Why is this top Democrat absent from the fight against toxic pollution in Cancer Alley?

Louisiana congressman Cedric Richmond has taken hundreds of thousands of oil, gas and chemical dollars but is accused of failing to help his constituents On a crisp autumn day in Washington last month, Mary Hampton and Robert Taylor entered Cedric Richmonds office hoping their federal representative would take the time to listen. The two had travelled 1,000 miles from Reserve, a town in southern Louisiana where, according to US government science, the risk of cancer is the highest in the country due to airborne toxins emitted by a nearby chemical plant. of a compound named chloroprene, listed by the US government as a likely carcinogen. Box Richmond, the 46-year-old congressman, has represented the residents of Reserve, and most of the …

‘Its revenge’: Ukraine’s ex-central banker blames oligarch for attacks

Accusations levelled by Valeria Gontareva against Ihor Kolomoiskiy provide test for Ukraines new president It is possible that when a car drove into Valeria Gontareva at a pedestrian crossing in Knightsbridge, central London, in late August it was merely an accident. But soon after, while Gontareva was recovering in hospital, her sons car was set on fire back home in Kyiv. A few days after that, her family home in the Ukrainian capital was also burned down. For Gontareva there is no doubt that the attacks are part of a disturbing pattern. Its revenge, she said, appearing for an interview in a wheelchair in the lobby of the luxury central London apartment block where she now lives. Gontareva made a …

Watergate to Ukraine: how TV will dictate Trump’s impeachment fate

As public hearings loom, one Nixon biographer remembers a time the system worked but few are sure it will again We are beginning these hearings today in an atmosphere of the utmost gravity a mood of incredulity has prevailed among our populace, and it is the constitutional duty of this committee to act expeditiously to allay the fears being expressed by the citizenry, and to establish the factual bases upon which these fears have been founded. Those were the begin public impeachment hearings regarding Donald Trump and his attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Televised hearings will be an opportunity for the American people to evaluate the witnesses for themselves, Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence …

An Oscars ban for a Nigerian film shows the Academy still doesnt get it on race | Afua Hirsch

Excluding Lionheart for using English shows Africans are still expected to satisfy American ideas of authenticity, says Guardian columnist Afua Hirsch The penny about the USs worldview dropped for me when I recently interviewed a highly educated, accomplished, politically and racially literate American. I mentioned something about the British empire and he looked at me blankly. What is that exactly? he asked. This isnt a criticism of individual Americans; many British people themselves dont know their own imperial history. Its a feature of what is taught in schools and purveyed in the media, which is myopic. But news about the 2020 Oscars this week did bring that particular exchange back to mind. The Academy was considering a Nollywood film industry …

Trump orders US troops out of northern Syria as Turkish assault continues

At least 750 Isis affiliates escape after Turkish shelling of camp guarded by Kurds with whom US forces were working Amid spoke to CBSs Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday. Trumps national security team planned to meet to assess the situation, he said, as the US continued to urge Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoan to halt his incursion. Asked if he thought Turkey, a Nato ally, would deliberately attack US troops in Syria, Esper said: I dont know whether they would or wouldnt. He cited an incident on Friday in which a small number of troops fell under artillery fire at an observation post in the north. Esper called that an example of indiscriminate fire coming close to Americans, …

Man who invented labradoodle says it’s his ‘life’s regret’

Wally Conron says he created a Frankensteins monster as unethical breeders now make hybrids with serious health problems Three decades ago, Wally Conron bred two unlike animals to unleash a creature the world had never seen. Today, he says its his lifes regret: I opened a Pandoras box and releaseda Frankensteins monster. That travesty was a labradoodle. Conron decided to breed a poodle and a labrador following a request from a blind woman in Hawaii, who needed a guide dog that wouldnt inflame her husbands allergies. First he tried poodles, but they lacked the personality required for guide work, he told Australias designer dogs the offspring of Psychology Today in 2014: All these backyard breeders have jumped on the bandwagon, …

How Trump could lose the popular vote again and hold the White House

Hillary Clinton won a majority but lost the presidency in the electoral college. A close election could bring a repeat Some defeats never lose their sting. A study from the University of Texas at Austin found that the electoral college is much more likely than previously thought to elect the candidate who loses the popular vote. In close elections, researchers argues, such inversions are normal, not exceptional. In a race decided by less than 2% (2.6m votes), the study found, the probability of an inversion is 32%. In a race decided by less than 1% (1.3m votes), the probability is 45%. Its almost a coin flip, said won New York and California she did so by big margins, but when …

Netanyahu struggles to hold on to power as Gantz claims victory

Blue and White leader rejects offer to serve under Likud after close-run Israeli election Benjamin Netanyahu is furiously manoeuvring to cling to office after his rival Benny Gantz refused to serve under him in a government of national unity following an inconclusive election. Gantzs Blue and White alliance is two seats ahead of the Israeli prime ministers Likud party, according to results published by Israeli media with 97% of the vote counted. Neither bloc has an obvious path to form a majority coalition, and Netanyahu called for them to join together in a unity government, hinting that he might be willing to accept a power-sharing arrangement with Gantz, a precedent found in the rotation of the prime ministers office between …

‘Bollywood Oscars’ comes home with first ceremony in India

20th international Indian film academy awards will be held in Mumbai this week The international Indian film academy awards known as the Bollywood Oscars are to be held in India for the first time in their history this week. Mumbai will host the 20th IIFA awards ceremony on Wednesday, where the megastars of a booming Hindi film industry will celebrate another bumper year, including in huge markets such as China. The event has been held in countries around the world since it began in 2000, with previous host cities including London, Toronto and Singapore, and most recently Bangkok. Dancers perform the opening number at last years IIFA awards. Photograph: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images With nearly 1,800 titles released in 2018, India …

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden review the whistleblowers memoir

The call of duty and a patriotic pedigree are given priority in Snowdens account of his motivations and he warns of dangers ahead Towards the end of Edward Snowdens memoir, he hands the narrative to his partner, Lindsay Mills, in the form of the diary she was keeping at the time he was American and British spy agencies. Ed, what have you done? she wrote. How can you come back from this? Permanent Record is Snowdens attempt to answer these questions by doing something he finds discomforting and antithetical: breaching his own privacy, opening up what he calls the empty zone that lies beyond the reach of the state. This is the space he has guarded for six years, but …

Boris Johnson vows to use powers of persuasion to win new Brexit deal

PM rejects calls for article 50 extension and says he may ignore law blocking no deal Boris Johnson has said he will win a new Brexit deal at next months EU summit by using his powers of persuasion, and rejected calls for a further extension to article 50. The prime minister said he had no plans to accept new legislation that would require him to write to the EU asking for a pointless delay to Brexit. Weve spent a long time trying to sort of fudge this thing and I think the British public really want us to get out. They dont want more dither and delay, he said during a visit on Friday to a farm near Banchory, Aberdeenshire, …

David Koch obituary

US businessman, free marketeer and rightwing activist David Koch, who has died aged 79, was ranked as the eleventh richest person in the world. Charles wanted to minimise the role of government and maximise the role of the private economy … and personal freedoms, but the brothers philosophy was self-serving, protecting their worth and working against regulation of their business interests. David was the more public of the two, his philanthropy extending beyond the brothers massive spending on rightwing thinktanks, academic programmes, activist organisations and campaign funding; he was a major donor to the arts and medicine, especially in New York, where he maintained homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. He moved between them, Aspen (Colorado), Palm Beach (Florida) and …

No-deal Brexit would shrink UK’s global influence, say ex-ambassadors

Former senior diplomats write to PM urging him to signal a different approach at G7 summit Leaving the European Union without a deal would vastly shrink the UKs international influence and would represent the biggest unilateral abandonment of long-term British interests in modern history, a group of former ambassadors have claimed. In a letter, signed by 25 former senior diplomats and published in the Times, they urged Boris Johnson to signal a different approach at this weekends energetic partner to its international allies after Brexit. The Britain I lead will be an international, outward-looking, self-confident nation, he said. We will be an energetic partner on the world stage. We will stand alongside our G7 allies to solve the most pressing …

Texas: Republican powerhouse could shift to Democrats as demographics change

The GOP has dominated the state for 30 years, but a slew of retirements and a rise in Hispanic voters may mean Texas becomes a battleground again Sri Preston Kulkarni has just moved into his campaign headquarters, which for now could hardly be more bland: a faceless office with blinds on the windows in a tucked-away suburban Houston business park. Not far away, though, are a Muslim community centre, a Korean market, Hindu temples, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and Mexican restaurants reminders that this sprawling Texas metropolis is one of the most diverse urban areas in the nation. Houstons fast-growing south-western suburbs are, for Kulkarni, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for a Texas congressional district, an American success story: a …

Global trade disruption is a symptom of a deeper malaise | Mohamed El-Erian

Resolving US-China trade war is not enough to ward off what many fear is a looming worldwide recession It is only a matter of time until the escalating tensions between China and the US prompt many more economists to warn of an impending global economic recession coupled with financial instability. On 5 August, Bloomberg News Larry Summers, a former US treasury secretary who was also closely involved in crisis-management efforts in 2008-09, recently The Only Game in Town, all of these recent developments and also, of course, the growing US-China tensions are related in a meaningful way to two basic and persistent features of the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis. The first is the prolonged period in which …

Mussolinis birthplace cashes in on the surge of far-right tourism

Thousands of curious visitors and fascists descend on the Apennine town Dressed in black T-shirts, their arms inked with tattoos, Fabrizio and Mameli Gamberini are on their yearly homage trip to Predappio, the birth town and burial place of Benito Mussolini. Were fascists, Mameli proudly admits as she leaves Predappio Tricolore, a souvenir shop teeming with Mussolini memorabilia, on Friday morning. We come every year at the end of July to buy a few new keepsakes, visit his tomb and leave some flowers in his honour. The couple, from Varese, are in Predappio, a town nestled among the hills of the Appenines in the Emilia-Romagna region, to celebrate the 136th anniversary of the Italian dictators birth on 29 July. Interactive …