The patch of detritus is more than twice the size of France and is up to 16 times larger than previously estimated
An enormous area of rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean is teeming with far more debris than previously thought, heightening alarm that the world?€?s oceans are being increasingly choked by trillions of pieces of plastic.
?€?Nobody has the right to insult the Russian people who defeated nazism,?€? ambassador says
Russia?€?s ambassador to the UK has described Boris Johnson?€?s comparison of this summer?€?s World Cup to the Nazi Olympics as ?€?unacceptable and totally irresponsible?€?.
Speaking at a press conference, Alexander Yakovenko complained that Britain had refused to cooperate with Moscow over the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. ?€?We have seen no evidence,?€? he said.
Mummified remains from Chilean ghost town revealed to be baby girl with malformations so bizarre they led to speculation over alien life
When the mummified remains of a six-inch humanoid were found in an abandoned mining town in Chile?€?s Atacama desert 15 years ago, speculation on its origins ran wild. The skeleton, which was sold to a private collector in Spain, was so bizarre it appeared in a documentary as potential evidence for alien life.
Now scientists in California have extracted DNA from the mummy?€?s bones and pieced together the real and tragic story of the individual, known as Ata. Rather than a visitor from another world, Ata was a girl who appears to have been stillborn, or to have died immediately after birth, with devastating mutations that shaped her extraordinary body.
77-year-old lead attorney confirms exit from White House team
Dowd said on Saturday he hoped Russia investigation would end
John Dowd, Donald Trump?€?s lead lawyer in the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference and alleged links between Trump aides and Moscow, resigned his role on Thursday while protesting his ?€?love?€? for the president.
Biden has stated his desire to ?€?beat the hell?€? out of Trump
Tweet says Biden would ?€?go down fast and hard, crying all the way?€?
Reports that Joe Biden is preparing a run for the White House in 2020 seemed to draw a response from Donald Trump on Thursday. The former vice-president would ?€?go down fast and hard, crying all the way?€?, the president tweeted, if he ever acted on a repeatedly expressed wish to ?€?beat the hell?€? out of Trump over his comments about women.
Companies withdraw staff after MP is cleared over alleged advances towards reporters
Around 20 Russian-language media outlets have withdrawn their journalists from covering Russia?€?s lower house of parliament or limited their coverage in protest at a sexual harassment scandal involving an MP.
RBC, TV Rain, RTVI and Echo of Moscow have withdrawn their journalists from the Duma in the past 24 hours after an ethics committee cleared Leonid Slutsky of any wrongdoing over a series of alleged unwanted sexual advances towards reporters.
Facebook is changing the way it shares data with third-party applications, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Wednesday in his first public statement since the Observer reported that the personal data of about 50 million Americans had been harvested and improperly shared with a political consultancy.
The Facebook CEO broke his five-day silence on the scandal that has enveloped his company this week in a Facebook post acknowledging that the policies that allowed the misuse of data were ?€?a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it?€?.
Businessman with ties to President Erdo?an in talks to buy Hürriyet-owner Do?an Media
The owner of the largest independent media outlets in Turkey that still permit criticism of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, have announced it is in talks to sell them to a pro-government business conglomerate in what would amount to another blow to free speech in the country.
Do?an Holding, which owns the widely read Hürriyet newspaper, Do?an news agency and the CNN Turk television channel, said it had started talks with Demirören Holding to sell its media arm for an estimated $890m (£631m). A Demirören official confirmed to Reuters that the group intended to buy Do?an?€?s media division.
US president calls on Brussels to respond in kind to temporary amnesty, while move against Bejing hits stock markets
Financial markets have taken fright after Donald Trump fired the latest shots in an escalating trade war between the world?€?s two biggest economies by announcing $60bn (£42.5bn) of further tariffs on China.
Amid relief in Brussels that the EU had won a temporary reprieve from Trump?€?s already announced action to protect the US from imports of steel and aluminium, Wall Street braced itself for retaliation from Beijing.
Prof Alasdair Rae at the University of Sheffield has crunched data from the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) to locate the densest square kilometre in every European country - the top 15 are shown below
Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge
A shattering collapse of civilisation is a ?€?near certainty?€? in the next few decades due to humanity?€?s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.
In May, it will be 50 years since the eminent biologist published his most famous and controversial book, The Population Bomb. But Ehrlich remains as outspoken as ever.
In the poorly serviced capital of the Philippines, the poorest citizens have taken to living where no one else will - alongside the dead
?€?I have lived here for 51 years - and I have been trying to leave for 51 years,?€? says Elvira Miranda. ?€?The government want us gone, and we also want to go. But we need somewhere to go.?€?
Miranda, 68, has been living with her husband and children in a teetering shanty above a stack of graves in Manila North Cemetery since 1966. It is the kind of situation you might find yourself in if, like Miranda, you?€?re poor, you have no job and you live in one of the world?€?s most notoriously crowded cities.
Cities can be dense without being overpopulated. But in the world?€?s most crowded city, the drains can?€?t cope - creating a grim new job
After decades cleaning the sewers of Dhaka, Bangladesh?€?s crowded capital, Sujon Lal Routh has seen plenty of misery. But the tragedy of 2008 was the worst. After a day of heavy rainfall left the streets flooded - as usual - seven workers were assigned to clear a blocked manhole in Rampura, in the centre of the city. Normally, cleaners cling to ropes to stop them getting sucked in by surging water when they clear blockages. But this group were new to the job. ?€?They didn?€?t know about the impending danger or how to work in that situation,?€? says Sujon. ?€?So, sewer water swallowed them.?€?
Bystanders smashed the road open with hammers and shovels. Eventually, they dragged out three workers, dead. Another four were seriously injured; one later died in hospital. ?€?The accident instilled fear in us, and for months we were even afraid to look into the sewers,?€? says Sujon.
At a high-level talking shop for the global water industry in Brazil, river defenders and community activists - who are often murdered or criminalised for trying to protect their resources - have set up an alternative forum to share their stories
While presidents, royalty and corporate dignitaries gave speeches at a global conference in Brasil?€?s federal capital this week on the need to protect water sources, river defender Ageu Lobo Pereira was running for his life through the Amazon forest.
The head of the riverine communities of Montanha e Mangbal had been tipped off that assassins were preparing an ambush. They wanted to end his resistance to mines, deforestation and dams that threaten the Tapajós river.
With PM intent on Europe presenting united front, other leaders express caution
European Union leaders appear unwilling to back Theresa May?€?s claim that Russia poses a strategic threat to Europe, despite intensive lobbying by the UK government ahead of a summit in Brussels.
British officials have been sharing intelligence with their EU counterparts in an attempt to win them over to the view that the Russian state was responsible for the attack in Salisbury on the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Thousands of fighters to be deported after deal with Russian and Syrian officials
Around 200 opposition fighters and family members have left the besieged enclave of Ghouta after agreeing with Russian and Syrian officials to be exiled to Idlib, in northern Syria.
Up to 7,500 fighters and their families will be deported as part of the deal, which followed assurances from Russian military officers that other civilians in the Harasta neighbourhood could remain in their homes.
Bad management has left me disillusioned by the aid sector, and its shocking lack of urgency in helping those driven to despair by hunger
I recently resigned from my job with a non-governmental organisation in Africa. After years of working in the sector, I have been left disillusioned with the ethos and impact of these organisations.
The sector is filled with the wrong people with the wrong motivations and the wrong agenda. It is, after all, a business enterprise worth $27.3bn, at least in 2016. Missions in country are incentivised by money. The more you can raise, the happier your colleagues in the region and in headquarters because some of that money goes into paying their salaries and office rents - and your performance in the country is linked to that, rather than the quality of the programmes you are running.
NSW will need extra generation capacity unless AGL rolls out all three stages of its transition
Australia?€?s energy market operator says an additional 850 megawatts of dispatchable generation capacity will be needed in New South Wales after the closure of the ageing Liddell power plant if AGL Energy fails to complete all three stages of its transition plan.
Cosby?€?s team contends that the judge?€?s rulings could appear to be influenced by his wife, an ?€?activist and advocate for assault victims?€?
Lawyers for fallen TV comedy actor Bill Cosby on Thursday asked the judge in his sexual assault retrial scheduled for next month to step aside. They argued that the judge could be seen as biased because his wife is a social worker who has described herself as an ?€?activist and advocate for assault victims?€?.
Cosby?€?s team contends that some of Judge Steven O?€?Neill?€?s recent pretrial rulings could give the appearance he is being influenced by his wife?€?s work, particularly his decision last week to let prosecutors have up to five additional accusers testify. He allowed just one at the first trial.
To mark World Water Day, NGO says accessing water is getting more difficult in world?€?s most environmentally stressed nations
Water inequality is increasing in the world?€?s most environmentally stressed nations, warn the authors of a report that shows more than 800 million people need to travel and queue for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies.
Despite an overall increase in provision of tap water, the study - the State of the World?€?s Water 2018 - charts the gaps within and between nations, as poor communities face competition over aquifers and rivers with agriculture and factories producing goods for wealthier consumers.
Report in the Lancet shows that children across the globe will hit the same milestones, as long as basic needs are met
Healthy children develop in remarkably similar ways, no matter where they live, according to a study that confounds prevailing beliefs on childhood development.
A report published in the Lancet found that early developmental milestones in a large number of children aged from 0-3 years, in four diverse countries - Argentina, India, South Africa and Turkey - were similar.
Study says terminations have nearly halved in 25 years, but higher rates, particularly of unsafe abortions, occur ?€?overwhelmingly?€? in poorer nations
Rates of abortion have dropped significantly across the world in the past quarter-century, but the decline has been predominantly in the developed world, according to a report.
Evidence gathered by the US-based Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy group for reproductive health, suggests the procedure, which kills tens of thousands of women every year, has become safer in many parts of the world.
Non-Syrian jihadists can seem an attractive prospect to women desperate for security in a country torn by conflict, but such unions can prove devastating
?€?I got married to a foreign fighter from the Maldive Islands in 2016 and he was killed in the clashes against regime forces in the same year. I was pregnant by this man and then I gave birth three months after his death.?€?
For this 30-year-old woman from Maaret al-Nu?€?man, in Idlib province, insecurity had driven her to marry. ?€?My parents had been killed in an airstrike by the regime. As a result, I kept on moving among my five married brothers?€? places but mostly at the oldest brother?€?s house. I wasn?€?t feeling comfortable on account of instability and I was feeling that I was such a dependent woman. I decided to get married.?€?
China has been flouting intellectual property rules and it does has more to lose
Here come the trade wars - possibly. The Trump administration?€?s imposition of tariffs on $60bn (£42.5bn) of imports from China could be a huge moment for the global economy. Past presidents toyed with the idea of branding China a ?€?currency manipulator?€? but have always stepped away from action. Trump hasn?€?t gone down that route, with its ill-defined policy implications, but has instead gone for the jugular. China is deemed guilty of ?€?economic aggression?€? by pinching US intellectual property and must pay a price.
The consequences of that declaration depend on two things. First, will the size of the tariffs match Trump?€?s rhetoric about China engaging in abuse over decades? It is possible measures will be watered down if financial markets throw a wobbly, but Trump had advertised his intentions since taking office and you will struggle to find a chief executive of a large multinational that does not think China plays fast and loose. Chinese abuse of intellectual property rules is not a secret.
Andrei Zheleznyakov was working on chemical weapons in the 1980s when a hood malfunction exposed him to the deadly nerve agent
Before former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury on 4 March, the only other person confirmed to suffer the effects of novichok was a young Soviet chemical weapons scientist.
?€?Circles appeared before my eyes: red and orange. A ringing in my ears, I caught my breath. And a sense of fear: like something was about to happen,?€? Andrei Zheleznyakov told the now-defunct newspaper Novoye Vremya, describing the 1987 weapons lab incident that exposed him to a nerve agent that would eventually kill him. ?€?I sat down on a chair and told the guys: ?€?It?€?s got me.?€??€?
Donald Trump has struck out on Twitter at former vice president Joe Biden, who mused days before about beating up the US president if the two were in high school. At a rally hosted by a sexual assault awareness group on 20 March, Biden recalled a recording released during the 2016 presidential campaign of Trump using profanities to refer to lewd behaviour with women. ?€?If we were in high school, I?€?d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,?€? Biden said
Jacinda Ardern says 'as a political nerd' she is very happy to welcome Barack Obama on his first visit to the country. Ardern asked Obama for advice on both political and parenting matters, as she leads the country and is expecting her first child
The actor Cynthia Nixon announced that she is running for New York governor, in a move that will pit her against the incumbent Democrat, Andrew Cuomo. Her website suggests that she will be coming at the ?€?centrist and Albany insider?€? Cuomo from the left, and attacking him for his ?€?inhumane budgets?€?, for ?€?selling New York off to the highest bidder?€? and for not sorting out the increasingly decrepit New York subway system. If she?€?s elected, she will be the first female and first openly gay governor of New York.
Police say a man suspected of being the bomber behind a series of explosions across central Texas blew himself up in a vehicle as a swat team approached.
The suspect, identified by police as a 24-year-old white man, killed himself in Round Rock, a town 20 miles north of Austin, after being tracked to a hotel, in a dramatic end to a siege of the Texas capital. This video looks back at the series of explosions that happened across the state in the past 19 days
The gunman who opened fire at a Maryland high school on Tuesday morning has died after a school resource officer fired at him, a sheriff said. A male student, armed with a handgun, wounded a female student and a male student. All three were taken to hospital, where the shooter died
The US president, Donald Trump, has said he called to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his landslide victory in Sunday?€?s elections, breaking a taboo among western leaders in appearing to endorse the Russian leader?€?s re-election to a fourth term in power
President Trump has called for the death penalty for drug dealers in an attempt to combat America's opioids epidemic. He stated that 'we will find you, we will arrest you and we will hold you accountable'
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