Helping you make sense of the world through independent journalism 📝🔍🌅
Helping you make sense of the world through independent journalism 📝🔍🌅
Superblocks to the rescue? Barcelona could save hundreds of lives and cut air pollution by a quarter if it fully implements its radical “superblocks” scheme to reduce traffic. Superblocks are groups of streets where traffic is reduced and space previously occupied by cars is given over to pedestrians. The city plans to create 503 superblocks, which could prevent 667 premature deaths according to a study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. The superblocks model has attracted attention from other cities including Seattle. Could this be the beginning of a shift away from car-centred urban spaces?
In a heated exchange, British prime minister Boris Johnson denied there was any press during a visit to a hospital in Leytonstone, east London. Omar Salem, whose child was being treated, is a Labour activist and confronted the British prime minister over NHS cuts and waiting times. Last month Johnson insisted that the promised £1.8bn of extra funding for NHS hospitals is new money, despite suggestions that most of it is already held in reserve by health trusts. Video: @chworchi
Teenage climate activist @GretaThunberg pioneered the Fridays for Future school climate strikes last August by staging a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. This Friday, millions of young people around the globe are expected to protest in a bid to ask politicians to take more action on the climate crisis. Are you taking part? We'd like to know - click the link in the bio.
Where's Boris Johnson? A chaotic visit to Luxembourg left Johnson humiliated as the country's prime minister Xavier Bettel mocked him for pulling out of a press conference. Here’s what Bettel had to say about Britain PM's no-show.
Uncle Wong is part of Protect the Children, a community group whose members put their bodies between the police and young Hongkongers protesting against the government. Waving his walking stick in the air and wearing swimming goggles to protect himself from teargas, he provides a distraction to allow activists to evade arrest. As tensions continue to rise between protesters and police, however, so does the emotional burden on Uncle Wong. There were more violent clashes on Sunday, when a peaceful rally descended into chaos as police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters who hurled petrol bombs, set fires and clashed with residents. It was the 15th consecutive weekend of mass protests in Hong Kong. Camera @falloutmedia Edit @katyaochagavia Additional production @christophcherry
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has taken her Friday strike to the White House, rallying with other youth protestors. They were demanding action from the US to address the climate crisis, one week before the global climate strikes on 20 September. Thunberg, who sailed to the US to avoid the carbon footprint of flying, will participate in a global strike next Friday. It is partly inspired by her decision to spend Fridays protesting outside the Swedish parliament. Thousands of events around the world are planned. Photo: AFP/Getty
He's responsible for one of the most significant leaks on mass surveillance in US political history. In this exclusive Guardian interview, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses life in Russia and his upcoming memoir. Tap the link in the bio to watch the full interview. . . . . .#EdwardSnowden #Whistleblower #USpolitics #freespeech
"It was an iconic symbol for all the glaciers in Sweden. But we don’t need any more symbols," says Gunhild Ninis Rosqvist, a geography professor at Stockholm University. "We can see the climate changing before our eyes up here, and we need to do something about it.” The southern glacier at Kebnekaisie's summit is known to Swedes as their country's highest peak. But this year scientists discovered it had lost that title having shrunk by almost four metres. Scientists have blamed a 10C increase in summer temperatures and wildfires burning across the Arctic. . . . . . .#glacier #environment #globalwarming #climatecrisis #climatechange #arctic #mountain #Sweden
Football star @Tayla_Harris 's famous kick has been immortalised with a bronze statue in Melbourne. It replicates the powerful image of the Carlton footballer scoring a goal during a 2019 match against the Western Bulldogs. Harris spoke out against online trolls after the kick was shared online by Seven Network. The broadcaster was heavily criticised after deleting the image for appearing to give in to the trolls by initially taking the image down. They later reposted it with an apology. The statue serves a wider purpose for women in sport, says writer Kasey Symons: "It's for everyone who spoke up and challenged the hate and a reminder of the collective strength a community can have to affect change." Via @guardianaustralia Photos: Wayne Taylor/Getty Images + Michael Willson/AFL Media
Hasankeyf is thought to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on Earth. Dating back 12,000 years the city contains thousands of caves, churches and tombs.But this jewel of human history will soon be lost with most of the area set to be flooded as part of a highly controversial Ilisu dam project. With just weeks before the city is set to be destroyed, residents and environmental campaigners are fighting to save it. Click the link in the bio to find out more.
Dujuan Hoosan is a 12-year-old Indigenous boy from Australia's Northern Territory. In this moving speech to the UN human rights council in Geneva, he describes his struggles with the Australian education system. 'I came here to speak to you because the Australian government is not listening,' he said. 'It [the government] never listens to kids like me but we have important things to say.' Via @guardianaustralia
Eight climate activists are to go on trial as part of a police crackdown on an unusual and fast-growing movement sweeping France. The Take Down Macron movement saw activists remove over a hundred official portraits of French president @emmanuelmacron The portraits were then paraded during anti-G7 demonstrations to highlight alleged inaction by the French government over the global crisis. According to the group behind it, Non-Violent Action COP21, 57 people face “group theft” charges that carry a maximum five-year jail term. It's not the first time portraits of Macron have been targeted. Click the link in the bio to find out more.
John Bercow will be stepping down as the Speaker of the House of Commons by 31 October. Known for his theatrical shouts of 'Order', he has proved to be a divisive figure in one of the most turbulent episodes in British politics. From his thoughts on Donald Trump to calling Andrea Leadsom a 'stupid woman', here are five of his most memorable moments Video: @garymarshall_
Jeanne Socrates has sailed into the history books as the oldest person to navigate the world, alone and unassisted. The British 77-year-old completed the journey in 320 days despite her boat sustaining damage to its sail and solar panels being lost overboard.
“The LGBTQ community is here to stay,” wrote illustrator @jimcheungart after his comic came under fire by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro for featuring a gay kiss. Evangelical mayor, Marcelo Crivella ordered a Brazilian book fair to wrap copies of ‘Avengers: The Children’s Crusade’ in black plastic before sending inspectors to try and seize copies. But the attempt to remove the comic failed after copies of LGBTQ books at the fair sold out. At the fair, YouTuber Felipe Neto gave away thousands of copies of books with LGBTQ themes, wrapped in plastic with the warning: “Book inappropriate for backward … and prejudiced people.”
The New Zealand government has announced an ambitious plan to clean up the country’s freshwater sources, after years of pollution have made the majority of lakes and rivers unswimmable.It's set aside NZ$229m (US$145m ) to help farmers transition to more environmentally friendly farming practices, but the farming community isn't happy, claiming the government has thrown the sector “under a tractor”. Beef, sheep and deer farming, along with fertiliser run-off and deforestation have all contributed to the degradation of water quality. The country's environment minister said that “if we don’t fix things now they only get worse and will be more expensive to fix." On 6 September 2019, we featured a photo of dead fish in Australia to accompany our Instagram post about this story. Our thanks to the Instagram users who alerted us to this mistake in the comments.
Thousands of delegates and exhibitors are expected to attend Europe’s biggest arms fair in London on Tuesday. The controversial DSEI trade show has become a focus for protesters. So far, at least 116 people have been arrested for offences, including aggravated trespass and obstruction of the highway. Campaigners have accused the government of making a disproportionate effort to support the industry. Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, and Ben Wallace, the defence secretary are both due to speak at the exhibition. Last year, British arms sales rose to a record £14bn, with the majority going to the Gulf nations. Photo: Penelope Barritt/REX/Shutterstock
Is Hollywood becoming more inclusive? There were more leading roles for women and people of colour in blockbusters in 2018 than any previous year, according to a new survey from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There was less progress for other minorities. Just 1.3% of characters in the year’s top 100 box-office hits were LGBTQ, and none were transgender. Just 2% of characters had a disability – a four-year low. Behind-the-camera representation remains worse. Across the 12 years the survey has been analysing the industry, 4.3% of directors were female and 3.2% were Asian: figures that remain essentially static.
Donald Trump has sparked uproar after displaying a map of Hurricane Dorian's path featuring an extra loop drawn in marker pen – in an apparent attempt to validate previous claims the state of Alabama could be affected. Over the weekend, as Dorian struck the Bahamas, the president issued a torrent of tweets. One mistakenly warned that Alabama would also be impacted. Just 20 minutes later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted: "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.” Video: James MacWhirter
Boris Johnson faced humiliation at prime minister’s questions when MPs clapped and cheered Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi who demanded he apologise for comparing Muslim women to letterboxes and launch an inquiry into Islamophobia. The prime minister said his comments were "a strong liberal defence of what women wear", adding: "Under this government we have the most diverse cabinet in the history of this country".
This week has gone from bad to worse for Boris Johnson, with the prime minister's brother today announcing he is standing down as an MP. Jo Johnson said he was "torn between family loyalty and the national interest." The brothers have very different ideas about Brexit, and he was upset about the treatment of sacked Tory rebels he was closer to politically. Jo Johnson has now become the only minister to resign twice over Brexit. In November last year he resigned as a transport minister in Theresa May's government because he couldn't support the withdrawal agreement.
In an extraordinary open letter posted on social media, fans of Internazionale football team argued that monkey chants directed at Romelu Lukaku were a form of respect. This comes after the Belgian striker spoke out strongly against racism after he was targeted on Sunday, saying football was “going backwards” in the fight against discrimination.
Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has said her government will formally withdraw an extradition bill that sparked months of protests and plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis in decades. The mass protests have led to increasingly violent confrontations with police and the arrest of more than 1,000 people. Lam has now agreed to one of the demonstrators' five key demands, but didn't respond to the others, which include an independent inquiry into police behaviour, amnesty for those arrested, and democratic reforms to give residents universal suffrage. She said she didn't believe the government should establish an inquiry to look into police behaviour, deferring instead to an existing police watchdog agency. Lam also proposed “four actions to help society move forward,” including pledges to follow up recommendations from the IPCC and set up a platform for dialogue, inviting community leaders and experts to advise the government on social issues. We'll have to wait and see if Lam's move calms the protests, which have morphed into a much broader political movement, much of it fuelled by public anger at the police and the government. Civil Human Rights Front, an organisation which has spearheaded several large marches, said it would continue with protests until all five demands were met.
Houston, we have a problem. This ‘astronaut’ is exploring crater-like potholes in the southern city of Bangalore. The stunt by artist Baadal Nanjudaswamy went viral and caught the attention of local authorities who are working to fix the road. It’s not the first time Baadal has highlighted poor road conditions in creative ways. Back in 2015, he filled a huge pothole with a life-size fake crocodile.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the Twilight star recounted advice that she was given before becoming an established actress. She said she had been told to "do yourself a favour, and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie.” This isn’t the first time a high profile actor has spoken out about hiding their sexuality in the industry. Earlier this year, Canadian actress Ellen Page spoke out about feeling pressured not to come out.
Hurricane Dorian is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record. Over 13,000 buildings in the the Bahamas have been damaged by wind, rain and storm surges, with thousands of homes inundated by floodwater. “We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” Bahama prime minister Hubert Minnis said. “Our mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery.” Video: @chworchi
It was declared biologically dead in the 1950s, but the River Thames is now home to 138 baby seals, according to the latest seal pup count. Scientists found the seals along sandbanks and creeks by studying photos taken from light aircrafts. The seals feed on more than 120 species of fish found in the river. Conservation biologist Thea Cox says the number of seals proves the river's ecosystem is thriving. "The seals would not be able to pup here at all without a reliable food source, so this shows just how far we have come since the river was declared biologically dead in the 1950s.”
@gretathunberg has hit back at critics, describing her Asperger’s as a “superpower”. The teen activist was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism, four years ago and says she isn’t hiding behind it. “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” she wrote on Twitter, using the hashtag #aspiepower. She hopes being public about it will change the narrative as she believes “many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness’, or something negative.”
It might come as a surprise to northerners used to grey skies and drizzle, but demand for water could outstrip supply in parts of northern England by 2035 - partially because of the climate crisis. A new report warns that, in less than 20 years, Yorkshire and the Humber could experience water shortages because of significant reductions in rainfall, population increase and failures by water companies to reduce leakage. The Environment Agency has warned that England could run short of water within 25 years.
This week marks the 56th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's I Have A Dream speech. Here's a moving video from our archives featuring students from MLK's former school reciting his powerful words.
Within hours of Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament, impromptu protests were being held in major city centres across the UK, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool and London. Demonstrators described the move to suspend parliament as a coup and called for Johnson to resign. At one point, the traffic at Downing Street was at a standstill as protesters chanted “save our democracy, stop the coup” and sang “No one voted for Boris”.
The streets of Madrid turned into rivers on Monday night as flash-flooding and hail inundated Spain's capital. Cars in the nearby town of Arganda del Rey were washed away by torrents of water and residents had to use shovels to clear large banks of hailstones left in the storm's wake.