National disaster declared as crops fail after poor rains and locusts, while ethnic conflicts add to crisis
An estimated 2.1 million Kenyans face starvation due to a drought in half the country, which is affecting harvests.
The National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) said people living in 23 counties across the arid north, northeastern and coastal parts of the country will be in “urgent need” of food aid over the next six months, after poor rains between March and May this year.
Polish director Patryk Vega’s usually slick technique fails him utterly here in this lurid story about a cop investigating a girl’s kidnapping by the Russian mafia
Patryk Vega is the Polish writer-director whose hardboiled thrillers have found commercial favour both at home and with diaspora audiences: 2018’s The Plagues of Breslau was the kind of full-throttle, unapologetically 18-rated entertainment western producers have largely backed away from. Regrettably, his latest is both globetrotting and dashed-off, and so remorseless that it becomes actively punishing. Violence is hardwired into Vega’s film-making: his unhinged protagonists can’t walk into a room without it seeming like a declaration of war. You gulp, then, when an ominous (and suspiciously unattributed) epigram – “What sort of species are we, if we cannot protect our children?” – makes clear this director has turned his brawn to addressing trafficking. What follows has two modes: lurid and sentimental. Either way, it’s a big wince.
Our hero Robert Goc (Piotr Adamczyk) is a cop of a familiarly grizzled stripe, first introduced as he chaperones a desperate mother to the border after the latter’s daughter is snatched by the Russian mob. The case gets forcibly reopened several years later after a gas explosion in the Russian suburbs exposes a paedophilic treasure trove in the bathroom of weak-willed foster parent Oleg (Andris Keiss). Given that Oleg’s brother is played by an especially phlegmy Aleksey Serebryakov (from Leviathan and the recent Nobody), we sense things can only get grimmer. Sure enough: half an hour in, a pregnant 11-year-old is throwing herself in front of a train at Rotherham station. Worse ensues in Bangkok, where Goc starts to wonder whether he himself might have certain … tendencies.
Retailer also plans to slash carbon emissions and eliminate single-use plastics from its operations by 2027
Primark has committed to making all of its clothes from recycled or more sustainable sourced materials within a decade, promising the strategy will not lead to price rises.
The retailer has also pledged to make clothes that can be “recyclable by design” by 2027. Just a quarter of the clothing it sells is made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials.
Launch comes as Chinese foreign minister is in Seoul to discuss stalled nuclear diplomacy and two days after North tests a new long-range cruise missile
North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Wednesday, South Korea’s military has said, two days after the North claimed to have tested a new missile in its first weapons test in six months.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said in a statement the North Korean projectile flew towards the waters of the Korean Peninsula’s east coast and that further analysis was under way.
‘Adolescent great whites lurk in the depths waiting for seals. Then they launch themselves at the surface – and their sheer power takes them clear of the water’
There is no more iconic species on the planet than the great white shark. Everybody knows what they are, even in the most landlocked countries on Earth, and people are fascinated by them. The great white sharks at Seal Island, a few miles across the water from False Bay near Cape Town, use a surface hunting technique called breaching. They lurk in the depths waiting for seals porpoising along the waves, then launch themselves with incredible speed towards the surface. Their sheer power takes them clear of the water and results in these dramatic breaches that have become famous on documentary channels all across the world.
Sharks tend to hunt differently depending on their environment. In the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, they’ll bite off the flippers of seals and let them bleed out. But at Seal Island, certain environmental factors encourage this sort of aerial hunting. First, it’s the ideal topography: the shallows turn to depths quickly, meaning the sharks patrolling the deeper waters can surprise their prey. Stealth is key.
Police Service of Northern Ireland says the men have been detained under the Terrorism Act
Detectives investigating the killing of the journalist Lyra McKee have arrested four men.
McKee was shot dead by dissident republicans in Derry in April 2019 as she observed rioting in the Creggan area of the city.
Public health order is ‘uncharted territory’ and government is seeking advice, premier says
The New South Wales government will make it illegal for unvaccinated people to access venues and businesses across the state, Gladys Berejiklian says.
As Berejiklian announced the curfew in high-risk Sydney LGAs would be lifted after New South Wales passed the 80% single-dose milestone, she said a public health order would prevent venues from serving unvaccinated patrons.
NSW has marked its most deadly day so far during the Delta outbreak with 12 Covid-19 deaths however the case numbers have continued to stabilise with 1,259 cases, 'We’ve seen a stabilisation in the last few days and we don’t want to see that trend go the wrong way', said premier Gladys Berejiklian. The state also hit its 80% target of over 16-years-olds receiving their first dose of Covid vaccine which has meant NSW Health has lifted the curfew in the Sydney LGAs of concern. Berejiklian also reinforced her message that any further easing of restrictions in the future will only be available to those fully vaccinated saying 'there is no grey area. It's very black and white'
Despite the Republican governor’s vocal support for vaccination rates are among the lowest in the US, leaving hospitals swamped
West Virginia was once one of the leading US states in rolling out Covid-19 vaccinations. Now it is one of the least vaccinated, with the fastest-growing rate of infections in the country. Health systems are overwhelmed, with record numbers of patients in hospital, in intensive care units and on ventilators.
European Commission president says in state of union speech that bloc must learn lessons from US withdrawal from Afghanistan
The EU must learn the lessons of the abrupt end of the US-led mission in Afghanistan and acquire the “political will” to build up its own military force to deploy to future crises, the European Commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, has said.
In her annual state of the union speech in the European parliament in Strasbourg, Von der Leyen, a former German defence minister, said the “abrupt” withdrawal of the US-led mission in Afghanistan, and the subsequent collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s administration, raised troubling questions.
Her anti-vaxx stance came to the notice of Chris Whitty this week, but her feuds and anti-racist statements have long been known to her fanbase
There’s rarely a dull moment in the world of Nicki Minaj.
This week there was outrage after the 38-year-old rapper confirmed she wouldn’t attend the Met Gala, an event where her appearance alone generates headlines, because of the organisers’ insistence on attendees being vaccinated against Covid-19. Minaj tweeted to her 22 million followers that her Trinidadian cousin’s friend had become impotent after being vaccinated and she was reluctant to take it until they have “done enough research”.
Newly released data from the state government shows the vaccine rollout over time by area
The NSW government has released data showing Covid vaccination rates by area – you can use this interactive map to check your postcode or suburb. You can also toggle between showing the percentage of people who have received at least one dose and the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated.
Use the date menu to compare the rates for areas over time to see the course of the vaccine rollout in that postcode.
Scientist compares bloom caused by iron particles in smoke aerosols to ‘the entire Sahara desert turning into a productive grassland’
Smoke from the 2019-20 bushfires in Australia caused a bloom of phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean larger than the entire Australian continent, according to new research.
An international team of scientists discovered via satellite data that the bloom of phytoplankton – microscopic marine algae – occurred in the ocean between South America and New Zealand beginning in October 2019 and lasting about four months.
After Merkel, the incoming coalition will have to prove that democracy can meet Europe’s great challenges
In Brussels last week, I found everyone waiting for Berlin. In Berlin, I found everyone electrified by an unexpectedly wide-open election. One thing, however, is clear: the new German government will be a coalition, and almost certainly of three, rather than two, parties.
That points to the deepest question underlying this pivotal European event: can democracy deliver? More precisely: can the European model of change through democratic consensus, of which Germany is a prime example, produce the actions Europe badly needs if it is to hold its own in the 21st century?
The former USA star on his managerial growth, connecting with his players, and the homophobic and racist incidents that his team dealt with one year ago
On a warm September afternoon in southern California, Landon Donovan stands where he has so often stood before: on a pitch with the ball at his feet.
Now manager for San Diego Loyal in the USL Championship, the USMNT’s join all-time leading scorer, dishes out passes while simultaneously giving advice to his players. Donovan analyzes their runs while preparing another precise through-ball for someone to chase.
Allan Meers, trapped in NSW after visiting a terminally ill friend, is one of dozens who have complained to Deborah Glass
The Victorian ombudsman will urgently investigate the state’s travel permit regime after receiving more than 80 complaints including that a failure to provide exemptions had effectively left some people homeless.
The ombudsman, Deborah Glass, said most of the complaints related to Victorians attempting to return to the state after the border was closed to New South Wales on 9 July.
I had gone to stay in a camp in the Australian wilderness. One minute, my host was pouring drinks – the next he was on the floor, 90 minutes from the nearest medic
I was in the back of the back of beyond: a wilderness camp in a lonely north-eastern corner of the Australian continent known by the acronym FNQ: far north Queensland. To reach it, you had to leave a paved road, drive on to a barge, cross a river along which alligators loitered with malevolent intent, and then head north into the density of the rainforest foliage.
The camp was six huts on stilts with a general dining and bar area. Its owner was named Mal: an amiable, “good on you, mate” fellow in his late 50s. His wife, Alison, immediately struck me as shy and hyperstressed. Mal had been a builder in Brisbane. The camp was his retirement project. I was one of only three guests there. I sensed: trouble in paradise.
Stanford University professors say the programme is fuelling racism and harming US competitiveness, rather than uncovering spies in universities
Calls are growing to abolish a controversial Trump-era initiative that looks for Chinese spies at US universities, which critics say has resulted in racial profiling and harmed technological competitiveness.
In a letter sent to the Department of Justice, 177 faculty members across 40 departments at Stanford University asked the US government to cease operating the “China Initiative”. They argue the programme harms academic freedom by racially profiling and unfairly targeting Chinese academics.
The US, the UK and Australia have announced they are setting up a trilateral security partnership aimed at confronting China, which will include helping Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines. US President Joe Biden, UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announced the deal together virtually
Research disproves perception young people want to save planet while older people do not care
A fake generational war over the climate crisis has distorted public thinking and political strategy, when in fact older generations are just as worried about the issue as younger people, according to new research.
The idea that young people are ecowarriors, battling against selfish older generations is a common trope in representations of the environment movement. It has been stoked by instances including Time magazine naming Greta Thunberg their person of the year in 2019, for being a “standard bearer in a generational battle”.
What we know so far about who is in and who is out of key positions in the UK government
A reshuffle of Boris Johnson’s cabinet is under way. Here’s what we know so far of who is in and out of key positions.
News on quarantine reopening will be welcomed by New Zealanders stranded overseas as country remains hopeful it can eliminate Delta
New Zealand has reopened its border bookings to those trying to return home, as cases in its current Covid outbreak continue to decline.
The country reported 14 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, all of which were linked to existing cases. Auckland, the centre of the outbreak, remains in lockdown, but the rest of the country can now operate relatively freely, with mask requirements and some restrictions on gathering size.
True leadership means making the right decision even when it’s unpopular. Biden’s vaccine rule will save lives and get the economy on track
The Biden administration’s decision to require vaccinations for large segments of the workforce has been predictably controversial among Trump loyalists, vaccine deniers and rightwing media.
It’s also the strongest moment of Joe Biden’s presidency.
CBS programme has caused a social media storm for its crass choice of format and ill-qualified judging panel
Producers have billed it as an exciting new twist on reality television: an X-Factor style competition between campaigners that will give them the chance to lobby world leaders at the G20.
But The Activist, a show announced last week by the American network CBS, has already learned to its cost that people power can be unpredictable, ruthless and highly effective.
Didier Reynders condemns hacking of political opponents and journalists and says bloc closely watching Hungary investigation
The EU must swiftly legislate to further protect the rights of activists, journalists and politicians following the Pegasus spyware scandal, the bloc’s justice commissioner has told the European parliament.
Didier Reynders told MEPs that the European Commission “totally condemned” alleged attempts by national security services to illegally access information on political opponents through their phones.
Government pauses reopening plans after Delta outbreak leads to 837 new infections
Singapore has reported its highest one-day Covid case total in more than a year, despite 81% of the entire population being fully vaccinated. Excluding children under 12, it is 90% of the population.
The 837 cases recorded on Tuesday was the highest total in Singapore’s new Delta-driven outbreak so far. In response to the growing outbreak, the government has paused reopening plans and reimposed some restrictions.
Major employers such as Next, Unilever and Aviva have yet to declare figures
Only 13 of the 100 largest UK-listed employers have revealed their ethnicity pay gaps, sparking fresh calls for the government to make reporting of racial earnings disparities mandatory.
Analysis of the FTSE 100, which includes the biggest firms listed on the London Stock Exchange, found that widespread commitments from employers to take action on racial disparity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer 2020 have yet to result in hard data.
PM’s tasteless remark | Maskless Tories | Climate v capitalism | Stinging criticism
The prime minister’s puerile remarks on penal policy (PM condemned for joke about UK becoming ‘Saudi Arabia of penal policy’, 14 September) plumb new depths in what passes for debate on the subject in this country. Short of conscription, the decision to imprison represents probably the most extreme manifestation of the state’s authority over individuals. Deciding how we exercise that power deserves better than a second-rate stand-up routine.
Director, Prison Reform Trust
• I was wondering if the reluctance on the Conservative government benches to wear face coverings in the House of Commons was because it was making it impossible for them to be a bunch of barefaced liars (The politics sketch, 14 September).
Milan threw away their 3-0 lead in the 2005 Champions League final but Crespo’s stunning goal should still be cherished
When sport was cancelled during those uncertain days of the first Covid lockdown last year, newspapers and sports websites scrambled for content. There was no present to write about, so the only option was to look to the past: memories, games and goals were relived, re-evaluated and given more precedence than in normal times.
To that end, France Football produced a list of the 50 best Champions League goals. The usual mix of classics – Zinedine Zidane v Bayer Leverkusen, Mauro Bressan v Barcelona, George Weah v Bayern Munich – sat alongside some niche entries. Charles-Édouard Coridon v Porto and Lee Sharpe v Barcelona, anyone?
Lawyers say government data for first six months of 2021 raises questions over possible racial profiling
More than 60% of EU citizens stopped and questioned at ports by British border officials post-Brexit are from Romania, figures have shown, raising questions from lawyers about possible racial profiling.
Data issued by the government shows that in the first six months of the year 7,249 people were stopped either at ferry ports or on Eurotunnel and Eurostar vehicle and train services.
Sticky-haired Triantha occidentalis raises prospect of finding carnivorous relatives of tomatoes and potatoes
A plant has been found turning to carnivory only when it flowers. Triantha occidentalis has flower stalks smothered in small sticky hairs that are a deathtrap for small flies and beetles. Although many other plants have sticky hairs to protect against insects, Triantha actually feeds on the bodies of its victims.
The carnivory was tested by feeding fruit flies with an isotope of nitrogen, a form of the element rarely found in nature. The flies were then put on the sticky hairs and two weeks later the isotope had spread through the plant’s leaves and stems, showing the nutrients in the flies had been absorbed. The sticky droplets on the hairs also had a digestive enzyme found in other carnivorous plants.
Triantha got more than half its nitrogen needs from the flies, much the same as the sticky trap of the carnivorous sundew. And even though its flower stalks are lethal, the flowers of Triantha are pollinated by insects without harming them.
The carnivorous habit of Triantha raises the intriguing possibility of finding other sticky-haired plants that may also be closet carnivores. Perhaps even crop plants such as sticky-haired wild relatives of tomatoes and potatoes.
Jump in August to a nine-year high of 3.2% will have an impact on pay packets and savings
The headline rate of inflation in the UK has recorded its biggest ever jump, leaping from 2% in July to a nine-year high of 3.2% in August. Earlier this summer the Bank of England said it expected annual price rises to hit 4% before the year was out, before dropping off slightly.
The minister’s office has said that he has declared what he needs to under the rules
The industry and science minister, Christian Porter, has revealed that part of his defamation legal fees were paid by a blind trust with funds from an undisclosed source.
So what is a blind trust, is the declaration consistent with disclosure rules, and could the Attorney General find out more about the source?
President praises ‘splendid combat skills’ and resolution to defend airspace amid near-daily infringements of its airspace by China
Taiwanese fighter jets landed on a makeshift runway on a road on Wednesday as annual drills reached their peak, practising skills that would be needed in the event of an attack by China.
In exercises overseen by President Tsai Ing-wen, three aircraft – an F-16, French-made Mirage and a Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence Fighter plus an E-2 Hawk-Eye early warning aircraft – landed in rural southern Pingtung county on a road specially designed to be straight and flat for rapid conversion into a runway.
Up for discussion in the Guardian tech newsletter: Facebook Reality Labs’ bid to fulfil a science-fiction dream … Apple launch fatigue … and changes to the newsletter
It’s hard to talk about Ray-Ban Stories, because what they represent is significantly more important than what they are.
But first, let’s talk about what they are. The branding is … confusing, since Ray-Ban Stories are neither normal Ray-Bans, nor are they stories. Instead, they are a pair of smart-glasses, the first to come from Facebook’s augmented-reality workshop:
Vaccinations, testing and measures such as wearing masks will all help slow the disease. But the pandemic is not over yet
As the days become shorter and colder, and the country gets ready to head into autumn and then winter, two key questions I am repeatedly asked are: what will the next six months look like; and will there be another national winter lockdown?
We scientists are struggling with our crystal balls as we try to predict a future determined by complex interlocking factors. These include potential new variants; a resurgence of seasonal illnesses such as flu and RSV (a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms), putting pressure on the NHS; a vaccination programme that has proved effective but still requires greater uptake; and public fatigue.
A bullish survey of AI, biotech, renewables and more explains how change is leaving us behind, and what to do about it
A 2020 survey found that 60% of people felt the pace of change in life was too fast. Faced with steam engines or lifts for the first time, previous generations probably thought so too. But according to the technology analyst and entrepreneur Azeem Azhar we have indeed entered a period of unparalleled and destabilising change: “a wholly new era of human society and economic organisation – what I call the Exponential Age”.
Azhar identifies computing and artificial intelligence, renewable electricity and energy storage, biotech and manufacturing (such as 3D printing) as the areas in which innovations are developing at an exponential rate: “new technologies are being invented and scaled at an ever-faster pace, all while decreasing rapidly in price”.
Latest updates: health secretary explains Tory MPs reluctance to wear masks by saying they aren’t meeting with strangers
Good morning. Sajid Javid, the health secretary, has been doing a morning interview round this morning, and he has been asked why Conservative ministers and MPs are so reluctant to wear masks. It is because when they are at Westminster they are not with strangers, he said. This is what he told Sky News when asked why no one was wearing a mask at yesterday’s crowded cabinet meeting.
That is perfectly consistent with what the prime minister said yesterday and what I said yesterday, because what we said was that people should consider wearing masks in crowded places when they are with strangers, when they are with people that they are normally spending time with.
I think people should just use their judgement. Be sensible. If you are in crowded places with poor ventilation with strangers, people that you just don’t know, people should consider wearing a mask and we’ve been clear about that from July.
But equally if you’re with people that you’re regularly with and most people are vaccinated or you’ve good reason to believe that they are, you can take a different approach.
One rule for them latest:
The Health Secretary @sajidjavid tells the British people it's fine for Tory MPs not to wear face masks in the House of Commons because "they're not strangers".
Apparently you can't catch Covid off someone you know. Right then.https://t.co/1JHauHYeP7
Nasa deputy administrator says Australia’s commitment to space exploration puts it at forefront of global leadership
Nasa has revealed it is looking forward to seeing an Australian flag on the moon.
The disclosure was made by Pam Melroy, who was integral to establishing the Australian Space Agency and is one of only two women to captain the space shuttle. She was sworn in to her new role of Nasa deputy administrator in June, and on Wednesday beamed in to the Australian Space Forum hosted by the Andy Thomas Space Foundation in Adelaide.
Smoother, more durable and with better cameras, this foldable is the height of technology. But still comes at a price
Samsung’s third-generation folding phone-tablet hybrid is a technological marvel – faster, more refined than its predecessor and will even survive being dropped in the bath. But is the public ready for foldable phones?
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 costs £1,599 ($1,799/A$2,499), which is £200 cheaper than last year’s model, although still very expensive. It joins the £949 Galaxy Z Flip 3 and £1,149 Galaxy S21 Ultra at the top of Samsung’s smartphone line.
Protein has gone from a niche bodybuilding supplement to a mainstream obsession – and is now added to a huge range of food and drink products. What led to the sudden growth of this multimillion-dollar industry?
At the Protein Pick and Mix store in Tunbridge Wells, you can have any snack you like, as long as it comes with extra protein. Protein pancakes, protein burger buns, protein muffins, protein nachos, protein croissants. Protein bars, of course, in every conceivable flavour: caramel millionaire’s shortbread, New York cheesecake, mint chocolate chip, double chocolate fudge, lemon drizzle, cinnamon swirl. White chocolate chip cookies that incorporate something called a “high protein lean matrix”.
I am being shown around the store and warehouse by the founder, Anthony Rodgers, 36, who has the well-defined musculature of a man who regularly eats three protein bars a day. He started the business, originally as an online shop, in 2013, after observing the trend for exotically flavoured protein bars in the US. “At the time I was an avid gym-goer,” he says, “and protein bars were just starting to be a little more creative, a little more exciting. People were putting actual effort into the flavours, and it started to transcend the boring, functional: ‘we’re just going to ram some protein in you.’”
Pandemic has added to their debts while wealthy nations limit access to vaccines, says annual report
The world’s poorest countries will be left $12tn (£8.7tn) worse off by 2025 amid a weaker economic recovery from Covid-19 as wealthy nations limit their access to vaccines, the United Nations has warned.
In its annual trade and development report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said low-income countries had been hit much harder by the pandemic than during the 2008 financial crisis, adding to their debts and piling pressure on their public finances.
We needed warmth and fun and ice lollies to prepare us for the coming gloom. We got … more gloom
I’ve been drenched in rain this week. Personally, I like it. I have a theory that everyone has a season that brings out the best in them, and for most normal people that is summer, because summer is good, but for me I like autumn: wearing boots, looking at clouds of fog, going in woods for a bit, having a hot chocolate. There is no better season in which to watch a really long film while turning on all the lamps in your house, for instance. Suddenly caring about hedgehogs. Casseroles. Going to a pub with a fireplace in it. All of that.
So for people like me (miserable; a lot of coats), autumn is good. For everyone else, not so much. More to the point, the blunt fact of autumn being here is that summer is over, and therein lies a problem: we didn’t have a summer this year, in a year when we really needed one. And I can only foresee this coming out in simmering, wrongheaded ways (oh, just say “British”!) over the next few weeks and months, and probably ruining the good early days of winter, too.
More than 96 female footballers and their family members have fled across the border of Afghanistan to Pakistan with the help of the Pakistan football federation.
The evacuation comes just over two weeks after the final US flights left Kabul airport, ending 20 years of military involvement in the country.
How does Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout and schedule compare with other countries, and when will Australia reach 70% and 80% double dose vaccination? We bring together the latest numbers on the vaccination rate in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and other states, as well as stats, maps, live data and Indigenous vaccination rates.
Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout began in late February. Here we bring together the latest figures to track the progress of the rollout and Covid vaccination schedule.
The data shows the total doses given in Australia, people vaccinated in Australian states and the percentage of the population who have received one dose or are double dose fully vaccinated, as well as graphs showing daily new Covid-19 cases in Australia, deaths per day and cumulative coronavirus cases by state and territory.
The director’s latest film, in which he stars as a former rodeo star who travels to Mexico to save a friend’s son, is an inert disappointment
Cry Macho, the new 70s-set film from the world’s most prolific nonagenarian director Clint Eastwood, has endured an almost 50 year journey to the screen, a journey that, after actually watching Cry Macho, is of far more interest than what’s ended up in front of us. After his screenplay was rejected in the 70s, writer N Richard Nash turned it into a novel before then pitching the exact same screenplay, which this time got bought by Fox. Eastwood was offered it in the late 80s but decided to star in The Dead Pool instead, while offering to direct Robert Mitchum in the role. In the 90s, Roy Scheider signed on but production was never completed. Over time, Pierce Brosnan and Burt Lancaster were also attached before in 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger picked it as his next role but stepped back when he became governor. As his term ended, he announced that it would be his next project but just as production was set to start, his affair with a household employee who mothered his child caused it to fold.