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What's in a name? Berlin wrestles with past in metro station row

Transit authority to rename slavery-linked Mohrenstrasse after an antisemitic Russian composer Authorities in Berlin are discovering how hard it can be to close one problematic chapter of the city’s tumultuous history without opening another. In the wake of a worldwide reckoning with the deep-seated legacies of historical racism, Berlin’s public transit authority BVG announced on Friday that it would rename the Mohrenstrasse (“Moor Street”) stop on the U2 metro line. Continue reading...
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Tory ministers from 1980s fear return to mass unemployment

Lords King and Fowler say local and national leaders must learn from policies of Thatcher era Two grandees of the Thatcher era have urged the government to learn lessons from the mass unemployment of the 1980s, as the Treasury draws up plans to limit a collapse in the jobs market caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Tom King, who was employment secretary in 1983 when the grim milestone of 3 million unemployed people was reached, told the Guardian that ministers should be prepared to consider propping up potentially viable companies wherever possible, mindful that the economic crisis is a global one and thus harder to resolve. Continue reading...
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China to criminalise college exam fraud after identity thefts

Hundreds of graduates found to have stolen identities and gaokao scores of others to get into higher education Chinese lawmakers are seeking to criminalise identity theft in college entrance exams, after revelations that hundreds of students in a single province had their scores stolen or used by others. This year more than 10 million students will sit China’s gaokao, a state-level exam for entering college widely seen as a key path to higher education for students from underprivileged homes. Continue reading...
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Britain beyond lockdown: what we learned from two weeks on the road

People do not want to go back to the way things were, but the good intentions could fade without the right leadership Britain is crying out for a better normal. Communities across the country are emerging from lockdown with a new sense of what is possible and what is necessary – and the answers to both go a lot further than Westminster’s efforts to drive the country back to business as usual. That was the overriding impression from a two-week reporting trip around Britain, asking people in different regions how they view recovery and whether there is an appetite for more fundamental change. Continue reading...
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Xu Zhangrun, outspoken critic of Xi Jinping, detained by police in Beijing

Professor had been under house arrest after writing an essay lambasting the president over his response to coronavirus Chinese professor Xu Zhangrun, known for his scathing and public criticisms of China’s leader Xi Jinping, has been detained, according to friends of the legal scholar. Two friends of Xu, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals, told the Guardian that he had been detained on Monday morning. According to one, around 20 police officers and 10 vehicles arrived at his home in Beijing and took Xu away. Continue reading...
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Nick Cordero: Broadway star dies aged 41 of coronavirus complications

Tony-nominated actor spent more than 90 days in hospital and had his right leg amputated The Tony award-nominated Broadway actor Nick Cordero, who starred in hit musicals including Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles from severe medical complications after contracting coronavirus. He was 41. Cordero died on Sunday at Cedars-Sinai hospital after spending more than 90 days in the hospital, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots. “God has another angel in heaven now,” she posted on Instagram. “Nick was such a bright light. He was everyone’s friend, loved to listen, help and especially talk. He was an incredible actor and musician. He loved his family and loved being a father and husband.” Continue reading...
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Have a heart, KitKat, don't break with Fairtrade

Nestlé is big in York, but the city is fighting the brand’s decision to make life harder for African cocoa farmers Here’s a quiz question: how many KitKats are produced in the Nestlé factory in York each year? A hundred million? Keep going. The plant makes a billion of the UK’s bestselling chocolate bars annually. That volume is one reason that the company’s shameful decision to end the brand’s Fairtrade certification will have such a devastating effect on cocoa farmers. I visited some of the Fairtrade-certified cocoa farms in Ivory Coast last year. Seeing the difference that a measure of financial security can make to some of the poorest villages on earth is a lasting lesson in the mechanics of hope. Continue reading...
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‘It's a tsunami’: Covid-19 plunges Latin America back into poverty and violence

Years of social progress have been reversed by the virus, amid accusations that politicians have been fatally inept * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage As coronavirus galloped through Latin America in late April, the mayor of Manaus was in despair. “The outlook is dismal,” Arthur Virgílio admitted as gravediggers in the Amazon’s largest city piled coffins into muddy trenches, Brazil’s death toll hit 5,500, and its president, Jair Bolsonaro, responded with a shrug. “It’s obvious this won’t end well.” Two months later, Virgílio’s nightmare has come true. Brazil’s death toll has risen to more than 60,000 – the second highest in the world after the United States – with some now predicting it could overtake the US, where 130,000 have died, by the end of July. Continue reading...
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Italy tests 180 migrants rescued by ship for Covid-19

Migrants have been onboard vessel operated by charity SOS Méditerranée for over a week * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage Italy is carrying out tests on 180 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean with a view to transferring them to a quarantine vessel in Sicily, an interior ministry source has said. The migrants have been on the Ocean Viking ship operated by SOS Méditerranée for over a week, with fights and suicide attempts onboard prompting the charity to declare a state of emergency on Friday. Continue reading...
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New York hails comeback from Covid-19, but hidden dangers lie ahead

The virus could be reimported to New York City from other parts of the US as several states record surges Patience and Fortitude are proud advocates of social distancing and mask-wearing. The famous marble lions which guard the steps of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd St have sat 90ft apart for more than a century, and this week were adorned with giant blue facial coverings. The masked lions today stand as symbols of the extraordinary turnaround of this recently stricken city. Just three months ago, New York was the coronavirus capital of the world, with more confirmed cases than any single country outside the US. Continue reading...
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‘It feels like a failed state’: Lebanon's crisis deepens as it awaits bailout

Regime’s critics call for overhaul of system of patronage many say has reinforced widespread corruption Lebanon’s catastrophic economic collapse is gathering pace, with its currency shedding value daily, prices of essential foods out of the reach of many and talks that could unlock a desperately needed bailout crippled by what critics say is a determination by the ruling class to protect a broken system. The country’s collapse has led to meat and chicken prices tripling over the past fortnight, and scarcities of fuel and flour - amplified by the sale of state-subsidised supplies to neighbouring Syria where they get a better price for it, and sharply increasing hunger. Continue reading...
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Trump heads to Mount Rushmore for divisive fireworks celebration

President plans to decry ‘leftwing mob’ in event raising concerns over wildfire risk, respect for tribal land and Covid-19 dangers Donald Trump is heading to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday night for an early Fourth of July fireworks celebration that has caused division over its every aspect, from respect for tribal land to wildfire dangers, coronavirus risk and the optics of such a trip when some hospitals are in crisis mode. The president plans a fiery speech at the mountain monument where four presidents’ faces are carved into the hillside, billed to include denunciations of protesters attacking Confederate statues who he will say are trying to “tear down” the nation’s history. Continue reading...
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Refugee victims of Tajoura bombing still lie in unmarked graves one year on

Coronavirus thwarts plan by survivors to light candles for dozens of detainees who died in airstrike on detention centre during Tripoli fighting One year on from the migrant detention centre bombing in Tajoura, eastern Tripoli, dozens of refugees and migrants who died have never been formally identified. At least 53 people were killed and 130 injured on the night of 2 July 2019, according to the UN, after an airstrike by a foreign aircraft supporting eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces hit a hall where migrants and refugees were locked up. Continue reading...
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Global report: horror week for US as coronavirus records tumble

US surpasses 40,000 daily cases four times in a week; Brazil nears 1.5 million infections; UN warns on mass bankruptcies in Latin America * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage The past week has seen the United States break its own one-day case record four times, according data compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins university. In the seven days up to and including 1 July, the country, which has the highest number of cases and deaths worldwide, confirmed over 40,000 cases on four separate days. Continue reading...
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