Guardian Weekly 16th July 2021

The Guardian Weekly magazine is a round-up of the world news, opinion and long reads that have shaped the week. Inside, the past seven days' most memorable stories are reframed with striking photography and insightful companion pieces, all handpicked from The Guardian and The Observer.

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2 min
isis regroups stealthily, haiti in turmoil, a new-old england

More than two years have passed since the last enclave of Islamic State’s self-declared ‘caliphate’ fell. But groups of Isis militants have never entirely gone away, hiding out in mountains near Kirkuk and descending in the summer to raid villages for food. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad goes on patrol with Iraqi special forces looking to flush out the last remnants of Islamic State, who local people fear will never leave the region. Then, from Syria, we hear how women held in a notorious Isis camp are seeking escape through marriages to men they met online. The big story Page 10 Haiti is a country that has seen more than its fair share of turmoil and misfortune. But the assassination of its president, Jovenel Moïse, has cast the nation further into uncertainty. As security…

11 min
global report

1 CUBA Protests are a US-backed plot, claims Díaz-Canel The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, attacked the “shameful delinquents” he claimed were trying to “fracture” his country’s communist revolution after the largest anti-government protests on the Caribbean island in nearly three decades. As Cuban officials blamed the United States for last Sunday’s demonstrations, Joe Biden called on the island’s leaders to hear its citizens’ “clarion call for freedom”. Díaz-Canel, who recently succeeded Raúl Castro as the Communist party’s top figure, painted the protests as part of a US-backed, social media-driven plot to stir up public discontent and overthrow the Cuban regime. “The approach wasn’t peaceful,” the 61-year-old politician claimed, criticising the “completely vulgar” behaviour of some demonstrators whom he accused of throwing stones at police and destroying cars. Díaz-Canel conceded other protesters had legitimate concerns over food…

1 min

Jovenel Moïse Haitian president whose five-year rule was mired in allegations of corruption and brutality. He was assassinated on 7 July, aged 53. Spotlight page 15 Dilip Kumar Bollywood legend and a defining actor in post-independence Indian cinema. He died on 7 July, aged 98. Esther Béjarano Co-founder of the International Auschwitz Committee who survived because she played in the camp’s Women’s Orchestra. She died on 10 July aged 96. Raffaella Cará Entertainment icon in her native Italy. She died on 6 July, aged 78. Michael Horovitz Iconoclastic poet, editor and leading light of British counterculture during the 1950s and 60s. He died on 7 July, aged 86. Edwin Edwards Democratic governor of Louisiana who was later jailed on racketeering charges. He died on 12 July, aged 93.…

2 min
science and environment

CONSERVATION China cheers as it takes pandas off endangered list Giant pandas are no longer endangered in the wild, but they are still vulnerable with a population outside captivity of 1,800, Chinese officials said. The head of the environment ministry’s department of nature and ecology conservation, Cui Shuhong, said the reclassification was the result of “improved living conditions and China’s efforts in keeping their habitats integrated”. The authorities have worked to expand giant pandas’ habitats and replanted bamboo forests to feed them. EVOLUTION Climate role in how human body and brain size grew A well-known pattern in human evolution is an increase in body and brain size. Our species, Homo sapiens, is part of the Homo genus and emerged about 300,000 years ago. We are much bigger than earlier Homo species and have brains three…

3 min
united kingdom

CORONAVIRUS Prime minister presses on with England re-opening Boris Johnson will press ahead with lifting most remaining Covid restrictions on 19 July, despite warnings from the government’s scientific advisers that the “exit wave” could result in more than 200 deaths a day and thousands of hospitalisations. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference on Monday, the prime minister urged “extreme caution” as he gave confirmation that step four of the roadmap for England would go ahead. Nightclubs can reopen, social-distancing rules will be abandoned and mask-wearing will no longer be legally enforceable, in a “big bang” approach that the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, called “pushing down on the accelerator while throwing off the seatbelt”. But in a marked shift of emphasis from a week earlier, when he said mask-wearing would become a matter…

8 min
‘they will never let go’

A long convoy of Humvees, trucks and troop carriers moved slowly through the countryside to the south of the city of Kirkuk, ferrying dozens of Iraqi special forces. Their target was a string of hideouts used by Islamic State militants in the rough terrain of hills and lowlands crisscrossed by canals and long-dried seasonal river gullies, or wadis as they are called in Arabic. In the lead vehicle sat the commanding officer, a young lieutenant-colonel, Ihab Jalil, with a clipped moustache and hazelnut-coloured eyes. He charted the routes of the convoy on his tablet. At the same time, switching between three radio sets, he talked to the pilots of two helicopters that circled over the convoy, scouting the road ahead. The night before, Jalil, the commander of the Kirkuk regiment of the…