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Protesters scuttle Gibraltar minister’s speech in Spain

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Spanish activists and fishermen hurled insults Thursday at the political chief of Britain’s outpost of Gibraltar, preventing him from speaking to law students in Spain.

Several dozen Spanish protesters including activists and fishermen joined in the rowdy rally against Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo at a time of high tension over the sovereignty of the “Rock”.

A group of young men and women, some with their faces covered, unfurled banners and Spanish flags while hurling insults and chanting “Gibraltar is Spanish” at the event in a faculty in Algeciras, across the bay from Gibraltar.

Fishermen from the Spanish ports of La Linea and Algeciras joined in, shouting that Picardo and Gibraltar had ruined their livelihoods.

After about 20 minutes of angry scenes, organisers from the University of Cadiz cancelled the event, citing safety concerns.

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“The visible level of hate and violence I witnessed was frankly remarkable. I sincerely believe that we should be talking to resolve the political issues between us,” said Picardo, a lawyer by profession.

“Violence and intolerance will not achieve anything. It will certainly not change my pro-dialogue views,” he said.

The conservative Popular Party-run Algeciras city council had opposed the invitation for Picardo to speak to students. Socialists members of the council, however, defended the event as a matter of academic freedom.

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Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity in 1713 but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty, and the territory remains a source of diplomatic tension.

Gibraltar dropped 70 concrete blocks into the sea in July, saying it aimed to create an artificial reef. But the barrier also prevented Spanish fishing boats that trawl for shellfish from operating in the area.

Spain then introduced stringent border checks in August, leading to lengthy delays for motorists trying to enter the tiny territory on the southern tip of Spain.

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This month, Britain called in the Spanish ambassador over a “provocative” day-long stand-off in which a Spanish state research vessel defied Royal Navy orders to leave waters Gibraltar claims as its own.

In the latest spat, Prime Minister David Cameron said this week that Spain had promised there would be no repeat of an “extremely serious” incident in which its officials searched British diplomatic bags at the Gibraltar border.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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World hunger on the rise with more than 820 million at risk, UN report says

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More than 821 million people suffered from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition worldwide last year, the United Nations reported Monday -- the third year in a row that the number has risen.

After decades of decline, food insecurity began to increase in 2015 and reversing the trend is one of the 2030 targets of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

But getting to a world where no one is suffering from hunger by then remains an "immense challenge," the report said.

"The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World" was produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies including the World Health Organization.

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‘It’s just sparkling racism’: Internet mocks the hell out of the New York Times for describing Trump’s comments as ‘racially infused’

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In an analysis piece in the New York Times on Sunday, chief White House correspondent opted to describe President Donald Trump’s overtly racist comments on Democratic congresswomen color as “racially infused” — an euphemism one Twitter user joked is “the worst flavor of LaCroix.”

Trump over the weekend caused an uproar in the media by tweeting the following:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1150381394234941448

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1150381395078000643

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Fox News’ John Roberts tells Trump to his face: ‘White nationalists are finding common cause with you’

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Fox News reporter John Roberts asked President Donald Trump to his face whether he cared that white nationalists agreed with his views on race.

The president provoked widespread outrage by calling on four Democratic congresswomen -- all women of color -- to leave the country because they disagreed with his policies, and Trump insisted his tweets were not racist while continuing to lob bigoted attacks at them.

"Mr. President," Roberts asked during an impromptu Monday news conference, "does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist, and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?"

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