More than 30 Democrats threaten to boycott Israeli prime minister’s planned speech in Congress

Israel and the US are bracing this week for the most strained moment in relations since Barack Obama came to power, after Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington on Sunday night to urge Congress to oppose a nuclear deal with Iran.

As he flew out of Ben Gurion airport,Netanyahu described his 48-hour trip to Washington as “a fateful, even historic mission”, which is to culminate in a controversial speech to Congress in which he will speak out against an emerging pact with Iran over its nuclear programme.

I believe Israel is a lot safer with an agreement that’s agreed to by all of the big powers including ourselves

We are going to test whether or not diplomacy can prevent this weapon from being created

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By Dan Roberts in Washington, Mairav Zonszein in Jerusalem and Oliver Laughland in New York

: News

During speech, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner says lawyer found dead in January, who had accused her of a cover-up, had in fact complimented her

Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said on Sunday the prosecutor who had accused her of a criminal cover-up had also praised her, characterising the late Alberto Nisman’s actions as contradictory in a sharply worded speech that included a rebuke of Israel over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre.

Fernández said documents had been found in Nisman’s safe, one written in December and the other in January. She said in both he spoke favourably of the president’s speeches to the United Nations aimed at getting justice for the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, which killed 85 people.

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By AP in Buenos Aires

: News

Human rights activists express alarm about British police evidence supplied to Thai authorities investigating murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller

Human rights activists have expressed alarm after it emerged that British police might have breached legal guidelines by providing evidence to Thai authorities which could potentially help them execute suspects accused of murdering two British backpackers.

The investigation into the deaths of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in September on the holiday island of Koh Tao has already prompted concern following claims that the two young Burmese migrant workers arrested for the crime were tortured by Thai police to secure confessions, which they then retracted.

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By Peter Walker

: News

Danny Alexander says the 8% tax, additional to the bank levy, would raise £1bn a year and be included in party’s election manifesto if it fails to make budget

The Liberal Democrats will press for a supplementary charge to be placed on banks until 2017-18 and announced in next month’s budget, Danny Alexander the treasury chief secretary has announced.

The charge set at 8% would raise £1bn a year and remain in force until the mandate to eliminate the current deficit is met. The levy would remove the reductions in Corporation Tax on the banks since 2010, and would be additional to the existing bank levy.

We have always insisted that the banks help fund repairing the economy

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By Patrick Wintour and agencies

: News

Judge who cleared Badawi of the capital crime of renouncing Islam has referred his case back to court, say his family, who call for a royal pardon

Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger who was sentenced to a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, now faces being beheaded for renouncing the religion, his family have said.

They claimed to have learned of attempts within the Saudi judicial system to have Raif Badawi retried for the crime, which carries a death sentence. Amnesty International said it was looking into the claims, which could not be verified on Sunday evening.

We call on the world citizens and governments not to leave Raif dragged by such bigots to death

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By Kevin Rawlinson

: News

• Scrum-half’s instincts key to Wales revival against top sides
Sam Warburton waits for knee injury swelling to subside
Match report: France 13-20 Wales

There was a time when it took something special to win in Paris but now all a team need are the basics. Wales sorted out their set pieces – which they used to get their hard-running backs over the gainline – tackled with relish and kicked their penalties in claiming a victory that put them back in the title race after the opening night defeat to England.

France huffed without puff. Beating them, even here, means little in the wider context any more. Ireland in Cardiff next week will ask considerably more of Wales who could hardly believe their fortune when France started running from deep early, moves foundering through sloppy passes, poor handling and a lack of understanding. It was sad to see, like a boxer well past his prime trying to revisit past glories, the fight getting more distant from them with each attempted blow.

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By Paul Rees at the Stade de France

: News

Scotland 19-22 Italy
• Scrum-half manufactures win at Murrayfield
More rugby union news

Any defeat in any competition makes waking on Monday morning a dark experience. Scotland, after a third straight loss, will open their eyes and not know whether it is night or day. For Peter Horne it may feel that dawn will never break.

Italy stole all the sunshine, pouring joy over themselves in celebration of their first win of 2015 – only their second in their last 15 Tests and only their second away from home in the Six Nations in 15 years.

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By Eddie Butler at Murrayfield

: News

Some of the 300 victims, mostly girls in care, were exploited for more than eight years despite repeated calls for help to authorities

More than 300 young people have been groomed and sexually exploited by gangs of men in Oxfordshire in the past 15 years, a damning report into the failures of police and social services to stop years of sexual torture, trafficking and rape will reveal, the Guardian has learned.

The victims, mostly girls, come predominantly from the city of Oxford, increasing concerns that the grooming and exploitation of vulnerable young people by groups of older men is not confined to the inner cities. One senior investigative source said: “If you think you haven’t got a problem in your city or town, you are just not looking for it.”

If you think you haven’t got a problem in your city or town, you are just not looking for it

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By Sandra Laville

: News

Indian Summers’ energy was always going to come from agitation beyond the garden gates – and there are signs the unrest is now approaching a healthy roil

Episode three is about the perpetuation of power through covert manipulation and violent repression – there is also a cake that looks like a boob.

The upcoming inquest into Ralph’s near-shooting (an event he describes as “a watershed moment”, like it was those two girls kissing on Brookside) forms the spine of the story. Ralph, who has something to hide, attempts to influence Aafrin’s testimony by offering him a new job as head clerk. I dunno; head clerk sounds as exciting as second washer-up, but, contextually, it’s a life-changing promotion.

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By Rhik Samadder

: News