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News in pictures

30th September 2020

In_pictures Week in pictures: 19 – 25 September 2020

In_pictures Week in pictures: 19 – 25 September 2020



A selection of powerful news photographs taken around the world this week.

image copyrightPhil Noble / Reuters

image captionBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reflected in a woman’s eye as she watches his TV address to the nation about a marked increase in coronavirus infections across the UK. Johnson urged the public to “summon the discipline and the resolve” to follow newly introduced measures, which, he said, could last up to six months.

image copyrightAdrees Latif / Reuters

image captionHorses are seen on Withers Ranch, as smoke rises in the distance from fires burning in the Fremont National Forest in Paisley, Oregon. The wildfires on the West Coast of the US have destroyed vast areas of land and killed at least 36 people since early August. Smoke has spread to the east of the country, casting a haze over New York and Washington DC.

image copyrightAlexander Nemenov / AFP

image captionWater-propelled flyboarders perform at the Moscow Water Area festival in Russia.

image copyrightAthit Perawongmetha / Reuters

image captionAnti-government protesters install a plaque near Bangkok’s Grand Palace declaring Thailand “belongs to the people”, in a bold show of opposition to Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Student-led protests calling for reform of the country’s monarchy and political system have been taking place since July.

image copyrightKim Hong-Ji / Reuters

image captionA woman rides a bike through an array of artificial full moons installed at a park in Seoul, in celebration of the forthcoming Chuseok (harvest festival) holiday in South Korea.

image copyrightJonathan Ernst / Reuters

image captionUS President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand behind the casket of the late justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the top of the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington. The president was met with boos and chants of “vote him out” by the assembled crowd.

image copyrightAlain Jocard / AFP

image captionA worker wields an axe during a public demonstration in front of Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral to demonstrate the medieval techniques used to lift part of the reconstructed framework of the cathedral. In July, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the spire of the cathedral, which was destroyed in a fire in April 2019, will be restored according to the original Gothic design.

image copyrightAaron Chown / PA Media

image captionPolice officers leave flowers outside Croydon Custody Centre in south London where a fellow officer was shot by a man who was being detained in the early hours of Friday morning. The male sergeant was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital, where he subsequently died.

image copyrightThomas Mukoya / Reuters

image captionMaasai men of Matapato attend the Olng’esherr (meat-eating) passage ceremony in the Maparasha hills of Kajiado, Kenya. The ceremony unites the older Ilpaamu and the younger Ilaitete into senior elderhood at the final rite of passage. The event was initially postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

image copyrightLeonardo Munoz / AFP

image captionRiot police are pictured as citizens demonstrate against police brutality in Bogota, Colombia. At least seven people have been killed in protests as outrage spreads over the death of a man who was pinned to the ground and repeatedly tasered by police in the Colombian capital. The officers were arresting him for allegedly breaking social distancing rules by drinking with friends.

All pictures are subject to copyright.

30th September 2020

In_pictures In pictures: Seaside photos taken 800 miles apart

In_pictures In pictures: Seaside photos taken 800 miles apart



image copyrightTommy Black/Guðrún Kristín Valgeirsdóttir

Seaside swimmers, snowy landscapes and the aurora borealis are some of the contrasting local scenes captured by pairs of photographers working over 800 miles apart.

Professional and hobbyist photographers in Portobello, Edinburgh, and Akureyri, Iceland, connected online over their mutual seaside locations.

Despite their distance, virtual pairs produced images on shared themes around their local areas.

An outdoor exhibition of their work, Two Places at Sea, forms part of Edinburgh’s Art Walk Porty 2020 festival.

Here is a selection of some of the pairs’ photographs, and their comments on their work.

In_pictures Theme: On the way home

Poppies by the Sea (Deplasólir við sjóinn) – Jon Davey

“During the Scottish Covid-19 lockdown, I kept to a relatively strict pattern of activity, staying indoors except for twice-weekly visits to shops, even when the restrictions allowed outdoor exercise.

“I think the stress of shopping in those early days put me off from venturing out for any other reason.

“It was only as things eased further and we all became used to the ‘new normal’ that I resumed walks along the beach to Joppa and beyond.

“This view from Joppa looking back towards Portobello and home after a longer walk to Musselburgh also represents my personal journey back to being the sort of person who walks along the beach where I live.”

image copyrightKristjana Agnarsdottir

Kvöldkyrrð (In the Still of the Night) – Kristjana Agnarsdóttir

“One night I was strolling around my neighbourhood, which I think is the most beautiful part of Akureyri.

“The old town by the pond.

“It is so peaceful in that area, enjoying the stillness and the birdlife, people walking, one or two cyclists, geese raising their young ones and the sun sinking into the sea in the north.

“It was waving goodnight to me on my way home.”

In_pictures Theme: Life on the Beach

image copyrightAnna Moffat

Sunrise Swimmers (Synt við sólarupprás) – Anna Moffat

“I’ve lived in Portobello for 14 years and often noticed small groups of swimmers out in all weathers.

“It was not until around a year ago that I was persuaded to give it a go, and in an instant was hooked.

“The cold water hit is addictive and the feeling of togetherness enriches my life in so many ways – there’s no better way to start the day.”

image copyrightLilja Guðmundsdóttir

Vetrarbirta (Winter Light) – Lilja Guðmundsdóttir

“There is not much going on at the beach during this time of the year, but sometimes we get visitors who make us happy and are fun to photograph.

“In the wintertime the daylight is often very beautiful, and occasionally the frost fog brings a fairy-tale glow to the environment.”

In_pictures Theme: Looking Out

image copyrightJennifer Elliot

Do Whatever Makes Your Heart Smile (Gerðu það sem fær hjarta þitt til að brosa) – Jennifer Elliot

“It was the light in the jasmine plant leaves that caught my eye while making dinner for the family, but this window gives me a lot of pleasure.

“I’ve gathered friends and family there.

“The purple plant was a gift from my French mum; the paper flower was made by my mum and daughter a few years back; the jasmine is a survival story; the glass jars a wedding gift from the Danish friend who introduced my husband and me; an Ocean Fire pot; the candles and other plants were gifts; the paint brushes drying – a result of my lockdown DIY frenzy; the crabs and scallop shell gathered by my son; my wedding rings on the window ledge; and all looking out to our own birch tree and wee walled garden.

image copyrightGuðný Pálína Sæmundsdóttir

Útsýnið úr stofuglugganum (Living Room With a View)​ – Guðný Pálína Sæmundsdóttir

“I’ve lived in the same house, built by my parents when I was three years old, for most of my life.

“I did move out when I met my husband and we lived in Norway for a while, but when moving back to Akureyri we bought the house from my mother (then a widow).

​”This photo, taken in January this year, shows the view from our living room window at sunset.

“Having such a wonderful, ever-changing view is one of the reasons I’m not so keen on selling the house, even though it has become too big for us now that our children have left the nest.”

In_pictures Theme: My Favourite Place

image copyrightTommy Black

From the Ground Up (Frá jörðu til himins) – Tommy Black

“We both chose photographs taken from the beaches to the west of our respective communities, which we love for the sense of space.

“My photo was taken one evening as lockdown started to ease, at 22:44.

“It was one of those summer evenings that seems to go on forever.

“A few folk were having fires just behind where the shot was taken.

“There was a feeling of lightness as I walked out along the sand (tunes on, of course).”

image copyrightGuðrún Kristín Valgeirsdóttir

Frá jörðu til himins (From the Ground Up) – Guðrún Kristín Valgeirsdóttir

“I chose this place because this is where I go to relax and gather my thoughts.

“I take my dogs there, allow them to run free in playful games.

“This is also my favourite spot to capture the auroras while they dance in the night sky in their most beautiful way.

“I know few other things that are more fulfilling than to stand there with my camera and stare at those lights while they brighten up the cold dark winter sky.”

In_pictures Theme: Expand Your Horizon

image copyrightAdam Varga

Crossroads (Krossgötur) – Adam Varga

“The west end of Portobello has been influential to the town, as the local industry and industrial landscape dominated the town’s life, both socially and economically.

“The post-industrial changes brought new horizons into the life of the people of Portobello, as recently the Baileyfield area has been redeveloped with housing and expanded our community.

“We are here to celebrate the new landscape and the people who will live in and transform this landscape.

“My picture reflects on both the post-industrial transformation and serves as a memento in the history of the ever-changing west end of Portobello.”

image copyrightBerglind H Helgadóttir

Speglun (Reflection) – Berglind H Helgadóttir

“I have often stopped the car at this exact place close to Akureyri to take a picture over the fjord.

“It has usually been at sunset during summer, when the sun shines golden or red light on the clouds and the sea.

“This time it’s not the redness in the sky that makes me step out of the car, but the light and the gloomy cloud that lies over part of the fjord.

“Luck is with me because as soon as I have placed the tripod and adjusted the camera, the streetlights in the town turn on and the sea calms down.

“I take a few pictures and observe the interplay of light and shadow as the dark cloud spreads.

“Underneath it, the town looks a bit small and at the horizon you can see the mountain Kaldbakur bathing in the spotlight.”

Part of the Art Walk Porty 2020 festival,

Two Places at Sea runs from 5 September-31 October 2020 in Portobello, Edinburgh. A simultaneous outdoor exhibition is being held in Akureyri, Iceland.

30th September 2020

In_pictures Africa’s week in pictures: 4-10 September 2020

In_pictures Africa’s week in pictures: 4-10 September 2020



A selection of the week’s best photos from across the continent and beyond:

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Tuesday members of the Tigray circus rehearse in the Ethiopian city of Mekeele…

image copyrightGetty Images

image caption… the circus provides training for disadvantaged young people.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Friday former Congolese wrestler Maitre Satonge pays tribute to his former colleague and friend, Alphonse Mwimba Makiease, a champion of albino rights, who died after a year-long illness.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionActivists from the South African opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters protest outside the shop Clicks in Polokwane on Monday over a shampoo advert which described black hair as dull and white hair as normal.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Wednesday a school acts as a polling station for the Tigray regional parliamentary election in northern Ethiopia…

image copyrightGetty Images

image caption… Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government postponed all elections because of the coronavirus pandemic and has deemed this election illegal…

image copyrightGetty Images

image caption… the election represents the latest challege to Mr Abiy’s authority.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Tuesday people in Sudan’s capital Khartoum continue to struggle with floods…

image copyrightGetty Images

image caption… countrywide, floods have killed nearly 100 people and made thousands homeless.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionMeanwhile, on the other side of the continent, floods also hit Senegal’s capital Dakar.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Monday this scene is captured in the alleyways of the Kibera neighbourhood of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionOn Tuesday protesters in London demand reparations for those affected by oil spills in the Niger Delta in Nigeria.

Pictures from AFP, Getty Images, EPA and Reuters.

30th September 2020

In_pictures Africa’s week in pictures: 11 – 17 September 2020

In_pictures Africa’s week in pictures: 11 – 17 September 2020



A selection of the week’s best photos from across the continent and beyond:

image copyrightEPA

image captionThree men head out for an early morning paddle on Tuesday on the Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg, South Africa…

image copyrightReuters

image captionDays earlier in the neighbourhood of Soweto, a customer visits a hair salon…

image copyrightReuters

image captionSeen from the outside here, also on Friday.

image copyrightAFP

image captionOn Sunday Hyvin Kiyeng, Mercy Chepkurui and Beatrice Chepkoech – all Kenyan – compete at the Istaf athletics event in Germany.

image copyrightEPA

image captionA sleepy student yawns on Tuesday as Tunisia’s schools reopen for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

image copyrightEPA

image captionOn Saturday thousands of supporters attend a rally in Ivory Coast’s capital for former President Henri Konan Bédié, who is standing for election once again at next month’s polls. His long-time rival Alassane Ouattara is seeking a third term in office following the sudden death of his protégé Amadou Gon Coulibaly.

image copyrightAFP

image captionSerious flooding in parts of Sudan’s capital Khatoum is seen from the air on Monday.

image copyrightEPA

image captionLeaders of West Africa’s regional bloc Ecowas lead talks with Mali’s military on Tuesday, as they seek a transition to civilian rule following last month’s coup.

image copyrightEPA

image captionAnd South Africans wait to pay tribute to the passing funeral procession of anti-apartheid activist George Bizos. The human rights lawyer, who represented Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial, died last week aged 92.

Pictures from Reuters, EPA and AFP.

30th September 2020

In_pictures Ruth Bader Ginsburg in pictures and her own words

In_pictures Ruth Bader Ginsburg in pictures and her own words


in_pictures US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participates in an annual Women's History Month reception hosted by Pelosi in Washington DC, in 2015Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg: “When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous”

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has died of cancer at the age of 87, was a passionate, astute and outspoken advocate of women’s rights, civil liberties and the rule of law.

As serious as she was about these subjects, she also had a way of highlighting critical issues with humour, embracing her nickname “Notorious RBG” and commenting that she and rapper Notorious BIG had something in common: “We were both born and bred in Brooklyn, New York.”

Here, we look back at some of Ginsburg’s most memorable quotes on gender equality, law and being remembered.

In_pictures On gender equality and sex discrimination:

The pedestal upon which women have been placed has all too often, upon closer inspection, been revealed as a cage.

in_pictures Former President Bill Clinton reacts to a remark made by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 3 August 1993Image copyright

Image caption

Ginsburg speaks alongside then-President Bill Clinton on the White House lawn after being appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993

I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.

When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women judges on the US Supreme Court bench] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.

in_pictures Members of the US Supreme Court, 1993Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg (top right) said she just wanted to do her job on the bench at the Supreme Court “to the best of my ability”

– Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.

– Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.

in_pictures Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrives for President Barack Obama's address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Washington, 24 February 2009Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg is greeted with applause as she arrives for a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the Capitol in Washington in 2009

– As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.

– I pray that I may be all that [my mother] would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve and daughters are cherished as much as sons.

In_pictures On law and her career:

– I became a lawyer for selfish reasons. I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other.

– When contemplated in its extreme, almost any power looks dangerous.

in_pictures US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits in her chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington DC, 7 August 2002Image copyright
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg in her chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington DC in 2002

– A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.

– Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.

in_pictures Ruth Bader Ginsburg smiles as she receives an honorary degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on the institution's 40th anniversary, in New YorkImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg receives an honorary degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004

– Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view.

In_pictures On being an inspiration and on being remembered:

– Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

in_pictures Alyson Cambridge wipes away a tear as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiates her wedding to Timothy Eloe in the garden of Anderson House in Washington DC, 30 May 2015Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ginsburg, an opera lover, officiates the wedding of American operatic soprano Alyson Cambridge, in 2015

– I just try to do the good job that I have to the best of my ability and I really don’t think about whether I’m inspirational. I just do the best I can.

– Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.

in_pictures US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows the many different collars (jabots) she wears with her robesImage copyright

Image caption

Ginsburg shows off one of her many collars that became a symbol for dissents

– [I would like to be remembered as] someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has.

in_pictures line

In_pictures You might also be interested in:

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remembered

All images are subject to copyright.

30th September 2020

In_pictures How photographers track down stolen pictures

In_pictures How photographers track down stolen pictures


in_pictures Sean Heavey stands in front of his picture, Image copyright
Sean R. Heavey

Image caption

Sean Heavey with his picture, The Mothership

Sean Heavey recognised his photo the moment he saw it on Stranger Things.

“God, that storm looks familiar,” he said, as he and his son watched the hit Netflix show.

When he watched a documentary about the making of the series, he became certain.

“They saved it off of Google, added a foreground to it and used it as a piece of concept art,” Mr Heavey says.

No-one else had photographed this supercell thunderstorm; no other cars drove down the road that day, to chase it across the Montana prairie.

He called the four panoramic shots he had stitched together The Mothership.

Image copyright
Sean R. Heavey

Image caption

Four panoramic shots were stitched together to form The Mothership

“I should have got credit and paid for it,” says Mr Heavey.

He tried to contact Netflix, but the company told him, “You can’t copyright Mother Nature.” His case stalled.

Chasing storms is no hobby for Mr Heavey.

Getting that perfect shot costs him thousands of dollars in petrol every year. He braves “golf ball-sized hail”, winds raging over 100mph and rescues stranded people.

He complained on social media and his remarks were read by executives at Pixsy, a firm that helps photographers fight copyright infringement. They contacted Mr Heavey and, eager for the help, he agreed to work with them.

Image copyright
Sean R. Heavey

Image caption

Mr Heavey chases dangerous storms across the US to get his pictures

Pixsy appointed Mr Heavey a lawyer, David Deal, and together they found six more occasions where Netflix used The Mothership. Netflix settled the lawsuit in December 2018, according to records seen by the BBC.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

In the UK, if convicted in a magistrates’ court of copyright infringement you could face six months in jail or a fine of up to £50,000. Conviction in a Crown Court could carry a penalty of 10 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.

In the United States, fines can reach $150,000 (£115,000) every time a picture is used the wrong way.

When a case is successful, firms like Pixsy collect 50% of the settlement or award at court.

“They all settle,” says Mr Deal, of copyright cases.

He says this is because the law is clear cut.

More Technology of Business

Pixsy is one of a handful of companies that has developed image look-up technology to monitor and pursue copyright infringement on behalf of photographers.

Its service incorporates artificial intelligence that has been trained to match an artist’s work with instances on the web.

It can also identify alterations including crops, re-colouring and layers added or removed.

The moment a picture is taken, as long as it was taken by a human being, it is protected by intellectual property laws.

More than 2.5 billion images are stolen daily, according to a 2019 study by Copytrack, a copyright search and enforcement firm. Many of these are found using a technology called reverse image look-up.

This works like Bing or Google, but rather than using words to find related information, the search matches pictures.

Some of the free image search engines, like TinEye and Google, will also verify when and where a picture was taken and if it was altered.

Copyright infringement firms use this same technology but will also hire a lawyer and cover the costs of filing a lawsuit.

Image copyright

Image caption

“We’re happy to be the bad guy,” says Kain Jones, the chief executive of Pixsy

Pixsy is close to filing its 100,000th case of copyright infringement in five years. It currently monitors close to 100 million images.

“Keeping on top of all of this is impossible for any individual. For us, we see this as a very big problem for photo owners and photo creators,” says Kain Jones, the chief executive of Pixsy.

He argues that licence fees are “bread and butter” to many photographers.

“That’s where we come in, where we’re happy to be the bad guy,” Mr Jones says.

However, Chip Stewart, a media law professor at Texas Christian University in the US, says that because so many of these cases settle out of court, the system is ripe for abuse.

Recently, a student of his used an image from a Creative Commons website for the school newspaper. Though she did not have to pay a licence fee, she did not follow the requirements listed under the photo, to credit the photographer or add a link to his website.

Image copyright
Jeffrey McWhorter

Image caption

Law professor Chip Stewart says the system favours copyright owners

Through Pixsy, the photographer found the student and issued her a letter asking for a $750 licence fee.

“The 20-year-old student was pretty terrified getting a demand letter and she said, ‘I thought we did everything right.’ And I said, ‘I can tell you right now that you didn’t, but it’s an easy mistake to make.'”

A search through public records revealed that the photographer had filed more than 40 similar cases that year. They negotiated him down and agreed to pay a fee of $500.

Fighting over such a small fee in court would cost a fortune.

“It is not worth two years and tens of thousands of dollars of litigation on the off-chance we might win. And if you lose, you might pay the lawyer fees. That’s what these copyright troll firms realise – is that the system is so heavily weighted in favour of copyright owners,” says Mr Stewart.

In response Pixsy said: “One of our key criteria [for Pixsy to work on the case] is that it is a commercial usage of the photo. In your example of the private university, they are a revenue-generating organisation and are not exempt from copyright law. A case would be with the university itself and not an individual student.”

Some actors have given those who pursue copyright claims a bad reputation. One particularly prolific lawyer, Richard Liebowitz, has been dubbed a “copyright troll”, having filed about 1,280 cases in the Southern District of New York since 2017.

As well as the sheer number of cases he’s filed, his behaviour has not endeared him to the courts and a judge recently fined him $103,500 for misconduct, which included “repeated violations of court orders and outright dishonesty, sometimes under oath”.

Image copyright
Nile Hawver

Image caption

Joe Naylor’s company helps defend the copyright of professional photographers

Joe Naylor is the chief executive of ImageRights International, another company like Pixsy that uses technology to help photographers pursue copyright infringement.

He says lawyers like Liebowitz are bad for the industry.

“It does profound and fundamental damage to copyright holders who are trying to protect their rights,” says Mr Naylor.

Pursuing licence fees must always be the photographer’s choice. However, Mr Naylor says his company does not recommend photographers go after non-profit blogs or student newspapers.

While he understands this happens, he says ImageRights International is more interested in defending professional photographers like Sean Heavey.

“There’s literally no word that can be spoken to me that makes me more angry than photographers being called trolls for trying to pursue their own claims.”

Image copyright
Sean R. Heavey

Image caption

Mr Heavey says photographers have to protect their images

Sean Heavey still sees instances of The Mothership used without permission.

If people credit the picture he “lets it slide”, especially if there is no profit involved.

Recently he found a lady who was selling prints of the photo claiming it was her picture. Another Instagram influencer often claims The Mothership is his.

He says: “Being able to stand up and know your rights – it’s good, because it keeps food on the table for my family.”

30th September 2020

In_pictures PSG offer ‘strong support’ to Neymar after racism allegation

In_pictures PSG offer ‘strong support’ to Neymar after racism allegation


in_pictures Neymar is sent off
Neymar was dismissed for making contact with the back of Gonzalez’s head, after the incident was viewed by VAR replay

Paris St-Germain will “strongly support” their Brazilian playmaker Neymar after he said he was racially abused by Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez.

Neymar was the last of five red cards in Sunday’s bad-tempered Ligue 1 match, sent off for hitting Gonzalez.

On Twitter, Neymar accused his opponent of racism and urged the authorities to use VAR to clarify matters.

Marseille have made a statement saying Gonzalez is not racist.

PSG said there was “no place for racism in society, football or in our lives”.

In a short statement issued on Monday, the French champions said the club “looks forward to [French governing body] the LFP’s disciplinary commission investigating and ascertaining the facts”.

“The club remains at the LFP’s disposal for any assistance required,” the statement added.

Marseille’s statement said: “Alvaro Gonzalez is not racist; he demonstrated it to us by his daily behaviour since joining the club, as his team-mates have already testified.”

The statement warned of the “serious consequences” of the private telephone numbers of Gonzalez and his relatives being released on Brazilian media and social networks, which had led to “constant harassment, consisting in particular of death threats”.

It added Marseille were “the very symbol of anti-racism in French professional sport, given its history and that of the city of Marseille, the diversity of its stands and the relentless struggle it leads always to eradicate this scourge”.

The statement continued: “Its players demonstrate it in their daily commitment on and off the pitch.”

Neymar and team-mates Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa, plus Marseille pair Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, were dismissed after trouble broke out in added time following a shove by Paredes on Benedetto.

After his dismissal, Neymar informed the fourth official he had been subjected to racial abuse by Gonzalez and later wrote of the Spaniard: “Insulting and bringing racism into our lives no, I don’t agree. I don’t respect you, you have no character.”

Gonzalez denied racism and accused Neymar of being a bad loser.

The LFP disciplinary committee will meet on Wednesday to examine all five red cards and will use reports from officials and match pictures to decide whether further disciplinary action is taken.

30th September 2020

In_pictures Sydney blue whale: Rare sighting was ‘possibly third in 100 years’

In_pictures Sydney blue whale: Rare sighting was ‘possibly third in 100 years’


in_pictures A blue whaleImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The sighting of the blue whale has been described as “extremely rare” (file photo)

A blue whale has been spotted off the coast of Sydney in Australia for possibly only the third time in almost 100 years, wildlife authorities say.

The whale was seen last month in waters near the beachside suburb of Maroubra in New South Wales.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) confirmed the “extremely rare” sighting on Friday.

Blue whales – the largest animals on Earth – are rarely seen so close to the shore, it said.

“The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet yet despite its size it could have easily slipped by Sydney’s coast unnoticed,” Andrew Marshall of the NPWS said in a news release.

Mr Marshall said the sea creature may have been more than 25m (82ft) in length and weighed more than 100 tonnes (100,000kg).

Yet despite their size, blue whales are “largely ‘invisible’ even to the most avid whale watchers”, Mr Marshall said.

“They are not often seen because they tend to live very far out to sea, their populations are widely dispersed and we have very limited data on its migration and critical habitat,” he said.

The rarity of the sighting was not lost on one photographer, who managed to take pictures of the whale as it swam along the coast near Maroubra.

“I’m speechless but could blurt out a million things at the same time,” the photographer said of the sighting in an Instagram post.

“Yesterday watching a lot of humpbacks travel south in my usual spot at Maroubra, one of the great wonders of the magical ocean appeared in-front of me: a blue whale.”

The photographer said he was “completely mesmerised” by the whale, adding: “I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot.”

Mr Marshall said the sighting was “the first verified record of this species off our coast”.

Unlike the humpback whale, which is showing signs of an annual population recovery of about 10-11%, the blue whale population in NSW’s waters remains elusive.

“That’s why opportunistic sightings like this one are so incredibly valuable,” said Mr Marshall.

“They improve our understanding of where these species live and suggest if there are measures we need to consider to try to protect them.”

In_pictures You may also be interested in:

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Media captionA blue whale has washed up dead on a beach in Japan – the first time one has been sighted there

27th September 2020

In_pictures FinCEN Files: Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin linked to $8m Putin ally funding

In_pictures FinCEN Files: Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin linked to $8m Putin ally funding


in_pictures Lubov ChernukhinImage copyright

Image caption

Lubov Chernukhin started donating to the Conservative Party in 2012

The husband of one of the Conservative Party’s biggest donors was secretly funded by a Russian oligarch with close ties to President Putin.

Lubov Chernukhin has given £1.7m to the Tories, including paying to spend time with the last three prime ministers.

Leaked files show her husband received $8m (£6.1m). The money initially came from a politician facing US sanctions due to his closeness to the Kremlin.

Her lawyers say the donations are not tainted by Kremlin influence.

A leak of banks’ “suspicious activity reports” – called the FinCEN Files and seen by BBC Panorama – shows Vladimir Chernukhin was sent the money in 2016 from a British Virgin Islands company linked to Suleyman Kerimov.

Officials at Deutsche Bank in New York reported it as being among $278.5m of transactions involving the offshore company.

There has been an increasing focus on donations to political parties from wealthy UK-based Russians in recent years, with July’s parliamentary report by the Intelligence and Security Committee referring to the possibility they could allow people to “assist Russian influence operations”.

In_pictures ‘Not fit and proper donors’

Billionaire Mr Kerimov is a member of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He has been under investigation in France over allegations of tax fraud since 2016.

In 2018 he was sanctioned by the US authorities, who were targeting those they said “play a key role in advancing Russia’s malign activities”.

Mr Chernukhin, 52, is a former deputy minister of finance under Vladimir Putin, who left Russia for London in 2004 after being sacked by the president.

The Chernukhins – one of the UK’s most prominent Russian-born couples – are now both British citizens and live in London.

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PA Media

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Vladimir Chernukhin with Vladimir Putin – he was sacked as deputy finance minister in 2004

Mrs Chernukhin’s donations to the Conservative Party began in 2012.

The majority – more than £1.5m – came after the $8m payment linked to Mr Kerimov was made to her husband on 29 April 2016, although it is not clear if any of that cash went to the Tories.

Journalist and Russia expert Edward Lucas, who gave evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into Russian influence, told Panorama: “The Chernukhins, pleasant people that they might be… are not fit and proper people to make donations to a British political party.”

Mr Lucas said he was “profoundly concerned by the access that, not only Lubov Chernukhin but also other rich Russians have to the heights of the Conservative Party, and to the government”.

In_pictures Winning bids

Mrs Chernukhin’s donations to the Tories have given her access to figures at the top of UK government.

In return for £135,000 she was invited to a ladies’ night dinner at a luxury hotel with Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet in April 2019. She is pictured above, fourth from the right.

And the 47-year-old has twice made winning bids at auction for tennis matches with Boris Johnson. The last, in February this year, cost her £45,000.

In 2014 she paid £160,000 to play tennis with Prime Minister David Cameron and then London Mayor Mr Johnson.

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Getty Images, PA Media

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In 2014 Mrs Chernukhin paid to play tennis with Prime Minister David Cameron and Boris Johnson (Pictures from 2013 and 2008)

As of this year she is the biggest female donor in British history to the Tories. According to Electoral Commission records, she has given about £1.7m in total over the past eight years, including £335,000 between last January and July.

When in 2018, Boris Johnson – then foreign secretary – was asked about the Chernukhins and the £160,000 tennis match donation, he told the BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “If there is evidence of gross corruption in the way that gentleman… obtained his wealth… then it’s possible for our law enforcement agencies to deprive him of his wealth.”

But he added “all possible checks have been made and… will continue to be made” on donations.

In_pictures ‘Property projects loan’

The $8m payment to Mr Chernukhin was made by an offshore company called Definition Services, which was controlled by Mr Kerimov’s children. The documents show their funding came from their father and it was Mr Kerimov who had the personal relationship with Mr Chernukhin.

As Deutsche Bank was processing the money, it sent questions to officials at another bank involved in the transaction.

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Getty Images

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The $8m payment came from an offshore company linked to Suleyman Kerimov

They said it was a “loan between the two parties aiming to support further immovable property projects of the borrower” and that Definition was involved in real estate investments.

Despite the response, Deutsche Bank filed a suspicious activity report (SAR), noting the link to Mr Kerimov and the payment to Mr Chernukhin.

Deutsche said Definition was “registered and banking out of high risk jurisdictions and the commercial purpose of the transactions and the relationship between the parties could not be determined”.

In_pictures What do we know about the Chernukhin’s finances?

Some of Mr Chernukhin’s financial affairs have been made public as part of a long running legal battle with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska over the ownership of a former industrial site in Moscow.

Proceedings at the High Court in London revealed he set up a trust for his wife, and another trust for the benefit of the couple together.

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Central News

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Vladimir Chernukhin has been involved in a long-running legal battle in London

Mrs Chernukhin has been described as a former banker.

She is listed as a director of four UK companies. One of them shares the same London correspondence address detailed in a bank document concerning the $8m payment to her husband from Definition Services.

Lawyers for the Chernukhins declined to say whether Mr Chernukhin had received the $8m.

But they said “Mrs Chernukhin has never received money deriving from Mr Kerimov or any company related to him” and her “donations to the Conservative Party have never been tainted by Kremlin or any other influence”.

They added all her donations have been declared in accordance with Electoral Commission rules.

Lawyers for Suleyman Kerimov said he denies all the allegations made by Panorama, and had “no dealings with Ms Chernukhin whatsoever”.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “There are people in this country of Russian origin who are British citizens and have the democratic right to donate to a political party. Many have been vocal critics of Putin and it is completely wrong and discriminatory to smear them all with the same brush.”

The FinCEN Files is a leak of secret documents which reveal how major banks have allowed “dirty money” to be moved around the world. They also expose how US intelligence sees the UK as a “higher risk jurisdiction” and show it is awash with Russian cash from unexplained sources.

The files were obtained by BuzzFeed News which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 400 journalists around the world. Panorama has led research for the BBC.

FinCEN Files: full coverage; follow reaction on Twitter using #FinCENFiles; in the BBC News app, follow the tag “FinCEN Files; Watch Panorama on the BBC iPlayer (UK viewers only).

27th September 2020

In_pictures Manchester Arena attack: The families searching for answers

In_pictures Manchester Arena attack: The families searching for answers


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionLisa Roussos: ”It should be about transparency”

Lisa and Andrew Roussos say they feel as though they are stuck in May 2017.

That’s when their eight-year-old daughter Saffie was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Saffie was the youngest victim of the attack.

A little girl with striking big eyes and a mane of dark hair, who loved dancing and making people laugh. Lisa and Andrew say she was a real live-wire who “never sat still”.

The pain of her loss is as great as ever.

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Roussos family

“It’s not something you get over, ever,” Lisa says.

“Every morning you wake up. It happens again. She died that day, every day.

“That’s just how it is. And we have to live with that.”

Now the Roussos family and the other families bereaved that night are steeling themselves for a difficult few months.

The public inquiry into the bombing, which starts hearing evidence on Monday, will examine every aspect of the attack, including whether it could have been prevented, the emergency response and the experiences of each of the 22 people who died.

In_pictures ‘Complete chaos’

Saffie’s parents say they still feel too raw to hear information about her last moments.

“I don’t want to know about her injuries and what she went through,” Lisa says.

“It’s painful enough without knowing the details.”

But the couple do have a lot of other questions which they want answers to.

Andrew says the attack “could have been prevented, it could have been stopped and Saffie and the others could have been here with us”.

“And that’s what we want out of it,” he says. “To find out why there were so many wrongs.”

Referring to the way the emergency services responded to the attack, Lisa adds: “It was just complete chaos, nobody had a clue what to do, how to react.

“It was just a complete shambles. For those people that did make mistakes, the police, fire service, MI5, for them to admit their mistakes I think would be a good thing for them, as well as us.”

Saffie’s Ariana Grande ticket was a treasured Christmas present.

She went to the concert with her big sister Ashlee and their mum Lisa.

In_pictures ‘Like a horror movie’

Andrew came to collect them, with Saffie’s 11-year-old brother Xander and the family’s pet chihuahua Binky in tow.

By chance, a press photographer took some pictures of Andrew and Xander outside the arena, in the aftermath of the bomb.

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Joel Goodman/LNP

You can see the shock and bewilderment on their faces, Xander clutching the dog as his father searched for his wife and children.

They came across Ashlee, sitting on the pavement outside the arena.

She was bleeding but conscious, and being looked after by members of the public.

Reassured by this, Andrew carried on looking for Lisa and Saffie.

He says: “It was just like a horror movie, there were kids screaming there were kids injured on the floor.

“There were people around and they were all crying, it was just… I have no words.”

Andrew feels that the police were not in command.

“I asked every police officer that I went past,” he says.

“They just said just keep looking.

“Nobody had control of it, because nobody gave me any indication of what to do, where the injured were.

“Nobody said to me, ‘right stay here, let me make some phone calls let me get in touch with some people and see’. They just left you to just wander round.”

Andrew and Xander spent all night searching.

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Roussos family

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Eight-year-old Saffie Roussos was the youngest victim of the Manchester Arena attack

They thought all of the injured had been brought out of the arena and had no idea that Lisa and Saffie were on the floor of the foyer just yards away from them.

Andrew says: “My daughter and my wife were lying on this floor. Do you know how that feels?

“I could have been with them, particularly Saffie. I could have been holding her hand, instead of a stranger. Imagine how she was feeling lying there?”

Father and son went to three hospitals before they found Lisa the next morning.

Andrew says: “They told me to prepare for the worst. If she was going to make it there was an 80-90% chance of her being paralysed from the neck down.”

Andrew was exhausted and already at rock bottom. But he still had hopes of finding Saffie alive.

He’d heard that children who were displaced at the arena were sheltering in nearby hotels. He grabbed a police officer at the hospital and pleaded again for information.

Eventually it came.

Fourteen hours after the explosion Andrew learned that Saffie was dead.

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After multiple operations, Lisa Roussos has defied the doctors’ prediction of paralysis.

She is a gentle person with calm determination – and she rarely talks publicly about the horrors of the attack.

She tells me: “The worst thing for me was – is – if Saffie could have been saved.”

I ask her if it’s something that she plays over in her head?

“I have done, yeah,” she says. “To think that, not just Saffie, the other people. How could they leave injured people in the arena for hours? It’s just madness.

“I remember lying there thinking help will be here soon, and in the end it felt like I was lying there for hours. [I thought] ‘why is nobody coming?'”

The Roussos family also have many questions for the security service MI5.

They want to hear the detail of what was known about the bomber Salman Abedi and his brother Hashem who helped to build the bomb.

But some of the hearings involving MI5 will be held behind closed doors, without the families or their lawyers expected to be present. They’re being restricted on grounds of national security.

Lisa says: “Obviously you’re having to put your full trust in the (inquiry) chairman. But this inquiry is not about trust, it should be about transparency, and I feel that we won’t get that without having a representative in the room.”

Andrew adds: “We’ve got five or six law firms representing all the families, so let’s have one barrister from each firm in that room.

“All I hear is lessons learned, but lessons haven’t been learned, and lessons will never be learned, unless we get that transparency and honesty from the people involved to get the answers that we need.”

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