Brunei defends death by stoning for gay sex in letter to EU

Kingdoms mission to bloc calls for tolerance and understanding over penal code Brunei has written to the European parliament defending its decision to start imposing new penal code, which also provides for the amputation of thieves and whipping of people wearing clothes associated with the opposite sex, was brought in on 3 April, despite international condemnation. But in the letter, the kingdom claimed the outcry is due to a misconception that it wanted to clarify. The criminalisation of adultery and sodomy is to safeguard the sanctity of family lineage and marriage to individual Muslims, particularly women, it said. The penal sentences of hadd stoning to death and amputation imposed for offences of theft, robbery, adultery and sodomy, have extremely high …

Sudan: former president Omar al-Bashir moved to prison

Ousted leader is being held in solitary confinement in the notorious Kobar prison Deposed ex-Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been moved to Khartoums grim high-security Kobar prison from the presidential residence, family sources said on Wednesday, as military rulers announced steps to crack down on corruption. Bashir, 75, had been detained under heavy guard in the presidential residence inside the compound that also houses the defence ministry, before being transferred to Kobar prison late on Tuesday, the sources said. He was being held in solitary confinement at Kobar, a prison source said. Kobar, just north of central Khartoum adjacent to the Blue Nile river, housed thousands of political prisoners under Bashirs nearly 30-year rule and is Sudans most notorious jail. …

Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal would bury the two-state solution

The Israeli PMs West Bank annexation idea is likely to have had the nod from Trump Benjamin Netanyahus Haaretz poll last month found 42% of Israelis supported West Bank annexation. Netanyahu also recently suggested that Israel, in extremis, the undertaker of the two-state solution the longstanding plan for two separate states co-existing side-by-side, which has hitherto underpinned the internationally sponsored peace process to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. If implemented, his latest proposals would permanently bury it in an unmarked grave. A rightwinger instinctively opposed to Palestinian self-determination, Netanyahu has a history of changing tack as political circumstances demand. In the 2009 elections, he supported a demilitarised Palestinian state. In the 2015 polls, he Israels Arab citizens comprising 17% of the …

Atlantic City: ‘Trump turned this place into a ghost town’

When Trump won the election, photographer Brian Rose made straight for the gambling town to show the reality behind his billionaire boasts. The broken city he captured speaks volumes about todays America When $700m worth of junk bonds which meant the Taj had to come up with $94m a year just to pay off its debts, and $1m a day to be profitable Trump insisted the casino would make Atlantic City great again, returning the area to its prohibition-era glory days. When photographer Trump Entertainment Resorts. His grim shot of a pigeon lying dead on the ground outside, beneath large pictures of strenuously grinning Trump employees, perfectly captures an area that now seems bereft of opportunity. I actually went back …

Canada warming at twice the global rate, climate report finds

Report by Environment and Climate Change Canada suggests the majority of warming is the result of burning fossil fuels Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, a landmark government Canadas climate is warming more rapidly than the global average, and this level of warming effectively cannot be changed, Nancy Hamzawi, assistant deputy minister for science and technology at Environment and Climate Change Canada, told reporters on Monday. The report, released late on Monday by Environment and Climate Change Canada, paints a grim picture of Canadas future, in which deadly heatwaves and heavy rainstorms become a common occurrence. Forty-three government scientists and academics authored the peer-reviewed report. While global temperatures have increased 0.8C since 1948, Canada …

Fury as Bolsonaro orders Brazil army to mark 55th anniversary of military coup

Presidents instruction that defence ministry must hold appropriate commemorations of 21-year military rule sparks outrage Victims of Brazils dictatorship have responded with fury after far-right president hundreds of people were killed or forcibly disappeared. But his instructions that the military should mark the coups 55th anniversary this Sunday has prompted widespread fury. Brazil celebrating the anniversary of the 64 coup is like Germany instituting Hitler Day, a former Marxist guerrilla who was imprisoned and tortured during the dictatorship. Her government launched a truth commission which published an exhaustive said the spokesman, General Otvio Rgo Barros. He believes that considering the danger [Brazil] was in society brought together civilians and the military to put the country back on track. The decision …

Manneken Pis no longer peeing water down the drain

Famed Belgian statue wasted 1,000 to 2,500 litres of fresh clean drinking water each day For four centuries the celebrated Manneken Pis the peeing boy in the local Dutch dialect has embodied the laissez-faire culture of the Belgians. But, to the surprise of officials in the city of Brussels, it has emerged that the bronze statue had been weeing fresh clean drinking water 1,000 to 2,500 litres of it a day, sufficient for the use of 10 households directly into the citys sewers. The discovery was made by Rgis Callens, an energy technician, after a meter was installed in the 61cm (24in) statue. We thought it was a closed circuit and that he wasnt consuming anything, Callens told La Dernire …

‘Thai Banksy’ tests boundaries with gallery show before election

Headache Stencils work portrays Thai democracy as a game for the ruling elite His works began appearing overnight on the streets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai five years ago, incendiary satirical depictions of the military officials who took power in Thailand in the 2014 coup. The authorities worked quickly to erase all trace of the graffiti, but there was no stopping the artist, who calls himself Headache Stencil and is often referred to as the Banksy of Thailand. Pictures of his works portraying the Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, as Dr Evil from Austin Powers or the deputy prime minister on the face of a Rolex have been shared millions of times on social media. In the buildup to on …

Julin Castro: the US should launch a Marshall plan in Central America

Exclusive: 2020 candidate is calling for US to emulate 1948 aid program as alternative to Trumps proposed wall in interview with the Guardian The US should launch a 21st-century Marshall plan in Central America to help stricken countries combat gangs and poverty to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to Americas southern border, the Democratic presidential candidate Julin Castro has proposed. Castro, a former mayor of the Texas city of San Antonio and cabinet member under Barack Obama, is calling for the US to emulate undocumented immigrants seeking to enter the US illegally in recent years. But he added there would also be attention given to Mexico and other emerging economies such as Brazil. Throughout our history the United States …