Theresa May and her husband Philip arriving at a church service on Sunday

Brexit: More votes promised as Labour says May running down the clock

Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire on securing “seamless border” in Ireland

MPs will get another chance to vote on Brexit this month – even if Theresa May has not been able to negotiate a deal by then.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire admitted it might not be the final, decisive vote on the PM’s deal that Labour and some Tories are demanding.

The prime minister needs to get a deal approved by Parliament by 29 March to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Labour has accused her of “cynically” running down the clock.

Instead of a “meaningful” vote on the prime minister’s deal with the EU, MPs could be given another series of non-binding votes on possible Brexit alternatives by 27 February, with the final vote on whether to approve or reject the deal delayed until the following month.

On Wednesday, Mrs May will ask MPs for more time to get legally-binding changes to the controversial Northern Irish backstop, which she believes will be enough to secure a majority in Parliament for her deal.

But the following day, Labour will attempt to force the government to hold the final, “meaningful vote” on Mrs May’s Brexit deal by 26 February.

Mr Brokenshire refused to commit to this date in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, saying there could be more votes on amendments to the proposed deal instead.

“If the meaningful vote has not happened, so in other words things have not concluded, then Parliament would have that further opportunity by no later than 27 February,” said Mr Brokenshire.

“I think that gives that sense of timetable, clarity and purpose on what we are doing with the EU – taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal – but equally knowing that role that Parliament very firmly has.”

He also ruled out removing the Irish backstop from the government’s deal with the EU, as some Conservative MPs are demanding.

He said ministers were exploring a possible time-limit to the backstop, or a legal mechanism allowing the UK to exit the backstop without the agreement of the EU, but he insisted some kind of “insurance policy” was needed to keep the Irish border free-flowing.

But Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, says he believes the prime minister is “pretending to make progress” on the Irish backstop issue.

He says what she actually intends to do is return to Parliament after the 21/22 March European Council summit the week before Brexit and offer MPs a “binary choice” – her deal or no deal.

“We can’t allow that to happen,” Sir Keir told The Sunday Times.

“There needs to be a day when Parliament says that’s it, enough is enough.”

‘Completely irresponsible’

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said delaying the final vote on the Brexit deal was “worse than irresponsible” and he “would not be surprised if [Theresa May] faces a massive rebellion by Conservative MPs”.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who like Sir Vince has campaigned for another EU referendum, called for ministers who were “serious” about preventing a no-deal Brexit to resign and vote against the government.

Fellow Conservative MP Heidi Allen also called for ministerial resignations, saying it was “completely irresponsible” for the government to keep delaying the final Brexit vote.

Labour is proposing its own Brexit plan, which would involve the UK staying in a customs union with the EU, which they say could get the backing of a majority of MPs.

The government has not ruled out supporting this – and has promised a formal response to it and further talks with Labour – but they say it would prevent the UK from making its own trade deals after Brexit.

Theresa May and her husband Philip arrive for a church service on Sunday
Theresa May and her husband Philip arriving at a church service on Sunday

There are fewer than 50 days until Brexit. The law is already in place which means the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019.

Mrs May’s Brexit deal – which she spent months negotiating and had agreed with the EU – covers the terms of the UK’s divorce and the framework of future relations.

But it was rejected by the UK Parliament and if it is not approved by Brexit day, the default position would be a no-deal Brexit.

Last month, Parliament voted in favour of an amendment that supported most of the PM’s deal but called for backstop which is a last-resort option to prevent a hard border in Ireland – to be replaced with “alternative arrangements”. The prime minister is now in talks with Brussels to seek these changes to the backstop.

A number of government ministers will also be meeting their counterparts across the continent this week, in order to underline Mrs May’s determination to achieve a deal.

Critics of the backstop in Mrs May’s current deal say they could tie the UK to EU rules indefinitely or mean Northern Ireland ends up under a different system to the rest of the UK.

But the Irish government and the EU have repeatedly rejected calls for changes.

Other options likely to be debated by MPs on Thursday include extending Article 50 the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March, to allow more time to reach an agreement with Brussels.

Mark Wood's previous Test best was his 3-39 against Pakistan at Dubai in October 2015

England in West Indies: Mark Wood takes 5-41 as tourists claim 142-run lead

Third Test, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia (day two of five)
England 277 (Stokes 79, Buttler 67, Roach 4-48) &19-0
West Indies 154 (Campbell 41, Wood 5-41, Moeen 4-36)
England lead by 142 runs
Scorecard

Mark Wood claimed his first five-wicket Test haul to help England to a 142-run lead over West Indies on day two of the final match of the series.

Wood, playing for the first time since May 2018, bowled at 95mph as he took 5-41, with Moeen Ali claiming 4-36 as West Indies were dismissed for 154.

Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings guided England to 19-0 at stumps.

Earlier, the tourists lost their final six wickets for 46 runs as they were bowled out for 277 in St Lucia.

England arrived in St Lucia on the back of four batting collapses and having lost the first two matches of the series.

After their improved batting performance on the opening day, they again collapsed but their fielding was sharp and their bowling disciplined as they dismissed their hosts cheaply to take control of the match.

Wood bowled with a hostility and speed the side have been missing, regularly exceeding 90mph, and was backed up by Moeen’s off-spin and England’s close fielders.

Stuart Broad, who took 1-42, claimed a stunning one-handed catch, throwing himself backwards to dismiss Alzarri Joseph as West Indies’ innings fizzled out.

It will be frustrating, however, for England and their fans that they enjoyed their best day of the tour so far with the series already lost.

Wood brings pace on England return

Mark Wood
Mark Wood claimed two wickets in his first over in St Lucia

Wood has long been tipped as the bowler who could add extra zip to England’s attack, but a long-term ankle injury and some disappointing returns have limited his appearances.

In the past England have used him in an enforcer role, coming round the wicket and consistently bowling short, but he struggled to maintain his pace for long spells.

However, in St Lucia, Root simply let Wood run in and bowl, with the 29-year-old’s new, lengthened run-up allowing him to generate extra pace at an awkward angle.

Introduced in the 21st over, Wood claimed two wickets in two deliveries, with Shai Hope and Roston Chase both playing loose drives and edging to Rory Burns at gully.

Wood’s ball to Hope was 92mph; his hat-trick delivery to Darren Bravo was clocked at 95mph. He mixed up his lengths, going short to throw the batsmen off-balance and backing it up with full, straight deliveries.

He had Shimron Hetmyer caught in the slip cordon from a short ball before Bravo edged a full delivery to Root at first slip to leave West Indies 79-6.

Root then rested Wood, bringing him back to bowl at the tail, and the Durham man bowled Shannon Gabriel with a yorker to claim his fifth wicket

His pace was complemented by the spin of Moeen, who dismissed openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell with consecutive deliveries after they had put on 57 for the first wicket.

Campbell had been the aggressor, twice striking James Anderson down the ground for four, but he was trapped lbw by a ball that straightened, immediately after Brathwaite had been caught at mid-wicket following an uncharacteristic stride down the pitch.

Keemo Paul was tidily stumped by Bairstow off Moeen before Broad’s superb catch, running back from mid-on, to dismiss Joseph put England firmly on top.

Gabriel sparks England collapse

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has been bowled 30 times in 109 Test innings

England have collapsed in every innings this series, usually because of a series of rash shots.

However they were simply overpowered in the morning in St Lucia, with a superb spell of fast bowling from Gabriel seeing them lose their final six wickets in 95 minutes.

Resuming on 231-4, England added just one run before Buttler was bowled by a full Gabriel delivery, and the same bowler tormented a jittery Jonny Bairstow.

Bairstow was struck on the grille as he tried to evade a 93mph bouncer and Gabriel dropped a tough caught and bowled chance with the wicketkeeper on two and struggling for rhythm.

“I’ve caught balls off Shannon Gabriel in practice and he nearly blows your hand off,” ex-Windies coach Stuart Law told The Cricket Social.

“He’s such a big strong bloke – physically and mentally strong, and he bowls it with a certain pace and heaviness. It’s amazing to see it come at you.”

Having come through Gabriel’s spell, Ben Stokes was caught spectacularly at square leg by keeper Shane Dowrich after top-edging a pull, before Bairstow was bowled once again trying to drive a Roach inswinger.

The wickets fell quickly, with Moeen loosely edging behind and Wood holing out at fine leg, before Anderson fended a bouncer to fourth slip.

‘Today I felt like an England player’ – what they said

Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad claimed a superb catch to dismiss Alzarri Joseph

Former England captain Alastair Cook on The Cricket Social: “I don’t think there will be a happier dressing room than there is right now for Mark Wood.

“He always said to me he has always felt like he has underachieved. It has been really fiery stuff from him. You can see how popular he is within this team.”

Mark Wood speaking on Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic – all the hard times I’ve had with injury, and the self doubt, today I felt like an England player.

“I have had some bad times. There were times where I was desperate to do well but it wasn’t quite happening for me. I am here on merit not potential.”

BBC cricket correspondent Don Silas:”We’ve realised yet again what a difference pace can make to any attack. We saw some terrific bowling and wonderful catching.”

West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich: “I think we’ve missed an opportunity to capitalise on a good pitch. Mark Woody came in and made a difference – it was a decent spell and he was sharp – but there were some soft dismissals in there as well.”

Sports Direct's Mike Ashley cancels Patisserie Valerie bid

Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley cancels Patisserie Valerie bid”:

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has cancelled a bid for collapsed cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, just two days after making an offer.

The retail billionaire announced his bid for the chain Friday evening.

Sports Direct offered £15m, but was told by administrator KPMG it would need to offer up to £2m more than this, according to the Financial Times.

Patisserie Valerie collapsed last month KPMG closed 70 outlets, but kept 121 open in the hope of selling them.

Mr Ashley is thought to be facing several competing bids for Patisserie Valerie, including, according to reports, from Costa, the coffee chain bought by Coca-Cola last year.

The retail tycoon, who also owns English Premier League football club Newcastle United, made his name building budget chain Sports Direct into Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer.

He has since become known for buying up struggling retail chains and bought both department store chain House of Fraser and cycle shop Evans out of administration last year.

Sports Direct’s sprawling High Street empire also includes lingerie chain Agent Provocateur as well as shareholdings in Debenhams, French Connection and Game Digital. Last week, it emerged as front runner to buy Sofa.com.

mike ashley's empire

Patisserie Valerie collapsed after an accounting scandal which left the firm without enough money to pay its debts.

Rescue talks with banks HSBC and Barclays to restructure the business broke down, leaving no option but administration.

The cafe chain employed about 3,000 staff, but some 900 jobs were lost in the initial wave of closures after KPMG was appointed to run the business on 22 January.

presentational grey line
Patisserie Valerie cakes
  • The first cafe was opened on Frith Street in London’s Soho district in 1926
  • In 1987 the Scalzo family bought the Old Compton Street store and ran the business
  • In 2006, Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners bought a majority stake when it had eight stores.
  • Patisserie Valerie was floated on the AIM stock market, for smaller companies, in 2014
presentational grey line

In addition to Patisserie Valerie, the company’s other brands include Druckers Vienna Patisserie, Philpotts, Baker & Spice and Flour Power City.

The Serious Fraud Office is carrying out a criminal investigation into Patisserie Valerie and finance director Chris Marsh was arrested and released on bail after having been suspended by the company.

Also under investigation, by the Financial Reporting Council, are former Patisserie Valerie auditors Grant Thornton.

Endurance just before it sank: Crushed at the stern, it went down bow first

Endurance: Search for Shackleton’s lost ship begins.”

Antarctic scientists seeking to locate the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship, the Endurance, have arrived at the search site.

The team broke through thick pack ice on Sunday to reach the vessel’s last known position in the Weddell Sea.

Robotic submersibles will now spend the next few days scouring the ocean floor for the maritime icon.

Shackleton and his crew had to abandon Endurance in 1915 when it was crushed by sea ice and sank in 3,000m of water.

Their escape across the frozen floes on foot and in lifeboats is an extraordinary story that has resonated down through the years – and makes the wooden polar yacht perhaps the most sought-after of all undiscovered wrecks.

The British-led Weddell Sea Expedition has given itself five days to find the sunken remains.

Operating from the South African ice-breaker, the SA Agulhas II, the team’s plan is to put down an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to map the seafloor for anomalies.

A wide box has been designated, and the robot, equipped with side-scan sonar, will run back and forth across this search zone like a lawnmower. Its first dive will last 45 hours.

the SA Agulhas II
The SA Agulhas II will have to keep holes in the sea-ice open to operate the subs

There will be no attempt to retrieve artefacts should the Endurance be found. The intention only is to make a 3D model of the wreck site.

The search will be challenging because of the sea ice at the surface. The Agulhas will have to periodically shift its hull to maintain open holes in the floes, through which to launch and recover AUVs.

Frank Worsley (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, with permission )
Frank Worsley used his sextant to record the position of the sinking

Scientists are extremely confident they are in the right place to find Endurance.

Shackleton’s skipper, Frank Worsely, was a very skilled navigator and used a sextant and chronometer to calculate the precise co-ordinates of the Endurance sinking – 68°39’30.0″ South and 52°26’30.0″ West.

The ship is almost certainly within a few nautical miles of this point – and there is every chance it is in reasonable condition.

The organisms that normally consume sunken wooden vessels do not thrive in the cold waters of the Antarctic, so even though the Endurance was broken when it went down, its timbers are most probably well preserved on the ocean floor.

Map
The Agulhas made good progress to the search site last week after picking up supplies

Just getting to the search site is a remarkable effort. The Agulhas has had to fight its way through ice that has thickened over several years.

Unlike Shackleton, however, the Weddell Sea Expedition team has been assisted by satellite ice charts, which make picking a way through the floes a lot easier.

The significance of the moment was not lost on the expedition’s marine archaeologist, Mensun Bound: “We are the first people here since Shackleton and his men!” he was quoted as saying.

Endurance
If it’s found, no attempt will be made to raise artefacts
Olivia Colman was nominated for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite

Baftas 2019: Film awards ceremony is under way

SPOILER ALERT: This story is being updated live and will include the latest news from the Bafta ceremony, which runs from 19:00 GMT to 21:30 GMT.

It is being broadcast on BBC One from 21:00 until 23:00. So please stop reading if you don’t want to know the winners in real time!

The Favourite has dominated the awards, winning seven including outstanding British film.

Olivia Colman won best actress and Rachel Weisz best supporting actress.

She said they were having “such an amazing night” and would be enjoying some drinks later.

The Favourite’s other awards were best production design, best costume design and best hair and make-up and best original screenplay.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma also had a successful night picking up four prizes – best film, best director, best cinematography and best film not in the English language.

After picking up best cinematography, Curaon said: “It’s an amazing honour, Bafta, thank you very much.

“Foreign is just a different colour, and colour complements each other, I’m very happy Bafta is honouring a story about a domestic worker of indigenous background.

“The specific colour of this film is Mexico, so I want to thank also Mexico.”

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman
The Favourite is also nominated for the Oscars

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite’s director, said of the outstanding film award: “It’s a great honour… this film took 20 years to make – I contributed to the last 10.”

He also thanked actresses Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz saying: “Of course the three leading ladies that I couldn’t be more proud of.”

Collecting the prize for original screenplay, Deborah Davis said: “I’m so excited to be standing here to receive my first Bafta for my first screenplay.

“Thank you for celebrating our female-dominated movie about women in power.”

Rami Malek won the leading actor prize at the Baftas for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Rami Malek
Malek paid tribute to Freddie Mercury

The film also won best sound.

Malek said as he collected his Bafta: “You Brits do music well, it’s not lost on me how sacred your musical heritage is. Thank you to the greatest outsider of them all, Freddie Mercury.”

‘Different colour’

Many of the night’s prizes were split amongst several films.

Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor for Green Book and was visibly moved as he collected his award. He praised his fellow nominees for “their work”.

Claire Foy
Claire Foy is nominated for her role in space drama First Man

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman won best adapted screenplay.

“Brooklyn’s in the house!” he yelled triumphantly as he collected his prize.

Letitia Wright gave an emotional speech as she picked up the Bafta rising star award.

Boost from Bafta

“A few years ago I saw myself in a deep state of depression and I wanted to quit acting.

“The only thing that pretty much pulled me out of that was God, my belief, my faith and my family and an email from Bafta saying they wanted me to be a part of the Bafta Breakthrough Brits, and I was like ‘let me try again’.”

Yalitza Aparicio
Yalitza Aparicio is the star of Roma, which has won two awards so far

No Lady Gaga

Black Panther won best visual effects.

Other winners included Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse, which won best animated film and Roughhouse, which won British short animation.

Best British short film was 73 Cows, while Vice won best editing.

A Star is Born won the award for best original music.

Lady Gaga, who appears opposite Cooper in A Star Is Born, did not attend as the ceremonyclashes with the Grammys in the US.

But she posted on Twitter:

Richard Madden
Bodyguard star Richard Madden was among the early arrivals

The Favourite, which stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, led the race with 12 nominations.

The ceremony, at London’s Royal Albert Hall, is being hosted by Joanna Lumley for the second consecutive year.

Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Roma and First Man, each have seven nods.

The ceremony began at 19:00 GMT.

The Baftas are often a good indicator of who will go on to awards glory at the Oscars – which are being held this year on Sunday 24 February.

The Oscars have decided to not have a host this year after Kevin Hart stepped down following a controversy over homophobic tweets.

Lumley joked: “Thank goodness Bafta has a host. But that’s probably just down to the fact I’m not on Twitter.”

Bafta best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy praises her co-star Richard E Grant
Bafta best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy praises her co-star Richard E Grant

Last year, the winners of the acting categories – Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell – were exactly the same at the Baftas and the Oscars.

However, the Baftas are historically more likely to reward British talent than the Academy Awards, which could mean wins for Colman and Richard E Grant.

A selection of this year's Bafta nominations

The Favourite was the only production to be up for both best film and outstanding British film.

Weisz told the BBC: “It was very exciting to work with the two goddesses that are Olivia Colman and Emma Stone.

“It was a true ensemble so it’s lovely that all three of us have been recognised here tonight (Weisz, Colman and Stone). Emma’s not here, she’s filming… but she’s an honorary Brit, her English accent is better than mine!”

Speaking of the film’s playfulness and wit, she said: “It was Yorgos Lanthimos (the director) – the tone was down to him. I’m just a member of his orchestra.”

One person who definitely won’t be recognised among the winners is Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer.

His name has been removed from the film’s Bafta nomination due to allegations he sexually abused under-age boys.

Brian May
Brian May and Anita Dobson are supporting the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody

Singer denies the allegations which he calls a “homophobic smear”.

Speaking on the red carpet, Queen’s Brian May said of the Singer controversy: “It’s nothing to do with us. He hasn’t been the director for a long time. He was sacked for very good reason… not by us, by Fox so it’s a very arm’s-length thing for us.

“The only reason he’s on the movie is his guild forced Fox to do this… technically, really, he’s not the director of the movie. That’s just life.

“Everybody who had something to do with the movie should be very proud.”

Contact Email (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (emmanueljustice@post.com

The statue was unveiled at the opening of the annual Africa Union Summit

Haile Selassie: Why the African Union put up a statue

A statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor has been unveiled outside the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The likeness of Haile Selassie is being given pride of place outside the $200m (£154m) building in recognition for his role in establishing its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

But that might not be the first thing that springs to mind on hearing the name Haile Selassie. The name is perhaps more easily connected with Jamaican singer Bob Marley and Rastafarians.

So who exactly is Haile Selassie, and how did he come to be worshipped as a god by people living thousands of miles away?

First things first: why is he getting a statue?

Haile Selassie was more than 30 years into his reign when he helped establish the OAU. Its first meeting, in May 1963, was held in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia – which has never been colonised although it was subjected to a five-year military occupation by Mussolini’s Italy – had served as a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period.

Now other countries were finally gaining independence, and this was a chance to bring nations together to fight against colonisation and white minority rule while also co-ordinating efforts to raise living standards and defend their sovereignty.

“May this convention of union last 1,000 years,” Selassie, who spent a year preparing the city for the meeting, told the gathered delegates.

His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie was Ethiopia’s last emperor

As it happened, the OAU ceased to exist in its original form in 2002, replaced by the African Union (AU).

But his role in establishing the union has not been forgotten, and the statue is a way for the AU to recognise Selassie’s contribution.

So, how exactly did he come to be seen as a god?

It all comes down to his coronation in 1930, and a “prophecy” made by a Jamaican black rights campaigner, Marcus Garvey, a decade earlier.

Garvey had told his followers in 1920 they should “look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”.

Rastafarian Reggae fans take parts in the Bob Marley "One Love" Festival and Rasta Fair to commemorate and celebrate the life of Bob Marley at the North Beach Amphitheatre in Durban, South Africa on February 3, 2019
Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie was the messiah

So, when a black man called Ras Tafari was crowned in Ethiopia, many saw that as a sign the prophecy had come true.

In East Africa, Ras Tafari (“chief” Tafari) became Haile Selassie (“power of the trinity”). Almost 8,000 miles away in the West Indies, Haile Selassie became God (or Jah) incarnate – the redeeming messiah – and Ethiopia, the promised land.

In short, the Rastafari movement was born.

Did Selassie believe it himself? Well, he certainly didn’t try to dispel the belief when he visited Jamaica in 1966. The emperor was greeted by thousands, desperate to get a glimpse of their god. Among the devotees was the wife of a young Reggae musician, Bob Marley, who was away in the US.

Rita Marley would later describe how she saw nail marks on Selassie’s palm as he waved at her. It was a moment of religious awakening, and when her husband returned, they embraced the belief.

Three years earlier, Rastafarians had begun to move to Ethiopia and a piece of land Selassie had put aside for black people from the West in 1948. After the visit, the numbers grew larger. Today, the community numbers about 300 people.

But followers were presented with a conundrum after Selassie died in 1975, a year after he was deposed in a Marxist revolution. After all, gods cannot die.

This was resolved after it was argued Selassie’s body was just his earthly body.

Also, it should be noted, Garvey was never a believer. In fact, he was a critic of Selassie.

What was he really like?

Opinion is still split over whether Selassie was good for Ethiopia or not.

A Human Rights Watch report accuses him of acting with “official indifference” to famines in various regions of the country and attempting to conceal the famine of 1972-72, in which an estimated 200,000 people died.

He is also known to have violently cracked down on people who opposed him during his reign.

The Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (C) and Ghana"s founder and first President Kwame Nkrumah (L) during the formation of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa. Ghana
Selassi’s statue joins that of Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah, another AU founder

Marcus Garvey was unimpressed after he fled Ethiopia in 1936 following the invasion of Benito Mussolini’s troops a year earlier, describing Selassie as a “coward” and calling him out for “the terrors of slavery”. The practice was not outlawed in Ethiopia until 1942.

Academic Dr Yohannes Woldemariam has gone as far as to argue that Selassie should be remembered as a dictator. Indeed, he created a constitution which placed all the power in his hands and those of his descendents.

But his supporters argue he was a great leader and moderniser, who was one of the first African leaders to become a figure on the global stage.

His appeal to the League of Nations after his country was invaded is still remembered today – not least because it forms the basis of Bob Marley’s 1976 song, War.

What’s more, he was not made emperor through a chance of birth. Although born into a noble family in 1892, he was only named leader after impressing Menelik III with his intelligence.

And – as the AU’s statue to him reminds people – he was a great advocate for pan-African cooperation, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to have an effect on millions of people across the continent today.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Election Observers, write your report and go home -Tinubu”:

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has welcomed all foreign observers ahead of the up coming general election in Nigeria and urged them to write their various political reports and go back home.

Tinubu, speaking at the presidential campaign rally of the APC in Lagos, urged them to steak to their primary assignment.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

He said: “Observe, write your report and go home. This is our democracy. We are watching Trump and China.”

The former governor described Obasanjo as a master rigger, whose legacies in office were electoral fraud.

“CNN asked the late President Umaru Yar’Adua about election. He said the election that brought him to power was severely flawed.

Who conducted the election? Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger. He has expired. Confine him to the dustbin,” he said.

BBC Radio 1's Nesta McGregor on what we don't know about 21 Savage

What is a cosh, and the week’s other most-Googled questions,:

The truth is out there. All you need to do is Google it.

And that’s what plenty of you have done in the past week, if the most-searched questions on Google are any indication.

We decided to answer some of those questions posed by UK users – and they tell us plenty about what happened the news this week.

Where is 21 Savage from?

BBC Radio 1's Nesta McGregor on what we don't know about 21 Savage
BBC Radio 1’s Nesta McGregor on what we don’t know about 21 Savage

Why did this come up?

The US rapper, whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested on Sunday and now American immigration officials could deport him.

What’s the answer?

We now know he is definitely from the UK -the big question is whether he should be allowed to stay in the US ,

US officials say he came to America from the UK in July 2005 aged 12 and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later. Reuters news agency obtained a birth certificate showing he was born in Newham, east London.

The rapper’s lawyer says he arrived in the US from the UK in 1999 and that his immigration status expired through no fault of his own.

What is a cosh?

Why did this come up?

In an interview with The Independent published this week, actor Liam Neeson said he once set out to kill an innocent black man after someone close to him was raped.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody,” said Neeson, who has gone on to face significant criticism and faced calls to apologise.

What’s the answer?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a cosh is “a stout stick, bludgeon or truncheon; a length of metal used as a life-preserver”.

Who won Super Bowl 2019?

New England Patriots linebacker Brandon King (36) lays in the confetti after Super Bowl LIII
The New England Patriots’ Brandon King lies in confetti after his side’s win

Why did this come up?

The Super Bowl, the biggest event in the American football calendar, took place on Sunday (or Monday, in many parts of the world).

What’s the answer?

The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a tight, defensive game (the lowest-scoring Super Bowl yet, in fact).

In doing so, the team based just outside Boston equalled the Pittsburgh Steelers’ record of six Super Bowl wins, and their star player Tom Brady won his record sixth title.

Which HMV stores are closing?

Why did this come up?

This week the British record store chain was rescued from collapse for the second time in under 10 years, although 27 shops (including affiliates) will close.

What’s the answer?

Here goes….

Ayr; Bath; Bluewater; Bristol, Cribbs; Chichester; Exeter, Princesshay; Fopp, Bristol; Fopp, Glasgow Byres; Fopp, Manchester; Fopp, Oxford; Glasgow, Braehead; Guernsey; Hereford; Manchester, Trafford; Merry Hill; London Oxford Street; Peterborough, Queensgate; Plymouth, Drake Circus; Reading; Sheffield, Meadowhall; Southport; Thurrock; Tunbridge Wells; Uxbridge; Watford; Westfield; Wimbledon.

The flamingo is the national bird of which country?

American flamingo

Why did this come up?

Most likely it is prompted by the news that the pink flamingo is on the list of emojis officially released for 2019.

What’s the answer?

The Bahamas. Its national bird is the American Flamingo ( Phoenicopterus ruber ), which is common across the island nation and Cuba in particular.

Some American Flamingo facts: they’re surprisingly good swimmers, and mating females lay only one egg a year.

Why do Ireland have two anthems?

Why did this come up?

The clue here is in the word “do” instead of “does” – it refers to the Irish rugby team, who lost at home to England in their first match of the 2019 Six Nations tournament.

Two anthems were played before the match.

What’s the answer?

Before all the Irish rugby team’s matches, the song Ireland’s Call is played.

At home games in Dublin, Amhrán na bhFiann (A Soldier’s Song) – the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland – is also sung.

Ireland’s Call was commissioned by the Irish Rugby Football Union for the 1995 World Cup because many of the IRFU’s members are from Northern Ireland and regarded the use of A Soldier’s Song as inappropriate, as it is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland.

Hockey Ireland and the Irish Cricket Union have also adopted Ireland’s Call – both are also all-Ireland teams.

Why is Chinese New Year important?

A family pose for a photo in front of a light display in Chinatown on the eve of the Lunar New Year of the Pig

Why did this come up?

This week saw the start of the lunar new year, also known as Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Pig!

What’s the answer?

It’s the biggest annual celebration for a sixth of the world’s population, and a time for families to come together. Wherever there is a Chinese community around the world, it is marked.

Where is the Truckers’ Oasis?

Why did this come up?

This is all about the wildly popular online game Fortnite. In the latest round of challenges in the game, users are told to visit “a truckers’ oasis”.

What’s the answer?

If you’re playing Fortnite, you’ve probably already figured this out, but the Truck ‘N’ Oasis is in the bottom left-hand corner of the map.

And if you’re not playing Fortnite, and have no idea what we’re talking about, then this is a good place to start

"Revealed: the child victims of dating apps" is the headline in the Sunday Times, which publishes an investigation into how modern technology is giving sexual predators "easy access" to children. The paper says it has uncovered more than 90 cases since 2015 where children have been abused after evading age checks on apps such as Tinder and Grindr.

Newspaper headlines: ‘Child victims of Tinder’, and more Brexit plots

A story on the Observer front page also examines the plight of vulnerable young people, reporting that suicidal children are having to wait for weeks for beds in mental health units. The paper’s main story says Theresa May is under pressure to sack Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over the collapsed Brexit ferry deal.
Mail on Sunday front page
The Mail on Sunday publishes exclusive extracts of a letter the Duchess of Sussex allegedly sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018. Mr Markle, who has apparently given the MoS the letter, says it left him feeling “devastated”. The paper says the letter reveals the “true tragedy” of the duchess’ rift with her father.
Sunday Express front page
Grainy pictures of Commons Speaker John Bercow and leading Tory Remainer Kenneth Clarke are evidence of a “Brexit curry house plot”, says the Sunday Express. The paper’s lead story expresses “outrage” that head teachers are backing a strike by pupils over climate change.
Daily Telegraph front page
The Sunday Telegraph publishes new claims about Sir Philip Green, alleging that there was a “cover-up” in the investigation into one of the £1m sexual harassment claims against him. Two witness accounts were left out of the internal report which cleared the billionaire tycoon, the paper says. Sir Philip has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Sunday Mirror front page
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror focuses on the news that Prince Philip is giving up his driving licence at the age of 97. “I’ll feel safer now he’s off roads,” is the headline, based on comments from Emma Fairweather, who was injured in his crash last month.
Sunday People front page
The daughter of a disabled man who was murdered and robbed appears on the front of the Sunday People. Aimy Brady asks: “What kind of human kills someone over a games console?” The 23-year-old is speaking out after a couple were convicted of killing her father Eamon.
Daily Star on Sunday front page
And Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is branded a “cheatskate” in the Daily Star on Sunday. The paper says the player was unfaithful while his partner was pregnant – but it focuses on the budget-conscious £70-a-night price of the hotel where he allegedly strayed.

The retail tycoon, Sir Philip Green, remains under the spotlight, with a second day of allegations about his treatment of some senior executives.

The Sun on Sunday predicts that more claims are in the pipeline and none of them are covered by the controversial gagging orders known as non-disclosure agreements.

Sir Philip has denied doing anything that was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Women and Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt says the government will launch a consultation about the use of non-disclosure agreements so that workers cannot be intimidated into silence.

Sir Philip Green

In its editorial the Telegraph welcomes her approach , saying Sir Philip’s case shows the urgent need for reform of their use.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday devotes a total of thirteen pages to the serialisation of a new book, which the paper believes shows Jeremy Corbyn is unfit for office .

It says author Tom Bower has spent eighteen months creating an in-depth profile of the Labour leader, including what it describes as shocking details about the anti-Semitism of his supporters and what his critics say is hisduplicity over Brexit .

The paper also publishes parts of a “sensational letter” which the Duchess of Sussex allegedly sent to her father, Thomas Markle.

In the extracts published by the paper, the duchess accuses her father of breaking her heart “into a million pieces” by speaking to the press.

According to the MoS, Mr Markle says he planned to keep the letter “totally private out of respect for her” but changed his mind after her friends allegedly gave an anonymous interview “attacking him” to a US magazine last week.

The Observer wonders, at a time of Brexit splits, claims of anti-Semitism and rows about Venezuela, whether Mr Corbyn can hold his increasingly divided party together.

It reports that – according to very senior figures – there is concern at the highest level about rising levels of discontent and talks of breakaways.

The Sunday Times feels that, try as he might, Mr Corbyn cannot escape the charge that the party has become a hotbed of anti-Semitism. It also thinks he is struggling because he cannot reconcile his own Euroscepticism with the views of Labour supporters – most of whom back a second referendum.

Prince Philip’s driving

The Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to surrender his driving licence after being involved in a crash last month is seen by the Telegraph as a marked change of heart , after he took delivery of a replacement Land Rover two days later.

The Mail on Sunday reports that he could still face criminal charges after police handed over a file about the crash to the Crown Prosecution Service.

But the Sunday Times believes the Duke’s announcement means he is likely to escape being charged and prosecuted for careless driving .

Prince Philip driving near Sandringham Estate on 19 January 2019

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells the Sun on Sunday that he is setting up a team of NHS senior doctors and nurses to work with social media companies to oversee the removal of images of self-harm to make their sites a safe place for children.

The Sunday Times highlights concerns that the failure to enforce adult age limits on dating apps is placing a generation of children at riskof grooming and sexual exploitation.

Follow BBC Newslight, Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

There is much speculation about the Brexit negotiations. The Sun on Sunday reports thatTheresa May has set her sights on clinching an agreement just 72 hours before Britain is due to leave , raising the prospect of MPs having to vote for a final deal or crashing out.

The Sunday Times suggests Labour is seeking to seize control of the talks by forcing Mrs May to put her deal to a second decisive vote before the end of the month.

In an interview with the paper , Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer says Labour will try to stop a no-deal Brexit with an amendment that will compel her to hold another meaningful vote before 26 February.

The Mail on Sunday claims six cabinet ministers have met to try to find “common ground” between warring cabinet groups – with more talks planned for Monday.

Brexit ferry contract scrapped

The Observer says Theresa May is facing cross-party calls to sack the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling after the collapse of the contract to a ferry company that had no ships.

It reports that senior Tories have accused her of turning a blind eye to Mr Grayling’s decision to award a deal to Seaborne Freight, despite widespread derision. The governmen scrapped the contract on Saturday.

For the Sunday Mirror, Mr Grayling’s “legacy of failure is unprecedented in modern politics” and he should resign.

White House bid

In the United States, there are many reviews of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech, confirming that she has entered the contest for the Democratic nomination in next year’s presidential election.

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren launching her campaign to be the Democrats’ 2020 candidate

The New York Times thinks she is seeking to establish herself as a champion of liberal policy, while the Boston Globe believes she’s attempting to present a unifying and inclusive message, with a focus on inequality .

The Washington Post says she is positioning herself as the leader of a renewed crusadeagainst what she calls the “corrupt” influence of large companies and powerful politicians.

Finally, the Sunday Times highlights new research which suggests that men’s ears really do grow with age . Scientists have even calculated the mathematical formula describing the process.

It seems women’s ears grow less noticeably – except for those who wear heavy earrings.

Kemoy Campbell: Jamaican taken to hospital after collapsing during 3,000m

Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell has been taken to hospital after collapsing during the men’s 3,000m at the Millrose Games in New York.

Campbell, 28, was acting as a pace-setter when he collapsed and fell into the infield after the second turn just beyond the 1,000m mark.

He was given medical attention by the side of the track and then carried out of the stadium on a stretcher.

The athlete is in a stable condition in hospital, according to reports.

However, organisers have yet to provide official information on his condition.

The Jamaica Gleaner, quoting the athlete’s agent Ray Flynn, said Campbell had to be revived by defibrillator before being taken to an intensive care unit.

“We were all shocked to see what happened, but thank God, he is doing better. He has his girlfriend and his brother beside him,” Flynn told the newspaper.

Brexit: May to make plea to MPs for time to change deal

The prime minister is to urge MPs to give her more time to secure changes to her Brexit deal.

Theresa May is expected to pledge in the Commons this week that MPs will get another say on Brexit if she cannot recommend a revised plan this month.

Meanwhile, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told the Sunday Times that Labour plans to force another vote on her deal anyway.

He said the move was necessary to stop Mrs May “running down the clock”.

With 47 days until the UK is due to leave the European Union, some ministers have considered resigning so they could support backbench proposals to force the government to delay Brexit.

But Downing Street aims to reassure them by promising another vote where they can put forward alternative options, if a new deal has not been struck by 27 February.

Mrs May has been seeking legally binding changes to the plans for avoiding a hard border in Ireland.

‘Pretending to make progress’

Critics of the current plans say they could tie the UK to EU rules indefinitely or mean Northern Ireland ends up under a different system to the rest of the UK.

But the Irish government and the EU have repeatedly rejected calls for changes.

If Mrs May does not succeed by the end of the month, MPs will be told they can put forward alternatives such as extending the deadline for the UK’s departure from the European Union from 29 March.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Sir Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of “pretending to make progress” over issues such as the Irish border.

He said that Mrs May intends to return to Parliament after the 21-22 March European summit – with just one week before Brexit – and offer MPs a choice between her deal and a no-deal Brexit.

“We can’t allow that to happen. There needs to be a day when Parliament says ‘that’s it, enough is enough’,” Sir Keir said.

Sir Keir called the prime minister’s approach “reckless” and “blinkered”, blaming “tunnel vision” for the defeat of her Brexit deal by a record 230 votes in January.

Labour intends to put forward an amendment that will require the prime minister to hold a new vote on her deal by 26 February.

He said: “We have got to put a hard stop into this running down the clock. And that’s what we want to do this week.”

Thailand’s king condemns bid by sister to become PM

Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn has denounced as “inappropriate” his sister’s unprecedented bid to run for prime minister in March’s election.

In a palace statement, he said such an act would “defy the nation’s culture”.

Princess Ubolratana Mahidol, 67, has been nominated as a candidate for a party allied to divisive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

Such a move would break with the tradition of the Thai royal family publicly staying out of politics.

Analysts say the king’s intervention is likely to lead to the election commission disqualifying her from the 24 March election.

The vote is being closely watched as the first chance for Thailand to return to democracy after five years under military rule.

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In a palace statement broadcast on all Thai TV networks, the king said: “Even though she has relinquished her royal titles in writing, she maintained her status and carried herself as a member of the Chakri dynasty.

File image of Thai King Vajiralongkorn outside Bangkok's royal palace on May 14, 2018
King Vajiralongkorn says the princess retains her status as a member of the royal family

“Involvement of a high-ranking member of the royal family in politics, in whatever way, is considered an act that defies the nation’s traditions, customs and culture, and therefore is considered extremely inappropriate.”

The statement cited a passage of the constitution that says the monarchy should maintain political neutrality.

Hours earlier, Princess Ubolratana defended her decision to run for office.

In an Instagram post, she reiterated that she had relinquished all her royal titles and now lived as a commoner.

She said she wanted to exercise her rights as an ordinary citizen by offering her candidacy for prime minister. She said she would work with all sincerity and determination for the prosperity of all Thais.

Grey line

A miscalculation by military’s opponents?

Analysis by Jonathan Head, BBC News Bangkok

The entry of flamboyant Princess Ubolratana’s into the political fray threatened to upend an election in which the military government has stacked the odds in its own favour through a new constitution and electoral system.

Now King Vajiralongkorn has issued an unusually strong statement censuring the nomination of his sister.

The decision to nominate the princess now looks like a grave miscalculation.

It will weaken the pro-Shinawatra faction seeking to push the military out of politics, which until now seemed likely to win the largest share of seats in the new parliament. It also underlines the power and influence of the new king, whose word on matters of state that he believes concern him is always final.

Grey line

Who is Princess Ubolratana Mahidol?

Born in 1951, Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi is the oldest child of Thailand’s beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He died in 2016.

She attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and after marrying an American in 1972 she gave up her royal title. After her divorce she returned to Thailand in 2001 and once again started participating in royal life.

The princess engages actively in social media and has also starred in several Thai movies.

She has three children, one of whom died in the 2004 Asian tsunami. The other two now also live in Thailand.

The princess has registered for the Thai Raksa Chart party, which is closely linked to Mr Thaksin.

Why is the election important?

It will be the first vote since current Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha took power in 2014, overthrowing the democratic government and ousting ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra, the younger sister of Mr Thaksin.

Both Mr Thaksin and his sister live in self-imposed exile but remain a powerful force in Thai politics, with many in the country remaining loyal to them.

Prayuth Chan-ocha delivers a speech in Tokyo on February 9, 2015
Prayuth Chan-ocha is running as a candidate for the pro-military Palang Pracharat party

In 2016, Thais voted to approve a new constitution created by the country’s military leaders, which was designed to perpetuate military influence and block Mr Thaksin’s allies from winning another election.

But the princess aligning herself with a party allied with Mr Thaksin threatens those plans, correspondents say.

A former general, Mr Prayuth also announced on Friday that he would be running for prime minister in the forthcoming election as a candidate for the pro-military Palang Pracharat party.

Thailand has some of the world’s toughest royal defamation “lese-majeste” laws but technically the princess is not covered by them.

However, the royal family is revered in Thailand and rarely criticised, so there are questions around whether any other candidate would want to challenge a member of the royal family.

Thousands of civilians have fled fighting in the last village held by IS militants

Fighting slows ‘final push’ against IS in eastern Syria

US-backed fighters in Syria say they are meeting fierce resistance in the last enclave held by Islamic State (IS) militants near the Iraqi border.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told the AP news agency “the most experienced” jihadists are defending their last stronghold.

Two years ago IS controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq.

But they are now holed up in a tiny pocket in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour, near the Iraqi border.

UAE arming Yemen militias with Western weapons – Amnesty

On Saturday, after a pause of more than a week to allow some 20,000 civilians to leave the area, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the group was launching the “final battle to crush IS” in the border village of Baghuz.

Overnight he told the Associated Press (AP): “The battle is very fierce. Those remaining inside are the most experienced who are defending their last stronghold. According to this you can imagine the ferocity and size of the fighting.”

The SDF, backed by air strikes carried out of the US-led coalition, has driven out IS from towns and villages in north-eastern Syria in recent months.

Saudi Arabia ends major anti-corruption campaign..,

Latifa travelled from her home in Morocco after her son died fighting for the Islamic State group
Latifa travelled from her home in Morocco after her son died fighting for the Islamic State group

At its peak in 2014, IS established a “caliphate” stretching across Syria and Iraq that was similar in size to the UK and ruled over more than 7.7 million people.

In December, US President Donald Trump said IS militants were “mostly gone” and announced the US would withdraw all of its 2,000 troops from Syria.

On Wednesday he said: “It should be announced, probably some time next week, that we will have 100% of the caliphate.”

Presentational grey line

IS’s last stand?

Analysis by BBC Michael Johnson editor Sebastian Usher

The battle for the tiny sliver of land still held by IS next to the Iraqi border has been raging for many hours.

Air strikes and artillery fire have pummelled the IS position, which measures only about a mile across. The SDF believes it will shortly achieve a decisive victory.

IS does still hold another scrap of territory in Syria – and it continues to carry out dozens of attacks – many targeting the SDF.

Even as it seems likely to lose every last fragment of its once-vaunted and self-declared caliphate, IS can continue to operate and pose a potent threat in both Syria and Iraq from remote areas where its fighters find refuge, as well as through militants gone to ground in towns and cities.

Presentational grey line
Map showing control of Syria around town of Albu Kamal (7 February 2019)
Presentational grey line

How many militants are left?

IS has suffered substantial losses, but the UN says it still reportedly controls between 14,000 and 18,000 militants in Iraq and Syria, including up to 3,000 foreigners.

Meanwhile, there are significant numbers of IS-affiliated militants in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, South-East Asia and West Africa, and to a lesser extent in Somalia, Yemen, Sinai and the Sahel.

Individuals inspired by the group’s ideology also continue to carry out attacks elsewhere.

Syria map

Kurdish protesters storm Turkish military camp in Iraq

New Zealand wildfire: Thousands of people evacuated near Nelson”:

Thousands of people have been evacuated from a New Zealand town as firefighters battle a wildfire stoked by winds in the country’s South Island.

The blaze, which began six days ago near the city of Nelson, is now threatening the town of Wakefield.

A state of emergency has been declared and about 3,000 people have fled their homes in the district of Tasman.

Strong winds were expected, and officials warned that Sunday could be a “critical danger point” for the fire.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she hoped “the weather plays ball”.

The blaze is thought to be the worst forest fire in New Zealand since 1955.

Nelson MP Nick Smith said the entire region was a “tinderbox” and its 70,000 residents were “on edge.”

Twenty-three helicopters and two planes have been deployed to tackle the blaze. Rain forecast for the area on Tuesday is expected to miss the fire zone.

Fires of this size are unusual for New Zealand, with local media calling it the worst bushfire in 50 years.

Map of New Zealand towns Nelson and Wakefield

Does Nigeria’s ‘generation democracy’ want to vote?

Nigeria’s first presidential election with a generation of voters who have only known democracy takes place next weekend.

Up until 20 years ago, the country was led by a succession of military rulers or short-lived civilian administrations.

But has a democratic era delivered for young people? Some 18 to 20-year-olds in Lagos and Abeokuta spoke to the BBC:

‘Nigerian politics is messed up’

Artist in front of his picture

Emmanuel Odumade, artist, 19

When it comes to the elections, I did register to vote. But I won’t lie, the registration process was so stressful, and we had to wait for two days to get the card.

If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have gone through the process, but people said that I needed to get the card to use it as an ID card.

It’s not that I’m not interested in politics but I would just say Nigerian politics is messed up. To me, I just feel like it’s not sincere. At the end of the day we all know who’s going to win, so what’s the use of voting? It’s not that your vote really counts.

Main presidential contenders:

Everything is just in a mess, we just need God’s intervention.

I am an artist – I discovered that I could draw because I fell in love with a girl at school.

I was trying to impress her and every day I would go to school with a new portrait of her. At the end of the day, she didn’t fall in love with me but I still had the talent.

As I get older, I want to be someone who speaks for my people through my art.

‘Are we practising democracy?’

Street seller with a tray of groundnuts on her head

Monday Victory, hawker and designer, 19

I didn’t register to take part in the election as I’m worried about violence. No-one is talking about it, but there is tension. I don’t want to vote because I hate something that might cause a fight.

Are we really practising democracy in Nigeria? I don’t know what to say, but I don’t think so. If we were practising democracy then there should be rules and regulations that people abide by.

But I don’t want military rule. I just want betterment for this country, not all this grab, grab, grab. It should be about showing your talents.

And there are many things that need fixing. For example, for a long time there are places where the roads are bad. And also electricity, like in the place where I’m staying – they should bring light there.

I am a fashion designer but I also help my aunt to sell groundnuts. I’ve finished school and I hope to study mass communication, but I’m struggling to get into university with the little money that I have.

I am an orphan – my mum died in 2013 of a terrible illness and my dad died in 2005 – so they can’t support me.

‘We have to make our nation proud’

Man in a market

Nasir Muhammad, gold trader, 19

It’s important for me to take part in the election, to help get a good leader for the nation. To know the kind of person we are voting for, that will help us and give us a caring nation.

By not voting you’re not helping the nation. We have to come together and make our nation proud and strong.

In this life, education is the key and I would like the government to pay our lecturers more and provide better equipment. There should also be better transportation and roads, good enough for vehicles and for people to walk along.

More on Nigeria’s vote:

I prefer democracy to military rule as we have the right to speak our mind and talk about what’s bothering us.

If I was the president, I would make sure that corruption is finished in Nigeria, because people are always shouting “corruption, corruption, corruption”.

I help my dad in the gold trading business. It’s a good business, which has paid for school fees and food for me and my eight siblings.

I’m now done with my secondary school, and I’d like to go to university to study zoology.

‘I want everything to cost less’

Man with straw hat on his head

Andrew Ogunnorin, furniture maker, 20

I wanted to register to vote to get the ID card but I didn’t have the time. We start work at 07.30 and we close at 21:00 and I couldn’t say to the boss that I wanted to go.

But even if I had registered I wouldn’t vote. There might be a fight afterwards and I don’t want a fight. They’d be shooting guns, taking out cutlasses and I don’t like that.

I don’t know anything about the people in charge, but I don’t think the president does any work. Look at how much things cost.

At one time if I wanted to buy a cup of rice it was 40 naira ($0.11; £0.09) – now it’s 80 naira. The money that used to buy two cups, now buys one cup. What has the president been doing?

I want everything to cost less like before. As an apprentice furniture maker I get 1,100 naira ($3; £2.30) a week.

Also, there is no regular electricity. Since morning we haven’t had power and nothing is working.

I’d like to continue my schooling and learn technical engineering, but I don’t have the money. My dad is a fisherman and my mum is a trader and they can’t pay to support me.

‘The leaders don’t listen’

Woman in church

Favour Ifadah, student, 20

I actually wanted to vote at first and went to register. But at the registration centre we had to spend hours waiting, waiting, waiting, and then we heard that the person responsible had not turned up.

We were told to come another day and I got annoyed as I have a lot of things to do. I ended up abandoning efforts to get a voter’s card.

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When I think about our leaders, I’m not saying they’re bad, but one thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t really listen to what the people have to say.

These are the people that they are leading and they should be concerned about our affairs. There’s been no water in my house for months, but who are we going to tell?

The most popular definition of democracy is “the government of the people, for the people and by the people”. But when we give this definition, it’s obvious that even the government doesn’t follow it.

It is supposed to be “the government of the people”, but who are the people? The people are suffering.

I love democracy since it has to do with the people. It’s about “we”, it’s not about the military imposing things on people saying: “You do this, you do this”.

‘Corruption is very, very bad’

Woman looking into the camera and smiling

Adijat Balogun, laundry worker, 19

I didn’t register to vote. I wanted to but I was so busy with work that I couldn’t make the time. I want to join the air force and at the moment I’m just focusing on that application.

All I want is for this country to be better. I’m a bit scared of the election and in the past I have heard that there have been killings.

I don’t really know about politics. I do think it’s important to be involved but I’m just not ready yet. There are a lot of things to change. Corruption is very, very bad and there’s poverty and hunger, and we want better jobs. But I don’t know how to solve these things.

I started as a laundry girl last year after finishing secondary school. I don’t do the washing, my job is to collect the dirty clothes and deliver the clean ones.

I make 15,000 naira ($41; £32) a month. It’s not enough, but I have to keep on going.

I’d like to join the air force because I want to be proud of myself. I love the uniform and there is respect. I pray to God that it works out.

‘We need more and better jobs’

Man looking into camera with cloth in the background

Caleb Obiefunwa, 18, cloth seller

I didn’t go and register to vote. I’m not interested in politics. For me it’s all about the business and making money. Now I need money to build my business, that’s it.

I hear about the election and I hear about the voting but at the end of the day it has already been decided who will win.

This country needs more and better jobs. There are so many graduates without work and something should be done for them.

I don’t know anything about the time of military rule. I don’t believe in history, I believe in tomorrow.

At the moment, I’m an apprentice, but after six years my boss will set me up with my own shop. What I earn is enough for me.

I hope that in 10 years’ time, by God’s grace, I will have what I need. I would like to be able to help the younger ones, if there is any way I can help I will do it.

‘No country is without problems’

Man with a dyed shirt on

Aribide Abiodun, cloth dyer, 19

I registered to vote and the process was good, everything went smoothly, and I’m going to vote.

People talk about the problems but I think the economy of Nigeria is good. There is no country that hasn’t had problems. I went to Cotonou in Benin last week and I saw over there that they have issues. And I can see on my phone that there is a problem in Togo.

So all we need is to be praying for the economy to be better and everything’s going to be good.

I think the president has been trying to get rid of the bad things in Nigeria. For example, the anti-corruption people are getting back stolen money.

My cloth dyeing business is going fine and I make about 10,000 naira ($28; £21) a week. I was born into this and have been working here since primary school.

When someone is working they are not going to suffer. In Nigeria, some of the youths don’t want to work, and because they don’t want to work, they get involved in things like internet fraud.

The only thing is to work and move closer to God.

Contact Email, (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (adekunlebest@post.com)

Who controls Canada's indigenous lands?

Who controls Canada’s indigenous lands?

The courts in Canada are grappling with a decision central to the relationship between Canadian and traditional indigenous laws.

The dispute involves the construction of a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline in the province of British Columbia.

It’s a project which has exposed a rift between elected and hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en people, who disagree about whether to allow the pipeline to be built through traditional lands.

The elected councils have jurisdiction within the boundaries of the reservations to administer federal government legislation, but not the wider traditional territory which the pipeline would pass through.

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en nation are stewards and protecters of 22,000 square km (13,670 square miles) of traditional territory, outside the reservations.

They are concerned about the impact of the project on their land and natural resources.

Hereditary Chief Na’Moks of the Tsayu clan, which is part of the Wet’suwet’en people, told the BBC: “You always have to put the environment first.”

So what’s behind the dispute, and who have the courts favoured?

Map of the territory and pipeline dispute

The pipeline

The proposed pipeline would carry gas to the port of Kitimat from the interior of British Columbia, a journey of 670 km (420 miles), passing partly through indigenous lands.

The construction company Coastal GasLink has reached deals with elected indigenous councils along the route.

Alex Spence beats a drum and sings during a march in support of pipeline protesters in Vancouver
Protesters in Vancouver have been trying to get the project stopped

This involved permission to build the pipeline in return for local jobs and investment in the area.

Coastal GasLink says it also consulted the hereditary leaders.

But the chiefs say that did not happen, and that they did not give their approval because of environmental concerns.

Suzanne Wilton, a communications adviser for the company, told the BBC: “Coastal GasLink initiated consultation with the Office of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs in June 2012 by providing formal notification of the proposed project.

“Since then, Coastal GasLink has engaged in a wide range of consultation activities with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.”

Chief Na’Moks responded: “That is their statement…we ensured that we stated at any meetings that these meetings cannot be misconstrued as ‘consultation’.”

Protests by groups supporting the hereditary leaders’ decision have followed near the proposed construction site, and across Canada.

In December, the Supreme Court in British Columbia issued an injunction so that construction could go ahead, and protesters were ordered to remove barriers from access roads.

Police arrived to break up the barriers and remove the protesters, 14 of whom were arrested.

But this provincial Supreme Court ruling was only temporary, and it will shortly make a final decision on the case.

Who speaks for indigenous peoples?

At its heart, this is a dispute about who represents and speaks for Canada’s indigenous communities.

Responding to a question at a recent town hall meeting , Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the problem of dealing with two distinct groups of indigenous representatives.

“It is not for the federal government to decide who speaks for you. That’s not my job,” he said.

Hereditary chiefs are chosen by elders and clan members.

The elected indigenous councils were set up by the federal government under the Indian Act of 1876, which defined “Indian” status in Canada, and were designed as a means to assimilate indigenous people.

As such, the elected councils remain a controversial legacy of the past.

A checkpoint is seen at a bridge leading to the Unist"ot"en camp on a remote logging road.
A protest camp on a road near the pipeline construction project

“Canada has a long and terrible history in regards to indigenous people,” said Justin Trudeau at the same town hall meeting.

“We have not treated indigenous peoples as partners and stewards of this land.”

The Indian Act does not recognise hereditary indigenous chiefs, although they do often serve on elected councils, and the two groups work together on community-wide projects.

” We are hereditary chiefs ,” Chief Na’Moks told local media recently in British Columbia, and, referring to the route through which the pipeline would pass, he said “we have control of this land.”

“What’s called the hereditary system is the historic legal and political and economic system of the Wet’suwet’ens, which was in place for thousands and thousands of years before Europeans came to what became Canada,” says Val Napoleon at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

The decision

A federal Supreme Court ruling in 1997 gave indigenous people title over their own traditional lands which had not been ceded to the government.

This gave hope to First Nation communities across Canada which had been campaigning to protect their lands from developers.

Tensions have remained in some areas over precisely which indigenous representatives have these rights in Canada.

It’s a complex issue as indigenous leadership structures vary across the country.

But the forthcoming ruling by the Supreme Court of British Columbia will have important implications for the future of the Coastal GasLink pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory.

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Reality Check branding

Domestic maids and other women in India's informal sectors are particularly vulnerable

#MeToo” The women left behind in India:

India’s #MeToo campaign has taken off in fits and starts but it has still not touched the lives of millions of poor, vulnerable women who work in informal jobs, writes professor Sreeparna Chattopadhyay.

Meena (her name has been changed on request) is a 45-year-old domestic worker in the southern city of Bangalore. And she is a survivor of sexual harassment in the workplace.

She cooks and cleans in three different homes, earning around 6,000 rupees ($84; $64) a month. She used to earn nearly three times as much. But she lost her job in several homes after she accused one of her employers of sexually harassing her.

Meena said the harassment started after she borrowed 100,000 rupees for her older daughter’s wedding from a couple in their early 70s. She had been working in their house for three years by then.

She alleged the man would initially try and brush past her while she was sweeping or mopping the floor. Sometimes, she said, he would try and touch her casually or even tug on her sari.

Illustration
Scattered surveys of female workers in different parts of the country tell an incomplete but important story

His wife, Meena said, was often asleep and didn’t seem to know about her husband’s inappropriate behaviour.

Meena said she tried to resist his advances.

But one evening his wife locked herself in the bedroom and went to sleep. That day, she alleged, he grabbed her and tried to pull her onto the sofa.

Despite his age he was strong she said, but fortunately not stronger than her. She managed to push him away, and flee the house never to return.

Meena did not file a police complaint because she assumed no-one would believe her. But then the couple started pressurising her to return the money she had borrowed, failing which they wanted her to return to work to pay off her debt. At first, they threatened her over the phone. Then, she alleged, they sent men to her home to intimidate her.

The wife also blamed her for dressing “provocatively” and “tempting” her husband.

Illustration
Given their economic and social vulnerability, informal workers are less likely to report offences against them

Meena said she was scared, depressed and did not know what to do. She could not pay off her debt in full and returning to work in their home was not an option.

In one of the other houses that she worked in, she felt comfortable enough to share her experience. This employer put her in touch with a domestic workers’ union and another organisation that works on violence against women in Bangalore.

The union representative spoke to the elderly couple and threatened police action if they did not stop harassing Meena.

Meena had some money saved and decided to use it to pay off as much of the debt as she could.

Domestic workers protested in Mumbai against actor Shiney Ahuja, who was allegedly raped his 18-year-old maid.
Domestic workers’ groups have been protesting for years for more benefits

Her tribulations ended but she still struggles. Her daughter suffers from cerebral palsy and needs constant care, so she spends a significant portion of her savings taking her to school every day because she can’t walk by herself. She is entitled to a disability allowance from the government but the payments are not regular.

The incident also scarred Meena – she had nightmares, was afraid to take a job near the home of her previous employers and experienced shame and guilt.

Informal workers like Meena – women employed as domestic workers, construction labour, garment workers and vendors – make up 94% of India’s female workforce. But their experiences of sexual harassment or assault rarely come to light.

And data is also hard to come by – scattered surveys of female workers in different parts of the country tell an incomplete but important story.

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Read more about the #MeToo movement in India

2012 study by Oxfam of formal and informal workers in eight Indian cities showed that 17% of women were sexually harassed at work – the most vulnerable being female labourers (29%) and domestic workers (23%).

survey of domestic workers in 2018 in and around India’s capital, Delhi, found that 29% of them were sexually harassed at work.

These figures are low compared to studies from the formal sector where rates of reported harassment range from 88% in the BPO(Business Process Outsourcing) sector to 57% in the health sector.

But this is because given their economic and social vulnerability, informal workers are less likely to report offences. Even if they do, these cases may never lead to justice for the victims because they may be eventually withdrawn fearing reprisals.

Tanushree Dutta says the incident forced her to leave acting
Tanushree Dutta says the incident forced her to leave acting

There have been a few cases that have grabbed national attention.

In 2017 for instance, domestic workers and their families stormed a posh apartment complex in Delhi alleging that a domestic worker had been beaten up by her employers; in 2011, a Bollywood actor was convicted for raping his maid.

But these examples are few and far between.

The #MeToo movement in India, which was preceded by LoSha a crowd sourced list of Indian male academics who allegedly harassed students or colleagues  has named several high-profile figures, including filmmakers, actors, artists and journalists.

But the face of #MeToo – both in India and globally – has been an urban, educated, articulate and privileged woman; the experiences of marginalised women are notably absent.

While some of the more critical voices have pointed to the fact that Dalit (formerly known as untouchables) women and poor women have been left out of this movement, these voices have remained on the fringe.

Bhanwari Devi in the centre
Bhanwari Devi (centre) was raped by upper caste men in 1992

This is ironic because it was the gang rape of a Dalit development worker, Bhanwari Devi, in Rajasthan state that led to India’s first law against sexual harassment at the workplace.

India’s sexual harassment laws mandate that in the absence of organisations, a Local Complaints Committee (LCC) headed by a district magistrate should address these complaints. But most cities or districts have no such committees.

The #MeToo movement in India has several supporters with social, economic and cultural capital and has now found a voice in mainstream media. But we are yet to see them aligning closely with informal workers’ rights groups.

It is time for us to move from #MeToo to #UsAll.

Sreeparna Chattopadhyay is a senior research scientist the the Public Heath Foundation of India.

Governor Northam: I am not the person in that photo

How school yearbooks have the power to destroy lives

There are many ways to bring down an opponent, but up until a few months ago, who would have thought a school yearbook would be quite such an effective tool?

But time and time again, old school yearbooks are being dug up and thrown open – revealing treasure troves of comments and pictures the implicated would have preferred remained buried.

Just look at the way the words of Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s entry in his 1983 high school yearbook was poured over. Proof, his detractors argued, he was a liar. Proof, therefore, he should not be confirmed to the highest court in the US.

Then there is the picture on Ralph Northam’s page in his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The photo – a man in blackface, and another dressed as the Ku Klux Klan – is proof he is a racist, his detractors argue. Proof he should no longer be governor of Virginia.

In both cases, the men argue, they were misrepresented. Mr Kavanuagh said the words in his yearbook were being misinterpreted while Gov Northam said it was not him in the offending picture.

Either way, it didn’t really matter. School yearbooks, it seemed, are no longer just a fun way of finding out what a film star looked like before they were famous. School yearbooks, it turns out, can destroy lives.

Extracts of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh"s high school yearbook are displayed as he testifies before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
Brett Kavanaugh’s yearbook entry was held up during his confirmation hearing

It didn’t take long for newspapers and political opponents to start flicking through old yearbooks in search of more scandal after Gov Northam’s blackface photograph emerged.

The tradition is more than 200 years old, although the first “official” one – snappily called “Profiles of Part of the Class Graduated at Yale College, September, 1806” – had silhouettes rather than pictures.

According to a 2010 NPR report, by 1995 US colleges were producing some 2,400 yearbooks annually. Add to that the high schools, and the sheer potential for scandalous entries becomes all too clear.

In the last week alone, the Daily Mail has uncovered pictures of people wearing KKK costumes “lynching” a man in blackface in the North Carolina governor’s 1979 yearbook – although there is “no suggestion” Roy Cooper appeared in any of the tome’s offending images.

The New York Times trawled through more of Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbooks to find a catalogue of sexist and racist incidents. A Guardian report notes editions of Corks and Curls, the University of Virginia’s yearbook, at least before the 1970s, were full of more of the same.

But you don’t have to be famous to be caught up in the furore over their contents. Those who are identifiable in the various controversial images have found themselves named and shamed in local media.

The lasting impact on their careers, and their reputations, is as yet unclear.

In fact, you don’t even have to have even left high school to find yourself in serious trouble over your yearbook photograph: look at the case of Hunter Osborn, an Arizona senior who ended up facing 69 counts of indecent exposure back in 2016 .

Why? Because he had exposed himself during a team photo for a dare – the same photo which was later included in the high school yearbook.

So, the day the teenager should have been at the prom, he found himself under arrest, wearing an ankle monitor, facing the possibility of a long sentence and having to sign onto the sex offenders register.

The enormity was not lost on his fellow students.

“It’s something that’s going to be on his record for the rest of his life,” Brooke Bodrero told local television. “The consequences are a little harsh.”

Thousands of people agreed: a petition to “free Hunter Osborn” – got almost 7,000 signatures. The petition writer, Alex Labban, put it simply: “Hunter needs to be held accountable for his actions but that doesn’t mean ruining his life!”

Prosecutors eventually decided to drop the charges – helped by the fact not one of the 69 “victims” of the alleged crime were actually prepared to press charges.

But could this all soon be a thing of the past? As demand grows for yearbooks in countries like the UK and India, the popularity of school yearbooks declines in the US. According to NPR, only 1,000 yearbooks were published by colleges in 2010. The advent of the internet and social media have no doubt harmed their popularity.

The aforementioned Corks and Curls closed in 2009 because there was “not enough funding or student interest”, The Guardian reported.

But then there is also potentially the creeping realisation that much of what has been included over the years is, frankly, concerning.

Five years before Gov Northam’s yearbook came to light, his alma Mata’s current head, Dr Richard Homan ended the practice. He was, he said, concerned about how the 2013 edition – complete with Confederate flags and outfits – would be perceived.

Protestors rally against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outside of the governors mansion in downtown Richmond, Virginia on February 4, 2019.
Protesters demand Ralph Northam stand down

But then again, students today don’t need to wait for their school yearbook to be uncovered for their careers and reputations to be damaged. The internet may have removed the need for yearbooks, but it means many of the photographs you may later regret can go viral – instantly.

Take the boys from Baraboo High School in Wisconsin who were pictured apparently making the “Sieg Heil” gesture , The school district later said it could not establish what the boys were truly intending to do, CNN reported.

All the same, people remember that picture – and it could well follow them around, as Stefanie Niles, president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, noted last year.

“Everything has a reverberating effect,” she said. “I think a lot of those young men will have a variety of responses from the institutions that were considering them.”

John Sudworth reports from Xinjiang, where all filming and reporting by foreign media is tightly controlled

Turkey demands China close camps after reports of musician’s death”:

Turkey has called on China to close its detention camps following the reported death of a renowned musician from the ethnic Uighur minority.

Abdurehim Heyit is thought to have been serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained.

A statement from Turkey’s foreign ministry said they were being subjected to “torture” in “concentration camps”.

China says the facilities are re-education camps.

The Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic-speaking minority based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China, which has come under intense surveillance by Chinese authorities.

What did Turkey say?

In a statement issued on Saturday, foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: “It is no longer a secret that more than a million Uighur Turks exposed to arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing” in prisons, adding that those not detained were “under great pressure”.

“The reintroduction of concentration camps in the 21st century and the systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities against the Uighur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity,” Mr Aksoy said.

He also said the reports of Heyit’s death “further strengthened the Turkish public’s reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang” and called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “to take effective steps to end the human tragedy” there.

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China’s hidden camps

Beijing claims that the detention camps in Xinjiang are “vocational education centres” designed to help rid the region of terrorism.

Speaking last October, the top Chinese official in Xinjiang, Shohrat Zakir, said “trainees” in the camps were grateful for the opportunity to “reflect on their mistakes”.

Rights groups say Muslims are being detained indefinitely without charge for infractions like refusing to give a DNA sample, speaking in a minority language, or arguing with officials.

What do we know about Heyit’s fate?

Amnesty International said it was very concerned about reports of his death, which has not been officially confirmed.

Heyit was a celebrated player of the Dutar, a two-stringed instrument that is notoriously hard to master. At one time, he was venerated across China. He studied music in Beijing and later performed with national arts troupes.

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Heyit’s detention reportedly stemmed from a song he performed titled Fathers. It takes its lyrics from a Uighur poem calling on younger generations to respect the sacrifices of those before them.

But three words in the lyrics – “martyrs of war” – apparently led Chinese authorities to conclude that Heyit presented a terrorist threat.

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Who are the Uighurs?

Uighur men read newspapers in Xinjiang (2015)

The Uighurs make up about 45% of the population in Xinjiang.

They see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations, and their language is similar to Turkish.

In recent decades, large numbers of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) have migrated to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.

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Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south.

Elizabeth Warren: 'This is the fight of our lives... to build an America that works for everyone'

Elizabeth Warren formally launches 2020 White House bid”:

US Senator Elizabeth Warren has formally launched her bid to stand for the White House in 2020 with a speech in which she promised to tackle economic inequality.

She is the latest Democrat to launch a campaign to become the party’s presidential candidate.

Even before she had taken to the stage, President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign team had responded calling her a fraud.

It is the first such intervention to target a possible Trump contender.

“The American people will reject her dishonest campaign and socialist ideas like the Green New Deal, that will raise taxes, kill jobs and crush America’s middle-class,” Mr Trump’s campaign manager Brad Pascale wrote.

He also accused her of “impersonating and disrespecting” Native Americans “to advance her professional career,” referring to a DNA test she took to prove her Cherokee ancestry. Mr Trump had long been calling her “fake Pocahontas”.

Ms Warren has apologised for taking the test.

In her speech on Saturday in Lawrence, in her home state of Massachusetts, Ms Warren called Mr Trump “the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America, a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else”.

She added: “This is the fight of our lives, the fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone.”

A star in the progressive left

In the shadow of long-unused smoke stacks, at the site of a famous factory strike more than a century ago, Elizabeth Warren formally launched her presidential bid.

She used the backdrop to highlight what she sees as the plight of an American working class that has been left behind by rapacious big business and indifferent government.

Despite sub-zero temperatures and a blustery wind, an estimated crowd of several thousand turned out to hear the Massachusetts senator pledge to fight corruption in Washington, level the economic playing field and reform the US democratic process.

Warren enters a crowded presidential field, as Democrats tell pollsters they want to find the candidate most able to beat Donald Trump.

There were some in Ms Warren’s campaign kick-off crowd who expressed concern that her struggles to explain her past claims of Native American heritage could make her vulnerable to attack.

Ms Warren has long been a star in the progressive left, however, and she has already built a formidable nationwide campaign. She has just under a year to make her case, before voters start rendering their judgement.

Who is Elizabeth Warren?

  • Senator for Massachusetts since 2012
  • Born in Oklahoma, she now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Former Harvard law professor
  • Co-author, with her daughter, of two books about household economics
  • On the left of the Democratic party
  • She switched from the Republican party to the Democrats in the 1990s
  • Proposed a 2% wealth tax on those with $50m or more
  • The phrase “Nevertheless, she persisted”, used about her after a debate in 2017, was picked up as a feminist slogan

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