The tortuous journey towards the UK’s final departure from the European Union continued this week. After little progress was made over the weekend and on Monday, UK prime minister Boris Johnson headed to Brussels for face-to-face talks with the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, to see what could be done to stop the UK crashing out of the single market and customs union. Could a political intervention draw out a trade deal, or are the UK’s demands for “sovereignty” fundamentally at odds with the EU’s ideas of a “level-playing field”? At the start of this week, only one thing was clear – a deal had to be done very soon if it was to be done at all. Keep up with the latest developments at theguardian.com/politics
Our cover story this week comes from Mexico. The cartel project is a global journalistic collaboration that aims to tell the stories of the many journalists murdered while investigating the narco state. We begin with the story of Regina Martínez Pérez, a fearless reporter killed in 2012.
Our reporting from the crisis in Ethiopia continues this week with a story by Emmanuel Akinwotu, who travelled to Sudan’s southern border to meet those displaced by the conflict in Tigray. We also look at Viktor Orbán’s
latest attempts to make George Soros for a scapegoat for his own political difficulties in Hungary and, in this week’s science pages, investigate how Covid-19 is teaching us more about anosmia – a loss of the sense of smell. You’ll also find profiles of the inspirational winners from across the globe of this year’s Goldman awards for environmental action.
In features we revisit the lives of a handful of young adults from around the world who we last spoke to in 2016, aged 16, to see how the last four dramatic years have changed their lives and Samira Shackle revisits the Gatwick Drone incident of 2019. What was the real story behind the days of chaos that shut down one of the UK’s busiest airports?
A year spent in varying degrees of Covid lockdown has been a frustrating time for many people, as Joel Golby considers on the opinion pages. But one small silver lining may have been the freeing-up of some extra reading time. This week’s edition closes with an unmissable bumper round-up of the year’s essential book releases, from fiction to politics to sport, with several other categories in between.