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Jeff Bezos offers Nasa $2bn in exchange for moon mission contract

World news | The Guardian

Fresh off his trip to space, Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover up to $2bn in Nasa costs if the US space agency awards his company Blue Origin a contract to make a spacecraft designed to land astronauts back on the moon.

Nasa in April awarded SpaceX, owned by rival billionaire Elon Musk, a $2.9bn contract to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2024, rejecting bids from Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics. Blue Origin had partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper in the bid.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Pentagon chief ‘deeply concerned’ by sharp rise in suicides among US troops

World news | The Guardian

Defense department promises improvements in quality of life and mental health help on army bases

The defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, has expressed concern about the alarming spike in suicides among US forces.

In 2020, 385 active-duty soldiers died by suicide, marking a steep increase from the 326 cases reported by the Pentagon in 2018.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Britney Spears asks for accountant to replace father as conservator

World news | The Guardian

An attorney for Britney Spears has asked that a new conservator be named to oversee the pop singer’s finances following recent testimony that she wanted her father ousted from the role, the New York Times reported on Monday.

In a Los Angeles court filing, lawyer Matthew Rosengart requested that accountant Jason Rubin be named the conservator of Spears’ estate, a post currently held by her father, Jamie Spears, the Times reported.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

UK rejects EU’s Northern Ireland moves, saying Brexit deal must be renegotiated

World news | The Guardian

Downing Street says Brussels overtures are insufficient and ‘comprehensive’ solutions needed

Boris Johnson has rejected Brussels’ latest attempt to iron out problems with the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland, insisting that the withdrawal agreement signed last year must be renegotiated.

Related: If Britain wants to resolve the Northern Ireland protocol, this is not the way to do it | Anand Menon and Jill Rutter

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Thailand’s hospitals under pressure as Covid crisis deepens

World news | The Guardian

Doctors forced to treat patients in car parks while others turned away as no beds available

Thailand’s worsening Covid outbreak is placing intense pressure on hospitals, forcing doctors to treat patients in parking lots and turn away people who are severely ill.

The country was widely praised for its Covid response last year, when it maintained one of the lowest caseloads in the world. However, there is growing public anger over the government’s recent handling of the pandemic, including its slow and chaotic vaccination campaign.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Tesla second-quarter profits top $1bn even as it struggles to handle demand

World news | The Guardian

A global shortfall of semiconductors has affected the Tesla supply chain as well as car manufacturers across the world

Tesla made a profit of more than $1bn in the last three months even as it struggled to keep up with demand for electric cars in the face of a global chip shortage.

The company announced Monday that it has made a profit of $1.14bn in its second quarter, 10 times what it made a year ago and its eighth quarter of back-to-back profits.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Tokyo Olympics 2020: swimming medals at stake, Bermuda’s Duffy wins triathlon and more – live!

World news | The Guardian

Swimming: Ok, time for some swimming. Ariarne Titmus is in the arena ready to kick everything off with the first semi in the women’s 200m freestyle.

Surfing: South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag, Steph Gilmore’s conqueror, is through to the semi-finals after outpointing Portugal’s Yolanda Hopkins in the first quarterfinal.

American top seeds Caroline Marks and Carissa Moore are in the next two heats, followed by Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Hong Kong security law: verdict expected in first ever trial

World news | The Guardian

Tong Ying-kit case seen as a departure from Hong Kong’s common law traditions, with accused denied bail and a jury trial

Three Hong Kong judges are expected to deliver a verdict on Tuesday in the first trial of a person charged under the national security law, a landmark case with implications on how the legislation reshapes the city’s common law traditions.

Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and inciting secession, as well as an alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. The acts he is accused of allegedly occurred on 1 July 2020 shortly after the law was enacted.

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July 26th 2021, 9:41 pm

Russia blocks access to websites of Alexei Navalny and close allies

World news | The Guardian

Action comes as Kremlin increases pressure on opponents and critics ahead of parliamentary elections

Russian authorities have restricted access to Alexei Navalny’s website and those of dozens of his close allies, the imprisoned opposition leader’s team said on Monday.

The action came as the government increased pressure on opposition supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists ahead of the country’s parliamentary election. The September vote is widely seen as an important part of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his rule before a 2024 presidential election.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Fifty-two prisoners in close supervision units ‘that may amount to torture’

World news | The Guardian

FoI request reveals number of inmates in England and Wales kept in conditions criticised by UN expert

Fifty-two people are being held in prison units in England and Wales in conditions that a UN human rights expert has said may amount to torture, the Guardian has learned.

Close supervision centres (CSCs) hold some of the most dangerous men in the prison system in small, highly supervised units within high-security jails in conditions previously described by the prisons inspector as “the most restrictive … with limited stimuli and human contact”.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Student, 19, hopes to be youngest woman to fly solo around the world

World news | The Guardian

Zara Rutherford, whose parents are both pilots, announces her gap year project

A 19-year-old student has announced her gap year project: aiming to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world.

Zara Rutherford, who has British and Belgian nationality, will set off from her home city of Brussels next month for the circumnavigation, which is set to take her up to three months.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Flash floods will be more common as climate crisis worsens, say scientists

World news | The Guardian

Overhaul of UK infrastructure needed to ensure it is not overwhelmed by impact of extreme weather

Flash flooding of the type seen in London this weekend will become a more common occurrence as the climate crisis worsens, scientists have warned, and the UK government, businesses and householders must do much more to protect against future harm.

Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, said: “Flooding from intense summer rainfall is going happen more frequently. No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.”

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Tom Daley ‘incredibly proud to say I am gay and an Olympic champion’

World news | The Guardian

“I feel incredibly proud to say that I am a gay man and also an Olympic champion. When I was younger I didn’t think I’d ever achieve anything because of who I was. To be an Olympic champion now just shows that you can achieve anything.”

Still damp from the pool, still wide-eyed at winning Olympic gold with his diving partner, Matty Lee, 13 years on from his first Games, Tom Daley still had time to bring the house down again.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Billionaire tycoon named as Lebanese PM as economic crisis bites

World news | The Guardian

Protesters wanted someone from outside the elite, but parliament went for Najib Miqati, who has led the country twice before

After a year-long standoff, Lebanon has named a new prime minister who its feuding factions hope can ward off a total economic collapse and save an estimated 2 million people from the brink of poverty.

Protesters had demanded the selection of a figure removed from the political elite, but the Lebanese parliament instead named a billionaire tycoon, Najib Miqati, who had led the country twice before, with little success, and was accused by a state prosecutor in 2019 of embezzlement – a charge he denies and has described as politically motivated.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Far-right accused of aiding German floods clear-up to win support

World news | The Guardian

Investigation finds groups are claiming official organisations are failing in salvage operations

Far-right groups in Germany including Covid vaccine opponents and supporters of the rightwing, populist AfD party are reportedly attempting to win support by offering assistance to salvage operations in flood-stricken parts of the country.

About 30,000 people remain homeless or without water and electricity in large parts of the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as a result of the floods that devastated swathes of Germany just under two weeks ago.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Dieter Brummer, Home and Away star, found dead at 45

World news | The Guardian

Australian actor played Shane Parrish in the 1990s, before appearing on Underbelly and Neighbours

Australian actor Dieter Brummer, most well-known for playing the character of Shane Parrish on Home and Away, has died at the age of 45.

The actor was found dead by police on Saturday afternoon in Glenhaven, Sydney, after requests for a welfare check. His death is not believed to be suspicious.

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Covid: more EU states to restrict venue access for unvaccinated people

World news | The Guardian

Ireland and Italy among those joining France in requiring vaccine passes to enter bars and restaurants

An increasing number of European governments are planning to prevent unvaccinated people from being able to attend hospitality venues such as bars and restaurants this summer, as Emmanuel Macron celebrates the fruits of the recent announcement of the policy in France.

France on Monday passed the threshold of 40 million people having received at least one vaccine dose – close to 60% of the population. Macron tweeted: “Together we will defeat the virus. We continue!”

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July 26th 2021, 1:39 pm

Biden and Iraqi PM to announce end to US military combat mission

World news | The Guardian

Plan to shift US mission to advisory and training role will be spelled out after White House meeting between two leaders

Joe Biden and the Iraqi prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, are expected to announce on Monday an agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, according to a senior Biden administration official.

Related: Iraqi militias grow in power as Iran’s military strongman proves too weak

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July 26th 2021, 9:54 am

Covid: Quarantine for Britons vaccinated abroad to be dropped

World news | The Guardian

Vaccines minister says government will recognise UK-authorised jabs given overseas from next month

Britons who have been double-vaccinated abroad will soon be able to travel to the UK more easily, as the government prepares to recognise jabs administered overseas.

Current restrictions mean only those who have been fully inoculated by the NHS are able to take advantage of avoiding quarantine if coming from countries graded green and amber under the traffic light system.

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July 26th 2021, 9:54 am

UK economy growing at fastest rate in 80 years, says forecaster

World news | The Guardian

EY Item Club’s prediction of recovery to pre-pandemic levels by year-end also comes with health warning

The British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, according to a leading economic forecaster.

Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% – which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941. The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7.

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July 26th 2021, 6:14 am

Afghanistan civilian casualty figures at record high, UN says

World news | The Guardian

Report reveals ‘acute rise’ in deaths and injuries since 1 May as Taliban exploit departure of foreign troops

Record numbers of civilians have been killed and injured in Afghanistan in intense fighting since 1 May, when international forces began their final drawdown and the Taliban launched a major offensive.

The heavy toll so far comes largely from battles in rural areas, according to the UN. If the conflict were to spill into more densely populated towns and cities, the consequences could be catastrophic, it says in its report, The Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.

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July 26th 2021, 6:14 am

At least seven killed in 20-car pileup in Utah sandstorm

World news | The Guardian

Several more were in hospital with critical injuries after high winds blew up dust and impaired visibility

At least seven people have been killed in a 20-vehicle pileup during a sandstorm in Utah, the highway patrol said.

The crashes happened on Interstate 15 near the town of Kanosh on Sunday, the agency said in a news release. Several people were reportedly taken to hospitals in critical condition. Ground and air ambulances were used to transport crash victims.

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July 26th 2021, 6:14 am

Firefighters battle wildfires raging across south-west Sardinia

World news | The Guardian

Fast-spreading blazes destroy 20,000 hectares of forest and force 1,500 people to be evacuated from homes

Firefighters are working to put out wildfires that have spread quickly across parts of south-western Sardinia, destroying 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) of forest and forcing 1,500 people to be evacuated from their homes.

Many agricultural businesses and private properties have been damaged by the fires, which began on Saturday in the province of Oristano.

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July 26th 2021, 6:14 am

Foreign journalists harassed in China over floods coverage

World news | The Guardian

Reporters confronted in street and accused of ‘smearing China’ amid increasing sensitivity to any negative portrayals of China

Foreign journalists reporting on the aftermath of China’s flooding disaster have faced hostile confrontations in the street and been subjected to “vicious campaigns”, amid increasing nationalistic sensitivity to any negative portrayals of China.

Reporters from the Los Angeles Times and German outlet Deutsche Welle were confronted by an angry crowd in Zhengzhou on Saturday, who filmed and questioned them, and accused them of “rumour mongering” and slandering China. Other journalists have also been targeted, with a specific focus on the BBC.

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July 26th 2021, 6:14 am

Blue ticked off: the controversy over the MSC fish ‘ecolabel’

World news | The Guardian

The MSC’s coveted blue tick is the world’s biggest, and some say best, fishery ecolabel. So why is it in the headlines – and does it really do what it says on the tin?

This month, two right whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence were found entangled in fishing gear. One, a female, was first spotted entangled off Cape Cod last year, but rescuers were not able to fully free her; the other, a male, is believed to have become entangled in the Gulf.

Hunted to near extinction before a partial whaling ban in 1935, North Atlantic right whales are once more critically endangered, with only 356 left. The main threat remains human contact: entanglement in fishing gear, and ship strikes. Fatal encounters, caused in part by the whales’ migratory shift into Canada’s snow crab grounds, have soared: more than a tenth of the population died or were seriously injured between 2017 and 2021, mostly in Canada and New England.

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July 26th 2021, 1:25 am

New Zealand agrees to repatriate suspected Isis member who grew up in Australia

World news | The Guardian

Jacinda Ardern said it was the ‘right step’ to allow return of woman and her children from Turkey

New Zealand has agreed that a suspected member of Islamic State who grew up in Australia can be repatriated from Turkey along with her two young children, a decision prime minister Jacinda Ardern said was “not taken lightly”.

The woman was a dual Australian-New Zealand citizen until Australia revoked her citizenship and refused to reverse the decision, prompting a furious response earlier this year from Ardern, who accused Australia of shirking its responsibilities.

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July 26th 2021, 1:25 am

US accused of ‘demonising’ China as high-level talks begin in Tianjin

World news | The Guardian

Vice foreign minister Xie Feng described relations between the superpowers as a ‘stalemate’ in discussions with US deputy secretary of state Wendy Sherman

China has blamed the US for what it called a “stalemate” in bilateral relations and accused Washington of “demonising” Beijing as high-level face-to-face talks began in the Chinese city of Tianjin.

Vice foreign minister Xie Feng urged the US “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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July 26th 2021, 1:25 am

Mozambique: fears of escalating conflict as foreign troops clash with Islamists

World news | The Guardian

Fighting between Rwandan forces and insurgents linked to Islamic State breaks out in Cabo Delgado

Foreign troops sent to reinforce local security forces in Mozambique have clashed with Islamist militants for the first time, as the conflict in the east African country moves into a new and potentially dangerous phase.

Rwandan soldiers who recently arrived in Mozambique fought a series of engagements against the extremists last week. Few reliable details of the fighting, which took place near Mozambique’s border with Tanzania, have emerged, but officials claim the insurgents suffered dozens of casualties.

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July 26th 2021, 1:25 am

Olympics 2020 day three: Kristian Blummenfelt wins men’s triathlon ahead of Alex Yee, swimming, gymn

World news | The Guardian

Skateboarding: Australia’s Hayley Wilson finished eighth in her heat for the women’s street skateboarding which is not going to be enough for her to reach the medal round. Roos Zwetsloot topped the charts with 13.48.

Hayley wraps up with a score of 5.34. She's currently in 8th place with two heats still to run.

Great effort Hayley and congratulations on making history as Australia's first female Olympic skateboarder! #TokyoTogether #Skateboarding @SkateAustralia pic.twitter.com/BilvEQ2BQF

Swimming: Why is the women’s 400m freestyle later on such a big deal? In part because Katie Ledecky has set the global standard in recent times - continuing a golden era for US swimming - but as Tom Lutz reports, that could be coming under threat.

Titmus overcame an unwell Ledecky to win the 400m freestyle at the 2019 world championships and delivered another statement of intent at the Australian trials in June, swimming the distance in 3:56.90. That is less than half-a-second slower than Ledecky’s world record, and more than four seconds quicker than the time the American posted in the US trials.

Australian optimism is understandable, though they also looked to be emerging as a force capable of mounting a sustained challenge to American supremacy in the early 2000s, only to underwhelm in the end. The two nations even duked it out in made-for-television battles in 2003, 2005 and 2007 called the Duel in the Pool. The hyped-up rivalry proved almost as strained as the rhyme in the title. A team of elite Europeans was sourced as fresh opposition from 2009 to 2015, but fared no better. The US will be hoping it’s the same story in Tokyo. The coming days should be interesting.

Related: Is Tokyo the Olympics where USA’s swimming empire crumbles?

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July 25th 2021, 9:25 pm

Tunisia president sacks government, sparking jubilation on streets

World news | The Guardian

As crowds celebrate ousting of an administration blamed for economic stagnation, opposition accuses Kais Saied of staging a coup

Tunisian president Kais Saied has suspended parliament and dismissed prime minister Hichem Mechichi after a day of protests against the ruling party brought the country’s political crisis to a head.

Cheering crowds quickly flooded the streets of the capital Tunis after Saied’s announcement on Sunday, celebrating and honking car horns in scenes that recalled the 2011 revolution that brought democracy and triggered the Arab spring protests that convulsed the Middle East.

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July 25th 2021, 9:25 pm

Scottish climber Rick Allen dies in avalanche on K2 while on new route

World news | The Guardian

Allen’s climbing partners were rescued from world’s second highest mountain

A Scottish climber has died in an avalanche on K2 as he attempted to take a new route to the summit.

Rick Allen was attempting to climb the world’s second highest mountain to raise money for the Partners Relief & Development charity.

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

Dietary supplements causing severe liver injuries in Australians, with some requiring transplants, s

World news | The Guardian

Researchers say cases linked to products claiming to promote muscle growth or weight loss are rising and more rigorous oversight is needed

The number of patients being admitted to hospital with severe liver injuries caused by herbal and dietary supplements claiming to promote muscle growth or weight loss is increasing, with some people harmed so severely they required a liver transplant.

A study led by Dr Emily Nash from the Royal Prince Alfred hospital examined hospital records of 184 adults admitted to the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre with drug-induced liver injury between 2009 and 2020. She and her co-authors found liver injury cases linked to herbal and dietary supplements increased from two out of 11 patients (15%) during 2009–11, to 10 out of 19 patients (47%) during 2018–20.

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

Tobacco firm Philip Morris calls for ban on cigarettes within decade

World news | The Guardian

CEO Jacek Olczak says product should be treated like petrol cars, which will be outlawed from 2030

The chief executive of tobacco business Philip Morris International has called on the UK government to ban cigarettes within a decade, in a move that would outlaw its own Marlboro brand.

Jacek Olczak said the company could “see the world without cigarettes … and actually, the sooner it happens, the better it is for everyone.” Cigarettes should be treated like petrol cars, the sale of which is due to be banned from 2030, he said.

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

At least 10 dead and 44 injured in bus crash in Croatia after driver lost control

World news | The Guardian

Driver reportedly fell asleep on journey between Frankfurt and Pristina, the capital of Kosovo

At least 10 people have died after a bus swerved off a highway and crashed in Croatia, police have said.

The incident, believed to have happened when the driver fell asleep early on Sunday, has left at least 44 others injured, some seriously.

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

‘You are the worst human being’: man confronts Fox News host Tucker Carlson

World news | The Guardian

In viral video, Instagram user Dan Bailey harangues primetime anchor at outdoor goods store in Montana

In a confrontation that swiftly went viral, a Montana man told Fox News host Tucker Carlson: “You are the worst human being known to mankind.”

Related: Michael Wolff: Murdoch hates Trump but loves Fox News money more

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

Thunderstorms leave roads and tube stations flooded in London

World news | The Guardian

Environment Agency issues five flood warnings across southern England and 19 flood alerts including parts of Wales

Torrential rain has flooded roads and tube stations in London after thunderstorms hit the south of England on Sunday.

Barts Health NHS trust declared a major incident after the flooding led to problems at Whipps Cross hospital and Newham Hospital in the east of the city.

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July 25th 2021, 7:39 pm

‘Seriously ill’ young people in current Covid admissions, expert warns

World news | The Guardian

‘We have had people under 30 in intensive care,’ says Prof Adam Finn of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation

Young people are getting “seriously ill” from Covid-19, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has warned, as he urged them to get vaccinated.

Prof Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, said there have been close to 200 admissions, with a mean age of 40, in the city during the Delta variant wave. England’s remaining Covid restrictions were eased on Monday and pictures of crowded nightclubs, filled with revellers not wearing masks or social distancing, have raised fears among some experts that infections could surge among unvaccinated young people.

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July 25th 2021, 1:24 pm

More than 250 convicted of child sexual abuse in UK and Ireland while in Scout movement

World news | The Guardian

Exclusive: Analysis raises questions about the organisation’s safeguarding procedures

More than 250 people in the UK and Ireland have been convicted of child sexual abuse offences committed while they were Scout leaders or in other positions of responsibility within the Scout movement, according to analysis that raises questions about the organisation’s safeguarding procedures.

For decades, the Scout movement has been promoted as offering the chance to experience adventures and gain life skills but a review of offenders shows that for scores of children it has led to abuse at the hands of someone entrusted with their welfare.

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July 25th 2021, 1:24 pm

Emmanuel Macron ‘pushes for Israeli inquiry’ into NSO spyware concerns

World news | The Guardian

French president reportedly spoke to Naftali Bennett to ensure ‘proper investigation’ after Pegasus project

Emmanuel Macron has reportedly spoken to the Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, to ensure that the Israeli government is “properly investigating” allegations that the French president could have been targeted with Israeli-made spyware by Morocco’s security services.

In a phone call, Macron expressed concern that his phone and those of most of his cabinet could have been infected with Pegasus, hacking software developed by the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, which enables operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones from infected devices.

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July 25th 2021, 1:24 pm

Cryptocurrencies could lead to ‘limitless’ losses for UK government

World news | The Guardian

Experts warn of danger of untraceable funds if companies accepting payments in cryptos go bust

The government could face “limitless” losses as a result of businesses that accept payments in untaxed and untraceable cryptocurrencies going bust, an insolvency expert has warned.

A growing number of companies, including the ethical cosmetics firm Lush and office-sharing firm WeWork, have begun taking payments for goods and services in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, alongside debt, credit or cash.

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July 25th 2021, 10:09 am

Departures at high-profile Barcelona museum provoke anger in art world

World news | The Guardian

Hundreds sign petition after the jobs of Tanya Barson and Pablo Martínez, two senior figures at Macba, are axed

A row has broken out in the international art world over the departures of Tanya Barson, the English curator, and Pablo Martínez, the head of programmes, from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (Macba).

The pair departed on 16 July, the day after Elvira Dyangani Ose, the director of the Showroom in London, was appointed as the museum’s new director.

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July 25th 2021, 9:08 am

Sajid Javid apologises for saying it was time to stop ‘cowering’ from Covid

World news | The Guardian

Health secretary says sorry for ‘poor choice of word’ after backlash from bereaved families

Sajid Javid has apologised for saying it was time to stop “cowering” from Covid, after an outcry from families bereaved by the virus.

On Saturday, the health secretary said on Twitter that he had recovered from coronavirus – which he contracted despite having had two doses of the vaccine.

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July 25th 2021, 9:08 am

Esther Dingley: French police ask for dental records of missing British hiker

World news | The Guardian

Request follows discovery of possible human remains in the Pyrenees, near where 37-year-old disappeared

French police have asked for the dental records of a missing British hiker following the discovery of possible human remains in the Pyrenees, the woman’s mother said.

Esther Dingley, 37, had been walking alone in the mountains near the Spanish and French border and was last seen on 22 November.

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July 25th 2021, 5:36 am

Cuban leftists begin to turn their fire on the ‘harmful practices of the state’

World news | The Guardian

Leading radicals are raising their voices against the demand for uncritical backing for the government

Luis Emilio Aybar is a voice from the left, which in Cuba means pretty far left. By any measure, he should be a stalwart defender of the island’s communist regime. After widespread public protests that two weeks ago roiled the nation, the 34-year-old published an article in the magazine La Tizza, which bills itself as “a space to think about socialism”.

After the prerequisite denunciation of the US, he wrote: “What happened on 11 July is also because we communists and revolutionaries do not fight with sufficient force and efficiency the harmful practices of the state.

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July 25th 2021, 5:07 am

Plans of four G20 states are threat to global climate pledge, warn scientists

World news | The Guardian

‘Disastrous’ energy policies of China, Russia, Brazil and Australia could stoke 5C rise in temperatures if adopted by the rest of the world

A key group of leading G20 nations is committed to climate targets that would lead to disastrous global warming, scientists have warned. They say China, Russia, Brazil and Australia all have energy policies associated with 5C rises in atmospheric temperatures, a heating hike that would bring devastation to much of the planet.

The analysis, by the peer-reviewed group Paris Equity Check, raises serious worries about the prospects of key climate agreements being achieved at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow in three months. The conference – rated as one of the most important climate summits ever staged – will attempt to hammer out policies to hold global heating to 1.5C by agreeing on a global policy for ending net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

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July 25th 2021, 5:07 am

Foreign Office is ‘complicit in British man’s Somalia torture’

World news | The Guardian

‘David Taylor’ claims hooding, sensory deprivation and waterboarding was to persuade him to cooperate with the CIA

A British citizen has claimed he was tortured in Somalia and questioned by US intelligence officers, raising concern that controversial practices of the post-9/11 “war on terror” are still being used.

The 45-year-old from London alleges he has endured hooding, sensory deprivation and waterboarding at the hands of the Somali authorities to persuade him, he believes, to cooperate with the CIA. Foreign Office officials are aware of the allegationsof torture and US involvement, but their failure to act has raised questions over UK complicity.

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July 25th 2021, 3:51 am

Sydney police fine hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters for ‘filthy, risky behaviour’

World news | The Guardian

Prime minister denounces ‘selfish’ protesters who marched against coronavirus measures as police taskforce traces everyone who broke rules

Hundreds of fines have been issued and dozens charged in Sydney after anti-lockdown protesters marched and clashed with police in what one deputy commissioner called “violent, filthy, risky behaviour”.

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Sunday the previous day’s protests – in which thousands breached the region’s coronavirus measures to protest – were “selfish and self-defeating”, adding: “It achieves no purpose. It won’t end the lockdown sooner.”

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July 25th 2021, 3:23 am

‘A cartel shouldn’t get away with this.’ Anger at opioid settlements that exclude admission of wrong

World news | The Guardian

Multibillion-dollar settlements specifically exclude admission of wrongdoing over a crisis that has claimed 600,000 lives

There is growing anger among families bereaved by the US opioid epidemic at pharmaceutical companies “buying their way out of accountability” with multibillion-dollar settlements that specifically exclude any admission of wrongdoing.

Related: Enough fentanyl to kill San Francisco: the new wave of the opioid crisis sweeping California

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July 25th 2021, 3:23 am

Sajid Javid’s advice to not ‘cower’ from Covid provokes backlash

World news | The Guardian

Bereaved families, Labour and Lib Dems all condemn health secretary, accusing him of insensitivity


Sajid Javid has provoked a wave of anger from families of the victims of Covid after he said people must no longer “cower” from the virus.

The health secretary announced on Saturday that he had made a “full recovery” from Covid-19 after falling ill eight days ago, and said: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

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July 25th 2021, 12:24 am

Philippines floods: thousands flee Manila after days of torrential rain

World news | The Guardian

One person has died as officials struggle to provide adequate Covid-safe emergency shelter for nearly 15,000 residents

Thousands of residents have fled flooded communities and swollen rivers in the Philippine capital, Manila, and outlying provinces after days of torrential monsoon rains that left at least one villager dead.

Officials say they are struggling to open more emergency shelters in order to allow social distancing among the displaced residents and prevent evacuation camps from turning into epicentres of Covid-19 infections. In the hard-hit city of Marikina in the capital region, nearly 15,000 residents were evacuated to safety overnight as waters rose alarmingly in a major river.

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July 24th 2021, 10:23 pm

‘Very saddened’: Toa, the orphaned baby orca that enthralled New Zealand, is buried

World news | The Guardian

Orca cared for by hundreds of volunteers and experts in bitter cold after becoming separated from its pod two weeks ago

An orphaned baby orca that captured the hearts of people across New Zealand has been farewelled at a special ceremony and taken away for burial, ending a desperate mission to reunite it with its pod.

The young calf, named Toa – which means brave or strong in Māori – was thought to be between two and six months old, and became stranded on rocks north of Wellington two weeks ago with minor injuries.

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July 24th 2021, 10:23 pm

‘Dating Game Killer’ dies in California while awaiting execution

World news | The Guardian

A prolific murderer who became known as “the Dating Game Killer” died on Saturday while awaiting execution in California, authorities said.

Related: R Kelly had sexual contact with underage boy as well as girls, prosecutors say

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July 24th 2021, 10:23 pm

Even a pandemic can’t keep Ryanair from flying higher

World news | The Guardian

Although profits may be down this week, the airline’s shares – and its chief executive’s optimism – are defying gravity

Who’s afraid of the Delta variant? Not Michael O’Leary. Over the last 16 months of sickness, death and lockdown, the billionaire Ryanair boss has rediscovered his controversy button and has lately been loudly telling governments to stick their “scariants” and let everyone fly again.

Much of his ire has been reserved for Ireland, whose scientific and medical leaders must envy the UK’s Chris Whitty for only getting accosted in the park.

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July 24th 2021, 10:23 pm

Olympics 2020 day two: swimming, women’s road race, gymnastics, tennis and more – live!

World news | The Guardian

Swimming: Kieran Pender was poolside for the men’s 400m IM. The medal ceremony for that event is taking place as I type.

Related: Australian swimming team makes strong Tokyo 2020 start as Brendon Smith wins bronze

Thanks Bryan, what a few hours we have in store. I had to restart my router before this stint because it was overwhelmed by Olympic content, splashes of excess Olympics were sloshing all over the place like a poorly executed yard of ale.

There will be more medals on offer in the swimming, shooting, and skateboarding, as well as Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Andy Murray in the tennis, Simone Biles in the gymnastics, Jade Jones in the taekwondo, the start of the women’s road race… and, and… phew!

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July 24th 2021, 10:23 pm

Brazilian protesters call for Jair Bolsonaro to be impeached

World news | The Guardian

Demonstrators in several cities denounce president for alleged corruption and Covid mismanagement

Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far right president whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic.

This week, news broke that Brazil’s defence ministry told congressional leadership that next year’s elections would not take place without amending the country’s electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote.

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July 24th 2021, 6:11 pm

R Kelly had sexual contact with underage boy as well as girls, prosecutors say

World news | The Guardian

Federal prosecutors in R Kelly’s sex trafficking case say the R&B star had sexual contact with an underage boy as well as girls, and jurors should hear those claims.

Related: Surviving R Kelly producers: 'We wanted to explain why you shouldn’t blame survivors'

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July 24th 2021, 4:38 pm

Alabama police officer stayed on payroll for two months after murder conviction

World news | The Guardian

William Darby, who was convicted of shooting dead a suicidal man in May, has now resigned from Huntsville police

An Alabama police officer who remained on his city’s payroll for two months after being convicted of murder has resigned from the Huntsville police department.

Officer William Darby left of his own accord, the city told WAAY-TV on Friday. He had been on paid leave since his 7 May conviction for shooting a suicidal man who was holding a gun to his own head.

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July 24th 2021, 2:53 pm

Arizona secretary of state tells Trump before election lie rally: get over it

World news | The Guardian

Democrat Katie Hobbs says ‘this is nothing more than being a sore loser’ as ex-president heads to Phoenix for event

Arizona’s secretary of state had a message for Donald Trump before he appeared in Phoenix on Saturday: “Take your loss and accept it and move on.”

Related: Fox News backs Covid vaccination – a pity no one told Tucker Carlson

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July 24th 2021, 2:53 pm

‘The bear came out of nowhere’: Alaska prospector on terrifying grizzly attack

World news | The Guardian

Richard Jessee, who was searching for gold, said: ‘There was no doubt about it: the bear was trying to get into my cabin’

An Alaska gold prospector rescued from a sustained attack by a grizzly bear some compared to a famous scene in the movie The Revenant told a local newspaper: “The bear came out of nowhere.

“It rolled my bike and the trailer over like it was a toy car. I was in shock and hypothermic.”

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July 24th 2021, 12:53 pm

Curfew imposed in Afghanistan to curb Taliban offensive

World news | The Guardian

Insurgents have captured key border crossings and encircled several provincial capitals

Afghan authorities have imposed a night-time curfew across 31 of the country’s 34 provinces to curb surging violence unleashed by a sweeping Taliban offensive in recent months, the interior ministry has said.

The widespread Taliban offensive has seen the insurgents capture key border crossings, dozens of districts and encircle several provincial capitals since early May.

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July 24th 2021, 11:09 am

Vatican reveals it owns more than 5,000 properties

World news | The Guardian

Real estate holdings published for first time show it owns 4,051 properties in Italy, 1,120 abroad

The Vatican has released information on its real estate holdings for the first time, revealing it owns more than 5,000 properties, as part of its most detailed financial disclosures ever.

The information released on Saturday was contained in two documents – a consolidated financial statement for 2020 for the Holy See and the first ever public budget for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (Apsa).

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July 24th 2021, 11:09 am

Thousands march in Budapest Pride to oppose anti-LGBTQ law

World news | The Guardian

Demonstrators say law that bans teaching of issue in schools is causing division in Hungary

Thousands of Hungarians have joined the annual Budapest Pride march to support LGBTQ people and protest against a law that limits teaching about homosexuality and transgender issues in schools.

Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in power since 2010, has introduced social policies that he says aim to safeguard traditional Christian values from western liberalism, stoking tensions with the EU.

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July 24th 2021, 11:09 am

India floods: rescuers search for survivors among mud and debris

World news | The Guardian

Death toll from heavy monsoon rains on western coast climbs to 76, with nearly 90,000 people evacuated

Rescuers in India combed through mud and debris on Saturday in a desperate search for survivors as the death toll from heavy monsoon rains climbed to 76, with nearly 90,000 people evacuated.

Torrential downpours have lashed India’s western coast in recent days, leaving dozens missing near the financial capital of Mumbai and causing the worst floods in decades in the resort state of Goa.

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July 24th 2021, 8:53 am

Chernobyl for Ukraine, pizza for Italy: South Korean TV apologises for Olympic images

World news | The Guardian

A South Korean broadcaster has apologised after using offensive images to depict several countries during the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.

MBC displayed photos and facts about each country as athletes walked out during the parade of nations. Most of them varied from inane to odd: Great Britain’s athletes were accompanied by a photo of the Queen, and, somewhat mystifyingly, El Salvador was summed up by a bitcoin symbol.

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July 24th 2021, 8:53 am

Harry Dunn: US tries to prevent disclosure of alleged killer’s work record

World news | The Guardian

Government cites national security in civil case over 2019 death of British teenager in road crash

The US government has requested that the civil courts prevent the disclosure of the employment details of Harry Dunn’s alleged killer in the interests of “national security”.

The 19-year-old’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, lodged a claim against Anne Sacoolas and her husband following the teenager’s death in a road crash outside a US military base in Northamptonshire two years ago.

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July 24th 2021, 8:53 am

Officials who are US allies among targets of NSO malware, says WhatsApp chief

World news | The Guardian

Will Cathcart claims government officials around the world among 1,400 WhatsApp users targeted in 2019

Senior government officials around the world – including individuals in high national security positions who are “allies of the US” – were targeted by governments with NSO Group spyware in a 2019 attack against 1,400 WhatsApp users, according to the messaging app’s chief executive.

Will Cathcart disclosed the new details about individuals who were targeted in the attack after revelations this week by the Pegasus project, a collaboration of 17 media organisations which investigated NSO, the Israeli company that sells its powerful surveillance software to government clients around the world.

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July 24th 2021, 6:39 am

Anti-lockdown protests across Australia as Covid cases surge to record levels in Sydney

World news | The Guardian

Chaotic scenes in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane as protesters demand end to lockdowns

Anti-lockdown protesters have marched in major Australian cities, as Covid cases spiked to record numbers in Sydney and authorities warned of a “continuing and growing problem”.

Thousands of angry, unmasked people marched through the Sydney central business district on Saturday afternoon demanding an end to the city’s lockdown, which is entering its fifth week.

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July 24th 2021, 3:09 am

‘I felt I existed in this world’: TikTok gives a voice to Turkey’s labourers

World news | The Guardian

Workers have become unlikely stars of the video app, while revealing harsh conditions

Agricultural workers throw their buckets into the air at the end of harvest like at a graduation ceremony. A construction site turns into a concert hall, with workers wearing strands of hemp as wigs and singing into bits of plastic piping instead of microphones. A market stall becomes a runway as fruit vendors strut their stuff: a bunch of bananas as headgear, leeks dangling from their necks.

With posts from factories, fields and construction sites, workers in Turkey are going viral on TikTok. The app’s staples such as challenges, dancing and comedy abound, but amid the joy it is hard not to miss the criticism of dire working conditions.

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July 24th 2021, 3:09 am

Boris Johnson wants to mimic Tony Blair’s project, say No 10 sources

World news | The Guardian

PM wants to echo Blair’s promise of an ‘opportunity society’ and energise those who feel left behind

Boris Johnson intends to mimic aspects of Tony Blair’s political project in the hope of winning over more voters in former Labour heartlands, Downing Street sources have revealed.

While the Conservatives’ 2019-intake MPs are more likely to model themselves on Margaret Thatcher than the former Labour prime minister, No 10 insiders said Johnson had been studying Blair’s approach.

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July 24th 2021, 3:09 am

‘It’s getting out of hand’: genocide denial outlawed in Bosnia

World news | The Guardian

Move by international body set up to implement post-war peace deal follows attempts to downplay 1995 Srebrenica massacre

The top international official in Bosnia has outlawed denial of genocide in the Balkan country to counter attempts by Bosnia’s Serbs to deny the scope of the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, Europe’s only post-second world war genocide.

Valentin Inzko, the outgoing head of Bosnia’s Office of the High Representative, or OHR, introduced the changes to the country’s criminal code on Friday, bringing in prison sentences of up to five years for genocide denial and for the glorification of war criminals, including naming of streets or public institutions after them.

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July 24th 2021, 12:25 am

Unesco urged not to give heritage status to Thai park amid claims of Indigenous abuses

World news | The Guardian

UN human rights experts decry arrests and evictions of ethnic Karen from Kaeng Krachan national park

UN human rights experts have urged Unesco not to grant World Heritage Site status to a national park in Thailand, where they said Indigenous people are being arrested and evicted from their traditional lands.

The UN experts said in a statement: “This is an important precedent-setting case, and may influence policies on how Indigenous peoples’ rights are respected in protected areas across Asia.

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July 23rd 2021, 11:39 pm

Search for bodies in Florida condo collapse ends, with death toll at 97

World news | The Guardian

Firefighters have officially ended their efforts following one of the nation’s deadliest engineering failures

Firefighters have declared the end of their search for bodies at the site of a collapsed Florida condo building, concluding a month of painstaking work removing layers of dangerous debris that were once piled several stories high.

The collapse on 24 June at the oceanside Champlain Towers South killed 97 people, with at least one more missing person yet to be identified. The site has been mostly swept flat and the rubble moved to a Miami warehouse. Although forensic scientists are still at work, including examining the debris at the warehouse, there are no more bodies to be found where the building once stood.

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July 23rd 2021, 9:37 pm

Esther Dingley family call for clarity after claim human remains found in Pyrenees

World news | The Guardian

Family of missing British hiker have been informed of report and are seeking ‘urgent clarification’, says charity representing them

The charity representing the family of British hiker Esther Dingley says it is seeking urgent clarification after reports emerged that possible human remains had been found close to where the woman went missing in the Pyrenees.

LBT Global said in a statement posted to Facebook it was “aware of the discovery of what MAY be human remains close to the last known location of Esther DINGLEY. We are urgently seeking clarification. The family have been informed of the discovery and we are supporting them now.”

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July 23rd 2021, 9:23 pm

Tokyo Olympic Games 2020: men’s road race gold, boxing, swimming and more – live!

World news | The Guardian

Barack Obama would like to wish you good luck (if you are a world-class athlete. And American. But I’m sure he wishes you well even if you’re not):

I could not be prouder of the incredible athletes representing @TeamUSA at the Olympics. Their determination and hard work got them this far, and they’re ready to seize this moment. We'll be rooting for them all the way.

Last night was a big one for team Australia, with the pageantry and symbolism of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium. Even though just 63 members of Australia’s 480-odd delegation formally marched, the rest gathered around their televisions in the athletes’ village or their team hotels (for those out of Tokyo).

There might be a few sleepy heads this morning. It was an emotional night for the Aussies, with Patty Mills becoming the first Indigenous Australian to fly the flag in an opening ceremony. Mills has been a major force for Australian basketball, with Tokyo 2020 his fourth Olympics and he is widely-admired by his peers for his sporting success and social justice activism.

But this morning attention turns to the action on the pitch/pool/field. Australia do not have high medal hopes on day one, but there are plenty of important preliminary encounters around the venues. The Kookaburras face Japan in the hockey, Richie Porte, Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge are all in action in the road race and Jian Fang Lay will make her sixth Olympic appearance in the table tennis. Tonight, all eyes will be on the heats at the Aquatics Centre, with Emma McKeon expected to shine in the 100m butterfly, Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin jostling for lane position in the 400m freestyle and the women’s 100m freestyle relay closing out the night.

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July 23rd 2021, 8:23 pm

Most unvaccinated Americans unlikely to get shots, poll finds, as Delta spreads – live

World news | The Guardian

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, delivered an update today on US efforts to share its Covid vaccine doses with other countries around the world. The news comes as domestic vaccination rates stagnate and the White House ramps up its efforts to fight vaccine hesitancy.

The AP reports:

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the United States has shipped 22 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to other countries this week.

The total was a weekly record as vaccines went to 23 countries. Psaki says the recipients included Pakistan, Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco, among other nations. By this weekend, roughly 80 million doses in total will have shipped from the United States to other countries.

Amid growing concerns about rising Covid-19 cases across the US, my colleague Erin McCormick took a closer look at one state experiencing an alarming spike: California.

The Golden State has had some of the strictest lockdowns during the pandemic, and now has some of the highest vaccination rates. But just over a month after the governor lifted the last of the state’s Covid restrictions, case numbers are climbing, and some counties are bringing back mask mandates.

In Los Angeles, county figures show that Covid-19 infections have increased twentyfold in a month. In San Francisco, they’ve almost tripled in two weeks and, overall, California’s hospitalization numbers have increased by 58%, according to New York Times data.

Despite the fact that California is one of the country’s most vaccinated states, experts blame the highly contagious Delta variant for a new surge that has disrupted businesses’ and politicians’ plans to celebrate the state’s reopening.

Related: California sees a sharp increase in Covid cases and a return to mask mandates

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July 23rd 2021, 7:24 pm

Naomi Osaka provides spark at subdued opening of Tokyo Olympics

World news | The Guardian

Ceremony began as the most downbeat in Olympic history but finished in spectacular fashion

Amid the darkness of the Tokyo skyline, a moment of hope and raging illumination. After nearly four hours of an opening ceremony that veered from the sombre to the spectacular, the Olympic flame was passed to the face of these Games, Naomi Osaka. As the steps of the Mount Fuji stage opened up before her, Japan’s globally recognised tennis star jogged towards the summit, nodded, and then set the cauldron – and perhaps these troubled Tokyo 2020 Olympics – alight.

It was the culmination of a ceremony that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, promised would offer a “moment of hope” in a Covid-riven world.

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July 23rd 2021, 4:53 pm

Ghana: anti-gay bill proposing 10-year prison sentences sparks outrage

World news | The Guardian

Bill could mean 10 years in prison for LGBTQ+ people and those who support their rights

Draft anti-gay legislation submitted to Ghana’s parliament could propose up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support, in one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.

Support for intersex people would also be criminalised and the government could direct intersex people to receive “gender realignment” surgery, said the draft legislation.

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July 23rd 2021, 4:20 pm

China retaliates with sanctions on former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

World news | The Guardian

The ‘counter-sanctions’ are in response to Washington’s actions and are the first under China’s new anti-foreign sanction law

Barely 48 hours before the arrival in China of one of Biden’s most-trusted diplomats, Beijing has announced its decision to impose counter-sanctions on seven American citizens and entities, including former commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation against Washington’s earlier sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdowns.

The Biden administration announced sanctions on seven Chinese officials on 16 July and warned US businesses of the “growing risks” posed by Beijing and Hong Kong.

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July 23rd 2021, 4:20 pm

Haiti: shots fired at Moïse’s funeral as protesters clash with police

World news | The Guardian

Mourners and officials dive for cover as teargas and black smoke spread into ceremony

Mourners and dignitaries including a US delegation rushed for cover amid reports of gunfire and teargas outside the funeral on Friday of late Haitian president Jovenel Moïse.

There were no immediate reports of injuries after hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside the private ceremony. Shots erupted and teargas and black smoke wafted into the event. Protesters’ cries carried over religious leaders speaking at the funeral.

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July 23rd 2021, 4:09 pm

Win for Angelina Jolie as court disqualifies judge in Brad Pitt divorce case

World news | The Guardian

Court finds John Ouderkirk did not sufficiently disclose business relationships with Pitt’s attorneys

A California appeals court has disqualified a private judge being used by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in their divorce case, handing Jolie a major victory.

Related: Marijuana farmers blamed for water theft as drought grips American west

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July 23rd 2021, 4:09 pm

Russia names Bellingcat reporting partner a ‘foreign agent’

World news | The Guardian

Move against the Insider seen as revenge for part in revealing Kremlin’s role in Salisbury and other assassination attempts

Russia has named a local partner of the Bellingcat investigative journalism collective as a “foreign agent” in an apparent act of revenge for helping reveal the Kremlin’s role in the Salisbury poisonings and assassination attempts by the security agencies.

Russia’s justice ministry on Friday named the Insider, an investigative website, along with five journalists for other publications as “foreign agents”, a label that implied the news agencies and individual reporters were taking foreign money to influence Russian politics.

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July 23rd 2021, 4:09 pm

India monsoons: at least 112 dead in Maharashtra state

World news | The Guardian

Torrential rains cause landslides as military personnel assist with rescue operations in coastal regions

At least 112 people have died in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, authorities have said, after torrential monsoon rains caused landslides and flooded low-lying areas, cutting off hundreds of villages.

Parts of India’s west coast received up to 594mm (23in) of rainfall over 24 hours, forcing authorities to evacuate people from vulnerable areas as they released water from dams that were threatening to overflow.

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July 23rd 2021, 12:51 pm

Athens appoints chief heat officer to combat climate crisis

World news | The Guardian

Greek capital is first in Europe to create role, which will involve finding new ways to cool the city

Athens has appointed a chief heat officer to protect people from soaring temperatures and try to find ways to adapt the city to the heatwaves and extreme weather that are striking the capital more frequently as the result of the climate emergency.

The appointment, made on Friday by the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis, is the first in Europe and believed to be only the second in the world, after Miami-Dade county in Florida appointed a chief heat officer earlier this year.

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July 23rd 2021, 12:51 pm

Stonehenge may be next UK site to lose world heritage status

World news | The Guardian

Britain is eroding global reputation for conserving its historic assets, culture bodies are warning

The UK is eroding its global reputation for conserving its “unparalleled” historic assets, culture bodies have warned, with Stonehenge expected to be the next in line to lose its coveted World Heritage status after Liverpool.

Related: Unesco strips Liverpool of its world heritage status

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July 23rd 2021, 12:39 pm

Hitting global climate target could create 8m energy jobs, study says

World news | The Guardian

Researchers suggest net increase would mostly occur in renewables sector, with decline in fossil fuels

If some politicians are to be believed, taking sweeping action to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement would be calamitous for energy sector jobs. But a study suggests that honouring the global climate target would, in fact, increase net jobs by about 8 million by 2050.

The study – in which researchers created a global dataset of the footprint of energy jobs in 50 countries including major fossil fuel-producing economies – found that currently an estimated 18 million people work in the energy industries, which is likely to increase to 26 million if climate targets are met.

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July 23rd 2021, 11:23 am

‘We need a lot of help’: Germans sift through debris after devastating floods

World news | The Guardian

Trucks, diggers and volunteers try to clear mud and ruined belongings from wrecked homes and businesses

A brown line one and a half metres high on the kitchen wall marks where the waters reached when Christian Ulrich’s house was inundated. The electrician stands amid the mud-splattered walls and his voice breaks as he recalls how he had barely enough time after the warning came to reach the cellar to get food and water and send his mother up the stairs. He had just managed to let in the neighbours who had banged on the door for help, when there was an “almighty crash – like an explosion” as a huge wave of water rolled in from the back and front of the house, so strong it pushed out the front door and many of the windows.

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July 23rd 2021, 10:39 am

Australia’s most populous state declares ‘national emergency’ over Covid outbreak

World news | The Guardian

New South Wales announces 136 new local Delta cases with Sydney under the strictest lockdown measures it has experienced

Australia’s most populous state has declared a “national emergency” as it struggles to contain a record-breaking surge of the Delta variant of Covid-19 amid a lockdown affecting half the country.

The state of New South Wales announced 136 new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19 on Friday, with continued community transmission among essential workers, including in supermarkets and pharmacies.

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July 23rd 2021, 9:38 am

Iran accused of using unlawful force in water protest crackdown

World news | The Guardian

Amnesty says security forces used live ammunition on protesters while officials blame ‘opportunists’

Iran is using unlawful and excessive force in a crackdown against protests over water shortages in its oil-rich but arid southwestern Khuzestan province, according to international rights groups.

Amnesty International said it had confirmed the deaths of at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy, after the authorities used live ammunition to quell the protests.

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July 23rd 2021, 8:08 am

Budapest Pride march is a protest against anti-gay laws, say organisers

World news | The Guardian

Hungary’s LGBT community expects high turnout for march on Saturday marking end of Pride month

Saturday’s Pride march in Budapest will be “a celebration, but also a protest”, organisers have said, as Hungary’s LGBT community prepares to rally in defiance of an escalating anti-gay campaign by the country’s government.

Johanna Majercsik, one of the organisers of Pride month in Budapest, which culminates with the march, said she expected to see many more in attendance than the roughly 20,000 marchers who attended the last Pride march in the city, two years ago.

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July 23rd 2021, 8:08 am

World Heritage Committee agrees not to place Great Barrier Reef on ‘in danger’ list

World news | The Guardian

Move follows fierce lobbying campaign by the Australian government which said it was blindsided by Unesco recommendation

The Great Barrier Reef will not be placed on a list of world heritage sites “in danger” after a global lobbying effort from Australia against the proposed listing.

The 21-country World Heritage Committee on Friday ignored a scientific assessment from the UN’s science and culture organisation, Unesco, that the reef was clearly in danger from climate change and should be placed on the list.

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July 23rd 2021, 8:08 am

Belfast judge calls on UK to investigate Omagh bombing

World news | The Guardian

‘Real prospect’ 1998 attack by dissident republicans could have been prevented, says Mr Justice Horner

A high court judge in Belfast has recommended the UK government undertake a human rights compliant investigation into the Omagh bombing, and urged the Irish government to do likewise, after finding there was a “real prospect” the Real IRA attack in 1998 could have been prevented.

Mr Justice Horner told Belfast high court: “I am satisfied that certain grounds when considered separately or together give rise to plausible allegations that there was a real prospect of preventing the Omagh bombing.

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July 23rd 2021, 6:54 am

Jeremy Heywood’s widow calls Greensill inquiry a ‘travesty’

World news | The Guardian

Suzanne Heywood says process was set up to scapegoat the former civil servant and ‘distract attention’

The widow of a former top civil servant who was heavily criticised in the UK government’s inquiry into the Greensill affair has described the process as a “travesty” set up to scapegoat her husband and “distract attention” from events after his death.

Boris Johnson has already been accused of orchestrating a cover-up over the lobbying scandal after an official review mildly rebuked the former prime minister David Cameron.

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July 23rd 2021, 6:54 am

Fire tornadoes, haze, clouds: US blazes create their own weather systems

World news | The Guardian

Bootleg fire is generating enough energy and extreme heat that ‘it’s changing the weather’, says expert

In southern Oregon, the Bootleg fire has now burned a swath of land larger than the city of Los Angeles. It has forced at least 2,000 residents from their homes and burned 160 houses and buildings. And it’s not alone – there are more than 80 fires burning across the United States.

Some of these fires are now so intense and large they can create their own weather systems, including fire tornadoes, clouds and other weird phenomena – including smoky haze that has reached New York City, 3,000 miles from where the fires started. New York City now has some of the world’s worst air quality, prompting state officials to issue an alert for residents with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, to avoid the outdoors.

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July 23rd 2021, 6:54 am

Chinese leader Xi Jinping makes first visit to Tibet as president

World news | The Guardian

Visit comes as China tightens control over region’s Buddhist culture and invests heavily in infrastructure

The Chinese leader has made his first visit to Tibet as president as authorities tighten controls over the Himalayan region’s traditional Buddhist culture, accompanied by an accelerated drive for economic development and modernised infrastructure.

State media reported on Friday that Xi Jinping had visited sites in the capital, Lhasa, including the Drepung monastery, Barkhor Street and the public square at the base of the Potala Palace that was home to the Dalai Lamas, Tibet’s traditional spiritual and temporal leaders.

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July 23rd 2021, 6:54 am

China floods: thousands trapped without fresh water as rain moves north

World news | The Guardian

Extreme rainstorms are continuing their path of destruction, dumping 260mm on the city of Xinxiang in just two hours

Thousands of people remain trapped in areas of central China as floods continue to batter the region after record-breaking rainfall. At least 33 people have been killed in recent days but the death toll is expected to rise as recovery crews access previously submerged roads and tunnels in the capital city.

Extreme rainstorms – which dumped a year’s worth of rain on and around the capital of Henan province, Zhengzhou, earlier this week – have since moved north, affecting outer cities and regional areas, trapping people without electricity or fresh water, including at hospitals.

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July 23rd 2021, 3:24 am

Death and detergents: Spanish poet sets hospital laundry work to verse

World news | The Guardian

Begoña M Rueda reflects on her prize-winning account of laundry work during the Covid crisis

Spain was not long into the first wave of the Covid pandemic when the poet and hospital laundry worker Begoña M Rueda realised there wasn’t quite enough room on the public pedestal for all those who worked in the country’s over-stretched and often under-resourced health system.

“At eight, people step on to their balconies to applaud / the labours of the doctors and the nurses / but few applaud the labours of the woman who sweeps and mops the hospital / or of those of us who wash the linen of the infected / with our bare hands,” Rueda writes in one of the poems that makes up her latest collection.

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July 23rd 2021, 3:24 am

Protesters urge Boris Johnson to take Cop26 climate talks seriously

World news | The Guardian

With 100 days to go to crucial UN crisis summit in Glasgow, PM is accused of lack of leadership

Protesters will fill London’s Parliament Square on Friday morning, calling on the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to make the climate crisis his top priority, as the UK prepares to host UN talks that will determine whether the world tips into environmental catastrophe this decade.

Giant alarm clocks will show time running out, while 100 protesters chant that Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, are “missing in action” on the climate crisis.

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July 23rd 2021, 1:38 am

Tokyo Olympic Games 2020: build-up to the opening ceremony – live!

World news | The Guardian

For a first taste, this is an excellent curtain-raiser from Sean Ingle, who explores that fine line between opposing an Olympics replete with problems and controversy and being drawn in by the sporting narratives.

Related: Boom or bust: can troubled Tokyo Olympics sparkle once the flame is lit?

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Olympic Games. We’re here to provide you with 24-hour rolling coverage of all the highs and lows and in-betweens of perhaps the strangest instalment since the very first in Athens in 1896. This is the “Tokyo 2020” of 2021. The Games that couldn’t happen a year ago because of Covid-19, and the Games many believe shouldn’t happen even now as the pandemic continues to cut a swathe through Japan. Signs of a fifth wave are everywhere in the host nation, where infection and death tolls are rising and vaccination rates remain low, and the capital will be under a state of emergency for the entirety of competition. That’s before mentioning the spiralling financial cost.

But, as International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said, “there is no Plan B”. And so, organisers have pressed on, and almost 80,000 athletes, officials, support staff and yes, us the media, have either arrived or will touch down imminently. The local mood is one of derision, to the point that one of the Olympics’ biggest sponsors, Toyota, announced it will not run Tokyo 2020-related adverts. In such an environment controversy already abounds, likewise with athletes taking the knee, super quick super spikes, and all the others which have unfortunately become something of Olympics tradition such as doping, corruption and the status of Russian athletes, some of whom will compete but under a neutral flag.

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July 23rd 2021, 1:38 am

Belarus NGOs condemn government crackdown after ‘black week’ of raids

World news | The Guardian

Human rights groups say latest series of arrests and searches are part of ‘a total purge on civil society’

The government of Belarus has launched a broad crackdown on civil society, launching raids and arrests on dozens of organisations in what has been described as a “black week” for the country’s NGOs.

The raids, which began last week, have touched all corners of civil society, from groups that campaign for political prisoners’ rights to those that crowdfund medical care and have helped medics in the fight against coronavirus.

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July 23rd 2021, 12:53 am

‘It’s just ice-cream’: settlers’ chilly response to Ben & Jerry’s boycott

World news | The Guardian

Locals in Efrat, an Israeli settlement with US cultural links, give their views on the ban on sales to occupied territories

There are blue skies and green grass outside and inside Pizzeria Efrat, a restaurant in a settlement of the same name in the occupied West Bank.

Outside, the pizza parlour is surrounded by lush parks and wide, quiet roads. Inside, the famous cartoon cows on tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream greet customers from no fewer than three branded freezer cabinets, stacks of red pizza boxes piled up behind them.

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July 23rd 2021, 12:53 am
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