Boris Johnson’s early days as mayor: ‘It was total, total chaos’

After rapidly losing three advisers, the ship was eventually steadied largely thanks to those around him Boris Johnson had been mayor of London for 115 days when the rest of the world got its first glimpse of the idiosyncratic charms that had helped him bag the job. After shambling, his blazer unbuttoned, into the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing for the handover ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, he inexpertly flapped the official flag of the Games for a few seconds, half-heartedly punched the air and then put his hands in his pockets. Later that evening, Londons new and unusual mayor (New York Times) would declare to a gathering of tipsy Britons and utterly baffled Chinese that wiff-waff [was] coming home, …

Germany says it will stand in ‘full solidarity’ with Ireland over Brexit

German president echoes Angela Merkel in saying the backstop will not be revisited Germany will stand fully in solidarity with Ireland over Brexit, the countrys president has said, and look to underpin rather than undermine the peace process that has kept the border with Northern Ireland invisible in the past 20 years Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Irelands president, Michael Higgins, on a visit to Berlin that Germany stands firmly by Irelands side, raising questions about Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnsons optimism that the Irish border backstop can be revisited. Politically and economically, Ireland is more directly affected by Brexit than any other EU member state. For this reason, too, your country has our full solidarity. We have reiterated this pledge in …

Kim Kardashian Wests Kimono shapewear touches nerve in Japan

Twitter users accuse reality star of cultural appropriation with new underwear line The American television star West has caused controversy in Japan by naming her new line of shapewear Kimono, prompting some to accuse her of disrespecting the traditional outfit. The reality TV star and trainee lawyer unveiled her new Kimono line on Instagram, describing it as a collection of skin tone-colored shapewear and stating she had been working for a year on underwear that she claims offers solutions for women that actually work. The announcement received mixed reactions, with some offering their criticism on Twitter at

Facebook usage has collapsed since scandals, data shows

Companys own upbeat figures thrown into doubt by business analytics firm Mixpanel Facebook usage has plummeted over the last year, even as the company continues to insist that its use has stayed stable or even grown in the same period, according to data seen by the Guardian. Since April 2018, the first full month after the news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in the Observer, actions on Facebook such as likes, shares and posts have dropped by almost 20%, according to the business analytics firm Mixpanel. Taking that month as a baseline, total actions fell by more that 10% within a month, recovered a bit over the summer, and then fell again over the autumn and winter of 2018, …

Naomi Wolf faces new questions as US publisher postpones latest book

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt had said it would stand by Outrages after row in UK over its historical accuracy, but has now recalled copies from stores Naomi Wolfs US publisher has postponed the release of her new book and is recalling copies from booksellers, saying that new questions have arisen over the books content. Outrages, which argues that the Obscene Publications Act of 1857 led to a turn against consensual sex between men and an increase in executions for sodomy, was published in the UK on 20 May. told the New York Times on Thursday that the book will be delayed. As we have been working with Naomi Wolf to make corrections to Outrages, new questions have arisen that require more …

Trump on UK visit: ‘People had never seen the Queen have a better time’

US president claims he had automatic chemistry with the British monarch The US president, Donald Trump, has boasted about having automatic chemistry with the Queen during his state visit to the UK. Trump, during an interview with Fox News, said people had noticed how well he and the Queen had connected. He said: The meeting with the Queen was incredible. I think I can say I really got to know her because I sat with her many times and we had automatic chemistry, you will understand that feeling. Its a good feeling. But shes a spectacular woman. When asked by the broadcasters Laura Ingraham if he fist-bumped the Queen, Trump said: I did not, but I had a great relationship, …

Stop Boris Johnson campaign launched by Tory moderates opposed to no-deal Brexit

Former foreign secretary attacked as dishonest by leadership candidate Rory Stewart A campaign to stop Boris Johnson becoming prime minister and Tory contest to succeed Theresa May in Downing Street. After May bowed to pressure on Friday and announced she would resign as Tory leader within two weeks, justice secretary David Gauke and international development secretary Rory Stewart condemned Johnsons readiness to embrace a no-deal, saying it would be hugely damaging to the national interest. The move, part of a concerted anti-Johnson push by opponents of a hard Brexit, followed comments by the former foreign secretary on Friday, soon after Mays resignation speech in Downing Street, that the UK would definitely leave the EU deal or no deal on 31 …

China wants us to forget the horrors of Tiananmen as it rewrites its history | Louisa Lim and Ilaria Maria Sala

The state is enforcing a collective amnesia about not only recent political events but those that happened thousands of years ago Remembering the deaths of burden and an Zhang Xianling, said she had once managed to hold a small act of remembrance at the spot where her 19-year-old son, Xinjiang scholars: with one million Uighurs held in retrofits its history into a vision that starts in the stone age and ends with the Communist party, a single continuum that serves to legitimise the current leadership and its narrative of the past, the present and the future. Beijing is not alone in this exercise of left Africa for China earlier than previously assumed. The debates can get arcane and heated for …