June 26, 2022

Russia-Ukraine war: one killed as Kyiv hit by missile strikes; G7 leaders gather in Germany – live updates

Strikes hit Shevchenkivskiy district of Ukraine capital, says mayor Vitali Klitschko; G7 leaders to discuss energy and food crisis at Bavarian retreatRussian missiles strike Kyiv for first time in three weeksG7: Boris Johnson warns of fatigue in west’s Ukraine supportAnalysis: G7 grapples with world turned upside downAt a glance: what we know on day 123Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, says two people have been taken to hospital after Sunday morning’s missile strikes, with search and rescue operations continuing. In a Telegram post, Klitschko said people may still be trapped under rubble at a residential building in the Shevchenkivskyi district.Some of the dozens of long-range Russian missile strikes on Saturday were, for the first time, launched from Tu-22 bombers deployed from Belarus, Ukraine’s military says. Continue reading...
June 25, 2022

‘The Russians could come any time’: fear at Suwałki Gap on EU border

Sixty-mile strip on edge of Poland and Lithuania is seen as vulnerable due to its position between Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and BelarusRussia-Ukraine war: latest updatesStefan Bilas, 68, says he hears the Russians sometimes. It can be the growl of tanks that drowns out the gentle clucking of the chickens in his front yard, or more often the whirr of attack helicopters or the deafening roar of fighter jets, destination unknown.Artillery fire was heard the other night and there is a shooting range somewhere over there, he points. The lights of a Russian watchtower can be seen at the dead of night. “Peace,” toasts the retired farmer, knocking back a vodka. Continue reading...
June 24, 2022

Wimbledon gets ready for a Centre Court party as change comes to SW19

Schedule tweak sees tournament play through middle Sunday100th anniversary of showpiece court as Sue Barker signs offWimbledon returns in all its verdant pomp on Monday, the sun set to shine on SW19 after two years blighted by Covid. The full resumption of the Championships will be welcomed by millions who plot their summer around a sporting fortnight played out against a backdrop of manicured lawns and cultivated blooms. But beneath the genteel surface there is change afoot.Tension between tradition and progress at a global event run by a local tennis club is constant, but this year it has been noticeably heightened. A decision by the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC) to ban Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine kicked off a political spat which saw the Championships stripped of the ranking points vital to players’ careers outside marquee grand slams. It also deprived the tournament of as many as 20 competitors, including the current men’s No 1-ranked player, Daniil Medvedev, and three of the women’s top 20. Continue reading...
June 24, 2022

A planet in peril and our embrace of Big Brother: George Orwell would have been shocked | Rebecca Solnit

The writer expected climate change and surveillance but not the wreckage of the entire global system, or our willing submission to monitoringSo many of the worst things of our time would not have been particularly shocking in the time of George Orwell. After all, he and his contemporaries lived through the rise of the Third Reich, the swift corrosion of the Russian revolution into Stalinist authoritarianism, Franco’s brutalisation of Spain, Mussolini’s reign in Italy, and masses ready to cheer on all the villains, drink up the delusions and lies they spread, and even serve as their butchers. The kleptocratic Trump, the totalitarianism-aspiring Putin, Kim Jong-un in North Korea, Lukashenko in Belarus and the rest of the rogues’ gallery of demagogues and dictators are nothing new. The invasion of Ukraine echoes the Stalinist regime’s brutality there in the 1930s.Ahead of an opening lecture at the Orwell festival of political writing, I have been thinking about what his mindset might have been, and it occurs to me that two things in our time would have shocked him. One of them is climate change. That human beings had wrecked bits and pieces of the natural world was perfectly evident in the coal-mining districts that Orwell had visited in 1936 for his research for his book about the working class and their conditions, The Road to Wigan Pier. That there was much that was filthy and poisonous about industrial capitalism and fossil fuel was clear from the smogs of Pittsburgh and London, where the air quality then was more or less comparable to the air quality of New Delhi and Shanghai now, and just as deadly.Rebecca Solnit is a Guardian US columnist Continue reading...
June 21, 2022

Visa delays leave UK families with adopted babies stranded in Pakistan

Home Office accused of leaving mothers and traumatised children stranded for months while priority is given to Ukraine refugeesBritish couples who travelled to Pakistan to adopt children have been left stranded after the Home Office told them to expect months of delays in processing visas because of the Ukraine refugee crisis.The delays are part of wider failings in visa processing that have left families around the world stuck waiting to return to the UK. Continue reading...
June 7, 2022

‘You have to step over your fear’: how to take on a dictator

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Tawakkol Karman led uprisings in Belarus and Yemen respectively. They explain what it means to be at the forefront of a revolutionRevolutions are rarely successful. But although they are often thwarted by those they seek to overthrow, the energy created even by unsuccessful revolutionary protest can spark a process that builds momentum over weeks, months – and even years, as two women who led very different uprisings explain. Continue reading...
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