Wearing his trademark flat cap, Lars Aslan Rasmussen was full of optimism as he began canvassing in Nørrebro, a volatile Copenhagen enclave that epitomises the two dominant issues of the Danish election, immigration and welfare. But the mood swiftly changed. Aslan Rasmussen was surrounded by a group of extreme Islamists as he distributed leaflets at the suburban train station, a labyrinth of dark passages, cracked windows, graffiti and very un-Danish litter. “They said I should leave their territory and that Muslims are not allowed to vote. They were very aggressive and told me that you don’t go to paradise when you participate in democracy.” A Social Democrat with a Turkish father and Danish mother, Aslan Rasmussen is trying to step up from the city council, where he has a reputation as a role model for integration. “It’s serious. I’m not the only one with this experience,” he said in a capital brimming with election posters for aspiring … [Read more...] about Denmark’s radical parties vie for power as terror casts a shadow over poll
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Britain has started to vote in the most important election for a generation with Boris Johnson expected to be among the first to the UK's 50,000 polling stations this morning. Jeremy Corbyn is also expected to vote in his Islington North constituency with the result in the first December general election since 1923 said to be on a knife edge. Millions of voters face inclement weather with torrential rain and ice predicted across vast swathes of the country before the polls close at 10pm. An exit poll will give the first indication of the results and votes will then be counted overnight with the first results expected by 11pm and a clearer picture of who will be the next Prime Minister between 2am and 4am tomorrow. Boris Johnson made a final, impassioned appeal to voters last night as he warned the most important General Election in a generation was teetering on a ‘knife-edge’. A major YouGov poll on Tuesday predicted a 28-seat Tory majority – the largest … [Read more...] about And we’re off! Early-bird voters brave the cold and rain to cast their ballots as Britain heads to the polls in the most crucial election in a generation
Fifteen minutes west of the cobbled streets and chic boutiques of Aarhus old town in Denmark, on a bleak road of prefabricated warehouses and low-rise industrial units, is a former ice-cream factory that now houses the Grimhojvej mosque. In this squat, drab building, at prayers or in its Muslim youth group, 22 young men – regular high school and university students and first-jobbers – heard something last year that persuaded them to abandon their families, studies and careers to make jihad in Syria. Now, many are coming back, and Denmark’s second city is giving them an unconventional welcome. Most western countries, fearful of the threat they could pose, are cracking down on returning fighters. In France, tough new anti-terror legislation allows authorities to seize passports and ID cards from would-be jihadists “likely to jeopardise public security on their return”. Britain has arrested at least 60 returnees; … [Read more...] about How do you deradicalise returning Isis fighters?
12.29am BST This blog has ended. Follow our continuing coverage here. 11.19pm BST Summary • Senior US officials said intelligence supports the theory that rebels shot down MH17 “by mistake”, but that there is “no evidence of direct Russian government involvement“. They said Russia maintains a “training facility“ for rebels to learn how to operate heavy weaponry in the country’s south-west. • Eyewitnesses in Torez told the Guardian they saw what appeared to have been a Buk SA-11 missile system near the time and location of the MH17 crash. Separatists deny possession of any such system and blame Ukraine, and Russia denies it provided any system to armed groups. • Victims’ bodies and the flight black boxes arrived by train at Kharkiv, a city controlled by Ukraine. Victims’ remains will be taken to the Netherlands for identification on Wednesday, but Dutch officials fear there are fewer bodies in Kharkiv than … [Read more...] about US intelligence: rebels likely shot down MH17 ‘by mistake’ – as it happened
If only for a moment, set aside the comparatively parochial drama of Brexit, think about the giant swath of humanity that now uses the internet, and consider one of the most basic facets of how 4 billion of us live our lives. This is a 21st-century story, but it will ring bells with people old enough to remember the cold war: how people understand their own experience and events in the wider world is increasingly decided by the version of the internet they use. On one side sits the system used in China, which produces vast amounts of personal data and blurs into a huge apparatus of state surveillance and censorship. This model is centred on two online behemoths, whose dominance partly comes down to the fact that Chinese consumerism is all about paying via your smartphone, rather than an old-fashioned plastic card. There’s the e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, and Tencent, which owns WeChat, the platform used by more than 1 billion people every day. It does so many things – … [Read more...] about The global battle for the internet is just starting