Top 7 or 10 Tips

7 Reasons You Want Referral Business and How to Get Them

Studies have proven that there is one reason why people don't do more referral business: they don't ask. There are two reasons why, they forget or they don't have a strong enough relationship with their clients, so they don't feel comfortable The truth is every professional should strive to have all of their business be referral because the benefits of referral business are undeniable and extensive.
Go to the great site with beauty products Clinique tilbud

Top 10 Ways Websites Makes Me Suffer

I believe some people create and publish websites for the sole purpose of tormenting their visitors. Browsing various websites and navigating the Web can often be like trying to read on an airplane while a kid kicks the back of your seat and the baby next to you alternates between screaming, crying and drooling on you.

Business Profitability - 10 Ways To Boost

10 Ways to Boost your ProfitabilitySo many business owners work hard - really hard - just to break even or keep afloat. Each one of us deserves reward for our efforts, whether that be financial or personal.

Wealth Building Scams

I have some good news and I have some bad news. First the good news.

Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life

Seven Questions to Improve Your Business, Your Relationships, and Your Life One of the most powerful tools we have as humans is our ability to ask questions. The more adept we are at asking them (and waiting for and listening to the answers), the more effective we will be.

Ten Ways to Strengthen Your Reading Habit

Most people wish they read more. It is an activity that is both fun and enlightening.

Ten Tips for Cross Cultural Communication

Here are some simple tips to help you improve your cross cultural communication skills: Slow Down Even when English is the common language in a cross cultural situation, this does not mean you should speak at normal speed. Slow down, speak clearly and ensure your pronunciation is intelligible.

7 Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To

Seven Reasons Why Training Doesn't Produce the Desired Results and What You Can Do To Improve Your Results OverviewAbraham Maslow said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." As managers, leaders and change agents, we want to improve our organizational performance.

Your Leadership Shopping List

'Tis the season to give. And finding the right gift to give the people on your team can be challenging.

Top Seven Reasons to Publicize your Business with Articles

Do you want to be #1-10 on Google and other search engines? Do you want quadruple your Web sales in five months? Promote your business to the top with these 7 reasons to write and submit how-to articles. 1.

Top Ten Tips for Online Publishing Success

Use the checklist below to make sure your article, tip, or book excerpt will get published and make you a household name on the Internet. 1.

Top Ten Things to Do to Make your Signature File Sell

Always include a powerful signature on every email you send out, even to friends. It's even more important when you send out articles to opt-in ezines (no spam) and top web sites in your field--more important than your article's message.

The Top Ten Ways to Attract Buyers, Not Just Visitors to your Web Site

Have you put a lot of effort, time, and money into your site and are frustrated with low sales? If you are like many professionals out there, you know your subject; you are excellent at your craft. You have a great service and maybe a great product to sell.

Plan Your Success In Seven Ways

Many businesses lose money yearly because they don't think creatively about the future. They run their businesses doing what they think they should: dealing with customers, dealing with problems, ordering for their business, and paying their expenses.

Want a Web Site that Turns Lookie Loos into Buyers? Seven Passion Copywriting Tips

Web Site Blues? Need one, don't know where to start? Got one, but aren't getting enough sales? If you need a Web site soon you may be wondering where to start and who to trust. All Web masters are not equal.

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News Tips

Exclusive: Guardian analysis shows series of contracts awarded to government and charities linked to president’s family

The UN has awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to people closely associated with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, as part of an aid programme that critics fear is increasingly at the whim of the government in Damascus, a Guardian investigation has found.

Businessmen whose companies are under US and EU sanctions have been paid substantial sums by the UN mission, as have government departments and charities – including one set up by the president’s wife, Asma al-Assad, and another by his closest associate, Rami Makhlouf.

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Images of rescue operation in the Mediterranean capture plight of those desperate to reach Europe

Startling images have emerged of refugees being rescued off the coast of Libya, showing what has become an everyday occurrence in the southern Mediterranean Sea over the past three years.

Related: A day on a refugee rescue ship: 'this job must be done, there must be no sinking'

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Experts say human impact on Earth so profound that Holocene must give way to epoch defined by nuclear tests, plastic pollution and domesticated chicken

Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – needs to be declared, according to an official expert group who presented the recommendation to the International Geological Congress in Cape Town on Monday.

The new epoch should begin about 1950, the experts said, and was likely to be defined by the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear bomb tests, although an array of other signals, including plastic pollution, soot from power stations, concrete, and even the bones left by the global proliferation of the domestic chicken were now under consideration.

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More than 75,000 people sign petition denouncing José Manuel Barroso and calling for him to lose his EU pension

More than 75,000 people have signed an EU staff petition calling on former European commission president José Manuel Barroso to forfeit his pension for bringing the European Union into disrepute by joining Goldman Sachs.

The petition, organised by a small group of EU officials, accuses Barroso of “irresponsible” and “morally reprehensible behaviour” for joining the American investment bank. Although Barroso is not the first former ex-commissioner to join Goldman, his appointment has sparked anger among rank-and-file staff, who have highlighted the bank’s role in mis-selling sub-prime mortgages, as well as lending money to the Greek government before the country’s debt disaster exploded.

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New York Post publishes explicit Twitter messages sent by former congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton’s top aide to a woman he met online

Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin announced on Monday that she had separated from her husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, after the publication of newly revealed, explicit Twitter messages sent by Weiner to a woman he met online.

“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” Abedin said in a statement. “Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

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Three boys aged six, 11 and 13 among those found dead at house in County Cavan

Five members of the same family, including three young boys, have been found dead at a house in Ireland in what police are treating as a case of murder-suicide.

A senior officer of the Garda Síochána confirmed the force was not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

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Obama administration has been criticized for moving too slowly to respond to the five-year crisis in Syria, amid opposition to refugees from Republicans

The United States said it would welcome its 10,000th Syrian refugee of this fiscal year on Monday, meeting a controversial target more than a month ahead of schedule.

The US has traditionally been by far the world’s most generous host for refugees but has been criticized by activists for moving too slowly to respond to the Syrian crisis, which has dragged on for more than five years.

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Proposed ‘milkmen’s kids law’ aims to give greater protection to ‘false’ fathers and help settle disputes over support payments

Germany has drafted legislation requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man.

The measure, known in the media as the “milkmen’s kids law”, will go before the cabinet as early as Wednesday before heading to parliament.

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Even at the Hall of Fame in North Carolina, pessimism is rising as fast as the billionaire falls in the polls, threatening GOP control of Congress

One month on from a precipitous collapse in Donald Trump’s poll ratings, many Republicans are no longer asking whether he can win the White House, but how badly he will lose.

Related: Turned off by Trump: Republican mega-donors focus on congressional races

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Bernard Cazeneuve says law prohibiting the full-body swimwear would stoke tensions when the country needs ‘healing’

A law banning the full-body burkini swimsuit in France would stoke tensions between communities and would be both unconstitutional and ineffective, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said.

France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, ruled on Friday against a decision by the mayor of the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet to ban the burkini .

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Dozens more injured after car laden with explosives is driven into army recruitment centre in Aden

An Islamic State militant rammed an explosives-laden car into an army recruiting centre in Aden on Monday, killing 71 people, in the deadliest jihadi attack on the Yemeni city for more than a year.

Security officials said the attacker drove through a gate that had been opened for a delivery vehicle, and into a gathering of recruits.

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Acclaimed architect wants anti-seismic regulations strengthened amid plans to rehouse displaced residents in lightweight wooden homes

Italy’s prime minister has asked the acclaimed architect Renzo Piano to play a leading role in reconstruction and disaster prevention following the earthquake that struck central Italy last week, killing at least 290 people.

Matteo Renzi launched a national plan for quake and risk prevention on Monday after meeting Piano in Genoa at the weekend to discuss housing strategies for survivors and rebuilding the medieval towns hardest hit by the 6.2-magnitude quake on 24 August.

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US calls for de-escalation after Turkey shells more than a dozen targets in operation targeting Isis and YPG

Turkey has said it will carry out more strikes on a Syrian Kurdish militia if it fails to retreat beyond the Euphrates river.

Turkish forces pressed on with a two-pronged operation inside Syria against Islamic State jihadis and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), shelling more than a dozen targets.

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Srinagar residents hurl stones and shout slogans demanding freedom from Indian rule before curfew is reimposed

A nearly two-month curfew in the troubled Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir was partially lifted on Monday only to be largely re-imposed after fresh violence erupted in several parts of the capital, Srinagar.

For many people the easing of the curfew had been the first opportunity in 52 days to move freely outside their homes. The former Himalayan kingdom has been wracked by protests in the wake of the killing of a popular young militant separatist by security forces on 8 July.

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Islam Karimov, 78-year-old authoritarian leader of strategically important former Soviet state, said to be in stable condition

The Uzbek president, Islam Karimov, is in intensive care after a brain haemorrhage, his younger daughter wrote on social media on Monday.

“My father was hospitalised after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage on Saturday morning, and is now receiving treatment in an intensive care unit,” Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, Uzbekistan’s ambassador to Unesco, wrote on Instagram.

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Australia brought before permanent court of arbitration in the Hague after refusal to negotiate with northern neighbour over long-running dispute

Timor-Leste has urged Australia not to “turn its back on the law” and to negotiate over the Timor Sea maritime boundary, but Australia has claimed the commission it has been brought before has no jurisdiction to hear the matter and said that any decision it makes will be not be binding on Australia.

Australia has been forced to appear before a commission of the permanent court of arbitration in the Hague – the first time any country has been brought before the court for “compulsory conciliation” – by Timor Leste after its consistent refusal to negotiate a permanent maritime boundary, and revelations Australian agents spied on Timor-Leste’s government during earlier treaty talks.

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Man carrying piece of paper bearing the Islamic State symbol attacked priest after bomb in his backpack failed to explode

A would-be suicide bomber has failed in an attempt to blow himself up during mass at a Catholic church in Indonesia, using an axe to assault a priest after his bomb did not detonate.

Police said the 18-year-old ran towards the altar of the packed church but the explosives in his backpack only burned, not fully exploding.

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Since the attempted coup, the government has ordered more than a hundred outlets to close and arrested 48 journalists

Turkey has intensified its crackdown on the media since last month’s attempted coup, with rights groups decrying a wave of decrees that have turned the country into the world leader in locking up journalists.

During Turkey’s current three-month state of emergency the government has the authority to rule by decree and has ordered the closure of 102 media outlets, including 45 newspapers, 16 TV channels, three news agencies, 23 radio stations, 15 magazines and 29 publishing houses.

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President’s recent comments doubting number of deaths during dictatorship rattle human rights activists and survivors – and mark first time denialist rhetoric has entered mainstream political discourse

Almost uniquely among nations that have suffered mass killings under brutal dictatorships, Argentina was able not only to put a large number of its former torturers behind bars, but to establish a consensus across all political sectors that its 1976-83 military regime had executed a lower-intensity Nazi-style genocide that lacked any moral justification.

Related: How an Argentinian man learned his 'father' may have killed his real parents

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Foreign arrivals issued with welcome kit including safety advice for women, after high-profile assaults

India’s tourism minister has said foreign women should not wear skirts or walk alone at night in the country’s small towns and cities “for their own safety”.

Discussing tourist security in the north Indian city of Agra, site of the Taj Mahal, Mahesh Sharma said foreign arrivals to India were issued a welcome kit that included safety advice for women.

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As Canada’s prime minister visits China, he must balance an effort to reset the countries’ relationship with concerns at home

Justin Trudeau will need to walk a thin line as he seeks to reset Canada’s relationship with China while balancing human rights concerns – and a domestic audience wary of the Asian power.

Canada’s prime minister leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day official visit to China, ending at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, an industrial and economic powerhouse on China’s south-eastern coast.

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Inaccessible clinics, untrained and overstretched midwives and lack of medicine are among the challenges facing mothers and newborn babies in Guinea

A baby was born, took one breath, then left the world again. No amount of the midwife pumping his legs up to his ribcage and back, or poking a finger hard and fast at his chest, would bring him back.

His 17-year-old mother lay in pain on the delivery table as her son was wrapped up in a yellow cloth. There was no time even for her to hold him, as another woman was about to give birth. The midwives quickly changed their bloodied robes and gloves. Because there was no other table, the second woman gave birth lying on the floor.

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People flee LAX and police storm building but search reveals no evidence of a gunman or shots fired

False reports of a gunman opening fire caused panicked evacuations at Los Angeles international airport on Sunday night, while flights to and from the airport were delayed.

A search through the terminals revealed no evidence of a gunman or shots fired, Los Angeles police spokesman Andy Neiman said. The reports were caused by loud noises and police were investigating their source, Neiman said.

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Investigators play down terrorism fears and say attack could be attempt to destroy forensic evidence

Reports of a bomb outside Belgium’s criminology institute were probably false, the Brussels prosecutor’s office said, describing the incident as much more likely to be an arson attack designed to destroy criminal evidence.

“It’s probably not terrorism. It’s a criminal act,” said spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch. “I cannot confirm that there was any bomb.”

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  • Announcement follows peace accord to end five decades of war
  • Deal made in four-year Havana talks will go to October referendum

A ceasefire has been declared in Colombia after the commander of the country’s Farc guerrillas said its fighters would permanently cease hostilities with the government from the first minute of Monday local time.

Related: How to make peace? Colombia's historic deal has lessons for Syria

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Six leave Mauna Loa dome seeking ocean and fresh food after simulated mission that was second-longest to 520-day Russian project

Six scientists have completed a year-long simulation of a Mars mission, during which they lived in a dome in near-isolation.

Related: Space oddity: how do astronauts prepare for life on Mars?

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All are residents or workers, predominantly foreign, in a particular suburban residential and industrial district

Singapore has confirmed 41 locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus, which can cause deformities in unborn babies, and says more infections are likely.

A day after announcing its first locally transmitted case, that of a 47-year-old female Malaysian resident, on Sunday the government reported 40 more – mostly foreign workers at a construction site.

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  • Marches in New York City and elsewhere around the world
  • ‘Push for women to go topless is as strong as women wanting to vote’

Women around the US were taking off their tops on Sunday to mark GoTopless Day, a day that seeks to promote gender equality and a woman’s right to bare her breasts in public.

GoTopless Day is celebrated annually on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day, which marks the day American women earned the right to vote.

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President was suspended in May and is scheduled to give evidence before hostile Senate on Monday

Brazil’s impeachment battle is set to reach a dramatic climax this week as the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, makes a last stand before a hostile and corruption-plagued Senate.

The Workers party leader, who was suspended from the presidency in May, is scheduled to testify in her own defence on Monday morning, a day or two before the upper house is expected to vote for her permanent ejection from office for alleged fiscal irregularities.

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Yellowstone and other major parks grapple with illegal camping, vandalism, theft of resources, wildlife harassment and other misbehavior from visitors

On the edge of a meadow in Yellowstone national park, tourist John Gleason crept through the grass, four small children close behind, inching toward a bull elk with antlers like small trees.

“They’re going to give me a heart attack,” said Gleason’s mother-in-law, Barbara Henry, as the group came within about a dozen yards of the massive animal.

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Spokesman for incumbent Ali Bongo Ondimba declares victory and also attacked rival Jean Ping of ‘massive fraud’ during Saturday’s vote

Supporters of Gabon’s president and his chief rival have both said they expect to win an election that has proved to be the most serious challenge yet to the Bongo family’s half-century rule.

The rival, Jean Ping, 73, traded accusations of fraud that raised the prospect of increased tension in the wake of an uncharacteristically bitter campaign.

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The Hillary Clinton campaign has produced a “behind-the-scenes” video of the candidate’s visit with vice president Joe Biden to Scranton, Pennsylvania, earlier this month:

Joe and Hillary went home to Scranton. Take a behind-the-scenes look at their visit:

It’s unclear what platforms this new Trump campaign video will be disseminated on – but it’s for sure on Twitter.

The spot hits Clinton for saying she never sent or received classified information on her private email when the FBI found she had.


huh, even the "failing" Washington Post can be useful from time to time

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The Workers’ party leader could be ejected from power by the senate within days but the former Marxist guerrilla told her accusers the process amounts to a coup

Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, put up a fight in keeping with her Marxist guerrilla background on Monday with a powerful denunciation of the politicians who are poised to eject her from power within days.

Testifying in her own defence before a predominantly opposition senate, the Workers’ party leader said she had withstood torture in her fight for democracy and would not back down even though she is widely expected to lose a final impeachment vote likely to occur within the next two days.

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Firmer link between contributions and receipts is on table as PM calls first cabinet meeting since summer break

Theresa May is being urged to consider reviving the principle of social insurance to help struggling low-paid workers, as she prepares to flesh out her vision of “a country that works for everyone”.

Related: What does Britain's next prime minister Theresa May believe?

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Photographer Siarhiej Leskiec has spent four years documenting ancient eastern European healing practices, speaking to the women who believe they have God-given powers to heal the sick and exorcise evil

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Twitter users have been gently mocking their countries using old-school nostalgia – here’s what we learned

There’s nothing like a few schoolyard memories to bring people together.

Yesterday, thousands of Africans took to Twitter to gently mock their countries via the hashtag #IfAfricaWasASchool, and in doing so found both scathing and irreverent ways to describe what it’s like to live on the continent today.

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Two years since the protests that overthrew the government, large murals have been appearing across Ukraine’s capital – some by renowned street artists, others by politically charged locals. RFE/RL takes a tour

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Rogue state officials and disjointed land reforms have created an increasingly dangerous environment for at-risk animals

It was a normal day in the Chipinge Safari area when two police officers, Robert Shumba and Vengai Mazhara, headed into the bush in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands after getting a tip about a poacher armed with an AK-47.

They were soon dead, shot by an unknown man who escaped the scene.

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Locals mourn the loss of the Mayakovsky Theatre, the latest victim of Dushanbe’s controversial urban redevelopment programme

The director of Dushanbe’s Mayakovsky Theatre weeps as she describes how demolition workers moved in.

Since work began in May, much of the Mayakovsky – a low-key, utilitarian and yet much-loved Soviet era constructivist building along the capital’s main thoroughfare – has been destroyed.

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As the role of Ukrainians in the Soviet Union’s demise is celebrated, tensions still simmer in the east of country after two years of war

Ukraine has marked 25 years of independence with a huge military parade through Kiev, and although two years of war with Russia-backed rebels in the east has united much of the country, the eastern territories remain divided.

Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, addressed the nation after a parade on Wednesday involving thousands of soldiers, columns of armoured vehicles and missile systems made its way through the capital.

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Since the Russian annexation local vineyards have been capitalising on gaps in the market triggered by western sanctions

It was once the “Coca-Cola of the Soviet Union”, a homegrown luxury promoted by Josef Stalin as a promise of the supposed abundance soon to come to the USSR.

Now, more than 80 years since Stalin’s “invention” of Soviet champagne, a ban on western-imported produce triggered by Russia’s annexation of Crimea is prompting a revival in home-grown versions of foreign luxury goods.

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The irony of privileged athletes with their nutritionists, physios and sports psychologists pointing fingers at those who’ve overcome so much is laughable

When athletes lined up for the 800m women’s final in Rio last week they weren’t exactly starting from a level playing field – on that we can all agree. But who was it who enjoyed the “unfair advantage” that the eventual winner Caster Semenya has been accused of holding?

Various competitors and commentators have declared that the South African runner’s gold medal was unfairly gained because her physical attributes and medical condition make it impossible for others to beat her.

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We’re looking for people who have had the unique experience of living at least half their lives under the USSR

By the summer of 1991 it was clear that the Soviet empire’s days were numbered.

After widespread shortages of food and other supplies, rising nationalism and demands for independence across Central Asia, a coup against leader Mikhail Gorbachev ultimately ended his political career and resulted in the birth of 15 new and independent nations.

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Reaction to diplomat Thae Yong-ho’s escape shows the regime will try anything to discredit dissenters, says NK News

North Korea responded to the defection of a prominent diplomat and his family last week with typical hyperbole and inconsistency.

First, a spokesman for the government’s Ministry of Truth told newspapers that Thae Yong-ho had been a victim of a South Korean plot. The incident, the official said, was a “typical operation of South Korean intelligence services and part of a plot to bring down North Korea.”

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Tourists may be returning to the Kenyan coast, but the hinterland is being ravaged by Islamic militants, their defectors and armed police

A football field and a grove of mango trees lie between Bongwe and its neighbouring village. On one side live the family of 33-year-old Subira Mwangole, shot dead by gunmen while watching television with friends one evening in May. On the other live his alleged murderers.

The two villages, 30km south of the port city of Mombasa on Kenya’s coast, are almost identical: three-room houses with rusting tin or thatch roofs, a ramshackle primary school, a government office, a small mosque with white walls stained by rain, a crossroads where two tracks meet, a well, small plots of tall corn plants.

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Despite more than 300 arrests and four stabbings, 2016 hailed as vintage year for two-day London street party

More than 300 arrests and four stabbings marred an otherwise good-natured and sun-drenched Notting Hill carnival. According to the Metropolitan police, who had 7,000 officers on the streets of west London on Monday, there had been a total of 156 arrests by Sunday and a further 160 by 6pm on Monday evening.

The figures marked an improvement on last year’s celebration, which drew criticism after police made more than 400 arrests. According to the Met, most of the offences were drug-related, while 43 people were held over possession of offensive weapons.

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When I informed some of the female imams in Henan, central China, of the opening of women’s mosques in the US and in Europe, most recently in Copenhagen (Female imams make history with a new call to prayer, 27 August), they were delighted. Delighted that their proud history of female-led Islamic institutions, which can be traced back more than 300 years, has proved inspirational. By the same token, a more accurate and nuanced knowledge of China’s unique Islamic tradition (now no longer quite so unique) is called for. There is ample scholarship on the history of women’s mosques in China.

This history is a long one. Its unique manifestation of independent institutions, Nüxue or Nüsi – women’s (Qur’anic) school or women’s mosque – emerged from complex historical and socio-political negotiations over the nature of Muslim identity in the Chinese diaspora and over means to keep faith alive and religio-ethnic identity intact.

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Low unemployment rates and tightening of eligibility sees decline in working age people receiving income support from 25% in 1994 to 16.6% today

The proportion of Australia’s working age population that receives income support is much lower than it was in the mid-1990s, according to new Parliamentary library research.

Researchers say relatively low unemployment rates in Australia, and successive tightening of eligibility requirements for some support payments, has seen the proportion of the working-age population claiming income support decline significantly to 16.6%, from a peak of over 25% in 1994.

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This display of men controlling how women dress (Armed French police pictured ordering woman to remove burkini on Nice beach, 24 August) reminded me of my humiliation at an open-air pool in Ruislip in 1957 when I, beautifully suntanned and wearing a bikini, was ordered by loudhailer to leave the pool and dress suitably. Nothing changes, just a further reason – religion and terrorism are the current excuse.
Hilary Green

• No woman in a burqa (or a hijab or a burkini) has ever done me any harm. But I was sacked (without explanation) by a man in a suit. Men in suits missold me pensions and endowments, costing me thousands of pounds. A man in a suit led us on a disastrous and illegal war. Men in suits led the banks and crashed the world economy. Other men in suits then increased the misery to millions through austerity. If we are to start telling people what to wear, maybe we should ban suits.
Henry Stewart

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Pupils at Pretoria high school for girls say they were forced to chemically straighten their hair and not have ‘untidy afros’

A South African school has been accused of racism for allegedly telling black girls to straighten their hair and not wear afros.

Pupils at Pretoria high school for girls have said they were forced to chemically straighten their hair and not have afros that were deemed untidy. Over the weekend, students donning afro hairstyles and braids held a protest at the school to voice anger against the alleged longstanding rule.

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It is perverse that agencies intent on helping the most vulnerable in the civil war can throw a lifeline to such a brutal regime

When confronted with criticism of their failure to address Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe, UN officials routinely blame a lack of resources. As Stephen O’Brien, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, put it, the UN system is broke, not broken.

Yet UN aid agencies, since stepping up operations in Syria in 2012, have handed lucrative procurement contracts to regime cronies who are known to have bankrolled the very repression and brutality that helped cause the crisis in the first place.

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Guardian investigation identifies dozens of deals that raise new questions about the UN’s role in Syria, and its impartiality

After five years of conflict in Syria, the figures speak for themselves. More than 400,000 people are estimated to have been killed – and another 11 million displaced from their homes. There is no end in sight.

But if there is no dispute about the victims of this complicated war, there is increasing argument about how best to help them. Inevitably, the focus has turned to the United Nations relief mission, which is only allowed to operate in Syria with the blessing of President Bashar al-Assad.

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Leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu sect for 45 years who expanded it internationally

Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who has died aged 94, was the fifth spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu sect, which claims to have more than a million devotees. He led the sect steadfastly for 45 years and expanded it internationally and in India. He was responsible for the construction of hundreds of temples around the world, including the Hindu temple in Neasden, north-west London.

The BAPS sect is an off-shoot of the original sect named after its founder, Swaminarayan. He established it in the early 19th century to spread a strict form of Hinduism promoting asceticism and social service. A schism in the sect in the early 20th century resulted in the formation of BAPS. All Swaminarayans believe that their founder was an incarnation of God, which differentiates them from other Hindus. The BAPS sect differs again in believing that all the gurus who have followed, including Pramukh Swami Maharaj, have been Akshars, ideal devotees of God, through whom God can be seen and liberation achieved.

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Vicar leading talks among a new alliance of parishes says senior figures have been ‘watering down’ teaching over the issue

An alliance of Church of England parishes meeting this week for the first time could be the first step towards a split, the vicar leading the talks has suggested.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the Rev Dr Peter Sanlon, vicar of St Mark’s in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said a split in the Church of England was a real prospect if its leaders continue to “water down” teaching on issues such as homosexuality.

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Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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Belgian authorities have played down reports that the Brussels Criminology Institute was the target of a terrorist attack on Monday morning. The prosecutor’s office described the incident as much more likely to be an arson attack designed to destroy criminal evidence. An explosion was reported outside the facility at 2am local time, with local media reporting a car ramming the gates of the building. No one was injured in the incident. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

Attack on Brussels’ criminology institute ‘probably arson’

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Home secretary’s visit set to be dominated by border controls as Nicolas Sarkozy calls for ‘Jungle’ to be relocated to UK

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, is expected to travel to Paris for her first meeting with her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, amid growing controversy in France over the Le Touquet agreement on border checks.

Rudd had been due to meet Cazeneuve to discuss cooperation on terrorism and security following a series of deadly attacks in France, including in Nice.

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Gao Chengyong, 52, a grocer from Gansu, has confessed to 11 murders after being caught thanks to DNA, says China Daily

Police believe they have captured a serial killer dubbed China’s “Jack the Ripper” for the way he mutilated several of his 11 female victims, state-run media have reported, nearly three decades after the first murder.

Gao Chengyong, 52, was detained at the grocery store he runs with his wife in Baiyin, in the north-west province of Gansu, the China Daily said.

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Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, an accountant believed to a dual British or Candian national, is suspected of espionage

Iran has arrested a “spy” involved in the nuclear negotiations with world powers but has not yet formally charged the suspect, according to the judiciary’s spokesman.

Iranian media outlets reported on Sunday that a dual national identified as Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfahani, a senior accountant involved in banking-related aspects of the nuclear talks, had been arrested for alleged espionage.

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The ‘Latino Elvis’ overcame a tough upbringing in an orphanage to sell more than 100m albums

Juan Gabriel, the legendary Mexican singer-songwriter , has died suddenly at his home in California. He was 66.

Gabriel was Mexico’s leading singer-songwriter and top-selling artist, with sales of more than 100m albums. His ballads about love and heartbreak and bouncy mariachi tunes became hymns throughout Latin America and Spain, as well as with Spanish speakers in the United States.

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Ichiro Akuto’s passion for making single malts that are ‘not necessarily easy to drink’ is winning global praise

Just over a decade ago, it took all of Ichiro Akuto’s powers of persuasion to convince a bank to lend him the money to open a whisky distillery.

Today, despite working out of modest premises with just two tiny pot stills in the hills of Chichibu, a town 100 km northwest of Tokyo, Akuto’s single malts are winning rave reviews from the global whisky cognoscenti.

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Oklahoma is one of the most food insecure states in the US, where families struggle to buy enough healthy food. Locals are trying to ease poverty with community farming, but face difficulty in a city with a complex racial history

As a young girl in Mississippi, Demalda Newsome once found some sweet potatoes sprouting outside. Excited at her discovery, she presented them to her grandmother, who angrily ordered the root vegetables out of her house. People should eat things from the ground only out of poverty, her grandmother said.

Now as a 59-year-old grandmother herself, Newsome still hears this view expressed as she works to combat food insecurity in the low-income neighbourhood of north Tulsa, Oklahoma. The state ranks among the worst in the US for national fruit and vegetable consumption, and has one of the lower average national hourly wages: US $7.25 (£5.53).

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In the 1960s, British architectural critic Reyner Banham declared his love for the city that his fellow intellectuals hated. What Banham wrote about Los Angeles redefined how the world perceived it – but what would he think of LA today?

“Now I know subjective opinions can vary,” the journalist Adam Raphael wrote in the Guardian in 1968, “but personally I reckon LA as the noisiest, the smelliest, the most uncomfortable and most uncivilised major city in the United States. In short, a stinking sewer ...”

Three years later, Raphael’s words appeared in print again as an epigraph of Reyner Banham’s Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies – the most exuberantly pro-Los Angeles book ever written. Ever since publication, it has shown up on lists of great books about modern cities – even those drawn up by people who consider Los Angeles anything but a great American city.

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Recent changes have seen huge increases in fines for not wearing a helmet or jumping a red light. Next year it will become compulsory for all cyclists to carry identification on every trip – have state authorities gone too far?

Michael Gratton was cycling to work in Sydney when he was stopped in a recent police “education and awareness” blitz and fined $531 (£310). His offence? Not wearing a helmet, not having a bell and not having a working brake.

“The bell fine of $106 is ridiculous,” says the robotics researcher, who is challenging the third fine, as braking on his fixed-wheel bike is done through the pedals – and his bike has a front brake anyway. “I don’t ride on the footpath and a bell is useless against cars. It has been my experience in the past that if you ring a bell behind a person they are as likely to jump into your way as out of it. Pedestrians also see ringing a bell as an aggressive act. The fines are massively disproportionate.”

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The Shanghai Tower is another in a long list of ambitious skyscrapers competing fiercely for sustainability credentials as well as height. But how ‘green’ are these buildings – and is environmentalism really the motivation?

Twisting high above Shanghai’s financial district, China’s tallest tower – and the second tallest in the world – is preparing to officially open its substantial doors to the public next month. The Shanghai Tower, reaching 632 metres, is the third “supertall” tower on the city’s iconic skyline. Looking out from the 119th floor, the city lies below like a toy model, a densely packed mass of streets and high-rise buildings.

China loves a world record, and its new building boasts plenty, including the world’s fastest elevators, highest hotel and restaurant, and tallest viewing platform. Reassuringly, it also required the largest ever cement pouring for the foundations. But most importantly, the 128-storey tower also claims to be the world’s greenest skyscraper. Awarded the top green rating, LEED Platinum, the government is hailing the tower as a sign of China’s growing green credentials.

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The road-straddling bus that glides over traffic has taken its first test drive in China but as with most eccentric transport schemes – like 750mph hyperloop pods – it’s flawed ... and can you even call it a bus when it runs on tracks?

It’s fair to say that among those dependent on public transport, buses don’t have a good reputation for turning up on time. So when a model for a sci-fi looking “straddling bus” capable of gliding over traffic was unveiled in China in May (six years after first being mooted), we can safely say that the hopes of city commuters were, no pun intended, raised.

In the case of the so-called Transit Explore Bus (TEB), however, it seems that potential delays are the least of its troubles. Just one week after a “road test” of the futuristic bus – which, in the words of the Shanghaiist, proved: “They built it. They actually built it” – reports have emerged in the Chinese media suggesting that not only is the bus’s current manifestation completely unfeasible, but that TEB might even be some kind of elaborate Ponzi scheme.

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In the 1920s the US industrialist wanted to found a city based on the values that made his company a success – while, of course, producing cheap rubber. The jungle city that bore his name ended up one of his biggest failures

In 1928, northern Brazil was captivated by an enticing bit of news. The region’s residents were about to receive a new visitor, a man who came with the promise of reviving their ailing economy and introducing them to a whole new way of life – Henry Ford.

Local papers began raving about their future neighbour. Speculation ran wild: some columnists opined that Ford would be building a new railroad to the coast, or a new factory for his cars. Above all, they just wanted to know when he would be arriving.

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A period of relative stability has put the Iranian capital No1 on the list of world cities that have achieved biggest improvements in liveability over the past five years, as calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The ‘most improved’ top 10 contains some unexpected names ...

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In the 19th century, European visitors to this abandoned medieval city refused to believe that indigenous Africans could have built such an extensive network of monuments. Such ignorance was disastrous for the remains of Great Zimbabwe

In the early 16th century, rumours of a mysterious fortress with gargantuan walls, abandoned in the African jungle, spread around Europe. Surrounded by goldmines and sitting on a 900-metre-high hill, the city was thought to represent the summit of a unique African civilisation which had traded with distant Asian countries, including China and Persia.

A Portuguese sea captain, Viçente Pegado, was one of the first foreigners to encounter the site, in 1531. He wrote: “Among the goldmines of the inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers [is a] fortress built of stones of marvellous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining them … This edifice is almost surrounded by hills, upon which are others resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absence of mortar, and one of them is a tower more than 12 fathoms high.”

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The former ZiL car factory is the latest to undergo a major redevelopment as part of a city-wide project to transform derelict industrial areas – but campaigners are concerned their unique architectural heritage is under threat

A warning scrawled on a wall in the dismantled press shop of the former ZiL auto factory still reads: “Don’t smoke, fine 100 roubles.”

This wall is all that’s left to remind visitors of when the press shop, built in 1935, was part of the 400-hectare Soviet industrial hub – a “city within a city” which enjoyed its own cafeterias, barber shop, bus line and fire department. At one point, 100,000 proletarians laboured here to put together trucks that could be found at almost every collective farm, as well as deluxe armoured limousines that carried the Soviet leadership.

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Long before Columbus reached the Americas, Cahokia was the biggest, most cosmopolitan city north of Mexico. Yet by 1350 it had been deserted by its native inhabitants the Mississippians – and no one is sure why

In its prime, about four centuries before Columbus stumbled on to the western hemisphere, Cahokia was a prosperous pre-American city with a population similar to London’s.

Located in southern Illinois, eight miles from present-day St Louis, it was probably the largest North American city north of Mexico at that time. It had been built by the Mississippians, a group of Native Americans who occupied much of the present-day south-eastern United States, from the Mississippi river to the shores of the Atlantic.

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Seven out of 10 people living in rural Angola do not have a clean, safe toilet to use. This issue, which has a huge impact on health, is one reason why the country has the world’s highest mortality rate for children under five. Unicef hopes to save lives with a programme to educate communities in hygiene and sanitation, and support them in building their own toilets

Photographs: Karin Schermbrucker/Unicef

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One of the world’s smallest ethnic groups is finding its cultural traditions on the wrong side of Mongolian law, putting its very existence in peril

In the Mongolian taiga, or snow forest, a few kilometres from the Russian border, a group of 250 reindeer herders preserve their traditions with care. They dwell, as their ancestors did, in the forest, where they live by hunting, gathering and drinking the milk of their animals. But the creation of a protected area to preserve the wild environment may threaten their survival.

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Across the world, governments are protecting habitats. But indigenous peoples are being evicted

The Botswana police helicopter spotted Tshodanyestso Sesana and his friends in the afternoon. The nine young Bushmen, or San, had been hunting antelope to feed their families, when the chopper flew towards them.

There was a burst of gunfire from the air and the young men dropped their meat and skins and fled. Largely through luck, no one was hit, but within minutes armed troops arrived in a jeep and the nine were arrested, stripped naked, beaten and then detained for several days for poaching in a nature reserve.

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An extract from David Hulme’s Should Rich Nations Help the Poor? examines the mix of altruism and self-interest rich states use to justify support for foreign aid

Why do rich nations help the poor in faraway places? There are a mix of very different reasons, ranging from the high-minded – “It’s our moral duty” – to the venal – “We can look good and make a fast buck out of this”. Commonly, the governments of rich countries use combinations of altruism and self-interest to justify support for the distant needy to their taxpayers. There are four distinct lines of argument.

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For women in India, offensive and threatening behaviour in public places is all too common. The Blank Noise collective is encouraging them to fight back

After a long and tiring day, Neha Khandelwal, 26, fell asleep on the bus in Delhi on her way home. She woke up, startled, when she felt someone grab her breasts. Drowsy and not completely alert, it took her a minute to gauge what had happened. The man sitting next to her on the bus was groping her.

“I felt so vulnerable … that anybody could subject my body to something that I did not want,” she says.

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Hundreds of unaccompanied minors are among the 80,000 people who have fled to Uganda since July, when civil hostilities resumed in South Sudan

“Let’s avoid cholera by washing our hands,” reads a sign in a refugee camp just south of Uganda’s border with South Sudan. It’s a new sign, handwritten in a hurry – and the commotion a few metres away at the entrance to the camp hints at why it’s so necessary.

Hundreds of South Sudanese refugees are arriving from the border, further swelling the numbers of an overcrowded camp that is already at four times its capacity, and increasing the risk of disease. Crammed into three coaches, these are the latest of more than 88,000 South Sudanese refugees to seek asylum here since early July, when civil war restarted in the world’s newest country. Earlier arrivals reached Uganda by canoe. Now they come by bus.

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Company co-owned by British firm Balfour Beatty accused of continuing erratic salary payments and withholding of passports for months after Guardian exposé

Migrant labourers in Qatar who worked for a company co-owned by Balfour Beatty, one of Britain’s largest construction firms, have claimed they were subject to continued abuse and exploitation for almost three months after the Guardian revealed their plight.

The Nepalese men, who worked for BK Gulf, which is 49% owned by Balfour Beatty, said they were forced to remain in Qatar against their will and were not paid for more than three months.

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World risk report underlines need for major improvements to transport and power networks in poor countries vulnerable to extreme weather events

Countries with dilapidated transport networks and unsafe power grids stand a greater risk of extreme natural events becoming humanitarian disasters, a report has found.

Related: World heading for catastrophe over natural disasters, risk expert warns

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Research predicts African children will account for 43% of global poverty by 2030, although absolute number of poor will fall

African children will make up nearly half the world’s poorest people by 2030 if nothing is done to reverse existing trends, according to a report.

Despite economic growth, one in five children will live in poverty because of high fertility rates, inequality and deep-seated privation, according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

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The private life of Hillary Clinton’s right-hand woman is making headlines today – but her greatest role may be alongside a future president

Huma Abedin has been the reluctant star of two political psychodramas in the past year.

The first – involving painfully public strains in her marriage to Anthony Weiner, the former New York congressman – ended, perhaps predictably, on Monday with news that she had decided to separate from him following yet another sexting scandal.

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At Joni’s Roast and Ride, the nominee mixed with hog-riders and hog-eaters. In rare harmony, party bigwigs loved him just as much as grass-roots voters

In November 2015 Donald Trump proclaimed to a crowd of Iowans: “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” Two months later he lost the Iowa Republican caucus. Almost a year on he may win the Hawkeye State in the presidential election.

Republicans have only won Iowa once since Ronald Reagan – in 2004, when George Bush eked out a win by 10,000 of more than 1.5 million votes. And yet, among the traditional battleground states, Iowa has become perhaps Trump’s best hope of a win. While national polls show the Republican far behind his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, recent Iowa polls have the candidates neck and neck.

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Historically, presidential candidates as unpopular as Donald Trump faced decimation in the electoral college. But thanks to the increasing polarization of both parties and voters, that has become a thing of the past

The map of competitive states is expanding this year as Donald Trump’s poll numbers dipped to surprising lows in historically red states such as Georgia and Arizona. The last time either state voted Democratic was two decades ago.

But even as the small club of battleground states grows this year, fewer than 10 states will likely determine the outcome of this year’s race.

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GOP nominee softened his stance on the signature issue of his campaign and talked African American unemployment while trying to court the non-white vote

“They’ll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes, there’s no amnesty, as such, there’s no amnesty, but we will work with them”24 August, to Sean Hannity, Fox News.

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Over half of the organization’s staff quit over disapproval of appointed leadership and potential to solicit large donations, contradicting Sanders’ grassroots ethos

The next phase of Bernie Sanders’ political revolution had not begun before it began to unravel. Just days before Wednesday’s launch of Our Revolution, an organisation which aims to build on the momentum of the senator’s Democratic primary campaign, more than half of its staff resigned.

Related: Fleeing the Bern: half of staff quit Sanders legacy project before it begins

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Polish migrants ‘built their Poland’ in the UK after the second world war and are now the largest foreign-born group in the nation

In 2004, when Poland joined the European Union and Britain became one of the few countries to open its borders to Polish migrants, our presence in the country was much needed.

At the time, Britain required more labour to boost the economy, and Poles – numerous, determined, hard-working, and (let’s be honest) cheap – provided this.

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Twisting paths, myriad forks in the road and interchanges galore: even New Yorkers fear crossing the dead zone at the heart of Central Park

Like Londoners – and, I assume, Parisians, Berliners, Muscovites and long-time residents of Beijing – New Yorkers pride themselves on being instantly recognisable to each other as locals, in contrast to the ranks of aimless tourists who clog up the city. It is a moment to be relished when, walking around Times Square, the tour bus touts take one look at your scowling face and head-to-toe black wardrobe and drop their pitch, or, emerging from the subway, you know instinctively and without looking for landmarks, which way is uptown.

There is, however, one test that even the most professional New Yorker can’t always pass, a challenge akin to negotiating the most intricate parts of London’s one-way system, and that is the dead spot in the middle of Central Park.

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is evacuated on Sunday night following reports of gunfire. Police later found the reports to be false. One police source said loud noises were confused for shots. Police are investigating what happened but found no evidence of suspicious activity. Photograph: Bob Riha Jr/Reuters

Panic at Los Angeles airport after noise mistaken for gunfire

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Built in 1880, 5 Beekman Street in lower Manhattan stood as an office building for much of its existence. The historic building became a landmark in 1998 and recently opened as the Beekman Hotel – featuring a beautiful atrium

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump mentions the death of NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin during a rally in Iowa. Trump stirred controversy earlier by tweeting about the fatal shooting of Nykea Aldridge in an apparent attempt to attract African American voters. Trump tells the audience “this shouldn’t happen in America” after lamenting Aldridge’s death

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A mass state funeral is held in Ascoli Piceno, Italy on Saturday as the number of people killed in an earthquake which hit the region on Wednesday reaches 290. 35 coffins line the room as the names of the victims are read out, with hundreds of mourners in attendance and many more listening on loudspeakers outside. The 6.2 magnitude quake struck in the middle of the night and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy

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Cars are at a standstill on the M20 on Saturday morning after a pedestrian bridge collapsed onto a lorry, injuring one person. It is thought that the truck clipped the bridge on the motorway, bringing it down and forcing the road to close in both directions. The M20 links London with the port of Dover and the nearby Eurotunnel terminal, and was expected to be particularly busy over the bank holiday weekend

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Firefighters work at the scene of a blaze which resulted in the deaths of at least 16 migrant workers in Moscow, Russia on Saturday morning. The workers are said to have been from Kyrgyzstan and were trapped in a room by the fire, which broke out on the fourth floor of a printing company. It is believed to have been started by a broken lamp.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s ministry of health has declared a yellow fever epidemic in three provinces as concern grows about the spread of the disease, particularly in the densely populated Kinshasa region. Photographer Tommy Trenchard followed Save the Children’s vaccination campaign in the country

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A French Muslim called Myriam says on Friday that the suspension of the burkini ban won’t change the ‘atmosphere of fear’ in France. Marwan Muhammad, spokesman for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, praises the decision by France’s top administrative court to overturn the ban. Beachgoers in Corsica have mixed feelings.

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