Returnees warned they are seen as soft targets following multiple killings of UK expats
Jamaican expats who retire there after decades in the UK face an extreme risk of murder, a former police chief on the Caribbean island has said, as official figures revealed that at least 85 Britons, Americans and Canadians have been killed in the country since 2012.
Senior police figures told the Guardian that returning residents were seen as soft targets by criminals and needed much more protection following the murders of three British retirees on the island in as many months.
Gayle and Charlie Anderson, aged 71 and 74, had only recently retired to Jamaica when they were fatally stabbed and their bodies burned following a firebomb attack at their dream home in Mount Pleasant, in the islands Portland parish, last Saturday.
The double murder followed the killing in April of 63-year-old Birmingham charity worker, Delroy Walker, incidents that have put renewed focus on the disturbing pattern of elderly returnees being violently targeted by Jamaican criminals.
Percival Latouche, the president of the Jamaica association for the resettlement of returning residents, said he had counted more than 200 British, American and Canadian expats murdered in the country since 2000 and had attended 165 funerals in that time.
It is not known how many of the Britons murdered were of the Windrush generation but a large proportion of those targeted were pensioners, like Charlie Anderson, who left Jamaica as a child and returned to the Caribbean to retire after decades working in the UK.
Landmark decision against dog farm could pave way for eating of canines to be outlawed
A South Korean court has ruled the killing of dogs for meat is illegal, in a landmark decision that animal rights activists have said could pave the way to outlawing the eating of canines.
The meat has long been a part of South Korean cuisine, with about 1 million dogs believed to be eaten annually, but consumption has declined and the practice is now something of a taboo among younger generations amid increased pressure from activists.
A ruling from the city court in Bucheon on Thursday, in a case brought by the animal rights group Care against a dog farm operator, said meat consumption was not a legal reason to kill dogs.
The group accused the man, who was convicted and fined 3m won (2,050), of killing animals without proper reasons and violating building and hygiene regulations.
It is very significant in that it is the first court decision that killing dogs for dog meat is illegal itself, said Kim Kyung-eun, a lawyer for Care.
The precedent paved the way for outlawing dog meat consumption entirely, she added.
Dog meat consumption is a grey area in South Korean law. Despite no specific ban, authorities have invoked hygiene regulations or animal protection laws that ban cruel slaughter methods to crack down on dog farms and restaurants ahead of international events such as the Pyeongchang Olympics.
A lawmaker from the ruling Democratic party introduced a bill in parliament this week that would effectively ban killing dogs for meat. There are about 17,000 dog farms in South Korea, and operators have called for the government to bring in laws explicitly to legalise dog meat consumption and license dog slaughter houses.
A survey last year found that 70% of South Koreans do not eat dog meat, but only about 40% believe the practice should be banned.
Care said it would track down dog farms and slaughter houses across the country with a view to filing similar complaints against them to judicial authorities. The dog meat industry will take greater heat because of the court ruling, said its leader, Park So-youn.
In San Miguel Los Lotes close to Guatemalas most active volcano, firefighters are working hard, but hope is slim
A rescue crew emerges from an immense cloud of fine grey dust carrying two stretchers that hold bodies recovered from houses engulfed by blistering lava from the nearby erupting Fuego volcano.
The recovered bodies are tightly wrapped in dusty white sheets. One barely fills half the stretcher a young victim of the most deadly volcanic eruption to hit Guatemala in decades.
The official death toll from the Fuego disaster is 69 but the final number is likely to be far higher, with scores of people missing from dozens of communities cut off by the devastation.
It is terrible up there
In the rural community of San Miguel Los Lotes, a group of municipal firefighters pulled out out 15 bodies on Monday morning, including four children and their pregnant mother who didnt have time to escape the powerful pyroclastic flows fast-moving mixtures of gas and volcanic matter discharged by the exploding volcano.
Another rescue team recovered 14 people, including several children, and reported encountering eight- to 10-metre high mounds of volcanic ash. The most common cause of death was asphyxia, followed by burns.
The houses became ovens, and the village a crematorium. There are no survivors, says volunteer firefighter Francisco Flores.
Surviving cyclist in satisfactory condition in hospital as official says bikers tried to scare the mountain lion and then hit it
A mountain biker who was killed by a cougar near Seattle and his friend who escaped after the animal attacked him did everything right, authorities have said.
The two men were riding on a trail in the Cascade Mountain foothills on Saturday when the mountain lion began following them. Authorities said they did everything state guidelines advise: getting off their bikes, making noise and trying to scare the animal away. One even smacked it with his bike, after it charged.
The cougar ran off but returned and attacked when the men got back on their bikes. It bit one the survivor on the head and shook him. The second cyclist ran and the animal dropped the first victim and pounced, killing its victim and dragging him back to what appeared to be its den, Sgt Ryan Abbott of King county sheriffs department said.
They did everything they were supposed to do, Abbott said on Sunday. But something was wrong with this cougar.
The survivor was still in hospital on Sunday. A Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman, Susan Gregg, said the 31-year-old man was in satisfactory condition.
Authorities would not confirm the names of the cyclists until the man who died, a 32-year-old Seattle resident, was formally identified. That was expected on Monday.
The attack near North Bend, 30 miles east of Seattle, was the first fatal cougar attack in Washington state in 94 years. The first man managed to get on his bike and ride off, looking back to see his friend being dragged into the trees, Abbott said. The cyclist rode for two miles before he could get a cellphone signal to call 911.
When rescuers arrived, it took about half an hour to find the second victim, who was dead with the cougar on top of him in what appeared to be a den-like area. An officer shot at the animal, which ran off. Several hours later, state fish and wildlife agents used dogs to track the cougar to a nearby tree. They shot and killed it.
Authorities planned to match DNA taken from the animal with DNA from the victims to be certain they killed the right cougar. They also plan to examine the cougar to see what might have been wrong with it.
There are an estimated 2,000 cougars in Washington. Until the 1960s, the state paid hunters a bounty for killing them. Now it allows 250 to be hunted in 50 designated zones. While they are sometimes known to kill livestock or pets, and though one even found its way into a park in Seattle in 2009, encounters with people are rare.
Attacks have become more common, though, as people encroach on the animals territory. In North America, there have been about 25 deadly attacks and 95 non-fatal attacks reported in the past century, but more attacks have been reported in the US west and Canada over the past 20 years than in the previous 80.
Experts say people encountering the big cats in the wild should stop and pick up small children immediately. Because running and rapid movements can trigger the animals prey drive, people should not run. Instead they should face the cougar, speak firmly and slowly back away, appearing as large as possible by standing on a rock or stump or opening a sweatshirt or jacket.
The long read: With neo-Nazis marching in American cities, the national faith in absolute free expression is breaking down even inside the organisation sworn to defend it, the ACLU
Late last summer, the American Civil Liberties Union faced a mounting crisis over its most celebrated cause, which many consider the lifeblood of democracy: freedom of speech. For nearly a century, the ACLU has been the standard-bearer of civil liberties in the US, second only to the government in shaping Americans basic rights. Although the organisation has been at the vanguard of many of the countrys most hard-fought legal battles desegregation, reproductive rights, gay marriage the argument among its staff last summer, over whether to continue representing white supremacists in free-speech cases, was more intense than anything the organisation had seen before.
After Donald Trump was elected, the ACLU had positioned itself as a leader of what it calls the resistance, suing the administration over voting restrictions, illegal detentions, and the Muslim travel ban. It recruited celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Mahershala Ali and Tina Fey to raise money and reassure worried Americans. The ACLU has had your back for almost a hundred years, one ad declared. We got this. In the nine months after the election, the organisations paying membership quadrupled to more than 1.5 million people, and it received more than $80m in donations.
Then, on 10 August, the organisations Virginia chapter sued to prevent the city of Charlottesville from relocating a white-nationalist rally to a safer location outside the city centre. The ACLU claimed the move would violate the organisers constitutional rights to freedom of speech and public assembly. Two days later, when a white supremacist injured 19 people and killed the anti-racist protester Heather Heyer in a car attack during the rally, many people, including Virginias governor, blamed the ACLU. One response in particular became a symbol of the larger backlash: I cant facilitate Nazis murdering people, an ACLU of Virginia board member declared, in a series of viral tweets announcing his resignation.
Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has helped make the US home to arguably the most freewheeling, unregulated public discourse in the world. And it has done this partly by defending, in the courts of law and public opinion, the speech rights of racists and fascists. The ACLU asserts that laws guaranteeing freedom of speech must embrace everybody (think the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis) if theyre going to protect anybody (think organised labour, anti-war protesters and Black Lives Matter). The same laws or regulations used to silence bigots can be used to silence you, its website explains.
Over the course of the 20th century, the ACLU largely won the country over to its vision, making freedom of speech one of the most widely accepted principles in US political life. A 2015 report from Pew Research Center found that Americans are more supportive of free expression than any other people in the world. By some measures, theres more accord in the US about protecting speech than about protecting the air we breathe.
But the rise of the far right has given new weight to longstanding questions about the wisdom of the ACLUs approach to free speech and, by extension, Americas. Critics say the ACLUs insistence on defending some extremist speech impedes the long fight for civil rights, hobbling the pursuit of social and political equality. The legal philosopher Jeremy Waldron told me that the US has polluted its civic environment with the slow-acting poison of hate. One Yale law scholar has even recently wondered if free speech could wreck the American experiment.
In the face of its critics, the ACLU which employs about 1,800 staff, spread between its national office and 53 semi-autonomous affiliate offices across the country has always soldiered on with its support for the right to say even the most appalling things. But Charlottesville was different. Inside the ACLU, the violence propelled the fiercest debate over racial justice and free speech that the organisation has ever experienced. By the end of August, hundreds of its own staff had signed a letter to the national executive director, Anthony Romero, claiming that the organisations mission of advancing justice and civil liberties was being undermined by our rigid stance on defending white supremacists.
According to a staff member who dissents from the organisations traditional position, the debate represents a tipping-point moment for the ACLU. Staff of colour have been feeling a lot of things, an ACLU lawyer in California told me last year. Im working at this organisation that is protecting groups that believe that I shouldnt exist, that question the very existence of people of my race. What does that mean personally, and what does that mean for the organisation as a whole, and its own structural racism?
For many supporters, however, the debate constituted something of a mutiny against the soul of the organisation. On the same day that the staff letter to Romero began circulating, nine senior members of the organisation wrote to the board condemning the possibility that the ACLU might reverse its historic role in defending freedom of speech. Every major news outlet in the US reported on the conflict. Journalists from the left and right who cover the free-speech beat, including Glenn Greenwald at the Intercept and Conor Friedersdorf at the Atlantic, argued that curtailing white-supremacist speech would ultimately harm liberal causes. (Greenwald described the attacks on the ACLUs position as warped and indescribably misguided.) In an email to staff, Romero acknowledged that many members and allies of the organisation feared its internal debate means that our principles and our legacy are now in jeopardy.
The fact that these debates have divided even the staff of the ACLU is a sign of how acute they have become in the country at large. A long-time consensus has been breaking down, the legal historian Laura Weinrib, who has written an important new history of free speech in 20th-century America, told me. One study suggests that many liberals have become increasingly intolerant of racist speech. Several otherstudies show that support for free speech is weakening, especially among millennials. I think this generation perhaps doesnt fully apprehend just how hard fought-for the right to freedom of speech was, Romero told me recently. Partly as a result of these trends, free-speech defenders of all political stripes believe that the principle is under greater threat than it has been for generations. We confront a real crisis now about the future of free speech in this country, Wendy Kaminer, a former member of the ACLUs national board, told me.
Last fall, the ACLUs president, Susan Herman, told the organisations national leadership conference: We need to consider whether some of our timeworn maxims the antidote to bad speech is more speech, the marketplace of ideas will result in the best arguments winning out still ring true in an era when white supremacists have a friend in the White House. She later added: If we at the ACLU cannot figure out how to bridge our different experiences, and work together and do the critical work we need to do, what hope is there for the rest of the country?
In the US, free speech has long been akin to American football a cherished contact sport. As the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr once suggested, even your uncle, submerged in his La-Z-Boy armchair, thinks he knows everything there is to know about it. Arguments over who can say what seem to be breaking out all over the US these days. Can black athletes kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice without being fined or losing their jobs? Is it an unacceptable form of censorship to no-platform ones political opponents, or to boycott companies that advertise on their television shows and websites? Should corporations be free to spend mind-boggling sums of money to flood the media with campaign spots for their pet political candidates?
Charlottesville inflamed two of the most urgent free-speech questions in the US. Should the law tolerate extreme forms of hate speech, which seek to deny people human dignity on the basis of characteristics such as race, sex, sexual orientation or religion? And who in the US given its legacies of oppression and its growing inequality is really free to speak?
Americans are often suspicious of attempts to re-evaluate beliefs about free speech, as if any doubt is a chink in the ramparts of freedom into which the crowbar of totalitarianism will be forced. But the fact that many lawyers and activists who have dedicated their lives to civil liberties and civil rights are reconsidering these beliefs might give pause to those who wish to dismiss such ideas out of hand. If these questions could change even the ACLU, they might also change the nation.
The debate unfolding across the US seems to stem, in part, from a growing conviction on the left that free speech, as we have been taught to imagine and mythologise it, does not in fact exist.As children, Americans learn that free speech is fundamentally egalitarian a level playing field on which all ideas may be heard and strenuously contested.And, on the face of it, public discourse in the US is almost completely no-holds-barred. Private organisations, such as social media platforms, can largely set their own rules on speech, but the government and public institutions are not, in theory, permitted to muzzle people, no matter what they are saying.
In the longer term, however, the So Paulo-born politicians prospects look far brighter. As Brazils crisis-stricken left comes to terms with the sidelining of its torchbearer, former president Luiz Incio Lula da Silva, Boulos is being touted as a potential successor not least by Lula himself.
In his last public speech before being jailed last month, Lula clutched Bouloss hand and urged supporters to take note of this companheiro of the highest quality. Turning to Boulos next to him on stage, Lula added: Youve got a bright future, brother, just dont ever give up.
Society abhors exploitation but we are complicit. The cheap goods and services consumers expect makes exploitation inevitable, says Guardian special correspondent Felicity Lawrence
Since the Modern Slavery Act of 2015, British companies over a certain size have been required to report on slavery in their supply chains. Their statements are both shocking and admirable. Shocking because they make clear that the incidence of slavery has become normalised once again and not just in criminal operations such as the illegal drugs trade or trafficking for prostitution, but in the mainstream economy. The declarations are prefaced with management expressions of abhorrence, of course, but there they are, another note alongside the annual accounts. They are admirable, however, in that transparency must be the first step to tackling this phenomenon.
Last month the National Crime Agency reported a 35% annual rise in the number of suspected slavery victims found in the UK, with more than 5,000 people referred to the government mechanism that supports them in 2017. Labour exploitation, rather than sexual exploitation, was the most common type of modern slavery cited.
The list of high-risk sectors for slavery declared in company statements is long: temporary workers in distribution and office cleaning; agency labour in logistics operations; subcontracted car-washes cleaning company vehicles; construction workers building and renovating company premises; outsourced security staff. A catalogue of the casualised workforce, in other words. It is hardly surprising that the most egregious forms of exploitation should appear where economic, legal and moral responsibility has been deliberately diffused. Modern slavery is the flipside of the coin that has seen corporates offshore their profits and dodge tax. Both represent a sloughing-off of what were seen in the past as important obligations to society.
Separate from corporate reporting, the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority was given powers in April 2017 to investigate exploitation beyond its original narrow remit of food and agriculture. The more it looks, the more it finds, and some of this new activity accounts for the increasing numbers of suspected victims of modern slavery. (Another factor is the statutory defence introduced in the Modern Slavery Act for those forced into criminal activity such as drug dealing: increasing use of that defence in drug cases probably accounts for British victims unusually making up the largest number by nationality this year. Albania, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, Romania, Sudan, Eritrea, India and Poland make up the rest of the top 10 source countries.)
The main concentrations the GLAA sees are among migrant workers in hand carwashes, nail bars, domestic building projects such as basement excavations, the hospitality trade, hotel cleaning, takeaway restaurants and domestic cleaning.
How did slavery, which we thought was abolished, reach into our everyday consumption? While it is quite right that companies should have their reputational feet held to the fire for abuse that arises out of their economic model, there are also uncomfortable truths here for affluent consumers of personal services.
Things that were until recently luxuries manicures, clothes that change fashion every few weeks, regular holiday breaks to hotels, eating out frequently, having your car hand-valeted, using manual labour to dig out a basement under your house are now presented to us as affordable, everyday even. Where they have become so, it is in large part thanks to other people being badly paid at best, or victims of modern slavery at worst. The squeezed middle has been bought off by the illusion that it can share the consuming habits of those with runaway incomes at the top; but it cant not without squeezing those further down the chain.
In a world where the state has often absented itself from the enforcement of employment law, and where so many human interactions are reduced to financial exchanges at whatever rate the market will take, people have become commodities to use or sell. When competition and austerity are king, it is every man and woman for themselves and their family. Too often, we close our eyes and try to protect our own.
People-traffickers target the vulnerable including those with learning disabilities or raised in care, homeless people, those with alcohol and drug problems or previous convictions. They are the people easiest to control and least likely to attract sympathy. Anti-immigration sentiment has encouraged people to see these victims as foreign, as other. How else to explain why neighbours, work colleagues and customers so often fail to notice modern slavery?
Take the group of trafficked Lithuanians working brutal hours on egg farms around the country who were kept under control in their Kent ganghouses by threats and fighting dogs. What did farm managers and local residents on the same quiet streets see and hear? Alarming antisocial behaviour, and fights in a foreign language that made them want to turn away and keep their heads down, or fellow human beings suffering intolerable abuse and anaesthetising themselves from the trauma with drink?
Both the National Audit Office and the parliamentary select committee for work and pensions have highlighted serious shortcomings in the support for victims of modern slavery once they have been identified. The anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland, also pointed out to the committee that every time a suspected victim of slavery is referred to the national referral mechanism, a crime is being alleged. Yet there is only a one-in-four chance of these cases being recorded as a potential crime, let alone investigated. If there were 4,000 rapes in the UK and only one in four was recorded by the police, there would be an outcry, he said. These failings need state remedies.
Meanwhile, we all need to recognise the signs. Where workers are putting in excessive hours, where they have no language to communicate with customers or where employers seem quick to speak for them, where they live in houses of multiple occupancy, we should be alert to the possibility of modern slavery.
If you are being offered a service for much less than you would expect to pay for it, someone is almost certainly being exploited. A car wash that takes six men 15 minutes and costs 10 does not pay the legal minimum wage. If something seems too cheap to be true, it probably is.
Felicity Lawrence is a special correspondent for the Guardian
Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings spotted after cleanup of Versova beach by Afroz Shah and volunteers
Hatchlings from a vulnerable turtle species have been spotted for the first time in decades on a Mumbai beach that was rejuvenated in the past two years by a massive volunteer cleanup operation.
At least 80 Olive Ridley turtles have made their way into the Arabian Sea from nests on the southern end of Versova beach in the past week, protected from wild dogs and birds of prey by volunteers who slept overnight in the sand to watch over them.
Versova has undergone what the United Nations has called the worlds largest beach cleanup project over the past two years, transformed from a shin-deep dump yard for plastics and rubbish to a virtually pristine piece of coastline.
The man who leads the ongoing cleanup operation, the lawyer Afroz Shah, said he started anticipating the turtle hatchings two months ago when farmers on the southern end of the two-mile (3km) beach reported seeing turtles in the sand.
Our dear President Trump said: Weve had enough of globalists, he told FN members.
Todays politics cannot be summed up by the left-right divide. During the 2008 financial crisis, the governments and banks looked after themselves above all, they saved themselves and not the people.
Bannon said Trump had three main concerns: stopping massive immigration; persuading manufacturers who had left for China to return to the US; and pulling the US out of the quagmire conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
You recall the evening of the American election, the traditional medias were shocked. They could never have believed that the Americans had finally voted in their own interests.
You fight for your country and they call you racist. But the days when those kind of insults work is over. The establishment media are the dogs of the system. Every day, we become stronger and they become weaker. Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal.
Bannon ended his discourse with: God bless America and vive la France.
At the two-day conference in the northern city of Lille, FN president Marine Le Pens is attempting to re-found her rightwing party, announcing a change of name to be revealed on Sunday and validated by a members vote to show the FN has come of age, shaken off its controversial past and is ready to govern.
Le Pen is also trying to reassert her personal and political authority after a drop in popularity following her crushing defeat by Emmanuel Macron in last years presidential election. Many in the party blame Le Pen for her chaotic and bizarre performance in a pre-final vote debate with Macron.
Le Pen is under investigation on claims she misused European Union staff for FN business, and facing defiance from her estranged father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the FN in the 1970s, but who has since been thrown out of the party for xenophobic and racist comments. He was stripped of his honorary president role in a change of rules at Saturdays congress.
Marine Le Pen also faces a possible future challenge from her niece, Marion Marechal Le Pen, who announced she was temporarily withdrawing from politics after the 2017 presidential election but is seen to be waiting in the wings.
Critics suggested inviting Bannon was hardly a sign of political maturity.
Jean-Marie Le Pen said: Its the big bosss surprise. I think Bannons OK but its not exactly the definition of de-demonising [the party] and its a bit of a paradox given that Steve Bannon was supposed to be Trumps most radical adviser, he said. But who knows. She [Marine] may end up coming round to my way of thinking.
Marine Le Pen said Bannon was interesting to listen to for those who are fighting against anything goes in their country.
FN spokesman Sbastien Chenu said Bannon symbolised voters rejection of the establishment.
He has also been the architect of a victory, that of Donald Trump, on whom nobody would have bet, particularly European media and politicians. So he can explain how victory is possible and how to bring it about. I find its always interesting to hear from someone who has won an election.
Surprise win for Touch Me Not means Wes Andersons Isle of Dogs has to settle for best director prize
Touch Me Not, a Romanian film about fear of intimacy and achieving sexual liberation was the unexpected winner of the Golden Bear, the Berlin film festivals top award at the festivals concluding ceremony on Saturday.
Directed by Adina Pintilie, Touch Me Not was picked ahead of 18 other films, including Wes Andersons Isle of Dogs and Utoya July 22, by a jury headed by German director Tom Tykwer, best known for Run Lola Run. Based around an English womans attempt to overcome her intimacy issues, and ranging across everything from disability to sex clubs, Touch Me Not blends fiction and documentary and is Pintilies first feature film.