Fridays top story: civilian death toll rising as Kurds flee Turkish onslaught. Plus, Americas failed aid promise to Haiti

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Good morning, Im Tim Walker with todays essential stories.

US warns of red lines but Erdoan is more wary of Russia

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Erdoan warns EU against calling Syria operation an ‘invasion’ video

The US has warned Ankara it faces sanctions should it cross certain red lines in north-east Syria, as the civilian death toll rose on the second day of the Turkish invasion. But Turkeys president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, may be more concerned about the response from Russia and Iran, who also have forces on the ground. Inside Syria, Martin Chulov finds Kurds bitter at the betrayal by the US, while Bethan McKernan reports from the Turkish side of the border where a fierce Kurdish counter-attack has prompted an exodus.

Giuliani associates charged as Trump ramps up Biden attacks

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Donald Trump hits out at Bidens, Somali refugees and Ilhan Omar at Minnesota rally video

Two associates of Rudy Giuliani who were under scrutiny amid the congressional impeachment inquiry have been arrested and charged with election finance violations as they tried to leave the US. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born Americans who have been photographed with the president, are accused of channeling donations to a pro-Trump PAC from an unidentified foreign national, so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials.

  • Lies and insults. At a rally in Minnesota on Thursday, Trump whipped up supporters with conspiracy theories, blatant falsehoods and profane insults directed at Joe Biden and his other political opponents, in a further preview of what could be an unprecedentedly dirty 2020 election battle.

Google made large contributions to climate change deniers

The contributions appear to give the lie to Googles insistence that it supports action on the climate crisis. Illustration: Guardian Design

Despite Googles repeated insistence that it supports action over the climate crisis, the company has made substantial contributions to more than a dozen organisations that deny climate science and campaign against climate legislation. Asked about the apparent conflict as part of the Guardians Polluters project, Google insisted its collaboration with such groups does not mean we endorse the organisations entire agenda.

  • Section 230. Google continues to curry favour with conservatives because it needs their support for an obscure law unrelated to climate change, as Stephanie Kirchgaessner explains.

Fires hit northern and southern California

Firefighters battle the Sandalwood Fire in southern California. Photograph: Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/AP

Two dozen mobile homes in southern Californias Riverside county fell victim to a fast-moving wildfire on Thursday and 100 homes were evacuated because of a blaze in the San Francisco Bay area, while almost 2 million Californians remained without power due to preventive outages. The utility Pacific Gas & Electric said the large power shutoff could go on for several days for some customers, given the continued fire risk from hot, dry winds.

  • Greed and neglect. The California governor, Gavin Newsom, blamed the power outages not on climate change but on the mismanagement, greed and neglect of PG&E, Americas largest investor-owned utility.

Cheat sheet

  • Ethiopias prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has been awarded the 2019 Nobel peace prize for his success in resolving his countrys longstanding border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

  • An Iranian oil tanker traveling through the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia has been hit by two separate explosions, which the National Iranian Tanker Company said were probably caused by missile strikes.

  • The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, have surprised sceptics in Brussels and Westminster by saying they have identified a pathway to a possible Brexit deal after private talks on Thursday.

  • Officials in Hong Kong have revealed that 750 of the 2,379 people arrested during pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city over the past four months are minors, and more than 100 of them are under the age of 16.


Naomie Harris in her new film, Black and Blue. Photograph: Alan Markfield/Sony

Naomie Harris: I get consumed by the characters that I play

At 43, the Oscar nominee Naomie Harris is taking on her first leading role in a movie, as a cop in the action thriller Black and Blue. She tells Cath Clarke why she almost quit acting after her acclaimed performance in Moonlight: I was thinking of opening a nail salon.

How the US broke its pledge to help rebuild Haiti

After a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, the US stepped in with a promise to help rebuild the country, including with a $300m industrial park and a new port. Almost a decade later, the industrial park is an economic failure and the port project has been abandoned. Jacob Kushner reports.

The genius mapping the worlds largest jail system

Kelly Lytle Hernndez, a UCLA history professor and recent recipient of a MacArthur genius grant, is the creator of Million Dollar Hoods, a project to map the incarceration of 17,000 people in LA, the worlds largest jail system. She spoke to Sam Levin about prison abolition and building a rebel archive.

Mark Ruffalo: making environmental activism sexy

Mark Ruffalo has combined his passions for acting and activism in his latest film, Dark Waters, in which he plays a lawyer, Rob Bilott, who has spent two decades battling big chemical firms over PFAS, a class of toxic chemicals contaminating US water supplies. Ruffalo and Bilott tell Maanvi Singh about their collaboration.


Hunter Biden received a $600,000-a-year corporate handout from a Ukrainian energy firm for the same reason the Trump children got jobs overseeing a real estate empire, argues Hamilton Nolan: the moral failure of nepotism infects Democrats and Republicans alike.

When you are the son of a famous and powerful politician, you are showered with opportunity whether you deserve it or not. This is nepotism but it is also, if we are being direct, a form of corruption. Moral corruption.


The Washington Mystics beat the Connecticut Sun 89-78 on Thursday night in game five of the WNBA finals to claim the first title in the franchises history, helped by 21 points from the leagues MVP, Elena Delle Donne.

Tom Brady moved into second place on the NFLs all-time passing yards list as the Patriots put in another dominant performance to beat the Giants on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the 49ers have had a historically great start to the NFL season. Why dont they look like a historically great side, asks Oliver Connolly.

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