10-Point Checklist for High Visibility in Google


Google is the pre-eminent search engine (SE) with no close competitor. Given that inclusion is free, your Web pages must be in it. We'll show you how to top the Google SERPs, that is, be found at the top of the search engine results pages. These techniques are known as search engine optimization (SEO) and require a small investment of your time.

I took two of my sites to the top of the SERPs in three months, so it can be done. My pages have few competitors: my challenge was mainly to get past false positives such as resumes, job vacancies, articles, and so on. If you are competing with "real" sites that are selling competitive products such as the ones you read about in your spam e-mails, you can get there within a year with some persistence.

Goal

Casual Google users use default settings, so your site must get into the top 20 results. Unfortunately, you cannot assume that visitors will use the most appropriate search terms. Real people are unpredictable.

Google SERP

You must understand that SERP positioning is dynamic - what you see depends on no single factor. It depends on the viewer's location, the type of search used (basic, advanced, regional, filtered, and so on), the content of the page, their keyword density, the page rank (PR), the search term (words or phrase), and so on. Therefore, you need to plan your site carefully.

Ten-Point Checklist

1. Domain Name and Server

Get a .ca domain if your audience is likely to look for Canadian sites. Use a global, top-level domain (gTLD) such as .com if your business is not local. A unique, topical name such as "dentist-atlanta.com" should rank higher in the SERPs than "dentist.com" or "smithclinic.com" (if the search term is likely to be "dentist in atlanta" or similar).

It is nice but not essential if the web host gives your site a unique IP address, but it is highly advisable to host your site on your own dedicated server. Shared web hosting means that a server could host thousands of web sites, and Google's spiders would be slowed down.

If you already have a Web site, you can find out its IP address using cmd.exe or an MS-DOS prompt, e.g. "ping www.cnn.com" and call up the displayed IP address in the browser. Example: http://64.236.24.12 brings up cnn.com. If you don't see the expected web page, it has a shared IP address.

2. Page Title

An ill-planned page title is the Achilles Heel of a Web page. This is the text that appears at the very top of the browser window.

The Title tag text should be brief and readable, avoiding superfluous words and punctuation marks. Begin with the most valuable keywords, e.g. "Root canal specialist dentist clinic, Mayfair, London", not something like "***** Fred Smith, BDS - 5 Stars Dental Clinic *****", or worse, "Welcome to my home page", or "Untitled".

3. Style Sheet

Placing style definitions in a .css (Cascading Style Sheet) file moves the body text close to the top of the document and shrinks the page size. Many Javascript effects can be replaced by CSS. Fast-loading pages are good for both humans and search engine crawlers.

4. Meta Tags

Google ignores the Keywords meta tag for ranking but other SEs use it. An extract from the Description meta tag sometimes appears in the SERP; sometimes you see a snippet from the body text. Moderation and relevance should be your benchmark for placing keywords in these tags.

5. Content

  • Quality content is rewarded by top placement in the search results. For example, if you sell new cars, used cars, and car service, you would have three branches, each containing pages relevant to that theme.

  • Links to popular causes, memorial ribbons, HTML validation, page counters, etc. could distract visitors to other sites.

  • Optimise images and keep the page size low.

  • Place key phrases towards the top of pages and in heading tags such as H1. Don't get hung up on a single keyword for the whole site. Pick different ones for different pages so that you have more ways to be found. Optimise for the search terms used by your paying customers, if you can identify them, not casual visitors.

  • Consider (this depends on the size and nature of your business) placing noncommercial pages such as staff pages, personal hobbies, genealogy and so on at a secondary level but not linked from the entry page. Some of my ranking success comes from hosting my hobby pages below my commercial site, because I cannot justify buying a domain for each of my interests. I legitimately link them to my resume, which has a link to my business site. This enables free placement of the secondary pages in otherwise for-fee directories.

6. Links and Folders

  • Link a site map from the home page so that crawlers can find the rest of your pages.

  • Link each page to the home page and to others in its logical group (but not to every other page in the site). The anchor text should use key phrases and words.

  • Use keywords for folders, image names and Alt text but don't overdo it. e.g. /hamilton/lawyer/divorce.htm, alt="Perth plumber" The deeper your directory structure, the less likely it will be spidered regularly.

7. Neighbourhood Watch

Get quality incoming links from sites that share your theme. Without referrals, it's near impossible to be visited by Googlebot. Try to get such links from sites with PR3 (Page Rank - see below) or better, not from link farms that are clearly built to boost PR. Make it easy for other sites to use keyword-loaded phrases in their links, say, by offering a cut-and-paste slice of HTML anchor code. Here is an example you can use to link to this page:

Links from lower-ranking peers will not penalise you; they simply won't appear in Google's list of backward links to your page. You cannot control who links to you, but you have control over who you link to.

Add a judicious number of outbound links to topical peers of the same or better calibre. Google likes links to authoritative sites, but don't overdo the external links. Although such sites might not overtly link to your site, their site statistics file might get crawled and constitute a link back to you.

8. Cloaking

Cloaking hides content from humans and SEs, which is generally a bad practice. Good reasons to cloak include hiding parts of your optimised pages from amateur competitors or to show different pages to different visitors based on their browsers.

Subscriber-only sites also manage to get into SEs. They use a cloaking practice known as "agent name delivery", which is a slab of code that checks whether the visitor is a crawler or a human. Crawlers get to see the whole site, but others are directed to a sign-up form.

9. Avoidable Practices

The following practices could get your site banned from Google at worst or lower its ranking at best:

  • Gimmicks. Pointless Javascript effects such as cursor trails and transitions do nothing for your viewers but place a lot of code above your body text. You want your content close to the top of the page.

  • Bad HTML code. Novice hand-coders might copy some HTML tags without understanding their meaning. One webmaster used the robot directive and wondered why his site was not fully in Google in spite of Googlebot visits and good incoming links. He was asking to be indexed, but for his links not to be followed.

  • Multiple sites with duplicated content, e.g. www.example.net and www.example.com hosted on the same server or different ones, as this is considered spamming. Use a permanent redirect on all secondary sites to point to the main domain.

  • Multiple copies of the same page. This is typically an entry or "doorway" page optmised for different keywords to lure different people, e.g. crackz.htm, serials.htm, passwords.htm, and so on.

  • Hidden content. This can be repetitive text on the same colour background or a layer with coordinates that are off the visible page. It begs the question why the author does not put this effort into creating visible text.

  • Flash-Only pages. A solution is a user agent entry check that displays Flash to enabled browsers, but plain HTML to crawlers and other human visitors.

  • Frames. Googlebot will crawl links in the Noframes text, but not ones in the framed pages. Other SEs might not crawl frames, so it is better to use tables and more so to use CSS. If you must use frames, ensure that you use the correct Doctype declaration for frames. I have noticed that Googlebot can now crawl links in frames but sometimes it cannot.

  • Submission software or service. They could submit your site to thousands of unknown SEs. You will get a lot of spam, abuse, and possible inclusion in link farms that will ruin your reputation in Google's eyes. After all, can you name more than five major SEs?

  • Session IDs. Sites that require session IDs from crawlers will get poor visibility because the previous session will have expired by the time Googlebot returns.

  • Over-optimisation. [Update 11/2003] Many sites that followed a strict "SEO formula" found that they could not be found at the top of the SERPs, or in the index at all. There is speculation that such tactics cause the sites to be filtered out of the search results.

10. Patience

Having optimized and submitted your pages to Google, get on with growing your business, because Google takes time to rank you. Work on getting quality, inbound links from high-ranking sites that feature the same subject matter. Increase your content and keep it fresh. Get free or paid listings in Google Adwords, Overture, Yahoo, Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org), and reputable engines such as MSN, Yahoo!, and Ask Jeeves.

Ash Nallawalla is an experienced Internet marketer. Much of his work involves search engine marketing, which includes pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. More information is at www.sem911.com/">http://www.sem911.com/


MORE RESOURCES:

Swedish journalist’s dismembered remains found at sea after she failed to return from trip on Madsen’s submarine

A Danish inventor has been sentenced to life in prison for the premeditated murder and sexual assault of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his submarine in August last year.

The judge, Anette Burkø, and two jurors found Peter Madsen, 47, guilty of all three of the main charges of premeditated murder, aggravated sexual assault and desecrating a corpse.

Continue reading...

Humanitarian chief and special envoy warn of potential for another humanitarian catastrophe

The UN’s two most senior Syria experts have warned of an Aleppo-style humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib as an EU donor conference aimed to raise up to $6bn (£4bn)to help Syrians displaced both inside and outside the country.

Idlib is the last major territory still in rebel hands. It is partly held by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadi group that Russia and the Syrian government regard as a legitimate target in an area where civilians and fighters continue to pour in as part of evacuation deals in other parts of the country.

Continue reading...

Cristina Cifuentes had been under pressure over claims she faked her master’s degree

The president of Madrid’s regional government has resigned after video footage emerged of her apparently being caught stealing two tubs of face cream seven years ago.

Cristina Cifuentes, one of the most high-profile figures in the conservative People’s party (PP) led by the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, had been under pressure to quit over allegations that she faked her master’s degree.

Continue reading...

French president’s offer seems calculated to appease Donald Trump’s discontent with the current ‘bad deal’ on Iran’s nuclear programme

Emmanuel Macron has proposed negotiations on a “new deal” aimed at curbing Iran’s military power and regional activities, to exist alongside a three year-old agreement that restricts the country’s nuclear programme.

Related: The Trump-Macron minibreak makes for some fantastique photographs

Continue reading...

Post appears to connect alleged killer with ‘incel’, or ‘involuntary celibate’, communities that have made sexual frustration the basis for misogyny

Shortly before a rented van ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10 and wounding 14 others, a short and cryptic message was posted on the Facebook account of Alek Minassian, the man accused of carrying out the attack.

The post referred to another mass killer – Elliot Rodger, who shot dead six people and wounded 13 others in Isla Vista, California, in 2014 – and said that the “incel rebellion has already begun. We will overthrow all the Chads and the Stacys”.

Continue reading...

Research shows that treating whole populations could wipe out the illness, but it requires decisive political action and a lot of money

Malaria could be quickly eliminated in south-east Asia by an all-out effort to dose whole populations with drugs that treat the disease, regardless of whether people have symptoms or are healthy, say experts.

The radical programme may be the best way to outpace rapidly spreading resistance to anti-malarial drugs, they believe.

Continue reading...

Verdict read out inside prison in Jodhpur due to fears of violence from his followers

An Indian court has found a guru guilty of raping a teenage girl in 2013 and sentenced him to life in prison.

The verdict against Asaram Bapu, 77, was read out inside a prison in Jodhpur, Rajasthan state, due to fears that his followers might resort to violence.

Continue reading...

Guardian investigation reveals $64bn fund includes investments in companies involved in bribery and major environmental damage

The United Nations is facing calls for a full review of its staff pension fund after the Guardian uncovered that it has around a billion dollars invested in companies whose activities are or have been incompatible with core UN principles and programmes.

Established in 1948 by the UN general assembly, the fund provides retirement, death and disability benefits to employees. At present it has 203,050 beneficiaries and a market value of $64bn (£45bn), of which nearly $1.5bn is invested in 24 publicly traded companies. Many of those companies have been or are being prosecuted for corrupt practices, implicated in human rights abuses or in environmental catastrophes.

Continue reading...

The officer, identified as Ken Lam, arrested Alek Minassian, who allegedly drove a van into pedestrians, killing 10 and injuring dozens

A Canadian police officer is being hailed for the restraint and professionalism he showed in arresting the suspect in the Toronto van attack without firing a single shot.

Related: 'This lady died in front of me': Toronto shocked into silence after van fatalities

Continue reading...

Kenya’s ban comes with the world’s stiffest fines and some businesses are struggling to find affordable alternatives, but in Nairobi’s shanty towns the clean-up is changing lives

Waterways are clearer, the food chain is less contaminated with plastic – and there are fewer “flying toilets”.

A year after Kenya announced the world’s toughest ban on plastic bags, and eight months after it was introduced, the authorities are claiming victory – so much so that other east African nations Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan are considering following suit.

Continue reading...

Photographs from Sihanouk in the country’s south west reveal locals living amid a staggering tide of plastic pollution

Looking down into the water that lies beneath the ramshackle houses of Sihanouk, Cambodia, it is hard to imagine that the sea is there at all. Instead, there is dense layer upon layer of plastic waste clogging the water, piling up around poles that support the wooden homes, carpeting the beach.

Continue reading...

Remains found near mausoleum destroyed after 1979 revolution, which deposed Pahlavi dynasty

A mummified body found near a shrine in Tehran could be of the early 20th-century Iranian monarch Reza Shah, a polarising figure whose reappearance would be problematic for the country’s present Islamic leaders.

Local media have published conflicting reports about this week’s discovery at Shah Abdol-Azim shrine, close to a former royal mausoleum south of the capital where the shah had been buried.

Continue reading...

Prime minister reportedly discussed the plight of Raif Badawi, Saudi sentenced to 1,000 lashes, whose wife has asylum in Canada

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, expressed his “serious concern” over the continued imprisonment of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi to the kingdom’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz, his office said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old prisoner, who ran a blog that promoted free speech and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for “insulting Islam” in a case that sparked an international outcry.

Continue reading...

Jaime Rodríguez’s grim suggestion for punishing those who steal from the public purse drew incredulty and mockery, then terrifying reality

When a Mexican presidential candidate proposed in a televised debate that public servants who steal should have their hands cut off, his comments were initially greeted with disbelief, and then mockery.

Hours later, however, there was a much grimmer reaction: drug cartel members dumped a dismembered corpse in the Pacific city of Acapulco with a sign saying that they were already enforcing the punishment.

Continue reading...

Inadequate support for Hong Kong’s ageing population means for some older citizens, scavenging and selling boxes and scrap is the only way to scrape by

Miss Wong, 65, scavenges the streets of Hong Kong’s Sheung Shui area in search of disused cardboard to sell to local recycling plants. She starts her day at 7am and often works until 9pm, seven days a week. For her efforts, she receives about HK$41 (£3.60) per day.

Wong is one of an estimated thousand senior citizens nicknamed “cardboard grannies” who collect and sell waste boxes and other scrap across nine of the poorest districts in the city.

Continue reading...

‘Bicycle Day’ on 19 April is the 75th anniversary of the day Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered LSD, changing his perceptions – and the city’s future

Seventy-five years ago, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann experienced the world’s first full-blown LSD trip on his way home from his lab in Basel. Hofmann had been researching the ergot fungus, hoping to develop a drug to treat fatigue. Among the compounds he was analysing was lysergic acid – Lysergsäure-Diethylamid in German, also known as LSD. On Friday 16 April 1943, Hofmann left the lab feeling a little dizzy: “I lay down and had these wonderful dreams – I saw every thought as an image,” he said in an interview for his 100th birthday. The chemist concluded that he had accidentally touched the substance, and was intrigued by its powerful effect.

Three days later, on 19 April, he returned to the lab and swallowed a tiny amount just to see what would happen: “As it later turned out, it was five times too much and gave me a horror trip.” He asked an assistant to take him home by bicycle, and Basel transformed into a panorama of hellish and heavenly visions. The bike seemed to freeze to the spot; a friendly neighbour turned into an evil witch. Hours later, Hofmann felt wonderful. “LSD called me, I didn’t seek it out,” he recalled. “It came to me.”

Continue reading...

For decades, Haifa has been Israel’s model of what a ‘mixed’ Jewish-Arab city could be. But as the country’s 70th anniversary nears, the strain is showing

Ben-Gurion Boulevard climbs from the bustling port on Haifa’s Mediterranean shore up Mount Carmel towards the famous Bahai shrine, its gleaming golden dome surrounded by lush terraced gardens. On the south side of the palm-lined road, on a spring lunchtime, the Fattoush restaurant is packed with customers chatting noisily in Arabic and Hebrew over Levantine and fusion salads, cardamom-flavoured coffee and exquisite Palestinian knafeh desserts.

Fashionable eateries like Fattoush are one reason why Israel’s third largest city and its biggest “mixed” one, as officially classified, is held up as a model of Jewish-Arab coexistence. Not everyone agrees with the concept, of course, and the “c” word is often qualified, placed in inverted commas, or simply dismissed as propaganda. Official figures say Arabs make up 14% of Haifa’s 280,000-strong population; unofficial estimates are closer to 18%, swelled by students and commuters from nearby Galilee. Public spaces, at least, are open to all. And the ever-present Israeli-Palestinian conflict is, usually, softer-edged than elsewhere in the country.

Continue reading...

Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra and Sydney have Instagram presences as distinct as their characters

Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with a full 40% of its population living in either Melbourne or Sydney: large, sprawling, coastal cities with very different personalities. Factoring in the other state, territory and national capitals – Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Darwin – takes that share to two-thirds of the total population of nearly 25 million.

Each of these cities has its own character, typically a result of its geography or weather. There’s Perth, the westernmost city, closer to Bali than the east coast. Canberra, the flat, planned federal capital of fake lakes and roundabouts. Melbourne, with its changeable weather. Harbour-centric Sydney. Hobart, Australia’s second-oldest city. Brisbane, split by the river. Darwin, the largest city of the Northern Territory, changing character from wet season to dry. Post-industrial Adelaide.

Continue reading...

As Finland’s government calls time on a bold experiment in giving citizens cash, can others still attempt such utopian schemes?

When the Finnish government embarked on a trial of basic income it was lauded as bold, evidence-focused and innovative. The country became something of a standard bearer in a worldwide push towards basic income projects. In failing to commit to widening the scope of the trial in 2019 beyond its current group, however, that reputation is under threat.

Universal basic income (UBI) in its purest form is a payment that every citizen receives on a regular basis, without condition and as of right, in and out of work. Universal credit is paid on a household basis, is means tested and conditional, for example on recipients proving that they are actively searching for and accepting offers of work. The Finnish trial is not universal, as only 2,000 unemployed people were selected for it, but it is a basic income.

Continue reading...

Father-of-three from Ireland is fighting for his life after allegedly being attacked by Roma fans before Champions League game

A Liverpool fan left fighting for his life after allegedly being attacked by Roma fans before a Champions League semi-final football match has been named as father-of-three Sean Cox.

Cox, a businessman from Dunboyne in County Meath, Ireland, suffered serious head injuries after being assaulted outside the Albert pub, next to the Kop end of Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, on Tuesday evening.

Continue reading...

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs, Amber Rudd giving evidence to MPs on Windrush and David Davis giving evidence to MPs on Brexit

Q: The Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman wrote earlier this week how she has been raising these cases with the Home Office almost weekly for the last six months. Yet you say you did not realise this a systemic problem. How come?

Rudd says the Home Office gets lots of reports from journalists. She goes on:

I look back with hindsight and I’m surprised I did not see the shape of it sooner.

Q: Have you asked the prime minister to get rid of the net migration target?

Rudd says she has not discussed that with the PM. But she won’t comment further on her conversations with Theresa May.

Continue reading...

Hair-raising moments punctuate this home-movie-like documentary about a Kurdish officer disarming booby-trap devices set by jihadis in Iraq

There are moments of great tension in this film about the work of an extraordinarily brave mine-disposal expert, or “deminer”, in Iraq. It is of real value in the raw archive material it presents, though often frustrating in that its footage is mostly presented without editorial perspective, almost like a rough assemblage of videotape.

Col Fakhir Berwari was a Kurdish army officer who was a US military liaison officer in Iraq between 2003 and 2008, disarming booby-trap devices set by jihadi insurgents using little more than a pair of pliers to snip the wires.With no small sense of his own heroism, Fakhir got a subordinate to film him with a videocamera (though this documentary never comments on the secondary heroism of this camera operator) and it gives us some hair-raising moments from this video cache that his son Abdulla later discovered.

Continue reading...

During the course of her travels, my mother, Margaret Knox, who has died aged 93, immersed herself in the culture of the countries she and her husband, Andrew, lived in.

In Nigeria she set up one of the first primary schools in her area and went on to carry out humanitarian work during the Biafran conflict. Later, in Fiji, she produced English-language textbooks aimed at an island audience. In retirement she wrote a guide to Norfolk and a book on Suffolk cheeses.

Continue reading...

The US president is finally coming to Britain, but he won’t be honoured with a state visit

Donald Trump will finally make his first official visit to Britain this summer, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The US president will join Theresa May for talks at Number 10 and could also meet the Queen or other senior members of the royal family.

Continue reading...

The centennial flame is a popular attraction in Ottawa, but it could be replaced with an ‘alternative sustainable approach’

The Canadian government’s efforts to cut the country’s carbon emissions have found a new target: a small flame that has burned on Parliament Hill for more than 50 years.

The centennial flame in Ottawa was first unveiled during celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Canadian confederation. Initially envisioned as a temporary installation, the flame remained so popular with visitors that it has continued to burn ever since.

Continue reading...

Hollywood has been reluctant to take a chance on east Asian and south-east Asian stories. But a seductive, crowd-pleasing comedy is following US TV’s lead in bringing their voices to the screen

I have been on my toes in anticipation for Crazy Rich Asians since Entertainment Weekly put the film’s stars, Constance Wu and Henry Golding, on its cover in November. It is 25 years since Wayne Wang’s Chinese-American family saga The Joy Luck Club and, ever since, Hollywood has largely avoided commissioning south-east Asian (SEA) and east Asian (EA) stories. But the movie’s seductive, funny trailer suggests it will mark an important moment for both communities’ presence in the mainstream.

Directed by John M Chu, adapting Kevin Kwan’s bestselling book, the film portrays the opulent lives of affluent south-east Asians through the conventional, commercial lens of romantic comedy. The all-Asian cast is led by Wu, best known for her role in US sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, playing an economics professor who travels with boyfriend Nick (British-Malaysian actor Golding) to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding only to discover he is the son of the richest families in town (“The Prince William of Asia”, as she calls him). Rachel has to navigate the Dynasty-like world of Singapore’s wealthy elite, and avoid the sharp tongue of Nick’s mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), who, in the words of Rachel’s brazen friend, played by the comedian Awkwafina, is just like an “unrefined banana: yellow on the outside, white on the inside”.

Continue reading...

Scott Morrison will outline plans to forgo revenue intended to fund NDIS but says government can still fund program

• Sign up to receive the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning

The Turnbull government will use the looming May budget to dump plans to increase the Medicare levy to fund the national disability insurance scheme, in a shift intended to reframe the tax debate before the next election.

Scott Morrison will use a speech to business economists on Thursday to confirm the about face on a measure the government outlined in the 2017 budget.

Continue reading...

When a lack of trained builders hampered reconstruction in earthquake-hit Nepal, women stepped up to the plate – yet their resourcefulness has perturbed some traditionalists

This time last year Phulsani Tamang was living in a makeshift temporary shelter on the terraced slopes of eastern Nepal.

Her home had been destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, which claimed close to 9,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Continue reading...

Shocked by the humanitarian crisis she saw unfolding in Greece, Ayesha Keller got on a plane to see if she could help save lives

Ayesha Keller was horrified by the treatment of refugees in Europe and wanted to try to make a difference. She left her job and headed for the Greek island of Lesbos, where she found the beaches strewn with discarded lifejackets, and the formal refugee settlement overflowing. Thousands of people unable to get into the camp were huddled in freezing fields, with no facilities, food or shelter. Keller banded together with other volunteers who had gone to Greece in response to the tragedy. During her year-long stay, she helped crowdfund, establish and run a transit camp in a local farmer’s olive groves

Sounds from Lesbos were recorded by Cambria Bailey-Jones

Continue reading...

Britain and the EU are under fire for engaging with a nation with one of the world’s worst human rights records – all in the name of stemming migration

When Amjed Farid was transferred to a small cell in Kober prison on 5 April, he had a sense of deja vu. “I suddenly realised it was the same one I’d been in five years before,” he says. “It brought back some unpleasant memories. I spent a month in solitary, and had hoped I’d never have to see the place again.”

Farid was one of hundreds imprisoned in Sudan in January following peaceful protests against government austerity measures. While some were released after a few weeks, dozens were detained for nearly three months without charge, including British citizen Sidqi Kaballo. Many were kept in a bitterly cold security centre in Khartoum notorious for interrogations and torture, dubbed “the Hotel” by officials.

Continue reading...

With the majority of rapes committed by someone known to the victim, the new law could drive offenders to murder to avoid detection

On Saturday India’s government approved the death penalty for convicted rapists of girls under the age of 12, amid a groundswell of public outrage following the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir state.

The shocking case involved a girl from the Bakarwal nomadic tribe, who was out grazing her horses when she was abducted, drugged and murdered after a week of torture and repeated rape. It led to a nationwide outcry for swifter justice.

Continue reading...

Progress has been made but fire safety initiatives are soon to end, unions are being stifled and wages are still the lowest in the world

Five years ago, Asma Khatun pushed through the crowds that had formed around the Rana Plaza building, determined to see the destruction with her own eyes.

Deep cracks had appeared in the eight-storey building outside Dhaka the day before. That morning, workers who had been producing clothes sourced by major international brands had begged not to be sent inside. Managers would not relent. More than 2,000 people filed in. Some time before 9am, floors began to vanish and workers started falling.

Continue reading...

Experts say suit alleging election conspiracy could inform the public about Trump and Russia, but some Democrats have voiced concern

By suing the Trump campaign, the Russian government and others, the Democratic National Committee has opened up a new front in a legal battle that is either a campaign for justice or a pitiable attempt to overturn the 2016 election result, depending on whom you ask.

Related: 'Protecting our democracy': DNC chair defends suit against Trump and Russia

Continue reading...

North Korean leader’s surprise freeze should be seen more as diplomatic manoeuvre than step towards giving up warheads

Rockets, satellites, missiles and atoms pepper the landscape in Pyongyang. They are the anchors of funfair rides, feature in extravagant floral tributes to the country’s “dear” and “supreme” leaders from the Kim dynasty, and appear on stamps, apartment buildings and school walls.

These celebrations of the country’s weapons programme serve as a constant reminder to residents and visitors of how critical North Korea’s nuclear project has been to its national identity and security.

Continue reading...

Two-thirds of young people think abortion should be legal in all or most cases – a glimmer of good news in a time of few wins

The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe.

Continue reading...

A win for security, but real acid test of Pyongyang’s intentions is whether it will give up the weapons it has already built

North Korea has announced it will cease testing nuclear devices and missiles, and promised to shut down its primary nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. If this is genuine, it is a serious step forward, but we should greet it with cautious optimism.

We have been on the cusp of a breakthrough with North Korea before, only to be disappointed. There will be a lot of questions. But there is no need to be recalcitrantly hawkish about this. Within the limits of North Korea’s strained credibility, this is a win for allied security.

Continue reading...

A Korean ‘reinterpretation’ of the Swiss fried potato dish rösti is one highlight of the banquet planned for after Friday’s summit between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in

Continue reading...

The French president is on the first state visit to the US under Trump's presidency. During the three-day trip, the two heads of state have shared some touching moments – including Trump brushing dandruff from Macron's suit – in between discussions on global affairs

Continue reading...

The US president, Donald Trump, and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, exchange a vigorous handshake at the White House. Macron is the first leader to be accorded a state visit since Trump came to power in January 2017 

Continue reading...

The US president has treated his French counterpart to a colourful welcome at the White House. As the two leaders stood for a photo-op, Donald Trump said he and Emmanuel Macron had 'a very special relationship' before brushing away what he said was a 'little piece' of dandruff from Macron's jacket to 'make him perfect'. While the French president has tried to develop a close relationship with Trump since taking office last May, he has so far seen few tangible results on issues from Iran to climate politics.

Continue reading...

The French president and his wife Brigitte opened their pomp-filled three-day state visit with a double date with Donald and Melania Trump at George Washington’s house

Continue reading...

Political dramas Homeland and Designated Survivor have recently explored how a president could be removed from office using the 25th amendment to the US constitution. It can only be triggered if the president is deemed 'unfit for office'. But how would it work in reality? Who would be needed to trigger it? And why has it never been used before? The Guardian's US political reporter Sabrina Siddiqui explains

Continue reading...

Kim Jong-un visited survivors after dozens of Chinese tourists were killed when their bus plunged off a bridge in North Korea. The state-run KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday that the North Korean leader had visited two survivors of the crash on Sunday in which 32 Chinese and four North Koreans died

Continue reading...

odrnews.com ©