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Great days out this weekend

The Ugly Animals Roadshow Life Science Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne Find out about some of the world’s weirdest-looking, endangered animals at this one-off show hosted by the Channel 4 presenter Simon Watt, with scientific demonstrations and crowd participation. Saturday 2pm-3pm; adult £14, child £8; life.org.uk Polesden Lacey Food Festival Great Bookham, Surrey

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Taken for granted

The bundling of arts with heritage, regional development, rural affairs and the Gaeltacht has infuriated artists Following weeks of petition- ing, campaigning and getting itself riled up, the arts community finally had its hour in the sun — or a couple of hours in the Dail chamber, at least. It was a

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Artistic Apathy

Ireland has long neglected the creative industries. It is time to recognise what they do for this country What is Ireland most famous for across the globe? Unquestionably it is the country’s rich tradition of arts and culture. In music, writing, theatre, film and to a lesser extent, design, Ireland has punched

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A really short history of South Africa in 12 objects

A new show at the British Museum tells the story of a country Mapungubwe rhinoceros, 1220-90 This set of gold objects comes from the 13th-century kingdom site of Mapungubwe, the earliest kingdom in southern Africa, and are some of South Africa’s most important treasures — this is the first time the rhino

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South Africa to leave international criminal court

South Africa has become the second nation in a week to signal its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court over its failure to arrest a Sudanese warlord, according to leaked papers. No country has ever left the court, which is pursuing President al-Bashir of Sudan over alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity

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Enough whitewashing of central Asia’s tyrants

Western cosying up to unsavoury dictators must include an insistence on better human rights Try as he might, playwright George Bernard Shaw could not find a bad thing to say about Stalin’s Soviet Union. The workers? Not downtrodden at all, he wrote after a 1933 trip, but hopeful and enthusiastic. As for

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China is buying up Uncle Sam’s Asian allies

The Philippines’ tilt away from Washington towards Beijing shows how US power is waning Rodrigo Duterte, who proudly bears the nickname Duterte Harry, has been given a hero’s welcome in Beijing. The president of the Philippines may be a foul-mouthed renegade — he called Barack Obama the “son of a whore” and

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US sends bombers as tensions rise in South China Sea

America is deploying long-range nuclear bombers to Australian airbases after Beijing reinforced its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea. There are fears that President Xi will restrict foreign ships and aircraft from using the vital waterway for global trade. Beijing is expanding and weaponising several tiny islands in an

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Kylie’s ultimatum to Australia: pass gay marriage law or I stay unwed

Kylie Minogue and her British fiancé have postponed their wedding until Australia legalises same-sex marriage. The Australian singer — an idol to the gay community — had planned to tie the knot in Melbourne but will not do so until the law is changed, in solidarity with same-sex couples. Her fiancé, the

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Migration is turning Europe back into a medieval mess

A glance at a map of the Holy Roman Empire reveals the tensions bubbling just beneath the surface as the EU is crippled by harsh reality, writes Robert Kaplan Look at any map of Europe from the Middle Ages or the early modern era, before the Industrial Revolution, and you will be