Hundreds of firefighters, water-dropping planes and helicopters struggled to tackle a wildfire burning through a pine forest on the Greek island of Evia this week. Greece declared a state of emergency in the area and requested firefighting assistance from other European countries. Another 39 forest fires broke out in the 24 hours from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening across the country, most of which were brought under control in their initial stages, while two men were arrested on suspicion of arson in two separate forest fire cases in southern Greece. Wildfires are common in Greece during the hot, dry summer months. Authorities repeatedly warn the public not to engage in outdoor activities that could cause fires, while parks and forest areas are closed at times of high fire risk. Last summer, more than 100 people died when a fast-moving forest fire broke out in a seaside area northeast of Athens and raged through the vacation-home settlement of Mati. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/Getty
For 13 years sports writer and broadcaster Nicky Bandini wrote under a different name. After coming out as transgender, she tells her story and explains why her love of storytelling remains. Follow the link in bio to read her full letter.
@Stormzy has confirmed that he will fund two more Cambridge students in the next academic year. The 26-year-old grime artist, who headlined this year's Glastonbury, set up the Stormzy Scholarship last year to offer financial support to people from minority backgrounds who have earned their place at Cambridge. The aim? To address the relatively low number of minority ethnic students who attend Oxbridge institutions. The identities of the students supported by the scheme have been kept secret to make sure they have a normal life during their studies, although Stormzy keeps track of their academic progress.
For the first time ever, the proportion of female students studying science at A-level rose to just over 50%, outnumbering male students in England. The welcome shift is said to be a result of years of effort to tackle the gendered stereotypes associated with the subject. Female and male students taking up Stem (science, technology and maths) subjects also rose to 21% of all A-level entries, up from 19.2%. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary for England, said: “I’m delighted to see more pupils choosing science-related subjects. This is encouraging particularly as we look to boost science in this country and the skills we’ll need in the future.”
The US state of Illinois has made LGBT history lessons compulsory in state schools in a bid to tackle bullying. “One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” Democratic senator Heather Steans said. The new law takes effect next year, when Illinois will join California, New Jersey and Colorado in becoming the fourth US state to introduce LGBT history classes in schools. A new report revealed that 2018 saw a rise in hate crimes in the US with the most frequently targeted groups being black, Jewish and LGBTQ people.
Climate activist @gretathunberg has set sail from Plymouth on what could be her most daunting challenge yet - crossing the Atlantic in a solar-powered racing yacht. "I feel a bit seasick and it's not going to be comfortable but that I can live with," she said ahead of her two-week, zero-carbon journey. She's travelling to New York for September's UN Climate Action Summit, refusing to go by plane because the aviation industry is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all forms of transports. Thunberg has been a target for abuse, but believes this is proof that her uncompromising message about global heating is having an effect. Journey updates will be available on her Instagram account. Photos: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty Images + Andy Rain/AFP/Getty Images + Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two TV ads following complaints from the public that they perpetuate harmful stereotypes. One of the ads, which was marketing Philadelphia cream cheese, was accused of reinforcing the idea that men were ineffective childcarers. The other was for Volkswagen and featured a woman sitting next to a pram in a stereotypical care-giving role. The ads were found to have broken new advertising rules designed to reduce gender stereotyping. Both companies have defended their ads. Philadelphia described it as a "no-win situation," having chosen two dads to avoid the stereotypical image of two new mums handling childcare responsibilities, while Volkswagen said caring for a newborn was a life-changing experience, regardless of the parent's gender. Is the advertising watchdog right to ban the ads or do you think it's gone too far?
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since June, when the proposal of an extradition bill, which would allow suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China to face trial, ignited the first wave of demonstrations. Protesters have five key demands. Swipe to see what they are.
Facial recognition technology is rising fast. Should we be worried?
Scientists have found that the climate crisis could be contributing to greater turbulence. The research looked at the change in wind speed with height, known as vertical shear. “The higher up you go, the windier it gets,” Prof Paul Williams explains. The researchers say they identified a 15% increase in vertical shear between 1979 and 2017, consistent with what would be expected from climate change. The implications of this are dramatic. In order to avoid the increase in turbulence, flight diversions may become more frequent, causing delays and further emissions and costs.
Last month 19-year-old Nor Diana won Malaysia's biggest wrestling tournament, defeating four men for the title. She's one of the biggest names in Malaysian pro-wrestling, defying stigmas and expectations placed on Muslim women in Malaysia. She is also the world's first hijab-wearing champion wrestler. While the country's growing wrestling community is very supportive of her, Nor also receives a lot of online abuse from more conservative quarters. "There has been quite a big backlash," she explains. “So I use their words as motivation to train more, to prove to these people that being a hijab girl should not stop me."
This is Mohammad Aljaeel, also known as the cat man of Aleppo. While the Syrian city was being bombed between 2012 and 2016, Aljaleel looked after homeless cats caught up in the battle zone. Since then, he has set up a dedicated sanctuary and veterinary clinic for strays in the town of Kafr Naya. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 360,000 people have lost their lives in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Photos: Anas Alkharboutli/DPA
Toni Morrison, who carved out a literary home for the voices of African Americans over five decades, has died at the age of 88. By the time she received a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2012, her work had been included in high school curriculums across the US. She used her Nobel Prize win in 1993 as an opportunity to highlight the dangerous ways in which language can help to facilitate oppression. "Oppressive language (..) does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge."
Can Kanye West solve America's housing crisis? The first images of his proposed housing community have emerged and the construction of prototype homes appear to be under way in Calabasas, California, not far from where West lives. The dome structures, which were reportedly influenced by the homes on the planet Tatooine in Star Wars, will eventually be used as low-income housing if all goes to plan. “I’m going to be one of the biggest real-estate developers of all time", West told Forbes magazine. "We’re gonna develop cities.”
A shattering weekend in which two mass shootings left at least 30 people dead and injured dozens put Donald Trump at the center of a storm of outrage over racism and the failure on gun control in America. Even as the president said “hate has no place in our country” and blamed the shootings on mental illness, investigators confirmed that the suspected gunman published an anti-immigration manifesto before carrying out the El Paso massacre. It was only last month that FBI director Christopher Wray told Congress that the majority of domestic terror related arrests since last October had been linked to white supremacist violence. Responding to Trump's comments about mental health, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar said: “Mental illness rates [in the US] are similar to other countries across the world but we have these shootings in extraordinary numbers, and that’s because of the weapons [available].” By Sunday, the shooting in Ohio marked the 31st deadly mass shooting in America this year, defined as those where at least three people are killed by gun violence in a single episode. Photo: Roberto E Rosales/Albuquerque Journal
At least 20 people have been killed after a shooter opened fire at a busy Walmart store packed with families shopping for the new school year in the Texas border city of El Paso. A 21-year-old white male from Allen, a suburb of Dallas more than 600 miles away, was taken into custody after surrendering to officers. Hours later, on Sunday morning, police said nine people had been killed in a separate mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Everyday, 100 people are killed with firearms in the US, and hundreds more injured, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
France is seeing a wave of unusual climate protests. Activists are symbolically removing dozens of portraits of president Emmanuel Macron from town halls. The fast-growing civil disobedience movement has swept from villages in the south to Normandy towns, with over 100 portraits removed so far. Activists say the "Take Down Macron" campaign is a "desperate and urgent" move to force France to do more about the climate emergency. Although Macron has presented himself as a global leader in the fight against global heating, a national report warned that France is failing to reduce emissions fast enough and is likely to miss its targets.
Congresswoman @ilhanmn trolled Donald Trump on Thursday, posting a photo of herself and Nancy Pelosi in Ghana with the caption: “They said ‘send her back’ but Speaker Pelosi didn’t just make arrangements to send me back, she went back with me.” Omar's message was a response to Trump's racist assertion that she and four other progressive lawmakers of colour should "go back" to the places "from which they came". It also showed Pelosi's solidarity with the women, despite disagreeing with them over issues like impeachment. The photo was taken on a congressional trip to Ghana marking the 400th anniversary of the American slave trade.
@gretathunberg has hit back after Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt took aim at the 16-year-old campaigner, dismissing her followers as members of a cult and disparaging her decision to sail across the Atlantic to attend the UN climate summits. The highly personal character assassination published in Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid repeatedly referred to Greta’s mental health, saying she was “deeply disturbed”, “freakishly influential” and “strange”. Bolt wrote that he had “never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru”. Swipe to read how Thunberg responded on Twitter. Via @guardianaustralia
This is @Khadijah_Mellah, who has made history as the first British jockey to ride in a competitive race while wearing a hijab. Khadijah went on to claim a fairytale win, having first climbed onto a racehorse in April. Just five months ago, the 18-year-old's riding ambitions did not extend beyond occasional lessons at a riding club in south east London. But she beat competitors including Victoria Pendleton and Vogue Williams in today's Magnolia Cup. Khadijah, the daughter of a handyman, had a keen interest in horses from an early age, but was unable to participate until discovering the Ebony Horse Club ( @ebonyhorseclubbrixton) in Brixton. Her journey to victory is being made into a documentary by members of the team behind the Guardian's Oscar-nominated Black Sheep, which will be broadcast in the autumn. Correction: in a previous post we mistakenly referred to the hijab as a burqa. This has now been fixed.
Brazil is destroying the equivalent of four football fields a minute in the Amazon rainforest through deforestation, according to the government's own figures. More than 1,800 square kilometres were cleared in July at a rate almost twice as fast as the worst month ever recorded under the current monitoring system, which started in 2015. It confirms fears that president Jair Bolsonaro has effectively given a green light to illegal land invasion, logging and burning by weakening government agencies responsible for protecting the rainforest. The Amazon is thought to contain 30% of all species and is a globally essential sink for carbon dioxide. But last year deforestation rose 13% to the highest level in a decade, pushing the world's largest rainforest towards a tipping point from which it can't recover.
Prince Harry has said he will only have "maximum" two children out of concern for the planet. He made the claim during an interview with conservationist @janegoodallinst, saying that the birth of his son Archie has changed his attitude towards the environment. "We should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation", he explained. He also discussed how unconscious bias can affect racism: "Just as stigma is handed down from generation to generation, your perspective on the world and on life and on people is something that is taught to you."
Ethiopians have planted about 350m trees in a single day as part of a national effort to tackle the climate crisis and deforestation. The aim is to grow 4bn new trees by getting every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings over the summer. Public offices reportedly closed to enable civil servants to take part in the initiative, which broke India's record of most trees planted in a day (50m). Ethiopia's forest coverage shrank from 35% in the 1900s to just 4% in the 2000s.
Renewable energy sources set a new record by meeting a third of the UK’s power generation last year after the UK’s capacity to generate power from the sun, wind, water and waste grew by 10%. The rise of renewables has edged out coal and gas plants which together made up less than 45% of the UK’s electricity last year. Emma Pinchbeck, deputy chief executive of Renewable UK, said: “As well as helping keep prices down for consumers and boosting the competitiveness of our businesses, renewables are a huge economic opportunity, bringing employment and investment to all parts of the UK.”
India's wild tiger population has increased by more than 30% in the last four years, raising hopes for the survival of the endangered species. Conservation experts said the rise in the tiger population was promising but the figures should be treated with some caution because the rise might indicate better counting. In 1900 more than 100,000 tigers roamed the planet, but by 2010 the figure had fallen to a record low of 3,200. The decline prompted India and 12 other countries with tiger populations to sign an agreement to double their numbers by 2022. Prime minister Narendra Modi called the latest census a "historic achievement."
Climate activist @GretaThunberg wants to attend the UN climate summits, but there's something in her way: the Atlantic Ocean. She doesn't fly, so she's sailing instead. She'll be travelling on a 18-metre (60ft) high-speed racing yacht owned by the Yacht Club de Monaco, which is fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines to generate zero-carbon electricity. The club said it was “honoured to be able to sail Greta Thunberg emission-free over the Atlantic”.
This woman confronted riot police in Hong Kong's Yuen Long district on Saturday as they advanced towards protestors. @laurelchor, who took the photo, described her as “furious and fearless”. Pro-democracy protesters have continued weekly rallies against a controversial extradition bill in Hong Kong, with several violent clashes breaking out. Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, has apologised for introducing the bill and recently declared it "dead," but protesters are calling for the complete withdrawal of the bill and for Lam to resign. Photo: Laurel Chor/Getty Images
People staged a 'die-in' protest in New York after three cyclists were killed in one week. 15 cyclists have been killed in the city so far this year. That number might seem low in a city with more than 8 million people, but it's still seen as an alarming increase compared to the historic low of 10 cyclist deaths in the whole of 2018. New York has the highest number of bicycle commuters in the United States, with over 48,000 people commuting to work on a bike in 2016, but the city is struggling to make its streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Photos: Erik McGregor/ZUMA Wire
Japan's famous Nara deer are under threat from plastic waste. Authorities have warned people visiting the country's ancient capital Nara not to feed them after plastic was found in the stomachs of nine out of 14 deer that have died since March. 1,300 deer roam in the city’s main park and are attracted by the smell of food coming from plastic bags left by tourists. The deer are believed to be divine messengers and were named natural treasures in 1957. Photo: Carl Court/Getty
MPs have voted to extend both same-sex marriage and access to abortion to Northern Ireland, bringing the region into line with the rest of the UK on two of the most significant social issues of our time. Tap the link in bio for all the details.
If you were at the Roskilde festival in Denmark last week you may have come across the first industrially-produced female urinal. The Lapee was created by French architect Gina Périer and Alexander Egebjerg, who wanted to create a female version of a product which exists all over the world. In a boost for "pee-quality" the Lapee extends the divider to screen the user off, lifting it up and raising the hole into which you pee to make it easy to hit. Périer says; “I don’t think it’s that complicated to make a urinal for women. I just think it was something which was designed by men and they only thought about themselves.”
A trillion trees planted across the world could help capture a huge amount of the emissions that drive global warming according to scientists. New research, led by Professor Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich, says a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all carbon dioxide emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities. Crowther believes tree planting is the cheapest option available to remove carbon from the atmosphere and avoid a catastrophic climate crisis; "It's a solution that doesn’t require President Trump to immediately start believing in climate change. Every one of us can get involved by growing trees themselves, donating to forest restoration organisations and avoiding irresponsible companies." Tap the link in bio to find out more.
India's cricket captain, Virat Kohli, meets 87-year-old superfan Charu Latta Patel in what has been described as the image of the Cricket World Cup. Patel went viral on social media for her enthusiastic support of India during their group stage win against Bangladesh at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Kohli tweeted: "She's 87 and probably one of the most passionate & dedicated fans I have ever seen. Age is just a number, passion takes you leaps & bounds." Patel will be hoping for more India joy today as they play New Zealand in the semi-final. Follow @guardian_sport for more on the Cricket World Cup. Photo: Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images
This year's World Cup brought global attention to many talented footballers, but it also shone a light on the skills of female photographers covering the tournament. Here are some of the best shots from six outstanding photographers: @naomibakerphoto, @hannahpetersnz, @wilsonscribbles @catherineivill @majahitij and @mmimages. Via @guardian_sport
This is Sir David, a grey seal named after broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough. Sir David was recently released back into the wild at Winterton-on-Sea in Norfolk. He was found with a plastic frisbee embedded in his neck and nursed back to health at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre. His weight is now at a healthy 200kg and he's ready for the wild again. Photos: Joe Giddens/PA
USA made back-to-back Women's World Cup wins yesterday, after beating the Netherlands 2-0. An ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation, Twitter spats with the president and key players retiring were just some of the burdens the team carried with them into the tournament, making this victory feel different to previous World Cup wins. @mrapinoe said "we are crazy, that's what makes us special. We just have no quit in us, we are so tight and we'll do anything to win."
"Pride is about resistance, perseverance and survival. It's riotous, joyful, colourful. The most pleasant kind of chaos." - @otamere We hope you enjoyed today's Pride takeover. Tap the link in bio to read the inspiring interviews in full. 📷: @elenistefanou
"As a trans person in the UK right now, Pride feels like a call to action. Pride despite relentless attack from the media, the political right and a vociferous minority, supposedly on the left. Pride as a united front because homophobia, misogyny, racism and transphobia are all variations on the same hate-filled, shame-ridden theme." 🌈 @freddy.mcconnell is the subject of @seahorsefilm, a documentary about one trans man’s journey to start his own family. Follow the link in bio to read Freddy’s full interview. Photo: @eleni.stefanou
We’re celebrating Pride today with a series of colourful portraits. This is @katenambiar, a sexual health and gender identity doctor from Brighton. Kate says “I don’t think I’ve ever felt at peace with my identity. I don’t see that as a problem, more as an expression of the flux and fluidity that my identity has gone through.” 🌈 Follow the link in bio for Kate’s full story. Photo: @eleni.stefanou
“Pride means standing tall, with your LGBT+ family, with friends and allies. It’s positive defiance to anyone who challenges our right to live, love and succeed just as we are and without apology.” - @aylaholdom Tap the link in bio for Ayla’s full interview 🌈 Photo: @eleni.stefanou
“Singing with my choir @pinksingers at the opening ceremony of an LGBT+ festival in San Jose, California was a moment I felt at peace with my identity. It was humbling to be surrounded by so many singers from all walks of life, many of whom had been treated harshly by their family, employers and community because of their sexuality. In this moment they could be themselves and feel united with people who had gone through similar experiences.” 🌈 To mark Pride in London, we asked six people to share their story with us. Follow the link in bio to read Philip’s full interview. Photo: @eleni.stefanou
As London prepares to host one of Britain’s biggest Pride marches, we spoke to six people about the importance of taking to the streets. @amanithepoet explains how she feels "constantly defined as not white, not straight, not something, instead of being defined by what I am. I now understand pride as a celebration of otherness. To be proud of being queer is to be proud of shattering expectations and norms, and embracing whatever expression, whatever love, we need in order to feel whole." 🌈 Follow the link in bio for Amani’s full interview Photo: @eleni.stefanou
California governor Gavin Newsom has signed a law banning employers and schools from enforcing rules against hairstyles including afros, braids, twists and locks. The bill is an attempt to stop discriminating workplace policies that have had serious economic and health consequences, especially for black individuals,the bill said. According to the bill, “hair has historically been one of many determining factors of a person’s race, and whether they were a second-class citizen (..) hair today remains a proxy for race. Therefore, hair discrimination targeting hairstyles associated with race is racial discrimination.” Follow the link in bio for more details.
Gemma Chan, Archie Panjabi and Letitia Wright are among the film Academy’s diverse new members. This year’s list, made up of 842 industry names who will help to vote for the Oscars, is 50% female and 29% people of colour. If they accept then it would mean the Academy has doubled its members of colour in four years. It’s the latest step in a long-term strategy to improve the diversity of Academy members. In 2015, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started to trend when the acting and directing nominees included no one of colour, a situation that repeated itself the following year. In 2016, the Academy president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, announced a diversity initiative to produce a more representative membership, doubling both women and people of colour by 2020. Photos: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty / Steve Granitz/WireImage + Neil Hall/EPA
A popular ice-cream truck in Los Angeles has pledged to charge self-proclaimed Instagram “influencers” double if they attempt to exchange ice-cream for Instagram publicity. Joe Nicchi, owner of CVT Soft Serve, went viral after posting a sign that said “influencers pay double”. The image spread around the globe and now Nicchi says his business is booming, attracting fans across southern California who share his disdain of influencers. “We’re the anti-influencer influencers. I hope it inspires small businesses to hold their own”, Nichi said. Photo: @cvtsoftserve
England's World Cup team were back in training today. Tuesday's match with the US may not have given them the result they wanted but it gripped viewers across the UK, with peak audience figures hitting 11.7m. In our recent Instagram post celebrating England's efforts, some of you pointed out that head coach Phil Neville featured heavily in our image selection. We agree so have decided to publish another gallery with images honouring the players. England are traveling to Nice for the third‑place play-off on Saturday. We'll be cheering them on! Photos: Hannah Peters/Getty Images + Lynne Cameron/Shutterstock + Christophe Simon/Getty Images + Phil Noble/Reuters + Alex Caparros + Lucy Staniforth
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When actor Vicky Knight was eight years old, she suffered burns on a third of her body in a terrible fire. Bullying at school left her physically and mentally scarred. But a new film role as the victim of an acid attack has changed the 23-year-old's life and led her to love her body. “I’ve hidden my scars for 15 years, but I want people to look at me now. I want people to ask me about them. I think they tell a story.” Follow the link in bio to discover her full story. Photo: Linda Nylind
England may have lost their third major tournament semi-final in a row last night, but with peak audience figures hitting 11.7m they conquered hearts and minds of UK TV viewers. It's the fourth time this summer the team have broken peak audience records for women's football. An average of 10.3 million Britons watched the entire match yesterday and the figures don't include anyone watching it via the BBC’s online streaming services or in public spaces. Commercial broadcasters could now be tempted to bid for future tournaments, because, unlike the men's World Cup, it's not on the government-mandated list of sporting competitions required to be shown on free-to-air television. Follow @guardian_sport for more. Photos: Richard Sellers/PA Wire + Javier García/BPI/REX/Shutterstock + Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/REX/Shutterstock + Marc Atkins/Getty Images + Bernadett Szabó/Reuters
Mak Muji is a trash-picker and the only midwife among the 18,00 villagers who live among the waste in Bantar Gebang, Jakarta's landfill. Indonesia is producing waste faster than it can dispose of it. Meanwhile, thousands of tons of toxic waste sent from western countries is exacerbating the crisis. But a pushback is beginning, with Indonesia and other south-east Asian nations turning back illegally imported rubbish. Photo: Elisabetta Zavoli