World news Headlines

  • The end of the Castro era? Raúl's exit likely to change little in Cuba

    The island is getting a new president in Miguel Díaz-Canel – but the hands on the levers of power will remain the same As pundits around the globe proclaimed the end of the Castro era this week, Cuba’s new president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, promptly dismissed such a notion. “Raúl Castro … will lead the decisions of greatest transcendence for the present and the future of this country,” said Díaz-Canel in a speech marking the official changing of the guard on Thursday. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • The 20 photographs of the week

    Protests in Gaza, evacuations in Syria and the Commonwealth Games in Australia – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Elena Ferrante: ‘God didn’t make a good impression on my teenage self’

    I have no liking for the throne we have assigned ourselves by declaring that we are beloved children of God and lords of the universe When it comes to religion, I recognise myself in the three Marys, who, when they go to the grave and learn from an angel that Jesus has come back to life from the dead, begin trembling, beside themselves with fear. My religious experience stopped there. It happened when I was around 16. I read the gospels one after another, and the entire life of Jesus seemed...

    the Guardian
  • What happened to winter? Vanishing ice convulses Alaskans' way of life

    Arctic Dispatches, part 1: The past winter was the warmest on record in the Arctic, putting a lifestyle that has endured for millennia at risk: ‘The magnitude of change is utterly unprecedented’ A few days before Christmas last year, Harry Brower, mayor of Alaska’s North Slope Borough, was at home when he heard a stunning noise – the sound of waves lapping at the shore. The sound was as wrenching and misplaced as hearing hailstones thud into the Sahara. Until fairly recently, the Arctic ocean...

    the Guardian
  • How firms you have never interacted with can target your Facebook

    Advertisers are seemingly able to access accounts with no input from the user On one of Facebook’s myriad setting screens, a place where few dare tread, is a list of places you’ve probably never heard of, all of whom insist that they know you. It’s emblematic of the data protection issues Facebook is struggling to address in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, of the fact that these problems spread far beyond Facebook, and of the easy solutions the company could take if only it had the...

    the Guardian
  • South Africa riots force president to leave Commonwealth summit

    Cyril Ramaphosa travels to North West province where police have fired rubber bullets during protests over alleged corruption and failing services South African police have fired rubber bullets at protesters as violent riots forced President Cyril Ramaphosa to cut short his attendance at the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in London. Shops were looted, roads were blocked and vehicles set alight in North West province on Friday in unrest over alleged government corruption and poor public services....

    the Guardian
  • Memories still painful 25 years after Stephen Lawrence murder

    The south-east London suburb of Eltham has struggled to shake off a reputation for racism Life continues near the unobtrusive granite plaque which marks the spot where Stephen Lawrence died, 25 years ago on Sunday. A woman pushes a pram, cars and buses rumble along, people wait at a bus stop perhaps unaware that this is the place where the aspiring architect was set upon by a gang of racists and stabbed to death. The murder of the 18-year-old on Well Hall Road in Eltham, south-east London, left...

    the Guardian
  • Why road to Syria peace could begin in a sleepy Swedish farmhouse

    Divided UN heads for a retreat to remote corner of Sweden with the hope of thawing tensions The incessant trilling of the larks was still the dominant sound at Backåkra, a traditional ‘fyrlängad’ – a four-sided, half-timber farmhouse, overlooking a sun-bathed coastal heath sprinkled with purple flowers. But this peaceful, secluded corner of Österlen, the southeastern corner of the Swedish county of Skåne, will on Saturday be crawling with specialist security officers, diplomats and journalists...

    the Guardian
  • No joke: have China's censors gone too far with ban on humour app?

    End of Neihan Duanzi, which united strangers around funny memes, has driven users underground where they openly question controls over society There is a not-so-secret club in China. Members find each other in traffic by honking their horn – one long honk, followed by two short ones. Others identify each other by completing nonsensical couplets: “The son of heaven covers the tiger” – to which the correct response is “chicken stew with mushrooms”. They call themselves duanyou after the app Neihan...

    the Guardian
  • North Korea halts nuclear and missile tests ahead of planned Trump summit

    Pyongyang also says it plans to close nuclear test siteSummit between North and South to be held on FridayNorth Korea has said it will end its tests of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and shut down its nuclear test site, in a dramatic development ahead of a much-anticipated meeting between its leader, Kim Jong-un, and Donald Trump. The suspensions went into immediate effect on Saturday, according to state-run KCNA news agency. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Maltese politicians face calls for alleged money laundering inquiry

    Opposition leaders file at court into PM’s chief of staff and former energy minister Opposition leaders in Malta have filed an application to court asking for a formal inquiry into the offshore activities of prime minister Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff and one of his leading ministers. The opposition, in their application, want a magistrate to determine whether there have been any potential breaches of the criminal code, including money laundering. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • German town braces for arrival of neo-Nazis at music festival

    Large police deployment and counter-protests planned for event that coincides with Hitler’s birthday A small town in eastern Germany is bracing for the arrival of hundreds of neo-Nazis planning to attend a music festival timed to coincide with Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Anti-fascist groups have promised counter-protests, and a large police deployment aims to prevent violence during the Schild und Schwert (Shield and Sword, or SS) festival in Ostritz, Saxony, on the border with Poland. Continue...

    the Guardian
  • Israeli forces kill two at Gaza frontier during fourth week of protests

    Palestinian men aged 24 and 25 shot and killed near border fence in northern Gaza Israeli troops stationed on the frontier with Gaza have shot dead two Palestinians and wounded more than 40 people during the fourth week of Friday protests, all of which have been met with lethal force. Thousands of residents from the coastal strip demonstrated near the metal perimeter fence, some burning tyres and throwing rocks. Several young Palestinian men attempted to fly home-made kites with small cans of...

    the Guardian
  • Swedish DJ Avicii dies aged 28

    The producer and DJ, real name Tim Bergling, was found dead in Oman, his representative says Swedish DJ Avicii has died in Muscat, Oman, at the age of 28, according to reports. His representative said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Mexican court blocks sales of Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

    Distant relatives gain injunction against toymaker MattelDispute centres on who controls late artist’s image rightsDistant relatives of Frida Kahlo have won a temporary injunction that stops sales of a Barbie doll depicting the late Mexican artist. Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo argued in a Mexican court that Mattel does not have the rights to use Kahlo’s image as part of its Inspiring Women series. Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Theresa May says Windrush victims will be paid compensation

    PM tells Commonwealth leaders she will do ‘whatever it takes’ to resolve anxieties and problems many have suffered Theresa May has reassured Commonwealth leaders that members of the Windrush generation who have suffered “anxieties and problems” as a result of the government’s immigration rules will be paid compensation. Related: 'It's inhumane': the Windrush victims who have lost jobs, homes and loved ones Continue reading...

    the Guardian
  • Karen Dawisha obituary

    Author and academic whose book Putin’s Kleptocracy exposed how the Russian president rose to power Karen Dawisha, who has died aged 68 of cancer, was an outstanding and original scholar of Russia who argued that Vladimir Putin had turned his country into a corrupt authoritarian state run by a group of KGB cronies. Her 2014 book, Putin’s Kleptocracy – Who Owns Russia?, is a definitive account of how Russia’s president and his friends grabbed and consolidated power. Along the way they became among...

    the Guardian
  • The week that took Windrush from low-profile investigation to national scandal

    Britain’s reputation has been shattered by the cruelty of the government’s immigration policy For the past six months, the Guardian has highlighted case after case of Home Office brutality towards the Windrush generation, describing how retirement-age citizens who have lived and paid taxes in the UK for decades have been detained, made homeless, sacked or denied benefits and NHS treatment because they have struggled to prove they are British. Seven days ago, the government had barely...

    the Guardian
  • Uproar in Canada after homeopath gives boy pill made from rabid dog's saliva

    Homeopathic remedy allegedly cured behaviour problemCritics seek review of system for approving homeopathic treatmentsThe Canadian government’s system of approving homeopathic treatments has been challenged after a naturopath in the province of British Columbia claimed to have treated a four-year-old’s behavioural problems with a remedy made from the saliva of a rabid dog. Anke Zimmerman said she had used the product to treat a preschooler named Jonah who had been having trouble sleeping and...

    the Guardian
  • From Trump’s US to Syria, even the plain truth is tribal

    The denigration of Robert Mueller and the White Helmets shows the extent to which provable facts are now under siege There was a time when, even if we disagreed about the remedy, we did at least agree that the patient was sick. We might argue about the meaning of this or that event, but all sides usually accepted that the event in question had at least happened. No longer. A new and unsettling dimension has entered our collective, and global, conversation. Related: How Syria's White Helmets...

    the Guardian
  • Democratic party sues Russia, Wikileaks and Trump campaign over election disruption

    The party alleges in the federal lawsuit that Trump campaign officials conspired with Russia to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton The Democratic National Committee has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, Donald Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks, alleging a widespread conspiracy to help swing the 2016 US presidential election in Trump’s favor. The multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in the southern district of New York. The complaint asserts that senior...

    the Guardian
  • US woman sentenced to life for Valentine's Day shooting plot in Canada

    Lindsay Souvannarath pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder in a plan that involved opening fire at a mall in Halifax An American woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s Day shooting rampage at a Canadian mall was sentenced to life in prison on Friday with no chance of parole for nearly a decade. Lindsay Souvannarath of Geneva, Illinois, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder in a plan that involved opening fire at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2015....

    the Guardian
  • The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: alchemy fails again

    The prime minister has wasted precious time backing fanciful plans that looked unworkable from the start. A change of direction is long overdue Theresa May’s desire to combine exit from the EU’s customs union with an invisible border in Northern Ireland is not in doubt. The issue is not how much the prime minister wants a solution but whether a solution exists. Without one, Mrs May’s entire Brexit strategy unravels. Downing Street has been working on technical solutions to this problem, fleshing...

    the Guardian
  • Alarm bells ringing at the IMF

    Protectionism is a logical response to national insecurity, but it doesn’t have to be left to the right, suggests Colin Hines, while David Murray considers rising world debt There is a link between your warning that the International Monetary Fund needs to change policy to ensure that the benefits of global economic activities are shared by the majority (Editorial, 20 April) and Yanis Varoufakis’s gung-ho ode to The Communist Manifesto (The long read, 20 April). It is clear that the economic...

    the Guardian