World News

Former Maldives president is off life support after bomb attack

Police make two arrests in connection with explosion at Mohamed Nasheed’s family home in Malé

The former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed is conscious after life-saving surgery, his family said on Saturday, as police made two arrests in connection with an explosion they said was being treated as a terror attack.

Nasheed, the president of the ruling Maldivian Democratic party and the current parliament speaker, was critically injured after a bomb exploded as he left his family home in the capital Malé on Thursday.

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The sleazy, sordid Matt Gaetz scandal: are the walls now closing in on him?

Investigation into Florida congressman is reported to have grown beyond sex trafficking allegations

There could have been no more fitting venue for the bellicose US congressman Matt Gaetz to launch his nationwide “America first” speaking tour than The Villages. Where better to perpetuate the fantasy that all is going well for a politician seen as the “ultimate Maga bro” than Florida’s ultra-conservative “Disney World for retirees”?

Related: Florida governor signs new restrictive bill in ‘blatant attack on right to vote’

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‘I hope you know this was never about football’: coaching my daughter’s team

When we started training, I thought it was for her sake. So why do I dread the day my daughter hangs up her boots?

One day you’ll understand that this was never about football. It could have been anything. I just wanted to be where you were, as much as possible, for as long as you let me.

When you were five we had an argument in the car on the way to a training session. I don’t know exactly what it was about. As I mentioned, you were five, so it could have been anything: how I’d packed the wrong sort of corn crackers, or how after you’d bitten into one of them it had corners on it and you hated corners, or how I didn’t understand how much you hated corners because I obviously never cared about your feelings because I probably wouldn’t even care if you like died! If I really loved you, I would have bought the right corn crackers, the corner-less kind. It was one of those arguments. It ended as we stopped at a red light and you said something and I said something back, and you said something kind of mean and I lost my temper and said: “If you’re going to fight this much with me every time we go to train, I really don’t have to put this much time into being the coach!”

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At India’s Funeral Pyres, Covid Sunders the Rites of Grief

Mourners in protective gear, or watching from home. Long waits at the cremation grounds. The trauma of loss has become both lonely and public.

Roger Federer on His New Gig: Swiss Tourism Spokesman

In his new role, the tennis champion and avowed chocolate lover, shares favorite places to hike, play tennis and eat in his home country.

UK high-speed trains cancelled after cracks found in carriages

Great Western Railway and London North Eastern Railway urgently inspect more than 1,000 trains

Great Western Railway and London North Eastern Railway services have been suspended over fears of cracks in carriages, with passengers urged not to travel.

Urgent inspections are being carried out in more than 1,000 trains across the two operators’ fleets, after hairline cracks were discovered in several of its high-speed trains.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s barbecue recipes for outdoors or in

An alfresco duo that you can cook outdoors or in: baked potato with onion and harissa butter, and peas in the pod with wasabi dressing

One game I’m definitely playing in the next year or so is Spot the Park/Common/Outdoor Scene in every film or TV series I watch, because I’ve seen so many film crews at work outside over the past year. And, just as I predict a spate of outdoor film and TV action, I also predict that, this summer, there will be a whole lot of recipes for outdoor cooking and eating. So long as the weather allows, and our freedoms continue, such delicious predictability is a very nice problem to have, so, tongs at the ready, here are two from me.

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Bobby Gillespie: ‘I am a lead singer, I love myself’

The musician on his Raquel Welch wallpaper, crying when Maradona died and breaking his back in four places

Born in Glasgow, Bobby Gillespie, 58, founded Primal Scream in 1982. The band’s third album, Screamadelica, won the 1992 Mercury music prize. Utopian Ashes, Gillespie’s album with Jehnny Beth, is released on 2 July; their single, Remember We Were Lovers, is out now. He lives in London with his wife, fashion stylist Katy England, and two sons.

When were you happiest?
Standing on stage in between Robert Young and Andrew Innes, blasting away.

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Pakistan opposition leader prevented from leaving country

A party spokesperson in Pakistan says authorities at the international airport in Islamabad turned back the country's ailing opposition leader who has been charged with corruption, preventing him from traveling abroad for medical treatment

Windows on the world: pandemic poems by Simon Armitage, Hollie McNish, Kae Tempest and more

Six of the UK’s best poets reveal exclusive new work and reflect on the last year, losing relatives, long-distance relationships and ‘artistic claustrophobia’

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Eric Abetz dropped to third spot on Liberal party’s Tasmanian Senate ticket

Party vote leaves the long-serving powerbroker in a hard-to-win position at the next federal election

The influential Tasmanian conservative powerbroker Eric Abetz has been demoted to third place on the Liberal party’s Tasmanian Senate ticket for the next federal election.

He is listed beneath senator Jonno Duniam in first place and senator Wendy Askew in second.

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Drone attack on Iraqi base hosting US troops; no casualties

The U.S. coalition and Iraq's military say a drone strike targeted a military base in Iraq that hosts U.S. troops

Elections 2021: Johnson set for independence referendum clash with Sturgeon as counting...

All the latest news and results after Thursday’s elections in Scotland, England and Wales

Q: What will you do if Boris Johnson refuses to allow a second referendum?

Swinney says Johnson is not “some overlord”. He says Johnson should accept the democratic will of the Scottish parliament.

John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy first minister, is being interviewed on the Today programme now. Nick Robinson is interviewing him.

Q: Do you accept you won’t get an overall majority?

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Coronavirus live news: two more Indian states go into lockdown; UK ‘could be protected from...

Karnatka and Tamil Nadu impose lockdowns after record new cases; outgoing chief of UK taskforce says population should be protected before winter

The population of the UK will be protected from Covid-19 by this summer, according to the departing chief of the country’s vaccine task force. Clive Dix, who stepped down last week, said he believed that by August no virus would be left circulating in Britain.

More than 50m doses of a Covid vaccine have been distributed in the UK, 16.7m of which are second doses, according to Government figures. Commenting on the success of vaccine distribution, Dix told the Daily Telegraph:

We’ll have probably protected the population from all the variants that are known. We’ll be safe over the coming winter.

Good morning, this is Damien Gayle writing from rainy London, from where I’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest coronavirus news and updates from around the world today.

Already this morning it looks like more bad news from India, where two southern states have become the latest in the country to announce lockdowns amid increasing numbers of infections.

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How rugby star Maro Itoje found his voice: ‘For black people, the road is often trickier’

From highlighting black history to tackling everyday racism, the powerful athlete is determined to use his platform for change

Just under a year ago, Maro Itoje popped into his local branch of Waitrose to do some shopping. Despite being one of this country’s finest and most recognisable rugby union players – a 6ft 5in second-row forward who has played in a World Cup final and won virtually every major prize in the club game with his team, Saracens – he still enjoys the luxury of being able to walk the streets of his quiet London neighbourhood largely undisturbed. This, however, would not be one of those occasions.

“So basically, a member of staff mistook me for one of the workers,” he remembers. “This is not the first time this has happened. Normally it’s a member of the public asking me where they can find the milk. This was an actual member of staff; she asked me what time I was starting my shift. Which is ludicrous.” He speaks quietly and evenly. “But it highlights some of the biases people have. And I think this is an experience that’s shared by many people of colour. It shows you how deep-rooted some of these things are.”

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Marxists, feminists – and Olympians: the most dazzling Guardian writers over 200 years

The Guardian has attracted all manner of eccentrics, characters and social pioneers, from suffragettes to literary giants

What is the golden thread that links today’s Guardian journalists with those of the 1820s? It takes imagination to summon up the atmosphere of the paper’s beginnings, a small-scale but bold enterprise upon which “Tory journalists looked with contempt”, as a contemporary onlooker recalled. John Edward Taylor was the paper’s proprietor, founder, leader writer and reporter. He would typeset his own articles directly from his shorthand notes, recalled his partner, the reporter Jeremiah Garnett. Then he’d help with the manual labour of the press, and lend a hand with distribution.

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Debris from a large Chinese rocket is expected to plunge to Earth this weekend

The debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to crash land back on Earth this weekend with experts trying to work out exactly when and where the remnants will touch down.

In the French language, steps forward and back for women

The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week

Refugees and the Armenian genocide: human rights this fortnight in pictures

A roundup of the coverage on struggles for human rights and freedoms, from Colombia to China

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A mother’s happy day: military spouse deported by Trump returns to family

Wife of a decorated veteran who was forced to break up her family in 2018 is one of the first beneficiaries of Biden’s program

Three years ago Alejandra Juarez fell victim to Donald Trump’s cruelty as the wife of a decorated US Marine Corps veteran and mother of two young US citizen daughters was deported to Mexico under the former president’s zero-tolerance immigration policies.

On Saturday Juarez will rejoin her family in Florida as one of the first beneficiaries of a humanitarian program set up by Joe Biden’s administration to reunify parents Trump separated from their children.

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‘I pray God takes him first’: why do some US states want to execute the dying?

Case of terminally ill Gerald Pizzuto renews debate about capital punishment for people who are sick or very old

Gerald Pizzuto is near death, but it’s unclear whether the cancer or the state of Idaho will get to him first.

For more than a year, the 65-year-old has been in hospice care on Idaho’s death row, suffering from advanced bladder tumors, along with type 2 diabetes, and a variety of heart and lung diseases. According to his defense team, he’s been prescribed 42 different drugs in the last year, and his medical records say he has “begun experiencing memory loss and mild disorientation associated with the death process”.

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Chinese rocket’s chaotic fall to Earth highlights problem of space junk

China has played down fears that its Long March 5B rocket could hit a populated area or a plane in flight but there is no shortage of problem debris in orbit

Sometime this weekend the upper stage of a Chinese Long March 5B rocket will plunge back to Earth and most of it will burn up on re-entry – but perhaps not all.

Military experts in the US expect the booster stage to come down on Saturday or Sunday, but have warned it is difficult to predict where it will land and when and how much material might hit the ground – or if it could knock a plane out of the sky.

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Liz Cheney a martyr to resistance as Republican party picks cult of Trump

The Republican congresswoman is all but certain to lose her leadership role. Her crime? Rejecting the ex-president’s big lie

She is a champion of the hawkish foreign policy espoused by her father, a former US vice-president dubbed “Darth Vader”. She is a hardline conservative whose opposition to gay marriage pained her lesbian sister.

Related: Trump asserts power over Republicans as Liz Cheney faces ousting

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Philippine troops drive away armed rebels from public market

Dozens of Muslim militants have occupied a public market in the southern Philippines before fleeing after a tense standoff with government forces

Blind date: ‘Would we have kissed? Good question’

Nicole, 26, ecological consultant, meets Luke, 26, physiotherapist

What were you hoping for?
I’m still just excited to get out after lockdown. I hate dating apps, so was looking forward to getting to know someone in person. Also, free food.

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UK aid cuts will put tens of thousands of children at risk of famine, says charity

Save the Children’s analysis finds Britain will spend 80% less on nutrition abroad this year, as hunger levels rise around the world

Britain is set to spend 80% less on helping feed children in poorer nations than before the pandemic, according to a charity’s analysis.

Save the Children said the British government will spend less than £26m this year on vital nutrition services in developing countries, a drop of more than three-quarters from 2019. The estimate of aid cuts to nutrition comes after UN agencies called for urgent action to avert famine in 20 countries including Yemen, South Sudan and northern Nigeria.

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Can virtual meeting spaces save us all from Zoom fatigue?

Few of us will be back in the office full time – but does that have to mean endless video calls? Meet the weird and wonderful newcomers hoping to take a piece of the action

I’m playing online Pictionary while chatting with five people I’ve never met. This is not at all how I usually spend my Thursdays. We’ve all dropped into a virtual meeting space on a site called, which provides free customisable spaces for anyone who wants to organise a get-together without using Zoom. Gather is a virtual world and you choose an avatar before entering it: imagine a mid-80s Super Mario game in which, instead of jumping over his enemies, Mario has to go to the office. There are pixelated potted palms dotted about my screen, a couple of banks of desks and a sofa area, all rendered in that very specific 2D map style common to early computer games. I’m represented by a tiny, blocky avatar: a collection of dots arranged to look a bit like a person. As I move it around with keyboard keys, I can enter and leave conversations – when I do so, a small live video of whoever I’m talking to appears above the main screen.

It might all sound mad, but Gather is 18 months old, has 4 million users, and recently raised $26m in investment. Universities use it to create virtual campuses; individuals use it to host games nights; groups of friends throw parties on it – and workers are collaborating on it. It is trying, like hundreds of other new platforms, sites and apps, to provide us all with a solution to a very 2021 problem: despite being ubiquitous since early 2020, video calls aren’t necessarily helping us work or stay connected effectively.

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AGL takes Greenpeace to court over campaign calling it ‘Australia’s biggest climate polluter’

Energy giant objects to use of its logo on posters and online advertising that use phrases like ‘generating pollution for generations’

Energy giant AGL has launched legal action against Greenpeace Australia Pacific over a campaign that targets the company as Australia’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitter.

It comes after the environment group launched a report and campaign with posters and online advertising that feature AGL’s logo and phrases such as “generating pollution for generations” and “Still Australia’s biggest climate polluter”.

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China tries to scupper UN talk on plight of Uighurs

Beijing’s mission asks other members not to attend, with Human Rights Watch saying it continues pattern of ‘trying to bully governments into silence’

China is trying to convince UN member states to boycott an event planned next week by Germany, the US and Britain on the repression of Uighur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.

China charged that the organisers, who include several other European states along with Australia and Canada, use “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development”.

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Prince Misizulu named next Zulu king amid family feud

Prince Misizulu is now expected to lead the Zulu nation of about 11 million people in South Africa.