Joe Root has been omitted from England’s T20 squad to play against South Africa in February after the Test series. This is likely to provoke mixed feelings for England’s Test captain, who offered a timely reminder of his red-ball credentials with his double century against New Zealand in Hamilton earlier this month. Root, who is selected for the 50-over matches in South Africa, may well welcome a little break before undertaking England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka in March. However, he has always stressed that he relishes playing in every form of the game; he craves to be a vital T20 cricketer for England but his value in this format is not so clearcut. He may note that in South Africa all the senior men are back in the T20 squad – with the exception of himself – while there is some experimentation in the 50-over squad with the inclusion of Tom Banton of Somerset. The chief selector, Ed Smith, explained the thinking. “These two squads were selected with … [Read more...] about Joe Root left out of England’s T20 squad to face South Africa
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A US navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, US officials have said, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since Donald Trump became president. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey had travelled close to Mischief reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. The so-called “freedom of navigation operation” by the destroyer, which is equipped with guided missiles, is sure to anger China. It comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Territorial waters are generally defined by UN convention as extending at most 12 nautical miles from a state’s coastline. One US official said it was the first operation near a land feature which was included in a ruling last year against China by an … [Read more...] about South China Sea: US warship sails within 12 miles of China-claimed reef
UN Secretary General Guterres unveiled his 88-page paper Thursday, saying the cancellation of the US-North Korean summit in Singapore next month underscored that governments must stop thinking "backwards." "We are living in dangerous times," Guterres told his Geneva University student audience, warning that arms competition was increasing as governments "poured resources" into updating old weapon systems and developing new ones, striving for "quality rather than quantity." Read more: Europe's 'ugly options' after Trump quits deal with Iran Leaders had a responsibility to minimize risk and the disarmament agenda should range "from hand grenades to H-bombs," Guterres insisted. Eliminating nuclear weapons remained the UN's highest priority but such efforts were in severe crisis, he said. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons What is ICAN? The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons came to life only ten years before winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. … [Read more...] about UN’s Guterres unveils disarmament plan ‘from grenades to H-bombs’
There are two kind of battles in politics: the noisy ones and the stealthy ones. The high-decibel clashes grab all the attention because they generate visible mayhem and buckets of gore. So eyes have been on the Conservatives over the summer weeks as the Brexit battlefield has resounded to the clang of Tories swinging war hammers at other Tories. All the while, another struggle, one conducted in the shadows, has been taking place at the apex of the Labour party. This battle has been much less cacophonous, and thus not noticed, but it is of great potential significance. This battle has been about the position Labour should strike and it matters because it has big implications for the fate of the Brexit legislation when parliament returns next month. Key members of the shadow cabinet have been wrestling with the argument over August and it came to a head in the past few days. In your Observer today, we bring you the first news of the outcome. Labour’s posture since the referendum … [Read more...] about Can Labour’s change of course over Brexit change Britain’s fate?
It’s an unlikely spot for a zoo – down an unmade, dusty road, amid a wood to the east of the German capital Berlin. But here in the village of Tasdorf, hundreds of the world’s most endangered and rare parrot species are said to be housed at the headquarters of the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP). The site is not easily accessible by public transport, and there is no car park. No signs offer information about opening hours or admission prices. The main entrance is through a roller-door. Next to its main building, on an adjacent house, a small sign gives a mobile number to call if no one is home. From these obscure premises, a former nightclub manager and unofficial debt collector, Martin Guth, has been able to acquire one of the largest private collections of threatened birds in the world. The collection includes imperial and red-necked parrots from the Caribbean island of Dominica, endangered Australian cockatoos and about 90% of the … [Read more...] about ‘A legitimate zoo?’ How an obscure German group cornered global trade in endangered parrots