Trump’s anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren’t so scary | Richard Wolffe

If Donald Trump is qualified for any job – and that’s a rather big if, based on this press conference – it’s clear that he wants to be a media critic on Fox News

Watching Donald Trump’s freak show of a press conference, it’s painfully clear that we have all made a terrible mistake.

For the last several months we all thought we were watching the presidential version of Celebrity Apprentice. Trump was going to walk into our living rooms, fire somebody at random, and then happily walk out.

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UN chief: united Europe essential to keep peace in ‘chaotic’ world

Exclusive: António Guterres says Europe’s ability to keep faith in its unity could be key stabilising factor at perilous time

The new UN secretary general, António Guterres, has described the world as “largely chaotic” and said that a united Europe is essential to prevent it succumbing to deepening conflict.

In an interview before two critical global meetings this week in Bonn and Munich, Guterres warned of the advent of a particularly dangerous moment in history, drawing a parallel with the run-up to the first world war. Only a renewed commitment to multilateral cooperation could head off the gathering danger, he said.

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Pope Francis appears to back tribal land rights in Dakota Access pipeline fight

Pontiff says need to protect native land is ‘especially clear when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures’

Pope Francis appeared on to back Native Americans seeking to halt part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying indigenous cultures have a right to defend “their ancestral relationship to the Earth”.

The Latin American pope, who has often strongly defended indigenous rights since his election in 2013, made his comments on protection of native lands to representative of tribes attending the Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome.

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Refugees needing urgent medical care may see treatment hopes dashed by ban

Court decision blocking order’s enforcement may have saved lives as dozens of patients waited to receive treatment: ‘These are not cases to be postponed’

Fourteen-year-old Dhakhil had been so badly injured at an Iraqi refugee camp that physicians thought his leg would need to be amputated. But thanks to a team of surgeons in Boston, the Yazidi teenager will be able to walk again.

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Mattis threatens Nato with reduced US commitment over defence spending

Trump’s defence secretary tells allies that US could moderate its commitment to Nato unless allies raise their spending on common defence

The US defence secretary has told America’s Nato allies that they must honour military spending pledges to ensure the US does not “moderate” its support for the alliance.

“I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States, and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms,” said General James Mattis during closed door talks in Brussels, where he was speaking on his first visit to Europe since taking up his job.

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Trump’s likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’

William Happer, frontrunner for job of providing mainstream scientific opinion to officials, backs crackdown on federal scientists’ freedom to speak out

The man tipped as frontrunner for the role of science adviser to Donald Trump has described climate scientists as “a glassy-eyed cult” in the throes of a form of collective madness.

William Happer, an eminent physicist at Princeton University, met with Trump last month to discuss the post and says that if he were offered the job he would take it. Happer is highly regarded in the academic community, but many would view his appointment as a further blow to the prospects of concerted international action on climate change.

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How to cross the US-Mexico border: making El Mar La Mar

Desolate, dangerous and disputed: a film about the boundary in the Sonoran desert could have been a record of tragedy. Instead, Joshua Bonnetta and JP Sniadecki opted to let the landscape come to the fore

The Sonoran desert is a piece of the American landscape that has evolved as if to edit humanity out of existence. Populated by spiked plants, poisonous insects, rattlesnakes and America’s only native big cat, the jaguar, its arid terrain stretches along the US-Mexican border over a total of 260,000 sq km.

Crossing this wildnerness on foot takes three to five days, and during the summer, daytime temperatures regularly exceed 40°C (104°F). The US border patrol is alleged to have retrieved 6,029 human remains from this stretch in southern Arizona since the 1990s. The bodies of thousands of others who have tried to enter the US through the desert may have been bleached away by the searing sun before they were found.

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Abandoning two-state solution is ‘no joke’, Palestinian officials say

Washington distances itself ahead of Netanyahu and Trump meeting, with Palestinians calling for support from the international community

Palestinians angrily warned the United States on Wednesday against abandoning a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel, after a White House official said peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood.

Palestinian officials said the only alternative would be a single democratic state for Jews, Christian and Muslims together – or an “apartheid” state that would be “a disaster and a tragedy for both Israelis and Palestinians”.

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Deputy CIA director could face court deposition over post-9/11 role in torture

Attorneys for psychologists who helped design brutal interrogations seek deposition from Gina Haspel, newly appointed by Donald Trump

Even as the Trump administration attempts to contain an escalating crisis over its surreptitious ties to Russia, another spying crisis is threatening to haul the deputy CIA director into court to expose her role in post-9/11 torture.

In a court filing on Tuesday, attorneys for two CIA contract psychologists who helped design the agency’s brutal interrogations for terrorism suspects have asked a federal judge to order Gina Haspel, a career CIA officer recently appointed as the agency’s number-two official, to provide a deposition discussing her allegedly pivotal involvement in an episode the CIA has tried repeatedly to put behind it.

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The questions Trump’s labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder must answer

As CEO of the fast-food chain behind Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s who has repeatedly fought against minimum wage hikes, can he be a voice for workers in America?

Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, is one of corporate America’s foremost spokesmen on labor issues. As chief executive of the CKE fast-food chain that owns Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, Puzder has lambasted proposals to raise the minimum wage, to require rest breaks and to extend overtime pay to more workers. He has also denounced Obamacare, a program that has made health insurance available to millions of low-wage and moderate-income workers.

The Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee will hold its repeatedly-delayed confirmation on Puzder’s nomination this Thursday. Here are some questions that the committee’s members should ask.

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Arizona unveils new death penalty plan: bring your own lethal injection drugs

The state’s execution protocol invites death row inmates’ lawyers to provide drugs to kill their own clients – a suggestion attorneys describe as ludicrous

As states have faced challenges to carrying out executions by lethal injection, various work-arounds and alternatives have been proposed, including the return of electric chairs and firing squads. Arizona may have come up with the most original concept yet: an invitation for lawyers to help kill their own clients.

With drugs that can legally be used for lethal injections in short supply, the Arizona department of corrections’ latest execution protocol states that attorneys for death row inmates are welcome to bring along their own.

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We will not pay: the Americans withholding their taxes to fight Trump

The new president has driven some to make a statement with their bank accounts – despite fears such a protest could send demonstrators to jail

Andrew Newman always pays his taxes, even if he hates what the government is doing with them. But not this year. For him, Donald Trump is the dealbreaker. He’ll pay his city and state taxes but will refuse to pay federal income tax as a cry of civil disobedience against the president and his new administration.

Newman is not alone. A nascent movement has been detected to revive the popularity of tax resistance – last seen en masse in America during the Vietnam war but which has been, sporadically, a tradition in the US and beyond going back many centuries.

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A conspiracy-laden blog has no place in the White House press corps | Matt Laslo

Giving press credentials to a pro-Trump blog is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to change the American public’s perception of reality

The White House is being remade in Donald Trump’s image, and that includes the makeup of the press corps. That doesn’t mean reporters are getting bathrobes and gold plated pens; it means fringe, conspiracy-peddling publications are getting seats next to the nation’s traditional, and formerly trusted, news outlets.

This week the administration’s communications department granted press credentials to the Gateway Pundit – a rabid conspiracy-driven pro-Trump blog. The publication labels the New York Times a “provocative liberal blog”. They also have run stories with headlines like: “France is under siege because of the Muslim invasion” and “Nazi Collaborator, Democrat Donor and Billionaire George Soros Behind (Past and) Latest Protests”.

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The Crucible: the perfect play for our post-truth times

In the 50s, Arthur Miller used 17th-century Salem to comment on the ‘red scare’. His drama is chillingly pertinent in the first weeks of Trump’s presidency

Is The Crucible the ultimate post-truth play? Although it was written in 1953, Arthur Miller’s drama holds particular significance in the current political environment, as we’ve found during rehearsals for our new production.

Consider the opening scene of Act 2, a delicate depiction of a husband and wife, John and Elizabeth Proctor, overcoming adultery. The scene ends with the townspeople crashing in with news that warrants have been signed for the arrest and examination of 16 innocent individuals, including Elizabeth. In rehearsals, I ask our cast to think of Donald Trump’s travel ban and a rumoured executive order repealing LGBT anti-discrimination laws. The scene works. It generates the fear and fervour that Miller has written.

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General Motors looks to sell loss-making Vauxhall and Opel

Potential purchase by owners of Peugeot and Citroën would create Europe’s second-largest carmaker

America’s largest automotive company General Motors is in talks over a potential sale of its loss-making European arm Opel to the company behind Peugeot and Citroën.

France’s PSA Group said it was exploring “numerous strategic initiatives” to expand on its existing cooperation with Detroit-based GM, the world’s third-largest carmaker.

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Iranian Oscar nominee gets free London screening in snub to US travel ban

The Salesman director Asghar Farhadi says Trafalgar Square screening on Oscars night is ‘symbolic of unity’ after he was affected by Trump’s travel ban

The mayor of London will join some of the leading names in British film at a free premiere screening of the Oscar-nominated The Salesman, whose Iranian director was affected by Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Related: The Salesman review: Asghar Farhadi offers layers of Willy Loman

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Kremlin says Michael Flynn resignation is matter for the US

Official response to departure of Trump security adviser is brief as others in Russia see it is a blow to thawing relations

The Kremlin has issued a tight-lipped response to the resignation of US national security adviser Michael Flynn, as Russian MPs and state TV suggested he was the target of a smear campaign and that his departure was evidence of Russophobia.

“This is the internal business of the Americans, it is the internal business of President Trump’s administration. This is not our business,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. “We’ve said everything we want to say.”

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Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ endangers millions of women and children, says Melinda Gates

Exclusive: Bill and Melinda Gates warn of dire impact of order that blocks US funding for family planning and health services

The “global gag rule” imposed by Donald Trump, blocking US funds to any organisation involved in abortion advice and care overseas, could impact millions of women and girls, endangering their lives and those of their babies, Bill and Melinda Gates have warned.

The changes are expected to result in funding from the world’s biggest donor to family planning and women’s health programmes in the developing world being slashed. It could, Bill Gates told the Guardian, “create a void that even a foundation like ours can’t fill”.

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UK government says Trump will receive ‘full courtesy’ of state visit

Response to petition calling for cancellation of visit signed by 1.8m people says No 10 does not support their view

Donald Trump should be granted the “full courtesy” of a state visit to the UK, the government has said in a statement sent to 1.8 million people who signed a petition against the invitation to the US president.

The petition, which is being considered for debate in parliament, called for Trump to be allowed to enter the UK but not be granted an official state visit “because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”.

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Disney severs ties with YouTube star PewDiePie over antisemitic videos

YouTuber with 53 million subscribers posted videos featuring antisemitic jokes or Nazi imagery, including two men holding a ‘Death to All Jews’ sign

The Walt Disney Company has severed ties with YouTube’s biggest star PewDiePie after he posted a series of videos featuring antisemitic comments.

PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, is a 27-year-old Swede who built a huge fanbase making opinionated videos, mostly about video games. With more than 53 million subscribers on YouTube, Kjellberg has turned his videos into a lucrative business, earning more than $14m per year from advertising, sponsorship and appearance fees.

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Trump security adviser Flynn resigns after leaks suggest he tried to cover up Russia talks

The departure of Trump’s national security adviser is the most dramatic development yet to hit the president’s chaotic administration

The US national security advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday night amid a flow of intelligence leaks that he had secretly discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to Washington and then tried to cover up the conversations.

The resignation, with the Trump era less than four weeks old, is the latest and most dramatic convulsion in the most chaotic start to an administration in modern US history.

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Newsies: a powerful and surprising call to arms in the age of Trump | Cassie Tongue

The filmed staging of the hit Broadway musical comes thrillingly close to replicating the live show – and its message is more relevant than ever

Who would have thought that one of the most politically relevant shows under the rise of Trump would be a cinematic screening of a Broadway musical arranged by Disney Theatricals?

Newsies the Musical is based on a real-life campaign in 1899, when the newsboys of New York – often orphans and street kids who sold the papers – started a strike for better pay that is credited with precipitating wide-reaching child labour reform.

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Will Trump’s presidency finally kill the myth of the special relationship?

Ever since Winston Churchill invented it in 1946, successive prime ministers have discovered that the bond between the US and UK is anything but sacred. So, why does this absurd idea refuse to go away?

At the end of January, Theresa May rushed to Washington to ensure that she would be the first foreign leader to meet the newly inaugurated American president. The pair held a joint press conference – shortly before she was photographed awkwardly holding Donald Trump’s hand, and shortly after she extended an invitation for a state visit to London to meet the Queen – which began with the usual invocations of the sacred bond between the United Kingdom and the United States. “The special relationship between our two countries has been one of the great forces in history for justice and for peace,” Trump declared in his opening statement. “We have one of the great bonds.”

In reply, May said that her invitation to the White House was “an indication of the strength and importance of the special relationship that exists between our two countries, a relationship based on the bonds of history, of family, kinship and common interests”, before reiterating her anxious hope for a trade deal with the US to “cement the crucial relationship that exists between us, particularly as the UK leaves the European Union and reaches out to the world”.

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Michael Flynn resigns: Trump’s national security adviser quits over Russia links – live

Senior aide to president was accused of lying over calls to Russian ambassador in which he reportedly discussed the lifting of US sanctions

4.09am GMT

Here is the full text of Flynn’s resignation letter in which he admits he

inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.

Breaking: text of Flynn’s resignation letter

4.05am GMT

The Trump administration has its first high-profile departure: General Michael Flynn, national security adviser, has left his post after reports that he did – despite denials – discuss the lifting of US sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.

CNN reported two sources had confirmed his resignation and cited his resignation letter:

Breaking: Two sources tell CNN Michael Flynn has resigned

BREAKING: Mike Flynn has RESIGNED his post as national security adviser, White House sources tell me.

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