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Mediterranean will be ‘sea of blood’ without rescue boats, UN warns

Refugee agency says risk of people dying attempting crossing is at its highest The risk of migrants and refugees becoming shipwrecked in the Mediterranean and dying at sea is the highest it has ever been due to a lack of NGO rescue ships and the conflict in Libya hastening departures at an alarming rate, the UN has warned. If we do not intervene soon, there will be a sea of blood, said Carlotta Sami, the spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Italy. With favourable sea conditions, thousands of…

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Taron Egerton speaks out against Rocketman scene cuts in Russia

Actor who stars in Elton John biopic says he is crestfallen at removal of gay scenes Taron Egerton, the star of the Elton John biopic, Rocketman,has said he is dismayed that gay scenes have been cut from the film in Russia. Egerton, who has won praise for his portrayal of John in the film, Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/01/taron-egerton-speaks-out-against-rocketman-gay-scene-cuts-in-russia

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More than two decades after a woman was killed in an Irish village, French prosecutors hope to close the case

Schull, Ireland (CNN)Perched on a bench in the quiet courtyard of a pub, Ian Bailey is signing a copy of his self-published book of poetry for a young American woman. He then opens a folded paper printout of his latest work. The area of West Cork however, is no stranger to foreigners. It’s long served as an outpost for artists from across the globe seeking solace and space, with its holiday homes and winding roads well traversed by wealthy travelers looking to disconnect from the daily grind. Bailey is one…

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Pivotal moment for EU as voters choose between unity and disruption

London (CNN)Citizens from 28 countries will cast their votes in European parliamentary elections this week in what many politicians say could be one of the bloc’s most pivotal moments. European Union tries to protect election from fake news In April Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini — who has spearheaded a series of anti-immigrant policies — launched what amounted to a “Make Europe Great Again” campaign in an attempt to unite far-right political parties across the continent ahead of the elections. The newly formed alliance hopes to form a weighty…

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Austria’s far-right Vice-Chancellor resigns over alleged corruption video

Vienna, Austria (CNN)Austria’s Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, from the far right Freedom Party, has resigned over allegations of corruption, just days before key European elections. The coalition is now facing its biggest crisis since it was formed in 2017. Outside the Chancellor’s office in Vienna, where Kurz was due to make a statement, more than 5,000 anti-government protesters gathered, calling for fresh elections. “I’m here’s because Strache resigned and the entire FPÖ [Freedom Party] is intolerable,” Florian Gantner told CNN. “The Chancellor has to react and the entire government should step…

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Marine Le Pen makes ‘OK’ hand gesture used by white supremacists

Frances far-right National Rally leader asks ally to remove controversial selfie from Facebook Marine Le Pen, the leader of Frances far-right part of the countrys coalition government, as part of cross-continent negotiations on setting up a new bloc of nationalist and far-right forces after European elections next week. She made the OK hand signal together with Ruuben Kaalep, a 25-year-old EKRE MP and the leader of its youth movement, and the Estonian politician uploaded the photograph to his Facebook page. I was in a selfie at his request, making a…

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‘A little miracle’: Dutch statesman’s diary found 200 years after it was lost

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt chronicled final months before he was beheaded on 13 May 1619 Johan van Oldenbarnevelt is arguably the greatest Dutch statesman, as one of the founding fathers who helped liberate the Netherlands from Spanish rule, but for 200 years the whereabouts of a diary chronicling his final months before he was beheaded has been a mystery. The prose written over an eight-month period between 1618 and 1619 was last seen in 1825 when a pastor, the Rev Adrian Stolker, studied the manuscript and made a copy by hand…

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Its hard to take in: how Cyprus serial killings left country reeling

With five bodies recovered to date, two inside suitcases in a lake, horrified Cypriots demand answers Weve seen death, weve seen a lot of things, but weve never seen anything like this, says Cypruss veteran fire chief, Marcos Trangolas. So far, weve found two bodies in suitcases in this lake, both badly decomposed. Its hard for the human mind to take in. Three weeks on, the gruesome acts of a self-confessed serial killer continue to send shockwaves through this island nation. As the man overseeing the special disaster unit searching…

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‘It’s an outrage’: Putin attacks 18-month prison term for Maria Butina

Russian president says sentence an attempt by US to save face after Butina found guilty of conspiring to infiltrate US conservative circles Vladimir Putin on Saturday described as an outrage the sentencing of Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina to 18 months in prison in the US, calling her treatment a travesty of justice. The Russian president described the sentencing as an attempt by the US to save face in his first public comments in the wake of Butinas sentencing in on Friday. Her case has been high-profile amid the…

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In the Mediterranean, US aircraft carrier operations serve as floating American diplomacy

(CNN)With Russia increasingly deploying forces on NATO’s doorstep, the United States has started its own show of force in the Mediterranean Sea. A typical carrier strike group includes an aircraft carrier, a guided-missile cruiser, two guided-missile destroyers, an attack submarine and a supply ship for logistical support. That coordination is extremely important as US military dominance in the world is being increasingly challenged by resurgent powers like Russia and China, said Rear Adm. John Wade, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, which includes the USS Abraham Lincoln. “Our senior…

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Trump’s new Cuba crackdown puts US at odds with Canada and Europe

US will allow lawsuits against companies using property nationalised by the revolution, cap remittances and restrict non-family travel Donald Trump has taken another step towards reversing Barack Obamas Sign up for the US morning briefing It was condemned by Cuba as an attack on international law and by Canada and the European Union as regrettable, since their companies have significant investments in hotels, distilleries, tobacco factories and other properties on the island. Title III of the secretary told reporters. The issue has come to a head now as retorted on…

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Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers

Financial sector warned it risks losses from extreme weather and its stakes in polluting firms The global financial system faces an existential threat from climate change and must take urgent steps to reform, the governors of the article published in the Guardian on Wednesday aimed at the international financial community, Mark Carney, the Banks governor, and Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Banque de Extinction Rebellion protests and Paris climate agreement, with the banking system required to play a pivotal role. If some companies and industries fail to adjust…

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‘My Brexit nightmare’: readers on how the uncertainty is affecting their lives

We ask readers in Britain and Europe to tell us how they are coping As dates for the UK to exit the EU come and go, weve been asking readers to tell us how theyre dealing with the uncertainty. People who responded to a Chispa. My whole life for the last two years has been held hostage to this horrendous waiting game of uncertainty that Brexit has become. When I retired, after over 30 years working in education, just after the referendum, my plan was to enjoy my retirement with…

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Naked Swedish police officer apprehends fugitive while visiting sauna

Off-duty officer recognised and arrested violent drug dealer despite the fact both men were naked An off-duty Swedish police officer successfully arrested a violent fugitive drug dealer while both men were naked in a Stockholm sauna, in a Facebook post, describing him as a top colleague who kept a cool head even when things were hotting up to a potentially dangerous situation, and despite being on your day off and in a sauna. The arrest was carried out with due consideration to the best interests of all concerned, he said,…

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Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

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