December 3, 2022

Things we lost in the wildfires: images of the devastating personal cost of a warming world

A camera, a lamp, a child’s tricycle … Photographer Gideon Mendel’s latest project highlights the everyday impact of the climate crisis“I was looking for a way to respond to the climate crisis for a long time,” says Gideon Mendel. Since the 1980s, the South African photographer has dedicated his career to documenting social issues around the globe – from the atrocities of apartheid to the Syrian refugee crisis. His images have sought to centre the lives and voices of the people who have been affected. But when he turned his attention to the warming planet around 15 years ago, the standard visual language seemed to be all “glaciers and polar bears”. “I wanted to make my work more personal and visceral,” he says.Now Mendel travels the world, visiting places where increased flooding and wildfires have destroyed homes and ravaged communities. He does not consider himself a photojournalist: you won’t find any dramatic scenes of fleeing or rescue in his portfolio. Rather, he sticks around to see what’s left behind. The Climate Artefact series, from his Burning World project, depicts personal possessions and other objects burnt in unplanned blazes. Mendel began collecting these charred mementoes after the intense bushfires in Australia in 2019–20; further items were acquired on subsequent trips to wildfire sites in Greece, Canada and the US. Continue reading...
December 2, 2022

Weather tracker: Storm Ariel brings heavy rain and lightning to Greece

Low pressure disrupts water and power supplies in Thessaloniki as meteorological winter beginsOn Thursday night last week, an area of low pressure formed off the southern coast of France. During the course of Friday, low pressure deepened into a storm as it travelled south-eastwards towards Italy.It brought heavy rain to much of Italy; however, the west coast received the brunt of the wet weather on Friday night with 197mm of rain recorded in 24 hours on the island of Capri. The island of Ischia, close to Capri, experienced flooding and a landslide early Saturday morning, which killed at least 10 people. Continue reading...
December 1, 2022

Athens hosts mayors from around world for summit on tackling antisemitism

Officials from 53 cities convene in Greece to seek ‘creative solutions’ to counter rise in anti-Jewish hateMayors from around the world have flown into Athens to focus minds – and efforts – on combatting antisemitism amid a worrying resurgence of near daily hate crimes against Jews.Local officials from 53 cities in 23 countries will convene in the Greek capital from Thursday with the aim of not only debating shared challenges and experiences but also finding “creative solutions” to counter the alarming rise in incidents of bigotry and hate globally. Continue reading...
November 30, 2022

‘Destitution is almost inevitable’: Afghan refugees in Greece left homeless by failed system

Catch-22 system leaves people facing eviction upon being granted refugee status – yet unable to claim rent subsidies without accommodationMohammad Ashraf Rasooli, 70, looks at his five-year-old granddaughter, sitting on the floor next to him watching cartoons on a phone. They live in a two-bedroom flat in a suburb of Athens. “Even tomorrow, we don’t know what will happen to us,” he says.The former judge and legal adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Justice, who had a role in putting together the 2004 Afghan constitution, is facing eviction with his family, including his three grandchildren. This is in line with regulations in Greece, which state that once someone has obtained refugee status, they must leave the accommodation provided for them within 30 days. Continue reading...
November 24, 2022

Martin Parr’s holiday snaps … with added water damage – in pictures

The photographer took these images in 1991 while visiting the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Years later he realised they’d been beautifully altered by damp Continue reading...
November 21, 2022

What happens when an oligarch takes on a prime minister? Look to Greece to find out | Alexander Clapp

The drama started three months ago with spyware allegations. Now it prompts a big question: where does power really lie?It’s been three months, and Greece has been embroiled in one of its greatest political crises in recent memory. It began as a wiretapping scandal. In August, two members of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s government tendered their resignation following reports that the phones of a financial journalist and a rival politician had been sent links to spyware designed to whisk their data away to a shadowy company in Athens. Greece’s press dubbed it the country’s Watergate. “Mr Mitsotakis must give explanations to the Greek people,” said Alexis Tsipras, the head of Greece’s opposition. “A lot of our questions remain to be answered,” the leader of a European parliament committee said, after a fact-finding mission to Greece.Then, earlier this month, events took a stunning turn. A leftist newspaper called Documento claimed that, in addition to the two Greeks already known to have been targeted, attempts had also been made to sweep up dozens more into the spyware net. They included Mitsotakis’s own cabinet members, newspaper editors and the wife of the governor of Attica. A week later, Documento released nearly 40 additional names. The paper accused the government of involvement – it strongly denied the accusations. Continue reading...
November 12, 2022

Which writer’s daughter was Princess Diana’s stepmother? The Saturday quiz

From insects to Pacific coastlines, test your knowledge with the Saturday quiz1 Six Nobel prizes have involved research into which insects? 2 Where did Changeover Day take place on 14 February, 1966?3 What was carried by Simon from Cyrene?4 Which writer’s daughter was Princess Diana’s stepmother?5 Which South American country has Atlantic and Pacific coastlines?6 Stan Campbell sang which 1980s protest song?7 What claims to be the world’s first fully vegan football club?8 Where did liberty horses perform?What links:9 Milos, Greece; Arles, France; Willendorf, Austria?10 Mercury; Rodgers; Lambert? 11 Margaret of Anjou & Elizabeth Woodville; Lucy Cavendish; Elizabeth Hughes?12 Roll hoop; halo; Hans device?13 Founder of Moscow; first Mr Men character; 1976 Kenner action doll?14 Lusitania; Aquitania; Dacia; Belgica; Britannia?15 Jennet Humfrye; Johnny Cash; Gary Player; Jonah Lomu? Continue reading...
November 8, 2022

EU democracy is under attack by mercenary spyware, claims new report

Illegal cases of spyware use have been detected in Poland, Hungary, Greece and Spain, raising concerns about privacy rights and press freedom.
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