repair shop in Delaware and obtained by Trump ally Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor is now Trump’s personal attorney and his search for political dirt on the Bidens has played out in public, having contributed to Trump’s impeachment for approaches made to Ukraine.

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October 20th 2020, 5:59 pm

Ghislaine Maxwell deposition should be unsealed quickly, judge rules

World news | The Guardian

Lawyers had argued that the transcripts should remain sealed in part to protect her right to a fair trial

Transcripts of interviews lawyers conducted with Ghislaine Maxwell involving her former boyfriend, the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, should be released as soon as possible, a New York judge ordered on Tuesday.

Related: Coronavirus economic relief deal beckons as Pelosi, Mnuchin resume talks - live

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October 20th 2020, 5:30 pm

Nigerian security forces open fire on protesters in Lagos

World news | The Guardian

Crackdown as rallies against police brutality continue in defiance of government curfew

Nigerian security forces have opened fire on hundreds of protesters in Lagos, as rallies against police brutality continued in defiance of a 24-hour curfew imposed by the government earlier in the day.

Graphic scenes posted on social media showed protesters fleeing as security forces, including soldiers, shot live rounds towards the crowds.

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October 20th 2020, 5:30 pm

Chaos and fury as Boris Johnson forces curbs on Greater Manchester

World news | The Guardian

Andy Burnham warns of real hardship after bitter standoff over support package

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, accused the government of playing a “game of poker with people’s lives” after Boris Johnson imposed the toughest Covid restrictions on the region without agreeing a support package for businesses and low-paid workers.

After a chaotic day of negotiations, the 10-day standoff between Downing Street and Greater Manchester’s leaders came to an acrimonious end despite the two sides being just £5m apart, or the equivalent of £1.78 for each resident.

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October 20th 2020, 4:45 pm

Iranian woman arrested for cycling 'without hijab'

World news | The Guardian

Unnamed cyclist in Najafabad detained for breaking Islamic law on veils for women

A young woman has been arrested in central Iran for “insulting the Islamic hijab”, state media said on Tuesday, after a video appeared to show her cycling without a veil.

“A person who had recently violated norms and insulted the Islamic veil in this region has been arrested,” Mojataba Raei, the governor of Najafabad, told the IRNA news agency.

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October 20th 2020, 2:44 pm

'Golden passports': EU launches legal action against Cyprus and Malta

World news | The Guardian

Brussels says schemes selling citizenship to wealthy investors are illegal

Brussels has launched legal action against Cyprus and Malta over their “golden passport” schemes for wealthy investors, saying they were illegal and undermined EU citizenship.

The European commission has written to the two countries, which both joined the EU in 2004, to demand explanations, warning that the schemes increased the risks of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption.

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October 20th 2020, 1:58 pm

EU seeks Amazon protections pledge from Bolsonaro in push to ratify trade deal

World news | The Guardian

Brazilian president’s stance on deforestation remains stumbling block for South America agreement

Brussels is in talks with Brazil’s far-right nationalist president, Jair Bolsonaro, over commitments on the future of the Amazon as it seeks to persuade Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders and parliaments to ratify the trade deal the bloc has negotiated with South America.

The ratification of the draft trade agreement between the EU and the “Mercosur” or Southern Common Market free-trade zone – which spans Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina – has been in doubt almost since it was announced last June.

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October 20th 2020, 1:28 pm

PM confirms Covid tier 3 restrictions for Greater Manchester as talks fail

World news | The Guardian

Boris Johnson refuses to specify how much support region will get

Greater Manchester will be moved into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Thursday, Boris Johnson has confirmed, as he refused to say whether a £60m offer of support for the region remains on the table following failed negotiations.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the prime minister did not specify how much support the region would get. Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, had sought £90m in support for businesses and staff affected by the measures, dropping the request to £65m, but ministers offered £60m and eventually ended the talks without a deal.

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October 20th 2020, 1:14 pm

Global report: record Covid cases and new lockdowns across Europe

World news | The Guardian

Parts of Spain and Italy facing restrictions as Ireland set to become first EU country to reimpose national lockdown

Regions in Spain and Italy have returned to lockdown and Ireland will do so from Wednesday as countries across Europe continue to report new Covid infection highs and governments struggle to contain the second wave of the pandemic.

The northern Spanish Navarre region, where the number of cases per 100,000 people is 945 against 312 nationally, announced a two-week lockdown from Thursday that will be stricter than measures imposed on Madrid by central government.

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October 20th 2020, 12:28 pm

Lockdown conflict between regional and national authorities in Spain

World news | The Guardian

Regional health minister of Madrid described state of emergency as ‘attack on people of Madrid’

  • Coronavirus – latest updates
  • See all our coronavirus coverage
  • Lockdown tensions between central government and regional authorities are not confined to the UK.

    On 9 October, Spain’s Socialist-led coalition government was forced to declare a state of emergency to put Madrid and eight surrounding towns into a limited lockdown after the regional government flip-flopped, protested and mounted a legal challenge to the restrictions.

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    October 20th 2020, 12:11 pm

    Durex sales surge after end of UK national Covid lockdown

    World news | The Guardian

    Reckitt Benckiser says condom sales rose more than 10% after restrictions were relaxed

    The end of the national lockdown spurred a summer of love that revived condom sales at market leader Durex.

    Global sales at the condom brand jumped more than 10% over the summer months when a respite from coronavirus restrictions enabled people to rekindle their sex lives.

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    October 20th 2020, 12:11 pm

    Greater Manchester to get tier 3 Covid restrictions imposed after talks fail

    World news | The Guardian

    PM set to impose England’s strictest restrictions after last-ditch bid to strike deal fails

    Boris Johnson looks set to impose the strictest coronavirus restrictions in England on nearly 3 million people in Greater Manchester after a last-ditch attempt to strike a deal ended without agreement.

    The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced that the negotiations had ended after several hours of fraught negotiations came down to a dispute over about £5m – or £1.78 for each Greater Manchester resident – in funding, the Guardian understands.

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    October 20th 2020, 10:10 am

    Joe Biden criticises Donald Trump for renewed Fauci attack over Covid – US politics live

    World news | The Guardian

    It is Kamala Harris’ brithday today. Her social media team have just tweeted about it. The Democratic vice presidential nominee is celebrating turning 56 by taking part in a virtual Milwaukee rally to kick off the first day of in-person early voting in Wisconsin. She then joins virtual Biden for President finance events.

    Reply to this tweet to wish Kamala a happy birthday! pic.twitter.com/CTPPwg05nu

    Diane Bartz and David Shepardson from Reuters have this report, saying that the US Justice Department is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday for allegedly breaking the law in using its market power to fend off rivals. They write:

    The lawsuit is expected to allege that Google broke the law in how it treated rivals in its internet search and advertising businesses, seeking to disadvantage them to keep its own search engine dominant and using that market power to sell more ads.

    Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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    October 20th 2020, 9:39 am

    Greece extends wall on Turkish border as refugee row deepens

    World news | The Guardian

    Police say mobile sirens and surveillance cameras also used to deter crossings into EU

    Greece has begun extending a border wall along its frontier with Turkey to deter migrants from trying to enter the European Union, the Greek government has said, after a border standoff earlier this year which has helped drive Greek-Turkish relations to a dangerously low ebb.

    A total of 16 miles (26km) of wall will be added to the existing 6 mile fence along the Evros River, which forms much of the Greek-Turkish border, the government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Monday.

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    October 20th 2020, 9:23 am

    Scientists on lookout for Covid mutations which cause treatments to lose potency

    World news | The Guardian

    UK genetics consortium to monitor mutations so signs of potential resistance are spotted early

  • Coronavirus – latest updates
  • See all our coronavirus coverage
  • Scientists are to ramp up surveillance for new coronavirus mutations amid concerns that future strains of the virus could develop at least partial resistance to antibody treatments and Covid-19 vaccines.

    There is no evidence that the mutations seen so far could help the virus evade vaccines or treatments now in development, but genetic analysis of circulating strains suggests that partially-resistant variants can emerge and spread among humans.

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    October 20th 2020, 8:23 am

    More than 100,000 Californians have bought a gun in response to Covid-19 crisis, report finds

    World news | The Guardian

    Nearly half of the buyers were first-time gun owners, sparking fears about the risk of suicide and accidental injuries

    More than a hundred thousands Californians have bought a gun since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a new report has found, in a surge of gun sales that has experts worried about the risk of suicide and deadly instances of domestic violence.

    Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that 110,000 people in California purchased a firearm in direct response to the coronavirus. About 47,000 of the buyers were first-time gun owners. Buyers cited concerns over civil unrest, economic downturns, and the release of thousands from state prisons.

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    October 20th 2020, 7:53 am

    Dane who murdered journalist on submarine recaptured after jail escape

    World news | The Guardian

    Peter Madsen, who was convicted of murdering Kim Wall in 2017, was arrested shortly after escaping from jail in Copenhagen

    A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine escaped the suburban Copenhagen jail where he is serving a life sentence but was found nearby on Tuesday.

    The Ekstra Bladet tabloid posted a video of Peter Madsen sitting in the grass with his hands behind his back and police at a distance. According to the daily, Madsen “had a belt-like object around the abdomen”.

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    October 20th 2020, 7:40 am

    UK coronavirus live: Greater Manchester deadline passes without deal announcement; 59,079 deaths inv

    World news | The Guardian

    Government’s noon deadline passes without news of a deal; latest ONS figures show Covid deaths

    According to a Bloomberg story by Alberto Nardelli and Tim Ross, senior Tories, including the Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, have been considering a 21-page memo exploring what the government can do to counter the rise in support for Scottish independence. It will make grim reading for Tory unionists. Here is an extract covering the analysis in the memo.

    “If the SNP builds on this momentum then the endpoint could be a full-blown constitutional crisis or a second independence referendum,” the report said. “Either of these outcomes would consume significant political capital for the government” ...

    One way of trying to break the link between independence and remaining in the single market is by “co-opting the EU into demonstrating that there is no viable pathway to renewed membership,” the report said.

    The memo offers three steps the UK government could take to mitigate the pressure: “New accommodation, new constitutional settlement, and cooperation rather than confrontation.” It describes the first step as a “velvet no” that rejects a referendum in the short term and buys time.

    The government should instead focus on a “four nations, one country” policy by transferring further financial powers, differentiation on policies connected to the EU vote, such as immigration.

    This leaked memo reveals that the Tories are in panic mode because people in Scotland know Boris Johnson’s government can’t be trusted to act in Scotland’s interests.

    The noon deadline set by the government for an agreement with leaders of Greater Manchester on its move into tier 3 restrictions has passed. But there is no word yet as to whether or not there has been a deal.

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    October 20th 2020, 7:40 am

    Amsterdam to use flowers to stop cyclists chaining bikes to bridges

    World news | The Guardian

    Authorities say canal views blighted by bikes and pedestrians pushed off pavements

    Amsterdam prides itself on being one of the world’s most cyclist-friendly cities. But even the Dutch capital has its limits.

    The municipality has complained that the views of some of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals are being blighted while pedestrians are being forced into the street by the accumulation of bikes being tied to bridge railings.

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    October 20th 2020, 6:53 am

    'Scarred for life': Sage experts warn of impact of Covid policies on the young

    World news | The Guardian

    Government accused of failing to protect generation Z from harm caused by pandemic response

    Children and young people are at risk of becoming a “lost generation” because of the UK government’s pandemic policies, members of Sage have warned.

    Those aged seven to 24, sometimes called generation Z, have largely avoided the direct health impact of the coronavirus. But, say the government’s scientific advisers, they risk being “catastrophically” hit by the “collateral damage” wrought by the crisis.

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    October 20th 2020, 6:40 am

    US colleges that welcomed students back likely led to a surge in Covid cases

    World news | The Guardian

    The CDC has said that young adults saw a 55% increase nationally in coronavirus cases in August

    From late July through September, students from more than 2,400 colleges and universities went back to campus to participate in what has ultimately become an American experiment in how institutions of higher education can operate during a pandemic.

    It has been a few weeks since the most dramatic effects of college reopening have been seen, and in the time since, research has started to show that inviting students back to college likely led to a rise in Covid-19 cases in the US.

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    October 20th 2020, 5:39 am

    Beheaded teacher to get France's highest honour, says minister

    World news | The Guardian

    Samuel Paty, killed last week outside his school, will be awarded Legion d’Honneur

    Samuel Paty, the 47-year old history teacher beheaded last week by a suspected Islamist, will be posthumously given France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur, the education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has said.

    Paty was killed on Friday outside his school in a Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot the attacker dead.

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    October 20th 2020, 3:49 am

    Rapid one-hour Covid tests begin at Heathrow airport

    World news | The Guardian

    Coronavirus tests that cost £80 offered to travellers to Italy and Hong Kong

    Passengers flying from London Heathrow to Hong Kong and Italy will be able to have a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport before checking in from Tuesday.

    The test costs £80 and results will be available within an hour.

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    October 20th 2020, 3:49 am

    Markets on edge as US stimulus deadline looms - business live

    World news | The Guardian

    Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

    Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

    Related: Coronavirus live news: Greater Manchester facing tier 3 restrictions, Argentina passes 1m cases

    The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at 3:00 p.m. today for approximately 53 minutes. In this call, they continued to narrow their differences. The Speaker has tasked committee chairs to reconcile differences with their GOP counterparts on key areas. (1/2)

    The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election. The two principals will speak again tomorrow and staff work will continue around the clock. (2/2)

    Dow closes >400 points lower w/one day left until Pelosi's stimulus deadline. Fear Index VIX jumps >29. https://t.co/whSerdm2dQ pic.twitter.com/z66hpl1toU

    The two sides remain talking ahead of today’s deadline. While the Republican-led Senate has been reluctant to pass a stimulus bill above the $500 billion level that Majority leader McConnell has supported, President Trump has indicated that he is willing to go up to the $2.2 trillion range that Democrats have demanded. Mr Trump said yesterday that if an agreement with Democrats is reached, he would “lean” on Republican Senators to “come along.”

    Regardless, the confirmation that the two sides remain significantly apart saw the S&P 500 fall over 1.1% in the last 90 minutes of trading, though the index had been dripping lower throughout the day as risk sentiment soured after a healthy start.

    Markets pulling back again late in Asian session after early recovery.

    European Opening Calls:#FTSE 5858 -0.45%#DAX 12760 -0.74%#CAC 4919 -0.20%#AEX 563 -0.41%#MIB 19243 -0.68%#IBEX 6810 -0.73%#OMX 1829 -0.66%#STOXX 3217 -0.80%#IGOpeningCall

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    October 20th 2020, 3:03 am

    Tuberculosis breakthrough as scientists develop risk prediction tool

    World news | The Guardian

    Data from tens of thousands of people around the world used to identify those at highest risk of active TB before they get sick

    Scientists have developed a new tool to predict the chances of a person developing tuberculosis, which could help limit the spread of the disease and improve the life chances of millions of people .

    Researchers at University College London (UCL) said they believe they have produced an algorithm that could help eliminate the disease in some countries.

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    October 20th 2020, 2:51 am

    'I'm the one': Philippines president takes responsibility for drug killings

    World news | The Guardian

    In televised address, Rodrigo Duterte says he would ‘gladly’ go to jail over drugs killings carried out during drug war

    Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has said he has no problem with being held responsible for the thousands of killings under his government’s war on drugs, adding that he was ready to face charges that could land him in jail, though not charges of crimes against humanity.

    The president’s televised remarks on Monday night were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in mid-2016.

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    October 20th 2020, 1:50 am

    Actor Jeff Bridges being treated for lymphoma

    World news | The Guardian

    Famous for his role of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, Bridges says the disease is serious but his prognosis is good

    Actor Jeff Bridges has said he is being treated for lymphoma and his prognosis is good.

    The 70-year-old channeled his The Dude character from The Big Lebowski in a statement on social media about the diagnosis on Monday evening, tweeting “New S**T has come to light”.

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    October 20th 2020, 12:34 am

    Russian cyber-attack spree shows what unrestrained internet warfare looks like

    World news | The Guardian

    US indictment of operatives, accused of launching several attacks, gives a detailed account of how they went about their business

    The Sandworm team of Russian military intelligence, alleged to have unleashed computer chaos against the Kremlin’s enemies around the world, is said to operate out of a blue-tinted glass skyscraper known simply as “the tower”.

    From that address, 22 Kirova Street in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, the Sandworm hackers, also known more prosaically as the unit 74455 and “the main centre for special technologies”, launched attacks on the Ukrainian power system, Emmanuel Macron’s presidential bid in France in 2017, the South Korean Olympics in 2018 and the UK investigation into the 2018 Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

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    October 20th 2020, 12:34 am

    Hong Kong protester announces asylum granted in Germany

    World news | The Guardian

    Activist said she was arrested at a protest in November 2019 and fled to Germany via Taiwan

    Germany has granted refugee status to a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist facing a rioting charge in connection with the 2019 protests, the protester told Reuters on Monday.

    The 22-year-old university student showed Reuters a letter from the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) dated 14 October that confirmed the granting of refugee status.

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    October 19th 2020, 11:21 pm

    Talking on the moon: Nasa and Nokia to install 4G on lunar surface

    World news | The Guardian

    Move is part of US space agency’s plan to establish a long-term human presence on the moon by 2030

    With competition among Earth’s telecoms providers as fierce as ever, equipment maker Nokia has announced its expansion into a new market, winning a deal to install the first cellular network on the moon.

    The Finnish equipment manufacturer said it was selected by Nasa to deploy an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened” wireless 4G network on the lunar surface, as part of the US space agency’s plan to establish a long-term human presence on the moon by 2030.

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    October 19th 2020, 11:21 pm

    Hundreds of Victoria hotel quarantine guests must be screened for HIV over blood testing contaminati

    World news | The Guardian

    Authorities reveal blood glucose test devices were incorrectly used on 243 people, necessitating screenings for blood-borne diseases

    More than 200 people who went through hotel quarantine in Victoria must be screened for HIV amid fears of cross-contamination from incorrect usage of blood glucose test devices.

    Several such devices were used on multiple people in quarantine between 29 March and 20 August, necessitating screenings for blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B and C and HIV.

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    October 19th 2020, 10:48 pm

    Presidential debate commission adopts rules to mute microphones

    World news | The Guardian

    Candidates will be muted while the other has the floor and any interruptions will count toward their time

    When Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off on Thursday for a final televised debate, each candidate will have their microphones cut off while the other is delivering responses to questions.

    The 90-minute debate is divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate granted two minutes to deliver uninterrupted remarks before proceeding to an open debate.

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    October 19th 2020, 9:48 pm

    Far-right online forum 8chan loses internet after protection services are cut

    World news | The Guardian

    Site was back online Monday morning with a Russian company enlisted to protect it from DDoS attacks

    The latest incarnation of the hate-filled online forum 8chan was temporarily kicked off the internet on Sunday, after a company protecting the site from DDoS attacks cut its services.

    The site, which is now called 8kun but was formerly known as 8chan, was back online on Monday morning, security researcher Brian Krebs reported, with a Russian company freshly enlisted to provide the protection services.

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    October 19th 2020, 9:17 pm

    Can the centre hold? Germany looks to its Covid-stricken high streets

    World news | The Guardian

    Minister battles to rescue retailers amid fears for 50,000 shops and hundreds of thousands of jobs

    The stakes for Germany’s high streets could not be greater when the economics minister, Peter Altmaier, summons trade representatives across the country this month for a series of crisis workshops to discuss how to save them from collapse.

    In Germany, as elsewhere across Europe and beyond, the coronavirus pandemic has blown a huge hole in street retail – accelerating the decline in footfall precipitated by the rise of online shopping.

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    October 19th 2020, 7:46 pm

    Coronavirus live news: WHO says failure to quarantine behind soaring case rises

    World news | The Guardian

    Ireland orders six-week lockdown; Trump says Americans ‘tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots’ discuss Covid; Iran sets record daily deaths. Follow latest updates

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, with me, Alison Rourke.

    The World Health Organization’s emergencies director, Michael Ryan, has blamed soaring transmission rates in the northern hemisphere on a failure to enforce quarantines rigorously. He said the fact that self-isolation measures were not being enforced systematically was “a good part of the reason why we’re seeing such high numbers”.

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    October 19th 2020, 7:16 pm

    US removes Sudan from terrorism blacklist in return for $335m

    World news | The Guardian

    Compensation payment pledged for alleged role in bombing of two US embassies

    Washington has removed Sudan from a terrorism blacklist after the country agreed to pay $335m in compensation for its alleged role in the bombing of two US embassies in east Africa by al-Qaida in 1998.

    Donald Trump tweeted the news of the deal on Monday. “GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!” he wrote.

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    October 19th 2020, 5:33 pm

    Russia planned cyber-attack on Tokyo Olympics, says UK

    World news | The Guardian

    Foreign secretary condemns ‘cynical and reckless’ bid to disrupt Games, before they were postponed

    Russian military intelligence services were planning a cyber-attack on the Japanese-hosted Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer in a bid to disrupt the world’s premier sporting event, the UK National Cyber Security Centre has revealed, disclosing a joint operation with the US intelligence agencies.

    The Russian cyber-reconnaissance work covered the Games organisers, logistics services and sponsors and was under way before the Olympics was postponed due to coronavirus.

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    October 19th 2020, 1:16 pm

    Live coronavirus found on frozen food packaging in China

    World news | The Guardian

    Authorities say there have been no cases of transmission to consumers and the risk of it happening is low

    Chinese health authorities investigating a recent Covid-19 outbreak say they have discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains.

    On Saturday the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had found traces of live Covid-19 on the outer packing of frozen cod in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, marking the first time live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a recent cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao.

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    October 19th 2020, 1:16 pm

    Brexit: Gove praises 'constructive move' as EU agrees to intensify talks

    World news | The Guardian

    Minister had been castigating EU stance at dispatch box when Michel Barnier tweet confirmed move

    Michael Gove has praised a “constructive move” by the EU in an about-turn after its chief negotiator agreed to Downing Street’s conditions for the resumption of Brexit talks in pursuit of a deal.

    Shortly after castigating the EU for its attitude to the talks during an appearance in the House of Commons, Gove had to backtrack as he stood at the dispatch box following a tweet by the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

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    October 19th 2020, 12:16 pm

    US supreme court to decide on Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' asylum policy

    World news | The Guardian

    The US supreme court on Monday agreed to decide the legality of one of Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies that has forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico rather than entering the US, while their asylum claims are processed.

    More than 60,000 asylum seekers were returned under the “Remain in Mexico” program. In late February, the US justice department estimated that 25,000 were still waiting in Mexico for hearings in US court. Those hearings were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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    October 19th 2020, 11:46 am

    Bottle-fed babies swallow millions of microplastics a day, study finds

    World news | The Guardian

    Exposure is far higher than previously thought and also affects plastic food containers

    Bottle-fed babies are swallowing millions of microplastic particles a day, according to research described as a “milestone” in the understanding of human exposure to tiny plastics.

    Scientists found that the recommended high-temperature process for sterilising plastic bottles and preparing formula milk caused bottles to shed millions of microplastics and trillions of even smaller nanoplastics.

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    October 19th 2020, 11:16 am

    Brexit: Michael Gove briefs MPs on progress of trade talks – UK politics live

    World news | The Guardian

    Cabinet office minister makes statement to Commons after Boris Johnson warned firms to prepare for no deal

    Michael Gove is speaking to MPs now.

    He says the government had hoped to agree a trade deal with the EU before the end of the year.

    Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is about to make a statement to MPs about the UK-EU trade talks.

    On Friday Downing Street claimed the talks were over. However, as Daniel Boffey and Peter Walker explain here, they are expected to resume very soon.

    Related: Brexit negotiations expected to resume despite UK's tough rhetoric

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    October 19th 2020, 10:46 am

    China's economy was first in to Covid crisis – and is first out

    World news | The Guardian

    Beijing was fast to respond and increased public investment; it has not faced a second wave

    By its own standards, China’s economy is having a bad year. After four decades of stellar growth, the east Asian country will barely expand at all in 2020.

    But just about every country – big or small – has faced a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, and China has suffered less than most. Whereas most western industrialised nations are still struggling to get back to where they were before the virus struck, Beijing has reported that there was year-on-year growth in the third quarter.

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    October 19th 2020, 10:15 am

    Samuel Paty murder: French police raid dozens of Islamist groups

    World news | The Guardian

    Eighty investigations under way into suspected extremists as government faces pressure to act

    French police have raided dozens of Islamist groups and suspected extremists amid growing pressure on the government to clamp down on religious fundamentalism three days after a teacher was beheaded outside his school.

    The interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, said on Monday that the swoops on Islamists – including individuals who expressed support for the attack – should send the message that “enemies of the republic cannot expect a minute’s respite” and more police operations would follow.

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    October 19th 2020, 10:15 am

    Anti-lockdown advocate appears on radio show that has featured Holocaust deniers

    World news | The Guardian

    Dr Martin Kulldorff discussed ‘Great Barrington declaration’ letter on Richie Allen Show

    One of the three co-authors of a letter that calls for lockdowns to be abandoned in favour of herd immunity has appeared on a radio broadcast that previously featured multiple Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

    Dr Martin Kulldorff of Harvard medical school appeared on the Richie Allen Show on 6 October to discuss the letter, described as the Great Barrington declaration, after the Massachusetts town where it was drawn up.

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    October 19th 2020, 8:42 am

    Crucial battleground Florida begins in-person voting as Joe Biden holds lead – US politics live

    World news | The Guardian

    Matt Stieb writes for New York Magazine this morning about two of the more curious insults that president Donald Trump lobbed at Joe Biden at his rallies over the weekend – that he listens to scientists.

    At a rally in Carson City, Nevada, he told a crowd of unmasked supporters that Joe Biden will “listen to the scientists,” in a rigid tone and posture that suggested that only a sucker or loser would do such a thing.

    The insult may not be as barbed as the president thinks it is. In the midst of a pandemic which has killed almost 220,000 Americans, voters still fear the threat of the virus and wish for a more competent and robust federal response. Two out of three Americans are concerned that they or someone close to them will contract the virus, while a similar number (65 percent) agreed that “Trump has not taken the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. seriously enough,” according to a poll taken shortly after the outbreak in the White House was made public.

    While the president has long trafficked in the conservative fable that Democrats are out to ruin Christmas, he directly blamed his opponent for any holiday interruptions this year. “The Christmas season will be canceled,” Trump said, describing a Biden win — without accounting for the fact that he will still be president either way come December 25.

    He’s not perhaps the most rock’n’roll figure to have ever run for president in the US, but this morning Joe Biden has been endorsed by Rolling Stone magazine. Warning that “the American experiment hangs in the balance in the November election”, their editorial board writes:

    We’ve lived for the past four years under a man categorically unfit to be president. Fortunately for America, Joe Biden is Donald Trump’s opposite in nearly every category: The Democratic presidential nominee evinces competence, compassion, steadiness, integrity, and restraint. Perhaps most important in this moment, Biden holds a profound respect for the institutions of American democracy, as well as a deep knowledge about how our government — and our system of checks and balances — is meant to work; he aspires to lead the nation as its president, not its dictator. The 2020 election, then, offers the nation a chance to reboot and rebuild from the racist, authoritarian, know-nothing wreckage wrought by the 45th president. And there are few Americans better suited to the challenge than Joe Biden.

    We endorse Joe Biden for President. His platform offers progressive solutions to every major problem facing the country, and he has the experience to put those principles into practice. Read our entire endorsement here: https://t.co/E5nEHQ9mME pic.twitter.com/aLVJonFKdE

    As much as any specific policy, this election is a referendum on character — the character of the president and the character of the nation. America doesn’t need a saint in the Oval Office. But the country has been reeling with a broken man at the Resolute Desk. Trump is a narcissist and an egotist, a shameless liar and an open bigot, a man who simply cannot understand the notion of sacrifice for the greater good, even as he demands unthinking fealty from those in his service.

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    October 19th 2020, 7:59 am

    Wales to go into national 'firebreak' Covid lockdown

    World news | The Guardian

    First minister Mark Drakeford announces plan for short, sharp lockdown to give NHS breathing space before winter

    A temporary national lockdown will be put into place in Wales, the Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced.

    The Welsh government believes a two-week lockdown, or firebreak, from Friday at 6pm is vital to help bring the virus under control.

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    October 19th 2020, 7:42 am

    Vast majority of Europe's key habitats in poor or bad condition – report

    World news | The Guardian

    State of Nature in the EU survey finds only a quarter of species have good conservation status

    The vast majority of protected landscapes across Europe are rated as in poor or bad condition and vital species and their habitats continue to decline despite targets aimed at protecting them, according to a report.

    Only a quarter of Europe’s species are rated as having a good conservation status, while 80% of key habitats are rated as being in poor or bad condition across the continent, in the State of Nature in the EU 2013-2018 assessment by the European Environment Agency.

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    October 19th 2020, 7:12 am

    Bolivia election: exit polls suggest thumping win for Evo Morales' party

    World news | The Guardian

    Presidential election win for Luis Arce would mark stunning leftwing political comeback

    Exit polls have suggested that Evo Morales’ leftwing party has pulled off a stunning political comeback in Bolivia’s presidential election, although an official result has yet to emerge.

    Two private surveys projected that Luis Arce, the candidate for Morales’ Movimiento al Socialismo (Mas), had secured more than 50% of the vote in the ballot on Sunday, with his closest rival, the centrist former president Carlos Mesa, receiving about 30%.

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    October 19th 2020, 6:59 am

    'Killer' cells in Ebola immunity study could help Covid research

    World news | The Guardian

    Ebola survivors showing no antibodies found to still have lasting capacity to fight virus

    Immunity from the deadly Ebola virus could last years after the infection, the world’s longest study of survivors by British and Guinean scientists has concluded in findings that could have implications for Covid immunity research.

    The findings are the result of the world’s most comprehensive and longest study of survivors from the devastating west African outbreak between 2013 and 2016. They could help the understanding of the body’s immune response to Covid and other zoonotic diseases.

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    October 19th 2020, 6:59 am

    Leaked review of Met police body-worn videos reveals officer errors

    World news | The Guardian

    Memo explains reasons behind Scotland Yard decision not to routinely release footage

    Scotland Yard has decided not to routinely release its own video footage of controversial incidents after internal reviews showed errors by officers, a leaked document reveals.

    The Met has been plagued by a flurry of social media videos raising concerns about stop and search, use of force and racial profiling prompting calls for footage from body-worn video cameras to be made public.

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    October 19th 2020, 6:59 am

    Belgium facing 'tsunami' of Covid infections, health minister says

    World news | The Guardian

    Frank Vandenbroucke says situation in parts of country is ‘most dangerous in all of Europe’

    Belgium is losing control of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and is very close to being overwhelmed by a “tsunami” of infection, the country’s health minister has said.

    Frank Vandenbroucke, the federal minister, told the broadcaster RTL that Belgians needed to radically alter their behaviour.

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    October 19th 2020, 6:12 am

    Bars in Paris before and after Covid curfew – in pictures

    World news | The Guardian

    On Saturday, Paris went under a night-time curfew that will last at least a month. France has reported another record for new coronavirus cases, with more than 32,000 registered in 24 hours

    A bar on the Rue de Seine

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    October 19th 2020, 4:10 am

    Global shares rise on US stimulus and vaccine hopes, China data – business live

    World news | The Guardian

    European shares lifted by strong corporate results and Chinese retail sales, despite new Covid-19 restrictions across Europe

    Retail sales in China rose 3.3% in September from a year earlier, a big jump from 0.5% in August.

    Vasu Menon, executive director of investment strategy at OCBC Bank, described this as a “big surprise”. Markets were somewhat disappointed by China’s 4.9% GDP growth figure for the third quarter, but analysts thought that pessimism was overdone. Menon told CNBC’s Street Signs Asia:

    The headline numbers seem like they’ve missed the mark but when you drill down to the details, especially domestic consumption, I think that offers some room for optimism.

    Bear in mind that 4.9% growth is still a decent number — especially given the current environment — and is a pick up from the previous quarter which was 3.2%.

    European shares have opened higher, lifted by strong corporate results from the likes of the Dutch health technology firm Philips and the Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer, despite new Covid-19 restrictions across Europe.

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    October 19th 2020, 4:10 am

    The streaming startups trying to save the music industry mid-pandemic

    World news | The Guardian

    From livestreaming platforms sharing their revenues with roadies, to immersive weekend-long gigs over high-end speakers, new music companies are innovating out of a crisis

    Two decades ago, digital technology pulled the record business inside out, a shock from which it has only recently recovered. But in 2020 it is helping, at least partially, to remedy a live business obliterated by coronavirus cancellations.

    Early in the pandemic, the likes of Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook filled a gap with their livestreaming capabilities. Since then, dozens of new companies have launched with a streaming-specific remit – some taking a more egalitarian and ethical approach than the tech giants – while other event companies, who until recently were dedicated to real world gigs, are offering performers and fans the option to participate in pay-per-view livestreams.

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    October 19th 2020, 3:56 am

    Global report: Fauci 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got Covid; Biden warns virus worsening

    World news | The Guardian

    China’s economy grows 4.9%; ‘Situation is critical’ in Italy, says PM; restrictions ease in Australian city of Melbourne

    Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert and sidelined White House coronavirus taskforce member, has said he was “absolutely not” surprised that Donald Trump contracted coronavirus, as Joe Biden warned that the coronavirus outbreak was worsening.

    In an interview with 60 Minutes aired on Sunday, shortly before Trump held a rally in Nevada, Fauci said: “I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.”

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    October 19th 2020, 3:56 am

    'I had 60 texts straight away': hair salons booked out as Melbourne lockdown gets a trim

    World news | The Guardian

    Queues form at barber shops while long-suffering hospitality venues keep their drinks on ice

    The music at Biba salon in St Kilda on Monday morning can barely be heard over the phones. They’ve been ringing nonstop as desperate Melburnians try to snatch up any booking they can – for most, it’ll be their first haircut in months.

    “It’s been nuts, we have been absolutely insane,” hairdresser Bianca Covelli says, one phone wedged between her ear and shoulder, the other clasped to her chest and she tries to type bookings into the computer.

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    October 19th 2020, 3:10 am

    Prado's first post-lockdown show reignites debate over misogyny

    World news | The Guardian

    Exhibition exploring how women have been treated in art world runs into criticism

    The last face that meets visitors to the Prado’s first post-lockdown exhibition is one of the very few that appears to look the spectator squarely in the eye.

    The cool gaze of the Portuguese-Spanish artist María Roësset – free of guilt, shame, saccharine virtue or predatory intent – comes as something of a relief after the sanctimonious, salacious and often sad series of pictures that precede it.

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    October 19th 2020, 3:10 am

    Taiwan official in hospital after alleged 'violent attack' by Chinese diplomats in Fiji

    World news | The Guardian

    Alleged incident, which comes amid soaring tensions between Beijing and Taipei occurred at a reception in Suva to mark Taiwan’s national day

    An alleged fight between Chinese diplomats and a Taiwanese delegate in Fiji left the Taiwanese official in hospital with a head injury, and has again highlighted tensions between Beijing and Taipei in their struggle for influence across the Pacific.

    The alleged incident took place at a Taipei Trade Office reception at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel on 8 October, to mark Taiwan’s national day. Two officials from the Chinese embassy in Suva allegedly arrived uninvited and tried to photograph and film those in attendance, including at least two ministers from Fiji’s government, diplomats from other countries, international and local NGOs, and members of Fiji’s ethnic Chinese community, sources at the event told the Guardian.

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    October 19th 2020, 1:56 am

    'If it wasn't for lockdown': lives that changed for the better

    World news | The Guardian

    From a new couple buying a house to a diagnosis that helped a family reunite, five people share their positive life changes

    For Rose de la Font and Aagash Vadera from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, lockdown has been a “really good acid test” for their 11-month relationship. “We figured out how to live together and resolve all the things you encounter when two lives become one,” said Vadera, 28.

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    October 19th 2020, 1:26 am

    New Zealand journalist feted for brutal takedown of minor party politician

    World news | The Guardian

    Tova O’Brien’s interview with Jami-Lee Ross, who has been accused of spreading misinformation, praised as ‘a masterclass’

    A New Zealand journalist is being praised around the world for her determined effort to shut down the spread of Covid-19 conspiracy theories during an interview with a minor party politician.

    Newshub’s political editor, Tova O’Brien, interviewed the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, Jami-Less Ross. The party failed to secure enough votes to enter parliament Saturday’s general election, after peddling rumours and misinformation on social media about the coronavirus.

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    October 18th 2020, 11:54 pm

    North Korea detainees subjected to ritual torture and sexual assault – rights group

    World news | The Guardian

    Prisoners considered ‘less than an animal’ by regime, according to interviews with 15 former detainees by Human Rights Watch

    Suspects in North Korea are subjected to ritual torture, humiliation and sexual assault by a criminal justice system that considers them “less than an animal”, according to the first-ever report detailing the brutality of the country’s pretrial detention conditions.

    The US-based Human Rights Watch [HRW] said people who are arrested and sent to pretrial detention are placed in cramped, unhygienic cells, forced to confess and denied proper food and clothing.

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    October 18th 2020, 11:23 pm

    Huge cat found etched into desert among Nazca Lines in Peru

    World news | The Guardian

    Feline geoglyph from 200-100BC emerges during work at Unesco world heritage site

    The dun sands of southern Peru, etched centuries ago with geoglyphs of a hummingbird, a monkey, an orca – and a figure some would dearly love to believe is an astronaut – have now revealed the form of an enormous cat lounging across a desert hillside.

    The feline Nazca line, dated to between 200BC and 100BC, emerged during work to improve access to one of the hills that provides a natural vantage point from which many of the designs can be seen.

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    October 18th 2020, 10:38 pm

    Coronavirus live news: global infections near 40m as US Covid cases rise in all but two states

    World news | The Guardian

    Italy introduces new restrictions; Trump holds Nevada rally; South African health minister tests positive. Follow the latest updates

    Biden has just tweeted:

    Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Vote out Donald Trump.

    Speaking of super-spreader events:

    Very low mask to MAGA-cap ratio at Trump rally in Nevada pic.twitter.com/U4leeC9d4s

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    October 18th 2020, 8:21 pm

    Covid: Greater Manchester running out of hospital beds, leak reveals

    World news | The Guardian

    NHS document shows no spare beds for patients in Salford, Stockport and Bolton

    Greater Manchester is set to run out of beds to treat people left seriously ill by Covid-19, and some of the region’s 12 hospitals are already full, a leaked NHS document has revealed.

    It showed that by last Friday the resurgence of the disease had left hospitals in Salford, Stockport and Bolton at maximum capacity, with no spare beds to help with the growing influx. The picture it paints ratchets up the pressure on ministers to reach a deal with local leaders over the region’s planned move to the top level of coronavirus restrictions.

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    October 18th 2020, 6:06 pm

    US coronavirus cases surge in most states

    World news | The Guardian

    Only two US states, Vermont and Missouri, have reported falls in the average number of reported coronavirus cases over the past week. The outbreak is surging nearly everywhere else.

    Related: Trump sets out to save himself in battleground states as Covid cases surge

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    October 18th 2020, 3:03 pm

    Trump attempts to save himself in battleground states as Covid cases surge

    World news | The Guardian

    With only 15 days left to reverse his dismal standing in the polls, and amid a coronavirus resurgence that could sink his pursuit of a second term, Donald Trump embarked on a tour of battleground states.

    Related: Trump's hopes fade in Wisconsin as 'greatest economy' boast unravels

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    October 18th 2020, 2:51 pm

    Covid in Europe: protests in Czech Republic, Ireland to toughen rules

    World news | The Guardian

    Switzerland makes masks mandatory as continent struggles to contain infections

    Police fought anti-mask protesters in the Czech Republic, Ireland prepared to announce tough new restrictions and Switzerland made masks mandatory indoors as European governments struggled to contain continuing record Covid case numbers.

    As Italy on Sunday reported 11,705 new infections over the past 24 hours, its largest ever figure, and France on Saturday set a new high of 32,427 cases, police in Prague’s historic tourist district fired teargas and water cannon after demonstrations against strict anti-coronavirus restrictions turned violent.

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    October 18th 2020, 2:51 pm

    Thousands rally across France in tribute to dead schoolteacher

    World news | The Guardian

    Nation mourns Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in a terrorist attack on Friday

    Tens of thousands of people have rallied in solidarity, in dozens of towns and cities across France, after a secondary schoolteacher was beheaded in an attack that has shocked a country already shaken by terrorist atrocities.

    Demonstrators gathered on Sunday in cities including Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux in support of free speech and in tribute to Samuel Paty, who was killed outside his school on Friday after discussing caricatures of the prophet Mohammed with his class.

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    October 18th 2020, 12:19 pm

    Trump trails Biden as campaigns head for battleground states – live

    World news | The Guardian

    David Rothkopf, once editor of Foreign Policy, has a new book out called Traitor: A History of American Betrayal from Benedict Arnold to Donald Trump.

    The book covers a lot of fascinating ground, from Arnold trying to betray West Point during the Revolutionary War to John Brown’s anti-slavery raid on Harpers Ferry just before the civil war, which forms the climax of the new Showtime series The Good Lord Bird with Ethan Hawke, as it happens.

    One of the most important qualities a good reporter can have is a very low threshold for outrage. Useful, critical coverage of your subject becomes impossible once nonchalance or indifference has inured you to scandal.

    This has become a huge problem during Donald Trump’s presidency. Inside the souls of far too many Washington reporters, a never-ending wave of scandals, crimes, indictments and assorted obstructions of justice has washed away this essential capacity for indignation – just when the republic needs it most.

    Related: Traitor review: American perfidy, from Benedict Arnold to Donald J Trump

    Jaime Harrison, the Democratic nominee for the US Senate in South Carolina, has raised a staggering $57m in the third quarter of 2020, a new record for a single Senate race in the southern state, and anywhere else in America for that matter.

    But Harrison’s race is also winning attention for a host of other reasons. His opponent is incumbent Lindsey Graham, a close Donald Trump ally and vocal cheerleader for the president. In conservative South Carolina, Graham was meant to be a certainty to retain his seat, especially against a nationally little-known Black Democrat at a time when anti-racism protests have roiled America…

    Related: The upset of 2020? Jaime Harrison push to oust Lindsey Graham central to US Senate battle

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    October 18th 2020, 9:34 am

    Iran hails lifting of 13-year UN arms embargo as 'momentous day'

    World news | The Guardian

    Immediate shopping spree is unlikely after end to military sanctions despite US protests

    Iranian officials have hailed the lifting of a 13-year UN arms embargo on their military as a momentous day, claiming they were once again free to buy and sell conventional weapons in an effort to strengthen their country’s security.

    The embargo was lifted on Sunday morning despite US protests and was in line with the five-year timetable set out in the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015.

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    October 18th 2020, 7:32 am

    Revealed: Sheikh Khalifa’s £5bn London property empire

    World news | The Guardian

    Documents reveal UAE president owns multibillion-pound property portfolio spanning London’s most expensive neighbourhoods

    The row of 1960s-built houses with untidy gardens on a quiet cul-de-sac near Richmond upon Thames appears to have little in common with Ecuador’s red-brick embassy in Knightsbridge, where Julian Assange spent seven years in hiding, just across the road from Harrods.

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    October 18th 2020, 7:32 am

    Samba makes tentative return in Rio de Janeiro laid low by Covid

    World news | The Guardian

    Legendary sambista Moacyr Luz spent much of the pandemic confined to his beachside home but is resuming his weekly jam sessions as lockdown curbs ease

    It has been seven months since Moacyr Luz, one of Brazil’s most celebrated sambistas, sat down before a live audience in the city his songs serenade.

    As Covid-19 shook Luz’s homeland, killing more than 150,000 and infecting millions, it also wreaked havoc on Rio’s signature sound, with all shows scrapped, carnival postponed until a vaccine is found and several cherished samba proponents among the dead.

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    October 18th 2020, 6:17 am

    How coronavirus 'diktats' from Downing Street tore Britain apart

    World news | The Guardian

    Manchester is in revolt, Wales is restricting movement and Liverpool is furious … Boris Johnson’s ‘one nation’ pledge is failing

    After six days of difficult and largely fruitless discussions with Downing Street, tempers were fraying among Greater Manchester council leaders and MPs on Thursday morning.

    In a meeting at 9am between the region’s mayor, Andy Burnham, and local government chiefs, the leader of Rochdale Borough Council, Allen Brett told his colleagues he was so fed up with London that he wanted to make his feelings clear to Edward Lister, the prime minister’s close adviser, with whom the group was preparing to open yet another online discussion at 9.30am.

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    October 18th 2020, 4:01 am

    How star reporter’s Syria podcast sent New York Times into crisis

    World news | The Guardian

    Caliphate, an insider’s story of Isis, caused a sensation. But with its credibility in doubt, questions are raised about the media

    Ben Smith of the New York Times is not known for pulling his punches. The former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, who revealed the dossier on suspicions that the Kremlin held kompromat on Donald Trump, is on a new beat – the US media.

    Smith’s most recent column was a bombshell, his target the practices of his own employer as well as one of its brightest stars, Rukmini Callimachi, an award-winning correspondent who covered the rise and fall of Islamic State.

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    October 18th 2020, 3:01 am

    ’Tis the season to shop early: ‘stay safe‘ festive ad campaign

    World news | The Guardian

    Retailers urge customers to avoid the Christmas rush, while investing in hygiene measures to keep them Covid safe

    It might still be pumpkin season, but the British Retail Consortium is pressing ahead with a new advertising campaign urging the public to start their Christmas shopping early. The publicity drive to ‘shop early, start wrapping, enjoy Christmas’ launches today and aims to spread demand during the busiest shopping season of the year.

    The BRC says it hopes to “encourage the public to embrace the true Christmas spirit by thinking of others and preventing the usual retail rush seen through late November and December both in stores and online.”

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    October 18th 2020, 3:01 am

    Hong Kong protester 'Grandma Wong’: I was held in mainland China for 14 months

    World news | The Guardian

    Sixty-four-year-old vows never to give up fighting, even as she describes forced confessions and detention without trial

    An elderly woman who disappeared midway through Hong Kong’s democracy protests last year has resurfaced in the financial hub after 14 months away, saying she had been detained on the Chinese mainland.

    Alexandra Wong said on Saturday she was forced to renounce her activism in writing, record a video statement saying she was not tortured, and sent on a “patriotic tour” of the country’s north.

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    October 18th 2020, 2:13 am

    Jacinda Ardern eases into second term amid relief in New Zealand at election landslide

    World news | The Guardian

    Prime minister says she will be ready to form a government in two to three weeks as New Zealanders enjoy return to normal life

    Jacinda Ardern has held out the possibility of forming a coalition government despite securing a historic election victory that will enable her Labour party to govern alone.

    New Zealanders expressed relief on Sunday at her re-election, after a campaign that felt long and wearying for many. Ardern’s party won the highest percentage of the vote in more than five decades, claiming 64 seats in parliament, with her handling of the Covid-19 crisis regarded as decisive in her win.

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    October 18th 2020, 12:59 am

    Global covid report: Paris under curfew, as Europe battles soaring caseload

    World news | The Guardian

    Nine French cities now under month-long curfew; European cases rise 44% in a week; resistance to lockdowns in UK

    Millions of Europeans faced tough new coronavirus restrictions as governments stepped up efforts to slow the surge in infections, after the World Health Organization reported a “very concerning” 44% rise in European cases over one week.

    From Saturday evening, Paris and several other French cities go under a nighttime curfew that will last at least a month. England is banning mixed household gatherings in the capital and other areas, and Italy’s most populous region is limiting bar openings and suspending sports events.

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    October 17th 2020, 11:59 pm

    'We are meant to gather': organisers of global dance festival refuse to cancel – or give refunds

    World news | The Guardian

    Ticket holders are angry that organisers insist the Global Eclipse festival will go ahead in Argentina, despite the government there banning international tourists

    Thousands of people from around the world partying for 10 days in the middle of the Argentinian wilderness sounds like an ambitious endeavour even before Covid-19. But a global pandemic has done little to sway organisers of the Global Eclipse –Patagonia Gathering, who are determined to charge ahead and refusing to refund ticket holders.

    Despite Argentina nearing 1 million Covid-19 cases and authorities currently refusing to let international tourists into the country, the electronic dance music (EDM) trance festival is still scheduled for December 2020.

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    October 17th 2020, 11:13 pm

    Trump blasts Sasse for predicting Senate Republican bloodbath

    World news | The Guardian

    The president issued a familiar stream of insults on Twitter after the Nebraska senator heavily criticised him to constituents

    Down in the polls to Joe Biden and campaigning through a surging pandemic, Donald Trump chose to devote time on Saturday morning to a Twitter rant against a member of his own party in the Senate, a chamber Republicans face losing on 3 November.

    Related: Trump trails Biden with two weeks to go – but there could yet be surprises

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    October 17th 2020, 11:13 pm
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