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  • Middle East crisis live: Israeli government blocking ‘lifesaving aid’ and ‘starving’ Palestinians, Human Rights Watch says
    by Yohannes Lowe on February 26, 2024 at 11:23 am

    Human rights body says Israel not adhering to order International Court of Justice on aid provision to GazaThe UN rights chief has decried disinformation and other attacks that aim to “undermine the legitimacy” and work of the UN and other institutions, describing them as “profoundly destructive”.Speaking at the opening of the UN human rights council’s main annual session, Volker Turk criticised widespread “disinformation that targets UN humanitarian organisations, UN peacekeepers and my office”.The UN has become a lightning rod for manipulative propaganda and a scapegoat for policy failures.This is profoundly destructive of the common good, and it callously betrays the many people whose lives rely on it. Continue reading...

  • PM says Lee Anderson’s comments ‘not acceptable’ but denies Tory party has Islamophobic tendencies – UK politics live
    by Andrew Sparrow on February 26, 2024 at 11:19 am

    Rishi Sunak gave interviews to local stations in Yorkshire where he is chairing his cabinet meeting this morningRishi Sunak is now on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Scott Dalton is interviewing him, and asks why it is taking so long for the HS2 money to go to transport projects in the north.Sunak says he thinks the money has been redirected quite quickly.I believe racism or prejudice of any kind is completely unacceptable, and we must stamp it out.And that’s because we’re the most successful multi-ethnic democracy in the world. And that’s because we have a way of doing these things, of respecting everyone, and at the same time ensuring that everyone integrates into our community and subscribes to a common set of British values. That’s not an easy thing to do. But I think we do it better than any other country, and we need to work hard to protect that. Continue reading...

  • Putin, Trump, production capacity: the defence challenges facing Europe
    by Lili Bayer in Brussels on February 26, 2024 at 10:36 am

    It is generally agreed Europe needs to spend more on defence, but questions remain about how much and how fast this can be achievedEurope is racing to avoid a “blame game” on defence as it grapples with how to increase production amid a serious ammunition shortage in Ukraine and growing questions over the future of US support.As Ukraine enters the third year of Russia’s full-scale invasion and worries mount about the US commitment to Nato, politicians, diplomats and experts largely agree that Europe needs to do more on defence. The fraught topic will no doubt be on the agenda as about 20 European leaders gather in Paris on Monday to send Vladimir Putin a message of European resolve. Continue reading...

  • Hungary set to finally approve Sweden joining Nato
    by Miranda Bryant in Stockholm on February 26, 2024 at 10:15 am

    Yes vote expected nearly two years after historically neutral country applied to join military allianceHungary’s parliament is finally expected to vote in favour of Sweden’s Nato membership – bringing to an end months of limbo and diplomatic wrangling – nearly two years after the historically neutral country applied to join the western military alliance.The vote, expected to take place in Budapest on Monday between 4pm and 6pm local time (3pm and 5pm GMT), follows Friday’s meeting between the Swedish prime minister, Ulf Kristersson, and his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orbán, in which they agreed to put aside their differences – saying they were “prepared to die for each other”. Continue reading...

  • Denmark drops investigation into Nord Stream pipeline blasts
    by Reuters in Copenhagen on February 26, 2024 at 10:06 am

    Country follows Sweden in ending inquiries, saying there is not enough grounds to pursue criminal caseUkraine war – live updatesDenmark has dropped its investigation into the 2022 explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines carrying Russian gas to Germany, becoming the second country to do so after Sweden closed a separate inquiry.The multibillion-dollar Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines transporting gas under the Baltic Sea were ruptured by a series of blasts in the Swedish and Danish economic zones in September 2022, releasing vast amounts of methane into the air. Continue reading...

  • India confronts Google over Gemini AI tool’s ‘fascist Modi’ responses
    by Amrit Dhillon in Delhi on February 26, 2024 at 9:42 am

    Junior minister accuses tech firm of violating country’s IT laws with ‘downright malicious’ answersA response from Google’s AI platform suggesting that some experts believe the policies of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, polices to be “fascist” has provoked a confrontation between the company and the government.The journalist Arnab Ray last week put the question as to whether Modi was a fascist to Google’s generative AI platform, Gemini. He received the answer that Modi was “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterized as fascist”. Continue reading...

  • Mary Poppins’ UK age rating raised to PG due to discriminatory language
    by Kevin Rawlinson on February 26, 2024 at 9:37 am

    British Board of Film Classification lifts it from U certificate almost 60 years after film was first releasedMary Poppins has had its age rating lifted to a PG by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) almost 60 years after it was first released.The film’s rating has been upgraded from U – which signifies no material likely to offend or harm – to one advising parental guidance due to the use of discriminatory language, the Daily Mail reported. Continue reading...

  • Weather tracker: US braces for sharp swing in temperatures
    by Daniel Harris (Metdesk) on February 26, 2024 at 9:33 am

    Warm spell in northern and central areas will make way for icy blast this weekA sharp swing in temperatures has been forecast across northern and central parts of the US this week, with potentially record-breaking warm weather giving way to a cold front.Wisconsin is likely to challenge its all-time February high on Tuesday with a forecast of 17C (63F) – 0.5C above the record set at Stevens Point in 2000. The warm spell is likely to be short lived, however. On Tuesday evening a broad area of low pressure will bring heavy rain before a surge of cold air turns rain into snow as the temperature dips to zero. Continue reading...

  • UK eating disorder charity says calls from people with Arfid have risen sevenfold
    by Denis Campbell Health policy editor on February 26, 2024 at 9:30 am

    Beat chief says NHS bosses must end postcode lottery in care for people with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder The number of people in the UK who have a previously little-known eating disorder, in which those afflicted avoid many foods, has risen sevenfold in five years, figures show.The eating disorders charity Beat received 295 calls about avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (Arfid) in 2018 – comprising 2% of its 20,535 inquiries that year. However, it received 2,054 calls last year, which accounted for one in 10 of its 20,535 requests for help. Many were from children and young people or their parents.Feeling full after eating only a few mouthfuls and struggling to consume more.Taking a long time over mealtimes or finding eating a chore.Sensitivity to the texture, smell or temperature of foods.Eating the same meals repeatedly or eating food only of the same colour, such as beige.Avoidance of sensory aspects, such as particular tastes, smells, textures and look of foods.An apparent lack of interest in food.Concern about adverse consequences, such as a fear of choking or vomiting or fear of new foods Continue reading...

  • Sunak says no Islamophobia issues in Tory party despite Anderson remarks
    by Peter Walker Deputy political editor on February 26, 2024 at 9:13 am

    PM says prejudice unacceptable but refuses to address anti-Muslim concerns after comments about London mayorUK politics live – latest updatesRishi Sunak has denied that the Conservative party has a problem with Islamophobia after Lee Anderson’s comments about Sadiq Khan, continuing to label them as “wrong” rather than prejudiced.During a round of BBC local radio interviews to promote spending moved from HS2 to local transport projects, the prime minister was quizzed on Anderson’s claim that the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, was controlled by Islamists, remarks for which he lost the Conservative whip. Continue reading...