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The Guardian: World News: news on page 1155

China's Shanghai sets population at 25 million to avoid ‘big city disease’

China's Shanghai sets population at 25 million to avoid ‘big city disease’

Financial hub and port city will also limit land available for construction in bid to tackle pollution and shortage of servicesChina’s financial hub of Shanghai will limit its population to 25 million
Last-minute flurry in Cumbria makes it officially a white Christmas

Last-minute flurry in Cumbria makes it officially a white Christmas

Weather warnings issued for Boxing Day as areas of Scotland follow northern England in going from rain to snowThose dreaming of a white Christmas had their wishes granted, eventually, as parts of
Vitaly Mutko quits football role before 2018 World Cup to fight doping ban

Vitaly Mutko quits football role before 2018 World Cup to fight doping ban

Russian deputy prime minister also considering resigning as local World Cup organiser as he appeals against Olympic life ban Vitaly Mutko, a Russian deputy prime minister who was banned for life from
Call for Syrian refugees' interpreters to get psychological support

Call for Syrian refugees' interpreters to get psychological support

Study finds interpreters working with the Syrian refugee resettlement programme in Scotland need ‘priority’ support due to stress and depressionInterpreters for Syrian refugees should be given
Three climbers die in avalanches in Swiss Alps

Three climbers die in avalanches in Swiss Alps

Two Swiss died in the Valais region while a Frenchman was killed attempting the 2,376m Glattwang in the country’s eastThree mountain climbers from Switzerland and France have been killed in avalanches
Russian ships escorted through North Sea by British naval vessels

Russian ships escorted through North Sea by British naval vessels

Russian naval activity near Britain increases in the holiday period, only a few days after foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s trip to MoscowA British ship escorted a Russian vessel as it passed near UK
Crocodile in Melbourne front yard surprises couple on Christmas Day

Crocodile in Melbourne front yard surprises couple on Christmas Day

Police are looking for clues to the origin of a saltwater crocodile that had to be corralled by a snake catcher in Heidelberg Heights A couple of Melbourne walkers got a Christmas Day croc shock when
Asylum offices 'in a constant state of crisis', say whistleblowers

Asylum offices 'in a constant state of crisis', say whistleblowers

Two whistleblowers claim Home Office departments delay asylum applications for profitStaff in the Home Office’s asylum directorate are undertrained, overworked and operating in a “constant state of
Rebel groups reject talks on Syrian conflict hosted by Russia

Rebel groups reject talks on Syrian conflict hosted by Russia

Rebels refuse to head to Sochi conference, claiming that Moscow has not contributed ‘one step’ to ease the suffering of Syrian civiliansSyrian rebel groups on Monday rejected Russia’s planned Sochi
Four arrested as Christmas Day beach parties in Melbourne and Sydney turn sour

Four arrested as Christmas Day beach parties in Melbourne and Sydney turn sour

Police and revellers exchange accusations after confrontations involving several thousand people at St Kilda and Little Bay Four people have been arrested after two huge, unplanned Christmas parties
Remains found after search for swimmer missing off Phillip Island

Remains found after search for swimmer missing off Phillip Island

Authorities issue surf warning after drowning off Cape Woolamai in Victoria and Christmas Day tragedy on NSW north coast Human remains have been found during the search for a swimmer missing off Cape
How reader funding is helping save independent media across the world

How reader funding is helping save independent media across the world

As the number of Guardian supporters continues to grow, we look at independent publications with their own take on membership modelsAfter the Guardian wrote three weeks ago about the collapse of
Trump, Putin and Xi: a year of tough-guy leaders and foolish brinkmanship

Trump, Putin and Xi: a year of tough-guy leaders and foolish brinkmanship

A look back at 12 months of spreading authoritarianism and huge egos the world over, with Beijing and Moscow making the most of weak and volatile US leadership It was the year of the hard man – the
Sound of Music actor Heather Menzies-Urich dies aged 68

Sound of Music actor Heather Menzies-Urich dies aged 68

Actor who played Louisa von Trapp had no acting experience before starring in 1964 film alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher PlummerSound of Music actor Heather Menzies-Urich, who became famous
US lawmakers put aside politics in sharing Christmas messages

US lawmakers put aside politics in sharing Christmas messages

Even Trump’s most vocal opponents stuck to festive messages, having used the days before Christmas to deliver more pointed political messages at the presidentUS politicians sent messages of peace, joy
New York City's electric bike delivery workers face crackdown

New York City's electric bike delivery workers face crackdown

Officials promise crackdown on e-bikes, which are liked by environmentalists and the workforce that relies on them, but loathed by drivers and pedestriansCheap, electric bicycles have made life a lot
Scotland united in curiosity as councils trial universal basic income

Scotland united in curiosity as councils trial universal basic income

Four local authorities tasked with turning utopian fantasy into reality with backing of first minister and multi-party supportUniversal basic income is, according to its many and various supporters,
‘You can’t afford to get upset’: behind the scenes with London’s 999 operators

‘You can’t afford to get upset’: behind the scenes with London’s 999 operators

Frontline emergency services are frequently hailed for their heroism, but less is known about the critical role 999 operators playInside a cavernous screen-filled room on an industrial estate in south
Detained Briton's trial postponed after translation confusion

Detained Briton's trial postponed after translation confusion

Laura Plummer is accused of trafficking after bringing 290 tablets of the opioid painkiller Tramadol into EgyptThe trial of British citizen Laura Plummer has been postponed to Boxing Day after
For Iraq's Christians, a bittersweet first Christmas home after Isis takeover

For Iraq's Christians, a bittersweet first Christmas home after Isis takeover

Hundreds return to celebrate their first Christmas together again in the Northern Iraqi town of Teleskof, which was targeted by Islamic State militantsInside the newly renovated Church of Saint George