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Latest news, sport and comment from the Guardian | The Guardian
Latest news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world’s leading liberal voice

Latest news, sport and comment from the Guardian | The Guardian
  • Botswana bushmen: 'If you deny us the right to hunt, you are killing us'
    The San people are reaching out to Prince Charles to help overturn new laws threatening their tribal culture

    It costs £500 a night to stay in a luxury safari camp in the Kalahari desert in Botswana. For that price, wealthy tourists get drinks, game drives and, says one tour company, an "interpretive Bushman walk with staff members who hail from the ancient Bushman clans of the area". Visitors watch half-naked men shooting bows and arrows in the sand dunes and, if they get permission, can pay to shoot giraffe, zebra and other wildlife with guns.

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  • South Korean ferry captain was not at the helm when it sank, investigators say

    Anger of missing passengers' relatives mounts as it emerges third officer was steering when the accident occurred

    The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday was not at the helm of the vessel when it capsized, investigators said on Friday as hopes dimmed for almost 300 passengers still trapped inside.

    The official death toll from the disaster, which occurred off the south-west coast of South Korea, rose to 25 after several bodies were retrieved from the sea near the wreck of the Sewol.

    As hundreds of divers, rescue boats and aircraft continued the frantic search for survivors in difficult conditions about 25 kilometres off the island of Jindo, accident investigators focused on the actions of the captain, Lee Joon-seok, and his crew.

    Officials said a junior officer was steering the ship when the accident occurred, adding that Lee, who has been criticised for apparently jumping into a rescue boat while hundreds of his passengers remained aboard, may have been in another part of the vessel.

    "He [the captain] may have been off the bridge, Park Jae-eok, an investigating official, told reporters in Mokpo, a city near the port from where the rescue operation is being directed. And the person at the helm at the time was the third officer.

    Lee, who is being questioned by police about his actions, has come under fire for apparently abandoning the ship 30 to 40 minutes after it began listing.

    Survivors and the parents of missing children have voiced anger that
    passengers were initially told to stay in their seats and cabins rather than make their way to the emergency exits.

    It emerged on Friday that the crew had not acted immediately on an order by a local transportation office to tell passengers to put on life jackets and prepare to evacuate.

    The order, from officials on Jeju, came five minutes after the accident, but the crew did not tell people to leave the ferry for at
    least another 25 minutes. Some survivors said they did not hear any instructions to abandon the ship.

    Twenty of the ships 30 crew survived, reports said.

    The ferry was carrying 475 passengers and crew on a trip from the western port of Incheon to the southern resort island of Jeju. The passengers included 325 teenagers and 15 teachers from a school near Seoul, many of whom are among the 271 still unaccounted for.

    The 6,835-tonne ferry sank about two hours after issuing a distress signal shortly before 9am on Wednesday. It is still unclear what caused the Sewol to roll onto its side and sink, but there is speculation that it either hit a submerged rock, or began to list after a sharp turn caused poorly secured cargo to shift suddenly to one side of the ship.

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  • Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

    I questioned the Russian president live on TV to get his answer on the record, not to whitewash him

    Edward Snowden defends decision to question Putin

    On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?"

    I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

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  • Edward Snowden defends decision to question Vladimir Putin on surveillance

    The NSA whistleblower says critics who accuse him of being a Kremlin patsy misinterpret his motives

    Edward Snowden: Putin must be called to account

    Edward Snowden has defended his decision to appear on live Russian television, insisting his question to Vladimir Putin on mass surveillance was designed to hold the Russian president accountable and not, as critics have suggested, an act of compliant propaganda.

    Writing for the Guardian, the whistleblower behind the National Security Agency leaks suggests he carefully framed the question to Putin, which he asked via video link in an annual televised call-in with the president on Thursday. Putin, Snowden writes, denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter.

    Snowden's question WAS softball. If he knows as much as he claims, he would've known that the wording gave Putin an easy out.

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  • Mount Everest avalanche: climbers feared missing

    Nepal authorities say about five climbers are believed to have been buried and more injured

    Officials say about five climbers are feared missing after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest and hit a route used to climb the world's highest peak.

    An official from Nepal's tourism ministry, Madhu Sudan Burlakoti, said the avalanche hit the area just below Camp 2 about 6.30am local time on Friday (2am BST).

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  • UN security council urged to target North Korean officials over atrocities

    Inquiry head Michael Kirby says leaders should be hit with sanctions and referred to international criminal court

    The United Nations security council should slap targeted sanctions on North Korean officials responsible for grave human rights abuses and refer them to the international criminal court (ICC), the head of a special UN inquiry said on Thursday.

    The retired Australian judge Michael Kirby told an informal meeting of the security council convened by Australia, France and the United States he wanted leading members of the reclusive regime hauled before the ICC for prosecution.

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