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16 Dec

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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pakistan school

More than 120 people killed in Pakistan Taliban school siege, says official – live updates

  • Taliban gunmen have attacked an army-run school in Peshawar

  • Death toll has risen to 126, says official

  • Attackers and hostages still believed to be inside

Read the latest summary

Summary

  • 126 people have been killed and many more injured in an attack by the Pakistani Taliban on an army-run school in Peshawar, a regional official said.

  • The Pakistani army said it had killed five terrorists and was searching for more. There are still believed to be hostages inside the school. A number of explosions have been heard from inside the building

  • The Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has arrived in Peshawar. He called the attack a national tragedy. “These are my children and it is my loss,” he said.

  • Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, said it attacked the army-run school “because the government is targeting our families and females”.

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Pegida demonstration in Dresden, Germany

Pegida supporters, seen here in Dresden, include neo-Nazi elements as well as ordinary Germans with concerns about immigration. Photograph: Jens Meyer/AP

Estimated 15,000 people join ‘pinstriped Nazis’ on march in Dresden

Far-right group Pegida holds ‘Islamisation’ protest, using slogan from 1989 campaign against East German governmentPinstripe Nazis’ show the temperature of the immigration debate needs to be reduced German town tricks neo-Nazis into raising thousands of euros for anti-extremist charityIts members have been dubbed the “pinstriped Nazis” and they refer to their demonstrations as “evening strolls” through German cities. But on Monday night, an estimated 15,000 people joined Pegida, or Patriotic Europeans Against Islamisation of the West, in a march through Dresden carrying banners bearing slogans such as “Zero tolerance towards criminal asylum seekers”, “Protect our homeland” and “Stop the Islamisation”.Lutz Bachmann, the head of Pegida, a nascent anti-foreigner campaign group, led the crowds, either waving or draped in German flags, in barking chants of “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”, the slogan adopted by protesters in the historic “Monday demonstrations” against the East German government in the runup to the fall of the Berlin Wall…………………

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Rouble currency exchange

Currency exchange rates displayed on a street in Moscow. Photograph: Tass/Barcroft Media

Russians must get used to new way of life after rouble crash, says bank chief

Currency hits historic lows after interest rate hike to 17% designed to halt fall

The head of Russia’s Central Bank warned Russians on Tuesday morning that they should get used to a new way of life, as the country’s embattled currency continued to plummet. After a brief rally, the rouble hit new historic lows on Tuesday, just hours after an overnight rise in interest rates designed to halt its fall.“We have to learn to live in a different zone, to orient ourselves more towards our own sources of financing, and to give a chance to import substitution,” said Elvira Nabiullina, the chair of the Central Bank. She said the interest rate decision had been taken to stem the negative effects of the falling rouble.The Central Bank announced the dramatic hike in interest rates, from 10.5% to 17%, after a late-night meeting behind closed doors. Analysts were divided over the move, with some suggesting it was painful but necessary medicine and others claiming it could do further damage to the Russian economy……………….

 

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Boy Scouts of America has been ordered to pay $7m to a man for sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Boy Scouts of America has been ordered to pay $7m to a man for sexual abuse in the 1970s. Photograph: Rex/Rex

Boy Scouts of America to pay $7m in sexual abuse case

Award to man who said he was molested in Connecticut in 1970s is biggest ever against US national scouting organizationA man who says he was sexually abused by a Connecticut scout leader in the mid-1970s has won a $7m jury verdict against the Boy Scouts of America.Lawyers for the man said the decision handed down on Friday in Waterbury superior court was the largest award for compensatory damages against the Boy Scouts’ national organization. The jury also found it liable for punitive damages, with the amount to be determined by a judge………….

 

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Crime scene tape.

A crime scene. Photograph: David Goldman/AP

New Mexico man shot in back by officer in stable condition, authorities say

……..Since 2010 there have been at least 40 shootings by police officers in Albuquerque, 26 of them fatal. A Department of Justice investigation into the cultures and practices of the Albuquerque police department in April found a “pattern” of excessive and deadly force.“Albuquerque police officers often use deadly force in circumstances where there is no imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to officers or others. Instead, officers used deadly force against people who posed a minimal threat, including individuals who posed a threat only to themselves or who were unarmed,” the report said……………….

 

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frogs

Three frogs cling comically to a branch in Borneo, IndonesiaPhotograph: Harfian Herdi/Media Drum Word

The week in wildlife – in pictures

One of the world’s last northern white rhinos, a two-headed salamander tadpole and Britain’s weather bomb feature in the best of the week’s images from the natural world

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Inside the CIA

‘A week ago today, the US senate published its report into America’s use of torture on detainees after the 9/11 attacks.’ Photograph: Brooks Kraft/Corbis

The Guardian view on Britain and torture: tell the truth

Parliament must act fast to follow up the Senate report and shine a light on any UK complicity

A week ago today, the US senate published its report into America’s use of torture on detainees after the 9/11 attacks. The report has major international implications, not just US ones. From the British perspective, one aspect festers above all others. The report deals with plots affecting Britain. It digs into operations in which the UK cooperated with the US and its allies. It therefore revives a series of unanswered questions about the UK’s own precise knowledge of and role in the various plots and operations it describes. The key question is whether Britain was complicit in any operations that involved torture and, if so, in what exact ways.Those events remain a grey area. Deeply disturbing allegations have still not been answered. Part of the reason is because the Gibson inquiry, set up by David Cameron in 2010, had to be wound up in 2013 before it could provide a full account. However, British democracy still urgently needs to get to the truth. The main reason is that only the truth will suffice. But there is a political reason too. Until these questions are resolved, and if necessary are pursued in the courts, it is harder to lay suspicions to rest and prove that a page has been finally turned on any contamination of British justice by the Bush-Cheney era in America. Until that happens, the risk remains, in extreme cases, that it will feed an appetite for indefensible acts of terror and violence of the sort which paralysed Sydney over the past 24 hours………………untitledeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee2

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