charlotte hobbs

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Family fears reprisals just days after sisters are hailed heroes for fighting off abusers

They are unlikely heroines, sitting in the barely furnished front room of their modest house down a narrow alley in a village in northern India. Slim-shouldered, almost frail, but outspoken and unafraid, even if they now say they fear for their lives.<p>Aarti and Pooja Kumar, 22 and 19 years old, …

Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about 'ineffective' program

The full extent of the CIA’s interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in a milestone report by the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday that concluded the agency’s use of torture was brutal and ineffective – and that the CIA …

What language tells us about the roots of the stone age diet

Next month, the UK’s first paleolithic restaurant will open in London. The paleo, stone-age or caveman diet has been around in various forms for decades. But it harks back to a much earlier time, when our eating habits were supposedly in line with our evolution, before agriculture came along and …

Facebook pays no UK corporation tax for a second year

Social media company reports a pre-tax loss of £11.6m for 2013, despite its US parent making a net profit of £900m<p>Facebook paid no UK corporation tax for the second year in a row in 2013, while employees received shares in the company worth tens of millions of pounds.<p>The world’s largest social …

Egypt is in the grip of a violent tyranny – with the west’s backing

For a westerner, Tiananmen Square instantly conjures up the horror of a tyrannous dictatorship turning its military might against its own people; of the lone man, shopping bags in his hands, standing defiantly against the approaching People’s Liberation Army tanks. I doubt many of us have even …

Asteroid's 'bad timing' killed off dinosaurs, new evidence shows

Edinburgh University experts say asteroid hit Earth at a time when ecosystems had been weakened by a loss of biodiversity<p>Dinosaurs might have survived the catastrophic impact that ended their reign had the devastating asteroid that slammed into the Earth arrived at a "more convenient time", a …

Wooded Wonderland: Yakushima

In Japan’s epic anime film <i>Princess Mononoke</i>, legendary director Hayao Miyazaki shrouds the real-life island of <b>Yakushima</b> with surrealism, its misty granite mountains the backdrop for a conservation message.<p>Yet this wraithlike landform, which rises from the turbulent Tanegashima Strait like a …

Affordable Greece

Think Greece and conjure up images of white-washed villages cascading down hillsides, azure seas sparkling in bright sunshine and powder-soft white sand beaches. A visit to this special country is a lifelong dream for many, as it delivers an astounding array of breathtaking landscapes, ancient …

Ljubljana: a small but beautiful capital

Ljubljana, Slovenia's biggest city (say lyoob- <i>lya</i>-nah – the j’s are mostly silent), also happens to be one of Europe's greenest and most liveable capitals. It’s conveniently set up for visitors too – most of the city’s top attractions are clustered in a compact pedestrianised area around a bend in …

Kids, guns and the American way

In February, a nine-year-old Arkansas boy called Hank asked his uncle if he could head off on his own from their remote camp to hunt a rabbit with his .22 calibre rifle. “I said all right,” recalled his uncle Brent later. “It wasn’t a concern. Some people are like, ‘a nine year old shouldn’t be off …

Inside the famous Phnom Penh cinema that has become a living nightmare

In early summer, as the rainy season approaches Phnom Penh, the faintest wind shakes Meas Sopheap’s home – a creaky shelter in the once-grand building. Water seeps through the roof, fashioned from plastic sheets and corrugated iron, into a mound of sodden rubbish underfoot. At 87, her body bears …