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The Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn pleads with MPs: back me now before it’s too late (sam., 17 août 2019)
Britain stands on precipice, warns Labour leader, as 100 MPs tell Boris Johnson to recall parliament Jeremy Corbyn has issued an urgent plea to MPs to unite to stop no-deal Brexit “before it’s too late”, amid cross-party demands for an immediate recall of parliament to deal with the crisis. In a show of defiance, a group of more than 100 MPs representing every Westminster party except the DUP has signed a letter stating it is “unacceptable” for parliament to wait until next month to sit again, with the Brexit deadline looming. Continue reading...
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'Portland is being watched very closely': Trump stokes tension over far right rally (Sun, 18 Aug 2019)
President links leftwing ‘antifa’ groups to terror Portland mayor: ‘Frankly, it’s not helpful’ As Portland prepared for one of the biggest political demonstrations of the summer, which authorities expected would lead to violence, Donald Trump threw into the mix a characteristically explosive tweet. Related: How Portland's liberal utopia became the center of a rightwing war in the US Continue reading...
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Owen Jones attacked outside London pub (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Guardian columnist claims attack was ‘premeditated assault’ The Guardian columnist and activist Owen Jones has been physically assaulted in London while celebrating his 35th birthday with friends. In an attack he called “a blatant premeditated assault”, Jones said he was kicked, punched and thrown to the ground by a group of men in the early hours of Saturday morning. Continue reading...
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PC Andrew Harper inquiry: police get more time to question suspects (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Ten held as forensic teams continue search of site in Berkshire where officer was dragged to his death Detectives were granted an extra 36 hours on Saturday to question 10 suspects arrested on suspicion of murdering a newlywed policeman who died after being “dragged for a distance” by a van when he responded to reports of a rural burglary. Forensic teams meanwhile continued inspecting a countryside caravan park in Berkshire where the suspects had been staying, three miles from where PC Andrew Harper died from multiple injuries on Thursday night after being hit by a vehicle. He was due to go on honeymoon next week. Continue reading...
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Dozens feared dead or wounded after Afghan wedding hall blast (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Explosion in packed Kabul venue comes as Donald Trump talks up prospects of peace deal with Taliban An explosion ripped through a wedding hall on a busy Saturday night in Afghanistan’s capital, leaving dozens of people dead or wounded, a government official has said. Hundreds of people were believed to be inside. Interior ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi told the Associated Press there was no immediate information on the cause of the blast. Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group have carried out attacks in the capital. Continue reading...
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Police forces halt trials of facial recognition systems (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Government attempts to use the controversial surveillance technology are thwarted by UK forces Police forces are pushing back against Home Office attempts to roll out facial recognition systems, dealing a harsh blow to government plans to introduce the controversial technology. Kent Police and West Midlands Police were named by ministers in June as collaborating with the Home Office to trial the technology to trace “missing and vulnerable persons”. The announcement prompted concern that UK forces were eager to embrace a technology condemned for infringing privacy and increasing state surveillance. Continue reading...
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World’s nations gather to tackle wildlife extinction crisis (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Giraffes, sharks, glass frogs - and the woolly mammoth - may get boosted protection at summit From giraffes to sharks, the world’s endangered species could gain better protection at an international wildlife conference. The triennial summit of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), that began on Saturday, will tackle disputes over the conservation of great beasts such as elephants and rhinos, as well as cracking down on the exploitation of unheralded but vital species such as sea cucumbers, which clean ocean floors. Continue reading...
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Kent emergency services search for child, 6, who fell in river (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Police called to Sandwich after boy fell into River Stour on Saturday afternoon Emergency services are searching for a child who fell into a river while fishing with his father on Saturday afternoon. Kent police said officers were called to Richborough Road in Sandwich over concern for the welfare of a child who had fallen into the river Stour. The six-year-old, named locally as Lucas, plunged into the water as he fished. It was reported that he wasn’t wearing a lifejacket. The child’s father jumped in after him but the boy has not been seen since. Continue reading...
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Jean-Luc Brunel: three former models say they were sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein friend (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Special investigation: As attention turns to associates of the deceased billionaire sex offender, the French model scout is back in the headlines On a hot Friday evening in France last month, Jean-Luc Brunel was revelling in his natural habitat: a lavish party packed with the rich and beautiful. Related: Rats and raw sewage: Jeffrey Epstein jail blighted by 'horrible' conditions Continue reading...
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'No sea sickness so far': Greta Thunberg update on Atlantic crossing (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Climate activist is four days into a two-week journey on solar-powered yacht Four days into its two-week Atlantic crossing, the solar-powered yacht carrying climate activist Greta Thunberg is becalmed in the ocean after a choppy start to the trip, still 2,500 nautical miles from New York. In an update posted to Twitter around midday on Saturday, the 16-year-old said she was eating and sleeping well and had no sea sickness so far. Continue reading...
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Antique firearms: gangs, guns and untraceable ‘ghost bullets’ - podcast (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
Kenneth Rosen on how British gangs are using a loophole in the law to get hold of antique firearms and untraceable bullets. Plus: Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner on the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre A drive-by shooting of four girls outside a nightclub in Birmingham in 2003 shocked the country. Letisha Shakespeare, aged 17, and Charlene Ellis, aged 18, both died, innocent victims caught in the crossfire of gang shootings. It set off a huge murder investigation, and when police examined the scene they found that one of the guns used was an antique and the ammunition was untraceable. Journalist Kenneth Rosen tells India Rakusen how those bullets found at the scene in 2003 were the beginning of a mystery. Hundreds of ‘ghost bullets’ started to appear in crime scenes across the country and a long search began for their creator. Continue reading...
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Phillip Hammond, the Treasury and the risk of a no-deal Brexit - podcast (Thu, 15 Aug 2019)
Poppy Trowbridge on her work as a special adviser in Hammond’s Treasury as it tried to plan for Brexit and avoid crashing out with no deal. Plus, Carey Gillam on how the biotech company Monsanto tried to destroy her reputation Parliament is gearing up for an autumn showdown over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Philip Hammond, until recently the chancellor of the exchequer, has accused Boris Johnson of shutting down any hope of securing an agreement. But the prime minister’s team continues to argue that Britain must leave the EU by 31 October. It has been quite a journey for the Treasury: from accusations of “project fear” when it warned against any Brexit at all under George Osborne in 2016, to Hammond’s hopes of minimising the damage with an orderly withdrawal, and now, under Sajid Javid, preparing for the economic impact of no deal. Continue reading...
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Helping a nine-year-old recover from an eating disorder - podcast (Wed, 14 Aug 2019)
We hear about the importance of early intervention in rare cases of pre-teen eating disorders. Plus, calls to ban hands-free phone use while driving Maggie and her husband James have four daughters. While their oldest, Hattie, was still at primary school, she began severely restricting the amount she ate and exercising obsessively. Eating disorders in young people can be life-threatening, although this wasn’t the case for Hattie. Her case was unusual because of the age at which her problems began – she was nine. Continue reading...
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Louise Doughty: ‘I can’t bear anything chicklitty or girly’ (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The novelist on why her new heroine is a ghost trapped at Peterborough station, writing a book aged 11, and what she’d say to Emily Brontë Louise Doughty is a novelist, playwright and journalist. Her 2010 novel, Whatever You Love, was shortlisted for the Costa novel award and the Orange prize, while her bestselling novel Apple Tree Yard was adapted by the BBC into a four-part drama starring Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin. Her most recent novel, Platform Seven, tackles suicide, coercive control and life after death. Platform Seven features a dead protagonist. Why did you want to tell a story from the perspective of someone who has died? I grew up in a small town in the East Midlands, so going back home to see my parents has always involved changing trains at Peterborough. It can be a really bleak station on a cold winter’s night, and I used to have a joke that when I die and go to purgatory, I’ll find myself trapped on Peterborough station. So I decided to have a novel with the ghost of a woman who was trapped there: it’s a transitional place. She’s a lost soul. Continue reading...
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Peter Fonda: the elegant rebel who set the counterculture in motion (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Though born into Hollywood royalty, the charismatic actor sidestepped conventional leading man roles and installed himself at the epicentre of the 60s youthquake In cinemas, the summer of 2019 has already been a strange reprise of August 1969, thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood delighting crowds with a what-if vision of Tinseltown history. Amid the namedropping in the film, the lack of reference to Peter Fonda is telling. If the whole point of it is to present a Hollywood counterfactual, one where the hippies never took over the movie business, then Fonda – whose role in that true story was more pivotal than any other – is best written out altogether. It is, in fact, a tribute. Related: Peter Fonda: a life in pictures Continue reading...
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Bat for Lashes: ‘I didn’t know if I was going to make an album again’ (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Natasha Khan on her ambition to direct a horror film and the influence of California on her new record Lost Girls Bat for Lashes is the stage name of Natasha Khan, who was born in London in 1979 to an English mother and a Pakistani father. Raised in Hertfordshire, she studied music and visual arts at the University of Brighton and worked as a nursery school teacher for four years before committing to music full-time. A rich seam of theatricality was woven into her songwriting from the start, taking shape in elaborate outfits and intense stage performances. Three of her four Bat for Lashes albums to date, including 2006 debut Fur and Gold, have been nominated for the Mercury prize (Khan also released an album via her side project Sexwitch in 2015). Her latest album, Lost Girls, comes out next month. You’ve talked about wanting this new album to be fun, full of romance and more commercial. How did it come about? I had moved away from London, where I’d lived for seven years, and finished my contract with EMI. My plan initially was to go to Los Angeles to focus on scriptwriting and doing music for film. The first song on the album, Kids in the Dark, was actually written for a Stephen King TV series [Castle Rock] – but the music supervisor Charles [Scott] and I had such a good time that we decided to keep meeting. I didn’t even know whether I was going to make an album again – I wanted to have a real break and leave everything behind me. And so when this album started happening, it was sort of a secret – and nobody really knew about it until it was nearly done. Continue reading...
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Bob Mortimer: ‘As a kid I’d put 17 spoons of sugar in my tea’ (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The co-star of TV’s Gone Fishing remembers childhood diets, ‘pocket meat’ and getting married on the day of his heart op I eat a tin of sardines every day. I had one just a few minutes ago. Kippers or smoked haddock are a nice treat. I have quite a thing about having a fish on its own on the plate. Before we did Gone Fishing, Paul Whitehouse and I sort of knew that “heart” would become a bit of a label for us [Mortimer had a triple bypass in 2015; Whitehouse had stents fitted the same year]. Now we get so many tweets about people who’ve made their dad get their heart checked. We have a lot of other ailments but I expect we probably won’t talk about them as much. Continue reading...
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'Plastic recycling is a myth': what really happens to your rubbish? (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
You sort your recycling, leave it to be collected – and then what? From councils burning the lot to foreign landfill sites overflowing with British rubbish, Oliver Franklin-Wallis reports on a global waste crisis An alarm sounds, the blockage is cleared, and the line at Green Recycling in Maldon, Essex, rumbles back into life. A momentous river of garbage rolls down the conveyor: cardboard boxes, splintered skirting board, plastic bottles, crisp packets, DVD cases, printer cartridges, countless newspapers, including this one. Odd bits of junk catch the eye, conjuring little vignettes: a single discarded glove. A crushed Tupperware container, the meal inside uneaten. A photograph of a smiling child on an adult’s shoulders. But they are gone in a moment. The line at Green Recycling handles up to 12 tonnes of waste an hour. “We produce 200 to 300 tonnes a day,” says Jamie Smith, Green Recycling’s general manager, above the din. We are standing three storeys up on the green health-and-safety gangway, looking down the line. On the tipping floor, an excavator is grabbing clawfuls of trash from heaps and piling it into a spinning drum, which spreads it evenly across the conveyor. Along the belt, human workers pick and channel what is valuable (bottles, cardboard, aluminium cans) into sorting chutes. Continue reading...
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AI can read your emotions. Should it? (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Advertisers, tech giants and border forces are using face tracking software to monitor our moods – whether we like it or not It is early July, almost 30C outside, but Mihkel Jäätma is thinking about Christmas. In a co-working space in Soho, the 39-year-old founder and CEO of Realeyes, an “emotion AI” startup which uses eye-tracking and facial expression to analyse mood, scrolls through a list of 20 festive ads from 2018. He settles on The Boy and the Piano, the offering from John Lewis that tells the life story of Elton John backwards, from megastardom to the gift of a piano from his parents as a child, accompanied by his timeless heartstring-puller Your Song. The ad was well received, but Jäätma is clearly unconvinced. He hits play, and the ad starts, but this time two lines – one grey (negative reactions), the other red (positive) – are traced across the action. These follow the second-by-second responses of a 200-person sample audience who watched the ad and allowed Realeyes to record them through the camera of their computer or smartphone. Realeyes then used its AI technology to analyse each individual’s facial expression and body language. The company did this with all of Jäätma’s list of 20 Christmas ads from 2018, watching 4,000 people, before rating each commercial for attention, emotion, sentiment and finally giving it a mark out of 10. Continue reading...
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George RR Martin: the end of Game of Thrones on TV was a liberation (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Fantasy author says future volumes in the saga will not be influenced by the controversial ending of the HBO series The ending of Game of Thrones produced a storm of criticism from devoted fans, with many attacking it as a disappointing end to a final series. A petition demanding that the HBO channel reshoot it from scratch has now been signed by more than a million viewers. But the creator, George RR Martin, has insisted that the furore over the television adaptation of his fantasy novels won’t change what he writes next. Continue reading...
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My neverending search for the perfect cup of coffee (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Japanese filter sets, Italian espresso machines, vintage Bialettis – as hobbies go it’s extreme and expensive. Don’t judge me I’m about to go holiday, and though the prospect is delightful, one thing is worrying me: the coffee situation. For the last few years, a group of us have rented a big, old house somewhere in deepest France. It’s a place I love as much as anywhere I’ve ever stayed: you will know what I mean when I say that it’s the kind of house where you want only to read Colette, and eat apricots, and lie in the bath with a large glass of rosé while listening to Francoise Hardy (you might want to pretend that you are Francoise Hardy, I couldn’t possibly comment). However, there is a problem, and that is the aforementioned coffee situation. The house has an old-fashioned percolator, but only one. There are no cafetieres, no stove-top devices, and no Nespresso machine. (I can no more imagine a Nespresso machine on its ancient kitchen counters than I can a go-go dancer.) But we are 10, at least. How to make sure there is enough coffee for everyone? In the past, we have used the percolator to fill a huge teapot with Costa Rican, after which we then immediately run it again for a second round. Continue reading...
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Peterloo massacre bicentenary revives reformist spirit of 1819 (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
Manchester crowds hear why march that ended in 18 deaths still has relevance in modern Britain Hundreds of people summoned the spirit of 1819 with a powerful and provocative demonstration against 21st-century inequality to mark 200 years since the Peterloo massacre. Under leaden skies and driving rain, a crowd of Mancunians took part in a music-driven protest demanding action on issues including homelessness, disability rights and the climate emergency. Continue reading...
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'My ancestor founded the Guardian. Its work has never been so vital' (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
On the 200th anniversary of Peterloo, we speak to Sue Stennett, the great-great-great-granddaughter of John Edward Taylor Sue Stennett lives with her husband in Lincolnshire. She travels to Manchester whenever she can in search of more information about the Peterloo massacre and why it inspired her great-great-great-grandfather to found the Manchester Guardian – the name of this paper until 1959 Continue reading...
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Would the Peterloo marchers be satisfied with today's Britain? (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
200 years ago, a crowd of people seeking political change became victims of a massacre. Are their issues now our issues? At 8am on 16 August 1819, a bugle sounded at Barrowfields in Middleton, a town six miles north of Manchester. A crowd of 3,000 fell silent as Samuel Bamford, a radical reformer, poet and weaver, climbed on a chair to speak. They were, he bellowed, about to embark on “the most important meeting that had ever been held for parliamentary reform”. There was to be no silly business. No sticks, no weapons, no back-chat. He admired their attire, “not even one who did not exhibit a white Sunday’s shirt”. Their conduct was to be “marked by a steadiness and seriousness befitting the occasion”, Bamford later recalled, casting shame upon their enemies, “who had always represented the reformers as a mob-like rabble”. Continue reading...
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A mission for journalism in a time of crisis (Thu, 16 Nov 2017)
In a turbulent era, the media must define its values and principles, writes Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner To support the Guardian, please contribute or subscribe today ‘No former period, in the history of our Country, has been marked by the agitation of questions of a more important character than those which are now claiming the attention of the public.” So began the announcement, nearly 200 years ago, of a brand-new newspaper to be published in Manchester, England, which proclaimed that “the spirited discussion of political questions” and “the accurate detail of facts” were “particularly important at this juncture”. Now we are living through another extraordinary period in history: one defined by dazzling political shocks and the disruptive impact of new technologies in every part of our lives. The public sphere has changed more radically in the past two decades than in the previous two centuries – and news organisations, including this one, have worked hard to adjust. Continue reading...
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Smith and Archer hypnotise to leave second Test tantalisingly poised (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
• Second Test, day four: England 258 & 96-4; Australia 250 • England struggling after epic duel has crowd captivated A mid-afternoon duel between two contrasting, charismatic characters eclipsed the match situation at Lord’s for a while. For once the back-page headlines were trustworthy. The critical contest was between Jofra Archer, England’s newest and fastest paceman, and Steve Smith, the indomitable former Test captain of Australia returning to his cherished natural habitat in the middle order, and it had a full house spellbound. True pace bowling has always been a compelling spectacle and on the sort of balmy day when a post-prandial nap had its attractions Archer and Smith commanded the absolute attention of everyone. The rhythmic clapping of spectators in time with Archer’s cruise to the crease kept even the well-lubricated awake. Sometimes the ball flew way over the outstretched gloves of Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps. Continue reading...
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Lucas Moura earns Spurs draw at Manchester City as VAR history repeats (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
It was an extraordinary finale and, amid all the drama and utter confusion, spare a thought perhaps for those Manchester City supporters who had happily left the stadium, believing they had just seen their team score a dramatic and joyous stoppage-time winner. What they had not accounted for was VAR concluding, after what felt like an age, that the shot from Gabriel Jesus had been preceded by a handball from Aymeric Laporte. Jesus had danced in front of the supporters, wriggling his hips, samba-style. Pep Guardiola and Sergio Agüero, who had fallen out so publicly earlier in the second half, had made up with a touchline embrace. The scoreboard had pronounced it was 3-2. And the Spurs players had all retreated before the signal came that the goal could not stand. And, suddenly, there was a tinny roar from the away end. Continue reading...
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George North try helps Wales bounce back with home win against England (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
• World Cup warm-up: Wales 13-6 England • Quick-witted score proves difference between two sides This was a warm-up that did not lack heat. Both camps maintained in the build-up that results were of secondary importance as they counted down to the start of the World Cup in Japan, but the rapture Wales’s players showed in the final minute when they repelled a maul suggested otherwise. The response of the crowd at the final whistle was even more jubilant. The victory will put Wales at the top when the revised world rankings are published on Monday and if their performance was not that of putative World Cup winners, it again showed how difficult they are to overcome when they are geared up for a scrap. Continue reading...
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Inter approach Manchester United in bid to sign Alexis Sánchez on loan (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
• Chile striker targeted after Inter miss out on Edin Dzeko • Ole Gunnar Solskjær had said he expected Sánchez to stay Internazionale are hoping to sign Alexis Sánchez on a season-long loan and are confident of agreeing a deal with Manchester United. The striker turned down a move to Roma last week, with United reported to have offered to cover a large proportion of his £300,000-a-week wages. Yet having already signed Romelu Lukaku for £74m, the Inter manager, Antonio Conte, has turned his attention to the 30-year-old after missing out on Edin Dzeko, who has signed a new three-year contract with Roma amid speculation he could move to San Siro. Continue reading...
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Shortcomings of Lampard the manager echo those of Lampard the player | Jonathan Wilson (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The midfield problems at the root of Frank Lampard’s early defeats as Chelsea manager will have been familiar to anyone who followed the ups and downs of his playing career C enturies from now, when the world is a wasteland and football exists only in the ruins of stadiums half-buried in the desert, there will still come a wind through the dusty valley and on its breath will be the question: “But if they were great players, why couldn’t they play together?” The few surviving humans will huddle in caves, squabbling over the meagre crops that remain, divided implacably into two tribes, the Gerrardites and the Lampardians, deaf to the various efforts of minority groups such as the Barryists and the Hargreavesians to unite them, indifferent now as they were then to the proposal of the deposed warlord Capello that it might conceivably work out if only the Gerrardites could occupy the land to the left. Continue reading...
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Dina Asher-Smith full of confidence before toughest test of the year (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
• Briton faces best in the world in Diamond League 200m • ‘You can’t be daunted by anybody’ – Asher-Smith When the question came, Dina Asher-Smith did not even blink. “What is it like being the hunted, not the hunter, now that you are one of the best sprinters in the world?” Britain’s triple European champion was asked. “I like it,” she replied. “It’s cool. Everybody thinks they are the best in the race. That’s how sprints work and that’s how it’s got to be. And I want to win.” The 23-year-old proved she was world class in Berlin last year, clocking world-leading times of 10.85sec and 21.89 to break her own national records, as she won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. However, she knows she will have her work cut out on Sunday when she headlines the Birmingham Diamond League in a 200m that oozes extreme class and guile. Continue reading...
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A trade deal with Trump will change Britain for the worse (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The EU has opposed brutal animal welfare and rampant tech monopolies. Post-Brexit Britain will be exposed to both A trade deal with the US would be a defining moment for the UK. It is not an exaggeration to say it would reveal the country’s direction of travel more than any other decision in the aftermath of Britain quitting the European Union. Amid the confusing array of government pledges – more police and more spending on the regions while also cutting taxes for the better off (mostly in London and the home counties) – it is the basics of any trade deal that will set Britain’s course for decades to come. Continue reading...
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Three Billy Goats Guff and the no-deal Brexit troll – cartoon (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
What’s that hiding under the bridge, as the parties bicker over a government of national unity? •You can buy your own print of this cartoon Continue reading...
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The nuclear arms race is back … and ever more dangerous now (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Donald Trump has increased spending on America’s arsenal while ripping up cold war treaties. Russia and China are following suit Imagine the uproar if the entire populations of York, Portsmouth or Swindon were suddenly exposed to three times the permissible level of penetrating gamma radiation, or what the nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford termed gamma rays. The outpouring of rage and fear would be heard across the world. That’s what happened to the roughly 200,000 people who live in the similarly sized northern Russian city of Severodvinsk on 8 August, after an explosion at a nearby top-secret missile testing range. Russia’s weather service, Rosgidromet, recorded radiation levels up to 16 times higher than the usual ambient rate. Continue reading...
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Last week, I gazed on a truly wild land... and saw art reflected back | Kenan Malik (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Humans created their societies in defiance of nature, but it still has the power to instil awe Achmore is a nondescript hamlet on the A858 that cuts across the isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. This is a gnarled, fractured landscape, swaddled in wind and rain, and built out of some of the oldest rocks on Earth – Lewisian gneiss, the bedrock of the island, is some 3bn years old, two-thirds the age of Earth itself. We had gone to Achmore to search out an ancient stone circle. There are dozens of these, including the most famous one at Calanais, scattered across Lewis’s melancholic moorland. The Achmore stone circle was disappointing, with little to catch the eye. But then we turned to look south. And almost gasped. For Lewis’s forbidding landscape, caught in a delicate light suffused through the late-afternoon cloud, had been transformed, becoming draped in an ethereal, almost unreal, beauty. Dozens of lochans – small lochs – dappled the foreground. Behind them, where the hills of Harris rose, were layer upon soft layer of pastel colours, from gold through green to blue, laid like chiffon scarves across the horizon. Continue reading...
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Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, but many of our coastal towns need more love | Sarah Ditum (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Britain’s resorts have been largely left to struggle. But their joys can still be revived My summer holiday of choice involves no passport, minimal cultural outings and as much time as possible spent immersed in 15C water. When I tell people that I am spending my break swimming in the North Sea off Yorkshire, reactions tend to run from “you’re brave” to “why would you do that?”. Which I imagine is similar to the comments I’d get if I announced I was taking a week to visit prisoners with whole-life orders. But I maintain that true pleasure requires not much more than an RNLI-supervised beach, a tide table and a novel to read between dips. The British seaside is tragically underappreciated and disastrously underfunded. A lack of year-round jobs and lousy transport links are driving its residents away: four in 10 coastal towns are forecast to suffer a decline in their population of under-30s, with those in the north worst affected. Even the south-west, which attracts nearly half of the visitors to Britain’s coast, is struggling. Places that are a hive of cute tearooms and sun-dappled tourists in the summer pull down their shutters at the end of the season; the holidaymakers leave and a bleak and empty winter sets in. Continue reading...
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The Philadelphia story couldn’t be told today… | Alex Clarke (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Advertising has come a long way since the days of ditzy girls, but not far enough for its watchdog Many years ago, a friend’s mother asked her if her husband was going to accompany them to the playground. “No, Mum,” my pal replied, with what the cynical might assume was false brightness. “He’s seen the kids go down a slide before.” Now, in these times when, as enraged libertarians like to point out, one can hardly crack a common-or-garden joke without being sent to the stocks, she’d probably be fined for perpetuating a negative gender stereotype. Continue reading...
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One man's fight to get knives off the streets of London – video (Fri, 02 Aug 2019)
Shocked by a series of stabbings in his area of east London, Courtney Barrett set up his own knife amnesty in an effort to get blades off the streets. As he collects 25 knives from members of the public outside Leytonstone tube station, he explains why he is volunteering to do something that is traditionally the job of the police Continue reading...
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'They just eliminate us': Are Kenya's police getting away with murder? - video (Tue, 06 Aug 2019)
Promising student Carilton Maina was shot by the police in Nairobi. His mother believes he was murdered. As part of The Guardian's special focus on Kibera, we met residents of Africa's largest slum to explore their deep distrust of the police and find out what Maina's, and other recent deaths, can tell us about the dramatic rise in extrajudicial killings across Kenya. Continue reading...
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How your period is making other people rich – video (Thu, 20 Jun 2019)
Menstrual cycles have historically been a personal topic. But with the rise of period-tracking apps, intimate knowledge of women's bodies has become big business, with marketers using the data women and girls put into their phones to exploit their hormones in an attempt to sell them things they did not realise they wanted Continue reading...
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'You don't have to look black to be black': The complex racial identity of a tiny Ohio town - video (Thu, 25 Jul 2019)
In the remote Ohio town of East Jackson, which sits in the Appalachian foothills, residents have for decades identified as black – despite the fact they appear white. Tom Silverstone and Francisco Navas visit a place where residents' racial lines have been blurred to invisibility Continue reading...
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Creature comforts: has the US's emotional support animal epidemic gone too far? – video (Wed, 26 Jun 2019)
Emotional support animals, or ESAs, have exploded across the US in recent years, with rising numbers of pet owners getting their animals certified online. Unlike in the UK, ESAs have legal status in the US on a tier below traditional service animals, but the backlash has begun – with critics complaining the system is being abused by regular pet owners who want to take their animals into unsuitable public spaces. The Guardian's Richard Sprenger – animal lover but pet sceptic – meets ESA owners and their animals across North America. Continue reading...
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London's toxic school runs: how polluted is the air children breathe? - video (Wed, 19 Jun 2019)
Most UK cities have had illegally polluted air for nearly a decade, and the effect of air pollution is particularly bad on children. Ahead of Clean Air Day, we conducted an experiment to assess the air quality on a school run in central London, using new state-of-the art monitors that can measure air pollution in real time Continue reading...
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Richard Ratcliffe's determined fight to free wife Nazanin from an Iranian jail – video (Thu, 18 Jul 2019)
In 2016 Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran and charged with espionage. Her young daughter, Gabriella, was with her at the time and the family have been separated ever since. We join her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, in London following a 15-day hunger strike as he campaigns to get his wife released. He shares his experience in detail and explains how Boris Johnson could have hindered her chances of coming home Continue reading...
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It's time we stopped treating soil like dirt – video (Thu, 11 Jul 2019)
Soil is pretty remarkable stuff. It provides 95% of our food, helps regulate the Earth’s atmosphere and is a bigger carbon sink than all the world's forests combined. In fact, it basically enables all life on this planet to exist. So why do we treat it like dirt? The Guardian journalist Josh Toussaint-Strauss finds out how we are destroying it, but also discovers some of the progress made in the race to protect the Earth’s soils 'It's a groundswell': the farmers fighting to save the Earth's soil Soil organisations Campaign to protect rural England  Sustainable Soils Alliance Soil Association Continue reading...
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How a conference call sparked America's abortion obsession – video explainer (Thu, 01 Aug 2019)
White evangelical Christians are on the frontline of the US's anti-abortion movement. But not so long ago this group was not interested in the politics of terminations. Its members are a crucial faction of Donald Trump's base, motivating him to further restrict abortion rights. How did it all change? Leah Green investigates how a group of men turned abortion into a tool that shaped the course of American politics Continue reading...
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Safe injection rooms are key to halting rise in drug deaths – expert (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Former drugs tsar says Home Office must end opposition to ‘fixing’ spaces to tackle issue The Home Office must abandon its opposition to safe injection rooms if it wants to reduce drug-related deaths, now at record levels, a former government drugs chief has said. David Nutt, who was chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said that failure to respond to last week’s revelation that drug deaths were at their highest since records began in 1993 would constitute “a wilful disregard of evidence”. The statistics showed that deaths from drug poisoning rose by 16% last year, representing the steepest year-on-year rise. However, the Home Office is refusing to sanction safe injection rooms – spaces where addicts can inject under medical supervision. Continue reading...
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Fears grow that WW2 wreck could explode on Kent coast (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Experts divided over risk from US munitions ship that sank 75 years ago near Sheerness It is 75 years this Tuesday since the SS Richard Montgomery sank off the Kent coast on its way to allied-occupied France. But the remains of the US cargo vessel, which went down on 20 August 1944, with more than 6,000 tonnes of munitions on board, continue to haunt the Thames estuary. With politicians and salvage experts divided over the extent of the threat that the most monitored wreck in British waters poses beneath the waves, there are fresh fears that the ship is breaking up, leading to concerns its potentially explosive cargo could be scattered across the seabed. Continue reading...
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Five-pound notes and free pints used to lure students into gambling (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Undergraduates are being offered cash and drinks to sign up to betting apps Students at prestigious UK universities are being recruited to promote betting apps on campus and, in some cases, are handing out free cash to entice others to gamble. An investigation by the Observer has found that students are being headhunted by marketing agencies that claim they are working on behalf of betting companies. Continue reading...
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Nora Quoirin's family dismiss 'unhelpful' speculation over death (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Family of teenager found dead in Malaysian jungle say reports may hinder investigations The family of Nora Quoirin, the British teenager found dead in the Malaysian jungle after a 10-day search, have dismissed “unhelpful” speculation about her disappearance. The body of the 15-year-old, who had severe learning difficulties, was discovered less than two miles from an eco-holiday resort where her family had been staying. Continue reading...
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Teenager charged with murder of Peter Duncan in Newcastle (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Victim was stabbed with screwdriver in shopping centre and died in hospital A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of Peter Duncan, the lawyer who was stabbed with a screwdriver in a Newcastle shopping centre, Northumbria police have said. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder, possession of an offensive weapon and theft, and will appear before North Tyneside magistrates court on Monday. Continue reading...
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Sajid Javid announces £600m of new infrastructure spending (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Chancellor says spending could ‘unlock’ construction of up to 50,000 homes in London, south-east and East Anglia Sajid Javid has announced more than £600m of new infrastructure spending that will potentially support the construction of up to 50,000 homes in London, the south-east and east of England. The funding, which will come from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) that Javid launched in July 2017 when he was secretary of state for communities and local government, will go towards the building of roads, rail links, schools and other infrastructure projects. Continue reading...
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Acclaimed animator who created Roger Rabbit dies aged 86 (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Richard Williams, who worked on hit films such as The Pink Panther, won three Oscars and three Baftas The acclaimed animator Richard Williams, who worked on hit films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Pink Panther, has died. The 86-year-old triple Oscar and triple Bafta winner, who was born in Toronto, Canada, and moved to Britain in the 1950s, died at his home in Bristol on Friday, his family announced. Continue reading...
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Oh so pretty … political upheaval credited for Dr Martens sales boost (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Shoemaker enjoys revival as old classic wins fans among rebellious younger generation Its footwear has been stomping down British high streets for nearly 60 years but Dr Martens is reporting record sales as fresh political upheaval and a trend for chunky platform shoes make its sturdy footwear more fashionable than ever. The classic brand has won over millennials and generation Z with twists on its classic styles, such as vegan sandals covered in hearts and £170 iridescent pink, stacked boots. Sales of these new lines jumped 84% in its last financial year, while the overall number of pairs sold rose by 20% to 8.3m. Continue reading...
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Labour to give councils power to seize boarded-up shops (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
Abandoned buildings could be turned into community centres in push to revive high streets Labour will allow councils to seize abandoned shops to give them a new lease of life as cooperatives or community centres, a policy designed to revive struggling high streets. Jeremy Corbyn is expected to announce the shake-up on a visit to a high street in Bolton on Saturday, calling the sight of boarded-up shops a “symptom of economic decay” which is lowering living standards. Continue reading...
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Number of flights taken by officials from department tackling climate crisis soars (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Number of flights taken by BEIS staff rises to 4,500 from 2,700 in previous year despite carbon footprint The Whitehall officials responsible for tackling the climate crisis dramatically increased their domestic flights last year despite the huge carbon footprint associated with aviation. Officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) took more than 4,500 domestic business flights in the last financial year, according to its annual report. The number of flights taken the year before was fewer than 2,700. Continue reading...
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University league tables 2020 (Fri, 07 Jun 2019)
Find a course at a UK university Continue reading...
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‘Matteo Salvini must be stopped’: Renzi’s back, but can the ex-PM save Italy? (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
As political turmoil grips Rome, the former prime minister tells the Observer of his mission to thwart a far-right takeover His energetic stint at the helm of Italy’s government was brought to a juddering halt when, in 2016, he was effectively sacked by voters after suffering an embarrassing defeat in a constitutional referendum. Now Matteo Renzi is back, casting himself as the man to save Italy from the potential grip of a far-right government led by the League’s Matteo Salvini and calling on all “responsible politicians” to back him to thwart the extremist threat. He is re-entering the fray, he insists, for the sake of the country’s future – and not to reignite his own career. “For my personal rating and consensus it would be better to stay silent,” Renzi told the Observer in an exclusive interview last week. “But Salvini must be stopped, and it’s important to give a strong message – there is an alternative.” Continue reading...
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Sudan opposition and military sign final power-sharing accord (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Deal paves way for transitional government after overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have signed a final power-sharing agreement, paving the way for a transitional government after the overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir. Stability in Sudan, which has been grappling with an economic crisis, is seen as crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya. Continue reading...
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Trump suspends CNN analyst's credentials in another shot at the press (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The move stems from a July altercation with Breitbart reporter Sebastian Gorka, and echoes actions against CNN’s Jim Acosta The Trump administration has fired another shot in its war with the US press, suspending the credentials of Brian Karem, White House correspondent for Playboy and an analyst for CNN. Related: ‘The president's insane’: book by CNN's Jim Acosta charts Trump war on press Continue reading...
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Jean-Claude Juncker cuts short holiday to have urgent surgery (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Outgoing European commission chief has returned home to have gall bladder removed The outgoing head of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has cut short a holiday to undergo urgent surgery, his press team has said. “Jean-Claude Juncker had to shorten his holiday in Austria for medical reasons. He was taken back to Luxembourg where he will undergo an urgent cholecystectomy [surgical removal of the gallbladder],” the team said on Saturday of what is normally a routine medical procedure. Continue reading...
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Hong Kong: three rallies mark 11th weekend of protests (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Demonstrators aim to show public support for movement remains strong Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong, as they sought to show their movement still had public support even after two months of increasingly violent clashes. Protesters, clad in their signature black and holding umbrellas, marched down major streets in Kowloon, chanting: “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our time!” Volunteers handed out herbal tea and juice, while some shops that had closed for the day left boxes of drinks out for protesters. Continue reading...
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Hands off our treasured railway, say locals in Sóller, Mallorca (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Anonymous investors have launched a hostile €25m bid for Sóller’s locally owned heritage train link to Palma Indignant residents of the Mallorcan town of Sóller have said their railway is not for sale after a group of investors launched a hostile takeover bid. The town has been linked to the capital, Palma, with a picturesque narrow-gauge railway since 1912. The train, with its wooden carriages, has been in continuous use ever since, climbing 200 metres and passing through 13 tunnels on its 27km journey. Continue reading...
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If global markets are unsettled, they have good reason to be so (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Last week’s upheavals in bond values were an all-too-rational response to a cocktail of economic troubles Every year the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City hosts a symposium in the Grand Teton resort of Jackson Hole. Some years, guests have little to do but chew the fat and listen to distinguished speakers explain points of economic importance. Sometimes, though, the conclave in Wyoming takes place with a crisis looming. One such year was 2008. This year is shaping up to be another. Global financial markets certainly fear the worst. Share prices slumped last week amid fears that the first recession since the big crash of 2008-09 is just around the corner. The trigger was developments in the bond markets, which is where investors trade the debt that governments issue to cover their spending. Continue reading...
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US unveils warrant to seize Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar dispute (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
A day after Gibraltar judge allows vessel’s release, US condemns ‘scheme to unlawfully access US financial system’ The US justice department has issued a warrant for the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker at the centre of a weeks-long diplomatic dispute, just a day after a Gibraltar judge allowed the release of the detained vessel. The move by Washington marks a significant escalation in its efforts to tighten economic sanctions against Iran, trying to detain a tanker that Gibraltar had said was no longer impounded under EU sanctions. Continue reading...
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Alan Jones told he will be sacked if he makes more offensive comments on radio (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Macquarie Media warns star broadcaster after he said New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern should have a ‘sock shoved down throat’ Alan Jones has been told he will be sacked if he makes any more offensive comments after he used his radio show to suggest Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down the throat” of the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Jones caused widespread anger on Thursday after using his 2GB show to tell the Australian prime minister to carry out the action to stop Ardern talking about climate change. Continue reading...
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Thousands mourn El Paso victim Margie Reckard after partner's appeal (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Antonio Basco ‘felt like he was by himself’, pastor says Facebook appeal draws strangers to ceremony Thousands of strangers came to El Paso this weekend, to say goodbye to a victim of the mass shooting in the Texas city after hearing that she had few family members. Related: 'No one cares till someone dies': El Paso activists long feared their city was at risk Continue reading...
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Wigging out: why drag is bigger and wilder than ever at Edinburgh (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
It used to be that just wearing a dress and lip-syncing was enough. But now drag is mainstream, the bar for this most creative and transgressive art form has been raised It’s Friday night at the Edinburgh fringe. Artists are running all over town, weaving around drunk punters and through flooded streets to make their guest spots. In full drag is me, dragging a tent through the rain, my wig swiftly uncurling. I arrive 15 minutes before I am supposed to go on stage, as a guest in someone else’s show. Up there already is a comedian reading from a yellow piece of paper. Next up, a man walks on stage and reads from a white piece of paper. Then it’s my turn: while using two audience volunteers, I spend four minutes erecting a tent while altering the lyrics to a popular ballad, singing live, ad-libbing jokes, wearing a full face of makeup, heels and a wig, all while reinterpreting Susan Sontag’s wondrous (and perhaps problematic) Notes on Camp. All in a day’s work for a drag queen in 2019. When I started drag 10 years ago, the act of raiding your local Primark (without a care in the world for the impending meteorological apocalypse) and sticking on a dress and a plastic wig was deemed radical. Although this practice had existed for hundreds of years – not the Primark bit, but the transgressing gender through dress bit – barely anyone had seen it before. But now, after a stiff cocktail of RuPaul’s Drag Race, social media and the increased acceptance of gender fluidity, there are countless queens out there with more followers than Jeremy Corbyn. Drag is everything the internet could want: colourful, uplifting, funny, beautiful, political, and the key to a wholly different way of life. And so, with more interest came more drag. And naturally, with more drag came higher expectations. Continue reading...
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Passionate, tender, heartbreaking … letters reveal Leonard Bernstein’s 10-year secret affair (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The West Side Story composer met and fell in love with a young Japanese fan on tour and their romance lasted until his death One was among the most brilliant composers and conductors of the 20th century, a sexagenarian who brought the world one of the great love stories of musical theatre. The other was a 26-year-old who worked in a Tokyo insurance company. Now, a newly revealed cache of letters shows that in the last decade of his life Leonard Bernstein embarked on a passionate relationship with a Japanese man. “I noticed that he was gazing upon me,” Kunihiko Hashimoto, now 66, said. It is hard to explain about his eyes. It was not to try to talk to me nor seduce me, just he was looking at me. It was irresistible.” Continue reading...
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Dora and the Lost City of Gold review – charming children’s adventure (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
This unlikely live-action reboot benefits from the sunny screen presence of Isabela Moner as the intrepid teen explorer Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, an educational animated series for children that ran from 2000 to 2006, shouldn’t work as a live-action Hollywood remake. Weirdly, this sprightly, self-aware action-adventure movie does. Director James Bobin and co-writer Nicholas Stoller launch with the cartoon’s memorably bouncy theme tune. Within minutes, a six-year-old Dora (Madelyn Miranda) is breaking the fourth wall and asking the audience if they can say “delicioso” (in the original TV show, Dora would teach viewers Spanish words and phrases). Dora’s simian compadre Boots is computer-animated and integrated into the film’s ever-so-slightly surreal live-action world without question. Dora has grown up in the rainforests of Peru, home-schooled by her parents (a zoologist and an archeologist, played by Eva Longoria and Michael Peña respectively). They are explorers, the film insists, not treasure hunters, in one of its gentle swipes at colonialism. Now 16 years old, Dora (Isabela Moner) is being sent to the city, aka Los Angeles, to attend high school with her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg) while her parents search for Parapata, the lost Incan city of gold. A relentlessly cheery brainiac with a propensity to burst into song, she soon earns the nickname Dorka, turning up to a themed school dance dressed as her “favourite star” – the sun. Moner is a magnetic, sunny screen presence. Seeing Dora navigate the wilds of high school would’ve been entertaining enough, but a kidnapping places her and her classmates back in the jungle. Continue reading...
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Art Spiegelman: golden age superheroes were shaped by the rise of fascism (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Created in New York by Jewish immigrants, the first comic book superheroes were mythic saviours who could combat the Nazi threat. They speak to the dark politics of our times News: Spiegelman’s Marvel essay ‘refused publication for Orange Skull Trump dig’ Back in the benighted 20th century comic books were seen as subliterate trash for kiddies and intellectually challenged adults – badly written, hastily drawn and execrably printed. Martin Goodman, the founder and publisher of what is now known as Marvel Comics, once told Stan Lee that there was no point in trying to make the stories literate or worry about character development: “Just give them a lot of action and don’t use too many words.” It’s a genuine marvel that this formula led to works that were so resonant and vital. The comic book format can be credited to a printing salesman, Maxwell Gaines, looking for a way to keep newspaper supplement presses rolling in 1933 by reprinting collections of popular newspaper comic strips in a half-tabloid format. As an experiment, he slapped a 10 cents sticker on a handful of the free pamphlets and saw them quickly sell out at a local newsstand. Soon most of the famous funnies were being gathered into comic books by a handful of publishers – and new content was needed at cheap reprint rates. This new material was mostly made up of third-rate imitations of existing newspaper strips, or genre stories echoing adventure, detective, western or jungle pulps. As Marshall McLuhan once pointed out, every medium subsumes the content of the medium that precedes it before it finds its own voice. Continue reading...
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Book clinic: what can I read to look cultured when I go to Cambridge? (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Zadie Smith and Martin Amis will give you something interesting to contribute to any conversation Q: What books should I read before I start university? I am going to Cambridge and don’t want to seem uncultured compared with all the posh people! Post-A-level student A: Johanna Thomas-Corr, critic and writer, writes: As someone who was intimidated by all the private-school kids at my university, I wish I had known what they seemed to know: that essays needn’t be a chore. Martin Amis’s latest collection, The Rub of Time, covers everything from John Travolta and porn to Donald Trump and Princess Diana and displays the kind of brainy swagger that you’ll encounter a lot. Or try Feel Free, a collection of thought experiments by state-school student and Cambridge wonderkid Zadie Smith about Renaissance art, Jay-Z, climate change and Prince’s dance moves. She makes thinking fun. Continue reading...
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Magdalene Odundo: ‘Of all mediums, clay is the most versatile, pliable and human’ (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The Kenyan-born British ceramicist on hand-building pots and whether ‘craft’ is a bad word From the pinch of a nose to the elongated slant of a neck, Magdalene Odundo’s ceramics are on the verge of coming to life. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art described her objects as seeming “simultaneously familiar and novel”. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1950, she trained in Farnham, Surrey (where she now lives), then at the Royal College of Art. Her approach grew from a formative period when she returned to Africa to learn about local ceramic practice. Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things, featuring 50 of her works alongside 100 contemporary and historic pieces from all over the world, chosen by the artist, is at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, until 15 December. Your exhibition brings together works by a number of artists and designers, from Barbara Hepworth to Rodin. How did you choose the objects? They are works I had seen that made me want to find out more about the artist, or coincided with what I was working on. One piece by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska is Bird Swallowing a Fish, a sculpture I first saw at Kettle’s Yard [in Cambridge]. In the very early days, when I arrived in this country, I remember it having such a puzzling interest for me. At the time, African art was very popular, in the sense that western artists had been very much influenced by the abstract aspect of the work. I came out thinking: “this work could be by an African artist, or by somebody who wasn’t western”. Continue reading...
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‘Deafness – it’s part of who you are’: one man’s journey to inspire (Fri, 05 Jul 2019)
Ed Rex has enjoyed some memorable travel experiences over the years. He tells Lucy Jolin about how he started his travel blogging business with The Deaf Traveller, and the tech that helps him Travel blogger Ed Rex has had plenty of memorable moments in his career to date, from snorkelling in Fiji to marvelling at the Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina. But one of the most memorable was when he accidentally signed up for a job at a nudist resort in Australia. “The plan was to work at resorts in return for bed and breakfast,” he says with a grin. “The resort sent me a nice email saying they were looking forward to me coming and would pick me up – and by the way, we’re nudists: is that OK with you? And I had to be nude as well. That was a challenge! I’ve certainly never done naked gardening in the UK ...” Continue reading...
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'He feels like any other nine-year-old': how technology helped open up the world to my son (Wed, 03 Jul 2019)
Nikki Hunter-Pike explains how accessibility technology has opened up the online world to her son, who has cerebral palsy It’s Saturday morning at Nikki Hunter-Pike’s home. While she prepares breakfast, and her husband Daniel plays with their daughters Brooke and Harper, her son Chase is engrossed in sending an email to his beloved stepgrandfather, “Pops”, his face a study in intense concentration. Nine-year-old Chase, who has the neurological condition cerebral palsy, cannot walk, talk, feed himself or pick up a pen. Yet, thanks to technology that’s widely available, he can communicate, learn and explore the online world from his family’s home in Northfleet, Kent. Continue reading...
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From spreadsheets to shavasana: overcoming a visual impairment to develop a dual career (Fri, 21 Jun 2019)
Jemma Ralston hasn’t let visual impairment hold her back – as well as working in finance, she teaches yoga in London. Computer software is essential to her dual career, writes Sue George “Teaching yoga, hosting yoga brunch events and doing a full-time finance contract is pretty tiring,” says Jemma Ralston, “but it is so exciting because I am in control. All these things I am choosing to do. Yoga is my passion.” Ralston teaches ashtanga vinyasa yoga in classes across London and – alongside her new yoga business – she also works as an accountant. Continue reading...
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‘I love big words but I can spell barely any’: the tech that helps with dyslexia (Fri, 28 Jun 2019)
Thanks to technology, teenager Ella Warren-Roberts has the tools to overcome her dyslexia and thrive at school. Sue George finds out how Like many teenagers, Ella Warren-Roberts, 14, is very creative. She makes slate jewellery, she does woodcutting, and paints in watercolours. “She always has more than one project on the go,” says her proud mother, Glenda Roberts. “And she always completes them.” “So I don’t get too stressed out on one thing, I can relax by doing another,” says Ella. Continue reading...
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I’m angry, sore, and bloated. Is this the menopause? The more I read, the less I know (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
If women do begin ‘delaying’ menopause, it will be to avoid the tedious, draining, open-ended confusion of the years between 38 and 60 I enjoyed last week’s news about a surgical breakthrough that could potentially delay menopause, mainly as it was good to hear the whole confusing, eternally awkward thing discussed for once. The Great Reckoning is no doubt heading towards me soon, now that I’m 45 – and I have been taking tips from some curious sources. “I see Meg Mathews is twaddling on about her dry fanjo again,” one of my best friends said, WhatsApping me screengrabs of a blog about the menopause written by Noel Gallagher’s ex-missus in which she details the arid folds of her nether district. Actually, not so arid now; she’s been moisturising it, like you would your face. Stand easy, Britain: she’s back in the game. Continue reading...
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'Please find some words for me': the conversations that helped after our son's stillbirth (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Letters, chats, cards, even texts – each made a difference Our baby’s nursery contains everything that you would expect to see, plus a small box that contains his ashes. Next to it are the first clothes he wore, some other items from hospital and a mound of cards that we received when he died. We had many cards. We had cards with no words, just a name. We had cards with many words and a name. We had one card where a friend wrote: “I don’t know what to write, but I know that if you were writing this for me, you would write something very wise.” Continue reading...
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How we live together: the mother, daughter and best friend (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
‘I came to stay with Madeleine and Tabby for six weeks before going to study. We had such a nice time, they invited me back’ Hattie Cansino, 30 Madeleine’s been my best friend for years. I came to stay with her and her daughter Tabby for six weeks in July last year before going to Brazil to study. The three of us had such a nice time that they invited me back after my year away. When I returned, they’d redecorated the spare room especially. When Tabby was born, I was young and a baby seemed so adult and alien. I have a lot of guilt for not being around as much as I should have then; I hope I’m making up for it now. I walk Tabby to school three times a week and help with homework. Looking after her isn’t babysitting at all, she’s an absolutely lovely kid. Continue reading...
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Thrice as nice: rice recipes from around the world | Yotam Ottolenghi (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Think you know rice? Try a Korean fusion starter of fritters, a vegetarian Cajun dirty rice and a southern US-style black rice and butternut squash main You’ve found the perfect water-to-rice ratio for making pilaf; your technique is faultless, your execution spot-on. But now you’re staring down at a bag of short-grain brown rice, not basmati, and the game has changed: from soaking, to salting, to cooking. Rice is an ingredient with multiple personality types: just when you think you’ve figured it out, you’re met with another variety, another size, shape or colour. Not to mention its purpose: as the main event, a textural addition, a binding agent or to bulk out a meal. Continue reading...
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‘Do they really think I'm his mother?’: life with a younger, hotter boyfriend (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
It’s not unusual to see older men dating more youthful, prettier women – so why are people so confused by my relationship? One fine Montréal fall morning, I sat at the kitchen table, writing, the cat fed and purring, the teapot still half full, in a sacred moment of flow, when the doorbell rang. I let my boyfriend answer it and eavesdropped from the kitchen. “Oui, bonjour.” Continue reading...
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Romesh Ranganathan: I’d love to take on my kids at Fortnite. But I have no idea how it works (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Mastering Fortnite would make me the coolest dad, but I can’t even work out the controls The game Fortnite has just started its 10th season, and my children have become impossible to understand. They say things like: “There’s been a drop near the eye of the storm,” and “This guy using the Twistie skin is such a blatant noob.” They also seem to think my wife and I have some sort of contact with the makers of the game, as this morning my second son asked me if I could sort out the Fortnite servers. I said I would, and left the room to make a sandwich. When I returned, the servers had been fixed and my son thanked me. I accepted his gratitude, as my level of understanding is so minimal that for all I know all it needed was for me to make a sandwich. I have never worried about having my finger on the pulse, because I consume music and cinema voraciously, and assumed that meant I would know all of the things my kids were into, even if I didn’t like them. The other day I said to my son: “I’m taking ya missus, nah brother I’m joking,” because that is a song by Jay1, who I know kids love, and my son told me that a) that might have been impressive if I had done it four months ago, and b) what I was doing was obvious and pathetic. But I find Fortnite completely impenetrable, and I now have to listen to my kids talk about great Fortnite players with more affection than they do their parents. I constantly walk past their rooms to the sounds of, “Aw man Ninja 120 is the absolute best”, or “Alpha Bum posted up a video of him killing 12 enemies with just a crossbow!” I can feel the common ground between us disappearing. Continue reading...
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Why Jordan Peterson is filling the void | Modern Masculinity: episode 1 (Wed, 14 Aug 2019)
Is modern masculinity in crisis? As part of a new series for the Guardian, journalist Iman Amrani is speaking to men across the UK about the issues affecting men and boys in today's society. In this episode, Iman asks, away from the polemic headlines, what is it about Jordan Peterson that has made him such a popular and influential voice for so many men? Men need meaning and responsibility | Modern Masculinity: episode 2 Continue reading...
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Tell us: how have you reused your wedding dress? (Thu, 15 Aug 2019)
We want to hear if you opted for a non-traditional dress, or if you’ve repurposed it so you could wear it again Worn for the big day, gone tomorrow – for many people a wedding dress will be the single most expensive item of clothing they ever buy. It may also be the item of clothing they wear the least. With sustainability taking centre stage, something about the practice of spending big on a labour-intensive dress that is worn only once doesn’t quite stack up, which is perhaps why many women are choosing to do things a little differently. Continue reading...
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Tell us what's driving the drop in take-up of English A-level (Wed, 14 Aug 2019)
We want to hear from students and teachers why English is declining as a choice for A-level pupils Once a popular subject choice for sixth formers, schools are now seeing a sharp drop in the take-up of English literature and language at A-level. This year, entries for all types of English A-level fell by 13%, sparking an outcry from authors and teachers that pupils have been put off studying the subject at a higher level. Continue reading...
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Send us a tip on free-to-enter green spaces in the UK and win a £200 hotel voucher (Tue, 13 Aug 2019)
Parks, gardens and open spaces, perfectly situated for a quick stroll before dark or early in the morning, come into their own in summer. Tell us about your favourites Share your favourite free-to-enter gardens, parks and other green spaces around the UK. They may have beautifully kept flower beds, ancient woodland, rewilded wildflower meadows or even swimming lakes. They can be in urban areas, offering relaxation and recreation to commuters and a haven for fauna and flora, or further afield. Your favourite green space may just be a quiet wood or country park noted for its birdlife, or it could feature a cafe, outdoor gym facilities and rowing boats. Please give exact locations, websites and details of any useful facilities and interesting buildings. Remember, it’s your personal experience that counts – not the fame of the location. Continue reading...
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Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? (Mon, 12 Aug 2019)
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them Are you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooks Scroll down for our favourite literary links Read more Tips, links and suggestions blogs Welcome to this week’s blogpost. Here’s our roundup of your comments and photos from last week. Let’s start with a beautiful example of nominative determinism. Isabella Tree’s Wilding has affected Wellfitbooty “more than any book I’ve read in many years”: Continue reading...
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Megan Rapinoe: 'We're everything Trump loves – except that we're powerful women' (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Fresh from World Cup victory, the US football star on politics, pay and the power of calling out injustice It is two weeks since the US women’s football team shut down midtown Manhattan on their World Cup victory parade and Megan Rapinoe, the team’s co-captain and most visible member, is still trying to come down from the high. We are in Los Angeles, where the US national team is due to play a friendly against Ireland. Rapinoe – slight, sharp-eyed, perennially amused – is considering the past fortnight. “How long can we be drunk for?” she says, laughing. “To go through such a high – there is obviously a comedown and nobody really has the time to decompress. I think everyone feels in this state of ‘Yes, this is awesome.’ But I’m also struggling to get back to normal.” The sense of unreality is particularly acute for Rapinoe, whose profile over the course of the tournament shot from mid-level sporting celebrity to something much bigger, thanks to, as she puts it with some understatement, “one of those general cultural events that happen”. This is a reference not only to her public spat with Donald Trump – in a video recorded before the World Cup that went viral during the tournament, she said: “I’m not going to the fucking White House,” when asked whether she was looking forward to a victorious visit – but to her demeanour in general. Continue reading...
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Dramatic spaces: raising the curtain on Dominic Cooper’s bolthole (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The actor’s penthouse provides a welcome escape from the ‘chaos and madness’ of life on screen Bringing your work home with you takes on a whole new meaning in Dominic Cooper’s Victorian terraced property in north London. One bedroom is furnished entirely with pieces from the New York hotel room set seen in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in which he reprises his character Sky. “I really needed to do the room up quickly and so I bought all of the furniture from that set after the film was finished. I call it the Mamma Mia! floor.” Occupying the second and third floors of a three-storey terrace, the property comprised a two-bedroom flat on the third floor and a one-bedroom on the second floor when Cooper bought it. Seeing the potential to extend into the eves of the roof, he enlisted E2 architects to create an upper floor open-plan loft-style kitchen-living space, adding reclaimed rustic timber joists in the ceiling and an exposed brick wall to contrast with the grey brick tiles in the sleek, modern white kitchen. A skylight punctuates the wood joists, flooding the room with natural light. “I’ve been slowly working my way down the building,” says Cooper, “buying different bits of it and turning it into a home.” Continue reading...
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Physician, ultrarunner, thriller writer… meet the man who lives life to the full (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Professor Hugh Montgomery says mastering new skills helps him relax – and makes life appear to last longer I meet Prof Hugh Montgomery the day after the heatwave reaches its sticky, stultifying peak, a day when Londoners are red-eyed, over-caffeinated and on a hair trigger. It’s business as usual, however, for Montgomery. With an expansive enthusiasm that cuts through the clammy torpor, he’s fine: he rarely tops five hours a night. “I get up between 4 and 5am. But I wouldn’t want to promulgate the idea that not sleeping is a good thing.” It might not be recommended, but in his case, it’s essential. You need those extra hours when you’re chair of Intensive Care Medicine at UCL, a practising clinician, a groundbreaking genetic researcher (Montgomery is director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance and discovered the ACE gene that influences physical fitness and endurance) and founder member of the UK Climate and Health Council. He has also conducted research on Everest, run three ultramarathons, skydived naked for charity and holds the world record for playing piano underwater (110 hours, as part of a team during his medical school days. He persuaded Yamaha to create a keyboard that would work underwater and “dumped it in a swimming pool”.) Continue reading...
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New life flows into Great Yarmouth as waterways reopen (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Volunteers hope restoration will return UK seaside town to its former glory and reverse its decline There was a time, when Clare Cooper was a child, when she thought Great Yarmouth was “a magical world”. Her family, from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire, came twice a year to the East Anglian seaside resort, in May and October, and she would plead with her parents: “Please can we go on the boats?” She meant the rowing boats and pedalos and gondola-style vessels on the boating lake and a network of waterways running parallel to the town’s long sandy beach, built between the wars as a charming if not remotely realistic pastiche of the canals of Venice. Continue reading...
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Rats and raw sewage: Jeffrey Epstein jail blighted by 'horrible' conditions (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The Metropolitan correctional center is under fire in the wake of Epstein’s death – and critics say urgent change is needed The New York Metropolitan correctional center sits on a corner in downtown Manhattan, eerily quiet given its location between the financial district and Chinatown. At the junction of Pearl Street and Park Row, the sound of trucks whizzing by and cars honking at pedestrians remains strangely absent. The headquarters of the New York police department is next door and surrounding roads have been closed since 9/11. Continue reading...
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Samson Otieno: 'Without art I don’t think I would be where I am today' (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
In the final instalment of the Kibera series, the musician describes his journey from Kenya’s largest slum to London Samson Odhiambo Otieno’s early life was never going to be easy. Born into a life of poverty in Kibera, Nairobi, at a young age he endured the death of his mother and siblings, and rejection by his new step-mother. Forced out of the only home he knew he became one of Kenya’s street children, living on the road, making his way through life the best he could. Otieno, now 29, attended the launch of the Guardian’s Kibera: living in the slum exhibition to catch up with the life he once knew and memories he treasures dearly, through the images of his hometown – a far cry from where he is now. Continue reading...
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A Belarusian woman's life story in outfits – in pictures (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Minsk-based photographer Tatsiana Tkachova was in Volozhin, Belarus in 2017 when she saw an elegant woman in a bright dress. So began her friendship with Vera, now 92. Tkachova took 27 portraits for Vera’s Seasons, telling Vera’s story and that of the region. The last portrait is of the dress Vera will wear at her funeral Continue reading...
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The 20 photographs of the week (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
Tear gas in Hong Kong, the poise of Simone Biles, the beauty of nature – the last seven days, as captured by the world’s best photojournalists Continue reading...
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Peter Fonda: a life in pictures (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The actor best remembered for Easy Rider has died at the age of 79. Here we look back at his life and career Continue reading...
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A cow festival and a beached iceberg: Friday's best photos (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world Continue reading...
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Buy a classic Guardian photograph: Szechenyi Baths, Budapest, August 2006 (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
This week in our Guardian Print Shop series we have an image shot by David Levene of the Szechenyi Baths in Budapest Men play chess while submerged to the shoulders in the hot, mineral-rich waters of the Szechenyi thermal baths in Budapest. Bathing has been a tradition in the city since Roman times, though these opulent, neo-Baroque baths were only built in 1913. Bathing serves an important social purpose in Hungary, with people coming together to chat and, often, play chess. Chess is hugely popular – a significant part of Hungarian culture, and even included in school curriculums. Guardian photographer David Levene went to Budapest in 2006, as part of a series documenting cities in the summer. He’s captured the players’ concentration, their leathered, sun-baked skin, and the palatial surroundings. Words: Hannah Booth Continue reading...
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The week in wildlife – in pictures (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
Endangered bonobo, migrating storks and one of the world’s biggest raptors Continue reading...
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