European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen kicked off her first week on the job with a stark warning on climate inaction. "We should always keep in mind how much more it will cost us if we do not act now," she told delegates from nearly 200 countries in Madrid on December 2, the first day of the United Nations climate conference. Read more: CO2 emissions gap: UN report warns of 'collective failure to act' As head of the EU executive for the next five years, one of von der Leyen's main challenges will be the European Union's response to the climate crisis. With environmental groups calling for more ambitious environmental targets by 2030 and beyond, the first draft of the commission's flagship environmental plan — the European Green Deal, due to be released on Wednesday — is under immense pressure to deliver. A poll released by the European Council on Foreign Relations and YouGov from April found that nearly two-thirds of Europeans think "climate … [Read more...] about Amid ‘climate emergency,’ EU pins hopes on Green Deal
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Brexit will strongly influence everything from the economy to migration. Less discussed is the effect it is having on people’s relationships. But for some couples the triggering of article 50 could prove to be momentous for personal reasons too. A survey by the charity Relate found that one-fifth of their 300 relationship support counsellors have worked with clients arguing over Brexit. This comes after Resolution, the UK’s largest family law organisation, said that the stress of Brexit has added to the pressure on couples already teetering on the brink of divorce. Brexit has already created uncertainty in relationships involving European citizens living in Britain. Some couples are in limbo as they await news as to what will happen to them in the years after the UK’s divorce from the EU is settled. We asked people about how the referendum had affected their relationship so far. Here are a selection of their stories. Katy Marks, 38, from London: There’s no way … [Read more...] about It’s not EU … it’s Brexit: the couples in turmoil after the referendum result
A photograph of Aaron Collis regularly appeared in the press while he was on trial. It showed a young man in a crowd of friends, whose faces have been pixelated to preserve their anonymity, and it appears to capture a moment of celebration. The group are bunched together, arms in the air, all wearing the same white shirts and roughly knotted blue-and-red striped ties. They could be in school uniform, or party costume. Collis is looking up at the camera, a wide smile exposing a top row of pointed teeth. The photo was taken in a dark room with the flash on, so his face is starkly lit and every pock and mole visible. His eyes are narrowed to slits and his nose seems abnormally large. You can see why the image was used: Collis’s face is distorted, and disturbing. It is a fitting portrait of a paedophile. In October 2009, Collis, then 24 years old, was convicted of committing 11 offences of sexual abuse against five children. He was given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum … [Read more...] about What should we do about paedophiles?
Just over a decade ago, the Democratic Republic of the Congo witnessed a profound moment in the country’s history, when millions of people went to the polls to vote for a new constitution. It was significant, not least because the wording of the constitution had been agreed by the government and dozens of rebel leaders, who had finally come together after seven years of war. A key part of the constitution dictated that a presidential election must be held every five years, with a non–renewable presidential limit of two terms. This detail was crucial for a simple reason: no president of the DRC since independence in 1960 had met a peaceful political end. The DRC’s first president, Joseph Kasavubu, was overthrown in 1965 by Joseph Mobutu, plunging the country in chaos and a kleptocracy that lasted 32 years, ruining the economy and the little infrastructure that the Belgians, the DRC’s colonisers, had left behind. Kasavubu died four years later under house arrest … [Read more...] about No DRC leader gives up power peacefully, so why would Joseph Kabila?
Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, is considering selling its stores in Thailand and Malaysia.The supermarket giant has more than 2,000 shops in both countries, which trade as Tesco Lotus.If, following a review, it goes ahead with the sale of its remaining Asian businesses, it would signal a further retreat from the company's one-time global ambitions.Tesco's only other overseas operations, apart from Ireland, is its loss-making central European division, which has stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. 'The bloke that saved Tesco' Dave Lewis's success in turning around the fortunes of the supermarket giant The firm said in a statement: "Tesco confirms that, following inbound interest, it has commenced a review of the strategic options for its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, including an evaluation of a possible sale of these businesses." Advertisement It added: "The evaluation of strategic options is at an early stage, no decisions … [Read more...] about Tesco considers checkout of Thailand and Malaysia stores