Israel Israeli jets strike Gaza after soldiers injured by Gaza bomb Eighteen Hamas positions targeted, says Israel’s military, after IED explosion on border left four troops injured, two of them severely Israeli soldiers near the border fence with the southern Gaza Strip. In response Israel’s army said it attacked “18 terror targets belonging to the Hamas terror organisation” in two waves of air strikes. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said at a security conference in Munich that the Gaza border incident was “very serious” and pledged to “respond appropriately”. The Israeli army responds automatically to any strikes on its territory, generally targeting Hamas facilities. Israeli aircraft hit Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip repeatedly in early February, after it said Palestinians there fired a rocket into the Jewish state.
February 17, 2018 18:57 UTC
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 'The fight ain’t over': the Sydney Mardi Gras after the marriage vote The two-week festival is close to unrecognisable from its first incarnation in 1978 The theme for this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is ‘40 years of evolution’. They had barely been put back in the cupboard after celebrations over the passing of Australia’s marriage equality law before the LGBT community’s attention turned to the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Telling Tales of Mardi Gras – in pictures Read moreOn Sunday Fair Day takes over Victoria Park: a family friendly community day out that features stalls from LGBT community organisations, music and performance – including a dog dress-up show. The official Mardi Gras proceedings reach fever pitch with the parade itself on 3 March and the afterparty at the Hordern Pavilion, headlined by Cher. Cher's Sydney Mardi Gras tweet sends fans scrambling for tickets Read moreThe bureaucracy is a burden on both ends: for community members who want to participate but also for the organisation itself, which has faced financial difficulty more than once in the past.
February 17, 2018 18:56 UTC
Horse racing The Observer Waiting Patiently gains emotional win over Cue Card in Ascot Chase • Ruth Jefferson may bypass Cheltenham with stable star• Colin Tizzard thrilled with back to form Cue Card Waiting Patiently, ridden by Brian Hughes, left, runs out an impressive winner of the Grade One Ascot Chase from Cue Card. Photograph: Steven Cargill/racingfotos.com/Rex/ShutterstockGood-news stories abounded here, as Waiting Patiently won the Ascot Chase for his new trainer, Ruth Jefferson, on the day after she said a final farewell to her father. Frost came close to tears, as did Colin Tizzard, vindicated in his view that Cue Card is still a top-class chaser at the age of 12. Cyrus Darius gives Ruth Jefferson timely boost with Morebattle win Read moreThe right race for Cue Card is once more a subject for discussion after this return to something not far short of his best. If the Gold Cup begins to look winnable, Cue Card may yet have a third tilt at it.
February 17, 2018 17:48 UTC
Family A letter to ... A letter to… the ‘rude’ woman who saved my daughter’s life ‘Thank you for beeping your horn when you did, for seeing what I hadn’t seen’: the letter you always wanted to write ‘I screamed her name and ran towards her.’ Composite: GettyIt was about seven years ago. In the distance, I heard sirens, told my daughter to wait and watched the police car approach. Little did I know, as the green man flashed, that my daughter had begun to scoot into the road. My daughter was about a metre from the path of the police car, hidden from their view by your car. She wondered why you had beeped your horn, asking, “Why was that woman so rude?”, not realising that you had saved her life.
February 17, 2018 06:45 UTC
Dating Blind date Blind date: ‘We could both have been a bit weirder’ Will development fundraiser Libby, 26, hit it off with medical student Ed, 24? He said he lived in Streatham and it “wasn’t great”, so I said I lived in Brixton (I live in Streatham). We could both have been a bit weirder. Blind date: ‘She was thoughtful enough to wear a necklace with her name on’ Read moreAny awkward moments? • Libby and Ed ate at Texture, London W1Fancy a blind date?
Family 'I put my head on her knee and cried': what my 102-year-old friend taught me about grief I presumed I would be looking after the centenarian women I met. I didn’t knock; I went straight in and put my head on her knee, pushing the Zimmer frame out of the way. Edna knew all this. I wasn’t married in time and you couldn’t have children if you weren’t married.” She leaned over and touched my knee. During a chapter featuring babies I looked up and told Edna that I wouldn’t be doing any more IVF.
Plants Country diary Country diary: a colourful and surprising member of the lily family Wick Wood, New Forest: Graham Long’s last regular country diary sees him introduce a friend to butcher’s broom, a plant easily missed Wick Wood, New Forest. Photograph: Graham LongWe set out for Wick Wood under a bright blue sky, in a clear atmosphere that makes it great to be out and about. We stop where there are several clumps of butcher’s broom. Each female flower develops into a cherry-sized scarlet berry, which is why this surprising member of the lily family is sometimes known as knee holly. This is my last regular country diary, though I hope to continue contributing occasional ones.
February 17, 2018 05:26 UTC
Winter Olympics 2018 Super-G: snowboarder Ledecka wins shock gold on borrowed skis with Vonn sixth Czech athlete had never finished on podium in an alpine eventNBC already announced Anna Veith as winner before Ledecka’s runVonn’s slip costs her but still has favoured downhill to come Ester Ledecka pulled off the shock of the Games with her gold in the Super-G. But Ledecka, racing out of the 26th position on skis borrowed from American star Mikaela Shiffrin, completed a career-best run to snatch the gold from the the two-time overall World Cup champion. Play Video 0:32 Czech snowboarder wins super-G gold on borrowed skis – video“My first reaction was, is this possible?,” the 28-year-old said. At those Vancouver Games, Vonn won gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G. “I’ve had a roller coaster the last eight years with so many injuries, but I’m here, I’m healthy,” she said.
February 17, 2018 04:49 UTC
Mexico Mexico earthquake: helicopter carrying officials crashes, killing 13 people Military aircraft had interior minister and state governor on board when it crashed People react after a powerful earthquake shook buildings in Mexico City. Photograph: Edgard Garrido/ReutersA military helicopter carrying officials assessing the damage caused by a powerful earthquake has crashed in southern Mexico, killing 13 people and injuring 15. 6,000 complaints ... then the quake: the scandal behind Mexico City's 225 dead Read moreMexico’s interior department said the helicopter was carrying the interior minister, Alfonso Navarrete, and the Oaxaca state governor, Alejandro Murat. The south of Mexico and the capital, Mexico City, are still recovering from earthquakes that caused widespread damage in September 2017. Anger at response to Mexico earthquake could bring political aftershocks Read moreIn Mexico City, tall buildings swayed for more than a minute and seismic alarms sounded.
February 17, 2018 01:52 UTC
Coalition Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce meet to resolve row Attempt to defuse tension comes as Liberal senator Ian Macdonald tells ABC Joyce should resign to the backbench Barnaby Joyce is said to have expressed to Malcolm Turnbull his concern at the forcefulness of the prime minister’s comments on Thursday. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPABarnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull have met face-to-face in Sydney in an attempt to resolve the damaging public crisis engulfing the Coalition. Macdonald said that by staying on as deputy prime minister, Joyce was giving Bill Shorten a “free ride into the Lodge”. “He and I both know that having Shorten as prime minister would be disastrous for Australia,” Macdonald told the ABC. Turnbull could remove Joyce from the position of deputy prime minister by ending the Coalition between Liberals and Nationals.
February 17, 2018 00:22 UTC
Welcome to the world of social petworking. According to research company Mintel, 51 per cent of Britain’s pet owners share pictures of their pets on social media. Set up three weeks ago when Harrison and his family adopted Gary from Cats Protection, a rescue charity, it has 133 followers. “We thought if Gary had his own Twitter it would be a nice way to say thank you to Cats Protection,” said Harrison, 34, of Crawley, Sussex. Tender Gary, who was named by Bob Mortimer, poses with his social media profile TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD POHLETender Gary was one of several cats given quirky names by comedian…
February 17, 2018 00:03 UTC
The prime minister wants the EU to drop its insistence that future security co-operation is overseen by European courts TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER JAMES GLOSSOPThe European Union’s rigid Brexit “ideology” risks endangering the lives of its citizens and hampering the fight against terrorism and organised crime, Theresa May will claim today. Mrs May will demand that the EU drops its insistence that future security co-operation is overseen by European courts. She will warn that while the UK remains “unconditionally committed” to the continent’s security, “rigid institutional restrictions” from Brussels risk hampering co-operation. Her remarks will be seen in European capitals as an attempt to use security as a Trojan horse to get a more favourable deal in other areas. Brussels insists that accepting EU rules and oversight of the European Court of Justice is a condition of British involvement in all EU programmes after Brexit.
February 17, 2018 00:02 UTC