The angry chef or the Michelin guide: which giant ego are you rooting for? | Dale Berning Sawa

The standoff between Marc Veyrat and the famous guide is about power and who has the last word, says food writer Dale Berning Sawa Marc Veyrat, the French weekly Le Point, saying: Hello, call me back please, its urgent. And when they did, he proceeded to relay, in great, indeed in operatic detail, quite how awful the fallout has been. He has been depressed, he has had dark thoughts. He hasnt been able to sleep or feed himself. He has cried as if his parents had passed away all over again. He has envisaged the very worst. The worst, of course, to his mind, had already happened. The Michelin, he said, would never be able to atone for this terrible …

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare climate crisis official emergency

Exclusive: Democrats to introduce resolution in House on Tuesday in recognition of extreme threat from global heating A group of US lawmakers including the 2020 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders are proposing to declare the climate crisis an official emergency a significant recognition of the threat taken after considerable pressure from environment groups. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman from New York, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, plan to introduce the same resolution in the House on Tuesday, their offices confirmed. A Sanders spokesperson said: President Trump has routinely declared phony national emergencies to advance his deeply unpopular agenda, like selling Saudi Arabia bombs that Congress had blocked. On the existential threat of climate change, Trump insists on …

Brazil’s ban on Cuban cigars leaves left fuming

Havana alleges servile and perverse bid to back US embargo but Bolsonaro government cites strictly technical criteria for ban The Cuban government has accused Brazils far-right president of depriving Brazilian smokers of the best Habano cigars in the world as part of a servile and perverse US-backed campaign against the communist-run island. Jair Bolsonaro has made attacking authoritarian regimes a mainstay of his discourse since taking office in January wing. And some suspect that hostility lay behind Cubas flagship Cohiba cigars. The decision was reportedly based on the discovery that one batch of imported Cohibas contained an excess of sobric acid. Cubas foreign trade minister, Rodrigo Malmierca Daz, slammed the ban on Tuesday. A ridiculous pretext, he branded Brazils move …

Rare photos shine light on ‘degrading’ conditions in Iraqi jails

Concerns overcrowding at prisons for Isis suspects could fuel radicalisation Photos have surfaced of overcrowded and degrading conditions in Iraqi detention centres used to hold thousands of men, women and children with suspected links to Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday it had acquired rare photographic evidence of conditions falling short of the most basic international standards at three facilities in Nineveh province. HRW warned the situation could lead to the radicalisation of vulnerable prisoners. In one photograph, taken at Tal Kayf prison, dozens of women and small children are so tightly packed into a cell that the floor is not visible and clothes and belongings are hung on the wall. In another, of a juvenile cell at Tal …

There is no ‘right’ v ‘left’: it is Trump and the oligarchs against the rest | Robert Reich

The president is the puppet master so Americans of all persuasions must look behind him, to where the real danger lies I keep hearing that the Democratic party has moved left and that Democratic candidates may be too far left. But in an era of unprecedented concentration of wealth and political power at the top, I cant help wondering what it means to be left. A half-century ago, when America had a large and growing middle class, those on the left sought stronger social safety nets and more public investment in schools, roads and research. Those on the right sought greater reliance on the free market. But as wealth and power have concentrated at the top, everyone else whether on …

‘Living joyously is a radical act’: why America’s gay bars still matter

Fifty years after Stonewall, and with Trump trying to roll back LGBTQ rights, Dominic Rushe visits three gay bars in different states and finds them as vibrant and vital as ever The gay bar is in trouble. Fifty years after the Stonewall Inn in New York became the symbol for a new wave of gay activism, the three horsemen of the gay bar apocalypse gentrification, assimilation and technology have hollowed out their numbers. Rising rents have shuttered gay bars; more straight venues are accepting of gay patrons; and dating is something people now do with their phones. Even the term gay bar looks a little tired as the LGBTQ community finally comes to terms with its many rainbow stripes. Bare …

The new drug highway: Pacific islands at centre of cocaine trafficking boom

Explosion in number of boats carrying cocaine and meth from Latin America to Australia is causing havoc for islands on the way It is the drug route youve never heard of: a multibillion-dollar operation involving cocaine and methamphetamines being packed into the hulls of sailing boats in the US and Latin America and transported to Australia via New Caledonia, whose waters and beaches are being used as storage grounds for billions of dollars worth of illicit drugs. Hundreds of kilograms of cocaine have washed up on remote Pacific beaches, ships laden with drugs have run aground on far-flung coral reefs, and locals have discovered huge caches of drugs stored in underwater nets attached to GPS beacons. Draw a direct line …

Women arrested after reporting ‘hitman’ they hired to Spanish police

Mother and daughter say man swindled them out of 7,000 fee to kill mothers partner A Spanish woman and her daughter have been arrested after going to a police station to complain that the man they hired to carry out a murder had swindled them out of the 7,000 (6,300) they paid him. The investigation began earlier this month, when the pair told police in Madrid that the mothers partner had cheated them out of a total of 60,000. It later emerged the daughters partner, who claimed to be a senior member of Spains secret services, had suggested they recover the lost money by killing the mothers boyfriend. They paid him a 7,000 downpayment on the understanding he would arrange …

Brexit: Johnson says Britain will leave EU on 31 October ‘do or die’

Tory leadership frontrunner hardens position as Eurosceptics extend influence on faltering campaign Boris Johnson has hardened his position on leaving the EU do or die by the end of October, as hardline Eurosceptics extended their influence on his altercation with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds. In a round of interviews designed to put the focus back on his EU policy and away from his personal life, Johnson appeared to signal there was an increasing prospect of a no-deal Brexit three months after he would take office. Profile Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign Show Hide Personal style A late-night altercation between Tory leadership favourite, Boris Johnson, and his partner, Carrie Symonds have changed the dynamics of Johnson’s campaign. He had been either …

Don’t give up! How to stay healthy, happy and combative in impossible political times

Walk the dog, let go with a cry, head to the gym or have sex. Leading campaigners on how to look after yourself before heading back into the fray Every week it seems there is something new to protest about. If we are now in environmentalist and authorTry to spend a little time outdoors, whether it is in a city park or out in the woods or mountains. One of the things we are fighting for is a world where nature still has some place and so its good to get out and remind ourselves of that. I try to get outside every day, just for a few minutes. If I can just see the sky, thats good; sometimes I …

Promises, promises: has Donald Trump kept his word in office?

In 2016, the insurgent Republican hammered home his message on jobs, judges, immigration and more. Has he delivered? Promise: Building a border wall and making Mexico pay for it Verdict: Failure. As of last month, no new wall had been erected in places where there was not already a barrier at the border. Trump has awarded contracts for 247 miles of wall construction but this has been challenged in court. Even if he prevails, all but 17 miles would promising a phenomenal replacement but while Democrats control the House, this is dead in the water. Promise: Reforming tax Verdict: Success. Republicans passed the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades in December 2017. Trump has claimed it was the biggest tax …

The Guatemalans who pay the price for the wests need for nickel

A vast European-owned mine is operating near Mayan villages, sparking a battle for survival The road to Guatemalas biggest nickel mine is barely visible through a cloud of red dust, churned up by the 25-tonne trucks that thunder past loaded with ore. From the choking haze a cyclist emerges, weaving between the lorries. On his back he carries a bundle of firewood. Goggles protect his eyes, a bandana covers his nose and mouth. Manuel Choc, a grandfather with greying hair, lives in the settlement of El Paraso, almost opposite the gates of the Fenix mine. Each bundle sells for 10 quetzals (1). It is a precarious living. Many people have died on the road, says Choc. The trucks run them …

A Jerusalem hospital where Palestinian babies die alone

Israeli blockade on Gaza means parents are separated from critically ill children At first glance, nothing appeared out of place at the childrens intensive care unit. Nine beds were filled with nine tiny newborn babies, all with tubes attached to their wiry bodies. Monitors emitted the sounds of steady electronic blips. Nurses walked from bedside to bedside. A tired-looking paediatrician filled out paperwork. Yet something was missing: there were no parents. Some had been sent home to rest, or might be anxiously drinking coffee in the cafeteria downstairs. But for two babies at this Palestinian hospital in Jerusalem, their mothers were trapped an hour and a half away behind an Israeli-enforced blockade in Gaza. Both infants would later die, one …

State projects leave tens of thousands of lives in the balance in Ethiopia study

Giant dam and irrigated sugar plantations mean people in lower Omo valley face starvation and conflict, says US thinktank A giant dam and irrigated sugar plantations are wreaking havoc in southern Ethiopia and threaten to wipe out tens of thousands of indigenous peoples , a US-based thinktank has claimed. The Gibe III, Africas tallest dam. Since late 2015, the dam has stopped the rivers annual flood, a natural event that the valleys inhabitants have relied upon for centuries for farming. As a result, entire communities have been tipped into destitution. Responding to the report, Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopias minister of water, irrigation and electricity , said that while the government accepts there are problems, the points raised in the paper are …

Julian Assange to appear in court after Javid signs US extradition request

Home secretary opens way for court to consider whether Assange should be sent to US The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has revealed he has signed a request for Julian Assange to be extradited to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking. Speaking on BBC Radio 4s Today programme on Thursday, Javid said: Hes rightly behind bars. Theres an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow. Javids decision opens the way to the court sending the WikiLeaks founder to the US. Assange faces an 18-count indictment, issued by the US Department of Justice, that …

Trump wants to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia. Congress must stop him | Mohamad Bazzi

The administration wants to sell $8bn of weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE and prop up a morally indefensible war On the Friday before Memorial Day, when few Americans were paying attention, the Trump administration announced that it would to block the administration from going ahead with the sales by introducing 22 resolutions of disapproval one for each of the deals cleared by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The effort is led by two unlikely allies: Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey and frequent Trump critic, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who is one of Trumps biggest supporters. The two senators agree on one thing: that Saudi Arabia should face more scrutiny of its actions in …