Turkey agrees to back Nato plan for Baltic states and Poland

Nato chief says Ankara has dropped opposition to plan as fractious London summit draws to close Turkey has dropped its opposition to a plan to bolster the defences of Baltic states and Poland against Russia, the Nato secretary general has said, as the alliance attempted to paper over the cracks at the end of a summit in London. Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference that Nato leaders did not discuss the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey views as a terrorist organisation. Before the summit marking the 70th anniversary of Nato, Ankara had refused to back a Nato defence plan for the Baltics and Poland until it received more support for its battle with the YPG, including other alliance members …

Trump blasts Macron over brain dead Nato remarks

US president calls French leaders comments nasty and says Paris could leave alliance Donald Trump has lashed out at Emmanuel Macron on the first morning of a two-day Nato meeting, saying the French presidents description of Nato as brain dead was insulting and a very, very nasty statement. At a news conference alongside the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, the US president also accused Macron of trying to break away from Nato, as well as running a failing economy while discarding the fact he himself has described Nato as obsolete on previous occasions. Quick guide What is Nato and why are its members meeting in London? Show Hide What is Nato? TheNorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is a collective defence …

‘Bless this referendum’: Bougainville votes and prays for independence

Celebrations as voting begins to decide whether the region will break away from Papua New Guinea In the coastal town of Buka a solemn procession of people makes its way from the Catholic church to Bel Isi park, where worshippers kneel before a makeshift cross. There is one subject that dominates the prayers in Bougainville today. We are gathered here this morning in Bel Isi Park to ask you to bless the referendum. May it be peaceful and successful, says the priest. Besides those at the ceremony, the town is almost deserted. A handful of taxi boats float next to the closed market. The vessels have brought families dressed in their Sunday best for church from other parts of Buka …

Author hits back after library removes LGBT picture book from shelves

Gay adults grew up reading straight romances, says writer Daniel Haack after US library withdraws Prince & Knight from shelves The author of a rhyming picture book removed from the shelves of a West Virginia library has hit back at protesters, suggesting that anyone concerned the book could turn someone gay should remember all the gay adults who grew up only reading about straight romances. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack was pulled from West Virginias Upshur County public library earlier this week, a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children, especially boys, into the LGBTQA lifestyle. The book tells the story of a prince and a knight who fall in love, ending on the lines: And on the two mens …

Sondland points the finger at Trump and damns others for good measure

The EU envoy was emphatic that the shakedown scheme to hold back Ukrainian aid involved Trump and his top deputies When Gordon Sondland walked into the congressional impeachment hearing shortly after 9am, reports were circulating that the Trump administration and the Republican party was going to throw him under the bus for his part the Ukraine scandal, painting him as a hotelier turned diplomat who went rogue. The question was whether Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, would take the fall. In his eagerness to please the president, had he coordinated a parallel Ukraine policy to convince the Ukrainians to investigate Trumps political opponent, Joe Biden? But Trump and his allies were in for a shock. Any doubt …

Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X top 2020 Grammy nominations

Lizzo scores eight nominations with Eilish and Lil Nas X on seven, but British artists largely snubbed in major categories The 17-year-old pop sensation Billie Eilish has become the youngest artist to be nominated in all four of the most prestigious Grammy award categories: record, album and song of the year, and best new artist. Her gothic, innovative single When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is nominated for the album prize. She completed a sweep of the top categories with a best new artist nomination, and has six nominations in all. Her album engineers got a nod in the best engineered album category, including her brother and collaborator Finneas, who received three nominations. The most nominations were …

Coca-Cola country in southern Mexico photo essay

Photographer Diana Bagnoli finds out how Coke has become a key part of indigenous ceremonies and a staple source of hydration To enter the highlands of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, is to enter a world of vibrant indigenous culture, breathtaking natural beauty, entrenched racism and grinding poverty. It is also to enter the territory of Mexico than in any other country, and some studies suggest the indigenous communities of the highlands, or Los Altos, may be the soft drinks most loyal customers on the planet. A Coca-Cola van in the narrow streets of San Cristbal The signs are everywhere. Red trucks emblazoned with the curly white logo are familiar sights in towns and far-flung villages and on the winding, mist-shrouded …

Liberty and Justice for Democrats in Des Moines but no clear Iowa star

There was no Beto, and there was no Obama-esque dynamite at the big dinner just Warren v Biden on healthcare again Andrew Yang brought a stand-up comedian. Kamala Harris held a block party and danced with drum majorettes. Bernie Sanders led a march against corporate greed. But it was Elizabeth Warren who stole the show before it even started by nailing her an electric speech that lit up the race against Hillary Clinton. This year there was no shortage of candidates looking to replicate that moment before 13,000 people in a sports arena, the largest event in the history of what was previously the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, named for two former presidents until the party decided to stop honouring slave owners. …

Pete Buttigieg: race is between me and Warren as new poll puts him fourth

After Post-ABC poll has Biden ahead nationally with Warren in second, Buttigieg attacks senators Medicare for All plan as polarising Pete Buttigieg is fourth in a four-strong pack clear of the Democratic presidential field, according to to be broadcast on Showtime on Sunday, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said the race is getting to be a two-way between him and the Massachusetts senator. A world where were getting somewhere is that world, he said, where its coming down to the two of us. According to the Post-ABC poll, former vice-president Joe Biden leads nationally among likely primary voters, with 28% support, from Warren in second on 23%, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders on 17% and Buttigieg on 9%. Asked on …

Hex in the city: which terrifying town hits Halloween hardest?

Derry boasts a four-day festival, while in West Hollywood 500,000 revellers take part in a huge LGBT event but which city goes the furthest to spook its citizens? On a dark, dark night, in a dark, dark town, on a dark, dark street, skeletons, witches and zombies gather. Theres even the odd devil or two. The legions of the dead have come together for an annual Halloween night parade that will be watched by thousands of costumed revellers. But this isnt the US a country most people consider to be the Halloween mothership this is Derry, The Derry Revellers at a Halloween parade in Greenwich Village, New York City Irelands connection with All Hallows Eve dates back millennia to the …

Ronan Farrow on investigating Harvey Weinstein: When family issues are thrown at me, its a dirty move

Farrows investigation into the allegations against the producer won him a Pulitzer prize. He talks about the personal cost In the story behind the story of Mia Farrow and sexual abuse allegations made by Dylan, Farrows older sister, against their father. During the course of the investigation, Weinstein would weaponise all of this to try to unnerve him. If Farrow was intimidated, it isnt his style to show it: he is amused, sardonic, diminutive, in a way that invites comparisons to Matt Lauer, the former NBC host accused of sexual harassment, about whom the book contains explosive new allegations Farrow forgot to eat, go out except when following leads, or call his boyfriend in LA. For a while, he says, …

National Coming Out Day marked by worry over supreme court LGBTQ case

As court considers workplace discrimination protections, revellers and activists ponder fragile state of their rights National Coming Out Day festivities across the US were tempered this year by anxiety that some LGBTQ people may have to go back into the closet so they can make a living, depending on National Coming Out Day, first observed in 1988 and marked every 11 October though events happen over several days. Philadelphias annual language in the supreme court this week about whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ people from employment discrimination including a question by conservative chief justice John Roberts that appeared to show confusion about gender transitions and questions about bathroom use by liberals Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg …

Ecuador protests end after deal struck with indigenous leaders

President cancels austerity package that sparked weeks of violent street demonstrations Ecuadors president, Lenn Moreno, has struck a deal with indigenous leaders to cancel a disputed austerity package and end nearly two weeks of protests that have paralysed the economy and left seven dead. Under the agreement, Moreno will withdraw the International Monetary Fund-backed package, known as Decree 883, that included a sharp rise in fuel costs. Indigenous leaders, in turn, will call on their followers to end protests and street blockades. Comrades, this deal is a compromise on both sides, Moreno said. The indigenous mobilisation will end and Decree 883 will be lifted. The two sides will work together to develop a package of measures to cut government spending, …

NBA postpones media sessions in China as rift over Hong Kong tweet simmers

The NBA has postponed media sessions in Shanghai for the Nets and Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled The NBA has postponed Wednesdays scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled. The teams were training in Shanghai on Wednesday, where at least two other NBA events in advance of the start of the China games were called off as part of o Silver saying NBA employees were entitled to free speech. He said that in an environment fraught with possible economic peril. But he sided with the principles that we …

Hong Kong: thousands protest over shooting of teenager by police

Anger and grief fuel fresh demonstrations after injury of 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin Driven by anger and grief, thousands of people came out across Hong Kong to denounce the shooting of a teenage student by police, an escalation of force that appears to have deepened the gulf between protesters and authorities. They marched through the city centre, organised sit-ins at schools and gathered at a courtroom where other protesters faced rioting charges. Many who joined Wednesdays demonstrations held their hands over their chests in tribute to 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin, who was shot at point-blank range on Tuesday, with the bullet narrowly missing his heart. Tsang is in hospital in stable but critical condition after surgery to remove the bullet. The shooting …

Hong Kong protester shot with live round during China National Day rally

Violence erupts as thousands protest on 70th anniversary of communist rule in China Hong Kong police have shot a protester with live ammunition for the first time in four months of demonstrations, marking a major escalation in the use of force on a day when shooting the protester at point blank range with a pistol. Other footage Map of key incidents in Hong Kong Crowds gathered in central Hong Kong, where police were using water cannon and teargas, Hong Kong protesters use chairs as barricade during riots video Hong Kong has been gripped by protests since June. Sparked by a controversial extradition bill, they have morphed into a wider and increasingly violent anti-government movement channelling residents anger and frustration at …