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The Guardian

General election: May refuses to rule out income tax and NI rises (dim., 30 avril 2017)
PM pledges not to hike VAT but refuses to commit to Cameron’s ‘tax lock’ promise or triple-lock formula for state pension increases • General election 2017 - live updates Theresa May has all but confirmed she will drop the Conservative pledge not to raise three key taxes, as she ruled out higher VAT but declined to make a similar promise not to hike income tax and national insurance. The prime minister said she did not want to make promises she was not absolutely confident she could keep, as she also signalled she would ditch the “triple-lock” formula by which the state pension would increase each year. Continue reading...
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Brexit: UK may have to recognise ECJ court rulings to keep security cooperation (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Britain’s last EU commissioner suggests this could form part of talks with EU27 after bloc agreed tough negotiating guidelines Britain’s most senior EU official has warned that a post-Brexit Britain would have to recognise the rulings of the European court of justice if it wished to maintain the current level of cooperation in countering terrorism and organised crime. Sir Julian King, the European commissioner responsible for security, said the UK’s security services had become increasingly reliant on shared crime-fighting tools to carry out their work. Continue reading...
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Trump's 100-day rally: president launches attack on 'failing' media (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania returns to familiar campaign themes and includes a dig at the ‘very boring’ White House correspondents’ dinner Donald Trump returned to familiar territory on Saturday in a bullish campaign-style speech in Pennsylvania to mark his 100 days in office. In a performance that suggested the US president was still in election mode, he repeated his scathing attacks on the media and his well-worn pledges to build a wall, destroy Islamic State, drain the swamp and revive the military. Continue reading...
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Renowned climber Ueli Steck dies near Mount Everest (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Mountaineer known as Swiss Machine had been planning to ascend Everest and nearby Mount Lhotse next month A renowned Swiss climber has died in a mountaineering accident near Mount Everest in Nepal. Ueli Steck, 40, nicknamed the Swiss Machine, died after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, said Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summits Treks company that organised Steck’s expedition. Continue reading...
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‘See what he did to me. This isn’t love’ – the acid attacks shaming Italy (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Gessica Notaro has become the face of a campaign to end violence against women On the sixth anniversary of her brother’s suicide, Gessica Notaro, a dolphin trainer and former Miss Italy finalist, thought that she would die too. As she returned home from dinner with friends on 10 January, the 28-year-old had acid thrown in her face, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend Jorge Edson Tavares, 29. Continue reading...
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Cancer surgeon scandal may widen as victims name other hospitals (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Number of patients involved grows as case raises questions over private sector The scandal surrounding the rogue surgeon Ian Paterson is likely to widen after lawyers revealed on Saturday that they are receiving allegations implicating other hospitals and specialists. Continue reading...
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Police hunt car that struck and killed four-year-old boy in Leeds (dim., 30 avril 2017)
West Yorkshire police seek witnesses to incident, which occurred on Chapeltown Road on Saturday afternoon Tributes have been left to a four-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car outside a medical centre in Leeds. Flowers and a teddy were tied to traffic lights on a crossing outside the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road. Continue reading...
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'It feels like Groundhog Day': US Marines return to Helmand province (dim., 30 avril 2017)
With the Taliban resurgent and the security situation deteriorating, elite US forces have been redeployed in southern Afghanistan When thousands of US Marines flooded into Helmand eight years ago, they demonstrated Barack Obama’s resolve to quash the Taliban once and for all and leave a peaceful province for Afghans to take over. Two years after the US flag was lowered, however, the Marines are back, in a sign that things turned out rather differently. Continue reading...
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Bankruptcy risk as ‘desperate’ councils play the property market (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Liberal Democrat former business secretary Vince Cable warns of gambles taken by local authorities hit by cuts Desperate councils risk being plunged into an Icelandic-style financial crisis after investing £1.5bn in the commercial property market, according to Sir Vince Cable, former business secretary. Heavy cuts in central government funding have left the authorities having to consider increasingly exotic solutions to ease their financial constraints. Continue reading...
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Downing Street to garden retreat: David Cameron spends £25,000 on luxury hut (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The hand-built ‘shepherd’s hut’ comes with sheep’s wool insulation, a wood-burning stove, Bakelite light switches and a hardwood door Former prime minister David Cameron has spent £25,000 on a “luxury hut” for his Cotswolds garden that he plans to use as a writing studio. Since leaving Downing Street, Cameron has undertaken a speaking tour in the US and has said he is spending his time rediscovering his love of game shooting. Continue reading...
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The party city grows up: how Berlin's clubbers built their own urban village (dim., 30 avril 2017)
What if a city allowed a huge regeneration project to be led, not by the wealthiest property developer, but by the club owners who put on the best parties in town? With the opening of Holzmarkt, Berlin is about to find out For the first decade of the 21st century, the industrial wasteland between Berlin’s Ostbahnhof station and the river Spree was earmarked for a huge urban regeneration project – one that would show that the German capital could keep up with London and New York. Where flowing water had once marked the divide between communist and capitalist spheres of influence were to be a phalanx of high-rise blocks made of shiny glass, some of them 80 metres tall, containing luxury apartments, hotels and offices. But tomorrow, that same 12,000m2 patch of land will open with an altogether different look: an urban village made of recycled windows, secondhand bricks and scrap wood, containing among other things a studio for circus acrobats, a children’s theatre, a cake shop and a nursery where parents can drop off their children while they go clubbing next door. There’s even a landing stage for beavers. Continue reading...
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'Hundreds of us will die in Raqqa’: the women fighting Isis (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Kimberley Taylor from Blackburn is part of the all-female Kurdish force battling to rout Islamic State. Driving them on is the chance to free women enslaved by the extremists: ‘It starts with fighting Daesh, then the mentality of the male’ She had heard the stories about how Islamic State fighters could glide like ghosts into Kurdish militia bases during the dead of night, but nothing prepared her for the bedlam when it happened. It was 3.40am on 12 February when Isis attackers scrambled over the perimeter defences of the base north of Raqqa. Kimberley Taylor was convinced it would be overrun. Grabbing her Kalashnikov, she began firing at the shapes. Beyond the corner of the nearest building cowered an enemy fighter. Suddenly he rushed towards her. As their eyes met, he yanked the cord on his suicide belt. Continue reading...
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Even standup has been weaponised by fake news | Stewart Lee (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Is someone called Luca Saucedo really interested in the supposed failure of Brexit comedy? Last Sunday, Le Pen was predicted a 92% landslide; Serge Gainsbourg’s zombie corpse, barely discernible from his living form, rose from the grave and endorsed the Front National; and, apparently, 10-hour queues meant it wasn’t worth busy French metropolitan liberals turning up to vote, as they would not then have time to drink absinthe in Saint-Denis, dance with Moulin Rouge showgirls and pursue their extramarital affairs before bed. Google the word “France” in the hours up to the first round of the French election and you’d find fake news stories, skewed in support of the anti-EU far right, all over Twitter and Facebook. Writing in this newspaper in February, Carole Cadwalladr revealed how one-third of all traffic on Twitter before the EU referendum was generated by automated “bots” programmed to trend pro-Leave topics, a story that should have gained more ground except that, well, it wouldn’t, would it, obviously. Continue reading...
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No room for nostalgia as Bob Dylan keeps show on the road (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Singer who redefined rock’n’roll 50 years ago continues to confound expectations as tour brings him to London Palladium Bob Dylan is well into his sixth decade of confounding every expectation of him. The 1960s’ lightning rod, the voice-of-a-generation folk singer who then redefined rock’n’roll with his “thin, wild mercury sound”, achieved this status only by doing as he, and nobody, else saw fit. He has continued in that vein. He is 75 now, and controversy still has a way of finding him. Continue reading...
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Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett: ‘We fight over everything’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
As Gorillaz release their new album, Humanz, the duo discuss Brexit, predicting dystopia, and how they made up after not speaking for three years On the top floor of his west London studio, “13”, Damon Albarn is sitting at a small wooden table that his dad made sometime in the 1970s. In front of him are a glass of nettle tea, some freshly squeezed juice in a union jack mug and a single cigarette. He’s in a good mood, and he is talking about Gorillaz, the cartoon band that he formed with Jamie Hewlett almost 20 years ago. Unfortunately, he is not being clear. I’ve just asked him if the music that he makes on the new album – soulful, urban, with contributors including Mavis Staples, Pusha T, Jehnny Beth and Benjamin Clementine – marries up at all with Hewlett’s drawings of 2D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle, the cartoon members of the band. Continue reading...
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Nigel Slater’s spring soup recipes (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Clear, light and gentle or packing a hearty punch, these spicy Asian soups make for a zesty spring lunch It has been a week of spoon-and-bowl food, rather than knife, fork and plate stuff. Soups that double as vegetable stews, light yet sustaining enough to be considered lunch. We ate much of it in the garden, too, surrounded by new green growth fizzing from every branch and stem. There is often a southeast Asian accent to many of my spring soups, either in the form of a citrus and chilli spice paste, or by the inclusion of sweet white miso paste. Two or three tablespoons of the latter has the ability to transport a plain chicken stock into something altogether more interesting, and something to which I can introduce crisp greens such as shredded spring cabbage, peas or spring carrots. Sometimes all three. This fermented bean paste produces a sweet-tempered broth, mild and faintly uplifting. Big flavoured it is not. (For that, we need the dark miso, a more savoury beast.) I include a splash of soy sauce and a drop or two of warming sesame oil if needed. This has been something of a soup week. I started with a green coconut aubergine soup, using a spice paste, similar to the one I use for a laksa, but without the lime leaves. Two days later, a virtually clear miso soup, crisp with sugar snap peas and spring onions, then a light porcini herb broth with pea shoots, which you can find on the website. Soups that are full of the joys of spring. Continue reading...
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The female gaze through 70 years of Magnum | Giles Tremlett (dim., 30 avril 2017)
As Magnum celebrates its 70th anniversary, Giles Tremlett looks at the role women have played in the agency’s story In 1960, the Magnum photographer Eve Arnold spent a year following Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam movement around the United States. The white, female photographer and the leader of black America’s radical movement found they both understood the power of images. Malcolm X helped Arnold, though his followers were not always happy to see her and after one rally she found the back of her jersey riddled with holes – left by the cigarettes people had been jabbing into her back. The result of Arnold’s work was a series of pictures that included an iconic image – with the sharp and handsome Malcolm X sitting in profile, his hat tilted forward and a ring on his finger bearing the star and crescent moon. Arnold was a talented photographer from a legendary agency. Magnum was set up 70 years ago this year by a small group of photojournalists led by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and Chim Seymour. The agency was not just a leader in providing the definitive – and often first – images of mid-20th century history, it also recognised that women belonged to what Cartier-Bresson called its “community of thought”. By 1957, two of its 15 owner-members were women – including Arnold and Inge Morath. Some of their pictures still lurk in our collective subconsciousness as categorical representations of certain people, places or moments in history. It would take the New York Times, by comparison, two more decades to hire its first female photographer. Continue reading...
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An offer they couldn't refuse: The Godfather cast reunite, 45 years on (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Stars get together in New York to swap stories about casting, drinking and even mooning during the making of the films Debilitating studio battles. One miraculously still cat. Mooning contests between James Caan and Marlon Brando. These were the memories shared, 45 years later, on the making of The Godfather in a rare reunion of the film’s cast and director Francis Ford Coppola in New York. With the stage decorated to resemble the library of Brando’s Don Corleone, and a portrait of the actor hanging above, Coppola and cast members Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire, gathered together once again on Saturday. The night at at Radio City Music Hall was organised by De Niro as the closing evening of his Tribeca Film Festival, which preceded the affair with a grand double feature of The Godfather, parts one and two. Continue reading...
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Manchester United v Swansea: Premier League – live! (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Updates from the 12.00 BST kick-off at Old Trafford Live scores: the goals as they go in around the UK and Europe Send your thoughts to Daniel here. Tweet him @DanielHarris 1.46pm BST 85 min Young moves down the left and, amazingly, comes back inside on his right before swerving a high cross towards far post. And Lingard is haring after it, doing well to wrap his coupon around the outside of the ball and divert it goalwards, but Fabianski snatches above his head. 1.45pm BST 84 min Looking at the goal again, De Gea might have done more to save it - more than nothing, say. The truth, though, is that it was so perfectly struck he’d probably still have done nothing about it. Continue reading...
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F1: Russian Grand Prix – live! (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Lap-by-lap updates from the race around the Sochi Autodrom Hamilton may have to give way if Mercedes employ team orders Email tom.davies@theguardian.com. Tweet @tomdaviesE17 1.45pm BST Lap 22: Massa goes into the pits from sixth, for a swift 2.8sec change. He comes back in in 10th position, and still in contention for a decent points haul. Magnusson, who has a five-second penalty, comes in and out behind Kvyatt. Bottas still leads, by 5.43secs. 1.43pm BST Lap 21: Hamilton is told on the radio that both Mercedes car are struggling with temperatures but Bottas of course has the advantage of clean air. He could pit here and stay ahead, but he’s complaining of a tyre blister. And he’s not coming in yet. Continue reading...
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Everton v Chelsea: Premier League – live! (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Updates from the 14.05 BST kick-off at Goodison Park Live scores: the goals as they go in around the UK and Europe Email Tom.Lutz@theguardian.com. Tweet @tom_lutz 1.40pm BST Interesting choice in goal for Chelsea today: Petr Cech starts for Chelsea today at Goodison Park - according to the below tweet at least... #CFC #EFC pic.twitter.com/br7OUafRrr 1.37pm BST The big news for Everton is that Morgan Schneiderlin has been ruled out due to a thigh injury. On a more positive note for their fans, they have won their last two games at Goodison against Chelsea – Leighton Baines also makes his 350th start for the club. He’d be the ultimate one-club man if he hadn’t played for Wigan for five years. Continue reading...
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Joshua-Klitschko thriller the greatest fight Wembley has seen | Sean Ingle (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The crowd had the privilege of sharing in an electric feeling unmatched in sport as they lived every second of a brutal, seesawing, enthralling fight Somehow, at the end of this brutal, seesawing, whirligig of a fight, Anthony Joshua still had the energy to stand on the ring apron, revel in the glorious applause of 90,000 people and pound his chest in triumph. The rest of us were left breathless after one of the greatest heavyweight fights in a generation. Beforehand everyone was playing guessing games about how much Klitschko had left at 41. The last time he had fought, against Tyson Fury in November 2015, he had still looked as sculpted as a Greek statue – but was about as mobile. But here the proud champion, who had been unbeaten in 22 fights over 11 years before facing the fists of Fury, resurfaced with a vengeance. In the end it was age, as much as Joshua, that beat him. Continue reading...
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David Moyes’ old-school ways helped to drag ailing Sunderland over the edge | Louise Taylor (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The manager’s strangely dated mindset and transfer failures are in large part to blame for Sunderland’s relegation and there will be few tears if he leaves the job Within hours of becoming Sunderland’s manager last July David Moyes boarded a privately chartered plane. He and the team were bound for a French training camp but an ominous grinding noise from the engines and slightly tense looks exchanged among the cabin crew soon confirmed they would be making a detour. Engine failure had prompted an awkward emergency landing. With the benefit of hindsight, it seemed an ominously emblematic portent of an impending season destined to conclude with the club bumping down hard into the Championship and Moyes’s carefully burnished reputation in ruins. Continue reading...
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Time to remember the remarkable David Rocastle | Daniel Taylor (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Arsenal’s ‘Brazilian from Lewisham’, who died at 33, should have been 50 this Tuesday. Instead this charming, talented man will rightly be honoured in song at the north London derby It was something Paul Merson said during that raw television interview a couple of Fridays ago that lingers in the mind. You might not always agree with Merson’s football opinions but there are times when that does not really matter. Earlier that day, his former team-mate Ugo Ehiogu, the friend he described as a “man-mountain”, had died from a heart attack, aged 44, and now Merson was in a television studio when it would probably have been kinder to allow him some time alone and he was trying to make sense of it all. He couldn’t, but it was some tribute. “You know what,” he said, and he was struggling to get out the words. “Billy Joel sings that song Only The Good Die Young. And that is him.” To be pedantic, that song was actually about something entirely different when it was recorded in 1977, prompting a number of religious groups to pressure various radio stations to remove it from their playlists. Yet we all knew what Merson meant, we all probably know others it could apply to and no doubt there will be plenty of people – Merson, again, included in that number – who will be thinking the same about David Rocastle in the next few days. Continue reading...
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Sky-high hype of Anthony Joshua triumph puts size above quality | Simon Burnton (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Never mind the excellence, feel the hugeness seemed to be Sky’s motto during its coverage of Anthony Joshua’s brilliant win over Wladimir Klitschko. No wonder its pundits began to run out of things to say “How exciting is this?” asked Adam Smith, Sky’s commentator, as Wladimir Klitschko entered the ring a little under four hours into its marathon broadcast from Wembley. “Not just for fight fans, not just for sports fans, but for big event fans around the world!” Just let that sink in for a moment. People for whom the only good thing about a big event is its bigness. People who approach occasions of all kinds like Norris McWhirter once approached pumpkins: as if they are of little interest unless they are absolutely enormous, at which point they become fascinating not because of their pumpkinness, not for their flavour or their appealing shade of orange or for their decorative-carving, candle-hosting potential, but for their scale alone. Continue reading...
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Mark Selby fired up for world final but wary of veteran John Higgins (sam., 29 avril 2017)
• Defending champion beats Ding Junhui 17-15 in semi-final • John Higgins joins Selby in final but admits: ‘I need to raise my game’ Mark Selby said it would be a dream come true to become a three-times world champion after he set up a Crucible final showdown with John Higgins. The emotion of reaching another world championship final was clear as Selby bellowed “Come on!” and struck the table once he crossed the winning line against Ding Junhui. Continue reading...
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Andy Murray beaten by Dominic Thiem as Maria Sharapova comeback stalls (sam., 29 avril 2017)
• Thiem beats world No1 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in Barcelona Open semi-finals • Sharapova’s defeat to Kristina Mladenovic puts French Open spot in doubt Andy Murray’s chequered start to life as the world’s top player continued with a first defeat to Dominic Thiem, the talented ninth-ranked Austrian, in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open. Murray, still feeling his way back on to the Tour after more than a month on the sidelines with an elbow injury, was beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes. In a match defined by the ups and downs of an opponent whose searing power frequently overshadowed his consistency, Murray fought back from a subdued start but was ultimately edged out by Thiem in a tense finale. Continue reading...
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Klitschko does not feel like he lost amid huge respect for Joshua battle (dim., 30 avril 2017)
• ‘I didn’t feel like I lost – not my name, my face, nor my reputation’ • ‘I’ll take my time over deciding what happens next,’ says defeated Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko has spoken of his pride at having been involved in an “amazing occasion” that earned him the respect of 90,000 boxing fans at Wembley despite falling short in his bid to dethrone Anthony Joshua, who stopped the 41-year-old in the 11th round to retain his IBF belt. Related: Anthony Joshua defeats Wladimir Klitschko in epic Wembley battle Continue reading...
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Castleford power back to the top after record win over Wigan (sam., 29 avril 2017)
• Castleford Tigers 54-4 Wigan Warriors • Luke Gale scores 20 points in comfortable victory Castleford powered back to the top of the table in style with their biggest Super League win over Wigan. The scrum-half Luke Gale needed to pass a head test before kick-off to take his place in the Tigers side and he gave the Warriors an almighty headache with a 20-point haul, comprising eight goals from nine attempts and one of their nine tries. This rout enabled Castleford to complete the double over the champions and demonstrate a sizzling return to form after back-to-back defeats by St Helens and Hull had cast some doubt on their title credentials. Continue reading...
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Nicky Henderson crowned champion trainer after Altior romp at Sandown (sam., 29 avril 2017)
• Altior proves too strong for Special Tiara in Celebration Chase • Willie Mullins fends off Gordon Elliott challenge to take Irish title It took until the very last day of the jumps season but Nicky Henderson finally prevailed in his battle with Paul Nicholls to be champion jumps trainer, thanks to Altior’s success in the Celebration Chase. But in Ireland, the established champion proved harder to unseat as Willie Mullins did enough at Punchestown to withstand the spirited and sustained challenge of Gordon Elliott, retaining his title for a 10th time. Altior’s success was an apt conclusion to the season for Henderson, who readily acknowledged the enormously superior firepower which won him this fourth title of his career. The classy youngster, still unbeaten over obstacles, sauntered to an eight-lengths success over the champion two-miler, Special Tiara, on a day when Nicholls was unable to get in the winner’s enclosure. Continue reading...
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Burnley grab first away win to leave Crystal Palace facing nervous finish (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Burnley had been waiting almost two years for this sensation but, at last, they have an away win to savour in the Premier League and, with it, surely another season to enjoy plenty more. This was a wonderfully resilient display, a performance forged on strong-arm defence and goalkeeping excellence, to suffocate Crystal Palace’s momentum. Sean Dyche’s team are eight points off the cut-off with winnable games ahead. A fine campaign is tantalisingly close to being rewarded with survival. The away form feels like an anomaly for a team this organised, but that elusive first triumph on the road will have felt sweeter for all the waiting. The last Burnley player to score a winning goal outside Turf Moor in the top flight had been Danny Ings at Aston Villa on the final day two seasons ago, a victory secured once relegation had already been confirmed. Here the honours fell to Ashley Barnes and the substitute Andre Gray on the counterattack, but the win owed more to the efforts of Tom Heaton, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski and the visitors’ tireless collective work rate. Continue reading...
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Exeter eye summit as Jack Nowell seals bonus-point win over Northampton (sam., 29 avril 2017)
• Exeter 36-12 Northampton • ‘Jack Nowell back to his bouncing best,’ says Exeter coach Exeter’s story since they were promoted to the Premiership seven years ago has been one of steady ascent and they are approaching the top. Victory next Saturday against a Gloucester side who will have the European Challenge Cup final on their minds would earn the Chiefs a home tie in the play-off semi-final and a likely place at the head of the table, with the leaders Wasps at home to Saracens. Exeter not only achieved their biggest Premiership victory over Northampton, but dominated throughout. The Saints scored the first and last tries of a one-sided match, but they were reduced to all-out defence. They attempted more than 250 tackles against opponents who kicked as a final option, but their initial resolve faded into submission against remorseless opponents who look bound for the Premiership final for the second successive year. Continue reading...
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Jeremy Corbyn gets personal in one-off campaign speech (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Labour leader departs from usual focus on issues and policies by talking about his personal history and motivations Jeremy Corbyn has diverted from his usual campaign stump speech to deliver a rare retelling of his personal history, his motivations and his views on leadership. The speech at his former university in London recalled the election tactics of the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock and former Conservative prime minister John Major, who released video biographies in an attempt to woo voters. Taking questions from the press and audience afterwards, Corbyn denied the speech was a rebranding exercise and insisted it was a one-off. Continue reading...
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Parliament’s lack of diversity is shocking. This election is a chance for change | Simon Woolley (sam., 29 avril 2017)
With such a short run-up to this election, parties have the chance to select more representative candidates Though many of us agreed with Brenda from Bristol about this general election (“You’re joking. Not another one”), it actually offers a great opportunity for change – regardless of which party wins. That’s because now the snap election has been called, the normal rules for selecting party candidates no longer apply. Under these rules, constituency parties select a long list of candidates, then a short list; then local party members vote for their preferred candidate. Continue reading...
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Can Emmanuel Macron solve France's economic riddle? | Larry Elliott (dim., 30 avril 2017)
If the radical centrist frontrunner blames France’s problems solely on the lack of supply-side reform he is setting himself up to fail There is a familiar rhythm to French politics. President gets elected amid a wave of optimism. President says root and branch reform of the economy will lead to stronger growth and falling unemployment. President fails to deliver the promised transformation. Economy continues to struggle. President gets booted out of office. In the past 30 years, François Mitterand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande have won elections for the mainstream parties of the centre left and centre right but France’s economic problems have not been resolved. It says something about how poor performance has been under Hollande that growth of barely more than 1% in 2016 was good by recent standards. Continue reading...
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If May really does mean what she says, she should put it in writing | Andrew Rawnsley (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The PM has been long on rhetoric, short on action and the Tory manifesto should contain some real promises On the night of Theresa May’s announcement that she was calling a snap election, she addressed a private meeting of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. She rehearsed to them the Brexit-related arguments for going to the country that she had already offered to the public, but witnesses report that she did so without much animation. In the words of one in the audience, there was only one passage of the speech when “she really came alive”. That was when the Tory leader talked about her domestic agenda. Mrs May told her fellow Conservatives that she needed her own mandate to ensure that she could realise her ambitions to change Britain. Continue reading...
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Can’t be bothered to vote? If you’re young, you simply can’t afford not to (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Voter apathy among the 18-24 age group has seen the advent of tuition fees and cuts to housing benefit and student grants. It’s time to turn out to reverse this cycle, writes Armando Iannucci A senior political figure who shall remain nameless, but is currently mayor of London, once told me that on the final day of general election campaigning he had just enough time left to visit one of two places: a students’ hall of residence or an old people’s home. He chose the old people’s home. The calculation was clear: it was in the old people’s home that he stood the better chance of meeting actual voters. To his credit, he knew something drastic needed to be done about this, but it was a sad acknowledgement that in politics the young are nowhere near the front of the queue. Continue reading...
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Many call Trump a fascist. 100 days in, is he just a reactionary Republican? | Victoria de Grazia (dim., 30 avril 2017)
A close historical examination of Hitler and Mussolini’s early days underscores how different Trump’s path is to the dictators of the 1930 On May 10, 1933, Adolf Hitler’s 100th day as German chancellor, as students and Nazi storm troopers lit bonfires of un-German books in central Berlin, the new Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda Goebbels endorsed their “right to clean up the debris of the past.” On February 6, 1923, his 100th day in office, Mussolini battered parliament with another bellicose speech, this one about Italy’s right to play a more aggressive role in international affairs. Neither the 44-year-old Fuhrer of the Nazi Party, whom President General Von Hindenburg had named Reich’s Chancellor on January 30, 1933, nor the 39-year-old Duce of Fascism, whom King Victor Emmanuel III had called to Rome on October 30, 1922 to form a cabinet, began with an electoral majority. Continue reading...
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The surgeon who cruelly betrayed his patients’ trust | Barbara Ellen (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Breast surgeon Ian Paterson exploited the secrecy that’s particular to his profession Breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been convicted of 17 counts of “wounding with intent” and three counts of “unlawful wounding” and is now bailed, awaiting sentencing. Many women have come forward to claim compensation, which sounds richly deserved. For years, Paterson performed hundreds of unnecessary or inadequate surgeries, for mainly female patients at the Heart of England NHS Foundation in Birmingham and private clinics run by Spire Healthcare. Continue reading...
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More bank holidays? Oh please, give us a break | Eva Wiseman (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Service stations, seasides, queues, barbecues, nausea, crowds… Why can’t we just admit that bank holidays fill us with fear and loathing? Did you have a good bank holiday? Taking your jacket off as your computer loads, you consider it. Did you? Have you ever? A sudden fizz of memory, 12-years-old and skimming over the brook on a rope swing before trundling home for a crumpet. That was good. The thrill of waking up on a Monday morning without your regular doom, a short break from clambering around the hierarchy of Year 7, of the hourly reminder you are no longer clever. That was a good bank holiday, when you were a child and it was an unwrapped gift. But time passes. For a large wedge of your life, a bank holiday was a sort of makeshift rehab centre, where you would lie quite still watching Poirot while the tide of a hangover splashed at your throat. It was possible back then to quantify shame in pints and hours, and a bank holiday was part of a well-rehearsed schedule of boredom, shots, toast and regret, a bookend to the 9-5 weeks of data input and light harassment. Continue reading...
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Jimmy Wales goes after the truth. Brave man | John Naughton (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The Wikipedia founder has developed one of the wonders of the internet, but his new venture could be more problematic What has come to be called “fake news” is a hard problem to solve, if indeed it is solvable at all. This is because it is created by the interaction of human psychology with several forces: the affordances of digital technology, the business models of giant internet companies and the populist revolt against globalisation. But that hasn’t stopped people trying to solve the problem. To date, most well-intentioned people have gone down the “fact-checking” route, on the assumption that if only people knew the facts then that would stop them believing lies. This suggests a touching faith in human nature. People have been believing nonsensical things since the beginning of time and nothing we have seen recently indicates that they plan to change the habits of millenniums. Continue reading...
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As wind, wave and shale power converge, could this be the end for Opec? (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The oil cartel is maintaining price discipline for now. But a concatenation of global circumstances could destroy its power to control the market When the major oil-producing countries meet in a month’s time at a Vienna hotel, they are expected to extend the production cap that has pushed up the price of oil in recent months. The agreement in December by Opec and Russia to curb production for the first half of 2017 has driven oil prices up near $55 a barrel, offering some respite for an industry hit by a slump in which prices fell as low as $27. Continue reading...
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Apple’s addiction to iPhone shows no sign of waning (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The firm would like to decrease reliance on revenue from its smartphone, but it’s not happening yet A vision of the near future: you’re in your driverless Apple vehicle, heading for the new-look Apple Store whose Genius Groves provide space for business meetings, while watching Apple’s exclusive Carpool Karaoke video series on your Apple TV. The present is a bit more prosaic. On Tuesday, Apple’s current dependency on the iPhone is likely to be reinforced when it reports second-quarter results, hence its desire to expand its services businesses. The company is expected to report only a slight year-on-year rise in revenues to about $52bn after a couple of weak quarters, not to mention the first annual decline in iPhone sales last year. And analysts believe Apple’s guidance for the third quarter could be cautious, with JP Morgan forecasting sales of $44.2bn for the three months to June. Continue reading...
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Trump’s first 100 days: ignorant, thuggish, insecure - a president as would-be oligarch | Hari Kunzru (dim., 30 avril 2017)
His vanity and neediness show a man more concerned with promoting his own brand than helping his country One could find 100 symbols for President Trump’s first 100 days in office, 100 different entrance points to the chaos, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll go with Nikki Haley’s facial muscles. At a White House lunch on 24 April, Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, sat next to the most powerful man in the world as he greeted a group of ambassadors from countries that have seats on the UN security council. In an administration of absentees, golfers, feuders and wreckers, Haley has turned up for work and doesn’t seem to be an agent of a foreign power, which is enough to mark her as a rising star. At times, she has appeared to be making policy rather than following Trump’s own wandering line. “He has given me a lot of leeway to just say what I think and interpret what he thinks,” she boasted in an interview with CNN. Continue reading...
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You wake to find you are in charge of the BBC. Imagine your day … (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The oversights and restrictions imposed on Lord Hall, the director general, seem to grow by the week. How does he manage to keep going? Suppose – a dream or a nightmare – that you woke up tomorrow morning and found yourself utterly changed into Lord Hall, director general of the BBC. What would you have to worry about (apart from fixing a retirement date)? Well, there’s the new royal charter swinging into action, with its insistence on heavy budget cuts, and, contrapuntally, bigger slices of the diminished cake for the “nations and regions”, which means everyone except W1A. Then there’s the new unitary board running your total show, with a chair parachuted in from Whitehall and a remit that may, or may not, leave scope for creative thinking. (Perhaps that’s one reason why your main programme chieftains haven’t made the board cut.) Continue reading...
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Why rage against the machines when we could be friends? | Peter Donnelly (dim., 30 avril 2017)
We need to discuss how smart computers might affect the workplace and ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits In recent years, popular culture has done a pretty good job of scaring us with the threat of machines turning on man. Just think of the red-eyed Terminator, from the movie franchise, shorn of its artificial flesh, the foot soldier of the Skynet artificial intelligence that lost patience with its human overlords and decided to wipe us out. Fortunately, that is science fiction, not science fact. The reality is that machines are among us every day and are becoming increasingly integrated into our lives in positive ways. Hence the report into machine learning, just published by the Royal Society. Machine learning is best defined as computer systems that can learn from examples, data and experience. We interact with, and benefit from, them every day. Many smartphone apps rely on machine learning: interpreting our voices, tagging friends in photos or searching the internet. (It is also used by online retailers to make recommendations, by email spam filters and by banks to fight credit card fraud.) Continue reading...
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Theresa May: the fruits of Brexit - cartoon (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Chris Riddell on what the Tories are really thinking Continue reading...
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Want to know what people really think? Don’t do a vox pop | Catherine Bennett (dim., 30 avril 2017)
A hit-and-run encounter on the street can never work as a substitute for thorough reporting and analysis While some preposterous claims have been made about the inevitability of bumping into acquaintances at Piccadilly Circus, what is truly guaranteed, if you stand in the middle of Hull for around 10 minutes, is an approach from a BBC reporter. The same goes for marketplaces in numerous northern towns: anywhere, really, where the remarks will be pithy, and the passers-by both picturesque and certifiably ordinary, which is to say, they speak with strong regional accents. True, this rule only applies at election or referendum time. At other seasons, broadcasters may succeed, for months, in filling news programmes without recourse to vox pops, a form of journalism that remains, you might think, as inexplicably respectable as it is currently ubiquitous. While the BBC guidelines relating to balance are, as we saw in the approach to the referendum, so diligently applied that the opinion of 100 so-called experts must always be weighed, immediately, against the derisive ejaculations of a single, negligible voice, vox pops remain a chance for journalists to run more or less free. Continue reading...
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‘May says this is about stability. She should meet my constituents’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
On the doorsteps of Yardley, Brexit barely gets a mention “Hello – my name is Jess and I’m your local MP.” The opening of hundreds of conversations I have had this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had taken to shouting this out in my sleep. My husband can neither confirm nor deny this as mostly I am not sleeping. Instead, I get up in the middle of the night and retire to another room to write down things I absolutely have to remember, which seem not to matter a jot when the sun rises. Leaflet text and inspiring soundbites whirr in my brain until the cogs seize up. In an election campaign, sleep is for the weak. I don’t expect pity. I don’t need it because this is my natural habitat – the eye of the storm. I am at my best in the fray. At my happiest when I am at home chewing the fat with people who sound like me. Knocking on doors in Yardley, Birmingham, and listening to the singsong lilt of a familiar vernacular is like putting on my comfiest pyjamas. Continue reading...
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Labour’s aimless stroll towards oblivion in Glasgow | Kevin McKenna (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Years of bad management and lack of vision have left the SNP and Tories poised to expunge the left from north of the border No other city in the UK has embodied the success and aspirations of the Labour movement more than Glasgow. And now, as Labour faces up to the reality of spending a generation in the political wilderness, no city has come to epitomise the party’s decline more than this one. At Westminster, Jeremy Corbyn is facing a reckoning; in Glasgow, the party he leads is contemplating an apocalypse. Labour’s writ in Scotland’s most important city has run virtually uninterrupted since 1933; its power flows from an industrial hinterland that once provided the most productive labour force in the British empire. The influx of Irish men and women fleeing famine and oppression in their own land further reinforced Labour’s grip. Labour and the trade unions gave this community a hope of prosperity that British colonialism had denied them in the land of their birth. Continue reading...
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The valley rebels: the French farmer helping refugees cross Europe – video (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Cédric Herrou is a farmer who supports and houses African refugees in the alpine village of Breil-Sur-Roya in southern France. Some regard him as a heroic good samaritan, but others – including the French border police and state prosecutor – denounce him as the leader of a band of smugglers, bringing migrants from Italy into France while flouting official border controls. As Cedric moves from one prosecution to another, why do he and his fellow activists feel compelled to defy the authorities? Continue reading...
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Nurses will see their pay ‘cut by 12% over a decade’ (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Impact of wage restraints could lead to staffing shortfall of 42,000, says Health Foundation report NHS workers will have had their pay cut by 12% by the end of the decade because of a government-imposed wage restraint that is now exacerbating chronic understaffing, new research reveals. The 625,000 health service staff who earn at least £22,000 will have seen their income fall by 12% between 2010-11 and 2020-21 as a result of years of below-inflation 0% and 1% pay rises eroding their spending power, according to a report by the Health Foundation thinktank Continue reading...
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Man arrested after 48-year-old stabbed to death on London bus (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Police arrest man after ‘violent and sustained attack’ left Londoner Archie Sheppard dead A man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 48-year-old man who was stabbed to death on a bus. Archie Sheppard, from Neasden, north-west London, was subjected to a “violent and sustained attack” on the top deck of a No 189 bus before being discovered by a passenger. Continue reading...
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City mayors could head off post-Brexit divisions (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Local elections provide opportunity to promote social cohesion, says report Britain’s leading expert on social cohesion has backed calls for a radical new approach to heal deepening divisions in the post-Brexit-vote era. Professor Ted Cantle, author of a groundbreaking report commissioned by the government after the 2001 race riots in northern England, has backed calls for the mayors of the six new city regions being created across England in local elections on Thursday to appoint deputies responsible for improving relations between different community groups. The approach has been adopted by a number of major global cities with considerable success. Continue reading...
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Joanna Lumley attacks Sadiq Khan's scrapping of Thames garden bridge (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Actor who devised proposal describes London mayor’s decision to pull financial backing for project as devastating The doomed plan for a garden bridge across the Thames has been defended by one of the project’s strongest proponents, the actor Joanna Lumley. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, effectively pulled the plug on the controversial plan on Friday, announcing that he would not provide the vital financial guarantees needed for construction to begin. Continue reading...
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Shops urged to help cut £10bn food waste cost (dim., 30 avril 2017)
End confusing ‘best before’ labels, says report Supermarket “best before” labels could be phased out while shops should be forced to sell oddly shaped vegetables under proposals from MPs who have warned the government it needs to do more to tackle food waste. More than £10bn worth of food is thrown away by households each year, according to a damning report from the environment, food and rural affairs select committee. Continue reading...
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Man dressed as gorilla completes London Marathon in six days (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Police officer Tom Harrison raises money for Gorilla Organisation after crawling 26-mile route on all fours A Metropolitan police officer who has been crawling the London Marathon in a gorilla costume since the race began on Sunday morning has completed the 26-mile route. Related: Don’t insult gorillas by comparing them to Donald Trump | Ros Coward Continue reading...
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Nespresso bid to recycle coffee pods (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Nestlé bows to environmental backlash over popular home brewing system Coffee company Nespresso – part of Swiss multinational Nestlé – is to trial a scheme for consumers to recycle their used aluminium capsules for the first time in the UK, in the face of a growing environmental backlash against increasingly popular single-serve pods, many of which end up in landfill. A six-month pilot, starting this week in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, will allow Nespresso Club members to recycle their used capsules through their council household recycling service, using special purple bags provided by the company. The borough’s 190,000 residents will only be able to put out capsules made by Nespresso. Continue reading...
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'Marine A' Alexander Blackman enjoys first hours of freedom (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Blackman speaks following release after serving half of seven-year term for manslaughter of wounded Taliban fighter Alexander Blackman, the Royal Marine sergeant convicted of killing a wounded Taliban fighter, has been enjoying his first hours of freedom but has made it clear he understands his sentence is not complete and has promised to fulfil the conditions of his early release. Blackman was freed from prison after serving half of the seven-year term imposed for manslaughter and was whisked away to a luxury country hideaway arranged by the Daily Mail, which backed his legal fight.
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Catholic bishops urged to review celibacy rules amid shortage of priests (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Call for commission to reconsider celibacy as condition of priesthood as number of priests in England and Wales plummets Catholic bishops in England and Wales are facing a fresh call for a national commission on the ordination of married men amid mounting concern that the church’s celibacy requirement is contributing to a shortage of priests. The call for a review of celibacy as a condition of priesthood comes after Pope Francis signalled last month he was open to the possibility of ordaining married men under specific conditions. The issue is expected to raised at a synod next year on vocation. Continue reading...
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Inquiry treated us with contempt, says family of man shot by police on M62 (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Father calls for investigation into fatal shooting of Yassar Yaqub to be taken over by senior IPCC officers The official investigation into the police shooting of a man on the M62 motorway is in crisis after the victim’s family said they had been treated with “utter contempt”. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is examining the fatal shooting of Yassar Yaqub, 28, by armed police on a slip road of the M62 in Huddersfield on 2 January. Continue reading...
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Sir Eric Pickles says female MPs are 'by and large better' than men (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Former Conservative party chair tells BBC Radio 4 that women wanting to enter politics face an ‘enormous glass ceiling’ Sir Eric Pickles, the former cabinet minister and Conservative party chair, has said female MPs tend to be better than their male counterparts. The Brentwood and Ongar MP, who is retiring from parliament after representing the Essex constituency for 25 years, said women who wanted to enter politics faced an “enormous glass ceiling”. Continue reading...
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Westminster terrorism suspect is 27-year-old British national (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali is understood to be a British national from Tottenham, north London The suspected terrorist arrested in Westminster carrying knives is a one-time humanitarian activist who is now facing questions from police about whether he was about to stage a murderous attack in central London. Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, 27, was arrested by armed police on Thursday afternoon yards from the Houses of Parliament and the scene of the previous terrorist attack in March in which five people lost their lives. Continue reading...
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Primary school head and deputy quit over 'bland and joyless' curriculum (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Couple Alex and Peter Foggo tell parents at Longparish school in Hampshire that Tory education policy is reason they are leaving A couple working as headteacher and deputy head at a Hampshire primary school rated as outstanding have written to parents saying they are quitting because they are so disillusioned by the direction of education policy. In their letter, Alex and Peter Foggo said they were so profoundly opposed to recent changes in England’s schools that the only morally honest course open to them was to resign from their jobs at Longparish primary school. Continue reading...
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Man who raped stranger hours before his wedding given life term (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Derry McCann subjected woman to two-hour ordeal in east London park while on parole for similar crime A bridegroom who raped a stranger hours before his wedding after being released on parole for a similar crime was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday and must serve a minimum of nine years. Derry McCann, 28, raped a 24-year-old woman as she walked back from an art show hours before he married his pregnant girlfriend in January. Continue reading...
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Turkey blocks Wikipedia under law designed to protect national security (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Users trying to access online encyclopaedia via Turkish internet providers receive ‘connection timed out’ error message Turkey has blocked Wikipedia, the country’s telecommunications watchdog has said, citing a law that allows it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security. Later on Saturday, Turkish authorities said they had sacked more than 3,900 civil servants, and military and police personnel as the purge of alleged anti-government officials continued, and also banned TV dating shows. Continue reading...
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Teenager dropped by football club loses post-traumatic stress claim (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Seán Cooke’s father says his son’s dream of playing in the UK was harmed when he was denied the opportunity to play in front of talent scouts An Irish teenager has lost a case taken against his former football club, where he claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after he was dropped from the team as a 13-year-old. Seán Cooke, 18, sued Carrigaline United over alleged ill treatment by coaches at the club. Cooke told Judge Seán O’Donnabhain at Cork circuit court that he was a good player who hoped to play professionally in Britain, but was not given the chance to play in front of talent scouts after he was allegedly dropped. Continue reading...
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Donald Trump invites Rodrigo Duterte to Washington (dim., 30 avril 2017)
US president ‘enjoyed’ phone call with Philippines president, who is accused of overseeing the deaths of 7,000 people as part of his war on drugs US president Donald Trump has invited Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte to the White House during a phone call that also addressed concerns over North Korea, the White House said in a statement. The White House gave no details of when the leaders would meet in Washington to discuss their alliance, but said Trump looked forward to visiting the Philippines in November as part of two summits with other Asian nations. Continue reading...
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Fear of neofascism keeps Emmanuel Macron ahead of Marine Le Pen (sam., 29 avril 2017)
With a week until the final poll, French voters face a choice between the unpalatable and the unacceptable At the university of Paris Nanterre, on the outskirts of the French capital, Antoine Guerreiro of the union of communist students was handing out leaflets urging students to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the final round of the presidential election next Sunday. Or, to be strictly accurate, to vote against the Front National’s Marine Le Pen. Guerreiro can find very little – if anything – to support in Macron’s programme, but needs must. The alternative is worse. Continue reading...
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Pope urges North Korea-US mediation as Trump hedges on military action (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Pope Francis says widespread war would destroy ‘a good part of humanity’ while president, asked about likelihood of military action, says: ‘We’ll see’ North Korea missile test: regime has ‘disrespected China’, says Donald Trump Pope Francis has said a third country should mediate the dispute between North Korea and the US, which he said had become “too hot”, risking a war in which “a good part of humanity” would be destroyed. Related: North Korea nuclear threat: should California start panicking? Continue reading...
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EPA wipes its climate change site as protesters march in Washington (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Website ‘undergoing changes’ to reflect agency’s ‘new direction’, as tens of thousands protest inaction on climate in cities across the US The US Environmental Protection Agency’s main climate change website is “undergoing changes” to better reflect “the agency’s new direction” under Donald Trump. Related: The American people – not Big Oil – must decide our climate future | Senator Bernie Sanders and Mark Jacobson Continue reading...
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Cuban military plane crash kills eight troops, ministry says (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Soviet-made plane crashed into hillside on Saturday morning in the western province of Artemisa, government says A Cuban military plane crashed into a hillside on Saturday morning in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight troops on board, the government said. In a written statement, the ministry of the revolutionary armed forces said the Soviet-made, twin-engined turboprop Antonov AN-26 took off from the Playa Baracoa airport outside Havana at 6.38am and crashed into a hillside outside the town of Candelaria about 40 miles away. Continue reading...
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Armed neo-Nazis prepare for potential clash in small Kentucky town (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Hate groups have come to tiny Pikeville in a bid for support, but locals fear a violent standoff between the neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protesters In a tent deep in the woods of rural Kentucky, an old neo-Nazi spoke bitterly of how he feels “betrayed” by Donald Trump. “I’m sorry I voted for the son of a bitch, I really am,” said Art Jones, who the Anti-Defamation League identifies as a Holocaust denier who has been dressing in Nazi garb and celebrating Hitler since the 1970s. Continue reading...
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Last-ditch attempt to save the endangered vaquita porpoise (sam., 29 avril 2017)
$4m mission in Gulf of California aims to rescue world’s most endangered sea mammal – with help from US navy dolphins Scientists are finalising plans to make a last-ditch attempt to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita porpoise. They believe there are now fewer than 30 of these distinctive cetaceans left in the Gulf of California. Only by catching the remaining creatures and protecting them in a sanctuary can the vaquita be saved, it is argued. Related: Saved: the endangered species back from the brink of extinction Continue reading...
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Wife of jailed Fatah leader tells of her fears for hunger strikers (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Her husband is the convicted killer some call the Palestinian Mandela Not long before Marwan Barghouti, the imprisoned leader of Fatah, called the largest hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in recent years, his wife, Fadwa, and daughter Ruba visited him in Hadarim prison, Israel. “The last time I went to visit him with my daughter was two to three months ago,” recalled Fadwa last week on the 11th day of the strike. “My daughter said to him, ‘I wish you wouldn’t do this. We don’t see you very often. My brothers don’t see you. We will worry about you and not be able to visit.’ He replied: ‘I know it’s going to be painful for the family’.” Continue reading...
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Ja Rule 'heartbroken' after Fyre Festival descends into disaster (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Rapper says event, which has been likened to Lord of the Flies, was ‘not a scam’ as co-organiser admits he was ‘a little naive’ The organisers of a luxury music festival in the Bahamas have apologised after the event descended into chaos, drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games and The Lord of The Flies. Fyre Festival, on the private Great Exumas island, had been billed as a “cultural moment” for monied millennials, with tickets costing up to $12,780 for a four-person package. It was heavily promoted on Instagram as an opportunity to mingle with models and “influencers”, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. Continue reading...
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Hacker holds Netflix to ransom over new season of Orange Is The New Black (sam., 29 avril 2017)
The Dark Overlord claims to have stolen and posted episodes from the forthcoming season of the hit show, after demanding unspecified sum A hacker who claimed to have stolen the forthcoming season of Netflix’s hit series Orange is the New Black and demanded a ransom payment claimed on Saturday to have followed through on its threat to release several episodes online. Related: Orange is the New Black season four review – criminally close to greatness Continue reading...
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US woman convicted of spying in China returns home (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Deportation of Phan ‘Sandy’ Phan-Gillis, who was arrested on a business trip and accused of espionage, comes at a time of warming China-US relations An American woman who was arrested on a business trip in China and later convicted of spying has been deported to the US. Jeff Gillis said his wife, Phan “Sandy” Phan-Gillis, got on a flight to Los Angeles from the southern city of Guangzhou on Friday evening. The couple planned to stay in LA a few days to visit relatives before returning to their Houston home, he said. Continue reading...
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How to make a Spotify playlist the whole family will love (mer., 26 avril 2017)
You needn’t give up your love of music as a parent – just convince your children they’ve discovered the classics. Here’s how to pick tracks that everyone can get down to Win a year’s Spotify Family subscription Making a playlist to satisfy every member of the family is a harder task than it sounds. I say this as a parent who loves all kinds of music, and loves living in a blissfully easy age for sharing songs with our kids. I especially love it when a track pops into my head from my past that I can quickly pop on, and watch my child dance to instantly, like a madcap devotee. (His most approving move at the moment is going down on all fours, lifting one foot in the air, and wiggling his bum – although Soft Cell’s Tainted Love has always had that effect on me.) But still there are songs that bring out the grumpy mid-20th-century dad in us all, aghast at that orange-haired androgyne on Top of the Pops wrapping his arm around a boy, singing about someone waiting in the sky (thankfully, David Bowie’s Starman has the opposite effect on all generations in 2017). Ed Sheeran’s oeuvre, with a few notable distractions, has me tutting at the radio like I’m mainlining Werther’s Originals (but even I enjoy Sing, which sounds to me like Justin Timberlake by way of the theme tune to Flight of the Conchords). Certain songs on children’s film soundtracks also drive me to teeth-gnashing distraction – if I hear I Like to Move it from Madagascar one more time, for example, I will probably go postal. Continue reading...
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Sydney’s top 10 beaches and outdoor swimming spots (mer., 01 févr. 2017)
Fringed by the Pacific and home to a stunning natural harbour, Sydney arguably has the best beaches and swimming spots of any major city in the world. Here are the ten you can’t miss Related: Go walkabout: the best way to save on domestic flights on your trip to Australia Bondi beachWhile it’s worth looking beyond Sydney’s most famous stretch of sand, it’s easy to understand Bondi’s allure. This is where the city meets the sea; a golden beach with a lively mix of cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. Avoid the tourist traps on the beachfront and instead explore the options around Hall Street. For those prepared to brave the queue, Messina’s hole-in-the-wall gelato shop is a Sydney institution. Continue reading...
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Blurred lines – how music bridges the generation gap (lun., 24 avril 2017)
The latest music borrows heavily from the past and collaborations and remakes are adding to its cross-generational appeal. For Peter Robinson, though, pop mustn’t lose its ability to provoke When it comes to the way families consume music, some rituals have always been sacred: the tribalist mentality that pits one brother or sister’s favourite act against another’s; the solidarity achieved when siblings come together to rebel against their parents’ taste; that belief that if you’re older your taste is more sophisticated, and if you’re younger your taste is more cutting edge. Then there’s the legendary tableau of the long family car journey: trips in which one adult may wish to listen to the radio while the other demands a carefully chosen playlist, only for the kids to inevitably win control of the stereo, even though they’re both plugged into tablets. Continue reading...
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'The city's waiting outside your door': taking a springtime walk in London (lun., 10 avril 2017)
For social historian Emma Dabiri, spring is a perfect time to don some walking shoes and start exploring. She finds history at every turn in the city, from William Blake’s resting place to the pub that inspired the nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel Related: Go outdoors and embrace spring: tips on how to enjoy the new season During a period of convalescence in Dublin, Patrick Kavanagh’s walks along the city’s Grand Canal reacquainted the poet with nature, reigniting his artistic vision and inspiring some of his most feted work. Continue reading...
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100 days of Trump: orders, tweets, leaks and military attacks - video (mer., 26 avril 2017)
The US president’s first 100 days in office have seen a flurry of executive orders, tweets, leaks and military attacks in the Middle East. But his domestic agenda has been thwarted at every turn, with healthcare plans, travel bans and the Mexican wall ensnared by other branches of government Continue reading...
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Rise of the sex robots – video (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
Advances in computer science and engineering have lifted animatronic lovers from the realms of science fiction to reality; the first models are due to go on sale by the end of the year. Jenny Kleeman meets the men who are making the sex robots, the customers who want to buy them – and the critics who say they are dangerous Continue reading...
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Trump trolls White House Correspondents' Dinner – video (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Donald Trump mocks members of the media attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington DC during a rally in Pennsylvania. ‘A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now,’ Trump says, to cheers. The US president Trump says he ‘could not possibly be more thrilled to be more than 100 miles away from Washington swamp, spending my evening with all of you and a much, much larger crowd and much better people’ Continue reading...
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Hollywood's homeless Superman: 'I was put in my own living hell' – video (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
Superhero impersonators Tyler Watts and Christopher Dennis struggle with homelessness as they ply their trade along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, earning money by posing for pictures with tourists. Character work can be tough work, but many say it’s the only thing keeping them going In Hollywood, superheroes and villains delight crowds – and sleep on the streets Continue reading...
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Don't buy the lie. To oppose the government is not sabotage – video (mer., 26 avril 2017)
Paul Mason says the Daily Mail headline, calling those who oppose the government ‘saboteurs’, is sinister. He argues that this tactic is commonplace in dictatorships and autocracies, but to see it in a democracy is alarming. He says meaningful opposition to the Tories is necessary for the country and for democracy Continue reading...
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'It's like a circus here': Leyton Orient fans furious with owner after relegation – video (lun., 24 avril 2017)
Just under three years ago, Leyton Orient were within a penalty shoot-out of gaining promotion to the Championship. Following a 3-0 loss at Crewe on Saturday, Orient have dropped out of the Football League for the first time in their history. We talk to fans of the Os, who place the blame firmly at the feet of their Italian owner, Francesco Becchetti You’ve been relegated from League Two. What happens next? Continue reading...
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A brief history of nuclear near-misses – video (lun., 24 avril 2017)
With Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un rattling their nuclear sabres, the Guardian looks back at 70 years of near-misses in the atomic age. We’ve been on brink on several occasions – most worryingly when mistakes both human and technical have been the cause Continue reading...
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How to let grief work for you | Julia Samuel (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The death of a loved one creates an inner wound that can’t be ignored. Healing it requires work Grief is profoundly misunderstood. We seem happy to talk about sex or our sense of failure, or to expose our deepest vulnerabilities. But on death and loss we are silent. Which is why Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge were so courageous in talking openly about the mental health taboo their grief following their mother’s death – having a greater impact in a week, than I’ve managed in 20 years. Most of the time we prefer it when the bereaved don’t show their distress, and we say how “amazing” they are for being “so strong”. But, despite the language we use to try to deny death – euphemisms such as “passed over”, “lost”, “gone to a better place” – the harsh truth is that, as a society, we are ill-equipped to deal with it. The lack of control and powerlessness that we are forced to contend with goes against our 21st-century belief that medical technology can fix us; or if it can’t, that sufficient quantities of determination can. Every day thousands of people die, expectedly and unexpectedly – 500,000 deaths a year occur in England alone. On average, every death affects at least five people, which means that, cumulatively, millions will be hit by the shock of the news. They will forever remember where they were when they heard that their parent, or sibling, or friend, or child, was dying or had died. It will impact on every aspect of their world for the rest of their lives and ultimately alter their relationship with themselves. How successfully they manage their grief will, in turn, come to touch the family and friends around them. Continue reading...
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Crossing the Line of Duty: why novels would never get away with TV's crimes (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Fiction writers explain why the gaping holes in the hit TV drama’s plot would never make it into print – but won’t stop them watching Pity the poor crime novelist as they watch the final episode of Line of Duty on Sunday night. Whereas the rest of us will be asking “who did it?” the question on their lips will be “how?” And not: “How will the balaclava-clad killer get caught?”, but: “How did writer and director Jed Mecurio get away with a plot so full of holes it could double as a colander?” With the subtlety of a size nine boot, each episode has been riddled with inconsistencies that would never pass muster in a novel. From the fact that women being brutally killed seems to be less of a priority than nailing dodgy DCI Roz Huntley, through to a rookie member of the AC-12 anti-corruption team blithely scribbling his password onto a Post-it note. Or the inability of Huntley’s colleagues to notice her suppurating wound, or that all the CPS needs to prosecute is a copper with a hunch, as happens with hapless Polish cleaner Hana Reznikova. Continue reading...
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100 daze of Trump: euphoria and nausea on the White House rollercoaster (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The president is a carnival barker, his press secretary a perpetual high-wire act, the White House briefing room a home of truth seen through funhouse mirrors. This, as George W Bush now famously said, is some weird shit Sean Spicer was angry. “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period,” he almost shouted. Media attempts to “lessen the enthusiasm” for the inauguration were “shameful and wrong”. And today Donald Trump had been at the CIA where he was greeted by a “raucous” crowd “ecstatic” at his election. He delivered a “powerful” message and was given “a five-minute standing ovation”. Related: One nation, two Trumps: America as divided as ever after first 100 days Continue reading...
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Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band Review – serious jazz from Stones drummer (dim., 30 avril 2017)
(Impulse) Should you need convincing that the Rolling Stones drummer is also a serious jazz musician, spend some time with these seven tracks, which find him quite at home in some very fast company indeed. Jamming is one thing; finding oneself in the midst of one of Europe’s top jazz orchestras is something else, and Charlie Watts handles it with aplomb. The music, arranged and conducted by trumpeter and fellow Brit Gerard Presencer, is taken from a live concert. Naturally, there are three Stones numbers, heavily disguised, including a terrific Paint It Black, featuring Presencer. The big showpiece, though, is Watts’s Elvin Suite, climaxed by his duet with guest drummer Jim Keltner. Continue reading...
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Serifos, Greece: great interiors, even better outdoors (dim., 30 avril 2017)
For beauty, Serifos is up there with the Cyclades’ more famous islands – but it surpasses them for easygoing charm, which is why Athenians come here. That and the stylish places to stay How do you choose which Greek island to visit? There are thousands, and of course the most famous cannot be the best. For unspoilt beauty, you need a tip-off, and for one that has a little more life, you follow those in the know: the Athenians, and those smart hotel groups who seek out rarefied and spectacular destinations to woo their clientele. Continue reading...
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How ‘superagers’ stay sharp in their later years (dim., 30 avril 2017)
A new study shows how strenuous mental and physical exercise keeps your brain firing on all cylinders When it comes to retirement, experts recommend that everyone do some hard thinking. By this, they mean you should plan your finances responsibly, consider carefully where to live, and decide what colour beach chair to sit in all day as you sip strawberry daiquiris in the sun. But there’s another reason to think hard about these details: hard thinking by itself – a strenuous mental workout – is good for your ageing brain. My collaborators and I at Massachusetts General hospital and Northeastern University in Boston study people over 65 who have incredible memories for their age, on a par with healthy 25-year-olds. Scientists call them “superagers” (a term coined by neurologist Marsel Mesulam at Northwestern University in Chicago). While nobody knows exactly why some people are superagers, we believe that one common factor is that they engage in demanding mental exercise. They continually challenge themselves to learn new things outside of their comfort zone. Continue reading...
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Foul-mouthed Scottish schoolgirls get ready to hit the West End (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall won an Olivier with his musical Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour – now it’s starting a major London run Until I knew the real story, I had some fun imagining the meeting at which Lee Hall, writer of such hits as Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters, proposed the show that eventually became the Olivier award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. On paper, after all, it sounds unlikely, being a musical adaptation of Alan Warner’s scabrous 1998 novel, The Sopranos, a book that charts 24 hours in the chaotic, hormonally charged lives of six Catholic schoolgirls, all of whom are members of the choir of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. And even once you’ve seen it, conveying its particular genius to others is all but impossible. As Hall has admitted, it’s not really a play. Nor is it much of a musical, in the full sense of that word. The production is more like a gig – if, that is, gigs existed in which both Bach, Bartók, the Brookside theme tune and the songs of ELO were all performed with exactly the same rapt devotion by a group of teenagers. The real story, of course, is that there was no meeting. At an awards ceremony some 10 years ago now, Hall rather drunkenly accosted Vicky Featherstone, the founding artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland (these days, she runs the Royal Court in Chelsea), berating her for having failed ever to stage an adaptation of Warner’s book. She promptly berated him back, telling him that it was one of the first things she’d tried to do, only there had been a problem with the rights. By the end of their conversation, then, they were agreed. She would try once again to get permission to adapt the book. Meanwhile, Hall could start thinking about how, exactly, the project might be realised. It wasn’t until 2015 that the show (complete with a three-piece band) had its premiere at the Traverse theatre, as part of the Edinburgh festival fringe. Continue reading...
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The day I took a penalty against David Seaman (dim., 30 avril 2017)
It’s five-a-side in David Frost’s garden – the teams are filled with celebrities – but Edward Tew only has one thing on his mind as he lines up his spot kick “Hey Ed, fancy coming to my house this weekend? My dad’s having a bit of a party.” “Sure! But let me just check with my mum first.” I always check with Mum first. I’m nine. Continue reading...
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Great Brittany: discovering the Crozon peninsula (dim., 30 avril 2017)
If you’re going to Brittany – keep driving west. You’ll find huge uncrowded beaches, plenty of delicious seafood and some fairly dodgy festivals The road to Lost-Marc’h is lined with blue hydrangeas. In this wild Atlantic setting, the tame shrub normally associated with suburban front gardens has taken on a vivid new life, tumbling over stone walls and winding its way into the hedgerows. To our left, heather-clad cliffs plunge towards secret coves, which tempt us to pull over at every lay-by. We keep driving west, passing through tiny hamlets where the dour, granite walls of the sturdy slate-roofed cottages are leavened by front doors and shutters painted in vibrant cornflower blue. Continue reading...
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Spectacular end is nigh for Cassini space probe (dim., 30 avril 2017)
After a remarkable journey around Saturn, the US spacecraft is set for a fiery finale Last week, the US space probe Cassini survived an encounter of the very closest – and riskiest – kind. In response to signals that had been transmitted to it across several hundred millions of miles of space, it swooped through a tiny gap between Saturn and its rings, then skimmed over the planet’s upper atmosphere. Now the little spaceship is beaming back information about the giant, ringed world from the very closest of viewpoints. The achievement was remarkable – for this fly-by represents just one of a host of triumphs for Cassini, though in this case its manoeuvre did have a particular significance. It will be the spacecraft’s swan song. Having brought a stunning new awareness of Saturn and its system of moons, including observations suggesting that at least two could harbour life, the US space agency Nasa is now preparing to bring an end to Cassini as the spacecraft’s reserves of fuel run out. Continue reading...
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Do you like unlikeable people? – personality quiz | Ben Ambridge (dim., 30 avril 2017)
If you’re drawn to people with similar traits, the chances are you’ll share those characteristics Are we attracted to people like us – even when they’re unlikeable? A common finding in psychological research is that we tend to be drawn to people who are like us. But is this true even when the other person has unlikeable traits? And, more importantly, what do your answers say about your own personality? How much do you like people who show each of the following traits on a scale of 1 (extremely unlikeable) to 5 (extremely likeable): a) antagonism; b) manipulativeness; c) grandiosity; d) attention-seeking. Continue reading...
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Teacher knows best? Not any longer as parents muscle in on the classroom (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Abusive emails, letters to Ofsted: teachers face harassment When Geoff Barton started teaching in 1985, parents’ evening – a brief five-minute chat – was the only time teachers saw most mums and dads. If families had a concern, they might write a letter, or call the school office. Fast-forward three decades and the dynamics between schools and parents have changed dramatically. The voice of parents is louder, their expectations higher – and it’s much easier to instantly broadcast a complaint. Continue reading...
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Heavy defeat could allow Labour’s hardliners to elect another Corbyn (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Critics of leader could be swept away, leaving the left proportionately stronger Heavy general election losses for Labour will make it easier for leftwing MPs to install a Jeremy Corbyn mark II as the next party leader, according to senior officials who have analysed the possible make-up of the parliamentary party after 8 June. Some moderate MPs and those on the right of the party fear the total number of Labour members in the Commons could fall from 229 to about 160, leaving Theresa May with a massively increased majority and Labour with the smallest number of seats since the second world war. Continue reading...
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Sunday’s best TV: Line of Duty; The Durrells; Escape to Costa Rica (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Jed Mercurio’s magnificent corruption drama concludes, The Durrells continues to amuse and environmental journalist Gaia Vince explores the wildlife haven of Costa Rica. In the first in this new series, environmental journalist Gaia Vince explores Costa Rica, home to more than 500,000 species of animal and currently the most sustainable country in the world. It should be completely carbon neutral by 2021, thanks to its national grid being sustained by natural resources such as rivers and volcanoes. Vince meets the president and also joins scientists who are helping to preserve the island’s forests. Ben Arnold Continue reading...
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Let’s talk about intimacy – and why it makes for better love and sex (sam., 29 avril 2017)
The key to a great relationship is more than physical – it’s about taking off the mask and really revealing yourself Is there anything we still need to know about sex? Apparently, yes: and the missing ingredient is a gamechanger not just for individuals, but entire nations. Sex has been centre-stage in western culture for decades, but what has been absent, according to Adam Wilder, creator of the world’s first Festival of Togetherness, is the magic element that makes it all meaningful. Continue reading...
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The rugby buddy movie that tackles homophobia with a laugh (dim., 30 avril 2017)
New film Handsome Devil has been hailed as ‘the Irish Moonlight’ A while back, the director John Butler decided he wanted to make a mainstream buddy movie with a difference. It was to feature two teenage boys, whose sexuality would never explicitly be revealed, and the backdrop would be a fee-paying rugby-obsessed Irish school with a culture of unthinking homophobia. It would have a dash of Dead Poets Society, a nod to the feelgood John Hughes films of the 1980s, and it would culminate in a classic tale of sporting triumph on the rugby pitch. And Butler wanted to do all this on a shoestring budget and a 25-day shoot. Amazingly, the 44-year-old director managed it. Handsome Devil, which stars young Irish actors Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine as the adolescent schoolboys, and Sherlock star Andrew Scott as their inspirational teacher, has just been released to a wave of acclaim. Critics have called it “charming”, “terrific” and swiftly styled it “the Irish Moonlight”. Continue reading...
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The photographer who captured a time of change (dim., 30 avril 2017)
From fashion to slums of Paris: show will celebrate work of Marilyn Stafford Marilyn Stafford’s photographs depict a century of change, from shifting dress shapes to the impact of world conflicts. Today they are also proof of the long and varied life of a unique artist. Related: The chic and the shabby: Paris in the 1950s by Marilyn Stafford Continue reading...
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'What do we do now?': the New Labour landslide, 20 years on (sam., 29 avril 2017)
David Miliband, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Ed Balls and others remember the day they won They all remember the sunshine. Talk to those who were there on 1 May 1997, and everyone mentions the way the whole country seemed to glow under bright blue skies and a warm sun. It had been that way for much of the campaign, but those at the centre had barely had a chance to enjoy it. Now, on polling day, time at last seemed to slow down. For those few hours, there was nothing more that the small, tight group at the heart of New Labour could do, except wait. Thanks to Theresa May’s decision to call an early election, the campaign of 2017 will encompass a poignant milestone: the 20th anniversary of the biggest landslide in British political history. On Monday, two decades will have passed since Tony Blair led Labour to a triumph so complete it eclipsed even the groundbreaking win of 1945. While Clement Attlee racked up a Commons majority of 145 seats, Blair managed 179. Nothing like it had been accomplished before – or since. Continue reading...
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Putting down roots: the transformation of a farm garden (dim., 30 avril 2017)
It’s been seven years since Dan Pearson moved from Peckham to Somerset. He reflects on the differences ‘Well, this is a life’s work!” said friends who saw our sprawl of dilapidated buildings and empty fields not long after we moved from Peckham to Somerset. Although we intended it to be so, we saw only potential. Yes, it has sometimes been a process of learning from mistakes and adjusting from gardening in London, but that we are “in process” is thrilling and the contrast of the two gardens continues to expand the learning curve. It took five years of planning after we moved from the house in Peckham, and then the best part of two years to get to the point of planting our newly formed garden. Continue reading...
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The Swan at Hay, Hay-on-Wye: hotel review (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The chintzy restaurant is awaiting a refurb (and the bedrooms are a little fussy) but no one is looking at the wallpaper when the food is this good. Shame the hotel itself isn’t as creative as the brilliant menu The dining chair had a wobbly leg, and husband was on the point of swapping it when general manager Ronan rushed up. Thinking our doubtful looks were occasioned by the chintziness of the upholstery (matching the curtains), he hastened to explain that though the hotel’s bedrooms had all been revamped, the Garden Room restaurant was still in its old incarnation. Modern, much less flowery furnishings were on order, he said, and would have been in place already but for some glitch. Giving up on the chair switch, we sat down to dinner and any worries about seating were soon blown away by a meal – created by 28-year-old chef Jerry Adam – that will linger long in the memory. Continue reading...
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The week in radio: The Cinemile; The New Blur Album; Today (dim., 30 avril 2017)
A good walk is improved by the UK’s best new podcast, John Osborne reminisces about youth and music, while Boris Johnson is simply infuriating The Cinemile The New Blur Album (Radio 4)| iPlayer Today (Radio 4) | iPlayer At the first-ever British podcast awards last night, the winner of the best new podcast was something of a surprise. The Cinemile is a small show: it hasn’t been widely reviewed, it’s not promoted on iTunes, there are no lengthy New Yorker essays on its brooding, gothic atmosphere and experimental subversion of long-form audio journalism. But it’s still a worthy winner. Continue reading...
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Will Canada's Tim Hortons win over UK coffee fans? (dim., 30 avril 2017)
National institution to take on Costa and Starbucks with its ‘double double’ and Timbits The Tim Hortons coffee chain is so inextricably linked to Canadian national identity that the venue for its UK launch this week was obvious: Canada House, in central London. Never mind that the first British outlet will be in Glasgow – choosing the home of the Canadian high commission to mark its British debut reflects a certain national pride in the brand. “Being associated with Canada at this particular moment in history is no bad thing,” says the company’s chief marketing officer, Neil Littler. “But,” he adds, “we won’t be sticking maple leaves on everything.” Continue reading...
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Warranty work on my VW’s audio system turned into an £1,800 accident repair bill (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The car was at the garage when the damage occurred and the insurance firm won’t pay up Last November I left my VW Golf at an east London garage to have some warranty work carried out on the audio system. A day later I got a call from my insurer Bell – part of Admiral – telling me the car had been involved in an accident. Following numerous calls to both the insurance company and the police, Bell told me to pick up my car from the garage – it was driveable, though damaged. Bell staff repeatedly assured me that they would take responsibility for resolving this and getting the damage repaired. Continue reading...
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How tiny homes in the woods became a dream destination (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Eco-tourism offers a weekend taste of the simple life Anyone who has spent a long weekend cooped up in a caravan bickering with their family might question the desirability of holidaying in a confined space, but a new trend in the UK aims to make a virtue of just that. In meadows and woodland clearings across the country, small wooden cabins, some not much bigger than garden sheds, are springing up to offer stressed city dwellers a way of reconnecting with nature. The tiny homes movement began in America in the 1990s and champions the idea of “pared-down” living as a means of escaping from consumerism and the shackles of mortgages, and leading more fulfilled lives. It has also been touted as an affordable solution to the housing crisis. But now tourism is waking up to the potential of tiny homes to give people a taste of the simple life without having to commit to a permanent lifestyle change. Continue reading...
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Therapy ‘has long-term benefits for mothers with depression’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
CBT has positive effects on mental health, financial empowerment and parenting skills, long-term study shows Cognitive behavioural therapy has significant positive effects on a mother’s mental health, income, employment and parenting skills even seven years after the birth of the child, according to the first study of its kind. The international research project into the impact of depression on pregnant mothers and their babies, led by Professor Sonia Bhalotra from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, could have major implications for public policy. Continue reading...
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Ridgeback Ramble: bike preview | Martin Love (dim., 30 avril 2017)
A sturdy and efficient tourer from one of Britain’s great workhorse brands Ridgeback is a great British brand that we should be a lot more proud of. It began life in 1983 when Errol Drew returned from the New York bike show inspired to create the UK’s first mountain bike. Since then the firm has developed a name for building virtually bombproof off-roaders and commuters. More recently it has turned its attention to designing long-range, steel-framed tourers that are equally difficult to break. Don’t be fooled by the old-school paint job and quaint name; this is no clunker. It has the same DNA as the awesome Genesis Croix de Fer, which set the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle in 2010. You don’t have to go that far, but the wide tyres, disc brakes, stable geometry and easy riding efficiency of the Ridgeback Ramble will soon win you over (ridgeback.co.uk) Price: £999 Frame: CroMo with carbon forks Gears: Shimano Sora 2 x 9 speed Brakes: Spyre disc Continue reading...
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The pick of chenin blanc | David Williams (dim., 30 avril 2017)
Chenin blanc has as many fans as it does foes. If its complexities have always passed you by, then try these three wines to get an idea of the variety the grape offers Les Andides Saumur Blanc, France 2015 (£7.99, Waitrose) Chenin blanc, like riesling, is as divisive as it is versatile. Both grapes can make every kind of white style, from fizzy to dry to super sweet; and both can make wines that will improve in bottle for many years to come. What puts some people off, I think, is the thing that makes both of them so appealing to the rest of us: extreme acidity. Basically, if you like the puckering tang of a lime wedge straight up, you’ll probably enjoy riesling; while chenin appeals to those who prefer their apples on the Cox’s Pippin side of tart. Certainly a touch of green apple sourness is the main part of the appeal in Les Andides, an invigoratingly dry and tangy long-term staple of the Waitrose range from chenin’s Loire homeland. Stellenrust Stellenbosch Manor Chenin Blanc, South Africa 2016 (£8, Sainsbury’s) Where chenin differs from riesling is in the way it works when fermented and aged in toasty oak barrels – although the full-on creamy oaked style of chenin is even more of a Marmite proposition than the squeaky clean fruit that comes with making the wine in stainless steel tanks. There’s a kind of beeswaxy, honeyed fullness to go with the baked apples and quince in South African producer Stellenrust’s Stellenbosch Manor Barrel-Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016 (£13, Sainsbury’s) that makes it very good with rich pork and chicken dishes. Were it not for that telltale sour-glow acidity, you’d almost think it was a different variety to the same producer’s unoaked example, which, with its burst of super ripe pineapple and apple, is just fab value.. Continue reading...
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Fade away: readers' photos on the theme of decay (dim., 30 avril 2017)
For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of decay via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘busy’ by clicking the button below Continue reading...
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How are you voting in the UK's general election? (mar., 18 avril 2017)
We want to hear from readers across Britain as Britain builds up to its second general election in two years Theresa May has called for a general election in June, citing parliamentary opposition to Brexit as justification for her decision. Related: Theresa May's call for a snap election – your questions answered Continue reading...
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Woody Harrelson webchat – post your questions now (ven., 28 avril 2017)
The Hollywood star is joining us to answer your questions in a live webchat on Monday 1 May – post them in the comments below 10.56am BST Since his breakthrough as a dopey bartender in Cheers, Woody Harrelson has been an endearing Hollywood fixture – and nominated for two Oscars along the way. His broad grin and lugubrious Texan drawl make him a natural for goofy comedy, such as upcoming indie comic-book adaptation Wilson. But he can flip to stone-faced seriousness in works such as Natural Born Killers, True Detective and The Hunger Games franchise – just one of his blockbuster projects, which also include War for the Planet of the Apes, and the Star Wars spin-off movie about Han Solo. Continue reading...
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Tactical voting, cross-party alliances and Brexit – catch up on our live look at the week (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Look back on a broad-ranging discussion on everything from the state of play in UK election campaigning to aliens wanting to meet our leaders Take our poll: should Labour enter into cross-party alliances? 4.30pm BST Thanks for taking part in the discussion today, for clicking on our poll or just reading along with us. We’ll be back next week with another opportunity for you to tell us what you’d like to talk about and to respond to some of our writers, who will again be here to talk about some of their favourite stories of the week. In the meantime you can continue the discussion in the comments or email us on matthew.holmes@theguardian.com or sarah.marsh@theguardian.com – we’ll look forward to hearing from you. 4.16pm BST If you’re just arriving, here’s a poll readers have been voting in based on discussion below the line regarding cross-party alliances. Continue reading...
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Sports quiz of the week: Joshua v Klitschko, Lionel Messi and a swollen lip (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Who farmed 50 cows? Who was cut up? And who doesn’t want to fight the law? • Football quiz: name the player or manager in the suit Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko have both won Olympic gold medals. Joshua won his in London in 2012; when did Klitschko win his? 1992 1996 2000 2004 This will be Klitschko's 29th world title fight. How many times has Joshua fought (and won) as a professional? Nine 12 18 25 Lionel Messi has now scored 502 goals for Barcelona. How many of them did he score with his left foot? 299 343 404 451 Against which team did Messi score five goals in one match? Arsenal Bayer Leverkusen Osasuna Sevilla Who said: "Maybe we will have a better referee – or no referee – I’d prefer that"? Sergio Ramos Lionel Messi Gerard Piqué Yaya Touré Cesc Fàbregas recorded his 103rd assist in the Premier League in Chelsea’s win over Southampton on Monday night. Who is the only player with more? Wayne Rooney Frank Lampard Paul Scholes Ryan Giggs Which team has beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League this season? Manchester United Crystal Palace Tottenham Hotspur Hull City Warren Gatland has picked his British and Irish Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand this summer. How many of the 41 players chosen were born in New Zealand? One Two Three Four Which member of the Lions squad grew up on a 60-acre farm with 50 cows? Stuart Hogg Sam Warburton Billy Vunipola Tadhg Furlong Who said: "Happy for the victory but ended up with a swollen lip"? Conor McGregor Anthony Joshua Lewis Hamilton Alexis Sánchez What are NBA basketball player Paul George’s parents called? Paul and Georgia John and Ringo Leon and James Paul and Paulette Continue reading...
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'The bride's ex arrived drunk': your outrageous wedding stories (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Three-day weddings are popular, but Country Life has called for restraint. We asked about the most eyebrow-raising ceremonies you’ve attended Country Life magazine has suggested couples favour quality over quantity when it comes to weddings, with ceremonies now “the nuptial equivalent of an arms race”. We asked our readers to share their experiences of the luxury weddings they attended. Here is a selection of responses, with some names changed to protect people’s identities. Related: What is the most extravagant wedding you have attended? Continue reading...
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If you're aged 16-34, share your thoughts on the general election (ven., 28 avril 2017)
We’d like to understand how you view the upcoming snap election – whether you’re voting, or not. We’ll use a selection of responses in our reporting In less than six weeks, UK voters will head to polls to vote on who they want to lead the country. If you’re voting, abstaining, undecided or even indifferent, we’d like you to share your thoughts with us. Related: General election 2017: Paul Nuttall launches Ukip's campaign – live Continue reading...
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Readers recommend: share your tribute songs (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 1 May Your nominated musical tribute could be to a person alive or dead, or even an act or event ... whatever it is, share it now. And for more on interpreting the theme, keep an eye on the comments. You have until 11pm on Monday 1 May to post your nomination and make your justification. RR contributor George Boyland (who posts as sonofwebcore in the comments) will select from your recommendations and produce a playlist, to be published on 4 May. Continue reading...
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Has Brexit changed your political allegience at this general election? (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
As a new poll finds a majority of British voters regret Brexit, we want to know if you’re changing your vote at this general election because of it Theresa May called the general election in part to help secure a mandate for her party’s vision for Brexit. A YouGov/Times poll has found a majority of British voters regret the decision to leave the EU, and with this in mind we want to hear from voters who are changing their vote or voting for the first time because of this issue. Whether you’re a Conservative voter switching parties because you disagree with “hard” Brexit, or a Labour voter unhappy with the party’s stance, or a Lib Dem voter who disagrees with the party’s policy of backing a second EU referendum, we want to hear your views. Continue reading...
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Battles ahead: May v Corbyn, hope v despair, timidity v boldness | Letters (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
Readers respond to contrasting columns by George Monbiot and Polly Toynbee, and other Guardian articles about the forthcoming general election I’m one of an endangered species apparently: a pensioner without a huge stash in savings. But George Monbiot’s excellent article (If ever there was a time to vote Labour, it is now, 26 April), brutally honest though it was, while determined to find reasons to be cheerful among the predicted carnage, has prompted me to put a £100 bet on a Labour victory in the general election. I never normally gamble, but was partly nudged in that direction as an act of faith by the funereal, fatalist tone of Polly Toynbee’s opinion piece (A blue tidal wave is heading towards us in June. Reach for the sandbags, 26 April). Polly has done a brilliant job in your paper of holding our dreadful Tory rulers to account during the past two governments, but she has recently reverted to her old SDP role of staunch underminer of anything Labour which deviates from centrist convention. Neither she nor many of your colleagues, nor the majority of Labour MPs, have been prepared to give Corbyn’s opposition any credibility since his election. Worse, the MPs have publicly broadcast this energetically, despite knowing how this plays into the hands of gleeful Tories. Continue reading...
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What's happening where you live in the general election? (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
From visiting politicians to banners and leaflets, we want you to show us what’s happening where you are as the UK general election approaches Politicians are dusting down their soap boxes and canvassers are readying their door-knocking skills. (Yet) another British general election is upon us, and we’d like to see your images, videos and stories as the campaign gathers momentum. Wherever you are in the UK, we want to see how the campaign is impacting your local area. PM Theresa May says she is eschewing TV debates for old-fashioned meeting the voters – has she, or any other politician, turned up in your town? Continue reading...
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Readers recommend playlist: your songs about mathematics (jeu., 27 avril 2017)
Our reader adds up your suggestions and divides them into a well calculated playlist – Kate Bush, Little Boots and They Might Be Giants all featuring Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from your suggestions after last week’s callout. Read more about how our weekly readers recommend series works at the end of the piece. At its most elementary, mathematics is about how numbers relate to each other – certainly that’s what most of us are first taught. Any of you with children will have marvelled at a young brain’s ability to identify the concept of numbers in life (three more mouthfuls, five more sleeps until Christmas). Addition is how most kids start to learn about the interconnection of numbers, and I Can Add by They Might Be Giants, which starts our list this week, provides a simple lesson on this basic operation … and in Spanish too. Continue reading...
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How to deal with ageism at work – live chat (dim., 23 avril 2017)
If you need advice on tackling ageism in the workplace, join our panel of experts on Wednesday 26 April from 1pm–2.30pm BST Whether you have been mistaken for the “work experience kid” as a young-looking colleague, or dubbed “out of touch” as an older worker – ageism in the workplace is an age-old problem. “It’s still seen as okay in our culture to make general assumptions about people based on how old they are,” says Rachael Saunders, head of Business in the Community’s Age at Work programme. And prejudice is surprisingly common: across Europe ageism is the most widely experienced form of work discrimination, according to a study from charity Age UK. Continue reading...
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Share your photos of air quality around the world (mar., 25 avril 2017)
Guardian picture editors would like to see images from amateur photographers and share feedback in a new series aiming to showcase the best of your work For this week’s topical photography project our picture editors would like you to share photographs that illustrate air quality – both good and bad. You may live somewhere where you can capture the haze of a city or are perhaps fortunate enough to witness crisp, clear skies. We’re interested in images that are literal or conceptual, so if you want to interpret this project creatively, we’re open to that. Continue reading...
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Google’s Mo Gawdat: ‘Happiness is like keeping fit. You have to work out’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
When the tech guru’s son unexpectedly died, he turned to an equation they had devised together to get through the grief Mo Gawdat is the chief business officer at Google X – the “moonshot factory” responsible for some of the company’s more audacious projects, such as self-driving cars and a balloon-powered global internet. Before he joined Google, while working as stock trader and tech executive in Dubai and in response to a period of depression, he used his engineer’s mindset to create an “equation for happiness”. The equation says that happiness is greater than, or equal to, your perception of the events in your life minus your expectation of how life should be. When his 21-year-old son Ali died during a routine operation, Gawdat turned to the equation, which they had worked on together, in an attempt to come to terms with his tragic loss. Gawdat’s book, Solve for Happy, explains the theories underpinning the equation and how it helped him sustain his life after Ali’s death. Continue reading...
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Novelist Chris Kraus: ‘Who hasn’t had an affair?’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
As her novel I Love Dick is adapted for the small screen, the film-maker and author talks gender, humour, fact and fiction Chris Kraus, a writer who began her career in experimental film, is the author of I Love Dick, a novel based on her own life. Set in the mid-1990s, its principal characters are Chris Kraus, a 39 year-old experimental film-maker; Sylvère Lotringer, a 56-year-old French theorist (named after Kraus’s real-life former husband); and Dick ___, an English cultural critic with whom Chris is infatuated (the latter is based on Dick Hebdige, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara). Since its publication in the US in 1997, this work of “autofiction” has developed a cult following. A TV adaptation by Jill Soloway, the creator of Transparent, begins on Amazon next month, starring Kevin Bacon as Dick and Kathryn Hahn as Chris. Torpor, now published in the UK for the first time, is the third book in the trilogy that began with I Love Dick. Set in 1991, it’s about an experimental film-maker, Sylvie, and her French theorist husband, Jerome, who travel to Romania intending to adopt an orphan. Kraus lives in Los Angeles, where she is professor of writing at the European Graduate School. Have you seen Jill Soloway’s adaptation of I Love Dick? Yes. Of course, they’ve changed it. But one brilliant thing they’ve done is to tap into the phenomenon of the book, the way it now has a life of its own, people taking selfies with it, and so on. There’s an episode where the focus goes off the trio and on to the other women in the ensemble, and they all write their own letters to Dick, which was something some readers really did do, online. Continue reading...
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On my radar: Joe Mount’s cultural highlights (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The Metronomy singer on living in Paris, vintage curtains, and growing his own rhubarb Born in 1982 and raised in Devon, singer and musician Joe Mount is the founder of the electronic group Metronomy. The 34-year-old’s interest in music began at school, where he played the drums in various bands. While studying at the University of Brighton he became involved in the local electronic scene, later performing as a DJ. Metronomy have released five studio albums, including the Mercury-nominated English Riviera in 2011, and more recently Summer 08 – a mix of “wistful reminiscence and vintage bangers” – which was released to critical acclaim last July. Mount’s range of influences include David Bowie, Prince and the German techno duo Funkstörung. Metronomy play Glasgow 16 May, Manchester 17 May and London 19 May. Continue reading...
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Patricia Lockwood: ‘I’m a show-off, a clown’ (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The poet and author, best known for her long poem Rape Joke, talks about her extraordinary memoir, Priestdaddy, and growing up in the midwest If you had no idea who Patricia Lockwood was and encountered her at a hotel in Westminster, as I did last week, this is what you would have seen across the breakfast table: a slim, 34-year-old woman with close-cut dark hair like the painted bob of a wooden doll. Earrings – twin globes – pale as peeled lychees and nail varnish to match. A face born to be surprised, with saucer-wide eyes, responsive eyebrows, a curvy mouth. The voice: amused, high, slightly babyish. The accent: American midwestern, with the suggestion of a whine – somewhere between relish and incredulity – at the way life pans out. But nothing about her appearance could betray what her extraordinary, eccentric and entertaining memoir Priestdaddy or her outlandish poetry collection, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, reveals. And I already know as much about her parents as about Lockwood herself. Her father – the Priestdaddy of the title – was on a nuclear submarine off the coast of Norway during the cold war and watching The Exorcist (he saw the film more than 70 times in 88 days) when he underwent an unlikely conversion to Catholicism and became, having found a loophole in sacerdotal law, a married priest. Lockwood’s mother (“the most quotable woman alive”) is unusual too, although less flamboyantly strange. Had her mother been able to join us, Lockwood ruminates, she would certainly have ordered iced tea and certainly immediately sent it back, protesting it tasted like “sewage”. “That would happen because it has happened at every single breakfast, lunch and/or dinner I’ve had out with my mother.” This certainty about oddball details is part of the Lockwood – Tricia to her friends – magic, although she wonders aloud, more than once, where her authority comes from. With no college education, she has risen out of slush piles and triumphed. Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker and the London Review of Books and she has had rave write-ups in the New York Times. Continue reading...
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Michael Ignatieff fights his toughest battle over academic freedom (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The Canadian thinker is determined to defend his university against interference by the Hungarian state Michael Ignatieff is living life in reverse. Most people opt for their most demanding roles early on, then a quieter life. But after a career in philosophy, novel-writing and journalism, Ignatieff chose politics in his native Canada, followed at the age of 69 by his most difficult role to date: rector of the Central European University in Budapest. It is a task that has led him into battle to defend academic freedom against the onslaught of the Hungarian government, as its populist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, strives to bring the CEU to heel through a new education law. Under recent Hungarian legislation aimed at overseas-registered universities, staff will have to acquire work permits, which the CEU says will restrict its ability to hire staff. The government is also demanding that the university open a wing in America and that it no longer teach US-accredited courses. Continue reading...
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Maxine Peake: 'I'm a Corbyn supporter. We need a coup' (sam., 29 avril 2017)
She used to be told she was too fat, too northern, too political. Decades into a stellar career, Maxine Peake is on fighting form Maxine Peake looks at me and rolls her eyes. “Last time we met, you got me into trouble,” she says. “Really?” I say, confused. Continue reading...
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Me and my brother: 'I was bright and considerate, he was a dumpy, inert lump' (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Stuart Heritage was the long-awaited golden child. And then came Pete: alpha male, rabble-rouser. Who better to choose as your best man? I have always felt a little sorry for my brother Pete. But then, I’d feel sorry for anyone who had to follow in my footsteps. I was a miracle baby. For seven and a half years, my parents struggled to conceive a child. They tried and they tried – visiting hospitals and speaking to doctors with an increasing sense of desperation – but every new hope led to a dead end. Nothing worked. So my parents consoled themselves the only way they knew how. They got a couple of cats. But then, in the dying breaths of 1978, out of nowhere, Mum got pregnant. After years of heartbreak, it was finally happening. My parents started to plan like crazy. They picked names. They bought clothes. They thought about building an extension on the back of their two-bed semi, all to give this unexpected bundle of joy a life that was better than their own. Continue reading...
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Michael Heseltine: ‘Signing article 50 is the worst decision we’ve made’ (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Lord Michael Heseltine, 84, the senior politician and businessman, reflects on what he owes his dyslexia, his fears over Brexit and why he has no plans to retire At my age there is no such thing as a good winter. There is a wonderful day in mid-March when you feel the sun on your back for the first time, and it straightens you. I was no good at games and the only time I came top of the form was when my parents offered to buy me a new bike if I did so. I found an outlet for my energy by going to the local post office, buying as much lemonade as I could carry, and selling to the hearties by the glass what I’d bought by the bottle. Continue reading...
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How to make the world a better place (sam., 29 avril 2017)
The announcement of the general election coincides with the 50th anniversary of the May Day Manifesto. Ken Loach, Howard Jacobson, Jeanette Winterson, Shami Chakrabarti and others say what a 2017 manifesto for the left should look like Continue reading...
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Best photos of the day: LA riots 25th anniversary and Buddha's birthday (dim., 30 avril 2017)
The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including boxing heavyweights and a lantern festival Continue reading...
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Fifteen standout moments from Trump's first 100 days – in pictures (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Whether ordering airstrikes, signing executive orders or getting excited in a big truck, the focus of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office has been himself. The Guardian selects some of the president’s highlights Continue reading...
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The chic and the shabby: Paris in the 1950s by Marilyn Stafford (sam., 29 avril 2017)
US photojournalist Marilyn Stafford worked for fashion houses, and documented the lives of slum children and refugees fleeing Algeria’s war of independence A new exhibition at Lucy Bell Gallery in St Leonards-on-Sea shines a light on her work Continue reading...
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A fairytale of New York at night – in pictures (sam., 29 avril 2017)
New York-based photographer and film-maker Daniel Soares became fascinated with the look of late nights in the Big Apple after spending a lot of time in Chinatown. In his striking series Neon Nights he photographs glowing shopfronts, restaurants and the people visiting them. “People’s stories become part of the photo,” he says. “I often find myself asking, ‘What are they buying? What’s their life like? Why are they grabbing cigarettes at midnight?’” Wandering at night for hours to find the perfect shot, Soares tries to represent a “dreamy” version of NYC: “By day, New York can be overwhelming, dirty and loud, but at night it morphs into this fairytale of neon lights, where time seems to stand still.” Continue reading...
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Original Observer photography: April 2017 (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Artist Chris Ofili, musicians Thurston Moore and Beth Ditto and boxer Anthony Joshua all feature in this month’s showcase of the best photography commissioned by the Observer Continue reading...
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The people of Harlem, as painted by Alice Neel – in pictures (sam., 29 avril 2017)
The great US artist Alice Neel lived and painted in uptown New York when it was almost exclusively black and Hispanic. Hilton Als, curator of a show of her portraits from this period, discusses some of his favourite images. Read Tim Adams on Alice Neel: the Harlem portraits here Alice Neel, Uptown is at Victoria Miro, London N1 from 18 May-29 July. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, published by David Zwirner Books and Victoria Miro. Continue reading...
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The 20 photographs of the week (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Tension on the border of North and South Korea, the French elections and the ongoing violence in Mosul – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists Continue reading...
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Van Gogh at the National Gallery of Victoria – in pictures (sam., 29 avril 2017)
Van Gogh and the Seasons, a new exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne, features 49 works from throughout the artist’s career. Ranging from sketches to colourful oil paintings, the works vividly illustrate Vincent van Gogh’s passion for nature and the development of his fascination with colour. Here are a selection of the works on display • Van Gogh at the NGV: ‘He wasn’t easy to get on with … that doesn’t make him mad’ • Van Gogh exhibition opens in Melbourne – video Continue reading...
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‘Nobody believed me until they saw the news’: the day I met Muhammad Ali (ven., 28 avril 2017)
Hughie Furlong watches the boxer train in Hyde Park, 12 May 1966 Muhammad Ali, world heavyweight champion, was in London for his title fight against Henry Cooper. Ali was on top of the world; he’d knocked out Sonny Liston – the biggest bully of them all – a year earlier, in the first round. The fight, at Highbury, Arsenal Football Club’s stadium, was a huge occasion, particularly because Cooper was on home ground. Ali was the favourite, but there was talk about Cooper’s left hook. I’d seen Cooper in action and always said that left hook was like a pound of lead on the end of elastic. I was 26 and teaching PE in Putney. west London. I was a boxing obsessive. A few days before the fight, I got chatting to a young lad in my gym, who told me his dad was Richard Reekie, who wrote for Boxing Illustrated. He said he was with the Ali camp at the Piccadilly hotel, writing his column. In the pub that night, my friend Keith Underhay and I decided to call the hotel. They put us straight through to Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, who told me Ali would be out at 6.30am to start training, so we drove up early the next day. Continue reading...
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