Trump defends Kavanaugh as fate of hearing unclear: 'I feel so badly for him'

President said he feels ‘terribly’ for nominee as Senate firms up hearing details following sexual assault allegations

Donald Trump again rushed to the defense of embattled supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday, saying he feels “terribly” for the judge as he faces a public hearing over an allegation of sexual assault from a California professor.

“I feel so badly for him. This is not a man who deserves this,” Trump said of Kavanaugh at a news conference at the White House with the Polish president, Andrzej Duda.

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China’s pitiless war on Muslim Uighurs poses a dilemma for the west

Europe seeks a ‘golden era’ of trade and investment with a country that is holding a million people in ‘re-education’ camps

China is facing mounting international criticism over its systematic repression of Muslim Uighurs in western Xinjiang province, where an estimated 1 million people have been detained in “re-education” camps and subjected to prolonged physical and psychological abuse.

But Chinese leaders remain defiant, telling the UN and human rights activists last week, in effect, to mind their own business. The stand-off highlights one of the most challenging 21st century dilemmas for western democracies: how to sustain the pretence that an increasingly totalitarian China is a “normal” country with which they can do business.

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Documents reveal Salisbury poisoning suspects' Russian defence ministry ties

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are wanted for the Skripal novichok attack, are linked to Russian defence ministry

Documents uncovered by investigative journalists have provided the first public evidence that the suspects in the Salisbury novichok attack have formal ties to the Russian ministry of defence.

British authorities have charged Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with conspiracy to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. The former Russian spy and his daughter were found collapsed on 4 March; the police officer fell ill after trying to help them. Prosecutors say Petrov and Boshirov work for Russian military intelligence, which President Vladimir Putin has denied.

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Russia is mocking us. First the Salisbury attack, then information warfare. Time to wake up | Carole Cadwalldr

Its ambitions are to disrupt Britain’s politics, so why are the government and security services seemingly in denial about the threat?

Have you been to Salisbury? Have you visited the cathedral, whose 123-metre spire the two men identified as Russian military intelligence assassins claimed was the reason for their visit on two consecutive days in March this year?

Have you walked the streets where Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov carried a bottle of military-grade nerve agent in search of their victim, Sergei Skripal?

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Protests as Bannon defends Europe’s far right at debate

Trump’s controversial former top aide was interviewed for festival in London

Protesters voiced their anger on Saturday as Steve Bannon took part in a controversial live debate in which he defended far-right political figures in Italy and Hungary.

Speaking in New York at the Open Future festival organised by the Economist, Donald Trump’s former aide hailed Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister, and Viktor Orbán, Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, for attempting to protect the “sovereignty of their country”.

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Carolinas face catastrophic flooding as Florence breaks rainfall records

  • Death toll of 11 from former hurricane likely to rise
  • North Carolina governor: ‘We know we’re in for a long haul’

Tropical storm Florence moved slowly down the Carolina coast on Saturday, as officials forecast catastrophic flooding in the region and said at least 11 people had been killed by the giant weather system that is set to plague the area for days ahead.

Related: Five dead as Florence lashes Carolinas and ‘catastrophic’ flooding predicted

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Israeli missiles strike near Damascus airport, says Syrian state media

A Syrian military source claims its activated air defences shot down some of the missiles

An Israeli missile attack targeted the Syrian capital’s airport late Saturday, activating air defences which shot down some of the projectiles, state news agency SANA reported.

“Our air defences responded to an Israeli missile attack on Damascus International Airport and shot down a number of hostile missiles,” said a military source, quoted by SANA.

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Actor Dudley Sutton, who played Tinker Dill in Lovejoy, dies aged 85

Sutton’s agent confirms that actor, who also had roles in EastEnders and Holby City, has died

Dudley Sutton, who was known for playing Tinker Dill in the TV series Lovejoy, has died aged 85, his agent has confirmed.

A statement from Sutton’s agent said he died peacefully on Saturday at the Royal Trinity Hospice in London surrounded by his family, after being diagnosed with cancer.

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