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Joe Biden gives support to Sweden and Finland as members of arevived Natoa

The countriesa leaders meet the US president at the White House as they seek a resolution with Turkey

The US president, Joe Biden, has welcomed the Finnish and Swedish leaders to the White House promising full support for their membership applications to what he called a arevived Natoa in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

In their remarks in the Rose Garden, the Finnish president, Sauli NiinistAP, and the Swedish prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, addressed the only major barrier to their countriesa accession to the alliance: the objections of the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip ErdoAan, who restated on Thursday his resolve to veto their membership.

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Russian soldier asks Ukrainian widow to forgive him during first war crimes trial

Vadim Shishimarin, 21-year-old tank commander, has pleaded guilty to killing unarmed 62-year-old civilian

A 21-year-old Russian soldier asked a Ukrainian widow to forgive him for the murder of her husband, as a court in Kyiv met for a second hearing on Thursday in the first war crimes trial arising from Russiaas 24 February invasion.

Vadim Shishimarin, a tank commander, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to killing Oleksandr Shelipov, an unarmed 62-year-old civilian, in the north-east Ukrainian village of Chupakhivka on 28 February.

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Putinas daughter flew to Munich amore than 50 timesa, investigation suggests

Investigation also suggests presidentas youngest daughter is in a relationship with ballet dancer Igor Zelensky

Since the start of his military campaign against Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has railed aggressively against pro-western Russians, whose appetite for European cuisine and climates meant atheir mentality is there, not here, with our peoplea.

Yet his own daughteras enthusiasm for sojourns to western Europe at least matches that of the oligarch ascum and traitorsa he has decried, a joint investigation by independent Russian media outlet iStories and German magazine Der Spiegel suggests.

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Zelenskiy compares Russian laser threat to nonexistent Nazi awonder weapona

Russia says weapon destroyed drone in five seconds in a test, but there is scepticism that it could be used in war

Russiaas promise to use lasers to shoot down drones in Ukraine has prompted widespread scepticism that the novel and possibly nuclear-powered weaponry could be deployed on the battlefield or have any significant impact on the war.

Yuri Borisov, Russiaas deputy prime minister, told the countryas Channel One television station that the new Zadira directed-energy weapon could destroy targets up to 5km away, and had incinerated a drone in five seconds in a test.

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aHelp is on the waya: US Senate approves $40bn Ukraine package

Biden to sign mix of military and economic aid for Ukraine and its allies after 86-11 vote in Senate on Thursday

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a $40bn infusion of military and economic aid for Ukraine and its allies on Thursday as both parties rallied behind Americaas latest, and quite possibly not last, financial salvo against Russiaas invasion.

The 86-11 vote gave final congressional approval to the package, three weeks after Joe Biden requested a smaller $33bn version and after a lone Republican opponent delayed Senate passage for a week. Every voting Democrat and all but 11 Republicans a including many of the chamberas supporters of Donald Trumpas isolationist agenda a backed the measure.

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Oklahoma Republican-led legislature passes nationas strictest abortion ban

Bill bans abortion at conception and if signed into law it would allow citizens to sue anyone who aaids or abetsa a patient

Oklahomaas Republican-led legislature passed the nationas strictest abortion ban on Thursday. The bill, if signed into law, would allows citizens to sue anyone, anywhere who aaids or abetsa a patient in terminating a pregnancy.

The bill bans abortion from conception, even before an egg implants in the uterus, and would go into effect immediately if signed by Republican governor, Kevin Stitt. Abortion providers expect he will do so before the coming week.

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5,000 firefighters tackle wildfires across US south-west

High winds have hampered operations as crews fight blazes in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico

More than 5,000 firefighters have battled multiple wildland blazes in dry, windy weather across the south-west, including a fire that has destroyed dozens of structures in west Texas and another picking up steam again in New Mexico.

Evacuation orders remained in place on Thursday for residents near the wildfires in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. High winds prevented officials from sending aircraft to drop retardant or water in many places.

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Suspect in Buffalo mass shooting heckled as acowarda in court

Payton Gendron, 18, accused of killing 10 Black people at supermarket, not required to speak at brief court hearing

The man accused of killing 10 Black people in a racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, at the weekend was called a coward by a loved one of one of the victims when he made a fresh appearance in court on Thursday.

Payton Gendron, 18, who is white, was not required to speak a his court-appointed lawyer had already entered a plea of not guilty to one count of first-degree murder a but it was the first time families of the victims who had come to the courthouse came face to face with him.

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He became a hero for halting Trumpas efforts to overturn the election. Will voters now punish him?

Brad Raffensperger resisted Trumpas call to overturn the presidential election result and is now facing his ire

Brad Raffensperger was on his way out when the bartender stopped him. He wanted a word.

The man had been lingering in the doorway as Raffensperger, a Republican serving as Georgiaas top election official, spoke to a little over a dozen members of the chamber of commerce in Washington, a small town about two hours east of Atlanta. Raffensperger had seen him from the lectern and asked if he wanted to ask a question a he declined. Now the bartender had more courage. He wanted to ask about the phone call. aHow did that make you feel?a he said.

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Congress members led areconnaissance toursa of Capitol before attack, evidence suggests

The revelation resurrects a line of inquiry into the involvement of House Republicans in the insurrection

The House select committee investigating the Capitol attack revealed on Thursday that it had evidence to suggest certain areconnaissance toursa took place in the days before 6 January, potentially providing some rioters with a layout of the complex.

The panel said in a letter requesting cooperation from Georgia Republican congressman Barry Loudermilk that he gave a tour the day before the Capitol attack. The startling disclosure resurrects a contentious line of inquiry that connects House Republicans to the insurrection.

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Senate bill will help food aid recipients find baby formula amid shortage

Wic voucher requirements are being waived to allow holders to purchase any brand of infant formula as it becomes available

The Senate approved a bill Thursday aimed at easing the baby formula shortage for families participating in a government assistance program that accounts for about half of all formula purchased in the US.

The House passed the bill the day before, so it now goes to Joe Biden to be signed into law.

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Revealed: Starbucks fired over 20 US union leaders in recent months

Workers at the coffee chain have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, but chief Howard Schultz publicly opposes the movement

Starbucks has fired over 20 union leaders around the US over the past several months as union organizing campaigns have spread across the country, the Guardian can reveal.

The news comes as Starbucks workers have filed petitions for union elections at more than 250 stores, spanning 35 states in the US. Starbucksa chief executive, Howard Schultz, has led a campaign against the union movement calling it asome outside force thatas going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we doa.

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Putin ahad to keep explaining things to Trumpa, ex-White House aide says

Fiona Hill, a former national security council official, said Russian leader grew frustrated with Trump: aPutin doesnat like to do thata

Vladimir Putin ahad to keep explaining thingsa to Donald Trump when Trump was US president, the former White House aide Fiona Hill said.

aPutin doesnat like to do that,a Hill told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

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Canada to ban Huawei and ZTE from 5G network, risking China tensions

Move brings Ottawa into line with intelligence allies that have excluded Chinese tech firms from cutting-edge phone networks

Canada says it will ban Huawei and ZTE from the countryas 5G network, a move that puts it in line with intelligence-sharing allies, but risks further chilling relations with China.

The federal government made the announcement on Thursday afternoon after signalling for months it intended to block Chinaas flagship telecommunications companies from accessing 5G networks in Canada.

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Rihanna and A$AP Rocky welcome their first child a report

The pop star reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on 13 May in Los Angeles

Multi-hyphenate pop star Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky have welcomed their first child, according to a TMZ report. The baby boy was reportedly born on 13 May in Los Angeles. No name was given.

The couple, together since early 2020, first announced their pregnancy with a heavily photographed stroll through A$AP Rockyas home town of New York in January. The fashion mogul and Fenty beauty founder has since made headlines for her trend-setting maternity style of sheer lace, crop tops and belly-baring outfits.

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The Christian leader trying to break Americaas link between faith and guns

Peter Cook says in the aftermath of the Buffalo racist shooting white Christian denominations have a duty to act

In the aftermath of the racist shooting that killed 10 on Saturday in Buffalo, the director of the New York State Council of Churches, the Rev Peter Cook, has been a constant presence at prayer gatherings and public memorials.

The organization he leads represents eight denominations to New York state government; and he has the ear of political leaders, including Governor Kathy Hochul, in shaping the political response to a massacre that targeted the Black community of East Buffalo a one that has been met with expressions of faith as well as anger and distress.

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George W Bush accidentally admits Iraq war was aunjustified and brutala in gaffe

Former president makes slip when speaking at his presidential library in Dallas on Wednesday

Sigmund Freud was unavailable for comment, but George W Bush saying Iraq instead of Ukraine when condemning aa wholly unjustified and brutal invasiona certainly suggests he still has a lot on his unconscious mind.

The former president jokingly attributed the slip to his 75 years, but there has always been a faulty connection between his brain and his tongue. There are whole books full of aBushismsa, like his boast that people amisunderestimateda him, and how much he felt for single mothers aworking hard to put food on your familya.

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aThis canat be reala: Grubhub promotion turns New York City restaurants into a awar zonea

The deal resulted in 6,000 New Yorkers placing an order every minute, overwhelming kitchens and delivery workers

What were they thinking?

Thatas what customers, restaurants and delivery workers want to know after a surprise promotion by the food delivery platform Grubhub went badly awry a and proved thereas really no such thing as a free lunch.

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aA catastrophic failurea: computer scientist Hany Farid on why violent videos circulate on the internet

aHashinga would allow copies of videos to be removed from social media a but tech companies canat be bothered to make it work

In the aftermath of yet another racially motivated shooting that was live-streamed on social media, tech companies are facing fresh questions about their ability to effectively moderate their platforms.

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old gunman who killed 10 people in a largely Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, broadcasted his violent rampage on the video-game streaming service Twitch. Twitch says it took down the video stream in mere minutes, but it was still enough time for people to create edited copies of the video and share it on other platforms including Streamable, Facebook and Twitter.

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Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week

(Anti-)
On poignant yet defiant recordings made in 2011 shortly before Helmas death, Staplesa commanding vocals give enormous vibrancy to blues, folk and soul standards

In the early noughties, Levon Helm began hosting live shows he called Midnight Rambles in a studio at his home in Woodstock, NY. It was a rare bright moment in the story of what happened to the members of the Band who werenat Robbie Robertson in the years following the quintetas split, a grim saga involving bitter enmity, addiction, suicide, bankruptcy and jail. The Midnight Rambles shows reinvigorated the drummer and vocalistas career, led to two Grammy-winning solo albums and attracted a vast array of guests: Dr John, Drive-By Truckers, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, My Morning Jacket, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson.

But perhaps no performer was quite as appropriate to the event as Mavis Staples, who played a Midnight Ramble with Helm and his band in 2011. Helm had prosaic reasons for starting the shows a after suffering with throat cancer which left him unable to sing for five years, he had medical bills to pay a but his stated aim was to recreate the atmosphere of the travelling tent shows head seen as a child in Arkansas. The amidnight ramblea, he explained, was a second, adults-only performance, awhere the songs would get a little bit juicier, the jokes would get funnier and the prettiest dancer would really get down and shake ita.

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Suicides indicate wave of adoomerisma over escalating climate crisis

While alarm over wildfires, droughts, flooding and societal unrest is on the rise, not many of us talk about climate angst

It was a stunning, grisly act. A man, a climate activist and Buddhist, had set himself on fire on the steps of the US supreme court. He sat upright and didnat immediately scream despite the agony. Police officers desperately plunged nearby orange traffic cones into the courtas marbled fountain and hurled water at him. It wasnat enough to save him.

The death of Wynn Bruce, a 50-year-old photographer who lived in Boulder, Colorado, was a shock to those who knew him. aIt was so upsetting,a said April Lyons, a psychotherapist who knew Bruce from a therapeutic dance class they both took. aHe was a solid person, a compassionate, kind person. We had no idea head do this.a

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Everton safe after Calvert-Lewin completes epic revival against Palace

They would not go. Not the fans who invaded the Goodison Park pitch and sang with raw emotion for 30 minutes after the final whistle. Not the players who joined the choir from the other side of a police cordon. Not Frank Lampard, who disappeared in the throng and re-emerged on the roof of the executive boxes to soak up the acclaim.

And not Everton. Their Premier League life was ebbing away after 45 desperate minutes against Crystal Palace. They would not go.

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aSome things canat be repaireda: how do you recover when a friend betrays you?

With the aWagatha Christiea trial poring over the destruction of a celebrity friendship, four people share their experiences of treachery and trauma

As the libel suit between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney rumbles on in the high court, the public has heard weeks of claims and counterclaims about Instagram stings, paparazzi ambushes and phones lost in the sea. But one thing has been clear from the outset: one of the two women has been betrayed. Either, as Rooney claims, Vardy sold stories about her fellow Wag to the Sun, or, as Vardy maintains, Rooneyas baseless accusation has dragged her good name through the mud.

It is a messy and sordid tale from which no one a except possibly the lawyers a emerges the better. Rooney has described Vardyas WhatsApp exchanges about her as aevila; Vardy has said that the threats and abuse she received after Rooneyas accusations made her feel suicidal. What is driving the former friends to spend millions airing their most intimate details?

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aEach little thing in my life is preciousa: Ken Watanabe on cancer, childhood and Hollywood cliches

His role in The Last Samurai changed Hollywoodas attitude to Asian characters overnight a but illness very nearly ended his career. He discusses recovery, regret and yakuza drama Tokyo Vice

There is something incongruous about seeing Ken Watanabe in a light-brown hoodie. He is synonymous with crisp tailored suits. It is like catching James Bond in jogging bottoms. aHello!a he beams from a cosy corner of his living room, family photos lining a shelf, dark-mahogany cabinets behind him. aGood evening! Or good morning?a he asks from his home in Karuizawa, a resort town in Honshu, Japan, as we chat over video. He has just finished a photoshoot with his boisterous border collie, Dan, who is yelping nearby, desperate to be included.

Even dressed down, the Japanese actor radiates the same commanding presence that he exudes on screen. He is one of the few modern east Asian stars to cross over successfully to Hollywood, which he did with his role in 2003as historical epic The Last Samurai. At 62, sporting a smattering of stubble, he still looks remarkably youthful.

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Trump claims immigrants are voting illegally. The real problem is foreign fatcats funding US campaigns | Robert Reich

Non-Americans a whose interests donat necessarily align with the interests of the US a assert growing influence over American politics

In 2017, Donald Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that between 3 million and 5 million unauthorized immigrants had voted for Hillary Clinton. In the last few weeks, Trump has resurrected his lie during campaign rallies for Republican primary candidates he has endorsed a whipping up fears of aopen borders and horrible electionsa, and calling for stricter voter ID laws and proof of citizenship at the ballot box.

Trump endorsees and wannabes are amplifying this lie. JD Vance, the Trump-backed winner of last weekas Ohio Republican senate primary, claimed that President Bidenas immigration policy has resulted in amore Democrat voters pouring into this countrya.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a Guardian US columnist. His newsletter is at robertreich.substack.com

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Republicans just nominated one of the most radical governor candidates in history | Judd Legum

Doug Mastriano may be one of the most radical candidates ever to receive a Republican nod and he has been clear that he will use that power

Pennsylvania Republicans have nominated state senator Doug Mastriano to be the next governor. Mastriano is one of the most radical gubernatorial candidates ever to receive a major party nomination.

Many Republicans have indulged Trumpas claims that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election. But few have gone as far as Mastriano has to try to justify Trumpas fever dream.

Iam Doug Mastriano, and I get to appoint the secretary of state whoas delegated from me the power to make the corrections to elections, the voting logs and everything. I could decertify every machine in the state with the stroke of a pen via the secretary of state. I already had the secretary of state picked out. Itas a world-class person that knows voting integrity better than anyone else in the nation, I think, and I already have a team thatas gonna be built around that individual.

Judd Legum is the founder and author of Popular Information, an independent newsletter dedicated to accountability journalism, where this post originally appeared

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The banks collapsed in 2008 a and our food system is about to do the same | George Monbiot

Massive food producers hold too much power a and the regulators scarcely understand what is happening. Sound familiar?

For the past few years, scientists have been frantically sounding an alarm that governments refuse to hear: the global food system is beginning to look like the global financial system in the run-up to 2008.

While financial collapse would have been devastating to human welfare, food system collapse doesnat bear thinking about. Yet the evidence that something is going badly wrong has been escalating rapidly. The current surge in food prices looks like the latest sign of systemic instability.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

George Monbiot will discuss his new book, Regenesis, at a Guardian Live event on Monday 30 May. Book tickets in-person or online here

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The US is running out of baby formula: yet more evidence that new mothers can never win | Emma Brockes

Women have breastfed for thousands of years and yet there are still those who think we can just aswitch ona our milk

I had an easy pregnancy, a textbook C-section and the gift of a two-week recovery period alone at home after my twins were sent to the newborn intensive care unit a or, having given birth in the US, athe worldas most expensive babysitting servicea, as a nurse described it at the time.

One consequence of this was that I was fully healed by the time they came home. Another was that in the first two weeks of my babiesa lives, breastfeeding had to be supplemented with formula. By the time they left hospital, my supply was getting sketchy, which as it turned out was the least of our problems. Trying to get two preemies, not much bigger than guinea pigs, to latch was like asking them to eat peas off a beachball.

Emma Brockes is a Guardian columnist

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Ending Roe v Wade is just the beginning | Thomas Zimmer

Conservatives are animated by a vision of 1950s-style white Christian patriarchal dominance a it is the only order they will accept for America

The supreme court is set to overturn Roe v Wade, this much has been clear since a draft opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked earlier this month. An attempt to safeguard abortion rights via national legislation was blocked by a united front of Republicans plus Democrat Joe Manchin in the Senate last week. As a result, we must expect abortion to be banned in roughly half the country soon.

It is very hard to overstate how significant this moment is. The US is about to join the very short list of countries that have restricted existing abortion rights since the 1990s a the overall trend internationally certainly has been towards a liberalization of abortion laws. And itas also a basically unique development in US history: while the supreme court has often upheld and codified a discriminatory status quo, it has never actively and officially abolished what had previously been recognized as a constitutionally guaranteed right.

Thomas Zimmer is a visiting professor at Georgetown University, focused on the history of democracy and its discontents in the United States, and a Guardian US contributing opinion writer

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