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27 Jan

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What happened at Auschwitz? – video

Tuesday 27 January is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and thus also the end of the deadliest act of mass murder in a single location in human history. As survivors prepare to visit the site of their agony, many for the last time, we present this short explainer

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Auschwitz survivors at the infamous gate to the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp

Auschwitz survivors at the infamous gate to the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

Auschwitz survivors: ‘We felt a responsibility for each one’

Painstakingly thought through support offered to the fewer than 300 survivors expected at ceremony to mark 70th anniversary of camp’s liberation

When well over 1,000 Auschwitz survivors gathered a decade ago for the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the death and extermination camp, many struggled to cope with the freezing temperatures. The blankets they huddled in were inadequate to keep out the chill wind that swept across the vast complex. Many discarded the blankets anyway, considering them a display of weakness after everything they had been through.

Ten years on, and with numbers of Holocaust survivors having dwindled so drastically that now fewer than 300 are expected at Tuesday’s ceremony, this time there has been a bigger effort made to ensure the men and women, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, are as well looked after as possible. From the massive security operation involving officials from Poland, Israel and the United States, down to what to give the survivors to eat, how to keep them warm and as emotionally and mentally supported as possible, the effort has been painstakingly thought through…………….

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Obama challenges India on women’s rights and religious tolerance

President speaks out in Delhi on importance of empowering women in India in wake of recent high-profile sexual attacks

Barack Obama challenged India’s record on religious tolerance and women’s rights on Tuesday in a parting speech to students in Delhi that contrasted with the at-times saccharin feel of a state visit designed to highlight the closeness of the two countries.

Though careful to acknowledge inequality in the US, the president devoted a substantial part of his speech to a lecture on the importance of empowering women in society and addressed a recent spate of sexual attacks in the emerging south Asian power.

“We know from experience that nations are more successful when their women are successful,” said Obama. “These are facts. So if nations really want to succeed in today’s global economy, they can’t simply ignore the talents of half of their people.”………………

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Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis

One of Yanis Varoufakis’s top priorities will be to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s €240bn bailout deal. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

New Greek PM Alexis Tsipras appoints radical economist to new government

Greece set to clash with EU as economics post goes to radical who described austerity measures as ‘fiscal waterboarding’

Live blog: Greek prime minister chooses new cabinet

Greece’s new leftist prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, is set to announce his anti-bailout government, with the post of economics minister – chief negotiator with the country’s international creditors – going to a radical economist who has described austerity programmes as “fiscal waterboarding”.

With Greece set on a collision course with Europe over the Syriza-led government’s plans to reverse draconian belt-tightening and renegotiate the country’s massive debts, Yanis Varoufakis, who calls himself an “accidental economist”, confirmed in a radio interview that he would take up the key position……………………..

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Other News

   Innocent US prisoners exonerated in 2014 at highest levels in 25 years

o    Hopes raised for release of Japanese journalist held by Isis

o    US charges Russian ‘spies’ suspected of trying to recruit New Yorkers

o    Analysis Auschwitz ceremony will be the last for many survivors

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