Protesters mass ahead of Trump’s presidency

Donald Trump and his wife Melania wave as they arrive at a pre-inaugural "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial last night EVAN VUCCI/APDonald Trump flew to Washington yesterday to take the oath of office in a city braced for the biggest demonstrations against a new US president since the Vietnam war. As many as 900,000 people are expected to descend on the US capital today — both wellwishers and protesters — to mark the passing of power from America’s first black president to its first with no experience of elected or military office. Up to 250,000 people are likely to march in the city against the new commander-in-chief this weekend. Last night a group of demonstrators clashed with police and threw litter at people attending the “DeploraBall”, a pro-Trump event in downtown Washington named after Hillary Clinton’s jibe that his supporters were a “basket of deplorables”.

January 20, 2017 00:04 UTC

Britons among world’s worst for drinking in pregnancy

Britain has the seventh-highest rate of foetal alcohol syndrome in the world, with an estimated 61.3 cases per 10,000 births DAVID BEBBER/THE TIMESBritish women are more likely to drink alcohol while pregnant than mothers-to-be in most other countries in the world, a study has found. The UK has one of the highest rates of foetal alcohol syndrome, the leading known cause of non-genetic intellectual disability in the western world, researchers say. The condition is caused by exposure to alcohol in the womb. Britain, where 41.3 per cent of women drink during pregnancy, is behind only Ireland (60.4 per cent), Belarus (46.6 per cent) and Denmark (45.8 per cent), and ahead of Russia (36.5 per cent), according to the study, published online in The Lancet Global Health. Experts said that official advice — which cautions against drinking any alcohol if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant — was…

January 20, 2017 00:04 UTC

Cooke to give evidence in parliament

Cooke has raised questions over the role of Cope in the Wiggins controversy BRYN LENNON/GETTY IMAGESTeam Sky and British Cycling may face more uncomfortable disclosures after it was announced that Nicole Cooke, the outspoken former Olympic road race champion, would give evidence as part of an inquiry by MPs into the contents of a medical package given to Sir Bradley Wiggins. Cooke has raised questions over the role of Simon Cope, who was the British Cycling women’s coach at the time he delivered the package to France in June 2011. She will now be able to expand on her claims under parliamentary privilege when she appears before the culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday. Sir Dave Brailsford, the principal of Team Sky, told MPs last month that the package delivered to Wiggins before the 2011 Tour de France…

January 20, 2017 00:04 UTC

Most firms unaware of cheaper deals on water

More than 1.2 million businesses will have the choice of 14 water retailers AlamyThe vast majority of businesses are unaware of a shake-up of the water industry in England that will allow them to negotiate cheaper supply deals or switch to a new provider. From April 1 more than 1.2 million businesses, councils and public sector organisations will be able to choose their “water retailer”. Although the water coming through the pipes will be pumped by the usual regional monopoly supplier, now termed “wholesaler”, non-household users will have a choice of 14 retailers, which will aim to offer lower charges or better services through more efficient billing and account management. However, while Ofwat says that this is the biggest shake-up of the industry since privatisation nearly three decades ago, the regulator’s own research of 1,000 businesses found that…

January 20, 2017 00:04 UTC

Almeida to stage anarchic comedy about Rupert Murdoch at the Sun

The birth of the Sun newspaper, and the enduring impact of Rupert Murdoch’s sexed-up approach to journalism, is to be explored as part of the new season at London’s Almeida theatre. Rupert Goold, the Almeida’s artistic director, who will direct the production, described it as a comedy that was “very anarchic and very nostalgic about the lost traditions of Fleet Street”. Goold said the activities of the young Murdoch provided a wealth of dramatic material for Graham to work with, describing it as a “great role, very funny”. With debate continuing about whether the second part of the Leveson inquiry will proceed, the play will be particularly timely. “The project may even grow beyond the Almeida and become more international as it develops,” he said.

January 20, 2017 00:01 UTC

On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh #GlobalWarning

It is well known that many of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are among those who contribute to it the least, and here that’s certainly true. Whether it is climate change, I’m not sure.”Scientists say the sinking of islands in the Bay in Bengal is due to natural and possibly manmade climate change. I’m quite convinced it is happening because of climate change. Erosion because of storm surges precedes climate change. “Climate change migration is an issue of the future that we will have to think about and plan for.”

January 20, 2017 00:00 UTC

Memphis Depay is a dream signing for Lyon, says Jean-Michel Aulas

The Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, believes Memphis Depay is chomping at the bit to show his “immense talent” as the Holland forward puts the final touches on his move from Manchester United. Aulas expects a deal to be concluded for the 22-year-old in the next 48 hours, with the transfer fee rising to £21.7m with bonuses. When you see him developing, you get the impression that he really wants to show his immense talent. Aulas said: “It was a dream, because he corresponds exactly with the player we were looking for. “This is a big operation, because I think it will be around €16.5m, with up to eight million in bonuses.

January 19, 2017 23:15 UTC

Thanks, Obama: how the president's supporters spent his last day in office

On Barack Obama’s final day in office, Cassandra Metzger stood on a sidewalk facing the White House uncertain of her future. Standing at her side was Amy Lewis, an acupuncturist who has treated Metzger and who organized the gathering of Obama supporters. Like several other supporters, she had posted an event on Facebook for those who might wish to join her outside the White House on Obama’s final day. A larger rally, dubbed “Thanks Obama”, was expected to draw thousands in south-west Washington later in the day. But that didn’t stop others from perching themselves as close to the White House as possible to bid farewell.

January 19, 2017 22:38 UTC

Close Relations review – a family and a nation divided

Close Relations is about relations growing further apart: the divided loyalties that have come painfully to the surface in Ukraine. It is almost the equivalent of unionism in Northern Ireland, and in one testy conversation, the situation is compared to the Kurds and Turkey, with the Russian rebels in the Kurdish role. Yet pro-Russian sympathies are clouded by a resentment of Vladimir Putin’s nationalism and bully-ism. Conversely, Ukrainian nationalism and a yearning to join the EU are compromised by memories of the wartime Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera, who was associated with Nazi Germany. Many of the scenes in this film are simply of his aunts, uncles and cousins talking, talking, talking – and rowing.

January 19, 2017 22:15 UTC

Obama commutes a final 330 sentences, most in a single day by any US president

Chelsea Manning thanks Barack Obama for 'giving me a chance' Read moreOn Thursday Obama cut short the prison terms of 330 people, the majority of whom were convicted of federal drug crimes. During the president’s second term, he exercised his presidential power to grant clemency liberally, particularly for those convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. In addition to raising Obama’s total tally of sentences shortened, Thursday’s flood of commutations is the most Obama or any US president has issued in a single day. Obama has commuted more people’s sentences than the last 13 presidents combined, according to the White House. In total, Obama commuted the sentences of 1,715 people, include more than 560 who were serving life sentences.

January 19, 2017 21:00 UTC

Brazil supreme court justice overseeing vast corruption case dies in plane crash

“It does leave a question mark in relation to Lava Jato. Teori was responsible for over seven thousand cases, over a hundred related to Lava Jato, with confidential cases, plea bargains, and cases of politicians, ministers and executives. “Temer, who expressed astonishment at the news, must now appoint a new justice, which could affect the progress of the investigation. The Lava Jato case has caused turmoil in Brazil’s political landscape. After Rousseff was impeached last year, it emerged that one of the motives of those who brought about her downfall was to try to halt the Lava Jato investigation.

January 19, 2017 20:46 UTC

Valium and banking ethics: Steven Mnuchin's confirmation hearing – video

Donald Trump’s choice for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, defended his banking record in the aftermath of the financial crisis on Thursday during his confirmation hearing before the Senate. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, hedge fund manager and Hollywood film financier, would be the first Wall Street veteran to head the treasury department in eight years

January 19, 2017 20:45 UTC

Trump transition team defends lack of diversity in key posts

Also on Thursday, Trump bragged that his incoming cabinet has “by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled”. Trump memorably launched his campaign in 2015, by alleging that the Mexican government was deliberately sending “rapists” and “murderers” across the border. Other cabinet nominations have come under considerable scrutiny. Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick for the treasury department, faced tough questioning from senators in both parties about his role running a bank which foreclosed on thousands of homeowners. While this leaves many key government posts unfilled as Trump takes office, the transition announced on Thursday that 50 senior-level Obama appointees dealing with national security would stay on at least temporarily.

January 19, 2017 20:38 UTC

Trump to be sworn in on day that few expected and many feared

Trump attended a lunch at his hotel’s presidential ballroom attended by leading Republicans, including some of his cabinet selections. Photograph: James Lawler Duggan/ReutersIn an operatic tableau, standing nearby will be Hillary Clinton, the candidate Trump threatened to jail during the campaign. Trump will become the first US president in the 240-year-old republic who has never served in the military or held public office. Despite the rituals, Trump may also set about reversing some of Obama’s executive actions within his first hours or days in office. Trump was best known in the US as the host of The Apprentice when, in June 2015, he launched his longshot campaign at Trump Tower in New York, theatrically descending on an escalator.

January 19, 2017 19:33 UTC

Nigel Farage plans inauguration party as Europe's far-right leaders visit US

Nigel Farage, the Brexit leader, will be hosting an inauguration party on Thursday night in Washington, just a few hundred yards from the White House. It will be an extravagant event reportedly taking up the entire top floor of one of the city’s most prestigious and expensive hotels. She described her stay in New York as a private visit and Front National party officials refused to say whether she was meeting Trump or anyone on his team. Asked if anyone from the Front National was going to Washington for the inauguration, an official in Le Pen’s office said “not that we’re aware of”. Dodik claimed to have received an official invitation but Bosnian media reported he had in fact bought a ticket for the accompanying balls.

January 19, 2017 18:40 UTC

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