World news | The Guardian

Latest World news news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

22/07/2018 01:24 PM
Macron orders shake-up of presidential office after bodyguard scandal, reports say

Bodyguard Alexandre Benalla indicted for ‘gang violence’ after assaults on May Day demonstrators

A high-ranking security officer for the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has been officially put under investigation for allegedly assaulting protesters at a May Day demonstration.

Alexandre Benalla appeared before a magistrate on Sunday along with a member of Macron’s centrist La République en Marche (LREM) party.

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22/07/2018 01:17 PM
'I felt disgusted': inside Indonesia's fake Twitter account factories

‘Buzzer teams’ are a growing part of politics, helping to churn up religious and racial divides

To pass them off as real, Alex would enliven his fake accounts with dashes of humanity. Mixed up among the stream of political posts, his avatars – mostly pretty young Indonesian women – would bemoan their broken hearts and post pictures of their breakfasts.

But these fake accounts were not for fun; Alex and his team were told it was “war”.

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22/07/2018 12:20 PM
Daniel Andrews says family ‘deserve better’ than Dutton comments about woman’s death

Home affairs minister says 19-year-old Laa Chol’s death during a brawl at a Melbourne CBD unit evidence of ‘major law and order problem’

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, says the family of a woman who was killed in a Melbourne CBD apartment brawl “deserve better”, after her death prompted a political debate about law and order in the state.

Laa Chol, 19, died during am out-of-control party in a short-term stay unit on the 56th floor of the EQ Tower early on Saturday morning.

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22/07/2018 11:14 AM
Panama papers: Maltese prime minister cleared of wrongdoing

Joseph Muscat says ‘justice has been served’ after probe found no involvement in money laundering or fraud

The Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat says a year-long inquiry into allegations of financial wrongdoing linked to the Panama Papers scandal had cleared him.

Muscat called a snap election last year – which he won comfortably – after he and his entourage, including his wife Michelle, were accused of owning a company mentioned in the papers.

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22/07/2018 11:06 AM
Top Tory officials will attend meeting about future of Andrew Griffiths

Presence of CCHQ advisers hints at party effort to quash moves to force out disgraced former minister

The future of the disgraced former minister Andrew Griffiths will be discussed by his constituency members in front of officials from the Conservative party’s central offices, a leaked email discloses.

The presence of advisers from Conservative Campaign Headquarters [CCHQ] at a special general meeting of East Staffordshire Conservative Association is unusual and will raise suspicions that the party wants to damp down internal moves to force him to stand down.

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22/07/2018 11:01 AM
Sri Lankan reform has 'ground to a halt' with torture used freely – UN

Coalition government has failed on promise to repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act

Sri Lanka’s progress towards reform has “virtually ground to a halt” and brutal torture is used with impunity, the UN concludes in a scathing report on the country’s human rights record.

The report, which comes three years after the country appeared to have turned a corner in its history by electing a new coalition government, is published on Monday following a UN visit to Sri Lanka at the request of the government. “None of the measures so far adopted to fulfil Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments are adequate to ensure real progress,” it says.

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22/07/2018 11:01 AM
Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

Study says the date by which we consume a year’s worth of resources is arriving faster

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.

As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded.

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22/07/2018 08:21 AM
Police name gunman charged with murder in Trader Joe's siege

A gunman who got into a deadly shootout with police and then took dozens of people hostage at a Los Angeles supermarket has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities said on Sunday.

Related: Los Angeles shooting: one dead after Trader Joe's hostage drama

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22/07/2018 08:21 AM
11 South African taxi drivers shot dead in minibus ambush

Four other drivers critically injured by unknown gunmen in KwaZulu-Natal province

Eleven South African minibus taxi drivers were shot dead and four injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in KwaZulu-Natal province, police said.

The national commissioner of police, Khehla Sitole, said the men were travelling back to Johannesburg from a colleague’s funeral on Saturday night when they were ambushed.

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22/07/2018 05:43 AM
The Guardian view on Israel’s new law: popular will is being weaponised | Editorial
The ‘nation state’ bill pays lip service to minority protections. Palestinian citizens have every right to be angry

Last week Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a controversial bill declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country. Pushed by the most rightwing government in Israeli history, the bill is unashamedly majoritarian and illiberal. In promoting the law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reveals that he pays lip service to minority protections. Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up around a fifth of the population, have every right to be angry. The law implicitly subordinates the country’s democratic nature to its Jewish nature rather than balancing the two. The “nation state” basic law will promote communities with a clearly Jewish character and reduce the status of Arabic. Israeli Arabs say this will make them officially second-class citizens. It’s hard to disagree.

It is significant that the bill has been condemned from outside the country and underlined the rift between the Israeli government and a liberal Jewish diaspora. Yet Mr Netanyahu and his Likud party have persisted with hardline, rightwing policies in coalition with some of Israel’s most hawkish factions. This combination has seen him win four elections. Mr Netanyahu has also engaged in very low politics: his 2015 victory was credited to what his opponent described as “lies, incitement and racism”. The new law highlights the rise of Israel’s ultranationalists, which Mr Netanyahu sees as part of a global revival of populism. The “nation state” basic law was passed just before Mr Netanyahu welcomed to Israel Hungary’s far-right leader, Viktor Orbán, who has praised Nazi-era antisemitic collaborators. If the claim is Mr Netanyahu is soft on antisemitism when it suits him, then honouring Mr Orbán is good evidence.

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22/07/2018 05:33 AM
Trump-Russia: FBI believed Carter Page 'collaborated and conspired' with Moscow

The Trump administration has released documents related to the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of an investigation into whether he colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.

Related: 'Trump derangement syndrome': the week America went mad

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22/07/2018 02:55 AM
US rightwing groups bankroll campaign to free Tommy Robinson

Thinktank that paid for far-right activist’s legal defence says other groups are backing him

A rightwing American thinktank that spent a five-figure sum on Tommy Robinson’s legal defence has said it is aware of up to four other similar organisations bankrolling a high-profile campaign to release him.

The Middle East Forum has also paid for foreign speakers to attend “Free Tommy” rallies in the UK in addition to funding the far-right activist’s court defence.

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22/07/2018 02:40 AM
Accused spy Maria Butina not mentioned in US readout of Russia call

Moscow says Butina’s case did come up between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo

The US version of what the top American and Russian diplomats discussed in their most recent telephone call made no mention of the Russian woman arrested by American authorities and suspected of being a covert Kremlin agent – even though Moscow says her case came up in the conversation.

Related: How Maria Butina, accused Russian spy, worked her way into top US circles

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22/07/2018 02:17 AM
Price of peace: calm returns to Damascus as Assad eyes victory

Syria’s civil war seems to be nearing end amid government advances - but at appalling cost

Crossing into Syria from neighbouring Lebanon, visitors are greeted by giant posters of the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad. The signs proclaim: “Welcome to victorious Syria.”

In the capital, Damascus, many of the checkpoints that for years have snarled traffic are gone. The city is again connected to its sprawling suburbs, once held by the opposition, and many former residents and visitors from other parts of Syria have returned.

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22/07/2018 12:57 AM
Jonathan Gold, first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer, dies aged 57

The Los Angeles Times reported Gold died Saturday after being diagnosed earlier this month with pancreatic cancer

Jonathan Gold, the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, has died. He was 57.

Related: Lunch with Jonathan Gold, the world's most loveable food critic

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22/07/2018 12:27 AM
Moment LA shooter surrenders himself to police - video

Aerials show moment a gunman surrendered himself to Los Angeles police after he held dozens of people hostage for about three hours. Before taking the hostages, police say the man shot his grandmother seven times and wounded another woman whom he forced into a car. Police chased the vehicle until the man crashed it into a pole outside Trader Joe’s and ran into the store

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21/07/2018 11:41 PM
'It hits you very quickly': Canada brews first cannabis beer

Entrepreneurs across the country are racing to capitalise on drug’s legalisation

Scientists in a small Ontario laboratory are testing enzymes and experimenting with fermentation. Their techniques are not new, but their focus is a first. They are developing what is being described as the world’s first beer brewed from cannabis.

Most cannabis beers on the market are brewed from barley and infused with marijuana oil, according to Dooma Wendschuh of Province Brands, the Toronto startup behind the product. “That’s not what we do. Our beer is brewed from the stalks, stem and roots of the cannabis plant.”

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21/07/2018 11:25 PM
UK agrees to take in some White Helmets evacuated from Syria by Israel

Jordan says it has struck deal for rescuers and families to be resettled in UK, Canada and Germany

The UK is willing to offer asylum to some of the 500 members or relatives of the Syrian volunteer civil defence forces known as the White Helmets who have been rescued from Syria and evacuated to Jordan, the Guardian has learned.

The White Helmets and their families were evacuated by Israeli defence forces on Saturday night, crossing from northern Israel into Jordan at three points. The Israelis had initially put the numbers evacuated at 800, but later the figure was revised downwards by James Le Mesurier, a former MI5 officer who is considered to have founded the group in Turkey in 2013.

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21/07/2018 11:19 PM
Hillary Clinton speaks out on Trump and Russian interference - video

Hillary Clinton has criticised Donald Trump's performance at the Helsinki summit. 'The great mystery is why the president has not spoken up for our country,' said the former US secretary of state, speaking at OzyFest in Central Park, New York. She also said she believes Russian agents are targeting the November midterm elections

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21/07/2018 10:33 PM
Germany's left and right vie to turn politics upside down

Opponents adopt each other’s policy angles as left launches movement to counter AfD

Leftwing politicians are singing the praises of border control while rightwingers call for expanding the welfare state. Old political certainties could be turned upside down in Germany this summer as the far ends of the country’s political spectrum both moot a “national social” turn.

A new leftwing movement soft-launching in Germany in August aims to part ways with what one of its founders calls the “moralising” tendency of the left, in an attempt to win back working-class voters from the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

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21/07/2018 08:00 PM
Biker nun on a mission to free Tanzania from grip of HIV
Sister Kate is one of a team promoting testing and treatment that could save millions of lives

It is mid-afternoon and, in a field in rural Tanzania, a meeting about HIV services has turned into an impromptu karate lesson. Families laugh as people take turns to practise with Sister Kate. This is not how most nuns do community outreach.

It’s more than 30 years since Kate Costigan – a motorbike-riding, karate black belt – left her home in Tipperary, Ireland. At 19, she entered the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, travelling first to Nigeria and later Tanzania. “My father wanted me to join a local order, not [be] a missionary that was going far away,” she remembers. Her family, not to mention her boyfriend at the time, were all a little surprised.

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21/07/2018 07:00 PM
Parker Solar Probe: set the controls for the edge of the sun…
Nasa’s new probe is designed to enter our star’s corona, investigating solar weather and answering the questions we have yet to ask

Some time during the early hours of 4 August, the Floridian night will be temporarily banished. One of the most powerful rockets in the world, a Delta IV Heavy, will ignite. Its fiery breath with bathe Cape Canaveral in light and thunder.

Riding the rocket will be Parker Solar Probe (PSP), on one of the most audacious space missions that has ever been conceived. PSP will fly closer to the sun than any previous mission. It will dip into the sun’s atmosphere, where it will have to tolerate temperatures of around 1,400C (seven times hotter than a kitchen oven).

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21/07/2018 07:08 AM
Nigeria-UK relationship should focus more on trade, says minister

Development secretary Penny Mordaunt is to review aid budget for west African nation

The international development secretary, in Nigeria on a two-day visit, has laid out plans for reviewing the way the UK allocates aid funding.

On her first visit to west Africa as secretary of state, Penny Mordaunt said that, as the UK’s exit from the EU in March 2019 approaches, she wanted to see Nigeria’s relationship with the UK move towards greater trade and investment.

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21/07/2018 05:15 AM
Trump claims Cohen tape may be illegal and insists he did nothing wrong

“The good news,” Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday morning, “is that your favorite president did nothing wrong!”

Related: Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payment to Playboy model – report

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21/07/2018 04:00 AM
Syrian refugees cling to life on Golan Heights as Assad’s net tightens
Thousands are trapped between the regime’s missiles and minefields along the frontier with Israel

It’s a regular stop for holidaymakers in Israel. American teenagers, some of them boys in sleeveless basketball tops, cluster on hilltop lookouts in the Golan Heights, a volcanic plateau captured from Syria half a century ago. Visitors ride quad bikes along dusty paths or spend the day touring the area’s vineyards. Signs on the roads warn of the risks to tourists: “Caution – cyclists ahead.”

For Syrians on the other side of a fortified perimeter fence, there are more pressing concerns. Thousands have gathered as close to the border as possible, gambling their lives on the assumption that Syrian government forces fighting rebels will not bring the battle too close to Israel.

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21/07/2018 03:00 AM
Huge iceberg threatens small Greenland village with tsunami - video

Pieces of ice calving off a large iceberg threaten to cause tsunami waves that could swamp a small village on the west coast of Greenland. In a video posted on social media on Thursday, a large chunk of ice falls into the sea, causing a swell that pushes toward Innaarsuit. A danger zone close to the coastline has been evacuated. Four people died last summer after similar waves swamped a settlement in north-western Greenland

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21/07/2018 01:33 AM
US immigration: baby did not recognise parents after five-month separation

Fifteen-month-old came to symbolise draconian US policy of separating migrant families

A 15-month old baby who came to symbolise the US government’s draconian policy of separating migrant families did not recognise his parents when they were reunited in Honduras on Friday, his mother has said.

Related: Less than a fifth of children reunited with migrant parents as deadline looms

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20/07/2018 11:51 PM
Putin holds winning cards as Syrian war nears Idlib showdown

Saudi and Israeli fears over Iran have benefited Assad - but having survived the war, can he survive the peace?

The surrender of rebel forces in south-west Syria, following the fall of eastern Ghouta and other regime successes, strengthens the grim expectation that nothing can now deny Bashar al-Assad a final victory – of sorts – in Syria’s civil war.

But the physical restoration of territory does not necessarily translate into restoration of political authority. For Assad, besieged by predatory friends and neighbours and shunned internationally, the larger question is: having survived the war, can he survive the peace?

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20/07/2018 10:00 PM
The 'pro-life' conservatives' hypocrisy over children makes me sick | Jessica Valenti

Put aside unborn children for a moment – let’s talk about the children already here whom Republicans have abandoned

The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe.

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20/07/2018 08:53 PM
'He told us we don't need them': boat tragedy survivor was told not to put on lifejacket – video

Tia Coleman speaks from hospital after narrowly escaping from the duck boat that sank on Thursday during a storm on Table Rock lake, leaving 17 people dead. Divers recovered the last of the bodies from the wreckage on Friday, including nine members of Coleman's family. Coleman said the captain told the passengers to not put on their life jackets as waves started to rock the boat

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20/07/2018 08:00 PM
Marching with my mother: why the anti-Trump march was the perfect day out

We started with political chat, visited Zara to see how it compared to with M&S, then carried on protesting

We arranged to meet outside John Lewis. As I waited for my mother in the midday sun, I thought about the other times we’d come here, just the two of us: shopping for school jumpers and, later, bedding for university, which included an enormously angst-ridden search for the perfect conversation-starter duvet cover that would convey my fun-loving ways, artistic soul and effortlessly cool attitude in one striking image. That image, I can exclusively reveal without the slightest retrospective regret, was Garfield the cat. Twenty years later, my mother and I were on Oxford Street again because of another orange cartoon creature.

We never actually discussed going to the anti-Trump protests. It was so much of a given that on the Friday morning we texted: “Time?” “Starts 12.30. 12.15 Oxford St?” “John Lewis?” “Y.” Should the police ever seize my phone, they will assume I am a spy, or at the very least a drug dealer, as opposed to someone who gets their political righteousness on with a person they know so well that full sentences are unnecessary.

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20/07/2018 06:00 PM
Civilians flee conditions 'not fit for humans' in Yemen's besieged port city

Lull in hostilities prompts residents to escape Hodeidah in their thousands, amid concern that fighting could soon resume

The besieged port city of Hodeidah in Yemen has become a “ghost town” as residents continue to flee in their thousands, using the current lull in hostilities to sell what remains of their belongings and escape amid fears UN-brokered negotiations will collapse.

Aid workers have told the Guardian that although things seem peaceful as diplomatic talks continue between warring parties, schools and businesses remain closed, and “anyone with any resources to get out is doing so now”.

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20/07/2018 05:00 PM
Who's wooing who in the Trump-Putin relationship?

The US president’s invitation to Washington raises questions about the motives

Donald Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin to visit Washington violates diplomatic norms in that the guest learned about the offer via Twitter, forcing him to calibrate in real diplomatic time how to respond.

Related: Trump responds to Helsinki criticism by inviting Putin to White House

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20/07/2018 08:37 AM
'We are not afraid' Why are Nicaraguans protesting? – video explainer

Hundreds of people have died and thousands more injured in Nicaragua since April as government forces clash with demonstrators are calling for democracy and the resignation of Daniel Ortega. Protests were initially led by students but now a larger coalition of business owners, farmers and others are resisting the government of the deprived Central American country

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20/07/2018 01:55 AM
Trump says other countries 'taking advantage' of US – video

China, the EU, Mexico and Japan are taking advantage, says Donald Trump, because they all have trade surpluses with the US. 'I don't like it, and I haven't liked it for many years,' the US president tells CNBC. He then threatens to put tariffs on China's $500bn of imports

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20/07/2018 01:22 AM
'Men have been getting on my nerves lately': Barack Obama calls for more women in politics – video

Speaking at the Obama Foundation in Johannesburg, the former US president has called for more women to enter politics and has expressed dismay at abusive male leaders.

Obama's address came during a highly charged political week during which presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki. 

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19/07/2018 11:06 PM
10-year-old girl bleeds to death after female genital mutilation in Somalia

Case is first fatality linked to the mutilation practice that authorities have admitted to in years, in a country where 98% of women and girls are cut

A 10-year-old girl has died after undergoing female genital mutilation in Somalia, the first confirmed death in years in a country where complications from the procedure are generally denied, activists claim.

Deeqa Dahir Nuur was taken on 14 July to a traditional cutter in the her village of Olol, roughly 65km from Dhusmareb, in central Galmudug state.

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19/07/2018 06:00 PM
Motorcyclists banned from wearing hoodies as Uganda gets tough on crime

President Yoweri Museveni moves to quell concern about rising crime with introduction of 10-point security plan

Uganda’s president has banned motorcycle drivers from wearing hoodies in an attempt to tackle rising crime rates in the country.

Figures published this week show the number of reported crimes grew by 3.3% between 2016 and 2017.

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18/07/2018 06:15 PM
Hong Kong: the city still shaped by feng shui

Feng shui masters are still regularly consulted to help make the city’s buildings harmonious and prosperous

“A lot of people design spaces in Hong Kong and then consult a feng shui master afterwards. But for us it was very important to consult one right from the beginning,” says Philippa Wong of M.int Academy, a learning centre in Hong Kong’s Aberdeen area that offers music tuition.

Philippa and her sister Andrea opened the centre in August last year. Like many business owners in the city, they wanted to start off on the right foot and ensure optimal luck and a harmonious environment for their business to flourish. So they hired local feng shui master John Choi to advise on the most auspicious layout and design of their centre.

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17/07/2018 06:15 PM
Inside the Beijing 'office' inhabited by human guinea pigs

In the fake offices and homes of the Well Living Lab, scientists monitor volunteers to identify ways to make them healthier and more productive

To outsiders, the workers in this under-construction office on the northern outskirts of Beijing will look like a normal group of employees – but the workplace will be like no other in China.

Every movement of the volunteers, students and interns working there will be monitored, measured, analysed and assessed. A team of scientists will be watching these human guinea pigs in a simulated real-life environment with sensors, microphones and wearable technology to monitor their physical, mental and emotional responses to the environment or building design.

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16/07/2018 06:15 PM
Residents in tourism hotspots have had enough. So what's the answer?

Tourism brings money and jobs to cities – but can also damage residents’ day-to-day lives, culture and heritage. Here are some solutions

How do you solve a problem like tourism? It employs hundreds of millions of people, buoys entire industries – but can tear apart the very cities that benefit from it, alienating residents and causing irreversible damage to their culture and heritage.

Protests across Europe have spurred talk of “responsible tourism” and forcing the sector to factor in sustainability, but the problem is already at such a scale that doing anything about it seems akin to turning around a cruise liner.

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15/07/2018 06:15 PM
War-torn Sarajevo’s camera kids, then and now – a photo essay

In 1997 photographer Chris Leslie taught basic camera techniques at Sarajevo’s Bjelave orphanage and sent the children off to capture their city. This year he returned to see how their lives had unfolded

The children confined to Bjelave orphanage had suffered terribly – both because of the war, and from neglect and abuse. One journalist described the institution as “the worst place in Sarajevo apart from the morgue”.

It is more than 20 years since I first arrived in Sarajevo in late summer 1996. The destruction in the city was jaw-dropping: rows and rows of broken, bombed-out high-rise flats, shell craters and explosion indents everywhere; libraries, offices, factories all in ruins. This was city-wide destruction – a late-20th-century Dresden or Stalingrad.

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