Europe sharply divided over Vladimir Putin’s re-election

Europe was sharply divided in its reactions to Vladimir Putin’s election for a fourth term with some politicians seeing it as necessary to reach out to repair a difficult relationship, with others arguing Russia under Putin had irreversibly turned away not just from western liberal values but international norms. For a third group – the …

#Pizza4Protesters crowdfunds pizzas for students punished over gun control walkout

Wellwishers have been crowdfunding to send pizza to 225 students at a Pennsylvania school given detention for taking part in anti-school shooting protests. Students at Pennridge high school took part in a national school walkout on 14 March against the wishes of the school board. The board warned pupils in advance that anybody taking part …

Man facing attempted murder charge after car drove into nightclub

A man is due to appear in court charged with attempted murder after 13 people were injured when a car ploughed into a nightclub. Mohammed Abdul, 21, of Deptford, London, is due to appear at Medway magistrates court in Chatham, Kent, on Monday, Kent police said. Officers were called to Gravesend shortly before midnight on …

New Caledonia sets date for independence referendum

New Caledonia has set a date for a referendum that will decide whether the French overseas territory should become independent. After decades of campaigning by separatists seeking to break away from France, the New Caledonia congress, the local legislative authority, has agreed to hold the vote on November 4. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and …

Fig trouble – the problem with parliament’s £20,000-a-year fruit trees

Parliament’s figs trees are flopping about, it seems, and it is costing the government £10,000 to stand them up straight (they already cost £20,000 a year to maintain.) Any plant grown indoors is going to suffer to some extent from leaning; light issues, warm conditions and plenty of water mean you’ll get lush, but often …

No 10 ‘very concerned’ over Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica

Downing Street expressed its concern for the Facebook data breach that affected tens of millions of people involving the analytics company that worked with Donald Trump’s campaign team. No 10 weighed in on the row as the social network saw almost $20bn (£14bn) wiped off its market cap in the first few minutes of trading …

‘The vitriol was really unhealthy’: artist Sonia Boyce on the row over taking down Hylas and the Nymphs

When John William Waterhouse’s painting Hylas and the Nymphs was removed from the walls of the Manchester Art Gallery at the end of January, all hell broke loose. Social media was electric with outraged cries of “censorship”. The critic Jonathan Jones asked whether this was the thin end of the wedge: would Picasso be off …