The Guardian 2024-06-10 00:02:06


Outrage over ‘massacre’ in Gaza as Israel rescued four hostages

Top EU diplomat says ‘bloodbath must end’ after Israeli attacks killed at least 274, according to Gaza ministry

  • Israel-Gaza war – live updates

Israeli attacks in central Gaza killed scores of Palestinians, many of them civilians, on Saturday amid a special forces operation to free four hostages held there, with the death toll sparking international outrage.

At least 274 Palestinians were killed and 698 wounded in Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Gaza’s health ministry said on Sunday. The Israeli military said its forces came under heavy fire during the daytime operation.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, called it a “massacre”, while the UN’s aid chief described in graphic detail scenes of “shredded bodies on the ground”.

“Nuseirat refugee camp is the epicentre of the seismic trauma that civilians in Gaza continue to suffer,” Martin Griffiths said in a post on X, calling for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages.

The bodies of 109 Palestinians including 23 children and 11 women were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital, which also treated more than 100 wounded, a spokesperson, Khalil Degran, told AP.

He also said more than 100 people killed in Israeli attacks had been taken to al-Awda hospital, with 210 victims in total. That figure was also given by the Hamas media office, but could not be verified.

The Israeli military spokesperson R Adm Daniel Hagari confirmed on Saturday that dozens of Palestinians had been killed. He knew that “under 100” casualties had been reported, but could not say how many were civilians, he told a briefing.

The rescue raid was Israel’s largest such operation of the war, freeing Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 40. All four were healthy and were reunited with their families on Saturday after medical tests.

Scores of hostages are believed to be held in densely populated areas or inside Hamas’ labyrinth of tunnels, making such operations extremely complex and risky. A similar raid in February rescued two hostages while leaving 74 Palestinians dead.

While Israelis celebrated their return, Palestinians in Gaza mourned the many dead, or watched over injured loved ones in the overcrowded al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

One wave of heavy Israeli bombing in Nuseirat was launched to secure the passage of the three men, who had been held together. Argamani was rescued alone, from a separate location.

The special forces team extracting male hostages was confronted by militants, Israel’s Channel 12 television reported, and when a rescue vehicle got stuck, called in backup from Israel’s airforce and other troops in the area. They escaped under heavy bombardment, the report said.

Special forces operated under heavy fire in a “complex urban environment” to carry out the rescue, the Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, said, describing it as one of the most extraordinary operations he had seen in a decades-long military career.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said the raid – only the third successful military rescue of the war – was proof “Israel does not surrender to terrorism”. He has long insisted that military pressure is the best way to ensure the return of all Israelis captured on 7 October.

But beyond Israel, the hostages’ joyful reunions with their families were overshadowed by the horror at how many people were killed in Gaza during the operation to secure their release.

Borrell, in a post on X condemned “in the strongest terms … reports from Gaza of another massacre of civilians”. He called for a ceasefire and the release of all remaining hostages. “The bloodbath must end immediately,” he said.

As the war drags on into its ninth month, Netanyahu has come under increasing international pressure to agree a ceasefire deal and domestic pressure to secure the return of all Israelis still held in Gaza.

The rescue operation may give Netanyahu temporary relief at home. After the news broke, his political rival Benny Gantz, a security cabinet member, delayed a speech planned for Saturday evening. He had been widely expected to announce he was leaving the government, having given Netanyahu an ultimatum to form a long-term plan for Gaza.

But hostages’ families were quick to repeat their demands for a ceasefire deal to release their loved ones, saying in a statement on Saturday evening that the military could not bring back all of those still held captive.

“The hostages don’t have time. We can’t free everyone in operations, and we must go for a deal that will save lives,” said Ayala Metzger, the daughter-in-law of the hostage Yoram Metzger, 80, who this week was announced to have died in captivity.

Israeli forces have now freed seven hostages, but the majority of those who are now back home were handed over under a temporary ceasefire deal last November. There are still 120 held in Gaza, at least a third of them presumed dead.

A spokesperson for Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’s armed brigades, Abu Ubaida, also claimed some Israeli hostages had been killed during the rescue raid, without giving evidence or details.

Internationally, the death toll in Gaza may isolate Netanyahu further, and give additional weight to calls for a halt to fighting.

US intelligence was reportedly involved in supporting the Israeli mission, and the president, Joe Biden, welcomed the return of the four hostages, but also said efforts to reach a deal to halt the war and secure the return of everyone held in Gaza would continue.

He has personally pushed hard for an agreement and apparently been frustrated by resistance in the Israeli government, suggesting in a recent interview that Netanyahu may be prolonging the war to protect his personal political interests.

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Narendra Modi sworn in for third term as prime minister of India

Modi becomes second leader in Indian history to win three consecutive terms, but opposition leaders snub ceremony

Narendra Modi has been sworn in as prime minister of India for a historic third term, ushering in a new era of coalition politics for India’s strongman leader.

The ceremony, which took place at the presidential palace on Sunday evening, marked Modi’s return to power, only the second leader in India’s history to win three consecutive terms.

A beaming Modi stood next to two Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) heavyweights, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, who were both confirmed to return as cabinet ministers. As he stepped up to the podium to make his pledge to the president, Droupadi Murmu, loud cheers erupted from the vast crowds gathered to watch the ceremony.

Modi’s third term is likely to take a very different shape from his previous decade in office after his BJP faced an unexpectedly challenging election. The party won the most seats in the polls, which took place over almost two months with the results finally announced on Tuesday, but fell short of an absolute majority.

Modi had to rely on coalition partners, notably smaller regional parties, to give the BJP enough seats to claim a parliamentary majority and form the government. It is the first time that Modi, who is used to leading from the front, has been forced to govern in a power-sharing arrangement, with coalition partners taking several cabinet and ministerial posts.

Analysts believe the BJP’s new dependence on secular coalition parties could present a challenge for Modi and may curtail some of the more authoritarian and dictatorial tendencies of his government in the past, in particular his pursuit of Hindu-first policies.

Since he came to power in 2014, Modi has reshaped the secular country with an aggressive Hindu nationalist agenda, gaining widespread support among India’s 80% Hindu majority. His supporters credit him with India’s economic growth and elevated standing on the world stage, but he lost swathes of votes in the election because of issues such as chronic unemployment and fears over India’s democracy.

Speaking to his coalition parties over the weekend, Modi pushed back at the opposition alliance who have claimed that the election was a defeat for the prime minister. “We did not lose,” he said but also struck an unusually conciliatory note, adding: “To run the government, a majority is necessary. But to run the nation, a consensus is necessary.”

The opposition alliance, which goes by the acronym INDIA, performed far better than polls had predicted in the election, and will be returning to parliament with more than 230 seats, more than double the previous election.

Heads of state from neighbouring countries, including the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, and the Sri Lankan president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, flew in to attend Modi’s swearing in ceremony. Also in attendance were two of India’s richest industrialists, Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, who are seen to enjoy a close relationship with Modi, and the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress party, attended the ceremony as a representative for the INDIA opposition alliance, but all other opposition leaders snubbed it.

Mamata Banerjee, the head of the opposition Trinamool Congress party, said she would not be attending as the government was being formed “illegally and undemocratically”, adding that governments “sometimes last only for a day”.

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Austria’s far-right Freedom Party is the likely winner of the European parliament election, Reuters reports, citing a polling-based “trend forecast” that was carried out for Austrian broadcasters and a news agency and which was published when polling stations closed on Sunday.

The forecast, based on surveys of 3,600 people carried out in the past week for national broadcaster ORF, Puls 24 TV and APA showed the Freedom Party (FPO) in first place on 27.0% followed by the conservative People’s Party (OVP) on 23.5% and the Social Democrats (SPO) on 23.0%.

Hundreds of millions head to polls on final day of European elections

Voters in most EU member states called to polls on Sunday, as far-right parties expected to gain record number of seats

Hundreds of millions of voters are going to the polls in European parliament elections that are expected to tilt the assembly further to the radical and far right, shaping the continent’s future course.

Voters in most EU member states, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, are called to the polls on Sunday, the final day of a four-day election cycle that began in the Netherlands on Thursday.

In the first European election since Britain left the EU, voters are being asked to elect 720 lawmakers to the world’s only directly elected transnational parliament. Opinion polls suggest the mainstream, pro-European groups will retain their majority, but see their clout and influence challenged like never before, with nationalist and far-right parties on course to gain a record number of seats.

Once derided as a talking-shop, the European parliament has gained significant powers over the last two decades. MEPs are joint legislators with national government ministers on a swathe of EU policies, such as climate action, artificial intelligence, workers’ rights and farm subsidies. The parliament, which sits in Brussels and Strasbourg, will also have the final say on whether the German centre-right politician, Ursula von der Leyen, gets a coveted second-term as European Commission president, one of the most powerful positions in European politics.

The largest bloc is likely to remain von der Leyen’s centre-right European People’s party, which is expected to roughly maintain its 176 seats in a parliament that is slightly larger than the outgoing assembly. The centre-left Socialists and Democrats group should retain their second place with about 139 seats. But the centrist Renew group and Greens are forecast to lose seats, dragged down by the weakness of national parties in the two biggest member states, France and Germany.

In Germany, which will elect 96 MEPs, the Greens – part of an unpopular coalition government led by Socialist Olaf Scholz – have paid an electoral price for controversies over domestic climate laws. The German Greens are expected to lose some of their existing 25 seats, meaning the wider European parliament group is likely to sink back from the historic fourth place it won in 2019 on the back of protests for climate action across Europe.

In France, which will send 81 MEPs to Brussels and Strasbourg, French president Emmanuel Macron is polling far behind Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally, which is expected to repeat its feat of topping the poll with an even bigger lead than in 2019 or 2014. The weakness of Macron’s party could see the centrist Renew group – dominated by French MEPs – lose its traditional third place.

The Renew faction could be supplanted by the nationalist, hard-right European Conservatives and Reformists, thanks to the rising fortunes of Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, increasingly seen as the kingmaker of European politics.

The latest polls suggest Meloni’s Brothers of Italy is on course to triple its percentage share of the vote, at the expense of her coalition partners, the far-right League.

While Le Pen has made overtures to Meloni to create a nationalist “super-group”, most analysts expect the Italian leader to shun that alliance in favour of a smaller, more coherent right-wing group that could work with von der Leyen’s commission. Polls suggest the nationalist and far-right parties could return a record 165 MEPs, but these are likely to remain scattered over two, possibly three groups as well as unaffiliated MEPs, blunting its influence.

Observers will be watching whether Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán chooses to align his Fidesz MEPs to a right-wing alliance. Fidesz, which has 12 seats, has been politically homeless since quitting the centre-right EPP in 2021, before they were kicked out over concerns about Hungary’s authoritarian drift.

In the Netherlands, Left and Green politicians hailed a narrow lead in exit polls on Thursday over the far-right Freedom party, although the margin of error also suggested a tie. In Thursday’s Dutch vote an exit poll showed the Green-Left-Labour alliance winning eight of the Netherlands’ 31 seats, with Geert Wilders’ PVV on seven seats, up from one in 2019. But the margin of error of the poll, conducted by the Dutch National Broadcaster NOS, was one seat.

Nevertheless, Frans Timmermans, parliamentary leader of the alliance, said: “It is not at all a foregone conclusion that the radical right will win these elections. Look at what the Netherlands is doing? Do the same.”

Turnout will be a keenly watched metric in the election: the 2019 vote, which took place against a backdrop of the UK’s chaotic departure from the EU and tensions with Donald Trump’s White House, saw turnout reach 50.6%, the highest for 25 years. This election also sees an expansion in youth voting with Belgium and Germany joining Austria and Malta in giving 16-year-olds the vote.

The European parliament has attempted to motivate young voters with a powerful campaign video featuring older people recalling the Nazi occupation, the Holocaust and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The Use your Vote video had been viewed more than half a billion times on social media, TV, cinemas and football stadiums in the five weeks to 2 June.

An estimated 361 million people are voting during the four-day election cycle that ends at 11pm CET on Sunday when Italian polls close. European parliament officials expect to have a fairly definitive picture of the next parliament by about 1am on Monday CET (midnight BST), with predicted results appearing earlier in the evening.

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“Could I just request a little help from yourself and you’re OBO colleagues? Can you please please please stop being so positive that there will be play… every time I read the OBO and one of you wonderful people starts talking about ‘when’ the play will begin, it (almost without fail) ends up being a washout. Just hold you’re horses and be a little more vague and I’m sure we’ll end up with some cricket at some point.”

Brendan Large is tuning in from Norway. Vagueness be damned – the match is due to resume in five minutes! Five Brendan, FIVE!

Kamala Harris on Trump’s conviction: ‘Cheaters don’t like getting caught’

Vice-president says Trump thinking he ‘is above the law’ should be disqualifying for Republican would-be president

Donald Trump has assailed the validity of his conviction in the criminal case involving hush-money payments to an adult film actor because “cheaters don’t like getting caught,” Kamala Harris said during a speech on Saturday.

“Simply put, Donald Trump thinks he is above the law,” the vice-president told an audience at a dinner hosted by the Michigan state Democratic party. “This should be disqualifying for anyone who wants to be president of the United States.”

Harris’s remarks in Detroit about the presumptive Republican nominee for November’s presidential election came after the former president has repeatedly disparaged the New York state judge who oversaw the trial culminating in Trump’s being found guilty on 30 May.

Trump has tried to persuade the electorate into believing that the judge, Juan Merchan, is unfair and somehow conspiring with the Joe Biden White House to which Harris belongs, even though it was state-level prosecutors – not federal ones – who brought the recently concluded case against him.

Trump’s rhetoric that his criminal trial in New York was “rigged” echoed his supporters’ justification for their attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, a desperate but failed attempt to keep him in power after his electoral defeat to Biden weeks earlier, Harris suggested on Saturday. She also alluded to how Trump and his allies have openly boasted about exacting retribution against those who are perceived to have crossed the former president and some of his aides.

“He suggests the case could be a ‘breaking point’ for his supporters, hinting at violence. He spreads lies that our administration is controlling this case when everyone knows it was a state prosecution. And he says that he will use a second term for revenge,” Harris said.

“You know why he complains? Because the reality is cheaters don’t like getting caught.”

While there was a generally friendly audience for her comments about Trump on Saturday, she was heckled by a pro-Palestinian protester demonstrating against the Biden administration’s response to Israel’s ongoing military strikes on Gaza. Officials quickly removed the heckler as the vice-president said, “I’m speaking right now,” the local television station WJBK reported.

That encounter wasn’t the only time over the weekend that Biden’s administration was reminded of public dissatisfaction with its handling of the war in Gaza, which the Israeli military launched in response to Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the White House on Saturday. Though footage posted to social media showed police using pepper spray on demonstrators, the Republican US senator Tom Cotton – a vocal, far-right critic of the Biden administration – appeared on Sunday on Fox News and argued that the president goes too easy on such protests.

“Joe Biden thinks that these pro-Hamas, anti-American lunatics should be guiding American policy towards Israel,” Cotton said.

Harris took aim at Trump on Saturday as the former president and Biden are essentially tied nationally as well as in key battleground states, at least according to a new poll by CBS News.

That stalemate exists even after Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments delivered to Stormy Daniels, the adult entertainer who has alleged an extramarital sexual encounter with the Republican before he successfully ran for the Oval Office.

He still faces 54 other pending criminal charges accusing him of 2020 election interference as well as improper retention of classified materials after his presidency, allegations contained in two federal prosecutions and one state case in Georgia.

In civil court, Trump has been grappling with multimillion-dollar penalties for business practices deemed fraudulent as well as a rape accusation that a judge has determined to be substantially true.

Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to embarrass Biden over the fact that his son, Hunter, had spent the previous several days standing trial on federal gun charges in Delaware.

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Kamala Harris on Trump’s conviction: ‘Cheaters don’t like getting caught’

Vice-president says Trump thinking he ‘is above the law’ should be disqualifying for Republican would-be president

Donald Trump has assailed the validity of his conviction in the criminal case involving hush-money payments to an adult film actor because “cheaters don’t like getting caught,” Kamala Harris said during a speech on Saturday.

“Simply put, Donald Trump thinks he is above the law,” the vice-president told an audience at a dinner hosted by the Michigan state Democratic party. “This should be disqualifying for anyone who wants to be president of the United States.”

Harris’s remarks in Detroit about the presumptive Republican nominee for November’s presidential election came after the former president has repeatedly disparaged the New York state judge who oversaw the trial culminating in Trump’s being found guilty on 30 May.

Trump has tried to persuade the electorate into believing that the judge, Juan Merchan, is unfair and somehow conspiring with the Joe Biden White House to which Harris belongs, even though it was state-level prosecutors – not federal ones – who brought the recently concluded case against him.

Trump’s rhetoric that his criminal trial in New York was “rigged” echoed his supporters’ justification for their attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, a desperate but failed attempt to keep him in power after his electoral defeat to Biden weeks earlier, Harris suggested on Saturday. She also alluded to how Trump and his allies have openly boasted about exacting retribution against those who are perceived to have crossed the former president and some of his aides.

“He suggests the case could be a ‘breaking point’ for his supporters, hinting at violence. He spreads lies that our administration is controlling this case when everyone knows it was a state prosecution. And he says that he will use a second term for revenge,” Harris said.

“You know why he complains? Because the reality is cheaters don’t like getting caught.”

While there was a generally friendly audience for her comments about Trump on Saturday, she was heckled by a pro-Palestinian protester demonstrating against the Biden administration’s response to Israel’s ongoing military strikes on Gaza. Officials quickly removed the heckler as the vice-president said, “I’m speaking right now,” the local television station WJBK reported.

That encounter wasn’t the only time over the weekend that Biden’s administration was reminded of public dissatisfaction with its handling of the war in Gaza, which the Israeli military launched in response to Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the White House on Saturday. Though footage posted to social media showed police using pepper spray on demonstrators, the Republican US senator Tom Cotton – a vocal, far-right critic of the Biden administration – appeared on Sunday on Fox News and argued that the president goes too easy on such protests.

“Joe Biden thinks that these pro-Hamas, anti-American lunatics should be guiding American policy towards Israel,” Cotton said.

Harris took aim at Trump on Saturday as the former president and Biden are essentially tied nationally as well as in key battleground states, at least according to a new poll by CBS News.

That stalemate exists even after Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments delivered to Stormy Daniels, the adult entertainer who has alleged an extramarital sexual encounter with the Republican before he successfully ran for the Oval Office.

He still faces 54 other pending criminal charges accusing him of 2020 election interference as well as improper retention of classified materials after his presidency, allegations contained in two federal prosecutions and one state case in Georgia.

In civil court, Trump has been grappling with multimillion-dollar penalties for business practices deemed fraudulent as well as a rape accusation that a judge has determined to be substantially true.

Republicans, meanwhile, have sought to embarrass Biden over the fact that his son, Hunter, had spent the previous several days standing trial on federal gun charges in Delaware.

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*Zverev 3-6 6-2 7-5 Alcaraz Between games, Alcaraz bitches about insufficient clay on the court and that it’s playing like hard; shouldn’t that be good for him? I’m certain Zverev will have enjoyed hearing it, and he serve-volleys confidently to make 15-0. He’s so much better at that than he was, and it gives him an option should he need it whereas previously all he could do was hope to play better. A poor backhand from Alcaraz soon cedes 0-30, but tremendous hitting from the back halves the deficit and keeps things horrifically, majestically tense … then again. I’m not sure how either player can even hold his racket, never mind use it to attack balls with lethal force … and goodness me look at that, a monstrous point and a monstrouser – monstrousest! – serve out wide on to the line to raise set point! But Alcaraz, always thinking, lifts up three consecutive moon-ball backhands to the baseline and eventually Zverev errs! AND NOW LOOK! A stupendous point from Alcaraz, a surprise slice zoning over the net and leaving Zverev at the net, lost in the supermarket and unable to decide what to do, a nondescript response allowing the wrong-footing pass. And goodness me what a match this is, another ludicrous pressure-serve restoring deuce and an overhead muscled down raising a second set point. Then preparing to serve, Zverev discards a ball with blood on it, perhaps his after he tested his insulin levels at change of ends; more tension. And more terrifying groundstrokes before Zverev finds a forehand that’s too good, and from 2-5 down, he rebounds to claim the set! This is scintillating stuff, and it’s not even close to finished!

Michael Mosley: TV presenter found dead on Greek island, wife confirms

Dr Clare Bailey says her husband ‘almost made it’ after his body was found close to a coastal resort in Symi

  • ‘He was a hero to me’: Michael Mosley’s friends and peers pay tribute

The wife of the British TV presenter Michael Mosley has confirmed the “devastating” news that her husband has been found dead on the Greek island of Symi.

Dr Clare Bailey said she and the couple’s four children took comfort in the fact that he “had almost made it”, after his body was found close to a coastal resort on Sunday.

“We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team.”

Mosley, 67, went missing after going for a walk on the island on Wednesday, sparking an intensive five-day search.

Confirming that he had been found, Bailey said she did not “know quite where to begin”.

In a statement she said: “It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.”

Bailey, who met Mosley at medical school, said she was “incredibly proud” of the couple’s children and of their resilience and support. “My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It’s clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you,” she said.

She added that Mosley – who repeatedly tested scientific theories on his own body – was an adventurous man, which was “part of what made him so special”.

She added: “We are so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi who have worked tirelessly to help find him. Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked. We’re also very grateful to the press who have dealt with us with great respect.

“I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends. Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael.”

On the fifth day of what had become an increasingly frantic hunt, Mosley was reportedly discovered by a camera operator working with the state broadcaster ERT.

His body was discovered on rocky terrain close to a fence, next to a small resort which is accessible only by boat or by foot. The resort is on the opposite side of the bay from where he had left his wife and friends and around 30 minutes’ walk from Pedi, where he was last seen.

Extreme weather warnings have been in place this week in Symi, where temperatures have reached above 40C (104F) in the afternoon.

“It is clear from his watch and clothes that it is Dr Mosley,” a police spokesperson, Konstantina Dimoglou, said. It was unclear how long he had been dead, Dimoglou said. A police source told BBC News the deceased had been dead “for a number of days”.

A news camera crew said they had spotted the body from a boat in the bay of Ayia Marina, having zoomed in on an image they had captured.

“We located him [from a boat] when we went into the bay of Ayia Marina,” said the ERT journalist Aristides Miaoulis, who described how when the team’s camera operator looked back at his footage he noticed “something strange”.

“Looking back at the material he had got, he saw something strange near a fence, about 50 metres from the sea, and then we could see, once we zoomed in, that it was this man because his watch was glinting [in the sun].”

The island’s mayor, who was with the media team, said previously 200 people had searched the site and yet, Mosley had not been found. The Hellenic coastguard was immediately called to the area, and it was taped off.

The discovery was made on the day search teams had turned their focus to a set of caves belonging to a rocky outcrop close to Ayia Marina beach. Images, which had been intentionally blurred, showed the remains were found on rocky land by a chain link fence close to the beach resort.

The father of four is thought to have been walking from St Nikolas beach to the port of Symi Town where he was staying in a house with friends, a walk of a little over 2 miles.

At around 2pm local time (12pm BST) on Sunday, firefighters arrived at the marina by boat and carried an orange stretcher and large black bag to where the body was found; others in plain clothes and carrying briefcases went up the rocky hill, PA Media reported.

Five firefighters left the island by boat with the body on a stretcher at around 2.45pm local time. On Saturday, an emergency services helicopter spent hours flying across the mountainous search site on Symi between Pedi bay and Ayia Marina.

The discovery of the body came amid a massive air, land and sea operation to find the TV presenter and health guru, who popularised intermittent fasting and designed the 5:2 diet.

Mosley set off hiking from St Nikolas beach at 1.30pm local time on Wednesday, bound for the port town of Symi when he vanished outside the seaside village of Pedi.

CCTV images of Mosley taken about 20 minutes after he was last seen showed him shielding himself against the fierce sun under an umbrella.

His wife raised the alarm at 7.30pm after he failed to return to the house where the couple were staying with British friends who live part of the year on the island and where Mosley had left his mobile phone. A search and rescue operation was launched to locate Mosley, who is best known for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning. Bailey was later joined by the couple’s adult children on the island.

The search included police, firefighters, coastguard officials, drones, helicopters, divers and a specially trained sniffer dog brought in from Athens. It was one of the biggest operations of its kind in living memory. Initially, investigators had focused the search on the clifftop path Mosley had taken from the beach as he headed towards Pedi.

Mosley, a columnist for the Daily Mail, made a number of documentaries about diet and exercise, including the Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? He was also part of the BBC series Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.

He lived with tapeworms in his gut for six weeks for the documentary Infested! Living With Parasites on BBC Four.

Mosley was also credited for the rising popularity of the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for two days a week to lose weight. He was named medical journalist of the year by the British Medical Association in 1995.

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EU expected to impose import tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles

Experts believe Beijing will retaliate with measures that could hit European exports from cheese to cognac

The EU is expected to notify China that it will impose tariffs on electric vehicle imports this week, firing the starting gun on a potential summer trade war with Beijing.

A formal pre-disclosure of tariffs could happen as early as Wednesday, after a lengthy investigation into China’s state subsidies for its car manufacturing, which is predicted to conclude that massive support continues to be concentrated on the EV sector.

Chinese manufacturers are already bracing themselves for new import duties, but experts anticipate that Beijing will retaliate with countermeasures that could hit a range of EU exports to the country, ranging from cognac to dairy products.

After meeting the Chinese president, Xi Jingping, in Paris last month, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, warned that “the world cannot absorb China’s surplus production”, saying the EU would “not waver” from protecting industries and jobs inside the bloc.

The anti-subsidy investigation was launched last October amid suspicions that China was flooding the EU with cheaper EVs as a result of overcapacity and dampened domestic consumer demand.

It is one of more than a dozen inquiries being conducted by the EU into Chinese state aid, including an investigation into exports of solar panels, heat pumps and wind turbines, which the energy sector says are undercutting the EU by 50%.

Experts suggest Beijing will see the imposition of tariffs as a test of strength, given that the electric car sector is fuelling China’s success in exports.

They predict that Xi will not waver from the national bet he has made to dominate the green tech sector around the world through EVs, solar panels and electric vehicle batteries, instead seeing trade as a battleground where he can set the terms.

Should the EU investigation conclude on Wednesday, as expected, that Chinese car manufacturers have won a competitive advantage, Beijing will receive a formal pre-notification of tariffs and will have four weeks to provide any evidence to disprove the European case.

Any decision to apply tariffs permanently must be backed by member states in November, about 13 months after the launch of the investigation.

If imposed, the tariff schedule would involve three tiers: individual rates for the sample of companies investigated by the EU, which include the world’s biggest EV seller, BYD; an average tariff for companies that cooperated with inquiries but were not fully investigated; and a residual tariff for those that were not investigated at all.

The Rhodium Group consultancy, which specialises in research on China, said it expects the tariffs to be set at 15%-30%, which will be easy to absorb for conglomerates such as BYD, which launched its entry-level Dolphin hatchback in the EU last summer priced at just under €30,000 (£25,000). As part of its marketing push it is also an official partner of Uefa in the Euro 2024 football championship.

“Some China-based producers will still be able to generate comfortable profit margins on the cars they export to Europe because of the substantial cost advantages they enjoy,” Rhodium said.

“Duties in the 40-50% range – arguably even higher for vertically integrated manufacturers like BYD – would probably be necessary to make the European market unattractive for Chinese EV exporters.”

China has long argued that it has not been subsidising its automotive sector, and even if it were, its exports help the countries of the west achieve their green targets.

Earlier this week on a tour of Spain and Portugal the commerce minister, Wang Wentao, insisted cooperation with the EU was a “win-win” strategy. “I hope that the European side will abandon protectionism and return to the correct path of dialogue and cooperation,” Wang said, calling on Spain to easy “anxiety” over a potential costly rift.

He said the overcapacity the EU keeps talking about is not an excess of production capacity but an excess of anxiety, and the so-called market distortion is not a distortion of the market but a distortion of mindsets.

Western governments say China can easily modulate its strategy, absorb tariffs and compete on a level playing field, but it cannot be allowed to dominate the future clean energy and tech market.

European consumers have already paid a heavy price through higher energy bills after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed the EU’s over-reliance on Russian gas, and EU officials are determined not to repeat the mistake with China, pursuing an official “de-risk” strategy.

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Ukraine recovery conference urged to focus on preventing energy blackouts

NGOs fear discussion at Berlin event about long-term reconstruction might seem irrelevant amid power cuts

Russian damage to Ukraine’s power grid has led to calls for a recovery conference starting in Berlin on Tuesday to pivot away from long-term reconstruction and focus on preventing prolonged energy blackouts this winter.

Lengthy summer power cuts, as well as domestic price increases, are already afflicting Ukraine, with state agencies forced to cut energy use, adding urgency to the calls to boost air defences.

The conference, due to be addressed by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will see the unveiling of 95 investment projects needing western funds as well as a mass of progress reports against more than 200 reform targets set by the EU and multilateral banks.

Ukrainian NGOs have been expressing fear that a two-day discussion about a plan for reconstruction after a currently theoretical Russian military defeat might seem irrelevant to the immediate need of boosting resilience.

In one of the many calls for the conference to focus on immediate crises, Mattia Nelles, the CEO of the German Ukrainian Bureau urged: “Stop talking about abstract long-term recovery. Let’s focus on not just providing Ukraine with sufficient weapons and ammunition but also helping focus on energy resilience. With well over 50% of the country’s energy production destroyed, the situation looks increasingly dire.”

Speaking on Friday, Ukraine’s deputy finance minister Olga Zykova said Russia’s terror attacks on Ukraine’s power grid had destroyed 8 gigawatts of capacity, forcing a fall in the GDP forecast from 4.6% to 3.5%. Restoration was a top priority.

She added it was now certain that the war would not be over in 2024.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the head of the G7+ energy coordinating group, said Ukraine’s energy system was in “an extremely fragile state” as a result of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.

Top officials from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development visited Kyiv this week to sign a plan to offer €300m (£250m) of new funding for Ukraine’s state-owned energy sector companies and to explore further support for the energy sector.

At the weekend the US president, Joe Biden, announced a $225m (£180m) package of extra air defence interceptors in a bid to slow the damage. This is on top of the money distributed to the multinational energy support fund which has been so far reliant on grants from Germany, the EU, Sweden and the UK.

Western diplomats have expressed concerns at the dismissal a month ago of the deputy prime minister for restoration, Oleksandr Kubrakov, and a plan to split his ministry in half. Josh Rudolf, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund said Kubrakov and his team had been regarded as innovators in fighting corruption and building transparency. He said: “Central power has come to wipe out the team that was building a transparent system of national restoration and replaces it with loyalists.” Kubrakov had set up internet-based forms of transparency.

One analyst said: “The words reconstruction and recovery are like a lightning rod, in fact recovery has become a toxic word. Ukrainians are sick and tired of the international conference about recovery. They say they don’t need a recovery conference. We want to prevent recovery from being needed, and that requires a harder edge about resilience, weapons and energy.”

Last year’s event, held in London in the optimistic context of an imminent Ukrainian offensive, focused on building private sector involvement in Ukraine’s economic recovery.

Berlin has been planning for the conference for months and has set out four broad themes including mobilising the private sector for reconstruction and economic growth, social capital and human capital for the future of Ukraine, recovery of municipalities and regions, and finally the necessary internal reforms to meet EU accession criteria, including revamping the supreme court to root out corruption.

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Austrian-Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach charged with sexual assault

Auto parts magnate, 91, arrested over five charges including rape, indecent assault and forcible confinement

Authorities in Canada have charged Austrian-Canadian auto parts billionaire Frank Stronach with sexual assault dating back to the 1980s.

Peel regional police said in a statement that Stronach, 91, was arrested on Friday and charged with five crimes including, rape, indecent assault on a female, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

Police allege the sexual assaults spanned from the 1980s to as recent as 2023.

A lawyer for Stronach did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Constable Tyler Bell of Peel regional police said there was more than one alleged victim but declined to say how many.

“Obviously, this is a high-profile case,” Bell said. “Our special victims unit is bound to protect the victims and in doing so that’s why we’re are being vague.

“There is more than one victim but we won’t confirm that number yet.”

Bell said they were appealing to members of the public to come forward if they have information or have been victims.

The statement said Stronach had been released on conditions and will appear at the court of justice in Brampton, Ontario, at a later date.

The billionaire founder of Magna auto parts has also had major investments in horse racing. He has been named to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors.

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