Rohingya and Myanmar coup survivors launch legal complaint in Germany against junta

Survivors of alleged abuses at hands of military unite in universal jurisdiction case over atrocities they say amount to genocide

A criminal complaint against individuals linked to Myanmar’s military has been filed in Germany by survivors from ethnic groups across Myanmar, in what activists say is a show of unity that once seemed unthinkable.

Sixteen survivors and witnesses of military abuses joined NGO Fortify Rights to file a criminal complaint with the federal public prosecutor general of Germany under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the prosecution of mass atrocities in one country, even if they happened elsewhere.

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China bridles as EU states prepare to scale up Covid monitoring

Spain joins Italy in requiring arrivals to show a negative result as Chinese state media calls move ‘discriminatory’

European countries are preparing to scale up the monitoring of potential new coronavirus variants from China, as Spain becomes the second EU state to bring back mandatory testing at airports in response to Beijing’s rapid rollback of anti-infection measures.

Spain on Friday followed Italy’s lead by requiring arrivals from China to show a negative test result, though unlike Rome it makes exceptions for those who can prove they are fully vaccinated.

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Weather tracker: cyclone drags pollution towards Sri Lanka

Particulate matter, which is hazardous to lungs, has been pulled in from India by Cyclone Mandous

In Sri Lanka, schools were forced to close on Friday last week owing to high levels of pollution pulled in from India via Cyclone Mandous. The cyclone was situated in the Bay of Bengal, with winds blowing anti-clockwise around the central low pressure, sweeping the polluted air from India across the Palk strait into Sri Lanka. Subsequently, this merged with Sri Lanka’s local air pollution, leading to unhealthy pollutant concentrations that created a haze across parts of the country, including the capital, Colombo.

Most people are aware of air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and the impacts they have in contributing to global warming. However, other air pollutants pose a more immediate threat to human health. Particulate matter refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air, and is split into two categories depending on diameter; up to 2.5 microns (0.0025mm, PM2.5) or up to 10 microns (0.01mm, PM10).

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‘Miracle of Doha’: calls for public holiday as Japan’s Samurai Blue put Germany to sword

Victory in World Cup opener sparks street celebrations and banishes painful memories in Doha of failure to qualify for USA 1994

Japan’s shock victory over Germany in Qatar on Wednesday sparked late-night celebrations and calls to mark the Samurai Blue’s momentous feat in their 2022 World Cup opener with a public holiday.

The clock was nearing midnight when Takuma Asano rifled Japan’s winner into the roof of the net at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha – a result that had seemed impossible after a poor first half from Japan, playing in their seventh straight World Cup.

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Vladimir Putin says civilians must be evacuated from Kherson war zone

Russia digs in in preparation for expected attempt by Ukraine to take key southern city, setting scene for possible ferocious battle

Vladimir Putin has warned that civilians still living in the Ukrainian province of Kherson, which Russia declared in September it had annexed, must be “evacuated” from the conflict zone.

“Now, of course, those who live in Kherson should be removed from the zone of the most dangerous actions, because the civilian population should not suffer,” the Russian president said during a meeting with pro-Kremlin activists.

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China and Germany condemn Russian threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Xi Jinping tells Olaf Scholz of the need for greater cooperation during ‘times of change and turmoil’

Xi Jinping and Olaf Scholz have condemned Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, with both leaders expressing their desire for the conflict to end.

The Chinese president stressed the need for greater cooperation between China and Germany in what he referred to as “times of change and turmoil”, and said both leaders “jointly oppose the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons,” although he stopped short of criticising Russia or calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops.

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Germany’s Scholz heads to China amid questions over strategy

Scholz’s coalition government seems uncertain about what sort of relationship it wants with Beijing

Russia’s war in Ukraine has woken Germany up to the risk of having an economy that is too reliant on raw materials provided by an autocratic strongman. But as the Germany chancellor, Olaf Scholz, heads to Beijing at the end of this week, there are questions as to whether he would rather leave lessons from the recent past at home in Berlin.

Scholz is the first representative of a liberal democracy to be granted a state visit to China since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan in 2019, and will be the first major political leader to meet Xi Jinping since the Chinese president consolidated his power with a shake-up at the top of the Communist party.

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We need to talk about Xi Jinping: G7’s discord over powerful trading partner

Disagreements have opened up about strategy when China is also seen as an existential threat

Western powers in the G7 group of nations are failing to coordinate their China strategies, senior western officials admit, adding that the need to do so has been given sharp impetus by Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power at this month’s Communist party congress.

The G7’s poor coordination reflects a deep disagreement, also reflected within the EU, about whether dialogue and trade with China have a future if Beijing is seen as an existential threat that requires strict strategic controls on economic ties.

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Cost of living crisis: what are the rest of the G7 doing?

From generous one-off benefit payments to caps on rent increases, state intervention is taking shape across the G7

As Liz Truss’s government prepares to unveil a huge package of tax cuts, alongside energy price caps for UK households and businesses worth an estimated £150bn, here is what the rest of the G7 are doing to ease the cost of living crisis.

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Ukraine’s advances pose question for world: can Kyiv actually win?

As world leaders prepare for a meeting of UN general assembly, the raging war of narratives shows no sign of abating

Until one short week ago, the geopolitical balance in Ukraine could be likened to Zugzwang, a word describing a delicate point in a board game when taking any move will probably put a player at a disadvantage.

For the west, as it prepared to gather with other world leaders at the UN general assembly in New York, there seemed to be no good option, apart from hanging on. It could hardly retreat in its support for Ukraine – too much of the liberal democratic order had been declared to be at stake, too much Ukrainian blood spent, too much western treasure expended, including $5bn (£4.27bn) a month just to finance the Ukrainian state. The US alone has spent $15.5bn since the start of the war.

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Response to Russia’s war in Ukraine dominates G7 summit

Analysis: Talks close with pledge to support Kyiv for ‘as long as it takes’ but price caps on Kremlin oil and gas remain sticking point

Western leaders ended the three-day G7 summit in Germany promising to increase the economic and political costs to Vladimir Putin and his regime of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The German chancellor and chair of the G7, Olaf Scholz, made the vow at a closing press conference in which he said the group were united and unbreakable, adding: “It is important to stand together for this over the long distance, which will certainly be necessary.”

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Vietnamese man extradited to Germany over oil executive kidnapping

Fugitive Vietnamese state company official Trinh Xuan Thanh was abducted from Berlin park in July 2017

A Vietnamese man has been extradited to Germany to face charges of taking part in a brazen cold war-style kidnapping of an oil executive ordered by Hanoi, prosecutors have said.

The suspect, identified only as Anh TL, was sent to Germany from the Czech Republic after he was detained in Prague last month on the basis of German and European arrest warrants.

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14th-century samurai sword found in car at Swiss border

Officers say 700-year-old artefact worth €650,000 was transported from Stuttgart on behalf of driver’s employer

Swiss customs authorities have discovered an antique Japanese samurai sword made nearly 700 years ago, after it was smuggled into the country.

The Federal Office for Customs and Border Security said the katana sword, dated to 1353 and valued at €650,000 (£550,000), was found in a car with Swiss plates during a routine search near Zurich. Several other objects were also found in the car, including an antique book, a contract and the sales invoice.

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Xinjiang cotton found in Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss tops, researchers say

Traces in shirts and T-shirts appear to contradict German firms’ promises to revise supply chains

Researchers say they have found traces of Xinjiang cotton in shirts and T-shirts made by Adidas, Puma and Hugo Boss, appearing to contradict the German clothing companies’ promises to revise their supply chains after allegations of widespread forced labour in the Chinese region.

Recent reports have suggested more than half a million people from minority ethnic groups such as the Uyghurs have been coerced into picking cotton in Xinjiang, which provides more than 80% of China’s and a fifth of the global production of cotton.

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UN donor conference falls billions short of $4.4bn target to help Afghanistan

Conference raises only $2.44bn as Russian foreign minister says west is responsible for country’s humanitarian crisis

The world’s donor drought, and growing global divisions over Afghanistan’s political direction, have been laid bare when a UN appeal for $4.4bn (£3.35bn) to help Afghanistan fell massively short, the second UN donor conference in a month to do so.

Donor countries pledged only $2.44bn towards the appeal, a senior UN official said on Thursday after a high-level pledging conference.

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