Greater Manchester?€?s only Conservative-run council has begun negotiating a bespoke deal for its hospitality workers after the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, invited the region?€?s leaders to come forward individually to claim their share of a £60m coronavirus relief package they all rejected on Tuesday.
Bolton?€?s leader, David Greenhalgh, infuriated his Labour counterparts after breaking ranks to say he was willing to look at a Bolton-only package.
At her briefing earlier Scotland?€?s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said there were grounds for ?€?cautious optimism?€? because new cases were slowing. (See 4.11pm.)
This chart, from the Scottish government?€?s coronavirus dashboard, illustrates her point. It shows the seven-day rolling average for positive cases going down.
After the vote was announced the Conservative MP Katherine Fletcher said that Mancunians (she was born in the city, but now represents South Ribble in Lancashire) believed in being fair. She went on:
Is it in order for [Angela Rayner] to call repeatedly out ?€?scum?€? when my colleague was talking (see 3.38pm) and then to fail to retract it or apologise. Today she has shamed Manchester, shamed this house, and she should apologise.
State is currently faring better than the US as a whole, but experts and public health officials expect a fall surge
After a brutal summer of increased infection and over-burdened hospitals, California is having a moment of respite in coronavirus transmission as much of the nation and the world experiences yet another rise in cases.
But experts and public health officials warned Californians to practice caution.
Demonstrators against police brutality reportedly killed after security forces opened fire
Sporadic shooting has been reported in Lagos as the president of Nigeria appealed for calm hours after security forces opened fire on protesters against police brutality in the centre of the city.
Muhammadu Buhari did not directly address the shootings, but called on Nigerians to be patient as police reforms ?€?gather pace?€?. On Tuesday night, Nigerian security forces fired at hundreds of people gathered at a key protest site, killing at least seven, according to witnesses, with more injured.
The German health minister Jens Spahn tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon, the health ministry said, adding that he had placed himself in home quarantine.
Spahn, 40, was suffering from cold-like symptoms, the ministry said, adding that all people he had been in contact with had been informed.
Poland will announce new restrictions on Thursday after coronavirus infections doubled in less than three weeks, possibly including moving some primary school students to distance learning, Reuters reports.
On Wednesday, it reported a daily record of 10,040 new cases, taking its tally past 200,000. The lower house of parliament held an emergency session to discuss a bill to help an overwhelmed health system.
Lawyers struggling to find parents deported to Central America, says ACLU, after US government removed 1,030 children in 2018
Three years after Donald Trump ordered a crackdown on undocumented migrants crossing into the US, lawyers are still struggling to find the parents of 545 children separated from them under the ?€?zero-tolerance?€? policy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
In a court filing, the ACLU said that about two-thirds of the parents had been deported back to the country of origin in Central America, leaving their separated children behind. In the rush to carry out Trump?€?s orders, the locations of the parents were not recorded and three years later they still cannot be found.
Announcement comes as France prepares to pay tribute to teacher beheaded outside school
Seven people, including two schoolchildren, will appear before a judge to face possible charges over the beheading of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, France?€?s anti-terrorism prosecutor has said.
The announcement on Wednesday came as France prepared to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, who was decapitated outside his school last Friday, at a ceremony during which the president, Emmanuel Macron, was to posthumously award him the Légion d?€?Honneur.
Police fail to identify culprit via footage and are appealing for witnesses
Police in Berlin are appealing for witnesses to help identify a mystery attacker who vandalised dozens of ancient artefacts and artworks across four galleries on the German capital?€?s museum using an oily substance on 3 October.
Details of the extensive damage to 63 objects emerged only this week, after police failed to identify a culprit via surveillance camera footage and started to contact visitors who had booked tickets to the Pergamon Museum, the Museum for Islamic Art, the Neues Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie on the day of the crime.
Pair have been friends since 2009, but security concerns were raised because of the Russian tycoon?€?s father, a one-time Moscow spy
The theme of the party attended by Boris Johnson was unmistakable. On the first floor was a mural of Joseph Stalin, dressed in green military uniform. A hammer and sickle decorated the windows. In the centre of the room was an ice sculpture in the shape of a pistol, from where a barman dispensed vodka shots.
A gun - presumably fake - lay on a red double bed in the basement, next to an outdoor smoking area. ?€?Do you like my gun??€? the party?€?s host, Evgeny Lebedev, reportedly asked one visitor. There was also a stuffed bear.
European parliament votes to continue payments to farmers with no green conditions attached
Greta Thunberg, the Swedish school strike pioneer and environmental activist, has accused MEPs of surrendering on the climate and environment by voting in favour of a watered-down reform of the EU?€?s common agricultural policy.
The European parliament voted late on Wednesday in favour of proposals put forward by the main political groups that will continue 60% of the current direct payments to farmers with weak or non-existent green conditions attached.
Hopes of resumption rise after EU negotiator says he will seek ?€?compromises on both sides?€?
A major step appears to have been taken towards the resumption of the Brexit negotiations after Michel Barnier used a speech to both acknowledge the UK?€?s compromises and promise flexibility by the EU, in comments described as ?€?significant?€? by Downing Street.
Speaking to the European parliament, the EU?€?s chief negotiator said a deal was ?€?within reach?€? and that he would ?€?seek the necessary compromises on both sides?€? should the negotiations restart, in comments clearly designed to placate the British government.
Lawsuit claims mining firm failed to prevent pollution in Kabwe, affecting multiple generations
A class action lawsuit has been filed against the mining company Anglo American over its alleged failure to prevent widespread toxic lead pollution in the Zambian town of Kabwe. The town hosted one of the world?€?s biggest lead mines for many decades and scientists have reported ?€?alarming?€? levels of lead in people?€?s blood.
?€?The public environmental health disaster left behind by Anglo means there are more than 100,000 children and women of childbearing age in Kabwe who are likely to have suffered lead poisoning as a result of pollution caused by Anglo,?€? according to the filed legal documents.
Interlocking exoskeleton could provide inspiration for new methods of joining materials
It can survive being run over by a car, pecked by predators and crushed underfoot. Now researchers have revealed the secrets behind the near-indestructibility of the diabolical ironclad beetle.
Found in wooded areas of the US west coast, the beetle is about 2cm in length. Like some other species of flightless beetle, its wing covers, known as elytra, are not only hardened, but fused together. The upshot is a gnarly black armour that protects it from being crushed.
Hatice Cengiz files US lawsuit against leader and 28 ?€?co-conspirators?€? over journalist?€?s murder
The fiancee of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is suing the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and two dozen other Saudis in the US courts, accusing them of direct involvement in the dissident?€?s gruesome killing in Istanbul two years ago.
Hatice Cengiz and Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn), a Washington-based rights group set up by Khashoggi shortly before his death, filed a lawsuit in the US district court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday seeking unspecified damages against the kingdom?€?s de facto leader and 28 ?€?co-conspirators?€? over the killing.
Democrats and leaders of liberal organizations denounced Amy Coney Barrett?€?s Supreme Court nomination as ?€?anti-democratic?€? and said the rush by Republicans to confirm her represented a ?€?nadir of American politics.?€?
Speaking on a press call Tuesday morning, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Cory Booker, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Barrett would dismantle the Affordable Care Act and undermine civil rights.
The landslide vote for Luis Arce is reason for optimism, but Bolivia still requires major resources to contain Covid-19
On 18 October, the progressive candidate, Luis Arce, decisively won Bolivia?€?s presidential election, beating his nearest rival by about 20 points according to exit polls. His party, Movimiento al Socialismo (Mas), also apparently retained its majorities in both houses of congress.
It?€?s a remarkable turn of events. In November 2019 the Mas president, Evo Morales, was overthrown in a police-military coup that installed the rightwing evangelical Jeanine Áñez as president.
Voice TV, which has links to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, faces closure over coverage of youth-led protests against government and monarchy
A Thai news outlet connected to exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been ordered to shut down over its coverage of anti-government protests in Bangkok as demonstrators prepared to take to the streets for a sixth consecutive day.
Voice TV, a website partly owned by Thaksin?€?s family, was one of four media organisations under fire for their reporting of the youth-led pro-democracy protest movement and has been critical of the government.
Under one of the agreements, Packer was given confidential information that was not shared with other shareholders
Crown Resorts has terminated two agreements it had with Consolidated Press Holdings, including the sharing of confidential information with stakeholder James Packer, on the eve of its annual general meeting.
Crown said in a statement on Wednesday night it had terminated an October 2018 agreement under which Packer was given confidential information that was not shared with other shareholders. Another June 2016 agreement, under which Packer?€?s company CPH provided services to Crown, was also torn up.
Almost 3,000 girls from the Kuria community have undergone female genital mutilation in recent weeks, despite crackdown
Kenya has seen a setback in its progress to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) after an open parade in defiance of the government clampdown on the practice took place this week.
Almost 2,800 girls from the Kuria community in south-western Kenya have undergone FGM, which involves the removal of the outer layers of female genitalia and sometimes the clitoris, in the past three weeks, say local activists.
I?€?ve interviewed those seeking safe passage to the UK: their plight was obvious, their stories shocking
Last night the government voted against attempts to protect the right of unaccompanied child asylum seekers to join family in the UK. Only six Conservative MPs rebelled to support the amendment, put forward by former child refugee Lord Dubs, that would have enshrined the legal right to family reunion for child refugees after the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.
It?€?s hard to emphasise the immeasurable loss that this vote will impose on thousands of families in the years to come. Over the past few years I?€?ve interviewed young people trying to reach their relatives in the UKand families here desperate to get children and young people to safety. The suffering was always enormous, consuming every minute of their day.
Children as young as five still exposed to hazardous work in countries including Ghana and Ivory Coast, report reveals
Nearly 20 years after the world?€?s major chocolate manufacturers pledged to abolish employment abuses, hazardous child labour remains rife in their supply chains, a new study finds.
Research from the University of Chicago finds that more than two-fifths (43%) of all children aged between five and 17 in cocoa-growing regions of Ghana and Ivory Coast - the world?€?s largest cocoa producers - are engaged in hazardous work.
In total, an estimated 1.5 million children work in cocoa production around the world, half of whom are found in these two west African nations alone. Hazardous work includes the use of sharp tools, working at night and exposure to agrochemical products, among other harmful activities.
The report, commissioned by the US Department of Labor, notes that the overall proportion of children working has gone up by 14 percentage points in the past decade. The increase is accompanied by a 62% rise in production over the same period.
The findings raise difficult questions for industry in particular. Back in 2001, big brands such as Nestlé, Mars and Hershey signed a cross-sector accord aimed at eliminating egregious child labour. Despite missing deadlines to deliver on their pledge in 2005, 2008 and 2010, they continue to insist that ending the illegal practice remains their top concern.
In response to the scathing report, US chocolate giant Mars reiterated that child labour has no place in cocoa production and said it had committed $1bn to help ?€?fix a broken supply chain?€?.
Campaign groups dismiss such comments as a duplicitous smokescreen. Indeed, a lawsuit stating that international chocolate manufacturers knowingly profit from abuses against children is currently being heard in the US supreme court.
Events in the US are being watched closely as Iran?€?s presidential election looms in early 2021
Even if Joe Biden triumphs at the polls, Iran?€?s weakened government may only have a few months to negotiate a revived nuclear deal before facing its own electoral challenge by hardliners who oppose any engagement with the west.
The narrow window has prompted calls for Biden to offer a phased approach to rejoining the Iran nuclear deal abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018, in order to show progress before the Iranian presidential election.
In the aftermath of Moscow?€?s hacking of the 2016 US election, many analysts expected the GRU to be punished. After all, Russia?€?s powerful military spy agency had been caught red-handed. The FBI indicted several GRU hackers in humiliating fashion. The spies who stole Democratic party emails - tens and thousands of them - were named and shamed.
In fact, the GRU avoided any repressions. In recent years Vladimir Putin has carried out a sweeping and brutal reorganisation at the top of government, sending a shiver down the spine of nervous bureaucrats. He has sacked or had arrested regional governors and ministers. Even the FSB, Putin?€?s old spy agency and a rival to the GRU, has seen generals fired.
Beijing was fast to respond and increased public investment; it has not faced a second wave
By its own standards, China?€?s economy is having a bad year. After four decades of stellar growth, the east Asian country will barely expand at all in 2020.
But just about every country - big or small - has faced a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, and China has suffered less than most. Whereas most western industrialised nations are still struggling to get back to where they were before the virus struck, Beijing has reported that there was year-on-year growth in the third quarter.
Nigerian security forces have opened fire on hundreds of protesters in Lagos, as rallies against police brutality continued in defiance of a 24-hour curfew. Footage shared on social media shows shots being fired in the Lekki district of Africa's largest city. Demonstrators continued their protest against the notorious Sars police unit, now dissolved but long-accused of extra-judicial killings, torture and extortion. The government has adopted measures including judicial panels to investigate abuses and compensation for victims, and officials have called for protesters to suspend the demonstrations to give the government time to make good on its pledges
The president is 'crushing' Covid-19 as the country surpasses 220,000 deaths from the virus. Speaking at a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Trump told voters 'If you want depression, doom and despair. Vote for sleepy Joe Biden. And boredom'. Trump blamed former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when his microphone cut out during the rally and also claimed that if the virus had not struck he would not have needed to campign very hard to win re-election.
Peter Madsen, a Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine, escaped the suburban Copenhagen jail where he is serving a life sentence - but was recaptured nearby on Tuesday. Danish media showed video of Madsen sitting in the grass with his hands behind his back and police at a distance
French imams have visited the school of the teacher who was beheaded by a suspected Islamist militant to pay their respects and call on Muslims to rally behind freedom of expression. Hassen Chalghoumi, an imam at Drancy mosque, said of the victim, Samuel Paty: 'He's a martyr, he's a wise man, he taught about tolerance, about civilisation and the respect of others.'
Prof Ravi Gupta?€?s career has informed HIV treatment and curative strategies in the UK and at the Africa Health Research Institute. His treatment of a London patient is, to date, only the second ever successful treatment of an HIV patient, where the person remains long-term virus free. Gupta talks to Sarah Boseley about how a career in HIV research is informing the testing and treatment for Covid-19 and what we can learn in any parallels between the two viruses
Lauren Gambino, political correspondent for Guardian US, discusses which states Biden will need to win to take the White House, and what Trump will need to do to retain the presidency
What matters on 3 November is not which candidate gets more votes in the US election, but who secures the 270 electoral college votes needed to get to the White House. Lauren Gambino, political correspondent for Guardian US, talks to Anushka Asthana about Joe Biden and Donald Trump?€?s possible paths to power.
In 2016, Trump pulled off a shock victory by becoming the first Republican presidential candidate in 28 years to win Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin - but by razor-thin victories says Lauren. Biden wants to get a higher turnout among African American voters and he wants to try and win back white, working-class former Democrat voters. Biden is also looking for support from the suburbs, particularly college-educated women and men who are increasingly turning away from Trump, and seniors. Biden has been trying to take back the narrative by reframing the race as ?€?a campaign between Scranton and Park Avenue?€? and polls currently have Biden leading in these battleground states. The president is also struggling to maintain control of states he won a bit more easily in 2016 - namely Florida, Arizona and North Carolina. If Trump loses Florida, where Biden has a marginal lead, it will be almost impossible for him to win the White House.
Czech police used teargas and a water cannon on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters, who attacked them after an anti-lockdown rally in Prague. Police rescue services said at least 20 people were injured in the clashes
Large number of US citizens demonstrated against the war in Iraq (and the possible war in Iran) during this October weekend. Massive turnout in Boston and San Fransisco, and also in Chicago, LA and DC people took to the streets. The message was: NO more war in Iraq! NO to a war with Iran!