Alexei Navalny has appeared in court from prison, head close-shaven and face gaunt, and accused Vladimir Putin of attempting to rule Russia "forever" and caring only about "clinging to power". It is the opposition politician's first public appearance since starting a 2.5-year jail term, seen as punishment for his fierce criticism of the Kremlin. Navalny spoke via videolink, his prison kit hanging loosely after a recent 24-day hunger strike over his treatment.
Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office Wednesday, seizing computers and cellphones in a major escalation of the Justice department’s investigation into the business dealings of former president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. Giuliani, the 76-year-old former New York City mayor once celebrated for his leadership after 9/11, has been under federal scrutiny for several years over his ties to Ukraine. The dual searches sent the strongest signal yet that he could eventually face federal charges.
At least 18 soldiers who signed an open letter warning of the risk of “civil war” in France and the need to fight the “perils” of “Islamism” and “anti-racism” are to face military sanctions, amid a bitter row between the government and the far-right. The open letter, published by rightwing magazine Valeurs Actuelles, warned of the “dangers” of “Islamism and the hordes from the banlieue” and accused anti-racism groups of creating “hatred between communities” with their support for tearing down statues of French figures from colonial times.
Federal investigators have executed a search warrant at a New York apartment belonging to Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of the city and personal lawyer to Donald Trump, the New York Times reported. Federal authorities have been examining whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the same time were helping him search for dirt on Trump’s political rivals, the newspaper reported.
Compulsory Covid passports to enter pubs and restaurants are now off the menu and the government’s review is likely to recommend that documents are required only for larger events. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is expected to set out progress on the review into Covid certification in a written statement to the Commons on Thursday, the Guardian understands. Plans for the use of so-called vaccine passports had sparked considerable anger among Conservative MPs, though Boris Johnson had suggested in several interviews that he backed their use.
President Joe Biden is taking more steps to expand the government’s role in public life than any U.S. leader since Lyndon B. Johnson — and, unlike LBJ, he’s doing it with the slimmest of ruling majorities. Now his challenge is to enact changes that will last as long as his predecessor's have. It won't be easy. Much of what Biden has achieved so far, from expanded child tax credits to broader access to Medicaid, are temporary measures, amounting to more of a down payment on a government overhaul than an LBJ-style transformation. He’s also expected to roll out details on a sweeping set of social welfare plans, from investments in child care and paid family leave to free community college tuition and universal prekindergarten
Microbiologists have devised a sustainable way to remove polluting microplastics from the environment – and they want to use bacteria to do the job. Although these findings, presented on Wednesday at the Microbiology Society’s annual conference, are still preliminary, this invention could pave the way for sustainably lowering plastic pollution levels in the long run by simply using something found in nature. “It is imperative to develop effective solutions that trap, collect, and even recycle these microplastics to stop the ‘plastification’ of our natural environments,” said Sylvia Lang Liu, microbiology researcher at PolyU and lead researcher on this project.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser, has said countries have failed to unite to provide an adequate global response to prevent the “tragic” coronavirus outbreak from overwhelming India, and singled out wealthier nations for failing to provide equitable access to healthcare around the world. Speaking to Guardian Australia from the US, Fauci said the situation in India had highlighted global inequality. “The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response, and a global response means equity throughout the world,” Fauci said.
A furious Boris Johnson tried to fight off allegations he broke donation reporting rules, as Sir Keir Starmer branded him “Major Sleaze” in the “cash for curtains” row increasingly engulfing the prime minister. Starmer said Johnson had been found to be nipping out to choose wallpaper at more than £800 a roll and phoning newspaper editors to “moan” about his former adviser Dominic Cummings, and accused the government of being “mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal”.
The family of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee will pay more than 12trn won ($10.78bn) in inheritance taxes on his estate.South Korea has one of the world's highest inheritance tax rates. Mr Lee, who is credited with transforming Samsung into a global electronics giant, died in October last year. The tax issue has been closely watched by investors as it could have affected the Lee family's stake in Samsung.