BBC News - Home
The latest stories from the Home section of the BBC News web site.
Russia in new Ukraine attack threat
Russia will respond to any attack on its interests in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says, drawing a parallel with the 2008 Georgia war.
Hamas-Fatah announce reconciliation
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas announce a reconciliation deal, saying they will seek to form a unity government in the coming weeks.
Madeleine police probe 18 break-ins
UK police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance are looking at 18 potentially linked cases involving a lone intruder breaking into holiday villas in the Algarve, Portugal.
Coulson 'did not cover anything up'
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson tells the phone-hacking trial he did not "cover anything up" following the arrest of the paper's royal editor Clive Goodman in 2006.
Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea
Reputation of sunken South Korean ferry' captain hinges on the moments last week when he delayed an evacuation and apparently left the ferry on one of the first rescue boats, leaving over 300 people missing or dead.
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Hamas, Fatah announce unity govt
The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to implement a unity pact, both sides announced in a joint news conference.
Russia issues fresh Ukraine attack threat
Russia issued a blunt warning Wednesday it would respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as pro-Kremlin rebels in the restive east of the country braced for a new military offensive by Kiev.
Afghan election result delayed due to fraud probe
Afghanistan's presidential election result has been delayed by two days due to fraud investigations and will now be released on Saturday, officials said on Wednesday as they vowed to sift out fake votes.
One dead as violent protests erupt in Rio
One person was shot dead as violent protests erupted near Rio's famed Copacabana beach after a dancer was killed allegedly by police, less than two months before the World Cup in Brazil.
US threatens more sanctions on Russia
US secretary of state John Kerry told Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in a telephone call on Tuesday that Washington would impose more sanctions on Russia if tensions did not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine.
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2014 NBA playoffs: Wizards head home with 2-0 series lead on the Bulls after win in overtime
CHICAGO — The Washington Wizards had to wait six years to get back to the postseason. But they only needed two games to really get introduced to playoff basketball, with more physical play, short tempers and extreme rallies. In the intense cauldron of United Center — a place that has devoured more seasoned units — the Wizards refused to relent after watching a 17-point lead turn into a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and didn’t crumble when they were betrayed by missed free throws and...
Kiev orders military moves in eastern Ukraine; Russians threatens retaliation
HORLIVKA, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government Wednesday ordered the resumption of military operations against pro-Russian militants in the east after a local political supporter was kidnapped and killed, and Russia warned that it would retaliate if its citizens or interests were attacked.
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Sargent: Morning Plum: Conventional wisdom about 2014 takes another hit
The Upshot has just released a batch of new polls of key Senate races that really scrambles the conventional wisdom about 2014 once again.
The polls, however, do suggest that Democrats do continue to have a serious Obamacare problem, though it is not what it appears.
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The flu is back. (It never really goes away.)
Here’s a tip for those who managed to duck the flu’s first punch: Watch out for the next one.
Many communities are experiencing an increase in flu, part of a second wave that is hitting some regions of the country particularly hard, health officials say. Most of the effects are in the northeast — New England, New York and New Jersey — but some parts of the mid-Atlantic are seeing increased flu activity.
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IRS gave bonuses to employees who owed back taxes. And that’s not all.
So, where do you work? That’s a question Internal Revenue Service employees must dread. Besides the fact that nobody like paying taxes, the agency’s reputation has suffered in the past year because of accusations that it subjected applications for tax exempt status from tea party groups to greater scrutiny.
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U.S. to partially resume military aid to Egypt
The United States has decided to resume delivery of Apache helicopters to Egypt, the Pentagon announced late Tuesday, backtracking on a decision officials made last summer following the country’s military coup and its violent aftermath.
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Nats Journal: Albert Pujols hits career home run No. 500 off Taylor Jordan
In the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Angels, fans at Nationals Park witnessed a moment of baseball history. Albert Pujols hit the 500th home run of his career, a towering two-run shot into the center field seats off Nationals right-handed starter Taylor Jordan. He became the 26th player in history to hit 500 home runs.
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Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan
TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.
U.S., euro zone activity up; China decline slows
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April and the euro zone private sector started the second quarter on its strongest footing since 2011, while the pace of decline in Chinese factory activity slowed, surveys showed on Wednesday.
U.S. factory activity expands in April, pace stalls
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April though the rate of growth was slightly lower than expected as inventories fell, but factory output growth hit its fastest pace in three years, an industry report showed on Wednesday.
Hole in Afghan budget stirs unease as West starts packing bags
KABUL (Reuters) - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go home.
Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery
PERTH, Australia (Reuters) - Australia and Malaysia vowed on Wednesday to keep searching for a missing Malaysian plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft and an undersea drone neared the end of its first full mission.
'Bridgegate' scandal threatens next World Trade Center tower
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The "Bridgegate" scandal that rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration earlier this year is threatening a deal that would allow developer Larry Silverstein to finish building the next World Trade Center skyscraper.
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Russia's Lavrov Warns Ukraine
Any attack on Russians in Ukraine will be perceived as an attack against Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying, as Ukraine called for a renewal of a stalled military operation against pro-Russian forces.
Obama-Abe Meeting Could Set Trip's Tone
Obama arrived in Japan for the first state visit by an American leader in nearly two decades, kicking off a weeklong tour that will give the U.S. a chance to reassert itself in Asia.
Korean Ferry's Cargo Was Over Limit
Prosecutors expanded their probe into the owner of the sunken South Korean ferry as inspectors confirmed the cargo weight was three times the recommended maximum.
Thailand Holds Rate Steady
Thailand's central bank held interest rates steady despite a fast decelerating economy caused by ongoing political tensions.
Australia to Take 'Black Boxes,' if Found
Australia has received a draft agreement prepared by Malaysian officials outlining plans to handle wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, while authorities examine objects that washed ashore in Australia.
Battles Rage in South Sudan
Fighting in South Sudan was escalating, the government said, following rebel advances into oil-producing towns that led to widespread civilian deaths.
China Lifts Refining Ban
China's environmental watchdog lifted a nearly eight-month ban on new projects at the country's two largest refining companies after it determined they met pollution targets last year.
China Factory Activity Still Weak
A still-weak but relatively stable outlook for factory activity in China could ease pressure on Beijing to step up targeted stimulus measures.
Stories from Slate
Work Suffering? Get a Hobby!
Do you want to be better during work hours? Concentrate on your free time creativity. A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology indicates that dedicating time to a hobby–be it crocheting or model building–can dramatically increase professional productivity.
The Easiest Thing to Forget
Slate music critic Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love was first published at the end of 2007 as part of the 33⅓ series of books on albums. Where most of the books in the series were tributes in one way or another to records generally agreed to be important to pop and rock history, this one was a look at the contrast between the mass global popularity of Céline Dion and the equally massive critical hostility toward her music—a case study in why people argue so much about taste. It quickly bec...
Rethinking Spring Cleaning
Of all the emotions that can hobble spring cleaning, the worst might be sentimentality. I know, because I’m currently struggling with a bout of it myself. On my bedside table there is, inexplicably, a plush hoot-owl with a scarf and beanie hat that has been doing little except collecting lint and dust and cat saliva since I brought him home. In short, my hoot-owl is adding mess to my house, and if I aim to practice what I am about to preach, I should dispose of him immediately. For it is not ...
Burned by Bureaucracy
The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power. The Honda Insight was about to become the first hybrid electric vehicle sold in the United States. Newt Gingrich had just resigned his speakership, and Sasha Obama had not been born. The Oxford English Dictionary accepted the word “bling.” Ricky Martin was on top of the ch...
Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race?
A few weeks ago, OkCupid, the popular “freemium” dating service, started offering its paid subscribers a very cool new tool. Rather than just sort through potential dates by using familiar filters like age and height, you could use the answers OkCupid members gave to various questions, such as “Do you like to watch sports on television?” or, my personal favorite, “Do you find British comedies entertaining?”
What Will Become of the Library?
Around the turn of the 20th century—a golden age for libraries in America—the Snead Bookshelf Company of Louisville, Ky., developed a new system for large-stack library shelving. Snead’s multifloor stack systems can still be seen in many important libraries built in that era, for instance at Harvard, Columbia, the Vatican, and at Bryant Park in New York City. Besides storing old bundles of bound paper, Snead’s stacks provided load-bearing structural support to these venerable buildings. To re...
Just Say No
The following is based on Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family, out in May 2014 from Oxford University Press.
“Common Core,” the name for a set of national education standards, is the latest rallying cry for right-wing activists. Derided as “Obamacore,” it’s been attacked as a government attempt to usurp local curriculums and impose liberal values on conservative communities. Glenn Beck calls it a plot to turn children into “cogs” under a police state, and several Republican politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the Obama administration for supporting the standards.
What’s Scarier Than Truthiness in Politics?
Truthiness (troo-thee-nis) n.: The quality of seeming to be true according to one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like.
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What next for Manchester United after David Moyes? live!
- The latest reaction and news to David Moyes' sacking
- Moyes says club need a 'fundamental rebuilding'
- Five steps to finding a successor to David Moyes
- United set to beat Chelsea in £30m deal for Luke Shaw
- Paul Wilson: Time for Manchester United to get real
- Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Top-notch mixture of fiction, straw-clutching and self-sacrifice here from Mark Judd: "Ive never watched Game of Thrones so know l...
Why I have little sympathy for the Buddha tattoo tourist
There's no excuse for tourists getting in trouble in Sri Lanka for cultural insensitivity just do a little research before travelling
The arrest and pending deportation of a 37-year-old British nurse, Naomi Coleman, from Sri Lanka for sporting a tattoo of a meditating Buddha on her right arm has once again raised the issue of tourists being woefully unaware of religious and cultural sensitivities in places they visit.
Coleman was still being held a day after her arrest and deportation order. Sh...
Inside the giant panda research centre - in pictures
Photographer Ami Vitale was allowed exclusive access into China's giant panda research centre as it trains pandas to be released into the wild. While only about 1,600 giant pandas exist in the wild, the centre has bred over 300 babies by mimicking conditions of their natural habitats and is teaching them to survive once out in the wild. Zhang Xiang became the first female panda to be released into the wild. These pictures show the extraordinary lengths the keepers go to
How do I become ... a ...
PLO and Hamas agree landmark unity pact
The move, announced at a joint news conference by both sides, has aim of forming unity government within five weeks
Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation and Hamas on Wednesday agreed to implement a unity pact, with the aim of forming a government within five weeks.
The move, announced at a joint news conference by both sides, includes the intention to hold national elections six months after a vote of confidence by the Palestinian parliament.
Woman who said she had agoraphobia but led 'globetrotting lifestyle' jailed
Tracy Johnson, who told benefits staff she could not go outside when she was actually abroad, jailed for falsely claiming benefits
A woman who claimed she was trapped at home in the UK by agoraphobia but in fact led a lavish globetrotting lifestyle has been jailed for falsely claiming benefits.
Tracy Johnson, 52, told benefits staff that her condition meant she could not go outside while, in fact, she was visiting countries including India, the US and Argentina, where she worked as a tour guide...
People of Scotland vote yes, and set us English free
Instead of condemning us to perpetual Tory rule, independence may reinvigorate Labour and bring us the devolution we crave Scottish referendum: yes, it could happen
As the debate over Scottish independence hots up, it is becoming clear that some voters in Scotland are worried that a yes vote in September will condemn the English to never-ending rule by the Tories. While I appreciate their concern, especially on St George's Day, the argument that Scots must vote no in order to save the English ...
Michael Phelps heads back to competitive swimming in Arizona
The American has not raced since London 2012 28-year-old Phelps returned to training last Autumn
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, will make his return to competitive swimming on Thursday.
The American, whose 22 Olympic medals include 18 golds, has not raced since London 2012. But he is among the entry for the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona, with the 28-year-old set to be joined by fellow Olympic medallists Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky.
The top 10 crime scenes in art
From Magritte's assassin to Caravaggio's cardsharps and Warhol's unforgettable take on race riots of the 60s, here are the best artworks that tackle jealousy, murder and intrigue head on The top 10 drinkers in art The top 10 female nudes in art The top 10 male nudes in art The top 10 weirdest artworks ever
The crime in this troubling work of art is not being perpetrated by "rioters", but by the police. As demonstrators take to the streets for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, a police offic...
Northern Ireland activist fears UDA reprisal for helping to convict loyalist
Raymond McCord says Ulster Defence Association may try to kill him for testifying against man accused of Finucane murder
An anti-paramilitary campaigner in Northern Ireland has said he fears the Ulster Defence Association may try to kill him after he gave evidence that helped convict a loyalist who has been accused of killing the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
Raymond McCord, who has fought to expose the violence of loyalist terror groups since his son was murdered in 1999, was the state's chi...
Male workers at Welsh university win equal pay claim
University of Wales, Trinity St David concedes claim by workmen who were paid less than women on same pay grade
A group of men paid less than their female counterparts have won their equal pay claim in a landmark case.
Around 18 workmen including carpenters, plumbers and caretakers took the University of Wales, Trinity St David (UWTSD) to an employment tribunal claiming they were paid less than female counterparts on the same pay grade, such as secretaries and office workers.
SPIEGEL ONLINE - International
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The Propaganda War: Opposition Sings Kremlin Tune on Ukraine
The propaganda war in the Ukraine crisis has spawned a renewal Russian nationalism, with members of the opposition and the intellectual class suddenly praising President Putin. Many in Russia are accepting the Kremlin's official line uncritically.
Curse of Cybersex: The Lost Children of Cebu
Cybersex is a big business in a city on the Filipino island of Cebu. To escape poverty, parents force their children to strip in front of webcams. City officials are fighting back in an attempt to prevent sexual exploitation from destroying a generation.
Practice for a Russian Invasion: Ukrainian Civilians Take Up Arms
It remains unclear what Russia might have in store for eastern Ukraine, but nationalist groups are preparing for the worst. The right-wing scene in the country is varied and complex, but one thing is certain: It is attracting an increasing number of followers.
Out of Ammo?: The Eroding Power of Central Banks
Since the financial crisis, central banks have slashed interest rates, purchased vast quantities of sovereign bonds and bailed out banks. Now, though, their influence appears to be on the wane with measures producing paltry results. Do they still have control?
Europe's African Refugee Crisis: Is the Boat Really Full?
Since Italy began rescuing Africans from the Mediterranean after the last major tragedy in October, the number of refugees coming to Europe has risen dramatically. Fears of economic immigrants could become a top issue in Europe's spring election.
'A Partner for Russia': Europe's Far Right Flirts with Moscow
Right-wing populists stand to gain seats in the approaching European Parliament elections -- which is good news for Moscow. Russia and the European right have been courting each other recently as mainstream Brussels has kept Moscow at arm's length.
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Brace for budget pain
Joe Hockey has given his most direct indication of the scope and severity of his first budget.
Bentley activists given marching orders
Anti-coal seam gas protesters in the state's north are on a collision path with police after vowing to defy a move by the local council to shut down their camp by Saturday.
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Actress Nyong'o Is People's 'Most Beautiful' Woman
The actress who received an Academy Award for her role in "12 Years a Slave" has been named People magazine's "Most Beautiful" woman in the world for 2014.The U.S. magazine announced Wednesday that it had chosen Lupita Nyong'o for the honor, and displayed the actress on its cover.The 31-year-old Nyong'o was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya. She gained fame last year for her role as the slave "Patsey" in "12 Years a Slave," and won the...
Actress Lupita Nyong'o Named People's Most Beautiful Woman
It's been a big year for Lupita Nyong'o. After winning an Oscar and a lucrative advertising deal the actress was named on Wednesday as the world's most beautiful woman for 2014 by People magazine.
Nyong'o, who took home this year's Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role as the slave Patsey in director Steve McQueen's acclaimed film “12 Years a Slave,” said she “never dreamed” she would be praised for her looks and land on the cover of the...
Ebola Death Toll Rises in West Africa
A medical relief worker at an Ebola treatment center in Guinea says new patients continue to be admitted on a daily basis.
Jonas Hagensen, of Doctors Without Borders, says many of the people receiving treatment at the center in Conakry know how they were exposed.
"A lot of the people who come into our centers, they actually know how they had been infected because they had been in close contact with a person that they know had had Ebola."
In a VOA interview, Hagensen said...
Pakistan's Defense Ministry Seeks TV Station Shutdown
Pakistan's Defense Ministry is calling for the shutdown of a leading Pakistani television station, accusing it of broadcasting "false" and "scandalous" reports.The Committee to Protect Journalists says the ministry has filed a complaint against Geo Television with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on its coverage of the assassination attempt on Geo anchor Hamid Mir. Mir was shot and wounded by assailants on motorcycles April 19 while he...
Rival Palestinian Groups Announce Reconciliation Agreement
Rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah have agreed to implement a new unity deal.In a joint press conference Wednesday, officials said the agreement entails the formation of a joint interim government within five weeks, followed by general elections in six months.The rival sides have announced similar agreements in the past, but have failed to implement them.The secular Fatah movement is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and rules the West Bank. The militant group Hamas won a...
Ukraine Formally Calls Off Easter Truce with Pro-Russian Separatists
Ukraine has formally called off the Easter truce against pro-Russian separatists in the east and says anti-terrorist operations are on again, while Russia threatens to retaliate.First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema told reporters during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday that what he calls "appropriate steps" will be taken and that results will be seen shortly.Yarema said Ukraine had received assurances from the United States that it would not be left alone to face Russian...
Cowboys, Indians Protest Keystone Pipeline
An alliance of Native American tribes, ranchers, farmers, cowboys, and environmentalists is staging a six-day rally in Washington, D.C., to protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline project, a 2,700-kilometer TransCanada pipeline which will move bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
The protesters say they are worried about the project's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety of their aboriginal and...
Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues
Thailand's constitutional court has given Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges. The case comes amid continuing uncertainty over when to hold a new election to end the country's bitter political power struggle.
Yingluck faces possible dismissal from office in two verdicts expected within weeks by the constitutional court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Wednesday, the Constitutional Court...