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Two-way street: how Barcelona is democratising public space

Citizens are finally getting the urban patios and parks promised when the cramped medieval city was extended in the 1900s

At the turn of the 20th century, the Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà had a revolutionary idea for extending Barcelona beyond the cramped confines of its medieval walls. In the grid system of the extension he planned, each city block would be built around a large open space or patio, designed to be a park for residents.

When he began his work, the old city was hemmed in physically and psychologically, desperately overcrowded and disease-ridden, with frequent outbreaks of cholera and a lower life expectancy than London or Paris.

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Chernobyl fears resurface as river dredging begins in exclusion zone

Scientists warn of threat of nuclear contamination from work on giant E40 waterway linking Baltic to the Black Sea

  • The race to save Polesia, Europe’s secret Amazon
  • Read more in our series Biodiversity: what happened next?

The river running past the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is being dredged to create an inland shipping route, potentially resurfacing radioactive sludge from the 1986 disaster that could contaminate drinking water for 8 million people in Ukraine, scientists and conservationists have warned.

The dredging of the Pripyat began in July and is part of an international project to create the 2,000km (1,240-mile) long E40 waterway linking the Baltic and Black seas, passing through Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. The river – which snakes within 2.5km of the reactor responsible for the world’s worst nuclear disaster – has already been dredged in at least seven different places, five of which are within 10km of the reactor, according to the Save Polesia coalition.

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Trump loyalists aim to block Biden’s goal to rejoin Iran and Paris agreements

Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham urge Trump to submit Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate agreement to Senate to undercut future attempts to revive them

Two prominent Trump loyalists in the US Senate, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, are reportedly pressing the president to submit the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement to the chamber for ratification, in a last-minute attempt to scupper Democratic plans to take America back into the accords.

Related: Senior Republican says party’s final election challenge will ‘go down like a shot dog’

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Norway’s Supreme Court Makes Way for More Arctic Drilling

The top court ruled against environmental groups Tuesday, saying the right to a clean environment had no effect on the government drilling for offshore oil.