Stop Trump group aims for biggest protests in UK history

The Stop Trump coalition has hired a permanent staff member to coordinate protest efforts, with £16,000 raised via crowdfunding and £10,000 donated by the trade union Unison. In an official response rejecting the petition, the government said Trump should still be extended the “full courtesy” of a state visit. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “The planned state visit should clearly be cancelled and the invitation binned. Kate Allen, UK director of Amnesty International, which is another NGO backing the coalition protests, said: “Some of our worst fears over what a Donald Trump presidency might lead to have already been realised. “In the end the point isn’t whether Donald Trump gets the full-blown UK state visit treatment, it’s whether we raise our voice against this disastrous rollback of rights.

February 19, 2017 14:08 UTC

Geert Wilders: Dutch far-right leader criticised for calling Moroccans 'scum'

Muslim groups in the Netherlands have criticised disparaging comments about Moroccans made by the far-right leader Geert Wilders during a campaign rally. Launching his campaign on Saturday for the 15 March parliamentary election, Wilders criticised Moroccan youths for making the Netherlands unsafe, though he qualified the comments by saying they did not apply to all Moroccans. “It is not the first time and probably won’t be the last time” that Wilders has used such language, Ozture said. Wilders is appealing the conviction, which centred on comments he made before and after Dutch municipal elections in 2014. At one meeting in a cafe in The Hague, he asked supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.

February 19, 2017 13:18 UTC

Glenn Robinson III wins NBA dunk contest with help from cheerleader

Glenn Robinson III is the NBA’s new dunk king, with an assist to Indiana team-mate Paul George, the Pacers’ mascot and a Pacers cheerleader. Like I said, I’m a guy that stays out of the way, but when it’s time to shine, that’s my thing,” Robinson said. The pair had each finished with a score of 20 in the final round, meaning they each had to shoot 25 more balls to decide it. Big men reigned supreme for a second straight year in the skills competition, with the 7ft 3in Porzingis beating Utah’s Gordon Hayward in the final round. Porzingis and Hayward were neck-and-neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his three first to end it.

February 19, 2017 12:56 UTC

Trump cites non-existent Sweden terror attack – video

Donald Trump appears to invent a terrorist attack in Sweden during a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday. Trump uses his speech to talk about migration in Europe and links it to terror attacks in Brussels, Nice and Paris. He then adds Sweden to the list, incorrectly stating that an attack had happened there on Friday

February 19, 2017 12:45 UTC

Letters: Annie, get your gun: the arts in schools need defending

I recently attended a sparkling performance of Annie at a nearby secondary academy (“Does a silver spoon help you win a Bafta? Central government’s requirement for schools to improve their performance in Stem (science, technology, English, mathematics) subjects means that the arts, humanities and social sciences suffer. Gerald SandisonLeighton Buzzard, BedfordshireConventional thinkingTheresa May has repeatedly stated her feelings that Britain would be better served by leaving the European convention on human rights than it would leaving the European Union. We face the threat of a human rights crisis with the UK trading away protections against torture for grubby trade deals with foreign tyrants. Therefore, we also need, because of the seriousness of this issue, a complete ban on the sale of new diesel cars.

February 19, 2017 12:45 UTC

'Sweden, who would believe this?': Trump cites non-existent terror attack

He then added Sweden to the list, incorrectly stating that an attack had happened there on Friday. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”“Sweden, who would believe this? You look at what’s happening all over the world. According to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey, crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable over the last decade, with some fluctuations. Here is what really happened in #Sweden: UK footballer Gary Lineker poked fun at Trump, tweeting:Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) Thoughts are with everyone in Sweden at this difficult time.

February 19, 2017 12:31 UTC

Diane Abbott on abuse of MPs: 'My staff try not to let me go out alone'

Diane Abbott has revealed her staff try not to let her walk around her Hackney constituency alone after the murder of fellow Labour MP Jo Cox, as she called for parliament to consider launching an inquiry into racist and sexist abuse of MPs. The Guardian view on abuse of public figures: hatred should not be normalised | Editorial Read more“Since then I try not to walk around on my own any more. Then I think that even the young, recklessly fearless Diane Abbott might have paused for thought.”Abbott is one of a number of senior MPs to have spoken of the need to stop misogynistic abuse towards politicians in recent years, particularly online. A number of online trolls have been convicted of threats towards female MPs, including two who subjected the Liverpool MP Luciana Berger to campaigns of antisemitic abuse. In 2014 a man was jailed for 18 weeks for bombarding the Labour MP Stella Creasy with messages threatening to rape her.

February 19, 2017 12:29 UTC

Palm Beach confidential: inside Trump's super-rich south Florida social set

Mar-a-Lago: where Trump’s monstourage mingles with paying guests Read moreThe gaudy bash, which by some estimates cost the Blackstone Group chief executive up to $9m, was pure Palm Beach opulence, with a glitterati guest list to match. Schwarzman was named in December as the head of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, an advisory panel of powerful business leaders. Another member of the council, retired Boeing chief executive Jim McNerney, owns a $5.5m mansion at the Palm Beach Polo, Golf & Country Club in nearby Wellington. Meanwhile, other familiar faces from Trump’s dizzying Palm Beach social circle also appear to be going up in the world. Bernstein, president of a prominent West Palm Beach insurance company she owns with her husband, recently described the new president’s winter home as “almost a return to Camelot”, after John F Kennedy’s frequent trips to the family’s Palm Beach compound in the early 1960s.

February 19, 2017 12:01 UTC

Jones leads tributes after death of Australia’s Vickerman at 37

Vickerman, left, took a break from the sport to pursue a degree at Cambridge Rob Griffith/APThe rugby world was in shock today after learning that Dan Vickerman, the former Australia lock, has died at the age of 37. Police who were called to his home in Sydney said they were not treating his death as suspicious. Vickerman, who played 63 internationals for the Wallabies and featured in three World Cups, leaves behind a wife and two children. He could have won more caps for Australia but he took a break from the professional game to study land economics at Cambridge University. Vickerman played in two Varsity matches and he captained the Light Blues to victory over Oxford in 2009.

February 19, 2017 12:01 UTC

Sky’s Sophy Ridge: ‘We’re at a tipping point with women in politics’

When Sophy Ridge had just started as a political reporter, one male MP asked if she worked on her newspaper’s fashion desk. Just the “sort of stories that [every female political journalist] has”, she says with a smile. “There is some pretty ugly stuff ... and obviously that can be quite frightening for a lot of women MPs but also women in the public eye more generally. Marr was in his late forties, and his predecessor, David Frost, and Peston, were both in their fifties when they got their own politics shows; Ridge is 32. “It’s more of a dialogue [with viewers] than perhaps some of the traditional political shows.” There is also an effort to get out of London.

February 19, 2017 12:00 UTC

Colleagues fear whitewash in murder of Dominican journalists on Facebook Live

Luis Manuel Medina, a newsreader at the FM103 radio station in the Dominican Republic, was reading the 10.30 bulletin when the shooting started. shots!”Journalists shot dead during Facebook Live video in Dominican Republic Read moreMedina rises to his feet, and the video cuts out before he too is fatally shot. About 36 hours after the double murder, Rodríguez was also reported dead. Rodríguez’s family have said that he was angry with the two radio journalists because they were involved in an allegedly fraudulent land scheme which had left him out of pocket. But other journalists fear that the motive for the double murder will not be properly investigated following the death of the only suspect.

February 19, 2017 12:00 UTC

Civilians ‘at extreme risk’ as troops advance on west Mosul

Iraqi forces supported by the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitaries advance on the village of Sheikh Younis, south of Mosul Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/GettyHundreds of thousands of civilians are at “extreme risk” in Mosul as Iraqi forces advance on the western half of the Isis stronghold, the UN has warned. Government troops backed by air power from a US-led coalition came within striking distance of Mosul’s southern airport on the first day of a new offensive, taking at least ten villages in quick succession. However, concern is growing for the city’s estimated 750,000 civilians. People, right now, are in trouble,” said Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. “We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes.”Three in five of Mosul’s civilians now depend on untreated water from wells following strikes on infrastructure, according to…

February 19, 2017 12:00 UTC

Mandelson urges peers to alter exit deal

Lord Mandelson said the Lords could force the government to renegotiate with Brussels if peers didn’t like the Brexit deal BBC/PALord Mandelson has urged peers to force changes to Brexit legislation and represent voters who “want to have their voices heard again”. The Lords should “not throw in the towel early” and accept the government’s deal, the Labour peer said. He claimed that even some “leave” voters were having their views “bulldozed” by the government’s “Brexit at all costs” strategy. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mandelson, a former EU trade commissioner, insisted there was a “strong body of opinion” among peers that parliament should have the power to send ministers back to the negotiating table if they don’t like the exit deal, rather than accepting Theresa May’s “take it or leave it” approach. Liz Truss, the justice secretary, dismissed Mandelson as a “blast…

February 19, 2017 12:00 UTC

Pro-EU politicians must show courage to oppose Brexit, says Mandelson

Pro-EU politicians need to show more courage in opposing Brexit, Peter Mandelson has said, as he urged the public to donate in support of Tony Blair’s call for an uprising against leaving the bloc. Mandelson said it was not his advice to support the anti-Brexit Lib Dems but for people to “put pressure on parliamentarians from all parties” to oppose the government’s plans. Mandelson’s arguments echoed those of Blair, who gave a speech on Friday that said Brexit could be stopped if people changed their minds. Blair’s intervention was welcomed by some Labour MPs and senior Lib Dems but rejected as “unhelpful” by the Labour frontbench, which supported May’s Brexit legislation to trigger article 50. Mandelson and Blair’s campaign was dismissed by senior Conservatives, who accused them of trying to “frustrate the will of the British people”.

February 19, 2017 11:16 UTC

Eco road trip: Los Angeles to Las Vegas by Tesla

We’re about to embark on a road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas but I suspect this is going to be very different from the one chronicled by Hunter S Thompson. Our black Tesla Model X is stocked with gluten-free, non-GMO protein bars and organic energy drinks. He was planning to use them for two return journeys to Palm Springs each day and one return trip to Las Vegas. Way to goThe journey was provided by, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas from $59pp one-way. Accommodation was provided by the W Las Vegas (doubles from $150 room only).

February 19, 2017 09:56 UTC

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